Tag Archives: Wigleaf

Sarah Carson Just Made My Sunday Morning

29 Jan

I woke up with a grumpy stomach and heavy eyes. I did that thing where I got from bed to Facebook. I saw Sarah Carson, short short/prose poem creator of total goodness, had four things up at Wigleaf. I read those four things. I am convinced Vouched-World needs to see them. I hope they brighten up your day like they did mine.

Here’s the second half of my favorite one, “The New Planet After You.”

Every now and then someone thinks they hear your name bouncing off a satellite and we all go running, but it’s usually nothing. We’ve lost entire afternoons to discussing how much we wish you’d come back. We understand why you wouldn’t, but it doesn’t keep every passing comet from sounding like you coming in for a landing. It’s no way to live, really, but it’s what we got.



Crutchfield is on fire

9 Nov

Rarely do we vouch for the same author twice in one week here, but Christy Crutchfield has punched us in the sternum twice this week: first with “Today Everything is a Lake” at H_NGM_N, and now again with ‘He Did the Opposite‘ on Wigleaf.

‘He Did the Opposite’ is a story so full of truth that it nestles itself into your memory and makes itself your own.

Tonight he will pull her close to him and hold her the way she likes, the way that, yes, he likes too, but that hurts his back if he sleeps that way. He’ll tell her exactly the process that his mind went through, and she’ll explain what happened in her head, play with his chest hair in that weird way, and then they’ll laugh at the ridiculousness of communication and know they’ve bested it, and tomorrow morning the relationship will have the not-quite-a-year freshness it technically should.

Read the rest at Wigleaf.


26 Jun

“So when I ask you not to leave me, the joke is I’m asking you to go against the cosmic grain.”

Is this true? This story in Wigleaf by Cezarija Abartis and this advice/essay/truth over at The Rumpus are making me wonder something terrible. How many people actually want to be where they are when they love someone? Is it our natural inclination to want to leave?

I think about my last relationship and how it happened twice. How he left me the first time and took 30 of my pounds and my ability to listen to The Weepies with him. How the second time we both left long before either of us actually left. How even now, I don’t want him back, but fuck if I didn’t want him to want to stay. How I don’t feel rushed to get married, or have babies, or graduate, or move, but I do feel rushed to find someone who just won’t leave.

SSM: “The Hamburger Story” by Lauren Becker

28 May

Came across Jason over at Bark, the blog entity for Willow Springs, talking about this story from Lauren Becker, especially in the sense of how fun it is to read.

A couple months ago, I read at a really great reading in Chicago put on by PANK. So many good friends there: Roxane Gay, Sarah Rose Etter, Tadd Adcox, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Jessica Dyer, to name a few. I got saucy. People kept buying me drinks. I got loud on bourbon. I started getting a couple dirty looks. I started loudly declaring, “Poetry is serious business!” to all those around me. I wrote it on my hand. I said it to Sarah a dozen times at least. I wrote it on her hand. I made an ass of myself.

To those who were reading while I was in this state, I apologize. It was disrespectful, I know.

But, I do have to say, even while in this state, there were those readers who stopped me dead in my throat, who read words that were obviously meant to be read in a way that showed they recognized the venue they were in. Their voices and words carried in a way that captured me, even through my whiskey belligerence. They cut straight through the noise of me, of those around me, begged and demanded silence, attention.

I’ve seen Lauren read a couple times now, and she understands this. She is a good, fun writer. She is a good, fun reader. She is a good, fun person.

I bought your book. Used. But, still. I bought it. It was mean. I dropped it hard on the floor when I finished. You didn’t have to keep the ending. I took a picture of my foot stepping on your face. You liked my feet. You would like this picture.

Read the full story at wigleaf.

SSM: wigleaf Top 50 [Very] Short Stories

11 May

I’m going to take a break from vouching specific stories today to instead vouch 50. The wigleaf Top 50 [Very] Short Stories of 2011 list was just released a few days ago, and I wanted to point everyone to it.

And, okay. So 2011 isn’t even half way over yet, but wigleaf is aware of that, and the award is always somewhat retro in that 2010 sort of way.

But I want to take a quick moment and talk about how awesome this list is, not only for the readers, but for the authors who made it, because I’ll embarrass myself right now and say when Andrew from Freight Stories called me in ’09 to tell me I’d made it, I was all, “Oh, cool. That’s pretty rad. Thanks for calling.” I had never heard of wigleaf, and only knew a couple of the other authors on the list. And let’s face it, I was kind of an ass.

