Monday, December 27, 2010


My New Year's resolution is to use more pictures in my blog posts.


I would like to talk about some things I have eaten/drunk over the past week.

KA'ICK. For Christmas, I made these Lebanese cookies that have a terribly unappetizing name: Ka'ick. My grandma used to make them every Easter (and Xmas sometimes).

I think they're traditionally an Easter thing, but don't hold me to that. Don't hold me to the fact that they're cookies either. Maybe they're more of an anise bread.

You can shape them into diferent shapes like snails or braids or you can make them like dumplings and stuff them with dates or walnuts and then dip them in rosewater syrup. They're the kind of cookies that taste stale three minutes after they come out of the oven and that only adds to their complex deliciousness. I like unfurling the snail ones and eating them as one long stale snake.

I tried to find a picture to show you the magic that is Ka'ick, but none of the images from Google images looked exactly like the Easter cookies--at least not the ones my grandma used to make:

LAO SZE CHUAN. We ate at LSC after driving home from Indiana after Christmas. LSC is my favorite Chinese restaurant and, hands down, my favorite strip mall restaurant. I was never so happy to see Chicago, and so I made my husband stop in Chinatown so we could detox from being surrounded by familial/familiar people by surrounding ourselves with non-familial/unfamiliar ones.

I was nearly euphoric sitting in Lao Sze Chuan's ridiculously itty bitty transparent chairs, looking out its windows, all fogged up from piping plates of food just on the edible side of spicy.

But why did Lao Sze Chuan replace its normal chairs with those baby chairs?

I'm a little person and I'm complaining. If you are a big(ger) person, it will not be easy for you to stay very long at LSC without your chair possibly ending up inside of your body.

My husband is a big guy. We live in Chicago so he actually gets called "big guy" approximately 180 times each year, as in: "AY DAIR BIG GUY, IS DA JEWELS DOWN BY TURDY TURD STILL OPEN?"

At LSC my husband always looks like a monster stuffed inside a teacup eating a tremendous plate of Mongolian beef.

Perhaps the smaller chairs were a part of LSC's strategy to speed up customer turnover? Good idea, LSC.

MARSHMALLOW EATING REVELATION. I always think, "Oh, look, it's a marshmallow. Cute. I am totally going to eat you." I must have done it 20 times over Christmas.

But why? I really hate marshmallows. I have never eaten one marshmallow that I liked--not even the homemade ones so don't suggest it--and I have decided, as of 15 hours ago, I am never ever again eating another marshmallow. You cannot make me.

Know this: If you sneak up on me as a green coconut-haired monster, I will avert my eyes from yours.



THE VIOLENT ROOM. I always call the Violet Hour either The Violet Room or the Violent Hour or the Violent Room. I always get names wrong. I hate it but that's the way I am and I have come to know and accept myself. See above paragraph about marshmallows. I went to the VH with my friends K and L last night. The VH is too cool to have a sign. In fact, it is too cool to have a door. The outside looks like a giant block-long building-tall piece of kindling.

To get in, you have to walk up and down the block and keep pushing on various parts of the kindling until you feel "give" and once you do, you have to push harder and finally, a secret door will open--thus granting you entry.

Once you are inside, your problems aren't entirely solved, considering you're immediately thrust into the vast darkness of the snooty cave that is the VH's foyer.

If you walk with your hands in front of you, sleepwalker style, your hands may eventually grace a velvet curtain that weighs 200 pounds. If you hang on the curtain and pull back on it with all your weight, it may part--at which point, you will enter a room only slightly more lit than the black entryway you just came out of.

A VH host will be on your right and she will glance up at you like, "What the fuck do you want?" Then you will say, "Hi!" and wave frantically. To which she will respond flatly: "Yes? [eye roll]" At which point you will think, "Now we're cooking!" [Wild internal clapping.]

After some time, you will be seated in a triangular configuration so close to the people you're with, your knees will touch theirs, and then you will order one drink. The waitress will look at you with her stone face and say with no humor: "That will be 15 to 20 minutes."

Then she will turn away and disappear into the darkness without a word more. She will communicate your order to the mixologist. She will come back in 15-20 minutes. Even if she could come back sooner with your drink, she won't. It's the principle of the matter and the VH is all about upholding principles.

I sort of HATE the VH--like an opium addict hates an opium den.

