Thursday, October 31, 2013

"The Shutting Door" nominated for Massachusetts Book Award

The Massachusetts Book Awards highlight the work of the contemporary writing community and encourage readers to do some "close reading" of those imaginative works created by the authors among us.

Throughout the award year, they develop a list of "Must Reads" in each of four award categories -- fiction, nonfiction, poetry & children's/young adult literature -- that have been written by Massachusetts writers or about Massachusetts themes. They also publish an annual MassBook Census of Massachusetts books. In addition, they name and promote an award winner in each of the categories.

For past winners, please check out this link. 

Special Halloween re-illustration of "Every Day There is So Much About Elephants"

Justin K.H Chen,  an artist in New York,  is working with  Smokelong Quarterly's Senor Editor, Tara Laskowski on an interesting illustration project. 

Here's what he wrote to Tara

 My goal was to create a print edition of a specially curated collection of fiction, from the 10 years archives of Smokelong Quarterly. This print edition still retains the components of a typical publication, but will not contain the actual writing. Instead each story will be expressed through a sequences of abstract images.

Here's what Justin created for my story, Every Day There is So Much About Elephants. The original illustration for the story was by Sue Miller, which appeared in March 2011, when the story originally did.

Some of Justin's work and the original Smokelong Stories appear today in their special Halloween Edition but can be viewed here.

The Collector” by Bess Winter
Remembering Elizabeth” by Bob Arter
Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub” by Jeff Landon
Dairy Queen” by Jennifer Pashley
Sleepless #7” by Joe Kapitan
Finally” by John Minichillo
Partners” by Simon Jacobs
Home Smells Like Mold” by Mary Hamilton
Rehearsal for Dinner Party Theater” by Pamela Painter

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Poet to Poet, Writer to Writer SCATV show hosted by Doug Holder, 28 minute interview/ plus a few poems

The video can be seen above.

My critique of my appearance:

When the show starts I do my typical nervous stuff: fake smiles, talking too quickly, cutting off Doug but then five minutes in I'm more relaxed...more myself. This gets shot to hell when I have to handle patching in phone calls from Susan Tepper, Ariel Mignon King and Chad Parenteau, while simultaneously not losing my train of thought. At least the Q and A was much better than when I was interviewed by Doug ten years ago when someone posed the question, "Would you blow the bald guy?"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Midway Journal publishes "Tours Of Duty"

Heroes come back from wars. They get introduced at sporting events, get put in parades and receive the attention they deserve. Behind the scenes it's not always that amazing. it's what I tried to capture in "Tours Of Duty" published last week in Midway Journal. 

Other fine work are included from  ,  , , and .

Check them out:

Midway Journal

Mixed Genre Editor
Prema Bangera
Non-fiction Editor
Priscilla Kinter
Poetry Editor
Molly Sutton Kiefer
Fiction Editor
Ralph Pennel
Assistant Fiction Editor
Prema Bangera
Fiction Reader
Ashley Shroeder
Contributing Editors
Justin Maxwell
Rebecca Weaver

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Uno Kudo, Vol. 3 includes "How Penguins Break"

Uno Kudo, Vol 3, is out today with some amazing work of both writing and art. You can purchase it by clicking the link RIGHT HERE. The cover (shown below) was banned by Facebook because of their nudity policy, which, of course in the arts, being naked is accepted and should not be debatable.

The journal features new work from the usual suspects:
Mike Corum Heather Dorn Mik Everett Jonathan Greenhause Kyle Hemmings Karlee Johnson B.J. Jones Jen Knox Heather Kroupa Susan Lewis Frankie Metro Kristine Ong Muslim Kenneth Pobo J.J. Steinfeld Ryan Swofford Meg Tuite Robert Vaughan Marvin Waldman

Art from Ramona Zordini, Victor Castillo, Deedee Cheriel, and Jeremy Geddes.  

Bud Smith, Aaron Dietz and  Erin McParland do their thing by putting it all together.

My story, "How Penguins Break" has to do with two wind-up penguin toys and how they symbolically represent a current relationship. Please be careful to not over-wind them because that would cause them to break and no longer clomp around with one another.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want?

My poem in "The Shutting Door", "What Do Men Want, for Kim A" is causing a lot of confusion, both on the page or when read live. What it is, is a hardcore sex poem...not erotica, but sex. Why would that be misunderstood, even after I explained it in 2010? Let me count some of the ways.

1) You have to know the poem, "What Do Women Want" by Kim Addonizio but since I only cited "for Kim A", instead of  "after Kim Addonizio's poem What Do Women Want" there is not enough frame of reference.

Her poem begins

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me. 


