My article on Thought Catalog has been live for 10 hrs and has been shared over 1000 times! Amazing!
Pooping is like a smoke break for non-smokers.
There are no non-poopers.
Thank god for yogurt.
I don’t feel mentally well.
I don’t know why I’ve been having diarrhea mid-morning this week.
I don’t think this is forever, my mood or poop, more like pee.
I don’t know what to do but to just survive, currently.
I don’t think this is much different from others, this minor suffering.
I don’t think this is special, but I would like this feeling to stop.
I don’t think my butthole should be this irritated.
Tampa by Alissa Nutting: reviewed by Brian McElmurry
At 7 in the morning, I found it as an Ebook on amazon for $1.99 while waiting in a hospital and read it on my iPhone (kindle app) most of the day between looking after a loved one.
Her husband is a cop who has a rich father who the narrator married for his money and loathes him. When having to have sex with him (when she couldn’t placate him otherwise) she take sedatives and drinks so to barely remember the horrendous deed of sex with this old person, who is only 31 and is well shown in the book: a character who says “babe” and wants to double date on a bowling night. The mindset of the predator, as she is, is so unapologetic and rationalizing that while an unlikeable narrator—her pure unapologetic voice makes her somewhat likeable. The psychological elements presented how she is constantly doing spa treatments and facial creams to combat aging, the grossed-out descriptions of her imagining a middle aged couple having sex, the obsession over the eighth grade boys (once trying to breakup a fight of two boys hoping to get pulled into their sweaty pile of bodies, and disappointed when that didn’t happen)—all create the certain mindset that drives that book and character. While reading it, I felt like the unapologetic voice reminded me of a Bret Easton Ellis voice, harsh and narcissistic, but not completely unlikeable. And also felt reminded of Dennis Cooper for obvious reasons. But her writing, the female obsession with little details and rituals that a man may not take such pleasures in. While never reading Lolita, there are obvious connections, yet with a female narrator the victims actual hurt is questioned to some extent. While the narrator, Celeste, vets and seduces her victims, it obviously seems manipulative and a power play. Her mindset and maneuvering seem wrong, but to her eighth grade victim, it is a fantasy. I certainly had sexual fantasies about a few teachers when I was in middle school. And even once she seduces her victim it seems maybe like, “what eighth grade boy wouldn’t want this?” But as the story continues, every incident, every close call or sketchy thing that happens until the obvious conclusion (that isn’t actually what you’d expect) but shows they are victims—and deeply deeply affected like any abused person would be. The prose is astounding. Giving just the right amount of detail and snark and justifications. It seems like a perfectly written book from build up to denouement to description to tone to its harsh subject matter in an unapologetic voice and a mindset that is deeply off. I couldn’t put it down, and though I had awoken about 4am and needed a nap, I didn’t nap, finishing the book right before I had to make dinner for my wife. Now I just wish I had a hard copy for my book shelf.
Faithless by Mink Choi: reviewed by Brian McElmurry
This novella regards Grace, and her former lover, an addict and possibly abusive male, and her new lover, a woman with beautiful bone structure. The first person narrative goes from the past to the future and back again. The narrative doesn’t give complete context to each situation, but the action gives a clear idea or emotion what is happening. The story is intense and compelling with descriptions that move and inform. The idea of submission and dominance is played with as Grace’s male lover is dominant with her and Grace is the dominant in her female relationship; the text taking an almost Dennis Cooper-like element where Grace tries to cut 2 inches into her female lovers hip to see her hip bone, or when she carves her name into her flesh. Later in the text a childhood memory of her father forceably cutting her mother’s hair and ranting about her mother not being a virgin when they married is shown. There is an element of ambivalence and anger to the narrator’s voice, which is addressed at the poem at the end regarding god and faith. That being faithless and empty are the reality of the narrator though not an easy one, but that this self-destruction has a climax, which is maybe where the narrator feels most alive and transcends the pain and confusion of the world. The novella—form-wise—deconstructs and decomposes, building with non-linear fragments before ending with a poem, more fragmented than the narrative, more a meditation, the story trickling away, like it never was.
The heat has stopped time.
The neighbors tuned an analog
receiver and played a 70’s song, like Steeley Dan, but I don’t think it.
William Burroughs had a 4.5 inch penis; I read that in a book.
I want to hear the band that did all that karate kid music.
I want to watch “gleaming the cube” but it seems out-of-print, but haven’t checked YouTube.
I watched it in the 8th grade and it was called “a brother’s justice”
Tony Hawk plays a pizza delivery driver-skater dude.
Neighbors now singing along to
The Eagles, “take it easy”
Records take a lot of room.
That’s why people got rid of them.
Old thought to think.
Digital space, no spaces for analog.
Reading an encyclopedia as a child.
Taught 2 spaces after period by grandmother who worked at a newspaper in Chicago.
Shorted out their word processor after they died.