Tag Archives: Everyday Genius

Best Thing I’ve Read This Month: Everyday Genius

13 Aug

Michael Seidlinger is at the helm of Everyday Genius this month and he’s been posting excerpts from works-in-progress by some really fantastic folks. Below are a few of clips from my favorites so far:

An excerpt from What Have You Lost? by Cari Luna

It would be pretty, wouldn’t it, to say I walked along the river, but I-5 cuts the east side of Portland off from the Willamette and so I would find myself walking parallel to the highway. But the highway had its own appeal, and then there was also the hard rusted beauty of the train yards and the cargo trains gone still and cold, waiting, and the occasional train in motion, wending its slow robot-driven way through town, its mournful whistle cutting through the air, the gray heaviness of Portland morning even heavier with the weight of that train song.

An excerpt from Jim’s Daughter by Alexandra Naughton

We send letters back and forth for two years, each letter revealing more than the last, with promises to see each other soon repeated unfulfilled, except for one time when your friend had to be in Philly for a family reunion and you tagged along, but after three months and no response, no letters and no emails, I feel defeated, sending one last letter. Your mother writes back, a short note and newspaper clipping with your wedding announcement.

An excerpt from Wichita Stories by Troy Weaver

I go into my best friend’s bedroom and lay down on his bed. I close my eyes. I wait. I start counting sheep to alleviate the boredom—not really sheep, just aloud to myself in the dark. I open my eyes, I close them, I open them, and I wait. I count. I wonder what could possibly be taking so long. I count some more. I think about Claudia Schiffer’s perfect boobs, stop thinking about them, start again, stop again, decide to lay on my stomach so I don’t start jacking off on instinct in my best friend’s bed.

An excerpt from Seeing Other People by Megan Lent

If I ever get a tattoo, it will be of a rose, in white ink, on my left shoulder. Except if you have a tattoo you can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Which doesn’t really affect me, because I will never die.

Ashley Farmer at Everyday Genius

25 Apr

This rad gal Ashley Farmer has three poems up at one of the coolest lit mags on the electronic planet, Everyday Genius. Every time one of Ashley’s poems or stories beats at me, I’m head-shaking at her way of putting sentences and phrases and even words against each other. Some are mighty fires. Some are skull flicks. All are beauties pulsing.

An example, the poem “Stop Women,” one of the aforementioned gorgeous things at EG:

Stop Women

Sometimes one wonders
if our nation is
a public strip club.
A mother and daughter
who run a brothel for truckers fight
back when the Mafia
tries to take over their operation.
Men’s fragrances smell
like excuses for getting home late.
You will not stop women.

These are from her project, The Women, and until some Very Smart Person puts that book in the world, you’ll have to baskwow in these. Which is pretty great, right? Right.

Laura Straub’s END O’ THE YEAR list

21 Dec

My futon’s favorite people:
Matt Bell & Brian Oliu, Amber Sparks, and Tyler Gobble.

Cool Presses that started working with Vouched the past six months: Lazy Fascist, Sarabande Books, Queen’s Ferry Press, Curbside Splendor, Spooky Girlfriend, and Black Ocean.

COVER ART: May We Shed These Human Bodies and The Collected Works of Scott McClanahan, Vol. 1

People I’m still confused to have not met IRL yet: Mel Bosworth and Christy Crutchfield

My Husband’s Budding Bromances: Ben Kopel, Tyler Gobble, and Kory Calico

Top 5 Stage Presences in no specific order: xTx, Devan Goldstein (when reading and also when he sings the shit out of some Bon Jovi), Amy McDaniel, Zach Schomburg, Peter Davis.

Favorite Dance Party: Lit Party @ AWP- duh! 

Thing that makes me feel like !!! every time I read it: Ravi Mangla’s Visiting Writers from Uncanny Valley Press

Favorite special thing: Electric lit’s recommendations in my inbox. SO RAD. Also Matthew Salesses’ Writer in Residence series at Necessary Fiction.

These book tours came and BLEW ME AWAY: Bloof books tour, The Southern Comfort Reading Tour, & the Over the Top tour.

