Tag Archives: Catherine Lacey

Everyday Genius Goes Print in June

30 May

Everyday Genius, one of my favorite online journals perhaps of all time, is releasing a special print issue for June 2012. It looks like this, which is a cover designed by Jimmy Chen, who’s a pr’ kewl guy.

I think it’s to celebrate or commemorate something or other, but all in all, it just looks awesome, and has an incredible line up of contributors (Aaron Burch, Stephanie Barber, Michael Kimball, Catherine Lacey, Joseph Young, et al), and this is all just to say you should go here and purchase the damn thing (it’s only $11 after shipping), and you should probably do that before June 1st, because then you could win a Publishing Genius prize pack, which includes a bunch of incredible books from PGP and a PGP tote to carry them in and a PGP coozy to keep your beer coozed, or if you’re a recovering alcoholic, to keep your soda pop coozed.

SSM: “Remove Yourself” by Catherine Lacey

8 May

Sometimes I’m afraid I don’t feel the same as everyone else. Sometimes I think I feel a certain way not because I feel it but because I am expected to feel that way, I feel myself once removed, watching myself, making sure I’m putting on the right sort of theater for the purpose or occasion.

Just like this passage in Catherine Lacey’s story “Remove Yourself” recently at 52 Stories.

I should have told you, I said.

My husband inhaled fast, tried to make a word and didn’t.

Well? he asked.

Well, what?

Do you have something to say?

I don’t know.

You don’t know.

I’m not sure.

He did the inhale thing again. Well, if it’s all the same to you I’m going to get back to work now. The next time you call you might want to have something to say.

And the line went dead and a machine-woman started speaking, asking for more money, saying please, saying have a nice day.

I slung my backpack on, walked down an alley, put my backpack down, and crouched over it to have an almost human moment. I felt like I got close to being a rational person right then, phlegm dripping in my throat, face turning red. In this situation, any rational person would be hurt and being hurt would cause her to have a real feeling, and that real feeling would make her cry in a real and serious way. A rational person would feel upset instead of just knowing she was upset. Her feelings would show up in her body as if she had no choice in the matter and this would cause her to realize she needed to find a way back to her home, to her real life that was somehow going on without her.

Reading that passage, dozens of moments from my life come to mind. Big moments like when my mother died, this same feeling, a feeling not of mourning, but of the feeling of mourning, of expectation of mourning. Break ups when I wanted the break up. Break ups when I didn’t want the break up. The deaths of pets. The exuberance of weddings and birthdays, my own or those of others. The births of children.

It’s hard to even write about, hard to even describe what it feels like. Maybe you know what it feels like. Maybe we don’t feel anything at all except the feeling of feeling, ourselves once removed.

The best moments in my life are the smaller moments, the moments where I feel no pressure to express, to smile or laugh or cry, moments like the moment in Lacey’s story where the narrator finds her husband at the chalkboard, the light tapping, just watching him work, the husband not yet noticing her presence, present only to herself.

Lamination Colony is all kinds of rays of colorlight

28 Oct

Lamination Colony‘s final (read: bummer dude) issue is closing this web journal with a boomabang. I bet you know this.

Ryan Ridge is back with another installment of “The Anatomy of American Homes.” Man, I’m so stoked about this series, really, like I’ve lived in an American home for what 22 years now, but the way this guy moves it around, shapes it, hands it over, it is shocking and even better, fun.

Peter Davis is here with three poems that shriek with personality, his honesty and humor and goodness. I think I like “Mother’s Day” best, the uniting of the skateboard and the wife as images, metaphors, etc., is tricky, but Davis lands it smooth.

Jeremy Schmall throws language around like he just figured out it’s a dangerous world. I like the first line a lot: With the dim sky out of sight I can almost—finally—be just a dude under tree branches.

Catherine Lacey in “Everybody” reminds me the importance of a name, “Everybody” is the name of the character and that just threw me for a loop, for real. Also, this story seems to take words like “eggs” and “had it” and make them unbelievably powerful.

Amber Sparks makes me like science and places I don’t know, and that’s nice. The coolest thing about this story is the way the title interacts with the content, man my mind is racing.

Cool last issue. I know a lot of people are sad about this issue, but this seems like a sweet way to end it, like seriously it’s just a super issue. AND ALSO YOU KNOW I’M REALLY DIGGING THE FACES AS BACKGROUND WITH BARE SHOULDERS AS AN EXTRA.