Tom Hazuka (editor of Flash Fiction Funny and co-editor of Sudden Flash Youth and the original Flash Fiction anthology) is soliciting humorous short stories, essays, poems, and audiovisual performances for the spring issue of Drunken Boat magazine. Maximum length of 750 words. If a recorded performance, it also has to hew to the word limit.
Send previously unpublished (or published in a small circulation print journal) literary work in a Microsoft Word attachment or send links to audio/video to [email@example.com
Drunken Boat, international online journal of the arts, announces its six nominees for the 2013 Pushcart Prize: “Tide Pool,” by Beth Malone; “Beans and Seeds,” by Eleanor Stanford; “Natural Selection,” by Lydia Melby; “Maybe Our Bodies Are No More Than Jars,” by Alyson Hagy; “Cartography,” by Courtney Kampa; and “Descent,” by Ocean Vuong. These works represent but a small sample of the fine nonfiction, fiction and poetry published in Drunken Boat in 2013 and if chosen, these selections will appear in the Pushcart Prize XXXIV in Fall 2014. Congratulations to this year’s Drunken Boat nominees, and congratulations to all nominees representing small presses in the Pushcart Prize competition.
• “Tide Pool,” by Beth Malone. http://www.drunkenboat.com/db17/beth-malone
• “Beans and Seeds,” by Eleanor Stanford. http://www.drunkenboat.com/db17/eleanor-
• “Natural Selection,” by Lydia Melby. http://www.drunkenboat.com/db17/lydia-melby
• “Maybe Our Bodies Are No More Than Jars,” by Alyson Hagy. http://
• “Cartography,” by Courtney Kampa. http://www.drunkenboat.com/db17/courtney-kampa
• “Descent,” by Ocean Vuong. http://www.drunkenboat.com/db17/ocean-vuong
I have been reading mid-century novels for teaching this past month. For studies of state formations, citizenship, dispossession, and slavery I have just re-read The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier and Khirbet Khizeh, by S. Yizhar (Yizhar Smilansky) both of which were first published in 1949, the former originally in Spanish and the latter in Hebrew. The former concerns the Haitian revolution and neocolonialism. Khirbet Khizeh, an autobiographical/historical novel recently brought out by Ibis Editions in English narrates, from the point of view of an Israeli soldier, the Nakba of 1948 in which thousands of Palestinian people were expelled and hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed by the Israeli army. I have also just re-read Nathalie Sarraute’s The Planetarium in tandem with “The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof,” and other sections of Capital, for a unit on commodity fetishism. This week I am revisiting Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1940), the sorrowful tale of Rubashov in which the old Bolshevik, imprisoned by his own regime, comes to realize that, after all, history does not have a telos, and therefore the ends cannot justify the means. By my bedside lies Simone Weil’s Gravity & Grace (1952). Weil tells us “We must ask that all the evil we do may fall solely and directly on ourselves. That is the cross.” I am struck by that we must ask; if we do not ask to metabolize it ourselves, our evil passes on to others. “That is the cross,” she writes. Contradiction is another “cross” for Weil. It is “…the criterion of the real.” The most contemporary book I’m reading just now is Globalectics (2012), Ngugi wa Thiong’o epistemological intervention into how literature is read and taught, in which he shows how way-ahead-of-politics, in already being post-national, is literature’s desire and scope: “Works of imagination refuse to be bound within national geographies; they leap out of nationalist prisons and find welcoming fans outside the geographic walls.”
Conceit Wars by Stanford Bravo
I open the envelope containing Bravo’s latest book. I get a feel for the weight of the book in my hands, the shape of it, the look of the cover, and more or less the number of pages as calculated by my five seconds flipping through it. I look for an intro or explanation in the book. I find something. I gloss over the outlines of the proposed project then flip through the book again; this reading takes about one minute. I put the book on the shelf along with other books by Bravo.
I go back to my old desk to type this.
I just noticed this table is more than a little crooked.
Now I am about to put not one but two of Bravo’s books under the front right table leg.
Freight Rate by Virilia Tang
I’ve always enjoyed receiving Tang’s mass public intended poetic confessions of her edgy sex life – by this press in particular. Rumor has it that the latest rumors created by Tang as regards rumors created by others have created quite the rumor storm.
I hope she weathers through it all in good cheer.
