Hospital Variations

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Hospital Variations” is up this week at Okey-Panky. The site started up earlier this year and has had a great run so far. They’ve featured work from MariNaomiMolly Laich, a fantastic story about telephone service codes by Joseph Aguilar, and many others. You can read a short interview in which J. Robert Lennon and I talk about music, fiction vs. prose poems, and filing off sharp points. Also, there’s a recording of me reading the piece here, in case you wanted to hear what I sound like beneath a quilt in a hot, nearly empty apartment bedroom. Enjoy.

“Hats”

hats“Hats” is in the new issue of Banango Street. It’s a short story about two brothers with a hat collection. It does not end well. The issue contains poems by Mike Young and Eunsong Kim, fiction by Erin Armstrong, a powerful, affecting essay by Joshua R. Helms, and many others. I’m pleased to be in such good company.

The story is part of a series called MILK TEETH. Other stories in the series can be found in Alice Blue Review, Squalorly, The EEEEL, Cheap PopThe Fanzine, and DREGINALD, and are forthcoming in Passages North.

(Image Credit)

“OO:OO,” “Leash,” “Tape”

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“OO:OO,” “Leash,” and “Tape,” are in issue six of DREGINALD. It includes great work from Tim Jones-Yelvington, Emily Hunt, Camilo Roldán, and many others. Thanks to editors Lily Duffy and Rachel Levy for including the stories. Rachel has a book coming out in June from Caketrain called A Book So Red, and you can check out a preview and preorder it here. The pieces in DREGINALD are from a series called MILK TEETH. Previous installments can be found hereherehere, here, and here. More stories in the series are forthcoming from Passages North and Banango Street.

Reviews

Binary Star, a short, intense novel by Sarah Gerard, covers the relationship between an anorexic, unnamed, female narrator and John, her alcoholic boyfriend. It’s comprised of short sentences and lists, as well as descriptions of astronomic events — hence the binary star of the title. Gerard relates the narrator’s eating disorder with unflinching directness, and as events pile up, the novel’s downward trajectory becomes clear. The speed at which it moves is remarkable as well — while reading it I frequently had the impression that the book was somehow on fire, burning up before my eyes. Gerard’s essay at The New York Times is excellent as well and makes a fine companion to the novel.

Laura van den Berg’s Find Me is a magic trick. Its premise is simple: a plague ravages America, and Joy, the main character, is whisked off to a hospital that’s trying to find a cure. The set-up is simple but compelling, and there’s an almost thriller-like tension to the book despite any artificial drama. Van den Berg skillfully renders Joy’s minimal, aching voice as she describes trying to find the mother who abandoned her. She also transfers her careful eye for detail from the short story to the novel — I’m always amazed when a writer is able to work in both worlds. You can read a fine interview with her at The Rumpus.