I’ve got a new, tiny story called “Punnett Squares” in Passages North 37. The issue features work from Thalia Field, Carole Maso, and many other wonderful people. It’s about birth, shitty reggae bands, and cowardice. It’s also part of a series called MILK TEETH. Other stories in the series can be found in Alice Blue Review, Squalorly, The EEEEL, Cheap Pop, The Fanzine, DREGINALD, and Banango Street. Thanks so much to editors Robin McCarthy and Matt Weinkam for including the piece and their work on the issue.
We Are Fine
A new, very short story “We Are Fine” is in issue 4 of No Tokens, a literary magazine based in NYC. The issue features work by Noy Holland, Meredith Alling, and Lindsay Hunter, whose book Don’t Kiss Me I highly recommend. You can purchase the issue here. Massive thanks to the editors at No Tokens — it’s an honor to be included.
“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 MariNaomi, Molly 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.
The new issue of Blue Earth Review is now available. It includes my story “Palici,” as well as great writing by Mike Meginnis, Mercedes Lawry, Dante Di Stefano, and others. The issue also contains many wonderful paintings by Leslie Barlow. Seriously, Leslie Barlow. Check her out, she’s doing great work.
“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 Pop, The Fanzine, and DREGINALD, and are forthcoming in Passages North.
“OO:OO,” “Leash,” “Tape”
“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 here, here, here, here, and here. More stories in the series are forthcoming from Passages North and Banango Street.
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.
“Prague” is up today at Wyvern Lit. Issue Four contains some great work from Joel Hans, Christopher DiCicco, and a stunning story called “Copse” by Rachel Richardson. Thanks to Brent Rydin for taking good care of the piece, as well as Lauren VanDenBerg for making sure I didn’t embarrass myself writing about a city I’d never been to.
“Swans” is up today at Squalorly. Thanks to fiction editor Pete Stevens for taking the piece. “Swans” is part of a series called MILK TEETH. Previous installments can be found here, here, and here. You can read another story from the gold man’s POV here. New stories in the series are forthcoming in Banango Street and Passages North. Holla.
Enjoyed The Lives of Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis. I thought some of the plot points were overly coincidental (Cleo’s first meeting with Ludwig, the doctor discovering Rank’s first creation), but Bakis has tremendous skill within scenes and with the overall theme, and those more than carry the book. By positioning these monster dogs somewhere between human and animal, she outlines the boundaries of what defines humanity. Also, Bakis’ skill with coherently rendering the unreal makes the prose a joy to read.
I loved everything about Ken Sparling’s Dad Says He Saw You at the Mall: The language, the shifting focus, the way Sparling gently signifies the passage of time. The prose is minimal to the point of being stilted, but there’s also a great deal of warmth in it. The structure of the book is flat — there’s no grand conflict that’s solved by the end — but the trials of day to day life instill the book with a sort of drama, and Sparling’s sharpened prose propels the book forward. The fact that this book continues to be in print just warms the shit out of my heart.
Jessica Pratt’s On Your Own Love Again is a wonderful album. It’s a straightforward guitar and lyrics set, but Pratt’s writing and elegant guitar work elevate the recording. Carey Mercer has some great words on the album (particularly the technical designation “killer guitar tone”) over at The Talkhouse.