Friday, December 14, 2012

Quietus / Essays as Stories

The aforementioned book and essay have been given some time in a British blog
called The Quietus. Check it out. I think it's an essay, but they call it a short story.

I'm posting some selected paras below, check out the blog or the book if you like it!

from "It Darkens, Brother" (title stolen from a Jimmy Schuyler poem)

There was a year when my death watching became unbearable; I’m going to say 2007, when I was 22. Gray thunder of oceans reminded me of death. Washington Square with jugglers and Manhattan trees and jumbo pretzels reminded me of death. The activists I lived with, monastic, dumpstering bagels & watching genocide documentaries full-screened on the computer—they especially made me think about dying.
At 22 I worked around the philosophy section of the university library, second floor north east corner, where people go to get nothing done. It’s the meeting place of the Librarian Chess Club, where weary shelvers congregate to drink Crown Royal on the sly, and play a little chess.
While I read a line, “And when you look for a long time into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you,” Charlie my coworker was a table over, stretching his arms to me. “Jimmy, put down the books,” he unstacked some Dixie cups, filled one halfway. “Play some of this chess with us.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Journal Moments Without a Home

“In my childhood there are many caves.” -- A Turkish bus driver speaking about the local geography.

It is 5am. I am reading in my side room. My emergency exit is a sealed door to another apartment. On the other side is a dog in a crate. I turn a page, he mumbles annoyed in his crate. These are the morning sounds.

Things that are unsatisfying: Joe Strummer’s inspiration for the song, “Spanish Bombs.” Literary anthologies without author biographies or contextual notes. The first time I used the word “chill.” Reciprocation. Catholicism being a system of faith when it is obviously a system of works. Gino’s East frozen pizzas. Dressing rooms in winter months, my body is as pale as the moon.

“Being an adult means expressing jealousy in the form of cautionary advice.” Whose aphorism was this? Why is it in my notebook?

The car had engine trouble. My dad took a look under the hood. A small bag. Inside the small bag, a wad of cash. “What’s this?” he asks my grandpa. “You think you’ll never have an emergency!” says my grandpa.