Eunoia Review: Last Wednesday of February 2015

By the time we fled our house
and the jackals
we’d become expert thieves,
really wonderful liars.
We smiled and told people how happy we were
while picking their pockets.

– excerpt from “Muscle Memory,” by Len Kuntz

*     *     *     *     *

For special occasions we ate
Glorified Rice,
white rice slathered with whipped cream and pineapple chunks.
Before that was German food,
hamburger baked inside dough,
fried dough and potatoes

– excerpt from “Glorified Rice,” by Len Kuntz

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and the author of the story collection Dark Sunshine (Connotation Press).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Reflections, Yesterday

Feb. 12, 2015: Saw this outside the Stanford Bookstore.

Feb. 12, 2015: Saw this outside the Stanford Bookstore.

It was warm yesterday! While walking around the Stanford University campus, self saw that someone had stuck glittery red hearts around the planter box in front of the Bookstore. The Post Office looked exactly the same. They’re tearing down Meyer. Which means self will have to re-write the stories she’s set there. Yes, she does have stories set in Meyer Library.

The students she spoke to yesterday certainly made her think. Yes, she told them, the stories in Mayor of the Roses were written while she worked at Stanford at various administrative jobs.

Did you ever go to The Bridge (24-hour free counseling service on campus), someone asked. Of course! self replied. Didn’t everybody?

Self told the students that she had a more recent story about the Bridge, but in tone the story is as different from the one in Mayor of the Roses as night and day. In self’s story, which appeared in Waccamaw, the Bridge is a counseling hot-line called 1-800-U-R-Saved. The story is “Bridging.”

She talked about her Creative Writing Program years, and how she felt at the time she wrote the stories in the collection. She really really wanted to take a picture of Professor Miner’s copy of Mayor of the Roses because it was completely marked up. Notes on the margins, arrows pointing every which way. Looked like a piece of post-modern art.

She told the students she was writing science fiction now.

The time was really too short.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

FLYWAY: 2014 Notes From the Field Contest Winners

Flyway Contest judge Cristina Eisenberg has chosen the following essays as winner and runner-up, respectively, of the latest Notes From the Field contest:

Winner:  Susanna Clark for “House Blend,” which delves “into the stories of the young men behind 2013’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing”

Runner-Up:  Suzanne Menghraj for “Usciolu,” a piece that “tells of the author’s experience on the Mediterranean island of Corsica”

Both pieces will appear in Flyway’s Spring 2015 issue.

Stay tuned.

Self Does Love a Good Poem

This one’s from Eunoia Review:

The author is Anthony Tao, whose poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kartika Review, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, and the Anthill.

An Excerpt from “Chinese Love Song”:

She is quick to giggle, riddled
with unsanswered questions:

is it he, him, his character?
His whiteness,

white for privilege
and power? Or that inside

he quivers?
She giggles, forgetting

her mother had said
giggling was unseemly

for such an ugly girl –

You can read the rest of the poem here, dear blog readers.

Stay tuned.

The Chattahoochee Review: Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction

Announcing The Chattahoochee Review’s Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction!

Judges:  David James Poissant and Marcia Aldrich

Prizes:  $1,000 @ and a 1-yr subscription to The Chattahoochee Review

Contest Deadline:  January 31, 2015

From Self’s Story “Dust” (published in The Writing Disorder)

It was a sunny, glorious day. April was sometimes cold, but Jocelyn thought she could sense summer coming, just around the corner.

— “Dust”, published in The Writing Disorder

Excerpt of the Day: E. B. Lyndon’s “Goodbye, Bear” (In One Story, Issue 172)

She was grilling me about the guy I was seeing — was he the real deal, or just another fine-for-now? I told her my feelings weren’t reliable at the moment.

“You,” she said. “Always a finger on your emotional pulse.”

“But that’s what I’m trying to tell you,” I said. “No pulse. I think I’m dead.”

And, just like that, I decide to renew my subscription to One Story.

ELSEWHERE LIT, Issue 3 Live Now

Got an e-mail from Nandini Dhar, one of the editors of Elsewhere Lit.

Issue 3 is live now. You can find the link, here.

Just had time for a quick look, but it’s a beaut.


The Past Exists

A number of years ago, self wrote a story called “Don Alfredo & Jose Rizal,” which wasn’t so much about Don Alfredo or Jose Rizal but was about a young woman who can’t seem to stop cutting herself (sins of the past!)

That story was published in Sou’wester in 2007.

Here’s an excerpt:

I think about her ex-husband, who left her for a kindergarten teacher while they were both waiting tables at the Captain’s Bar in Compton. Was that last year, or the year before? Time — the past — tunnels its way into our hearts, there is no way of knowing where all of this will end.

And then self thinks, also, of the Miguel Hernandez poem (translation by Don Share) that she’s had taped to the bookshelf above her computer, for over a year:

Pierced by your hair,
everything is filled with you,
with something I haven’t found,
but look for among your bones.

Self, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, May 2014

Self, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, May 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Karen Llagas in RHINO 2012

Raining cats and dogs here in the San Francisco Bay Area. When it rains it pours.

The Man decided not to go into the office.

A friend’s Sausalito reading, scheduled for tonight, was cancelled due to weather concerns.

So, a perfect day for self to continue making inroads into her Pile of Stuff. Today her focus is RHINO Magazine, which published her piece “Eating” in 2012.

The same issue in which “Eating” appeared has a fabulous poem by San Francisco poet Karen Llagas:

Poet Karen Llagas, reading in the San Francisco Main Library, October 2012

Poet Karen Llagas, reading in the San Francisco Main Library, October 2012

Tamayo’s Animales

by Karen Llagas

Two dogs bark at a moon that mocks
the little it takes to give them pleasure.

Or, two dogs laugh at something as far
as the moon, at how little it takes
to give them pleasure.

Their eyes smolder chili and charcoal,
letting the world know

not what but that they want,
Here in the beginning of the world,
three polished, symmetrical bones —

because to be an animal is to glow with hunger
for what is discarded, or lost.

Isn’t that beautiful? Gave me chills. There’s more, but self is not sure if she can put the entire poem on the blog without violating some sort of copyright. So she will just link to RHINO 2012 here.

About Karen Llagas: Her first collection of poetry, Archipelago Dust, was published by Meritage Press in 2010. She has an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and a BA in Economics from Ateneo de Manila.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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