The VH looks like this, if everyone was cleared out and the candles were replaced with floodlights:

This is actually about how dark it is:

THE PARAMOUNT ROOM. After the VH, L and I went to the Paramount Room, which is--just like the sign says--HOME OF THE NINE DOLLAR KOBE BURGER. I like to eat what restaurants are known for, and so I ordered the $9 Kobe burger.

The waitress asked me, "And what kind of cheese do you want? Cheddar, Gorgonzola, American, or Brie?"

"Brie," I said. Doesn't that sound good? Brie on top of a $9 Kobe burger? I thought so.

And she was like, "We don't have Brie."

"Oh, okay," I said. "Cheddar I guess."

Then she walked away and L was like, "Then why'd she say brie? She totally said brie."

I said, "I know, I thought she said Brie, too, that's why I said Brie. I wouldn't have said brie otherwise I don't think."


I love L and this is why we are friends, and I will go as far to say that this is why we, all of us, HAVE friends. That cluster-f of a Brie situation right there.

L didn't have the $9 Kobe burger. It generally really annoys me when people get anything other than what is clearly communicated to be the house specialty, but it didn't annoy me because

1. L had eaten a burger for lunch.
2. L is very loveable in general.

Instead, she had The Cuban. The sandwich was obscene. It was the size of a small dog.

She ate two bites.

During our dinner, we sat at this very booth.

I said something like, "L, you know something, I love your poems, and in fact, that's why we're sitting here right now. Because I Internet-stalked you."

And she said, "I know. I loved it."

CM DINER. Now I am getting ready to eat at the hospital diner at Children's Memorial. It is criminally cheap--especially if you are breastfeeding because the CM diner gives breastfeeders a discount. You don't have to prove it or anything. You just say "I am breastfeeding" and they give it to you.

I am not breastfeeding so I can't get the discount, and anyway, it's not that much of a discount from what I remember, but I suppose it's a nice gesture, better than a punch in the mouth.

One good thing about the CM diner? It sells these giant individual bags of caramel/cheese/butter trio-bundled popcorn made by this tiny Chicago popcorn manufacturer. I'm pretty sure the popcorn by this particular company has been listed by Oprah as one of her Favorite Things.

If the general public knew about this popcorn, they WOULD be hard-core rushing the CM diner. Fortunately for me, the CM diner is a closed club, housed in the basement of the hospital. I am one of the elite and thus, have all-day access to those amazing bags of corn. Even Oprah cannot get into the CM diner. The security here is unmatched. Fame, money, and influence mean nothing to these people. They alone grant access to the CM diner. They alone are the holders of the paper access tags with metal pant clips--only distributed to parents and legitimate and verified visitors. Unless you have a deathly ill kid in your arms, you are not getting anywhere near that popcorn. Go cry your crocodile tears to someone who cares.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Okay I had a previous post that mentioned sex, and even though I am not obsessed with sex, I am going to write about sex again. I hope you don’t mind.

I will put out the disclaimer like the one that they always read on This American Life, like: “This story does not describe the details of actual sex but it does acknowledge that sex exists in the world.”

That’s not exactly it but something like that.

Why am I up so early? It’s 5:49 now but I’ve been up since 2:30. Funny you should ask.

I just had a sex dream. It was so real. No, it was actually hyperreal. It was MORE real than very real and conscious sex.

You may imagine that this would be good but it wasn’t exactly.

It wasn’t bad either—well, not totally bad, because it’s always fun to feel real things, even bad things—but it WAS kind of like when I was pregnant and I would be all, “I cannot come to work today because I cannot possibly ride the train and smell people, like people’s hair or whatever. I DO NOT WANT TO SMELL THE SMELL OF PEOPLE, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? So I’ll be working from home.”

It was like that.

Here’s an aside: I have supersonic smelling powers. I was happy during my pregnancy, the pg hormones did positive things for me, but they made me smell everything SO MUCH. I get these powers when I’m really depressed too. I can practically hear the smell of things. It makes me want to jump off a bridge.

I’m pretty sure it’s a psychotic symptom as a result of the chemical disaster that can periodically be my brain.

St. Christina the Astonishing (coincidentally my confirmation saint namesake) was said to crawl up into trees to avoid the smell of people. One day she stood in a lake for three days to show God how much she loved Him. It must have worked because she became a saint. Now scholars think she was probably not that saintly, just psychotic, but sometimes that’s the way it goes with saints.

Religious fervor or insanity? It is a fine line.

Maybe less like a “line” and more like a “spectrum.”

I can’t stand when people do that, put everything on a spectrum. Note to spectrum lovers everywhere: These are pieces of candy. Candy is not crying out for a spectrum.

