October 2008

Diagram 8.5 is live

from Diagram:

rises from the giant patch, is out. Consider it an earliness, a bonus, since sometimes we run late too. Perhaps you have noted it and mocked us for it, or raised a glass to our tardiness. Both are fair responses. But this time the new issue is a preemie. So cute! So gross! It’s a live live.

Featuring some SCHEMATICS:

* A Baby’s Face is Small
* An Analysis of the Lever Escapement
* Another Method for Making a Cloud Descend With One or More Persons In It.
* Evidence of Validity of Sensory Evaluation of the Overall Appearance of Pap Smears
* Surgical Procedure: The Unicorn

Some smokin’ hot REVIEWS of books that are good: [Nicky Beer on Elizabeth Bradfield] [Amanda Maule on Clay Matthews] [Matt Dube on Ben Segal]

And horrifying contributions from:

* Arlene Ang
* Brent Armendinger
* Christopher Cheney
* Joanne Diaz
* Jehanne Dubrow
* Ori Fienberg
* Elisa Gabbert
* Melissa Ginsburg
* Boris Jardine
* M. Kasper
* Marissa Landrigan
* Daniel J. Langton
* Stacie Leatherman
* Margaret MacInnis
* Jack Martin
* Teresa K. Miller
* Trey Moody
* Sierra Nelson
* Kim Parko
* Isaac Pressnell
* Justin Runge
* Margot Schilpp
* Amy Schrader
* Jeffrey Skinner
* Don Thompson
* R. A. Villanueva

Have I mentioned that we are more than willing to wash you in your entirety? I hope so. I had really wanted to mention that. So: check it out at <http://thediagram.com>.

Uncategorized / Comments Off on Diagram 8.5 is live
October 27th, 2008 / 12:56 am

I Am Stupid When It Comes To Politics – Ignore Me

A few days ago, Shane Jones threatened to write an essay about the ‘politics’ of online writer’s blogs and the online lit scene in  a recent post on his blog. For the record, Shane Jones does not link to my own personal blog, but I link to him from my own personal blog. Co-Editor of The Cupboard, Adam Peterson, links to my own personal blog but I do not link to his personal blog. Darby Larson links to my personal blog, but I have not linked to his personal blog. Jereme has linked to my blog, but I have not linked to his. I have linked to Sam Pink’s blog, but he has not linked to me. Fuck Sam Pink.

In good news, I have linked to Matthew Simmons, and he has linked to me. I have linked to Kendra Grant Malone and she has linked to me. Congratulations, everyone.

Nowadays, there’s just so much out there! So many blogs to read! The internet is so busy! Look here and here for proof. Wow! And it’s so hard to copy and paste a web address and add it to your list of links on the side of your minima-black-themed blog. Who reads all of them anyhow? What’s the use? Eventually you just get overwhelmed. Laziness interecedes. Some people just type stupid shit and publish it. Sometimes it’s not even worth your time to click on or link to certain people. And sometimes you just want to show that asshole Blake Butler that you’re more picky than he is (Blake Butler links to EVERYONE!!!). Why not try to limit your scene? Save some time? Tao Lin is famous for this: he links to twelve people and is very picky as to who he links to based on some ‘life-affirming’ philosophy, I think. I could be wrong though. I recall a post he wrote about it. You’d have to dig it up. Google it or something.

But, really, who can we count on to back us up? Does this matter? Does linking to people matter?

Probably not. This is a lame post. I forgot what I really meant to type here. Politics and something. I don’t know. I am drunk.

I don’t think that I should link to Mark Sarvas. He won’t back me up. And I haven’t read Harry, Revised, nor do I plan to, but man, that guy must get a lot of hits…if only he could send some of that my way. Although, maybe he isn’t cool enough, and besides, his readers might not understand my waste-paper-throwing-game. Or maybe I’m not cool enough.

I’m bored with everyone. I want to read new things. I want to find new blogs and literary sites that I can read. What am I doing wrong? Why is my blogroll so lame?

Give me some links.

Random & Web Hype / 74 Comments
October 26th, 2008 / 1:15 am

A Further Explanation

I think changing publishers before a book comes out is kind of interesting.  Well, it adds drama.  For the writer, it poses an interesting dilemma.  You have to kind of feel that one press is better than the other, but you already accepted with the one press so why did you send it anyway?  Brandon Scott Gorrell faced a situation where he had accepted with Greying Ghost Press but when Tao Lin decided to start his own press, Brandon backed out and went with Tao.  Not a surprise.  I think most of us would have done the same thing, or maybe not.  