Awful Interviews that still make me laugh big and large:  Joshua Ware, Michael Nye, Matt Bell, & Nicholas Tecosky (who still owes me an arm wrestle…)

The Bodies Had Families: “Elise Qua Elise” at Everyday Genius

14 Aug

Only a few weeks from September, so only a few weeks from a bunch of political posturing about never forgetting, and me feeling uncomfortable, shuddering at the entire charade of it. I get uncomfortable when people talk in nevers and forevers; they’re such eternal words, and I’m not sure what eternity means. Sometimes that sort of faith frightens me. You need to read this:

And then this, from the same poem by Rebecca Hazelton.

And then the rest of the poem at Everyday Genius, because you are invested now. Because something about this one demands to be read the whole way through. Because the sad truth of it is this poem will be forgotten, just like those bodies and these bodies will be forgotten. And what does that even mean.

We are our own disaster.

16 Jul

I have a bad habit of reading worst-case scenarios of man-made disasters. The BP Oil Spill. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster last year in Japan. Chernobyl is obvious.

I’m often terrified at our ability to abolish our own existence, so readily and easily. It is a responsibility we all hold.

It was nice to wake up to this poem/flash thingie, “Chernobyl,” in Everyday Genius, to see someone else who feels the same sense of responsibility. It’s super short, so I don’t want to excerpt too much of it, but, give yourself 60 seconds of goodness today and read it.

Somewhere in Eastern Europe there is a company that plants a crop of beets and other root vegetables on the site of the Chernobyl meltdown. These plants draw radioactive toxins from the soil like organic magnets, cleansing it.

Read the rest at Everyday Genius.

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.

Awful Interview: Christopher Newgent

29 Mar

Once, Christopher Newgent and I shared a pair of Strawberry Shortcake themed, cell phone shaped walkie-talkies. They were dwarfed in Christopher’s big-ass hands. We bought them for when we were bored at our respective jobs, but they weren’t capable of carrying a signal across the few hundred feet between his Jimmy John’s and my coffee shop, so we pitched them and reverted back to paper airplanes.

Sometimes Christopher puts things in his face and writes words about those things. At all times there are words all over Christopher’s arms. Some other times words come out of his hands. He makes those words into things, like his chapbook from Tiny Hardcore press, or these stories at these different places.  Some other times times he pushes words out of his face to a crowd. He calls this process ‘reading.’ If you are in Atlanta on Friday, April 6th, he would like to show you how he does this ‘reading.’

One time we talked about stuff and dubbed it an interview. It went like this.

Christopher. Let’s get serious. Let’s answer the question that’s been plaguing everyone for years. What are you doing to save the bats and the bees? I heard you might be a super hero.

The extent of my environmental superhero’ism is pretty much Googling for sad images of animals and frowning at my computer screen, then posting them to facebook and typing, usually in all caps, LOOK AT THIS SAD POLAR BEAR. IT’S TRAPPED ON THIS ICEBERG. Which is bullshit, really. Polar bears are amazing swimmers and have been known to swim dozens and even hundreds of miles in a single swim. Basically, my activism is misinformation. I’m a superhero of misinformation.

I guess I was misinformed. Wait- what?! Whoa! You ARE a superhero. What’s your favorite way to use capslock?

My favorite way to use capslock is life. I want to live my life in capslock. Sure, some randmas argue that caplock is best reserved for emailing and instant messenger, but I personally believe capslock needs no reservation. Fucking live it, man.

Don’t you think people will feel that you’re yelling at them? What does your barbaric yawp sound like?

Make no mistake. There’s a difference between capslock and yelling. Only those who’ve not probed the depths and nuances of all caps usage think it’s simply yelling at people. Caps lockers have been known to whisper in all caps, actually. It’s pretty amazing to behold. It’s like those Buddhist monks who can throat sing 2 different pitches at once.

Regarding my yawp, have you ever heard the lid blowing off a pressure cooker? It sounds mostly like that, but imagine a Kodiak bear exploding from the pressure cooker.

That is quite a mighty yawp. So, like, what have you been reading lately?

I don’t read a lot, actually. I don’t even really like books that much. They’re too, I don’t know, hands on. Reading is like carpentry for your brain. I’d rather have someone build my bookshelves for me, metaphorically speaking of course. And not that I’d need bookshelves.

Yeah man, I totally get you! Books are so OLD and stuff. I used to own some books, but then I gave them to some homeless men to burn and keep warm with, since the low was 40 degrees that night. Pr’chilly. I mean, who reads these days anyway?

