A Mighty Issue: “Eating” in RHINO

Self doesn’t know whether the piece that is coming out in RHINO’s next issue is prose or poetry.

Or prose poetry.

Or simply a short story, a very very very short story.

Self’s piece is called “Eating” and it really is about eating, of course.  And about satiety.  And about compulsion.  It’s the mirror image of “Appetites,” which appeared in Cafe Irreal, a few years ago.

Self loves writing these little short shorts.  Because writing one feels like cresting a wave of pure emotion.  And afterwards she is spent, but also triumphant because she managed to stay on her feet.

The list of contributors to this issue of RHINO is below.  It’s an extremely long one.  Seriously:  when self started typing up this post, sometime after midnight, she realized that after half an hour, she’d only gotten as far as Poet # 23.

For fun, self started counting how many names there were for each letter of the alphabet.  After she’d gotten as far as counting the poets whose last names begin with the letter “E,” she began to ask:  Self, is this really the most productive use of your time today?  Shouldn’t you be going out and getting The New York Times or, even better, writing???

There are 5 poets whose last names begin with letter “A,” 11 whose last names begin with letter “B,” 7 whose last names begin with the letter “C,” 6 whose last names begin with the letter “D,” 1 whose last name begins with the letter “E,” no one whose last name begins with the letter “F,” 5 whose last names begin with the letter “G,” 9 whose last names begin with the letter “H,”  none whose last names begin with the letter “I,” and three whose last names begin with the letter “J.”  And, after getting this far, self realizes she really must be crazy.

So far, the All-Time Champ of Most Last Names is the letter “A.”  Runner-up for Most Last Names is the letter “H.”

  1. James Tadd Adcox
  2. Neil Aitken
  3. Holly Amos
  4. Kate Asche
  5. Ruth Awad
  6. Kaveh Bassiri
  7. Jeffrey Bean
  8. Monica Berlin
  9. Tara Betts
  10. Richard Boada
  11. Ace Boggess
  12. Marion Boyer
  13. Richard Broderick
  14. Claudia Burbank
  15. Trina Burke
  16. Mary Lou Buschi
  17. John Randolph Carter
  18. Scott Challener
  19. Nguyen Quoch Chan
  20. Joseph Chapman
  21. Bill Christophersen
  22. Carrie Conners
  23. Nina Corwin
  24. Kristina Marie Darling
  25. Nick Demske
  26. Emari DiGiorgio
  27. Aran Donovan
  28. James Doyle
  29. John Duvernoy
  30. Sergei Esenin
  31. Jeffrey Galbraith
  32. Tyler Gobble
  33. Jenny Goldberg
  34. Kathy Goodkin
  35. Sandra Graff
  36. Vanessa Haley
  37. Christine Hamm
  38. Michael Hanner
  39. Shadab Zeest Hashmi
  40. Theodosia Henney
  41. Eric Higgins
  42. Sean Howard
  43. Luisa Howerow
  44. Amorak Huey
  45. Larry Janowski
  46. Brett Elizabeth Jenkins
  47. Susan Johnson

Sun Tzu Now, Part 2: Robert Greene’s 48 LAWS OF POWER

Self is just crazy about Robert Greene.  Amazing, she never heard of him until she got to know her Bacolod cousins.  (There really is something powerfully mysterious about Negros Island.  Self doesn’t know why, but it’s been her homing beacon, her Unchanging.  Usually her instincts are slippery as eels, she distrusts them when she is in California.  It is a totally different story, though, over there.  In Bacolod, she is nothing but instinct.  Whatever she chooses to do over there somehow ends up being OK, self isn’t sure yet why.  But she will definitely drink this particular cup down to the very dregs)

This evening, self catches an episode of “2 Broke Girls” and laughs her head off (The girls sign up to be subjects for a clinical study —  of course, just for the money!  Terms like AL —  stands for “anal leakage” — and ST — “swollen tongue” — get bandied about.  Kat Dennings should take out a patent for  Best Sardonic Delivery).

When the show ends, self returns to her desk and picks up The 48 Laws of Power (which she has conveniently positioned right next to her MacMini).  She opens the book at random, and lands on p. 50.  At the top of the page are the words:


In a world growing increasingly banal and familiar, what seems enigmatic instantly draws attention.  Never make it too clear what you are doing or are about to do.  Do not show all your cards.  An air of mystery heightens your presence; it also creates anticipation —  everyone will be watching you to see what happens next.  Use mystery to beguile, seduce, even frighten.

But sometimes, one can try too hard to create an air of mystery, and it just falls flat, you know?  Self thinks it is always best to “be yourself.”  (Anyway, no one can understand her to begin with, so being “herself” IS a mystery!  Problem solved!)

This must be the evening for enlightening quotes.  Just a few hours ago, she reached the “Dear Abby” section of last Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle.  A reader called “Wondering” inquired:

Dear Abby:  Regarding money and adult children, should a parent help all children equally if they are financially able to?  Or should a parent offer help only to the children in need (medical expenses, kid in college, new washing machine, etc.?)  If one child has a high-paying job, does he/she deserve any less from a parent in the end?

Dear Wondering:  Before deciding how to divide your assets, first discuss this with an attorney who specializes in wills, trusts and estate planning.  From my perspective, if you leave an equal amount to each of your heirs, it will prevent hurt feelings and resentment among them after you are gone.  Monies given before your death to one of your children should be tallied and deducted from the amount he or she is allotted in your will —  with an explanation of the reason why it is less.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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