August 6, 2012

Tiny whoop. Faulkner Award semi-finalist.

My novel, Tardy Son, is a semi-finalist for the Faulkner Novel-in-Progress Award. Tiny whoop.

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July 31, 2012

Four poems from Charles Simic: “The Future” & Other Poems

I’ve been reading a collection of the poems of Charles Simic. I like his poems. He is a Serbian American and was named the 15th poet laureate of the United States. I love the way he juxtaposes ordinary images with evocative ones. When questioned about his style, he once said: “I wanted something seemingly artless and pedestrian to surprise the reader by conveying so much more. In other words, I wanted a poem a dog can understand. Still, I love odd words, strange images, startling metaphors, and rich diction, so I’m like a monk in a whorehouse, gnawing on a chunk of dry bread while watching the ladies drink champagne and parade in their lacy undergarments.” At another time he said: “In America, if you want to know where the heart is you listen to the blues and country music.” This juxtaposition is also something Margot Suydam does well in her work (found below). Here are two excerpts of his:

“I like to cloister myself
Watching my thoughts roam
Like a homeless family
Holding on to their children
And their few possessions
Seeking shelter for the night.”
and:
“Friends of the small hours of the night:
Stub of a pencil, small notebook,
Reading lamp on the table,
Making me welcome in your circle of light.”

Here are four of his best poems from “The Future & Other Poems.”
http://www.pen.org/blog/?p=10928

July 19, 2012

July 17, 2012

How Colm Toibin Uses Memory in Fiction

Here’s a fine article about how a writer, Colm Toibin, uses memories of real events, places, and people in his stories—how they relate to reality, how they relate when they’re changed by a story, and how important a true sense of memory is to getting a story to be “right in the mind” and on the page. It’s called “What Is Real Is Imagined.”

He writes: “The story has a shape, and that comes first, and then the story and its shape need substance and nourishment from the haunting past, clear memories or incidents suddenly remembered or invented, erased or enriched.” —Colm Toibin

July 16, 2012

Amanda, poet

Amanda, poet

“I am Pete Rose, dying with the hopelessly screwed, scorning giants whose plans date back before saviors . . . .” —This from is a mash-up of a blogpost, lyrics from several musicians, and three poems from a poet called Amanda. She can write. Check her out here:

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June 21, 2012

Interview with a Vamp: The Paris Review and Dorothy Parker, 1956

Interview with a Vamp: The Paris Review and Dorothy Parker, 1956

When I read through this interview done in 1956 between The Paris Review and Dorothy Parker, I couldn’t help but wonder what Shakespeare would have thought of her wit. I imagined he’d say: “Call my director: I was wrong, we should be casting women for all those parts. Hell, if we can find any more like Parker, cast her in the men’s parts, too.”

The Interview:

June 19, 2012

Here’s an Interesting Article on Loneliness in Art by Sonya Chung from The Millions

On Loneliness: Art, Life, and Fucking Human Beings
By Sonya Chung

“There are days when it seems to me that what it is to be a fucking human being is to be lonely; to be in this state of deep sadness and estrangement, and to know that there is something terribly wrong about this loneliness on the one hand, and on the other (in knowing the wrongness utterly), something also potentially beautiful.”

June 4, 2012

May 31, 2012

Re-Writing “Tesora” The Final Post

Hello Novel-Eaters,

Have a potato. OK, I stayed up all night, so what. But I got the re-writing of Tesora done at about 4:11 a.m. Thanks to Renée Watanabe and Alexandra Vega for the tough criticism that made it possible. It may not be better now, but I like it. I’ll wait a few days or a few hours and edit the whole thing together like a crazy quilt turned into a Grandma’s delight . . . or something. Now I hope some agent will enjoy reading it. That’s the big project next. Thanks for reading all the silly poetry I use to take a break from the speeding 80,000-word train in my life. Keep in touch.

— David

April 20, 2012

The Bright Heart in Punk Music: Alice Bag

My next novel which I call Dead Strings, at this point, has yet to leave the ground, but I continue to mine my own experiences and gut-reactions with modern, rock & roll music for the heart of it. One musician/band who stirs my head, heart, and hips is Nina Diaz and Girl in a Coma. Stirring the heart of Nina Diaz, early in her career, was Alice Bag (of The Bags). Alice, too, is a Latina rocker, who now rocks classrooms with inspiration. This article in the San Antonio Current tells the story. Here’s an excerpt:

“Once upon a time there was no punk rock. No Clash. No Ramones. Sid had yet to meet Nancy. Punk rock had yet to be invented. Little-known to most, one of the inventors of punk rock spoke Spanish, grew up listening to rancheras, and watched lucha libre.” “I started working with the children of immigrants, children who were limited English speakers, just as I’d been when I entered school,” she wrote. “I encouraged my students to question everything and everybody, especially me and any other authority figure.”

Here’s Alice with The Bags:

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