My sister has this too, this smelling ailment. She says people are jealous but what they don’t realize is how many things in the world smell like shit.

Sometimes when I was gone at my grandma’s as a kid, my sister would have a friend stay the night and they would sleep in our bed—yes, my sister and I shared a bed, all through high school, people did that in Michigan City, Indiana—and when I came back home from my grandma’s, I would be like, "Oh, god, did X stay the night?"

Let me tell you, my sister’s friend X smelled SO HUMAN, and not like body odor. Comparatively speaking, that would have been great. More like faint shit and stomach secretions and a pile of human hair.

It’s not just me. I mentioned this a few years ago to my sister and she was like, “Oh god, yeah, that girl did smell really weird.”

My friend Kathleen told me maybe I should join the carnival and instead of guessing weights or telling fortunes, I can tell people their smells and write them up on index cards. I think this is a great idea, and I am saving it for “retirement.” Other people have 401Ks and pensions but that's because they're boring.

Oh, another smell aside, one time when I worked at J.Crew this woman walked in and she was like this cute little waify blonde type with a pixie haircut and I was following her around and helping her, as was my job, and finally I asked her, “Hey, do you know Laura Such and Such?” And she smiles and looks at me all quizzically, like, “Yeah, she’s actually my twin sister. Why?”

And I looked at her stunned, because a) I worked with Laura at J.Crew and I had no idea that she even had a twin and b) because they truly looked nothing alike, like Laura was super curvy with dark long hair and olive skin. And I was thinking, “Uh, should I tell her why?” I decided to because I have terrible judgment and so I was like: BECAUSE YOU SMELL JUST LIKE HER.

The waif's face was ashen. She stepped back from me like I was breathing fire or had just ripped open my shirt, revealing my full-body dragon scales.

Anyway, back to sex. Usually when I have sex dreams they are with an invisible sex entity. Some faceless sexer. Like some abstraction is generating sex feelings and putting them inside my sleeping mind. Sort of like a Mystical and Majikal Secret Sex Santa.

This hypersex dream was with a real person, which, of course, makes sense, considering it seemed super real, and I don’t generally don’t have sex with abstractions in my waking life.

But I had this experience once that was rather mindblowing involving a sex dream with nobody. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was a full-on wet dream.

Can girls have wet dreams? I just checked and Alice says they can. I believe her.

The story of my life-changing dream goes:

I was just out of high school and it was summer, and I had gone up to Mackinaw (sp?) Island with my high school man at the time. The whole time I was there, I was miserable because I tend to feel encroached upon by nature and get very cranky when I am around a lot of it, and also, I have terrible allergies, so to stay alive on “The Island,” I had to take handfuls of Benadryl all week, which of course, made me so exhausted, I stayed in bed all day and slept while everybody else swam in ponds with snakes in them, and then a week later, we left.

Riding home in the car, I was sleeping in the backseat and I had the most phenomenal sex dream ever!

It started out like usual, with some kind of non-specified human or thing--like it was just happening, who or what the sex was with was not a consideration. And as I was having sex, I was floating up this tunnel. Again, logistics were not worked out--e.g., how one might float upward while having sex with nobody.

Actually, the tunnel was a little similar to that candy chamber in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Remember when Charlie and his grandpa drink that bubbly stuff but they’re not supposed to and then they start floating dangerously toward the glass ceiling with the fans waiting to cut them into shreds?

Just like that.

Except there were no ceiling fans in my dream, and, as you probably remember, in the movie Charlie and his grandpa don’t have sex while floating up the shaft of the candy chamber.

Anyway, I was floating up and up and up toward this glass ceiling and finally, there was this incredible SMASH and I smashed (painlessly) through the glass ceiling, just exploded through it—again, kind of like when Charlie and his grandpa were in the glass elevator at the end of the movie and the elevator smashes through the glass and is hurtled into the sky and floats above the city?

The sound of the smashing was really really loud, like “tinkle tinkle tinkle” but a million tinkles blasted through an amplifier, and then there was this--POOF--huge flash of white light like somebody was taking a picture with one of those old-timey cameras.

Then I woke up.


Thursday, December 16, 2010


Poor friend.

My friend's book got busted up in a review. I feel bad for my friend. I almost felt like the reviewer was busting up my book, the one I don't have yet.

Of course I never like it when friends of mine get bad reviews but it especially annoys me when reviewers come in with a pre-fab agenda of what a book should do and then are all disappointed when it doesn't do those things.