I want a woman in a red dress.
flimsy and cheap, too tight.
I want her to wear it
until I can tear it off her.  

2) I read this poem in Cambridge and some chump cited it to make me look bad to a female friend of mine, which is a douchy guy move. He tried to make me feel like this:

I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. - See more at:
I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. - See more at:
I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. - See more at:
Again, not enough frame of reference. Ironically, she happened to be the one that picked that poem for me to read aloud that day. He ended up the chumped one, so roll out, dude. 

Fact: I don't own a van. 

3) People don't like the first person. People want "I" to be always be the poet or writer. Even if they know better, they still get tricked.  

Repeat after me: 
The narrator may be very different from the author. 
The narrator may be very different from the author. 
The narrator may be very different from the author.  

4) "What Do Men Want" is not "Fifty Shades of Grey", poetry version. Very graphic work makes people uncomfortable. Today my co-worker told me his wife blushed when reading it.  Enough said. 

5) Lay people expect poetry to be nice. They want it simple, about nature or flowers...even thematic. When writing about breasts, lay people expect them to be referred to as bosoms. Oh, and they may expect all of the above to rhythm.

6) The rest of the poems in "The Shutting Door" are tame in comparison so when you read that one near the end, it makes you go, "Gah."

7) Where credit is due: Kim Addonizio is a tremendous poet and is obviously pretty amazing. Her poem is very well know, except by those I am confusing by not giving enough frame of reference.  

8) People might think it's about them because a) they want it to be or b) they don't.  There may be a c) all of the above, which just adds to theory that people are very confused. 

I hope I've cleared things up. Here is Kim Addonizio's poem in it's entirety. 

What Do Women Want

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

Should you be scared by her poem? No. Should you be scared of my answer? I think not. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Gessy Alvarez's Community---Re-posting links of published work

Gessy Alvarez  is doing something very cool. It's an idea I always thought would be great for a Literary Magazine, since the combination of  having "more writers than readers" and their work having "all rights reverting back to the author".

What Gessy is calling community was a call for submission for writers to re-post links from their work. What I gave her were pieces from Metazen, Right Hand Pointing and In Between Altered States. Also included:
 Alex Pruteanu,Bill YarrowDavid S. AtkinsonFred ArroyoGloria Garfunkel, Kelly Clayton,MaryAnne KoltonStephen V Ramey, and Teisha Twomey.

Here's the complete list of links from Gessy's Community

Timothy Gager and Teisha Twomey


Timothy Gager

No Sex Since Last Spring (In Between Altered States, September 1, 2012)
A Circus Story (Right Hand Pointing)

Kelly Clayton


Gloria Garfunkel

Great Expectations (Camroc Press Review, July 3, 2013)

Fred Arroyo

Pulsar Watches (Watershed Review)
Literacy (The New Poet, Issue 5, May 2013)

MaryAnne Kolton

Sabeen (Thrice Fiction, Issue No. 7, March 2013, pp. 39-41)

Alex M. Pruteanu

Everything Rhymes with Orange (The Prague Revue: A Literary Journal of Cultural Review, August 26, 2013)

David S. Atkinson

Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! (Wilderness House Literary Review, Vol. 8, No. 2)
Happy Trails (Martian Lit, June 10, 2013)

Stephen V. Ramey

Tomorrow I Will Skydive (Every Day Fiction)
The Sea as a Sickness (Apocrypha and Abstractions, September 12, 2013)

Bill Yarrow

The Transportation of Hens (Jewish Journal, July 17, 2013)

Friday, October 4, 2013

2013 Readings for "The Shutting Door"

October 22, 2013 Somerville, Massachusetts

 Cervena Barva Reads Around the World Series, 7 PM

Center For the Arts at the Armory, B-8
191 Highland Ave.
Somerville, Massachusetts

Part of three day event
Featuring with Teisha Twomey and TBA

October 23, 2013 Cambridge, Massachusetts

 Burning River Publishing Series, 8 PM

Out of the Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Featuring: Timothy Gager, Samantha Milowsky, Teisha Twomey,
Jane Rosenberg LaForge, and Christopher Bowen

October 29, 2013 Somerville Cable TV


Doug Holderr's Poet to Poet, Writer to Writer, 5 PM



November 7, 2013 Cambridge, Massachusetts

Story Club Boston, 6 PM

Improv Boston
40 Prospect Street. 
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Featuring...Ten minute story telling plus improv

November 25, 2013 Cambridge, Massachusetts

 Stone Soup feature, 8 PM

Out of the Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts

December 3, 2013 Cambridge, Massachusetts

 The Shutting Door Release Party, 7 PM

Grolier Bookshop
6 Plympton Street.
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Featuring with January O'Neil

 2014 Readings Found HERE