Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Road to WTF

Several years back, I bought an issue of an ill-fated publication called "Women who Rock," and it came with a sampler of songs by women purported to rock.

Many tracks were great. Others were not.

One stands out as particularly ridiculous -- it was called "Way to Mandalay," and was performed by a Renaissance Fair-inspired group called "Blackmore's Night."

I keep it on my ipod, because whenever it comes up on shuffle, as it did a few minutes ago, it still cracks my shit up.

Here it is-

...utterly ridiculous. I've always thought it sounded less like a legit song than a theme song for one of those syndicated genre programs that local stations tend to air on weekend afternoons.

Shows like -



Let's take one more look at those Blackmore folks.

She's like Stevie Nicks, only shitty.

I think I want to try on his hat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monkeybicycle Front to Back - Part 4: Math by Kim Chinquee

I like Kim Chinquee quite a bit. In my favorite Kim Chinquee stories, the austerity of Chinquee's prose belies the emotional complexity of the characters' situations. And she often writes killer last lines.

"Math" is not my favorite Chinquee story, but it might be my own limitations as a reader... I didn't quite "get" it, beyond the competency of the writing and description of the surface actions.

This character seems to be feeling dislocated... perhaps even apathetic and disaffected.

I thought there was something strange about the classroom, which at times seemed like a classroom of college-aged artists studying things like collaboration, and at other times seemed like a group of elementary school students doing crafts. I kind of like this ambiguity.

I may not have read enough to say this, but it seems like as Kim Chinquee becomes more established, she is writing more about her life as a writer. Some of these stories are quite good. I especially liked "Grade Books" from Quick Fiction 14, in which a writing professor denied tenure refuses to forfeit her office before the designated date.

I like the last line of "Math" quite a bit. As she often does, Chinquee ends with a somewhat oblique but vivid image-

"I smiled at the instructor and helped the boy, eagerly cutting, watching them paste."

I like the sound of the word "paste" inside my mouth.

Monkeybicycle Front to Back - Part 3: I Need a Kidney, and Dick Cheney's is a Match by Cody Walker

Dear Cody,

Fuck no you can't have my fucking kidney you motherfucker.

And what kind of douchebag name is Cody, anyway?

I agree cougars are "rad," and yes, I keep one as a pet. I've enclosed a picture for you to savor during dialysis.

Sincerely, Dick Cheney

Monkeybicycle Front to Back - Part 2: The Advisor by Jay Wexler

Crap crap... even though I finished reading Monkeybicycle 6 over a week ago and have read two books since ("The Torturer's Wife by Thomas Glave and Ugly Man by Dennis Cooper - both fantastic), I have yet to write any followup posts in my Monkeybicycle series... so here I am, finally, with number 2.... I promise the others will not be so long in coming).

In Jay Wexler's "The Advisor," a bookish volunteer for a presidential primary campaign gets in a bit too deep with his wackadoodle candidate, who discovers the narrator's academic aptitude and soon has him researching and providing opinions on the most esoteric and archaic of philsophies.

Wexler builds character subtly, through telling details and actions. Ostensibly, candidate Tom Robertson is the unhinged party in this scenario, but our narrator reveals plenty of his own quirks, like his predilection for bonsai care and his tendecy to defend and seek validation from a candidate who proves to be an incompetent wingnut. There are shades of political commentary here as well -- Robertson, a pseudo-intellectual totally out of touch with the electorate, reminds me of the Bush-era democratic party's irrelevance. And I feel it's no coincidence that in his climactic act of nutjobbery, Robertson drops and destroys a television, symbol for all things noxious about contemporary politics.

This story was funny. I enjoyed it, but must admit that while I understood the value of having Robertson drop the television on our narrator's bonsai (the bonsai = his own irrelevance), I still wanted to see the television crush Robertson's little white kitty cat. I guess I'm a sadist like that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Amongst the privileges of a desk job...

...(which allows me to obsessively check Google Reader) is being the first person to pre-order "The Failure Six" by Shane Jones.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Selection of Search Terms that have Brought People to this Blog

cross generation sex stories
giant ejaculations
gay cross generational relationships
barbie fetish
ejaculating stories for boys
full mouth ejaculations
gay male urethral cleansing
grandparents on gay boy
lack of feeling when ejaculationing
men play with dolls
perverse old gay men boys
onanizing kids
perverse questions to ask a guy
sounding rod urethra
weekend of a perverse couple
weird perverse submissions

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Read Me, Hear Me, Pank Me

Read (and hear!!) my story "Fugitives" in the June issue of Pank, alongside new work by Summer Block, Mark Budman, Kevin Brown, John Farmer, Heather Fowler, Katherine Grosjean, Caitlin Johnson, Sarah Layden, Laura LeHew, Sara Faye Lieber, Cortney McLellan, Laura Marello, Daniel Pinkerton, Emily Rosko, Kowshik Sarangan, Shappy Seasholtz, Audri Sousa, Robert Swartwood.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My story "Painted Faces"....

...originally published in Keyhole (online) and later published in "Skip, Patch, Eye, Brownie, Chalk: Coming of Age Stories" (Bannock Street Books) has found a new home Boise, Idaho's "Freak Alley," as a special promotion for Bannock Street.