It’s a clear day here today in Brooklyn, what pilots call “severe clear.”
Simultaneous to reading Freight Rate, I am looking forward to cracking open the new proposed silica regulation that’s collecting dust at the Office of Management Budget (OMB), the agency that approves or disapproves all proposed regulations as well as designating which regulatory agencies are to be charged with oversight of each Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
Refresh, Refresh by Soledad Rojas
“For RT – / in mutual admiration” That’s what the book signing reads, in large oval letters. The kinds of messages you also got back in the day via hard mail before hard mail was hard; one single line of artistic sirening inscribed on premium cardstock paper scrunched into the very bottom of a rusty squeaky mailbox. The contrast between the oxidized iron-smear on 100% cotton fiber and “the message” from the “author” was—hot.
Refresh, Refresh is all torn-up, raggedy edges of early-middle MFA-track career late night ruminations tidily edited by morning.
Rojas provides a compelling compliment to the fact that even when OSHA inspectors indentify a violation, the maximum fine they can leverage is $7,000—even for death at the workplace. If the company can prove the hazard wasn’t “willfully ignored,” the case is shut.
Good luck with your stalker! by Felony Scores
Great title for a book, Scores really hit it with that one. Glad I pinched this little volume of poems from the indie collective bookstore in my neighborhood. One thing though, the blurbers—all five of them, cite the title, three of them twice, and one three times. That’s a total of ten Good luck with your stalkers!
I just now put the book down on my floor to recover from this gross editorial oversight.
I’m back. And I just discovered that the introduction by Bunny Banes cites the title 12 more times! That’s a total of 22 Good luck with your stalkers.
The Department of Labor’s Ergonomics Standard was abolished by an executive stroke of a pen in the 80’s. The standard stood for only a few months.
Ergonomics: the study of the body engaging non-human matter, a form fit for motion?
Poetics: the study of the materiality of language encountering the total unknown sum of human activity as calibration of social motion?
Happy Summer Writing by Tad Fellows
If you denounce irony, roundly, furiously, while having a steady stream of money streaming into your lap because of inheritance or some kind of spousedom to Finance Capital, then you might avoid a spray of arrows piercing your tender flanks, right?
Though I am curious by what Fellows has to say about ever-alert eyes, ears ultra sensitive, and resilient community poetics, the “I’ve got flow” tone of this volume stymies me from the get go. Fellow’s got mouth—that’s for sure, but it could be that the complete reverse of mouth is what’s at play.
This book is not confusing.
In terms of me reading with Fellows next Friday at the Open Collar Cool Carlito Series, I think the best line up might be that the EPA maintain strict jurisdiction over the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, expanding both standards to include or even encroach upon the very definition of our working bodies.
Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta
I first read Eat the Document last winter, starting it while stranded in Kansas City during the blizzard that hit the city during the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute. Thanks to my weather-induced captivity, I was able to get a lot of reading done, and I was absolutely blown away by Eat the Document. I just read it again for the second time last week, and it’s lost absolutely none of its power in the months since. A riveting read that tries to address the moral difference between art-making and direct action—and the costs associated with either choice. Definitely one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year.
Spectacle by Susan Steinberg
Spectacle is my favorite short story collection of 2013. Nothing else has even come close for me. I read this once in the spring, and then again these past few weeks with my grad students. And in between I kept going back, peeking again. Aggressive, formally innovative, and absolutely gorgeous at the sentence level. There’s nothing else quite like this book, no writer quite like Susan Steinberg.
The Counselor by Cormac McCarthy
Why would they release the book of a screenplay two weeks before the movie? Who knows. But McCarthy’s one of my favorite writers, so I sat down and read this the same night I bought it. I can’t wait to see it in the theatre this next week.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Another book I was rereading, for discussion with my grad students over the next few weeks. An incredible novel, written in a wide variety of voices, each of them unique and each of them successful. Pasquale is one of the best characters I’ve read in a while, and his supporting cast is just as memorable. Jess Walter has long been one of the hardest working writers around, and its great to see all the new success this book has brought him.
You Good Thing by Dara Wier
I picked this book up at the Wave Books table at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer, my last stop after six weeks of book tour. I finally sat down with it last night and read it cover to cover in a single sitting. Like everything else Wave Books publishes, it’s fantastic.