Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You are inadequate and overexposed.


5. You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished.


10. Regard yourself as a small corporation of one. Take yourself off on team-building exercises (long walks). Hold a Christmas party every year at which you stand in the corner of your writing room, shouting very loudly to yourself while drinking a bottle of white wine. Then masturbate under the desk. The following day you will feel a deep and cohering sense of embarrassment.

-from Will Self's 10 Rules for Writing Fiction, The Guardian, February 20, 2010


Dorothea Lasky.


Monday, April 25, 2011

My interview with George.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Hope, Easter.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A lunch poem.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Every story begins with desire.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Any Moron.

-Lynne Tillman, Lease on Life, 1998


Stranger than Fiction.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First line of a story.

In the blackest April downpour, at a pizza parlor, Mr. Tires, of Mr. Tires Autobody, laid some of his smoothest lines on me.

JK's dream last night.

"Kuan and I in a creative writing workshop. Kuan turns in a 'story' that is actually about six rectangular tin containers of food squashed one on top of the other. Mostly tins of Mexican food but some other stuff too I guess. These are the 'pages' of the story we are supposed to have read (she gave it out the previous class). People start turning the pages, totally puzzled of course, getting food all over their hands. Debbie tells us the title of the story is 'Satyricon.' Nobody has any theories about what she’s up to…the teacher goes into a routine to see if people have read Kuan’s story. Teacher asks one student to summarize and the student dodges the task. Teacher asks, 'OK, if you had to say this story was most like one of these three TV shows, which would you say?' The student picks the show that, for some reason, convinces all of us he certainly has NOT read the story. Teacher continues to put him on the hot seat. I start to see connections between the story and Fellini’s 'Satyricon,' but I can’t remember much of what happens in the movie, so I start asking the class what the plot was. Eventually I come up in my mind with a pretty good interpretation of the story in relation to this film, but I never get as far as saying it to the class. Instead, I tell them that we will have to start referring to Debbie as 'SatyriKuan.'"

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Map drawings by Eve Andree Laramee.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Perhaps April is not the cruellest month.

Lunch outside Tavern on the Green today.


Friday, April 08, 2011


The Bisti Badlands in New Mexico. I really want to go here.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

George Boorujy.

Doing a studio visit with George Boorujy this weekend. Incredible, incredible work.

Interview to come.


Monday, April 04, 2011

The Super.

My super died this weekend, alone, I assume, in his apartment. His name was Billy. I don't know his last name. According to some tenants who have lived in my building longer than I have, he was born and grew up in our building. His mother used to be the super. These few blocks, which I saw him walk so many times, always as vacant as a zombie, had been his entire life.

By all accounts, Billy looked like a homeless man. A castaway. Worn, wizened, abraded by what could only have been a lifetime of drink and wretched loneliness. In winter, he wore a giant North Face jacket that looked like a gift--the only newish, contemporary thing about him, the only recognizable thing about him that seemed to connect him to a larger, functioning society. It overwhelmed his scrawny body. He shuffled in and out of the building wearing it. Every morning he greeted me without looking at me directly. "Hey," he'd say, coarse and gruff, as he always was. I didn't know where he was going, from where he was coming, what he did with his entire day.

No one could understand how our landlord--a lovely man who lives in Long Island--could entrust Billy with the tasks of fixing our radiators, separating our trash, collecting our rent. He looked like he could barely feed himself.

Once M was parked outside my building, waiting for me to come downstairs, and he saw Billy standing in his front window, just staring out. At him? At nothing? With his windows wide open, we could see that there was almost nothing in his apartment, just the barest of furnishings.

The last time I talked to Billy was last week, as I was trying to park M's car a safe distance from the hydrant in front of our building. He walked past and reassured me, "You're good."

Now there is a police sticker placed over his door that prohibits anyone from entering. It looks more like a quarantine than a death notice.

As I began to write this, I realized that Billy reminded me, in many respects, even physically in his hunched posture and lack of chin, of Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan--the poor, suffering anti-superhero who lives alone in his austere one-bedroom apartment. What a cruel twist of irony that Billy's job was to be our super.

You're good, Billy. Rest in peace.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Atlantic Ave.

Hand chair at The Horsemen Antiques. Makes me miss "Arrested Development."

Butter Consignment sells butter shoes. I like those zipper blue ones.

Every weekend, on my way to buy groceries or go to the gym, I have the pleasure of passing by the windows of these and other fabulous shops and boutiques (many of them specializing in mid-century secondhand furniture) which are right around the corner from where I live. The furniture's a bit overpriced for secondhand, and my apartment can't hold anymore anyway, but I have gotten one or two great deals, and the visual stimulation is always totally free.

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