Monday, August 29, 2011

Have This Pizza Instead

Someone cute on the internet was saying he didn't know why people write novels anymore. I think he was saying something about money, but really, all he said was he didn't know why people write novels anymore. I put the money thing there. Writers are so cute.

Another person asked me when I was going to be published "for real," which is to say "in print." I don't know. Whenever I get around to it. In the meantime, I've been published online in some pretty stellar places. I was asked to write a book because I was published online in some pretty stellar places. I want a pizza instead of all this explaining.

I received a rejection this morning. I submit to this place three or four times a year. I love this magazine so much I'm a subscriber, which is saying a lot because I'm dirt poor. It's a magazine for weird, beautiful fiction. The stories I send are either too weird or not weird enough, depending. Always beautiful, though (if I may). The editor remembers me from submission to submission, and she always says the nicest stuff, but nowhere in that stuff is, "We'll take it."

One day.

Enough about writing. I made peach salsa yesterday. There's a good amount left. If you want peach salsa, come to my house and eat peach salsa. Bring beer.

I had a dream I was hanging out with this girl from college. We were eating nachos in my kitchen, and then my family came over en masse. Each member of my family asked this girl an inappropriate question, and after each question, this girl covered herself with a blanket. She became a mound of blankets with a face. My family sat on her and told me how much they liked her. What. I am so sorry about that dream, girl from college.

Some of you are tough-timing it. Let me know you're OK.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And That Is Why I Wrote This Blog

People are having a reaction to THE HELP. I had my reaction to THE HELP about a year ago when a friend told me the last sentence of the book goes a little something like, "And that is why I wrote this book."

No one wants to hear me talk about racism, but whatever. I grew up in Kentucky. Someone in my family did the genealogy, and in their own words, "We got black blood some generations back." It's still treated like a weird family secret. I was first told about it after I turned 18, which I hope was coincidental and not an example of "Now he's old enough to know."

Roxane Gay, who once sent me boots to lick, had THIS to say about THE HELP. I can relate. There are times I can't stand to be around straight people. I'm talking about weddings. If you're getting married, at least have a cake iced with something that doesn't taste like ground aspirin. Might I suggest a simple buttercream frosting? Yes, I might. Also, forgo the kiss and give each other high fives, or just go ahead and have sex right there on the altar because we're all wondering what you look like naked anyway. I'm only sort of kidding about that.

I'm in dark moods again this week. I can't decide if it's because I've eaten too much hummus or not enough.

At a party Saturday, someone said, "It's not art if I could do it." That's the worst thing to say to drunk people who went to art school. We showed collective restraint. It could've been worse. We could still be in art school.

The government is tearing up the street outside. Our house is shaking. It's an old house. I'm worried about its foundations. I'm worried about my ugly couch and the one penis cushion I sold this week (I was featured on Regretsy again). The woman who bought the cushion is a long-haul truck driver. She bought the cushion for her grandmother.

I'm becoming weightless. The dark moods are lifting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Basil Seasonal Affective Disorder

You may not know I met John Lithgow. When I was working at the museum, John Lithgow came in. It was all anyone could do not to tear their hair out. Kansas City is a simple place. I was in a vegetarian restaurant once, and Moby came in surrounded by his posse. Servers dropped plates. Glasses exploded. Tofu transmuted into roasted suckling pig shapes. I said, "That bald guy looks familiar." I didn't recognize him outside of the space suit.

Anyway, John Lithgow asked me for directions to the American paintings. He was already standing in the American paintings. I have no idea why he was in Kansas City. That's pretty much the story of anyone who comes to Kansas City. It's a good place, but it's not the best place. I wanted to shake John Lithgow and say, "Why aren't you in LA filming a Campbell Soup commercial?" None of the visitors in the gallery recognized him, which made me feel like I was having my own precious moment.

Here's another precious moment. One of my writing friends was talking about her lesson plans for the coming semester. She mentioned some of the writers her students would be reading. I was one of the writers she mentioned. One of my stories will be required reading. This is me raising the brag flag. Brag, brag, brag.

This past weekend was a steaming pile. It was a full moon, so it's best EVERYONE FORGET EVERYTHING. I drank so much stupid beer that when I was making bread today, I smelled the yeast in the dough and I got a little dizzy.

OK, fellow fatties, I'm making potato gnocchi with three different sauces for dinner. This is mostly because I feel like showing off, but also because Abbi doesn't like basil. I know, I know. Is she human? No, she's English, or will be very soon when she's at Oxford rubbing herself all over with musty books. I hid some basil in a recipe the other day, but Abbi could tell it was there. I could tell she could tell. Neither of us said anything about it, but she's been looking at me sideways ever since.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In the Heart of Transylvania

I used to wear a mood ring, like a really big mood ring. In one of my school pictures, my hands are folded in my lap, and that damn mood ring is front and center. I got it one year for my Dracula Halloween costume. Someone's father complimented me on it while I was trick or treating. It stayed on my finger for another two years. It left a green band that took at least another year to fade completely. All I'm saying is my parents had so many clues to my absolute gayness.

