Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
(The Baptists Were Right, and Now I’m Dead and Everybody’s Watching the 16mm Film of My Life)
4,987,524,129 films have preceded mine.
Who knew eternity would be spent watching so many hours of sleeping?
There are not very many ways to have sex, but I have availed myself of so few of them, anyway.
The Lord is slumping so sadly in the Bemis seat.
Jaylynn perks up everytime she has a scene, like you would have expected.
The lesson of the afterlife films: Everyone’s adulthood preoccupation is the people they wanted to please who are now dead or soon will be dead.
I always worried what Mrs. Keneally would think of me when she saw me masturbating, but now I know about that thing with her and the stuffed chicken.
Kyle Minor (www.kyleminor.com) is the author of In the Devil's Territory, a collection of stories and novellas.
Monday, August 23, 2010
The idea that there is no news reminds me of the book I just finished, called Marking Time. Throughout the book, the characters, whose lives are greatly disrupted by WWII, think of themselves as just marking time. This is in part because many of the characters are adolescents- between childhood and adulthood—and have very little power to do what they want to do, but are not young enough to not want to do more grown up things. So they are marking time- waiting- until they will be grown up enough to do what they want to do. But in many ways, everyone, including the adults in the book, is waiting for the war to end, so they are all marking time, waiting for the news to be good, so in that way, all the bad news isn’t news, because the only news they want, the only news that will free them from feeling as though they are marking time, is the news that the war is over. Sadly, at the end of the book, there is no news then, no news that will free these poor characters that is, no news that matters, as Japan has just bombed Pearl Harbor.
Paula Bomer is the author of the forthcoming short story collection, Baby And Other Stories (Word Riot Press, 2010). Her fiction has appeared in Open City, Fiction, The New York Tyrant, The Mississippi Review and elsewhere. She's the co-publisher at Artistically Declined Press and the supervising editor of the literary journal, Sententia. Find out more at http://www.paulabomer.com/.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Donald Breckenridge is the Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, Editor of The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology (Hanging Loose Press, 2006) and co-editor of the Intranslation web site. In addition, he is the author of more than a dozen plays as well as the novella Rockaway Wherein (Red Dust, 1998), the novels 6/2/95 (Spuyten Duyvil, 2002) and You Are Here (Starcherone 2009). His novel This Young Girl Passing is forthcoming from Unbearable Books/Autonomedia.
Monday, August 16, 2010
True story: When I was twenty I was sent to see about a dead woman on some railroad tracks. I’d only been at the newspaper a few weeks. I drove out to an industrial area between downtown and the suburbs, my wire-bound reporter’s notebook jutting from my back pocket. The intersection with the railroad crossing was cordoned off, traffic was stopped. The woman’s body was between the rails, under one of the cars of the train, except for a bruised leg, which was draped over the tracks. Some firefighters had laid a body bag next to the tracks, and as I watched, they counted to three and then lifted the woman off the tracks. That’s when her back gave out, like an old grain sack, and she sort of … dissolved into the bag.
All afternoon, I interviewed people about what had happened. Drivers had seen the woman pacing by the tracks for at least an hour, as if she was waiting for a train. She let one train pass. The engineer of the second train saw the woman pacing and thought: Oh no, don’t do it. Because you can’t stop a train, he said over and over. Not like a car. Right before she stepped in front of the train, the woman looked up and made eye contact with the engineer.
It turned out the woman lived in a little house near the tracks. She crossed that intersection nearly every day to walk to a grocery store, where she bought food for her husband, who couldn’t work because of a bad back, and her son, who was developmentally disabled. There was a fabric store next to the grocery store and after shopping, the woman went into the fabric store sometimes but she never bought anything. She just fingered the bolts of fabric and then left. However, on this day, on the day she waited for an hour to step in front of a train, the woman bought several yards of material. No one asked what she was making. The fabric was in a bag next to the tracks.
Back at the newspaper, I organized my notes, imagining I was writing a small but vital story—tragic, ordinary, inexplicable. I planned to write it matter-of-factly, to avoid making judgments and connections. My editor came over and I told him what I was working on.
He said, Forget it. We don’t do suicides.
Why not, I asked.
He said, because it’s not news. I just stared at him.
Look, he said, people who commit suicide want desperately to share their misery with the world. If newspapers published the morbid details of suicides, it would just make other people want to kill themselves, too, to share their misery with the world.
Looking back, I think it was probably a good rule. But it seemed kind of insane to me at the time: we don’t do suicides. Later I became a novelist. Misery is big news for a novelist; for a good suicide, we’d stop the fucking presses.Jess Walter is the author of five novels, most recently 'The Financial Lives of the Poets.' He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel in 2005 and was a National Book Award finalist in 2006.
Friday, August 13, 2010
The no news today is that two boys played near an open well
deep in the ocean and none of them fell in. The no news
today is that there was no explosion. The no news today is
that instead of falling in, these two boys fell up and
broke their heads on the sky. The no news today is how
it hurt, the clouds coming slowly down and spilling, the
land a mess of white in the shape of all these animals.
J. A. Tyler is the author of eight books including the
recent INCONCEIVABLE WILSON (Scrambler Books, 2009) and the
forthcoming A MAN OF GLASS & ALL THE WAYS WE HAVE FAILED
(Fugue State Press, 2011).He is also founding editor of
Mud Luscious Press.Visit: www.mudlusciouspress.com.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Lucy Corin is the author of the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2) and the short story collection The Entire Predicament (Tin House Books). She's working on a novel and an assemblage of 100 apocalypse stories, currently strewn about the web.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
The beard’s not working for Leonardo.
Ellen Page annoys me. I hated Juno. And Smart People.
Hey, Leonardo is driving a Hyundai Genesis. No one’s dream car is a Hyundai Genesis.
Shouldn’t Leonardo’s wife be standing on the ledge of their hotel instead of the one across the street?
I must be deep in my own subconscious, because these two and a half hours feel like two and a half years.
Did Tony get whacked? Oh wait; wrong black out ending.
That was the worst Batman film ever.
Christopher Kennedy's fourth book, a collection of prose poems, Ennui Prophet, is due from BOA Editions, Ltd. in 2011. He is an associate professor of English at Syracuse University where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Susan Daitch is the author of two novels, L.C.(Lannan Foundation Selection and NEA Heritage Award, The Colorist, and a collection of short stories, Storytown. Her work has appeared in Tinhouse, Conjunctions, Guernica, Bomb, Ploughshares, failbetter.com, McSweeney's, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction and elsewhere. Her work was featured in The Review of Contemporary Fiction along with William Vollman and David Foster Wallace. Her fourth novel, The Dreyfus Book, will be published by City Lights in Spring, 2011.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
We’d mosey out to the porch and look across the fields—the fresh cut alfalfa, the stream, the old oak tree—all the same old same old we knew so well. That stray tabby had given birth to a new litter; they were hobbling around now, their eyes still half glued shut. We’d feel just the same as we had the day before, and the day before that, and last year and so on. But different too, a little less sure of whether to believe the story of the land sloping out before us or those tales that had floated in from the capital, a bit more resentful about being told, so long after the fact, what was real and what wasn’t. Like we didn’t have eyes. Like we couldn’t see for ourselves.
Storms were brewing in the sky, tornado season was on its way again.
Joshua Furst is the author of The Sabotage Cafe and Short People. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Conjunctions, the New York Tyrant and Esquire, among other periodicals.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Shane Jones lives in New York. He's the author of several books and chapbooks. He blogs and updates things at www.shane-jones.com