It irritates me even more when you get the sense that a reviewer has barely read the book, and they certainly didn't read anything else by or about that author nor did they do any thinking about how this author's writing relates to other writing that has been written or is being written today.

For instance, in the research-y section of the review, the reviewer quoted Wikipedia--to talk about a poetry movement that almost everybody agrees was never a movement--and therefore nobody can sufficiently describe or associate anyone with it.

It was like he was the drunken 17-year old-narrator in THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES, in a bar, talking about Visceral Realism and the Visceral Realists.

Get to a meeting.

I'm not perfect by such a long stretch. But I have a few things I do before I interview people, which I find helpful.

Interviews, I admit, aren't the same as reviews, but still, they share some common ground and so maybe some of this process applies:

a. Read other reviews of that work

b. Read interviews that the author has done about that work and his or her previous works
c. Read previous books by that author

d. Read several different author bios

e. Don't quote from Wikipedia (?)

BAM. You were thinking it.

And, most importantly,

f. Read the book.

If I am interviewing someone about poetry, I read the book once to myself, once outloud. I'm not saying everybody has to be crazy like that but it does seem like you should keep reading a book until you can complete this sentence:

1. It seems like the author of this book is attempting to [insert thoughts].

You'll note that I did not say you should read until you can complete these sentences:

2. You know what I hate? I really hate when people write poems and they [insert opinions].

3. God, you know what's the best? I love it when people write poems and they [insert opinions].


We don't care what you hate in poetry.

We don't care what you like in poetry.

We don't even care what you don't care about either way in poetry.

You aren't the boss of Poems.

Reviewer: Who's Your Daddy?

Poetry: Not you.

You are a reader of poems (hopefully). That is who you are. So be that person.


Review Readers

Once you have read the book and you feel like you can answer Question 1, I say to you: Rip that book down to its royal underwear. What do I care?

I actually do care. I hate writing negative reviews, it makes me feel bad, like I'm spitting on a bouquet of pansies because I just so happen to like Black-eyed Susans a little better.

Black-eyed Susan, also known as Rudbeckia hirta, Brown-eyed Susan, Blackiehead, Brown Betty, Brown Daisy (Rudbeckia triloba), Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland Daisy, Yellow Daisy, and Yellow Ox-eye Daisy.


I respect critical reviews--I really do.

But ask yourself this before you fire off a reveiw without necessary prework:


What I don't respect is a critical review that's rattled off half-cocked. Why the half-cockedness? Because the reviewer isn't getting paid? Secret number 1: Nobody is.

Or maybe because the reviewer is thinking, "Well, whatever, this ain't the NYTBR." Secret number 2: No kidding. Secret number 3: Thank god.

Or maybe the reviewer is thinking, "Oooh, goody [hand rubbing], another review of mine, written in three minutes. Published. Booyah!"

Not booyah. Just boo. Boo on review grubbers. Boo on mofo lazy.

Also boo on poor writing and no editing.

I want to understand exactly what a reviewer is criticizing, but I cannot do this when I do not understand what I am reading. I can only say to myself: "I consider myself a creative person, and yet, I can't think of any context in which these words in this order might make a kind of sense."

[reread sentence]

"l still don't get this. It seems like an interesting thought that I would like to think about in relation to Poet's poems. Could this thought be explained more clearly? I want to think yes."

In the nicer parts of the review, the reviewer kept using the word "banal" but not pejoratively. Except, as I understand it at least, the connotation of banal is pejorative.

Maybe he means "ordinary" or "everyday"? An editor could tell us this. Maybe he's writing "banal" but he means "anal"?

I am so confused.

I think the poet Issa explained it best in his last (and sadly most obscure) poem:


So banal--
force and
and what
is more,
devoid of

Happy holidays.

And thank you for listening and thank you Reviewers for your reviews, even the wobbly wonky ones that will surely improve in the coming new year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Discussion of race in literature has come up a lot in the past couple of weeks on the For the Most Part Smugly Ironic and Flatly Affected Indie Literature News Show called HTML Giant. This statement was made by a certain somebody I feel slightly embarrased about even mentioning because maybe I should just call my blog All My Thoughts Lately Are Formed As a Result of Something Roxane Gay Said. Like this:

"If you write about people of color, some editors want you to write about people of color in very specific and stereotypical ways because they’re simply not interested in those stories that diverge from the cultural narratives most publishers are comfortable with."

