Memoirs of an Ass, Part 2

On 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

On 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]

Lana Turner #10 now available. I’m in it.

Lana Turner 10.png

In Lana Turner Journal


Teaser quote, from the Table of Contents


                  §7. Wild in the Semantic Field: poems

Jorie Graham (page 236) Catherine Wagner (292) Polina Barskova (240) Shane Book (295) Joyelle McSweeney (242) Anthony Madrid (301) Kevin Holden (248) Molly Bendall (306) Nathaniel Rosenthalis (254) Douglas Puccinnini (308) Matthew Moore (260) David Need (310) Tongo Eisen-Martin (263) Martha Ronk (311) Diana Khoi Nugyen (272) Geoffrey Gilbert (313) Rae Armantrout (282) Karolinn Fiscaletti (318) Karen Garthe (289)

[originally posted Wednesday 3 January 2018]

Dr Seuss Again

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: Imagine John Bunyan rewriting Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, nine years later, in collaboration with John Milton.

[originally posted Wednesday 20 December 2017]

The Fuzz. With pictures by Coco Picard.

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: 

Long time ago there was . . . . . .

a fuzz.

We say “Why?”

Nobody knuzz.

No, it’s a lie!

The fuzz does.

“Fuzz, why?”

Fuzz says: Hi.

I’m the fuzz.

There is no because.

Fuzz just is.

Is and was.

On the floor, 

and in the drawer . . . 

in your hair, 

. . . and on the air . . . 

I’m the FUZZ.

There is no because.

[originally posted Wednesday 3 January 2018]

On “Oh, Susanna”

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: And it’s not even that Stephen Foster “simply had the magic touch.” Google the rest of the song’s lyrics and prepare to be curdled. Hello, n-word. Hello, awkward as fuck. Hello, can’t even hold a candle to the good part.

[originally posted Wednesday 22 November 2017]

“Five Poets Explore the Intersection of Self and Other”

Try Never + four other books, reviewed by Stephanie Burt, New York Times, 3 November 2017.


Teaser quote: For all its semantic leaps, and its swaths of confusion—exacerbated by inter-poem echoes and compound words from German and Sanskrit—the kaleidoscope of scenes, quotations and exclamations let me imagine a poet behind the poems, a restless skeptic, aggressive talker and armchair traveler, “one of those who have a delight in / Renouncing whatever they chose.”


[originally posted Friday 3 November 2017]

“On Edward Lear’s ‘The Scroobious Pip’”

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: “In early 1872, Edward Lear left a poem unfinished. It was very nearly complete: all it lacked of its intended five rhyming subsections were two lines and two words (not at the end). Lear left blanks in the manuscript, and it’s clear he intended to supply the missing bits at some later time. No one knows why he never did so.”

[originally posted 8 February 2014 on Anthony Opal’s The Weekly; reprinted at Paris Review Daily, Wednesday 8 November 2017]

“About as Large and Wise as a Man’s Head” (my title); “The Seventy-Four Best Entries in The Devil’s Dictionary” (their title)

At The Paris Review Online.


Teaser quote: “Get ready for this. I, unlike you, have read every word of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary (1906)—and read it recently. And it gets better. I, at the cost of an ocean of labor, have cherry-picked the seventy-four best bits out of the approximately three thousand billion trillion entries, and I am going to give you those seventy-four: yours, free of charge, to judge and find wanting.”

[originally posted Wednesday 25 October 2017]