summer writing

You’ll all recall it’s been a few years since Ange noticed the new external lock on the outhouse door down to the camp. When he asked what was the deal with that, Pappap told him we can’t have an outhouse within X feet of our brand new septic tank. We can, however, put a lock on just about anything and call it a tool shed, and, well, you can put a tool shed just about anywhere. Angelo said, “Oh, I thought you was just worried about someone stealing your shit.”

Long story short, I recently published a series of four short pieces in which Ange figures prominently. Him and Dan, you know, some pieces that are part of my new manuscript of very short writings that I call Man Made Man. Here’s a line from the third piece: “One more thing shoved deep in their guts that makes them, every once in a while, pound their fists on the steel and stone of their respective lives for, what you might say in looking at them, is no apparent reason.”

I only mention this so as to mention the pieces are in Portland Review issue 56 volume 3, which marks the first time traci and I have writing in the same journal at the same time. (We’d both been in Fourteen Hills but not the same issue.) Her short story “Goat” is also in her collection Recipes for Endangered Species (Tarpaulin Sky Press), and here’s a couple lines: “Some of Phil’s friends touch the dog, but only on the nose, far away from the knuckled damage. They are curious and ashamed in the same way they are secretly afraid of black people.” Zing! More proof that I married up.

The above, by the way, is all prefatory to this: traci gave two readings in NYC towards (I’ve been back in PA long enough that “towards” is now pronounced “t’oards” again) the end of July. The first of which was a release party for the new edition of LIT Magazine hosted by powerHouse Books. Here’s a short paragraph from her story “Zombie” which was included in the journal: “I imagine Moab as the earth turned inside out. Sage burgning. Red rocks whimpering in the god-awful heat. A wolf worn-out with howling. Selenographers on bikes, on trails, with packs that fail to open. The sky a tumor and the rare thrust from the earth. Think of the final scene of Carrie, for example.” Hazah! Such range, such beauty – a rare and beautiful talent.

traci read alongside three other amazing writers: Mike Young, Nate Pritts, and Eduardo Jiménez Mayo (who read his own translation of Rafael Pérez Gay). But don’t just take my word for it, watch the video recap by DJ Dolack here: http://coldfrontmag.com/news/launch-parties-in-nyc -- totally worth eight minutes: a great reading.

Meanwhile, after several weeks and a couple thousand miles of travel, we’re back baby in NC where the crepe myrtles are always in bloom and the heat makes you wish you’d stayed home today.

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