On Mediocrity 2 (Belated Post from Nights of Yore)

Here are some synonyms for mediocrity: Ordinary, average, middling, middle-of-the-road, uninspired, undistinguished, indifferent, unexceptional, unexciting, unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, prosaic, lackluster, forgettable, amateur, and, my personal favorite, amateurish. Not even good enough to be a full-on amateur! You got the -ish tagged on! A man who weighed 500 pounds, lost 200, and is able to complete…

On Graduating

When I first thought about attending the commencement ceremony, my instinct was: “Why the fuck would I do that?” When I asked my friends, the general consensus was: “I mean, it’s not like it’s Columbia…it’s an MFA from CCNY. Like, WTF.” It’s common knowledge that getting an MFA at City College is as hard as hailing a gypsy…

A Savage End: Love Story

Last September, while taking a break from simpering panels about how to use Twitter to become a famous writer at the Slice Literary Conference, I bought a copy of Los Detectives Salvajes, by Roberto Bolaño. It was on display in the Spanish section in Court Street Books, and I was feeling not only intellectual but inspired to support local bookstores. I leafed…

AWP Special #3: I’ve Paneled Myself Blind

Well! Barely did we have the chance to wipe the belligerence of a six hour flight off our face before being thrust into AWP land, located this year in downtown Seattle. AWP does not, as I thought, stand for American Writers and Poets, as I told everyone at work, but Association of Writers and Writing Programs….

AWP Special #1: Penn Station

At twenty-seven, I have very few firsts left. My first sexual experiences, first drinks, first jobs, first trips, first loves, and first losses all happened so long ago that I barely remember them as mine; rather, they seem like dreams, or half-remembered movies, that happened to a character for whom I care dearly, but who…

On Platforms, and Not To Jump

This past weekend, I went the Slice Literary Writer’s Conference in Brooklyn. It was a two-day event where we, the participants, sat in on panels with agents, editors, and writers to hopefully get a better grasp on what it means to be a writer (apparently saying “aspiring writer” is taboo, because should we possess the…

Oh, February! How Thou Art Cold! (Update)

This blog had two hits yesterday: One in the United States and one in Saudi Arabia. This is sad for two reasons. First of all, two people read my blog yesterday (thought since the last post was written over a month ago, I suppose I can’t expect miracles). Secondly, I’m probably now barred from entering…

On Poetry, and Other Things

So my second semester of grad school finished out with two Ay Minuses, one Ay Regular. I’m fully convinced that there is extreme grade inflation due to the AM in Modernism, a class that met five times less than all the others, that I attended even less frequently, and for which I read essentially nothing….

2013: Let’s Go.

FELIZ ANO NUEVO! BONNE ANNEE! HAPPY NEW YEAR! What the hell? I’ve written and rewritten and deleted thirteen different paragraphs in which I attempted to introduce my New Year’s Resolutions for Two Thousand and Thirteen in a Magical Way. They all kind of suck. So Fuck It: Here are my New Year’s Resolutions. 0) Don’t…

My Paper’s Due in 6 Hours and I Haven’t Read the Book

So I’m texting back and forth with a friend of mine, and she said something that prompted me to say: “No! Don’t tell me! I’ll guess.” I guessed. The message went through. What if it’s correct? I thought. What if I guessed the 100% right answer to her obscure statement, and I can actually read…

A Poem, Not By Me

Read this poem. Death To Van Gogh’s Ear Allen Ginsberg Poet is Priest Money has reckoned the soul of America Congress broken thru the precipice of Eternity the president built a War machine which will vomit and rear Russia out of Kansas The American Century betrayed by a mad Senate which no longer sleeps with…