Monthly Archives: March 2010


CHERYL: I am a dude. I feel like crying. I feel like a muppet. I’ve got huge furry claws, designed by a bearded 80s puppeteer to delight the children of liberals.

MARSHA: What about minorities?

CHERYL: Yeah, the children of minorities. I’m so full of it. Where it equals life. Equals faith. Equals the will to perceive

MARSHA: I forget: are you fat? Or hungry?

CHERYL: I know you know I’m both because I know you read my blog.

Title Bus

Shut. Up! Press here for more information [indicates a swath of stomach]. You don’t believe I’m a real woman? Here, follow me to a sushi restaurant in the American Southwest. All this stucco is new. My friend’s dad did the construction. You’re fired. Your friends ate marijuana, they’re at the multiplex watching a horror film. Fast forward to Bergen’s Bagels. Of all the people standing in Bergen’s Bagels right now, you love scallion cream cheese the most. I just love watching you type. It’s seriously like seeing Glenn Gould tickle the ivories. Kitten on the keyboard! You’re the T. Monk of the iPod Touch. Living in Vermont makes you a bad writer. Living in Maine makes you a good writer. Living in New York is expensive, unless you’re a bisexual punker.

Summer camp, lemonade. “Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before” (The Smiths): Bruce Jay Friedman and Leonard Michaels walk into a Catskills retreat. They both stand up at dinner and make toasts, both of which involve elaborate jokes that begin… [andrew note to self: fill in joke later, after you have more life experience. maybe join merchant marines? look into management positions at care centers for developmentally disabled adults away from the east or west coasts. editorial work and the internet are killing your writing. you are becoming a great chef. listen to your loins.] I haven’t been diagnosed with ADD, but I will follow anything stimulating or sparkling if it flits by without menace. It’s hard to tell how menacing something is if you’re only looking at its ass. Don’t worry about ‘remix culture.’ Don’t worry about your handicap.

Discussion question: What was Andy Capp’s handicap?

It’s impossible to be gentle with a placemat. I’ve gone AWOL behind a paywall. Sucking on my Wall Street Journal. I’d love to see the leather jackets of the world sublimate into boiling-hot black droplets all at once. That would make New York City bearable again. I live in New York City.

Felt Oats

  • When I was 15 years old, c. 1996, I bought this issue of Speak magazine at the Wild Oats Market in Santa Fe, NM. (I was reminded of its existence by a reference to a David Foster Wallace piece in the magazine on the wallace-l message board). Formative stuff. I think I had a subscription. How can I not remember if I had a subscription? I was a precocious pothead. I sometimes wish preternatural was a synonym of precocious. Someday I will be dead. I’d love to write an email to Dan Rolleri, Speak’s editor/publisher, but the guy doesn’t seem to have a web presence. (Oh, wait, there it is on the “contact” page. This blog, my blog, is insufferable. It is a plot in a public garden. So what if I’m killing my pumpkins? They’re my pumpkins!! I have planted the beans to spell out the phrase “Fuck you.”) The Speak website,a behind-the-scenes webzine on the making of Speak,” is great. Chris Ware was in every issue. I remember being really into Barry Yourgrau’s flash fiction, and creeped out & fascinated by Barry Gifford’s plays and fiction. They also featured Hal Sirowitz a few times…? I can’t believe this magazine was on the rack of a Southwestern health-food store in the 90s.
    Classic times. Quirky San Francisco arts magazines. The William Hurt Locker.
  • Last weekend, painting a ceiling with friends in the country (so what if I plant heirloom tomatoes and spray them with industrial pesticide? It’s my plot!!), I made a joke about “Da Vinci’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.” I thought, a few moments later, “Oh, god, wait, no– that was Michelangelo.” No one corrected me, and I am purging the shame by “writing” about it. And Michaelangelo might not’ve painted it, anyway. That is an old news story, a boring link to an article I’ve half-read. I’m at work. There’s a cat sitting on my lap. There’s also a mouse sitting on my lap. These are the office pets, Charles and Greta. Aren’t they sweet? I wish Dan Rolleri was on Facebook. And Mark Leyner. And Jamiroquai. I would love to moderate a roundtable discussion between those three guys.
  • A sculpture of oats made from felt, called Felt Oats (1996). A wool sculpture of a pomegranate “bursts” into song. “Literally.” A homeless man walks around midtown Manhattan. A female NYU undergrad smokes a bidi near the Rockerfeller center. A shark thinks murderous thoughts as elementary-school children walk by his tank. The murderous thoughts are not about the schoolchildren.
  • Nothing is classic. Actually, quite a lot is classic.

no star


—Why are you laughing

—I feel nervous


—i didn’t realize the macy’s day parade would be so . . . sexually explicit

—it’s not, those are just the cow’s udders

—I know but don’t you think

no, jared I DON’T  just think

—benita please don’t holler I only mean to say

—let’s go get a taco


—num num num num

—num num num num

—have you ever heard the expression, ‘derivative trash’


—do you think it ‘obtains’


—star wars



Deep Dep

BELLY NEWS WEATHERMAN: It’s in the low 40s today

BOBBY JE: Yeah, the low 1940s! It feels like olden times out there! Someone get me an English driving cap and some jodphurs!

BELLY NEWS WEATHERMAN: It’s in the low 70s today

BOBBY JE: More like the early 1970s! Where’s my Trans Am? My girlfriend’s hair has been spray-frozen into a wave!

Richard John Cyril “Rick” Allen

Here I weep
Baby Streep.
My Meryl. O peep

Nat’s poems
Took a while
To write.

I rigged a giant foam finger to the top of my SUV, so my Explorer is referring to itself, bouncing down Pico

Fucking farmer

My dad’s subscription
to Wired
in 1995—[womanly regard??]

Leaving verbs out of a poem
To make it sound Poemy

Do you think foam is funny, you fuck?
Wish you were a washed-up professional mtn biker?
Wish you raced with a plastic water-bottle full of espresso?
Berms? Where’s Jon? I thought I saw him the other day.

Question-litanies are poemy.
In MFA programs they teach you to cut out the more self-reflexive stanzas?

—I quit.
—[Histrionic and relieved protests] No! You’re “invaluable”! What else will you do? You’ll be hanging by your neck from the rafters of the graduate student lounge by 2014. You know hanging yourself makes you involuntarily void your bowels, right?
—I thought that was a Wild West Tale. That won’t happen to me in the Midwest. The Midwest has a protective psychic mojo for me. The Age of Wire and String is nonfiction, as far as I’m concerned. This blog, read by your coworkers, makes it difficult for you to make the argument that you’re “too busy” to take on new responsibilities.
The periodical I work for had a typo in it. I am going blind. Typos are like tiny optical illusions. Is that microskull really a wee, skull-shaped loaf? It’s hard to tell. It’s easy to miss.
—That’s not a reason to quit. You’re like the—
— …drummer from Def Leppard. I know you, Barry.
[Slowly zoom in on the fan. Then, using a Video Toaster, the fan blades chop/dissolve into the next scene. The next scene is identical.]

—When the band sings the song with the lyrics that refer to the name of the town they’re playing in–
—I know. You love that.
—I do. The people who shout their nonverbal appreciations —
—You love them. I do too.