This made me think of a story about my friend Chuck. My friend
Chuck Walker is a painter. Chuck's white but his "godson" (who has lived with him since he's been three and is now a senior in high school) is black. Chuck told me he had an art dealer who constantly harassed him, "What's with all the black people? What am I supposed to do with these paintings?"

Needless to say, he is not repped by this guy anymore. Last year Chuck had a 30-year retrospective at the Chicago's Hyde Park Art Center--so clearly SOMEBODY knew what to do with the paintings, even though some of the paintings had pesky black people in them.

It is sad and it is crossgenre, this assumption that people (of all races) will only be interested in white subjects doing white things. Or, if there are black subjects, they better well be smoking crack or killing somebody--don't come to me with your little paintings of black kids sleeping or dancing or doing homework for god's sake.

Publishers and reps: We thank you for doing us the favor of proactively weeding out all the stuff you know we "won't like" so we never have to read or see it.

In addition to being sad, it's insulting because it takes choice away--which means that the majority of people never realize that there IS choice. Most people just assume that there aren't many minority artists and writers or if there are, most of them aren't any good because a) nobody knows about them or b) because they all seem to be making/writing the same thing.

I know, I know, we only look at quality---and quality looks like white people. That's the breaks. Try harder.

On a related note, I showed my friend Jim Henry's
picture of a very toothy guy to my daughter Zara and this conversation came about

Z: "Ewww. Look at him."

L: "What?"

Z: "Well I bet you wouldn't want to marry him, would you?"

L: "Probably not. I'm obsessed with healthy teeth, so I don't think so. How about you? Would you want to marry him?"

Z: "No way."

L: "Really? [smiling] Why not?"

Z: Because he's black. AND I DON'T LIKE BLACK PEOPLE."

I thought she was going to say:

a. because he is missing a great number of teeth OR

b. because he's too old OR

c. because he doesn't have a shirt on.

Because he's BLACK? If it wasn't so horrifying, I would have laughed outloud.

L: "ZARA!? Why would you say that?"

Z: "All people are born but all people don't like each other."

L: "What's that supposed to mean?"

Then she just shrugged and said quietly, "I just don't like black people."

I shook my head. I figured I'd talk to her more about it later. If I push stuff with her, she locks down and then there is no talking to her.

But that's the second time she's said something like that. For instance, we had this conversation a couple of months ago:

L: "Look at that girl [on tv]! Isn't she so cute?"

Z: "No."

L: "Why would you say that?"

Z: "Because her skin is black and disgusting."

OMG. It's horrible to hear. I couldn't even think of how to respond at first.

Finally, I said, "Well what if she said that you weren't cute because your skin is white and disgusting?" And my daughter looked all baffled and said, "But white skin *isn't* disgusting."

My friend Lisa was interviewing nannies and after one of the interview candidates left, she asked her boys (who are Latino) "Well, what did you think of her?" and they were like, "We didn't really like her."

Lisa asked, "Really, why's that?" and basically, after some prodding, it came down to, We'd like somebody who has skin a little more like yours and hair a little more like yours too.

It's innate. Our brains are programmed not to like things that are not like us because those things seem unsafe. Like being afraid of tigers. And because we are programmed this way, we have to work all our lives to deprogram ourselves.

It's not just some people's brains. It's EVERYBODY. I bet black kids prefer black faces too if they have black parents and they spent the majority of their time (while their brain was forming critical pathways) staring up into two black faces.

Anyway, later that day I tried to talk to my daughter more about this and she got really uncomfortable. Here's how it went:

Z: "Well, right now, I'm trying to make a sculpture, and so i'd really like to stop talking about this!"

L: "Well, we'll only talk for a minute. I just want to know, did someone tell you they didn't like black people? Are you hearing this stuff and repeating it?"

She tried to dodge around it, pretending she didn't mean what she said earlier.

Z: "The man in the picture isn't even black, he's brown, and I said 'I don't like black people,' and there ARE no black people. At least I have never seen one, have you?"

L: "It makes me really uncomfortable you saying you don't like somebody because of the color of their skin. Wouldn't you be sad if someone said, I don't like her because of her skin? Because what could you do about it? Nothing. You can't change that."

Z: "People can't change their ways either."

L: "No, people CAN change their ways and they can change their ideas, too."

Z: "Also their hair color. For example, I saw green hair on TV once and it was terrible, but I saw pink hair and it was wonderful.

L: True. People can change their hair.

Z: Okay, I'm doing my sculpture now so we should stop talking."

