I have an odd short story up at Volume One Brooklyn. It’s a sort of parable of the information age with an economics T.A. and a plagiarizing undergrad at a morale-boosting pre-finals bar night. “The undergrad sunk his hand into the water to pick up a can but I grabbed his wrist and held it there.”
I’ll also be reading a short piece about my time in Bulgaria this Wednesday Oct. 24 at the Sofia City Library’s 90th anniversary celebration along with Georgi Gospodinov and other writers.
I have a short story “Introverts” in the current issue of the The Iowa Review. Scenes in Baltimore and surroundings: in a social work office, a hipster banh mi shop, a jail parking lot, the suburbs, and a 10k race. It’s alongside work from T.C. Boyle and Margot Livesey—good company. (Here, as PDF)
In “The Overseer”, globalized markets deliver a comeuppance to Vic Graburn, director of the films The Leverage Point and A Man Above. How is art designed for export–whether it’s Transformers 3 or trinkets sold to tourists–deformed by the needs of the market? How do intellectual property and de-industrialization intersect? Shameless cultural ventriloquism is also involved. An earlier version of this story appeared in The Fanzine as “In the Blink of An All-Seeing Eye” a few years back complete with “illustrations” I made for Junc Gallery’s “Zine Show” exhibit, which included Ron Rege Jr., Sammy Harkham, John Porcellino, and Souther Salazar. “The Overseer” is one of a series of stories about intellectual property, international trade, and masculinity.
TLR previously published a raunchy 8,000 monster of a story of mine called > < in their Winter 2013 issue.
I’ve got a raunchy 8,000-word monster of a story in the current issue of The Literary Review. “Even though we hadn’t spoken in months, my older brother had called me up to help him move out of the collective farm where he’d spent the last 3½ years of his life. Since I’d last seen him, he’d grown a beatnik soul patch on his lower lip and a Hitler mustache on the upper: inversions of each other.” TLR’s a great journal that’s included Percival Everett, Adam Wilson, and in the current issue Charles Simic. Print and e-book. (Here, as PDF)
I have a short story in the lush perfect-bound issue 13 of Yeti magazine, which also has a sweet-ass 7-inch record in its back cover and boggling illustrations throughout. Yeti has previously published some of my favorite authors, such as Trinie Dalton, Stacey Levine, and Kevin Sampsell, but also musical contributions from Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Will Oldham, The Blow, Devendra Banhart, etc. “According to their testimony, the three co-defendants had met wile flipping ollies in the drained swimming pools and of suburban southern California and had gone on to serve as graphic designers and principal investors in their own product line of extreme sports clothing.” The story is set largely in Cambodia and Indonesia of the 1970s and asks questions about ownership and imagery. You can buy it here. Also an opening excerpt from the story is now up at Vagabond, Bulgaria’s English-language news site, in conjunction with my time in Bulgaria as a Fulbright research fellow and my time previously here as Sozopol Fiction Fellow.
An older story of mine about a junior detective with scratch ‘n’ sniff knees appeared in Awkward Magazine.
My story “Firewater & Firecrackers” appeared in the exhibit catalog for The Dogs at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery in Los Angeles. In it, an apprentice print-maker learns to counterfeit money and buys peyote with his Swiss roommate on a nearby Indian reservation for a Fourth of July celebration.
The catalog was edited by Casey McKinney of The Fanzine. It includes writing from Dodie Bellamy, Dennis Cooper, Trinie Dalton, Kevin Killian, and others. Art from Francesca Gabbiani, Matt Greene, Damon Packard, Ariel Rosenberg, Eddie Ruscha, Jim Shaw, Thaddeus Strode, and Benjamin Weissman.
Originally published in The Shore Magazine (Toronto, 2004) also recorded as a podcast for KQED’s Writers Block.
The tenants avoided Iris and Agnes, the identical twin managers of the West Park Apartments. They didn’t avoid them for the usual reasons. They didn’t avoid them because they were behind on rent or because they had painted the kitchen a very dark shade of green. Although of course some of them had done these things, too.
Instead they avoided Iris and Agnes because it was impossible to tell the two apart. There were rumors that Iris was taller or that Agnes had a mole on her neck. But these claims were never substantiated. The tenants lived in fear of calling one of their landladies by the wrong name. One of the twins became angry if she was called by the wrong name. Most people thought it was Iris who hated to be confused with her sister. But even if the name of the easily angered twin could be confirmed it wouldn’t do much to help. There was still no way to tell the sister with the temper from the one without. The man in 506 had once called Iris “Agnes” and she had erupted into a fury. When he moved out a month later, it was rumored that he had received only half of his deposit back.
Listen at KQED.org
Originally published in The Shore alongside such fine contributors as Pasha Malla and Jim Ruland.
One afternoon last spring Chris had to flex and twitch his groin muscles to prevent urine from spurting out as he ran home from school. He lived in a neighborhood of identical beige houses. It was difficult to tell them apart. In his urgency he charged into a house thinking it was the one he lived in. Continue reading
This modern parable based on a misunderstanding of Chomsky’s in-born language hypothesis appeared in Kitchen Sink and Canadian literary magazine The Shore.