Wednesday, March 15, 2023

242: Bennington Review & } “Puttin’ On the Ritz.”


Bennington Review issue 11 claims “Money Makes the World.” Sure, money’s part of the texture, but there’s also 1980s MTV music videos. For instance, Taco’s “Puttin’ On the Ritz.” Taco, who wears a tuxedo & carries a neon cane, walks into an alley crammed with Depression-era poor. He sings, he taps, & he tosses cash into the air—thus, transforming Hooverville into a cabaret. Is Taco Tim Curry? No.

My “San Francisco Essay” appears in Bennington Review 11. Money is a concern of the essay—as in, the author has no money. Race is a concern. So is abortion, considered while reading The Midwich Cuckoos, John Wyndham’s novel about an alien invasion via women. Art is a concern, especially Jay DeFeo’s The Rose.

Aside from this current issue of Bennington Review, I’m also in the December issue of Ghost City Review— my poem, “[*/Sylvania].” There’s something about that poem that reminds me of another poem of mine from Voice Notes. Maybe I’m just repeating myself? Voice Notes is out from Sputen Duyvil, with a beautiful cover by Matthew Klane.

[ images: screen shot from Taco's "Puttin' On the Ritz" video & the cover of Bennington Review issue 11: "Money Makes the World" ] 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

241. Kelly Link loves } Mooncalves.

Kelly Link once told me I have good taste. Editorially speaking. She also inscribed for me a copy of Stranger Things Happen thusly: “for Adam—I promise, one day, I’ll write you a story. (Promises, promises.) love, Kelly Link, April, 2001, Chicagoland.” She has yet to fulfill her obligation to me; because of my good nature, I have refrained from taking steps to enforce this legally binding document. Mitigating the dreadful rancor between us, she did write a generous blurb for Mooncalves, edited by John WM Thompson:
I will always be more grateful than I can say for anthologies like this, that not only include some of my favorite writers, but also introduce me to work by writers I haven’t encountered before. Mooncalves is splendid, surprising, and delicious.
I know for sure I’m not one of Kelly’s favorite writers, but I do have a story in Mooncalves—it’s called “Distant Signals.” Steve Rasnic Tem, Lisa Tuttle, & Glen Hirshberg are (probably) among Kelly’s favorite writers—they have stories in Moonclaves too.

Whilst still in proof, I read Mooncalves—it’s very impressive. The stories are strange & beautiful. Clint Smith writes, “Surreal and superb, Mooncalves is a narratively abnormal exhibition, with stories that both alter and accentuate fiction traditions”—& that’s exactly right, that’s the texture of this book.

John wrote to me in April, 2021 to ask me questions about my work. After we discussed New Genre, he wrote, “I've entertained starting some sort of ‘zine….” I replied:
Might I suggest that instead of a journal that requires an ongoing & endless commitment… you push your money into an anthology? Make it fancy & limited. Sewn binding, hard cover with an image stamped into the cover & a dust jacket. Good paper stock. Generous margins. A book you can charge $40 - $100 for, depending on size.
That’s Mooncalves!

It’s available now for $38 from the NO Press website. If you’re a reviewer interested in having a look, let me know & I’ll put you in touch with John.