Archive for August, 2013

Three Day Novel Begins Anew

August 31, 2013

Another one!  I’m far less prepared this time.  Far more nervous.  Wish me luck, everyone!  Here are some things that are on my mind as I begin:

The Collyer Brothers

This quote, from E.L. Doctorow: Asked about his writing routine, Mr. Doctorow smiled slyly and said: “Here’s how it goes: I’m up at the stroke of 10 or 10:30. I have breakfast and read the papers, and then it’s lunchtime. Then maybe a little nap after lunch and out to the gym, and before I know it, it’s time to have a drink.”

Mid-life crises

The Florida Panhandle

How to Pin a Butterfly

August 27, 2013

By the Evolution Store.

(Still want to realize my great butterfly artwork. )

A Good Out of Office

August 26, 2013

My dad’s out of office message for this week:

“I am in Montana on Monday and Tuesday seeking large trout.”

Is There Any Bigger Badass Than Susan Sontag?

August 23, 2013
Found while researching "Waiting for G-dot..."

Found while researching “Waiting for G-dot…”


August 22, 2013

Yesterday evening I was walking to this thing called a Death Cafe, recently featured in the Times.  The reporter summed up the salon as follows: “Offshoots of the “café mortel” movement that emerged in Switzerland and France about 10 years ago, these are not grief support groups or end-of-life planning sessions, but rather casual forums for people who want to bat around philosophical thoughts. What is death like? Why do we fear it? How do our views of death inform the way we live?”  I was curious but slightly annoyed that it was going to take place in an IHOP (IHOP in Manhattan?!) when I exited my office.  And then, right outside, was the silent scene of an obviously terrible motorcycle accident.  The bike lay in pieces on the road, and there was a body covered in a white sheet smack in the center of the intersection.  Gawkers lined the streets––policemen were just standing idly as well, because what could they do at that point?––and I stopped and stared for a moment and then continued on toward Death Cafe, where my table-mates included a woman who believes in Singularity (ooookay) and a gay Buddhist with the words “not nothing” tattooed to his forearm.

Good morning to you.

Wakey wakey.

Wakey wakey.

Dream Assignment: Cataphiles!

August 20, 2013

From a friend’s (currently) unpublished memoir:

Read me.

Read me.

Sunday Blues

August 19, 2013

When you’re like me and suffer from SBD (Sunday Blues Syndrome) usually the only thing that can possibly help is poetry.  For the past hour, I’ve been crying over THIS SHIT (OMG) but considering the whole Internet is fawning over this man, perhaps I ought to make people branch out a little.  Below is my good friend (and sometimes-subject) Matthue Roth’s poem, “The Other Universe of Paris Hilton.”  Cheer up, Charlie.


There’s an alternate universe

where Paris Hilton has her shit together

and I’m a drunken heiress.

I show up fashionably late

to her party, having already

knocked back a few

and knocked out her bartender.

The reason why escapes me

but it would have been a great story

if you were there.

And, in this case

“fashionably late” means 5 a.m.,

Too late for the last guests to appreciate me

but not too late

for them to catch shards of glass

from the falling crystal

I crash into

on their way out.

I’m shaking my head,

crying all over the ruins

of the party

tasting salty vodka tears.

“Dammit,” I sniffle

“it isn’t fair.

I fucked up again

kissed Prince’s girlfriend at the afterparty

had a drunken orgy

with Christina Ricci

and 2 former Spice Girls

traded one of my six Swiss

bank accounts for coke

and did it off the roof

of my Hum-V

clocking ninety

off the chest of this underage nymphet.”

Then I proceed to lurch

a souvenir of the evening

all over the Persian rug

that Paris worked

285 shifts at Wal-Mart

to pay for.


she doesn’t notice.

She’s by the medicine cabinet

with an ace bandage,


and some orange juice.

“Don’t worry,”

she consoles me,

“in another world

you’re an Orthodox Jew.

You pray to G-d constantly

You never break anyone’s heart

Girls don’t only want you for your body

People call to confide in you

at six in the morning

and you never, ever

get laid.”

“So in this other universe,” I say,

“what are you?”

“Oh,” says Paris,

brushing away a tear,

“don’t concern yourself

with that.”

Authors Who Are Female Despite Misleading Names

August 14, 2013

Lionel Shriver

Edwidge Danticat

Don’t get caught looking the fool!

Things Prisoners Should Know

August 9, 2013

So I tried to start another blog at one point in my life and *shame* failed pretty miserably.  The thrust of it was bad book proposals, but I realize now that I am too scattered to try and take care of seventeen different projects at once (well, maybe seventeen is fine, but EIGHTEEN…)  The idea, I maintain, is excellent, so herewith, I include a list of things a young inmate plans to write about in his work THE COMPLETE PRISONERS’ HANDBOOK (I generally am not correcting his errors):

“First day of arrival, code of ethics, BOP rules for inmates, living safe, living smart, commissary sheet help, Trulincs & Trufone set-up manual, useful tips and inspiring quotes, STD & Health advices, Legal advices, distance parenting, distance relationship, About drug program, card games, mind games, Origami, Rec time, exercise programs, jail cook book, Some useful skills and knowledge, jail prayers, re-entry information and advices, financial literacy, positive life style and many more…”

Terry Castle Says “Fuck You” to Iconic Feminine Suffering

August 9, 2013

“It will come as no surprise that I”m one of those who will always be turning away from Plath.  Or trying to.  I find her tasteless, grisly––unbearable, in fact––precisely because, even five decades after her suicide, she and her corpse-infected verses hold on with such ghoulish tenacity.  She seems never to tire of creating tragic inhuman mischief from beyond the grave.  That the infant ‘Nick’ addressed in those final poems from Devon, the very poems cited as ‘nature poems’ by the kindly Boland, hanged himself in 2009 seems only the latest malignant turn of the Plathian screw.  A respected fisheries biologist––he taught at a university in Alaska––Nicholas Hughes had apparently done everything possible to distance himself geographically and psychologically from his parents’ cursed history.  (Most of the people who worked with him knew nothing of his family story.)  Yet Lady Lazarus caught up with him at last.  He was said afterward to have been ‘lonely’ much of his life and depressed by his failure to find love.  His mother was by then long dead––he had never had any memory of her––yet even so I couldn’t help wanting to kill her.”


In the NYRB.