I decided to ask Brandon for a bit of an explanation, or what he was thinking.  The response is lengthy, but good.  I think what’s interesting is the idea that Greying Ghost and MuuMuu House could have published the same book — Tao said he would publish the book even if Greying Ghost put it out and Brandon offered the editor at Greying Ghost to put the same book out as a dual-release, which Carl declined.

Here’s Brandon’s full response/explanation on the situation:


Yes, I will explain that. Tao emailed me, saying that, since he just finished his novel, he was going forward with Muumuu House. He asked if he could publish my book. He said he would publish it as a perfect-bound paperback and that I could control all aspects of the book’s design if I wanted. He said things like “I feel sure I will promote the book for the rest of my life” and other thematically similar life-affirming statements. He also said that he would still want to publish it in the case that Greying Ghost published it. 
I emailed Carl from Greying Ghost, telling him that Tao offered to publish my poetry book as a “real” style book (as opposed to a “chapbook” style book), and that I would like to take the opportunity. I said that I would also like Greying Ghost to publish it at the same time. I suggested a dual-release thing. Carl from Greying Ghost emailed me back and said that he would not want to publish my poetry book if Tao also published it. He also said something similar to the sentiments “I would understand if you wanted to go with Tao” and “There would be no hard feelings if you choose Muumuu.” 
When I had this information I quickly made the decision to withdraw my manuscript from Greying Ghost. I made this decision because I perceived Muumuu House as having a greater likelihood of providing more press, financial gain, power, success, etc; because Muumuu will publish it as a perfect-bound paperback (I prefer that to a chapbook-style book); because I trust Tao to promote my book really hard; because I know that I will be able to communicate with Tao, probably on a daily basis, about my book, if I need to; and because I have control over all aspects of the book’s design.   


Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
October 25th, 2008 / 7:44 pm

Let’s play “how do you explain this to Grandma?”

A link to this blog turned up in my inbox this morning, with an attached note addressed to me and my little sister: >>This is my first cousin Arnold’s daughter. I never saw her. I do not know what this means. Can either of you explain it. You can tell me when you get here if you have no time now. Love, Grandma<<

Okay, let’s play the game. You’ve just woken up. You’ve clicked through and read the blog, and watched the video. You pretty much get what they’re up to (e.g. miscellaneous corporate nerd stuff). So……..keeping in mind that your goal here is not to snark your heart or out, sow confusion, or express derision, but rather to communicate just enough meaning to satisfy the person who asked the question……..H0W DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TO GRANDMA?

Blind Items & Contests / 2 Comments
October 25th, 2008 / 11:24 am

Ander Monson’s electronic boatload

If you’re a fan of Ander Monson (which, you should be: if you haven’t read, in particular, his story collection OTHER ELECTRICITIES, you are missing a hell of a book), then you may or may not know about Ander’s personal website based around his books, which in the case of the last two releases in particular is a host of a whole slew of amazing and weird unreleased texts from Ander’s diagrammatic brain.

The Apocrypha section of the Other Electricities section of the site (yeah, each layer is layered more and more deeply often, and the NECK DEEP section often seems a maze of its own ilk), has a ton of lists, letters, and other deleted scenes material, much of which like what you might find on Ander’s DIAGRAM.

It’s a good place to get lost and a good model for authors wanting to make their own websites things people will actually want to look at and come back to.

Author Spotlight / 10 Comments
October 25th, 2008 / 1:12 am

Mud Luscious

Reader, go buy.

I did. I will tell you what I think of them when they arrive. And I read them. I will read them before I tell you what I think of them.

I will probably read them before I tell you what I think of them.

There is a 64% chance I will read them, or maybe at least skim them before I tell you what I think of them.

57% maybe.

Definitely I will probably read, skim, or at least open them before I tell you what I think of them.

Also, I am sorry that this post moved Kendra’s down the page a little. I apologize to you, the reader.

And Kendra.

And to…well, you know. Them.

Presses / 4 Comments
October 24th, 2008 / 8:35 pm

See? I’m a useful contributor.

Uncategorized / 22 Comments
October 24th, 2008 / 4:59 pm

Mark Jarman

I mentioned The Reaper during Mean Week. Mark Jarman was one of the editors. He was a teacher at the place whereat I got my (insert name of sometimes maligned writing degree that ends in an A and begins with an MF) and I liked his readings a lot.