I just looked for research, because I know I had read something like this before, about race preference. Here's a really interesting

To summarize, this study has provided the first direct evidence in support of an ethnically unspecified face processing system at birth, which can become tuned to certain facial dimensions that specify race within the first 3 months of life. We believe that preference for own-race faces observed in 3-month-olds represents the perceptual beginnings of categorization based on ethnic differences and may provide a basis for the ‘other-race effect’.

In other words, at 0 months your brain has no racial preferences. But by the time you're three months old, you prefer own-race faces. The "other-race effect" is thinking that everybody of one race looks like everybody else of that race.

I have other-race effect. I feel racist because of it but I do.

Hee Soon, my Korean roommate in grad school, would show me pictures of her friends and family and this is how our interaction would go:

[first picture]

L: "Aww! Is that you?"

HS: No.

L: Really?

HS: Yeah, that's my brother.

L: Oh. [awkward pause] You guys look alike.

HS: Really?

[next picture]

L: Aw, cute. Is that you?

HS: No, that's my dad.

L: Oh. Does everybody say you look just like him?

HS: No.

So embarrasing.

Speaking of, I have a story about thinking everybody looks like everybody and possibly being racist.

One time I was driving to work for the night shift when I worked at The News-Dispatch in Michigan City, Indiana, and I was driving through this really bad neighborhood and because I have no regard for safety, I didn't have my car doors locked.

Anyway, when I was at a stopsign, the passenger door just opened up and all of a sudden, this guy was sitting in my car in the passenger seat.

I was all sputtering, like, "What the hell are you doing?" and he was all slurry like, "Mufflff, ruffl, bffll, rffl. Kyle's Liquor Store!"

And I was, like, "No! Get out."

And he just kept sitting there, and then he repeated, "Mufflff, ruffl, bffll. Kyle's Liquor Store!"

I was thinking, no way am I taking you, who just carjacked me, to Kyle's Liquor Store. It is not happening, dude. And also I was really annoyed because I had to go to work and I was gonna be late, so I said, "Forget it, you can have my stupid car. Goodbye."

And I left the keys in the car with it running and got out and started walking down the street to work, and then I looked back and he got out of the passenger side, all stumbly, "Mufflff, ruffl, bffll." And then staggered away.

When he was gone, I walked back and got into my car and instead of driving to work, I drove to the police station. This is how that went. P is for Police Officers.

P1: Yeah, what can we do for you?

L: Yeah. Okay, well, this guy just jumped in my car when I was stopped at a stop sign. On 11th and Wabash."

P2: Oh. Did he take it? Did he take your car?

L: No. He just sat in the seat next to me and then I got out and told him he could just have my car, I was leaving, but I don't think he wanted my car.

P2: Oh.

P1: What'd he want?"

L: Pretty sure he wanted me to take him to Kyle's Liquor Store."

P2: Did you?

L: I'm sorry.

P2: Did you take him to Kyle's?

L: No. Why would I take him to Kyle's?

P1: Probably good you didn't.

L: [pause] Yeah . . .

P1: Well, what'd he look like?

L: Look like?

P1: Yeah, what'd he look like?

At this point I'm thinking, no way am I going to say what I should say, which is: an exact description of what the carjacker looks like. They will think I'm so racist, like the only way I can describe a black guy is to compare him to somebody famous. But then I was like, well, what the hell, they're cops, I'm sure they're not so judgmental of racists so I said.

L: He looked just like James Brown. That's what he looked like. Exactly.

And they were like,

P1: Oh, yeah, that's Willie.

P2: Yeah, that's Willie. He does that to everybody.

P1: Yeah, he's harmless.

L: Oh.

P2: Okay, have a good night.

L: Um. Alright. Bye.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


GENERATION OLD AND CRANKY I love Zadie Smith, all three pages I have read by her. She's a genius. This "Generation Why?" essay is incredible.

I hate Facebook and I am on it, and every day, I have to will myself to check it. "Just check it already," I whisper. "Just check it and 'like' a few things and then you're done."

I actually cancelled my account once, but then got back on because I felt stodgy and self-righteous, not having an account. Both of which I am. But still, not everybody on Facebook needs to know that.

This is an especially good part of the essay:

When a human being becomes a set of data on a website like Facebook, he or she is reduced. Everything shrinks. Individual character. Friendships. Language. Sensibility. In a way it’s a transcendent experience: we lose our bodies, our messy feelings, our desires, our fears. It reminds me that those of us who turn in disgust from what we consider an overinflated liberal-bourgeois sense of self should be careful what we wish for: our denuded networked selves don’t look more free, they just look more owned.


