Thursday, January 26, 2012


OK, folks, it's Restaurant Week. Josh and I went to Justus Drugstore last night and the chef danced on our cheap little tongues. I'm just kidding. My tongue isn't little. It's short and fat like a garden spade. But the food and the drinks! I won't tell you all we ate. It was pork one way or another. Pork in every dish, even dessert. There was bacon brittle on our chocolate tart. It doesn't deserve more words than that. It just deserves that you get to Smithville and eat it.

What I really fell in love with was the bartender. I loved him as soon as I saw him. He was wearing suspenders and looked like he'd just hopped off a velocipede to mix our drinks. The wind was still in his arm hair. He had these jars full of plants and syrups and I felt like I was watching a true nerd and genius do magic for a bunch of rubes. I was too in love to say anything much, but I hope he saw how I licked the egg white out of my glass like I was digging holes for garlic.

I got rid of my hair last week, mostly on accident. I was trying to give myself a mohawk. Who do I think I am giving myself haircuts? My head is smaller in proportion to my body than I ever remember.
The story ends there and isn't much of a story. I look like a Pringle with a Tic Tac balanced on one end. Someone do me some good and knock that Tic Tac off.

If you see me at AWP, you'll tell me I'm tall. Duh. I will have the mohawk by then and you can say if it works or if it doesn't. Tim Jones-Yelvington will probably have a mohawk, too, but his mohawk will be made out of lit taper candles. He will be naked but for the dripping wax that forms his outfit over the night. It will definitely work.

In college, I was a fiber art minor. The fiber studio was full of men wearing heels and women wearing ballet flats. We all ran around screaming about fabric and t-pins. There was a weaving studio, too, but it was across campus and no one screamed in there. You opened the door and the slam of the looms sounded like cars having sex. Being in the fiber studio got me over the fear I used to have of taking my shoes off in a dressing room. There are always pins on a dressing room floor. In the fiber studio, there were pins everywhere and still, there were never enough. People would steal them right off of mannequins, and I'm going to admit something right now--I was one of those people. I never bought a t-pin in my life. I owe my former classmates at least a nickel each. Forgive me.

I haven't had pizza since September. I'm nostalgic for a time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Junk

We went out to Kansas yesterday to celebrate the second birthday of some twin boys. Josh and I sat in the back of a truck with our knees to our chests like we were hiding under a table. There were more birds sitting in roadside trees than I have ever seen at once. My friend was identifying them with the savant focus you get from people obsessed with math. She was calling out birds like they were numbers flying in front of her face. Starlings, mostly, but also grackles, geese, gulls, and hawks. Bird + bird + bird. It was fascinating. With the smaller birds, all I see is a ball with wings, but my friend knows them every which way.

The birthday party was at a church, but in an adjacent fellowship hall, not the actual church. I'm told the church is precious inside, like a Catholic cathedral in miniature. It's in the middle of the country like it fell from the sky. We couldn't go in because there was an afternoon mass. I wanted to see the painted statues, but maybe some other time.

I met a ginger man at a bar this weekend who was...opposite to me in every way. By the end of the night, he had a crush on me in the way straight guys sometimes do with gay guys. I fought most of what he said, from beer on down to pop music. That seemed to surprise and irritate him. The first thing he did was push me out of the way because he didn't realize we were with the same party. I knew I was in for an obnoxious and delightful evening. When he left, he shot me with finger guns and a wink. So.

My first rejection of the year was pleasant and painless. No acceptances yet. I'm mostly working on the book. I can't tell you how hard it is. I mean, physically, I can't. When I talk to people about the book, I act like it's a weekend of knitting. I belittle the process to get the attention off of me. You wouldn't know I take it seriously at all. But I am terrified. People ask what the book's about, and the only thing I can muster is, "It's about a guy."

I don't think I ever told my parents this, but when I was in college, some people with guns came on campus and stole computers. No one made better art because of it. Also while I was in school, some of my friends were mugged. The first time it happened, one of my friends laughed at the mugger because she thought he was joking. Our studio building was near a gas station and we used to walk down there and buy vodka for the long nights at the end of the semester. Vodka and Fritos and Twizzlers. I went in a gas station recently with some of those friends. One of them bought a bag of Doritos. No one else bought anything. My friend said, "What? No one eats shit anymore?"


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guts and Glory

It's 2012, so I can start freaking out. There's a reading next month at AWP. I've only done a couple readings and those were a hundred years ago in undergrad. I would read my story like I was ordering food at a drive-thru and people would laugh and I would think, "But this story isn't supposed to be funny." Ha ha, Casey Hannan. Ha ha.

The AWP reading is at a bar in Chicago. I will drink a little something before and try not to think about the hot guys all around me. They will read stories, too, and I will probably not hear a single word. Some other people will read after that and the roof will be on fire with how good these people are at reading in bars. The people in charge of this event will let the motherfucker burn. And then who knows? Don't look at me to put out any fires. There was once a grease fire in my kitchen and I made a mess with the fire extinguisher instead of just throwing a lid on the pan. You live, you learn, you pretend to be a smoker for a little while, but you really can't stand cigarettes on yourself even if you love them on other people. It's a big world and we're all stupid about a few parts of it.

This time last year, I was having my first stories published and it was blowing my little 2011 mind. I didn't even have it in my head that alt-lit demi-goddess, xTx, would be the best thing to happen to me all year long. But here we are. She knows all my names. She says if you say all my names at once, I sound like a serial killer from the Midwest. It's good that I'm not.

The only thing I've ever killed was a lizard in Florida. It was a very small lizard and I plucked it off a wall with my brutal kid fingers. The poor little sucker popped in the middle with the pressure. The whole thing was uncalled for. I tried to make myself feel better by saying there were a ton of lizards in Florida anyway. I kept picking up lizards, but only the one was so delicate as to explode in my hand like a hot berry.

We are on the subject of things we cannot change. As to 2011, I have no regrets.