Two micro-reviews, one of a new edition of the Carmina Burana poems, and one of a new translation of Ruan Ji and Xi Kang


Teaser quote: Granted, these poems, even the best of ’em, aren’t for everybody. “Spring is returned, and lo! the birds…,” “That pert lady with her heart-gladdening eyes…,” and so on. A guy I knew in grad school summarized the whole thing as “titties and beer.”

[originally posted Tuesday 5 June 2018]

“Six Books We Should All Write”

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote #1: ○ Pepys’s Diary
                            ○ Aubrey’s Brief Lives
                            ○ Palgrave’s Golden Treasury
                            ○ Flaubert’s Dictionary of Received Ideas
                            ○ The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
                            ○ Li Zhi’s A Book to Burn

Teaser quote #2: Open to any page, you’re going to hell.


[originally posted Wednesday 6 June 2018]

Formulaic Beginnings and Endings to Folktales

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: When Ivashko got down off the eagle, the eagle spat out the piece of flesh and told him to put it back into his shoulder. Ivashko did so, and the shoulder healed. He came home, took the maiden of the golden kingdom from his brothers, and they began to live happily together and are still living. I was at their wedding and drank beer. The beer ran along my mustache but did not go into my mouth.

[originally posted Wednesday 23 May 2018]

Prime Numbers

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: 1327, 1328, 1329, 1330, 1331, 1332, 1333, 1334, 1335, 1336, 1337, 1338, 1339, 1340, 1341, 1342, 1343, 1344, 1345, 1346, 1347, 1348, 1349, 1350, 1351, 1352, 1353, 1354, 1355, 1356, 1357, 1358, 1359, 1360, 1361.

[originally posted Wednesday 25 April 2018]

Memoirs of an Ass, Part 2

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: The whole thing screams allegory. A girl named “Soul” (that’s what Psyche means) marries “Love” (Cupid) but is not allowed to look at him. Eventually she does look at him and he immediately tells her “Nice going, asshole,” and deserts her. She then goes through many trials and tribulations, and is eventually reunited with Cupid—who never really stopped loving her. They have a kid named Pleasure or Delight or whatever. The end. I am leaving out a ton of stuff

[originally posted Wednesday 14 March 2018]

Review, by Geoffrey Hilsabeck, of Try Never, for Berfrois

At Berfrois.


Teaser quote: Form is not much in favor these days. The most recent issue of Poetry—not that we should let that magazine set the standard just because it has the temerity to call itself Poetry and pays its writers by the line—doesn’t have a single poem written in form.

[originally posted Wednesday 14 March 2018]

Memoirs of an Ass

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: Then the main one reaches into the wound up to her elbow, and draws out Socrates’s heart, and they plug the hole with the sponge, saying a spell to the effect of “O sponge, born in the sea, beware of crossing a river.” Then they squat over the other guy, who’s half-dead with fright, and piss on him, thoroughly drenching him. Then they leave. The door springs back into place. The hinges reassemble.

[originally posted Wednesday 28 February 2018]

Interview with poet Megan Levad

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: “And yet, the affair did not sound like much fun. The first time she and her lover had sex it was on a blanket under a tree during a drive in the country—what a trope—and I remember that she wrote it was "as pleasurable as the rooster’s entry must be for the hen," or something like that. When I read this I had no personal knowledge of such things. But the idea that she felt compelled to do something hurtful, destructive, confusing, and that it wasn’t even pleasurable for her, is still interesting to me.”


[originally posted Wednesday 17 January 2018]