brothercyst: June 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Readers of this site, your attention please. I need to apply for some grants. Or fellowships or whatever, prizes, anything that gives you money for writing, or to write.

Some grants are not advertised or widely known. Tell me about any grants you know about, please. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

3:AM magazine asked if I wanted to give them 5 Tunes. I wrote about my Chan Marshall fixation.


Interview with Noah Cicero.


Starting to lose mind. So fucking busy. My mind doesn't thrive on overactivity; it likes to sort of lounge about and read books and strive toward the achievement of thoughtless sorts of pleasures, like food and sex, and then from time to time rise languidly from its squalid bed to produce some long-pondered piece of fiction. But lately...

HuffPost, reading, germs, YM&Fire

Here is a Huffington Post thing I wrote about Miranda July's story collection and the attention it's getting.

Reading again tonight at KGB with Mike Edison, because the last time was a lot of fun. Again, Mike's band will be playing. I'll basically be opening for them.

A couple days before I went to Ohio last week I felt nauseated and got a sore throat. The nausea went away but the sore throat didn't. It stuck around through Ohio, through Mosquito Lake and the "forest ghetto" and the strippers and the two planes rides, and it's still not gone. It's going, but not fully gone. New York germs are just absolutely horrific. This shit never used to hit me in New Haven, and I'm living a much, much healthier lifestyle now than I did then--my immune system should be able to just slap this garbage around. Fucking Darwinian bugs.

Young Men and Fire. I've written about this before... amazing book. Here's a short thing I wrote about it. First published I think last month in Post Road.

Page One

Page Two

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Frederick News Post

An article in my old city paper. I really like the article. (Although for the record, the Impetus details are a little off; they're in Iowa, not NY, and I emailed them.) I should re-read The Magus soon.

In Youngstown I saw this sign outside a car wash. This is the only advertising the car wash had. Imagine if you were on acid and drove past it.

And here is a picture of Noah at Mosquito Lake where he got spinal meningitis by swimming in it as a kid. And here is a picture of me and Noah at Mosquito Lake. We didn't take many pictures because neither of us had a digital camera. These were on my cell phone camera.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm in Youngstown, Ohio, at Noah's house. We went to a lake where he got spinal meningitis once (we saw an old man catch a large green fish) and we drove around some housing projects. Last night we played pool with two Puerto Rican dancers at the strip club. I walked around Noah's neighborhood and read his new manuscript. It's been a pleasure, very interesting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Patti Smith covering Smells Like Teen Spirit. Interesting take.

Thanks Marty.

Next couple days, out of town, I think.


I have a short piece (not available online, unfortunately) in the latest print issue of Post Road, recommending Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, the book from which the epigraph of Fires is taken.
I wrote an essay for The L Magazine's Book issue.


I'd like to take a moment just to duly note that last night's reading at KGB Bar was pretty insane. Mike Edison and I were the only readers. It started about an hour late, but that was fine because there were a lot of people there--50 or 60. I'd never seen almost any of them before. (Exactly 4 came to see me: EJ, Marty, his girlfriend Jess, and my friend David, who gave me a copy of Norman Mailer's Tough Guys Don't Dance, which I've never read but will now.) I read a passage I've never read before and hadn't really re-read beforehand--I felt like it was a little awkward but at this point I've done so many readings...whatever. A nice girl bought a copy of the book. Then Mike Edison read, which was the insane part. His band, which I think is called Edison Rocket Train, accompanied him. They played kind of like--I don't know, the Lounge Lizards? Do you know the Lounge Lizards? With John Lurie? They're terrific. So is Edison Rocket Train. Mike read about working in porn and at High Times and so forth, smoking "cocaine cigarettes" and...I can't remember, but it was "intense." Unusual and pleasing reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I hate Ted Nugent because he presents his bullying harangues as "tolerance" and recites clich├ęs while acting as if he's some kind of iconoclast. This made me laugh. It's just a list of strident opinions presented as facts with no evidence to support them. His entire, complete argument against the estate tax:

"The unfair, un-American, unconstitutional death tax literally destroys mom-and-pop businesses across the land. Think about it."

Go on--think about it.


"class matters" at Yale... a friend forwarded this to me a moment again, and much as i hate linking to wretched gawker, it's worth it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

publishing stuff

I have a story that's about 10,000 words long. The only place i can think of offhand that publishes things of that length is Cloverfield Press.

Reader: tell me if you know other good ones.

I am out of touch with the literary magazine scene now, somehow. I haven't been paying attention, just writing novel length stuff.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

an interview + there will be blood

Blake Butler interviewed me for Word Riot, Jackie Corley's online literary magazine. I dream cast an imaginary Fires movie and talk about a lot of other things.


I love Paul Thomas Anderson. Boogie Nights and Magnolia are movies that never cease to please me. Here is the strange, wonderful trailer for his newest, There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Friday, June 15, 2007


It was fun.

I got a lot of writing material in addition to my sunburn. I wasn't required to spend time with people from my firm if I didn't want to. The sky at night was red and beautiful. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of that.