If you’re reading this now, and you’re on this list, and you’re thinking that: don’t do that.

Let me tell you now, there are 1000s of stories published every year that fit the requirements for this award, and I’m not just talking about Ol’ Shmoe publishing on his blog. I’m talking stories published in really incredible online journals like PANK, The Collagist, Used Furniture, Lamination Colony, Word Riot, storySouth, Abjective, &c. &c. &c. Some real competition. And from those 1000s, the editors of wigleaf cull a longlist of 200 stories, and from there, a guest editor chisels it to their favorite 50.

If the process isn’t enough to convince you where you are, look at some of the names around you: Blake Butler, Matt Bell, Tina May Hall, Tadd Adcox, Aaron Burch, Roxane Gay, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Matthew Salesses, Jim Ruland, Amber Sparks, Terese Svoboda, James Yeh, David Peak, Kyle Minor, &c. &c. &c.

If you don’t know these names yet, then get reading. I didn’t know most of them a couple years ago either, and now I feel like I’m just catching up to where I could be as a writer and a reader if I had.

To all the writers who made this year’s top 50, a huge congrats to you, and I hope you recognize the honor of it. To all the readers out there, spend some time with this list. You’ll find in it the tremblings of a new literature.

Wigleaf is a treasure chest

25 Feb

Friends, there are these Two Tuscaloosa Missed Connections by Brian Oliu you should read on Wigleaf. I know Tyler told you about his installment in >Kill Author’s Eleventh Issue, so undoubtedly you are excited to see more. The second of them, Hand Me Down: America’s Thrift M4W, makes me feel a little guilty about the ugly sweater party I went to in December, but in a good way. Both stories have a gentle way of unveiling truths that were right under our noses, hanging in our closets, eroding in our backyards.

Then there is Ashley Farmer’s Man Found Dead in a Graveyard, which makes you feel you’ve seen things you haven’t seen. Or maybe it helps you see them. They are things worth seeing, worth reading.



21 Feb

I’m a sucker for sweettight sentences and guns. It’s all from my childhood of reading bad books (TURNING IT AROUND WITH SOME COOL WORDS) and going to gun shows instead of Little League practice. David Peak pulls out my twisted, yearning-for-lit-help inner child with his story over at Wigleaf called “King of the Rats.”

Check out these awesome sentences from after the speaker shoots a cow with Luke’s dad’s gun:

I heard Luke’s voice ringing like from a distance—couldn’t unwind the churn of his words—and only then realized that we were back in his car and driving. My hands were the bloodiest they’d been since birth.

That night, I wrote in a chat room online: “It’s something I know I’m capable of now.”


7 Feb

Curtis Smith does some good stuff in this featured story on Wigleaf. The story is about fraternal twins, one of them labeled a “simpleton”, but as usual, it’s about more than that. It’s about responsibility and guilt and how both can be misplaced. It’s about the disjointed relationships we have with our family, especially as children, and how those familial relations really mean ownership and how we protect what we own even when we’re done loving it. It’s also maybe about how we’re never really done loving anything.

I suggest you read it.

J.A. Tyler Filling Up The Web Journals With Some Sweet Brother War Action

15 Jan

I first remember reading a selection from J.A. Tyler’s Variations of a Brother War in the September Issue of elimae.

Of course, I was like WOAH, astounded by how the sentences hold the action, the characters, seeming to release them once the section is finished.

Found out that another one is in Wigleaf. This is the Cabins Triptych. The tension is incredible here. I really want to say more, but these pieces speak for themselves.

Here are some more:

At Necessary Fiction

At Gulf Stream

At >kill author

At Knee-Jerk

I wanted to throw these together in one post because this is something special in the making, something that can speak for itself. One more thing from me: Rereading all these is a great Saturday morning experience.

Roxane Gay at Wigleaf

17 Dec

Roxane has an incredible piece over at Wigleaf titled “The Widow Takes Her Coffee Black.” In a very, very compressed space, this story gets at the heart of social expectations, the pressures that others put on us, the assumptions that they make about us–and the awkward and uncomfortable ways that we try to extricate ourselves from those expectations.

I almost didn’t write about it here: it feels a little like nepotism, now that she’s contributing here. But I kept coming back to it, or it kept coming back to me. And so I decided, nepotism or not, I was going to send you over there to read it.