(Did I say that about him already? That his were my favorite faculty poetry readings? Mary Reufle was good, too. Maybe I’ll write about her later. She had a lecture that was both really good and it gave me the fucking creeps.)


I have Jarman’s book Epistles sitting here next to me. Sarabande published it. I really like it. This is a little from a poem called “Listening to you”:

Got to the burnt out bulb to study the beauty of failure. There in its violoated space, the arms raised but the filaments incinerated, the flashmark like the feathery white face of a moth, it is no cool and detached, the ruined throne room of a dead sun king.

Here’s an interesting thing. Jarman is a religious poet. He writes about his faith quite eloquently and quite surprisingly. I am, on the other hand, happily agnostic. But I still really enjoy Jarman’s professions of faith.

(O’Connor came up early in the week. Same thing, there. I haven’t read it cover to cover, but I’ve enjoyed some of the letters in A Habit of Being. Somewhere she refers to someone buying a new car as getting a “hale automobile” and for some reason that’s always stuck with me. I have no idea why. And some of the Mystery and Manners essays have been really helpful to me.)

All this to say go buy and/or get from the library a copy of Epistles.



Ah, here’s a weird moment of synchronicity. Google Video has a 2 hour debate about the existence of God between two philosophers. Arguing against the existence of a Christian God is Clancy Martin. See a comment by pr in Jimmy’s last post to see Mr. Martin’s first appearance on this blog today.


Author Spotlight / 22 Comments
October 24th, 2008 / 4:52 pm

N, the literary coefficient

Okay, this is complicated: ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder, and the acronym spells ‘add,’ and so, people with ADD are to do two things: 1) read the name of the following journals all the way through by 2) adding the letters following the addition sign. You may ask, ‘what is the point of this shit?’ to which I reply, ‘fuck off, I’m a contributing writer.’

NO [n + O]

I don’t no much about this journal, though they seem somewhat negative. I can imagine their rejection letter: No

NOO [n + OO]

From our very own M. Young and R. Call, this is a beautifully designed journal featuring the hard hitters of online lit today (R. Lopez, T. Lin, B. Butler, K. Spitzer, N. Cicero, C. Smith, et al). The Germanic umlaut is Mike’s way of saying ‘I’m am the fuhrer.’ The black and white logo reminds me of a cow. Noo Moo.

NOON [n + OON]

At 12PM sharp everyday, Diane Williams orders a latte and biscotti and sits down at a café and opens submissions. She has an engraved letter opener which reads “e-mail is for a-hole.” Once, she came across my submission and used it for a napkin. ‘Kiss me,’ my story said, and was ignored.

N + 1 [n + 1 + choad grammar]

There’s something about being really smart and living in NYC that makes people who are either not as smart or not living in NYC feel like shit. Every time I see the photo of the editors in their apartment/office, burdened by the implications of their formidable ideas, I feel obsolete, pathetic, and stupid (I will admit, alot of that is my father’s fault). If you look closely at the clock, you’ll notice it’s 12:30PM, half an hour behind Ms. Williams. She downed the biscotti and is off to zen camp. ‘Kiss me’, I said to those guys, and they said, ‘the comma goes inside the quotation mark.’ Choads!

Uncategorized / 22 Comments
October 24th, 2008 / 1:34 pm

‘This book is a catalog of the life project’

I am in a bad writing phase or something. I haven’t been writing very much recently. Instead of writing, I’m reading a lot of things: student papers, composition textbooks, books to review, and then some stuff to make me feel better. Everyone has that shelf or two of books that they read to feel better, I guess. I’m rereading Ben Marcus. Slowly. I just finished Notable American Women a few days ago. Now I’ll start The Age Of Wire And String. I pulled the book off my shelf to look at it and a few pieces of paper fell out.

I might have shown this to a couple of people, so sorry if this is old news.

On the papers is an index. I made an index of all the terms Marcus defines in the book and listed the page number of the definition. I made this index one summer a few years ago. I enjoyed making it. It made me feel busy and involved in something. I don’t know if it is worthwhile. I don’t even know if this makes sense.

But some of the terms you can actually look up as you read – DROWNING METHOD, for example, shows up in the text on page 10, but it isn’t defined until page 94.

That was a good summer.

Okay, here it is after the jump (and I understand if you make fun of me):


Random / 22 Comments
October 24th, 2008 / 2:50 am