But here are pictures of other things.

i wrote on the plane

i was dazed on plane beside ej

i encountered seaweed

i got past the seaweed

some yale people inexplicably showed up

i wore sunglasses

Thursday, June 14, 2007

eating the creatures of the sea

A question for the few readers of this blog--is there any rational reason to become a vegetarian who doesn't eat seafood? (I know there are seemingly rational arguments for becoming a vegetarian who doesn't eat, say, cows and pigs. But I like eating them. Interesting piece about vegetarianism.)

Particularly shellfish--oysters, etc? Does an oyster feel pain?

cocaine, writing projects, new books

Another Huffington Post piece by me (but titled by them). About cocaine this time.


What I really need to do--but am afraid to--is reread Midnight Picnic and get started on the edits. (What I also need to do is sell this other manuscript, but that's another story.)

Last night I read Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island. Despite a great title (creepy, no? and strange), it was boring. I read it in like two hours. Now I'm beginning Therese Raquin by Emile Zola. I'll reserve judgment until I've read further.

Tonight I'm off to a photography class, where as a favor to EJ I'm to be the photographed, not the photographer, even though my whole face is peeling off as a result of the Miami beach weekend. But maybe I can get a good author photo.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This pleases me. Why?

back from water

Back from Miami. Night swimming was a pleasure. I failed to read any of the books (or unpublished manuscripts) I intended to read while there. Okay. Regarding the previous post (brief exchange with Marty about the decade of our "youth"), I agree with both Kati and Ned's comments, actually (but only in spirit--I don't like many of the books/films/musicians they cite). I just posted it because it was a funny exchange on instant messenger right before I left for Florida.

Politically I do feel it has been one of the most unpleasant decades for America in the last fifty years--worse even than the 80s, due to Iraq and a president who it seems may truly believe he follows the orders of a stern creature that lives beyond the sky.

Culturally though, yes, not shitty at all. In terms of books, just The Known World is a ten ton gorilla. Treatise, I loved too. TV-wise, The Shield, I love. The Sopranos, I don't. (Though the final scene of last night's series finale was, I thought, masterful.) Cinematically the '00s are nowhere near as bad as the 80s. When I think of 80s film, I have the impression of only like 2 or 3 extraordinary American movies being released during that entire decade. Raging Bull, The Shining (both of which came out in 1980 and were therefore made in the 70s, like a last gasp of that cinematically indelible decade), uh, maybe Blood

This current decade has done better, I think (let's caveat this entire post by saying it's all, obviously, my very subjective opinion): Requiem for a Dream, Children of Men, War of the Worlds (yes--I thought Spielberg's version was a great movie), Undertow,
as well as--


Okay, I wrote that last bit about two hours ago and then I had to go to lunch and now I'm back. I don't care about talking about that anymore. I had lunch with a hyperbolically intelligent person. A particle physicist who explained to me why the physicist who best understands muons will probably be the one to identify the Higgs once the LHC begins running in only a couple years. And how "the new physics" will soon begin. And how string theory, while mathematically beautiful, is unverifiable and thus considered by many of his colleagues to be a sort of cultish religion. And many other, far more complex subjects of which an attempted explanation on my part would probably result in mangled information.


Reading on June 19th at KGB with Mike Edison, feel free to come.


Regarding a new novel by Alan Cheuse: That's annoying.

Friday, June 08, 2007

[Marty]: do you ever feel cheated that the decade of your youth is going to be remembered as one of the shittiest ever, politically and culturally?

[me]: no, it's fine

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A particularly good Bobby Farouk story.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Huffington Post

I'm fairly surprised they actually posted this. I like the Huffington Post.
I'm losing my mind today--I cannot concentrate. Worse, a server is down at work and I can't do anything, further encouraging mindless diversions, like this (listen with sound). Wait, I have my particle physics book here. Hydrogen has only one proton. Only 20 atoms of francium exist at any given instant. The internet was invented at CERN.

natural languages

beautiful, ominous, inevitable.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Some minor trips around the U.S. in the next six weeks.

My employer is sending us--me, EJ, some others--to Florida this coming weekend. No particular purpose. Sitting on the beach, I suppose. Writing a little.

Then to Ohio to visit a friend--much more on that later.

Then briefly to Iowa for a reading.

And at some point, Maryland, for my grandmother's 90th birthday.

I prefer trips that involve very short plane rides--two hours or less. Cruising altitude is lower and you can see the ground (and the plane is smaller, usually). When I have a window seat, it makes me feel calm and I feel like I have a lot of time to think, and then I do think, usually, and due to my state of calmness, my thoughts are more rational. It's like meditation or something.
This woman, actually, sounds like an appealing girlfriend. I'm not trying to be amusing.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Noticed Fires on the "staff pick" table in the fiction dept. of the Union Square Barnes & Noble; took a picture before my cell phone battery died; bought some soy milk; drank the soy milk. Good staff.