Pub: "On a Day Tammy had not Eaten Enough Yellow" (No Tokens Journal)The subject once encountered people who believed that a good diet was dependent upon consuming a wide variety of colors. And that the appearance of certain foods signaled the part of the body they were meant to strengthen (for example, the cross-section of a carrot looks like an iris, thus carrots are good for the eyes). Excerpt: "An insistence was on the horizon and insistences meant someone’s will was going to get curb-stomped by Tammy’s will. Their will was going to get their face pummeled by Tammy’s will. Their will’s privates will be punted. This kind of behavior — this weaponizing of will — was typical of Tammy not having enough yellow." Get it here soon.
Pub: "Ivory Tower" (New England Review)A story about an art professor and the college president's administrative setting out on a mission to assess a sculpture called "The Ivory Tower" for possible aquisition by the college. Things go badly, absurdly. The subject has always claimed to have a lifelong desire to eat artworks. So does the character in this story. Excerpt: "He wanted to internalize the colors and shapes and the harmony they presented, but through the mouth not the eyes, to absorb it digestively. He had tried to explain it to Ali once, likening it to an ASMR-like reaction, or maybe something connected to synesthesia. This was the explanation he offered after his wife caught him fiercely gnawing on a Rubic’s Cube in his study — something he had secretly done to relieve stress since college, when he noted that the popular puzzle was a distinctly De Stijl object." Get it here soon.
Pub: "Weeper" (Subtropics)The subject wrote a story about a man trying to cry. It's not a miserable as it sounds. The subject is honored that editor David Leavitt saw something there in the submitted pages and worked with him to get it to a good place. Excerpt: "Despite not even a quiver of the chin so far, I thought I was getting somewhere. I just needed solitude and time to burrow into the silt of my heart. More Adagio — supposedly one of the saddest pieces of music ever composed. A trip to the beach could trigger a reset and then I’d have to start over." Get it here soon.
Pub: "The White Woman" a novel excerpt (Fiction International)The subject has a few novels-in-progress. This is a chapter from a novel-to-be called CELESTE. The excerpt will appear in Fiction International's upcoming "Algorithm" issue, which will also feature this image that the subject created and named "B0t Night". From the novel: "The peak, with its snow-streaked sides and broad cone, wore a rakish plume of roiling smoke, a mushroom cloud accessory. It had been active lately, threatening vengeful annihilation at last, in fulfillment of the prophecies. William did not fear an eruption now. His biography had already accommodated the end of democracy in America and, he believed, there was no more room for such significant historical footnotes at the bottom of pages crowded with unexceptional episodes." This issue will be available in May, 2020. Get it here.
Pub: At War with the Sellouts (Santa Monica Review)The subject wrote the line "At war with the sellouts" a decade ago and only recently found it in his files. He used it as a prompt to write this story. The story has also inspired an illustration project. The image below, called "GOLD," is drawn from these lines in the story: "The sellouts had their own schemes. They were always trying to trap us. The bait they chose made us wonder what they knew about us. They were calibrating, toggling between what they believed were our needs and wants. Gold never worked because fuck the rich. Sometimes it was flowers, hanging high on lines over concealed pits. Sometimes it was masks made in their own likeness. Sometimes it was fresh fish. We made counter-traps with ukuleles and insulated quarter-inch cables." Get it here.
Pub: Our Adams (Ninth Letter)A story about two families who have the same boy was published in Ninth Letter's Fall/Winter 2019/20 issue. Excerpt: "At first there was much confusion. We, my wife, our boy and I, arrived at the Blakees’ with a bag of ice, a six-pack of hard cider, and a Pyrex casserole dish filled with marinated chicken breasts. When Rita—who is Ray Blakee’s wife—answered the door, she looked down at our boy and said, “Adam? What are you doing out here?” Get it here.
Pub: Doorway to Darkness (Ploughshares)New story was selected by Ladette Randolf and Viet Thanh Nguyen for the Summer 2019 issue. Excerpt: "When I finally returned to Southern California, I expected to find the locals in the grips of apocalyptic fear, arming themselves and venturing out from fortified homes only for the most necessary provisions. The area had recently suffered a brutal terrorist attack, during which over a dozen people were gunned down while attending a retirement party. The killers were themselves killed by an army of black-clad cops on a quiet suburban street." Acquire it here.