I’ve noticed—and been ashamed of noticing—that when a teenager is murdered, at least in Britain, her Facebook wall will often fill with messages that seem to not quite comprehend the gravity of what has occurred. You know the type of thing: Sorry babes! Missin’ you!!! Hopin’ u iz with the Angles. I remember the jokes we used to have LOL! PEACE XXXXX

When I read something like that, I have a little argument with myself: “It’s only poor education. They feel the same way as anyone would, they just don’t have the language to express it.” But another part of me has a darker, more frightening thought. Do they genuinely believe, because the girl’s wall is still up, that she is still, in some sense, alive? What’s the difference, after all, if all your contact was virtual?

I noticed the same thing when Brittany Murphy died and her ex-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher tweeted "u will be missed." Or something of the like. And I was thinking, Can you not be bothered to use standard English in your electronic sympathy note, you illiterate jackhole.

"no, I cn't!!!! bc u c *im* not dead--i got sht 2 do like mk mooVs, k?"

As you can probably tell, like ZS (and sadly this is the only way in which we are alike), I don't speak Tweety.

GET YOUR PEANUTS! I really like the art/word postcard micropress Abe's Penny. My friend Jim Henry and I were in an issue together way back in the day, as in two years ago. If you sign up, you get beautiful postcards once week and they're connected, so each month, you get four different postcards which make up a complete story or poem. Now they've started Abe's Peanut for kids. I sound like an advertisement, and I swear Abe's Penny is not paying me out of their fat bankroll, but my husband noted and I think he's right: "This would be a great thing to buy somebody as a gift." He's an artist so he appreciates things you can actually hold and turn around and put up close to your eyeball.

JIM HENRY IS GOING TO GET HIS PROPERS ONE DAY WHEN I AM IN CHARGE OF EARTH. Speaking of Jim Henry? Jim Henry is honestly, seriously, no kidding, the best writer EVER. He is astounding. You will read his stories and you will laugh and laugh. You will also feel terribly sad and at times you will cringe and feel implicated, and finally, when you shut the book, you will weep a little for yourself, and when you pull yourself together, it is possible you will mutter, as I did, "I am not really very talented, am I? But that's okay. I am probably other things."

Sure, Jim is my friend, but Ann Beattie feels the same way, it's not just me. He won the Iowa prize in fiction and she's the one who chose his book THANK YOU FOR BEING CONCERNED AND SENSITIVE.

Unfortunately he says he doesn't write anymore. He is not a writer. He teaches in the Middle East and travels and takes pictures.

He's such a liar, I'm sure next year he'll publish 10 books he's been sitting on for the last decade.

In any case, this book is a treasure that too few people know about. Jim Henry is woefully underexposed.

I was typing some parts in for my friend the other day because you can't find the stories online.

Here's an excerpt from his short story "The Main Event":

Right around the Fourth my Uncle Len, who had just moved in with us, started having his murder dream. Then my girlfriend Lola, told me she was pregnant ...[...]

Uncle Len is my mother's brother and he came to live with us when his third wife committed suicide, just like his first had. My mother said he was thinking there was something wrong with him and she asked him to come live with us for a while. She told us she wanted him to see what a real family was like. She thought his wives had all been trashy women. [...]

Uncle Len found both his dead wives and caught Irene in bed with her boyfriend. My father told me all those things, the details. He said Len was a clod and told me that a man who marries floozies deserves what he gets.

"A wife isn't for fun," he told me. "We aren't here to have fun."

In Uncle Len's murder dream he wakes up from sleeping (in the dream) and thinks he's just woken up from a bad dream. Then he goes and gets a butcher knife from the kitchen and kills us all, one at a time. He carves us up "like turkeys, starting with James." I heard him one night telling my parents this. He was sweating with fear after waking up screaming. I was listening from the upstairs banister.

It chilled me that he started his massacre with me and I wondered what Freud would think of this dream. [...]

My mother is a firm believer in chores and one of mine is to feed the chinchillas that live in the basement. My mother was raising chinchillas to sell for their fur in tiny chicken wire cages all over the basement. They were loud and obnoxious and smelled awful, but she thought someday they would put us on Easy Street. Which, she said, was "farther than your father will ever get us." She thought my father didn't work hard enough and didn't exert himself. They argued about it all the time. "You've got to put yourself out there," she'd say, holding open a paperback "How To" book at her hip as proof that she knew what she was talking about. She was always reading books about succeeding in the business world. My father never read them and this was a source of a lot of fights. "How can you just turn your back on Easy Street?" she would cry. "What kind of a man are you?" Things like that. If nothing else, these fights proved what my father said, you don't get married for fun.