I started reading a series of books this week. It's a fantasy series. There are funny names and maybe dragons, but not yet. No dragons yet. I want some dragons before this book is over. Please tell me there are dragons, because for some reason, I need dragons this week.

I was asked to write a thing for a thing. I'm terrified. I'm a fearful little creature, which means my terror is cute, except that I'm 26, I'm actually pretty tall, and my beard looks like it's been glued on (not cute). I don't know what that has to do with anything. Weird moods this week. Like the red-black color on my old mood ring. It's a color you only ever see on bruises and t-shirt stains. It signifies fear.

Sean Lovelace was very nice about one of my stories. I pulled on my ears when I read what Sean had to say. You know, because my ears were burning.

Traditional wisdom is to recite the alphabet as soon as your ears start burning. The letter you're on when your ears stop burning is the first letter in the first name of the person talking shit about you. I don't know what you do after that. Guess away, I guess.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stupid Casey Hannan

(Guest Post by xTx)

Casey Hannan is a gin and tonic with eyebrow ice. I drink him poolside. He is effervescent. His bubbles cloy my throat and I don’t even care. I take him in. I take him in my throat. I swallow him. Until he is gone. Wedges of lemon and lime yin yang the bottom of my glass; pulpy, citrus abortions.

When Josh is gone, I take over. Casey is my bottom. He doesn’t care. He thinks I’m pretty, even when I’m angry. I make him cook for me which isn’t even really “making” because if someone has an obsession, they would do it anyway. But still, I threaten, because I know he likes it. “BAKE ME A PIE OR I WILL TURN OVER THIS TRASH CAN FULL OF COFFEE GROUNDS!” “MAKE ME A QUICHE OR I WILL PUT THIS GLASS COVERED WITH ICY CONDENSATION ON YOUR NICE COFFEE TABLE WITHOUT THE USE OF A COASTER!” “LASAGNA FROM SCRATCH OR I SPILL NAIL POLISH!” and “CHUTNEY BITCH!” He cowers, scuttles about, yes ma’ams, puts on a show of one abused and scared but I can see his smile reflected in the black gloss of the microwave door when his back is to me. Oh, that Casey Hannan!

You can see what I like about him in the creases of the day. How his beard grows in uneven and patchy. The upward tornado spiral of black pubic hair, the way he hangs his towel over the shower glass, how he hums made up songs while he sifts flour, how he calls out to me from the kitchen just so I will answer, just so he can know he’s not alone, the morning smell of him and how he hugs like I am something keeping him alive. I now know what Josh knows and it’s like we’ve read the same secret book and it’s our favorite.

I put up with the snake. I put up with the ghosts. I am fine with both. One night he takes me to see the Ghost Light. While we wait he talks to me about water. His voice is like waves. We sit in the moonlight like it’s the sun. The night is backwards and our eyes cling the tree line eager to learn how one day we may have to carry the light.

One day, when I am drinking him by the pool, Josh and I will laugh at how imaginary it all is. He’ll tell me how he never thought Casey would bring someone like me home to him. Someone so much older. Someone so motherly and female. Another person to siphon his sugar water, his sweetness. I raise my glass to the word, “sweetness” and wink and sip in tribute. Josh laughs. Does the same. We both drink him. Casey just lets us. More of him in Josh’s glass than mine which is exactly how it should be should always be will always be.

Monday, August 1, 2011


There was a moving van sitting outside our house yesterday. There was a hot guy in the driver's seat. The moving van was the most generic moving van I've ever seen. I like to imagine it wasn't a moving van at all but some sort of mobile surveillance sent by the government to monitor our house for ghosts/magic/aliens.

This heat, I tell you. I'm wild with dumb impossibilities.

One of my college friends was in town for the weekend. She lives in Chicago. She's used to the Midwest, but I feel like we still bored the shit out of her. Josh and I are the old gay couple who party once every thousand years to celebrate the mystic secret of our eternal youth. We drink the blood of raw summer tomatoes from a chalice made of shed cicada exoskeletons. There are pictures on Facebook of this rare occasion.

Some muddy people came to our house to clean up after they ran an obstacle course in a field near the airport. The women left their muddy panties in our bathroom trash. The men didn't shower together, though they should have. Instead, they took all the mud from their bodies and put it in the sink. One of our white towels is now gray. These people should be a little embarrassed to read this, but they've never been embarrassed by anything in their entire lives. You can't shame the shameless.

I got a rejection that was exactly the rejection I should have received. I'm working on the story. It's about a couple of men in a muddy field looking for the Ghost Light that manifests on a country road every night near Joplin, Missouri. I've been a few times to see the light. The first time, I didn't see it. The second time, I saw it, but the people in my car freaked out and demanded we leave. One of the people in my car actually said, "I have a bad feeling about this." All the other times blend together, but on one of those trips, I saw a ghost dog running alongside my car. No one else saw it. It was a white dog as big as a pony. I've had the insensitive thought that maybe the tornado killed the Ghost Light, and God forbid, that ghost dog too.

I have a story up in the August issue of Hobart. It's the one about a man living on the water with his cat. You guys are so understanding, so understand this: I don't want a cat. That's not what I'm trying to say with this story. What I'm trying to say is I want to die surrounded by jellyfish.