Sarah said a bunch of teenagers, two guys on their way to a comedy club and cooks from a Greek restaurant watched her paint the story, and that the cooks in particular kept coming out to read.

To quote Sarah: "This is what flash is supposed to be."

Very cool.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

3 or 4 Things I Know for Sure

1. This is what I want for my birthday.

2. I am over halfway finished with Monkeybicycle 6, but had fallen rather behind on my "Monkeybicycle Front to Back" posts. This shall be remedied. Good stuff, this.

3. I watched "I'm a Celebrity, why the Fuck am I Watching this Show" out of a morbid fascination with Patti Blagojevich, but must admit to being disappointed. She's rather ordinary, rarely speaks... she's no Janice Dickinson. No Cruella DeVille. There's no theatricality to her evil, which I suppose just serves as a reminder that her kind of evil is an everyday kind of evil, and ultimately the IL political system is what needs changing.... we can't label Blago and wife as villains in this fetishsitic, objectifying kind of way and sweep the problem under the rug.

4. I swear I knew a few other things earlier today, but have forgotten all of them.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

sign the petition

from Gael Guevara at Sylvia River Law Project-

Hi Everyone! Please forward far and wide!!!
Sign the petition! We currently have gathered 262 signatures. Let's overwhelm the NYPD with twice the number of signitures and let them know we want changes and we want them now!!!

"This June, New York City will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots: an historic moment when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers stood up and fought back against police harassment. It is in this spirit that we ? members of New York City?s transgender communities, activists, advocates, and allies ? ask you to support changes in New York City Police Department (NYPD) policies that would improve our safety in interactions with the police. Specifically, we ask that you urge the NYPD to adopt the ?Proposed Policy for the Treatment of Transgender People in NYPD Custody? and the associated changes to the NYPD patrol guide"

Also, please also consider endorsing the Trans Day of Action early - march and rally on June 26th. contact Mya Vazquez at

Monday, June 01, 2009

Monkeybicycle Front to Back* - Part 1: Gum Gutter by Martha Clarkson

This is the first in a series of posts about Monkeybicycle 6, the most recent issue of the journal chosen by "My Dinner with Lydia Davis" contest winner Meg Pokrass as her prize.

++this post contains mild spoilers++

Martha Clarkson's "Gum Gutter" is an ingratiating story delivered in a relaxed, conversational voice. This story about a woman's Thanksgiving day encounter with a police officer who claims to be ticketing her for littering (but is in fact slipping her his phone number) at first appears to be as casual as an anecdote delivered over brunch. What makes it more than just an anecdote is the angst Clarkson layers beneath the surface -- alienation from family, romantic dissatisfaction and job loss. Almost as an afterthought, the narrator mentions she was canned from her post as a psychology prof after bedding a student, which contributes a nice bit of unreliability. But my favorite thing about this story is the subtle humour in the narrator's interaction with the police officer. Clarkson writes great dialogue filled with tiny absurdities, like when the narrator somewhat desperately accuses the trees of littering by dropping their leaves into the gutter, and the police officer responds to her completely earnestly. Or when the narrator, after having just moments before declared her dislike of the gum flavor she's being ticketed for spitting into the gutter, pops a new piece into her mouth and offers one to the officer, who accepts, then delivers my favorite line in the story - "that is not a flavor I would select." This is quality characterization, communicating a lot about both narrator and officer in a not a lot of words.

Buy Monkeybicycle 6 here.

*because "cover to cover" was already taken.

2 Things

~My copy of Monkeybicycle #6 arrived this weekend. You may recall that "My Dinner with Lydia Davis" contest winner Meg Pokrass, whom discriminating readers of internet lit recognize as "the only firecracker worth driving across state lines to purchase," chose a subscription to Monkeybicycle as her contest prize, and that I promised to read Monkeybicycle #6 cover-to-cover and blog about its contents, and hopefully provide additional Monkeybicycle-centric content (ie writer inteviews, etc.) that my copy has arrived, we can finally get cracking. Stay tuned!

~Glimmer Train announced a very odd new submissions category. I'm not sure what to make of it-

New category: Best Start

Best Start is meant to encourage new writers. This category is different from our others in that the piece should be an engaging and coherent narrative, but it does not need to be a complete story; it just needs to be an important part of a story in progress.

...these are a few of the basics:
  • Open to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 3,000.
  • Word count must not exceed 1,000.
  • The best 50 pieces will each win $50 and make Glimmer Train’s Best Start list, which will be announced our September bulletin.
  • Competition closes on June 30.
We want to see a slice of a story you’re excited about tackling!

...The email did not include any further explanation behind the thinking that went into the formation of this oddball category (maybe the website guidelines do -- I probably should've checked before blogging about it). I'm not necessarily criticizing this, just trying to understand their thinking - since none of these stories will be complete stories, and none will be published in the magazine, it seems fairly clear they're setting themselves up as arbiters of potential and saying, 'new writers, send us your half-finished stuff and we will tell you whether it has merit according to Glimmer Train.' Kinda weird. Thoughts?