the bad (but so good):
You may have noticed I skipped out last Monday. WHOOPS. MY BAD.
Part of that was me still recovering from being in New York for a week. While there, I lost my favorite hoodie. I bought a backpack with wheels in Chinatown for thirty-six dollars. And I got some good books, like this one:
So far it’s like hearing a creepy orchestra tucked in the walls, or crawling up from the basement. Sometimes it’s too quiet for comfort and sometimes it accompanies a loud chill on my shoulders. It keeps on bowing strings in a way that buzzes my bones. An unresolved chord.
I got to hear Pete Davis and Jill Christman read at the Vouched reading the day after I got back. I expected to laugh a lot during Pete. I expected plenty of heart from Jill. Expectations fulfilled. But I didn’t realize how hilariously informative Jill’s essay would be, and needed to be reminded of the strange pinpricks of sadness and wonder that dot Pete’s works, especially when read aloud.
But I’ll admit: I feel preoccupied. Not with typical things, but because it’s May 23rd and I’m not covered in boils I’ve been Googling phrases like “rapture news,” “rapture disappointment,” and “where the hell is harold camping.”
This is happening Thursday.
Holy god. This weekend I went to the University of Alabama with Elysia, Tyler Gobble, Jeremy Bauer, and Ball State creative writing faculty Sean Lovelace and Matt Mullins for the Slash Pine Writers Festival. GOOD THINGS HAPPENED.
First thing’s first: our lady Ashley slam dunked at the Vouched Presents reading in Indy on Saturday. She was funny, heartfelt, and even read by candlelight/eager volunteer-held flashlight during observation of Earth Hour 2011. I wish we’d made out in the dark afterward. For the environment.
I’m also pumped about xTx’s Normally Special, which I bought at the reading, being added to my ever-expanding need-to-read list. Here’s the fifth story of the book, and just — yes. I’m anxious to dig into more of that loveliness.
So this poem is really fucking sweet, as are pretty much all the things here. But I was way wowed by that one. Just really dig this: “just as i search for a pair of hands/or many pairs of hands/that will want to orbit me/and pull my clothing away from my body/moon or many moons:/we could accomplish something amazing/if you were willing to be obsessed/with how quickly i can dump blood into my genitals.”
This week is the sixth annual In Print Festival at Ball State, where among other neat things happening (like the Broken Plate release) I’ll have the privilege of introducing Paul Killebrew before he reads some cool-ass poetry. This is one of my favorites from his book Flowers, which I got to interview him about for the Broken Plate. His answers were excellence. My questions were barely even questions a couple times.
Thank goodness for used book sales.
Right now I have my biggest-ever backlog of unread books. I don’t think about it too much because I’d go into binge-reading mode, and I’m having enough trouble getting things done already. (My attention span will become even shorter when this happens.) But this weekend I started A.S. Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories and am roundly impressed. And when I say “ roundly impressed,” I mean “Byatt squeezes my heart like grabbing my hand right before I fall off a cliff.”
From the second story in the collection, “Body Art:”