October 2009

“‘Kill your speed’ should be more noticeable than ‘Slow down.'”

“”There has been much speculation about whether people can process emotional information unconsciously, for example pictures, faces and words. We have shown that people can perceive the emotional value of subliminal messages and have demonstrated conclusively that people are much more attuned to negative words,” study leader Professor Nilli Lavie said in a Wellcome Trust news release.”

Random / 4 Comments
October 31st, 2009 / 6:19 pm

Shocked with these lamentable sounds, and dreading he knew not what, he advanced hastily,–but what a sight for a father’s eyes!–he beheld his child dashed to pieces, and almost buried under an enormous helmet, an hundred times more large than any casque ever made for human being, and shaded with a proportionable quantity of black feathers.

– from The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Have a good Halloween.

Excerpts / Comments Off on
October 31st, 2009 / 6:14 pm

Today I believe Bernhard. Who do you believe

Zuid Afrika – “I’ll fuck the pair of you” (Catullus)

the flag

the flag

One of the many things that drives me crazy (and it’s a wonder I’m not completely insane) is when people confuse me for my poetry. Thursday night I read in Houston. It was great. Dark bar. Lots of people. Rain outside. Organizers and audience warm and friendly. Except one person was too friendly. A fellow South African expat who thought that since we’d shared some common experience (so long ago) that we were now naturally and immediately blood brothers. (I also get this sort of thing for being Jewish). And he kept talking in Afrikaans which was cute at first.

“Your poetry made my balls tingle,” he told me, drunk, insistent, strange. But at least in English now. He just wouldn’t go away. Spoke about his mentor/teacher who’d just renounced everything and gone off to Tibet for a year. He’d be following soon. Not soon enough, I thought to myself. How about right now? And then things became more uncomfortable.

“But i didn’t like it when you made yourself a woman. That surprised me. That puzzled me.” And he looked so disappointed. And had also the look of a dangerous and unpredictable drunk who might at any moment start beating me up or even kill me. (I’m not a small person but it was nice at this point to have at my side the tall and solid figure of Gene Morgan).


Author News & Behind the Scenes / 22 Comments
October 31st, 2009 / 11:56 am

Caketrain #7 Now Ready for Your Grabbing

Caketrain #7 is now available for order! It features work by Nora Almeida, Arlene Ang, Jonathan Ashworth, Andrew Borgstrom, Travis Brown, Michael Burkard, Tetman Callis, Emily Carr, Roxanne M. Carter, Julie Choffel, Rob Cook, Matthew Curry, Matthew Derby, Nicolle Elizabeth, Margaret Frozena, Noah Gershman, Alina Gregorian, Ariana Hamidi, Colleen Hollister, Chanice Hughes-Greenberg, Lauren Ireland, AD Jameson, Jeff T. Johnson, Michael Jay Katz, Michael Keenan, Marc Kipniss, Darby Larson, Norman Lock, Lisa Maria Martin, Jessica Newman, Alec Niedenthal, Sarah Norek, Carol Novack, R.D. Parker, Emma Ramey, Joanna Ruocco, Zachary Schomburg, Jeanne Stauffer-Merle, Eugenia Tsutsumi, J.A. Tyler, Lesley C. Weston, John Dermot Woods, Joseph Young.


I’m excited about the cover, which features artwork by Washington DC’s Matthew Curry, whom I met when I lived in Northern Virginia (his wife, Eugenia Tsutsumi, went to Mason with me; she also has a text in the issue, happily).

Here’s an interview with Curry at Diskusdisko. Here is Curry’s Flickr stream.

Really, people, this is my favorite Caketrain cover yet (and they’ve had some awesome covers in the past); I can’t wait to read the insides. Amanda and Joseph, congrats on another good looking issue.

Uncategorized / 14 Comments
October 31st, 2009 / 1:28 am


mwf5 READ MORE >

Craft Notes & Vicarious MFA / 57 Comments
October 30th, 2009 / 7:35 pm

Gigantic has posted a Halloween web special which, among other things, includes a conversation with Brian Evenson regarding horror films and his work.

Bye Mean Week


That’s that. I had fun a little. People are crazy. Sometimes there are ideas. Thanks for playing.

This weekend is Halloween. Eat some candy? Get drunk if you have to. Wear a costume? I’m thinking of going as William Burroughs, if I go. Might need a fedora and some glasses and come stains and cat hair on a suit, that’s all. What will you be?

This weekend I am reading Thomas Bernhard’s Wittgenstein’s Nephew, which just came out in a new version from Vintage. It feels nice in another, Bernhardian kind of way.

I am also reading Heather Christle’s The Difficult Farm, which also just came out, and which we will run excerpts from and love for all next week. After Mean Week, comes Heather Christle Week. I think it will serve as a fine rainbow.

Another announcement is forthcoming. In the meantime, take your blood around, install a doorstop, and enjoy.

Mean / 33 Comments
October 30th, 2009 / 4:23 pm

I installed a doorstop today and wanted to post instructions in case anyone else needed help installing a doorstop. Email me if you have any questions or suggestions?


Craft Notes / 36 Comments
October 30th, 2009 / 4:00 pm

Something We Can All Get Behind

Well, MEAN WEEK has been fun–and also deeply damaging, which is as it should be–but the important thing is that it’s over now. Or at least I’m over it. Not sure if it’s meant to carry through the weekend or not, but I’ve personally reached my limit of give as well as take. And so, in the name of reconciliation, I’d like to direct your attention to something that’s bound to unite, not divide-

South Carolina Republican Caught with 18-Year-Old Stripper, Sex Toys, and Viagra in Cemetery.

The best part of the video is Rick Sanchez “reporting” the story by reading user comments off CNN’s twitter page. Later, journalism! You were fun while you lasted. Same to you, MEAN WEEK!

Random / 14 Comments
October 30th, 2009 / 3:32 pm