I’ll Be Reading Again

15 01 2009

Saturday 1/31 at 4pm at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow St, NYC btwn. Stanton & Rivington. I’ll be reading with Jon McMillan (he has a story out now in the New England Review!) and Micaela Morrissette (a senior editor at Conjunctions who won a Pushcart and a best american fantasy award this past year). Scott Geiger was instrumental in setting me up for this reading up with his New School buddies Jim and Jason, who run the Enclave reading series; huge thanks to all three. Apparently, Micaela Morrissette named her hedgehog after Scott’s first published story, “The Pursuit of Artemisia Guile” in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 16 (July 2005). If you watch this site, further info and reader bios should eventually get posted there.

Come one and all!

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Obama Card Game!

15 01 2009

Charlito, of Indie Spinner Rack fame, and co-publisher of what is to date my only published comics work, has produced a handsome handmade card game from the natural effervescence of his irrepressible creative spirit and sheer infectious joy at our soon-to-be President. I am egregiously late about notifying the masses of it, but when I saw notice posted on my friend GB Tran’s blog, I thought Duh, why not be a copycat. I’m still in time for inauguration. Please go buy it. Feed Charlito.





Postcard Remix #3

15 01 2009

Promo postcard for Benjamin Parzybok's Couch by Andi Watson

With apologies to Andi Watson, Benjamin Parzybok, and Small Beer Press.





The Future is Inauguration

15 01 2009

At Slate, William Saletan says: “In the transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, we’re going to see a big shift in the politics of biotechnology. The conservative preoccupation with technological frontiers will be replaced, for the time being, by a progressive preoccupation with distributive justice.” People who know me will be sick of hearing this, but as William Gibson says, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”





Postcard Remix #1

6 01 2009

Cornelia Street Cafe, West Village





I no can buy you banana

26 12 2008

was what the Russian girl, in a thin fuchsia sweater and pink puffy vest, told me after a brief conversation on a cordless with what I guessed was the wife of the ground floor convenience store owner. Ali himself, despite being a half-Costa Rican Muslim, had been Noel AWOL since the day before. In fact, I must have seen him shortly before he left, because I was there when, one solicitous hand behind her back, he’d walked the Russian girl through the lobby to his store, at the last minute turning back to wink at the guard who leaned from behind his desk with a double-barreled thumbs up. She wasn’t actually pretty, but her hair was dyed maroon and her eyes were bright as her rhinestone earrings, and when she first walked in looking for Ali, her face at once blase and quizzical, her sparkly phone in one hand bent her wrist back with its weight, as if she’d just hung up. Now, from behind a countertop set on a freezer case of popsicles, apology struggled to break the surface of her inexpressiveness. Sorry, she said, which sounded either sultry or dragged up from the back of her throat.

Ali had a whole rigmarole devised around the bananas, which involved momentarily unplugging his radio in favor of the scale whose cord lay lovingly draped, a jungle vine, over the silver-insulated power conduit that dropped from the ceiling to cool his deli meats. The bulb inside this display had long since burned out, which failed to show items to their greatest advantage. The turkey looked particularly ashen. Ali would then make sure to plug the radio back in before ringing you up. Having never paid attention to the bananas’ unit price, I doubted I could cajole the Russian girl into the whole routine, and let it drop. Yes, we have no bananas today.





Urology and You

26 12 2008

His name is Khan, cosmopolitan Turk (international urologist of mystery!), and despite imperfect English hosts his own radio show, because everybody, sooner or later, has a question about sex or plumbing. The office is studded, if that is the word, with vased peace lilies, their prominent spadices all long and drooping, like phalluses with hurt feelings. A dog’s tail looking for two legs to hang between could not be more poignantly disappointed. When people say, ya gotta have a sense of humor, what they are really saying is, what choice do you have? Why make it harder on yourself? Or even, Stop whining, schmuck!

I forget the exact anatomical models and cross-sections, each emblazoned with some drug brand, displayed on the shelves of the consultation room, but the skin color on these groins and testicles is invariably a eerily homogeneous even brown, at once unreal and yet very politically neutral, and reminds me of certain blonde students I had at Iowa, who would walk into my afternoon lit class fresh, if that is the word, from the tanning salon. I remember taking one of the models apart, just to see if I could put it back together, and that was when the doctor walked in. He is the kind who grandly and affably addresses you as “young man,” perhaps because your kind is a rarity in his waiting room.

Perhaps this is a relic of his London education. Apparently he also picked up some French there, something I learned in the middle of a cytoscopy, when his Filipino nurse (was there no one in that office with a firm command of English?) decided to pipe up brightly with the information she’d gleaned from me in the sort of casual conversation that naturally occurs while pumping a large syringe of anesthetic gel up someone’s urethra. “The gentleman is a French translator,” were her exact words.

It was a smooth handoff. Dr. Khan grabbed the baton and kept running. “Ah oui? J’aime parler français. C’est une belle langue.” I seemed to be the only one riveted by the pink and dark recesses of my bladder on the small monitor as the inquisitive camera continued its ascent.

After that, it seemed the worse his French got, the more he insisted on using it to narrate the procedure, supplementing his vocabulary with a word or two of what sounded like Spanish whenever he seemed to be grasping about for the mot juste. He conducted the rest of the visit in French, in fact.