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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hello dear Friends and dreaded, misguided, sociopathillogical Adversities:

I finally returned home a week ago last late Wednesday, but I feel fragmented and overwhelmed, with much to do & too many cats in this apartment. Looking for someone to adopt darling beautiful kitten Pino Noir. Bobo cat was acting out severe separation anxiety and aggression on my return. He's calmed down except when he menaces poor depressed Cybelle and carries his elephant around the apartment, moaning with extreme angst.

Good news is that my collection of short fictions is under consideration by two excellent "alternative" presses, as I indicated it would be. Good news is what my new lovely and extremely gifted new friend Debra Di Blasi wrote about my collection of short fictions, "Eating Habits of the Poor," in her cover letter in support of the collection (don't pray or cross fingers -- just drink lots of vodka, dedicating enthusiastic scoals to me):
These days, I spend quite a lot of energy searching for fiction that is transformative, fiction that challenges me to redefine my assumptions of
what language is or can be. I want my emotional and intellectual
perspectives shifted to a new position. I‘d read only the first story of Carol’s collection when I felt that shift. As such, I am reluctant to attach labels to her writing.

Nevertheless, imagery in The Eating Habits of the Poor recalled the visceral, surreal nightmares in Kobo Abe’s The Box Man:

“Mommy’s breasts were hollow inside like Halloween gourds and the
chickens were spitting blood from the rain.” — from “What To Do With The Babies”

but Carol twists them beautifully with an aural playfulness reminiscent at times of Gertrude Stein.

“There are myths everywhere, ipso facto, ho hum so what’s fresh cut under our sun?” — from “In the Beginning Is”

Many stories integrate the vocabulary of contemporary catastrophe – e.g., tsunami, hurricane – but transfer these terms to seemingly unrelated and otherwise benign contexts so that our view of
daily intimacies takes on an ominous cast.

What else can I say? A lot. But I close with this: I love Carol’s invigorating originality, the haunting-ness of her imagery, the poignancy of these wonderfully weird, beautifully cast stories. I think The Eating Habits of the Poor is a significant work of fiction . . . .
That was enough to make me extremely impressed with myself. I
wanted to wine and dine me with champagne, Beluga caviar (with or without blinis) and aural sex.

Well, a long trip it was. I don't know if I want to bore anyone with the details. Actually, I don't. Suffice it to say, highlights I didn't mention in my previous post (cause it hadn't yet happened) that my stint in LA included spending some time with MHR editor CB Smith (the invincible experimentalist Thompson Fisher), becoming re-acquainted with my old apartment mate from U of R crazy days, the very talented artist and special ed teach Deborah Monroe, and also staying with my cousin Don, who lives with his fiancee Lee, a cat named Honeybun (see url on my list) and a swimming pool surrounded by lush vegetation. Spent some delightful afternoons there. Also it was delightful meeting Bob Arter & wife Chris (Deb & I visited -- theoretically, the trip to his town east of LA should've taken 2 hours less than it did -- frightful traffic in those parts!) and re-meeting Jim Ruland, when I showed up to read in his Vermin on the Mount series on the 20th. A short pleasure, but a pleasure, nonetheless.

Other good news. My fusion "Civil War" is finally up at 5_Trope:, I'm continuing to work on my play, which got great scores (after a reading by actors of the first 2 minutes of the play) at Slam Theater, downtown Manhattan last Sunday, I wrote a micro flash, and I'm writing a series of prosepoems. Our next issue will be out Oct 1, I hope, and there are plenty of mag-related tasks I face on a daily basis.

My gifted down under writer friend Girija Tropp will be my guest here (in a panic, as my apartment is a shambles of cats, paper, blah blah blah) on the 24th through oct 14th or 15th. She'll be reading with me and Elizabeth Smith at ABC No Rio on the 24th. Ok, time for me to post the Upcoming Readings here. Still working on a venue for our issue launching party. Lance Olsen will be in town to read --- aiming for the 15th of Oct.

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