Sonnets for Saturday

I googled sonnet in images and a million picture of this lady came up.

I googled "sonnet" in images and a million pictures of this lady came up.

I briefly studied poetry with William “Bill” Matthews eons ago. I liked him very much. I was a bad poet. He made us write sonnets. I wrote one that narrates a mother teaching her daughter how to masturbate in the shower. He didn’t like it. He didn’t like much of my work, and yet, we liked each other. After the jump is my sonnet. Feel free to share your bad sonnets in the comment section.


Random / 35 Comments
August 8th, 2009 / 8:02 pm

Steven Trull and Just Sayin– the only two people who entered the villanelle contest- are the winners!!! I will send them both packages of books! Thanks, you two, for writing a villanelle and entering the contest. Email me your addresses at

Win a copy of Amelia Gray’s AM/PM


I accidentally ordered two copies of Amelia Gray’s AM/PM  from Featherproof . Write a vilanelle about your htmlgiant contributor of choice and I’ll send my extra copy and some other books to my favorite entry. Post your entries in the comments section.

Contests / 10 Comments
August 5th, 2009 / 5:27 pm

Cover to Cover: The Atlantic, Part 2

I love maps. I like to travel. I dont genrally like The Atlantic, though.

I love maps. I like to travel. I don't generally like The Atlantic, though.

I feel like a piece of shit today. Self hatred is an interesting thing in that it allows oneself to feel a sort of disproportionate amount of self importance and partake in self involvement, albeit one of loathing.  From this thought, I’ll segue into the issue of liking or not liking, hating or loving, characters in stories. READ MORE >

Uncategorized / Comments Off on Cover to Cover: The Atlantic, Part 2
August 4th, 2009 / 5:59 pm


However, I can tell you this with complete certainty: Had I had any bright editorial ideas, Lish would have summarily rejected them. His control-freak obsessiveness redoubled itself when it came to his own work. He demanded that he get to pick the art director for the cover. We strategized over the sending out of galleys like Ike planning D-Day—”Howard, I have enemies everywhere,” he said ominously, and he was right. And no author I have ever worked with concentrated more compulsively on the precise way each line of type fell on the page, driving me and the production department almost nuts. (This is a pattern of behavior, I have learned, that he’s repeated with his other editors.) He wanted what he wanted, and that was that. He was a living no-editing zone. Except, of course, when it came to his author’s work; then out came the pick and the shovel and the scalpel and the drill.

Power Quote / 174 Comments
August 4th, 2009 / 2:56 pm

Cover to Cover: The Atlantic

Volcanos in the Atlantic (those red dots)- sort of a metaphor for the exciting short stories in The Atlantic!

Volcanos in the Atlantic (those red dots)- sort of a metaphor for the exciting short stories in The Atlantic!

I fucking hate the Atlantic because of articles like this one linked here and the many other similiar, hyperbolic crap they publish with far too great regularity. I truly think they try to find the most mentally disturbed, prozacked, never-properly -fucked-in-their-entire-liives journalists they can and ask them to write the most insensible social commentary they can muster.  Indeed, I rarely read them anymore because it’s bad for my gallbladder. But, I bought their fiction issue that comes out yearly. And I read all of the fiction in it. Here’s a brief discussion of the first four of  seven stories: READ MORE >

Uncategorized / 15 Comments
August 3rd, 2009 / 6:22 pm

Cover to Cover: Electric Literature, No. 1

I’m still in the Dominican Republic, recuperating after climbing Pico Duarte, with a giddy love of modern plumbing dominating my emotional core. Earlier last week, I read the entire Electric Literature, No. 1 which consists of only five short stories. At first, the green smoke of envy blew out my nostrils because every single one of the f ive authors- EVERY SINGLE ONE- has had multiple books published. I mean, couldn’t they publish just one up and comer? Pretend they care about new talent? Hm. Guess not.

 Anyway, the cover of Electric Literature is a tripped out, fantastic portrait of a woman with multiple eyes and ears, blood dripping on her face, muscle tissue showing and weird space-age shit going on, done by Fred Tomaselli. So, I expect something unconventional inside, from both the coverart and the title, something truly “electric”. What instead I found, were five, solidly good short stories. And this is no small feat. In fact, it was one of the most satisfying journal reading experiences I’ve had in a while. READ MORE >

Uncategorized / 2 Comments
July 28th, 2009 / 10:49 am

Stealing From Justin: The Books I’m Bringing (and something I found in my office)

This image popped up when I googled stealing. "Bigfoot stealing" it would be.

I’m leaving at 4:30 am tomorrow for the Dominican Republic. I’ll be gone for two weeks and although I will not be reading much while climbing Pico Duarte, I will be spending some of that time sitting around and reading. Here is a list of the books I am contemplating bringing:


Random / 10 Comments
July 17th, 2009 / 2:34 pm

World Takes: Stories by Timmy Waldron

Word Riot Press recently published World Takes, a collection of stories by Timmy Waldron. Many of these stories appeared online in journals, including “Worry for the Well Rested” on pindeldyboz and “Things You Would Know About Paul if You Were His Friend” on eyeshot. And yet, buy the book for the ones that you can’t find online,  and to have this wonderfully shaped collection in its entirety. My philosophy about story collections is that  they are like albums more than novels. What story is chosen to go first, second, last and so forth, greatly shape the book. Often, there are a few “hits”.  Sometimes, there is filler. Many a poor collection revolve around only one or two good stories. This is not the case with Waldron’s World Takes.  Here is a collection perfectly shaped, with a strong punch of a first story, “Amanda”, that sets the dark, funny tone for the book.  READ MORE >

Author Spotlight / 37 Comments
July 16th, 2009 / 11:36 am

Literary Lessons from Metal Magazines: Early Man Reviews Books


If I sit in your lap, will you read to me?

If I sit in your lap, will you read to me?

I’m going to see if I can start a book club with Early Man. You know, go to their house, talk about books we read. That’s right! My own book club, with Early Man! Because those bitches from the PTA wouldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t “PTA” enough and wouldn’t invite me to their book club! (It was cool- I hung out with this Jamaican drug dealer named Ray whilst picking up our kids. Much more pleasant than talking to Cynthia/Satan, PTA President from the Devil’s Anus.) And you know what? After we talk about books, we’re gonna get really fucked up and screw! Wait,  that just slipped out. Anyway, here’s some excellent recommendations from Early Man- The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin, anyone?

Uncategorized / 30 Comments
July 14th, 2009 / 5:37 pm