Sabbatical: Books ReadThroughout his sabbatical, the subject was observed reading various books, sometimes on an iPad Pro; other times, actual books. These instances of reading occurred in a variety of setttings, including at home (mostly in bed), in cars, planes, busses, subway trains, coffee shops, bars, doctors' offices, the Writers Room of Boston, while sitting on a wall at a beach, while on an elliptical machine, in the waiting area of a dressing room of various women's clothing stores, while waiting in a double-parked vehicle on Broadway in South Boston. Here is a list of the books and some field notes of behaviors, gestures or utterances that possibly indicate the subject's assessment/attitude about the material. It should be noted that the subject started three times as many books as those listed here. Though the subject is a well-known "book quitter," it appears that he managed to finish these titles.
Story: Headlock (September 10, 2018)The subject's story "Headlock", which originally appeared in the pages of The St. Petersburg Review has been posted on this site for your reading enjoyment. The story is the subject's attempt to confront his fear of being beheaded and includes "one of the sexiest insurgent/hostage role play scenes in English letters," according to someone who read it. [Read it].
Video: Newtonville Books 20th Anniversary (August 31, 2018)The subject and his partner, writer Mona Awad, made a minute-long video in honor of Newtonville Books 20th Anniversary. The legendary bookstore will celebrating on September 29th and all are encouraged to stop by the store. The subject makes many claims but being a good actor is not one of them. You can watch it here.
Injury: Right Foot (June 3, 2018)The subject broke a bone in his right foot while walking. The subject was entirely sober, but is possibly too old to be wearing punk creepers. The subject rolled his ankle and claims to have heard a pop, "Like the snap of a dry twig." This happened on the subject's birthday.
Radio: Selected Shorts (January 25, 2018)The subject's PEN/O. Henry Story Prize winning short "Nightblooming" was performed by Josh Charles (The Good Wife, Dead Poet's Society) at the Mark Twain Library Puddn'head Festival in Wilton, Connecticut, in September. It will be heard on the radio on January 25th in a line up that includes work by Meg Wolitzer and Lydia Davis, with Jane Curtain hosting. And it's now available online: [Listen!].
Pub: "Fear of Drawing" (Denver Quarterly)The subject has recently had a story published in the Denver Quarterly. The story is called "Fear of Drawing," which is a phobia the subject claims to possess. Excerpt: "The horse came towards me and I held out my hand, which it sniffed. It was an unusually shaggy horse, its surface dull with unkempt fur. I slowly tried to reach out and pet its face, but it did a remarkable job of staying just out of reach. I kept trying, wondering if I could draw this horse—the bulging muscle along the jaw, the long skull and omniscient eyes." [Read it.]
Reading: Reactions (November 5)The subject has been invited to read his new short story "Blood, Not Air" at a student-curated event called REACTIONS. The subject has indicated that he will create some accompanying visuals, but no activity along these lines of production has been observed. Poetry "reacting" to the current state of world affairs will also be read by individuals who are not part of this study. Additionally songs will be performed (including three protest songs by Lisa Bastoni) and artworks will be on display. The event will occur at Lasell College's Wedeman Gallery, 4:30, November 5. More details will be reported as they are observed.
Gig: Lisa Bastoni (October 26)The subject will occasionally play drums in public, often in support of singer/songwriter Lisa Bastoni. An upcoming performance, or "gig," has been scheduled for October 26 at the Burren in Somerville. Sponsored by WUMB, the performance will be broadcast live on the radio. The subject is visibly troubled by this detail and clearly grappling with pre-regrets. [Learn more].
Reading: Round Table Reading Series with Annie Hartnett (October 6)The subject was invited by Post Road Magazine to participate in the Round Table Reading Series at Porter Square Books with Annie Hartnett, author of the novel RABBIT CAKE. The subject read a new short story called "Our Adams" and, with Annie and moderator Chris Boucher (author of GOLDEN DELICIOUS), answered questions from the audience in a sufficiently coherent manner.
Radio: Selected Shorts (September 26)The subject's PEN/O. Henry Story Prize winning short "Nightblooming" was recently chosen for Selected Shorts, the weekly public radio show that features actors of renown reading short stories in front of a live audience. The story was beautifully performed by Josh Charles (The Good Wife, Dead Poet's Society) at the Mark Twain Library Puddn'head Festival in Wilton, Connecticut. Look for its radio debut in early 2018. The subject attended the reading and appeared to be well rested [Learn more].