Movies are so much better than books. They’re like books, but someone’s already done the work of imagining it as real life. Have you seen the new Vin Diesel movie?

I am morally opposed to watching movies where the male lead is shorter than I am. Mostly just Vin Diesel and Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise violates me on many moral levels. First of all, he’s shorter than me. Secondly, he looks like Justin Bieber got his face stuck in a suction cup. Thirdly, there was that one time he jumped on those couches in front of Oprah like a rabid monkey, and then I had nightmares.
May we change the subject?

Oh, absolutely. It’s never good to dwell on being violated by Tom Cruise. Change away.

Thanks. So… huh. Sorry, I keep thinking about Tom Cruise. …Tell me about what you’re wearing. Wait no, that’s creepy.-such a Tom Cruise thing to say! HELP!

Coincidentally, my wife just came home with 4 bags worth of new button down dress shirts for me–a bunch of plaids and stripes. I need more patterns in my life, to be honest.

Patterns are grand! Tell me about the reading on April 6th, what fresh dose of amazing-ness are you preparing to unleash on my dear A-T-L?

If stampedes of buffalo were commonly kept on leashes, you could expect that. But they are not, so you’ll have to settle for a metaphorical stampede of buffalo. Buffalo with hooves the size of your head, metal wings, and rocket launchers on their haunches. That is what you can expect from the April Vouched Presents reading.


8 Mar

Everyday Genius has been doing its cool usual thing, everyday content of hmmmm….goodness. Lately, it has been excerpts from forthcoming titles. Rad rad rad forthcoming titles.

Like J. A. Tyler’s When We Hold Our Hands (Dark Sky Books)–

When our house becomes a boat there will be all the canned goods lining the shelves and in the pitch of our movements the food will roll our hallways and clunk down the stairs and make its way out the front door. We will have left it open to go and see if this morning, unlike other mornings, the sky will not be red.

Like Zachary Schomburg’s Fjords vol.1 (Black Ocean)–

On the other side is a mountain town. The air is clean and cold. I can hear the ice breaking in the distance. There is a woman in a long black dress and a black scarf over her face. Welcome to Spitzbergen she says. Then she lifts up her dress. Nothing happens next.

Like the pieces from today from Laurie Saurborn Young’s Carnavoria (H_NGM_N)–

Translated from the Russian

One notices without fidelity
how moss covets stone

and ice crystals build
themselves into cold dirt.

Existence repays the favor
and it becomes easier to love

parenthetically, without ever
mentioning the breasts.

Happy Valentine’s Day, let’s not make sense!

14 Feb

I’ve really been loving this series of collaborative Valentine’s themed responses over at Everyday Genius this month. You might remember I vouched a piece by Roxane Gay and xTx the other day.

The entire month has been solid and earnest and makes me want to love everyone or just one person or maybe a dozen or maybe no one or maybe you.

Here is one by Jamie Gaughran-Perez and Margaret Gebauer that stuck out to me today, and if you have a spare hour or so, I’d highly suggest you just go catch up on the entire month.

We’re not breaking the bone to reset it straight, but instead to suck the marrow right out.

I’ll get new legs.

I’ll get new eyes.

Somewhere neutrinos are moving faster than light and effects are causing causes.

Logic is a pale attempt to get on top of the world.
Let’s not make sense.

Read the rest at Everyday Genius.

Whenever Wherever Whatever

3 Feb

I’ve not been vouching much lately. I’m sorry. I’ve been feeling…I don’t know. I’ve been not feeling, maybe is the better way to put it. Words. I don’t know.

But anyway. This one makes me feel.

All February at Everyday Genius, each contributor was asked to choose a love song and respond to it, then choose a Valentine to respond to his or her response.

This is an excerpt of a collaborative piece between Roxane Gay and xTx, and it is just so damn yes.

One day we’re gonna drive and drive until we reach some wherever place, and we’re going to be so damn good and free and we’re going to call each other different names like maybe I’ll be Remy and you’ll be Portia and we’ll have these real names we’re hiding beneath our real skin, the real ugly beautiful skin we only show each other, and we’ll sleep behind what’s left of some abandoned building but we’ll be in some wherever warm place so there will be hot pavement against our backs while we’re staring up at the night sky, our bodies always touching, always

Read the rest. Please.