My mother told me not to get too attached to the chinchillas because soon they would be goners but there was no problem there. I hated those damn animals with their buckteeth and smelly racks of pellets. I wouldn't have cared if the house caught on fire and they burned alive.

The day Lola told me she thought she was pregnant, I went down there like always and fed the damn things out of the big feed bags my mother bought and I noticed one of them was having babies. Not an uncommon event, but still, like a lot of things, it made me mad at God. There's a lot I don't understand, even Claude the Genius' whisperings and I've decided that the reason I don't understand them is that God doesn't want me to. The world could have been created to be understood, but it wasn't. And that, it seems to me, is pure maliciousness--on God's part. Take for instance the dinosaurs, or why the universe is so big and Earth such a tiny speck of nothingness. You would think there is some kind of a reason for everything, and if there is, why were there dinosaurs on Earth so long before men? What were they doing here? Why didn't Creation just start with us? Were the dinosaurs just a practice run for the main event, or is there some reason behind their multimillion-year reign? Claude the Genius tells me in my sleep that they were here because they were an important part of the food chain that today has turned into oil and coal and God wanted us to have oil and coal so we could drive Toyotas and have stereos. But if that's true, then it's possible that we aren't even the main event. Maybe the point is for us to destroy ourselves so the reason the universe was created can get started. Maybe God is up there twiddling his thumbs and yawning. Meanwhile, we think he's watching all the sparrows fall.

So I watched the chinchilla squirting out another half-dozen or so smelly fur coats and I looked up at God, although all I saw was heating ducts, and I said, in as sarcastic a voice as possible, "Oh, I suppose there's a message here for me, eh?" I thought this because, obviously, I had abortions on my mind. Lola would have to get one. I was not going to be a father at fifteen. Period. Thank you very much. So then I get a nature film in living color about the glory of reproduction. Ha-ha, God, good one.

A dinner that night Uncle Len said he thought maybe he would check himself into a looney bin. My mother said that nobody was checking into any loony bin because nobody was looney. Then Uncle Len said, "I'd just hate to wake up one morning and find you all dead and cut up."

"So would we, Len," my dad cheered, his mouth full of creamed broccoli, "so would we."

He was trying to be funny, which I thought was really his only option, but my mother just glared at him.

"One of the chinchillas had six babies today," I announced, my voice echoing in my own head in a strange way, like it wasn't even me talking.

"Hello, Easy Street!" my mother said, her fork raised high in victory.

Uncle Len wasn't working and rather than spend his days getting out of the way of my mother's vacuuming, he drank coffee at the Starlight Diner and read the paper. I saw him in there a lot and usually pretended I hadn't. But that day I went in and joined him at his booth. "Hi'ya kiddo," he said uneasily. He hadn't shaved and I thought he looked like the kind of guy you see on the news for stabbing a family to death for no reason. "That girl of yours is something." He whistled to show me how much he thought of her. "Kids today are so lucky. The only way I'll ever get in the pants of a fifteen year old is to get a Bangkok whore. Enjoy it," he grinned, "life does nothing but get weirder."

There was a chance Uncle Len was going insane but I thought he'd led an interesting life and was probably the type of guy who knew about things like abortions. So as I sipped my coffee I told him the whole story and asked his advice. He smoked with squinted eyes as I finished and then he leaned forward and told me this was the oldest trick in the book. He said that Lola was trapping me into marrying her. He said he knew this because no pregnant woman would say what she said to me about not using a rubber. "A pregnant woman is not a regular woman," he said. "Their brains go to mush and they don't think about sex like that. They've already got some damn thing growing down there and they don't want men showering it with their stuff." He said she wanted to have sex with me without a rubber so she would get pregnant and then she would make me marry her so I'd have to support her for the rest of her life.

"But she has a trust fund, Uncle Len," I told him. "She's already got more money than I'll ever have."

"Oh yeah," he said. "I forgot she was a Dickens."

We sat there for a while in silence and I felt kind of sorry for him. He'd been so excited when he was warning me about Lola's conspiracy, and now I'd robbed him of that. "Damn!" he said finally. "That body and a trust fund. You should pretend to get pregnant."

[...] We didn't shoot the senator, but we did have rubberless sex in her old bed surrounded by all her old dolls. Afterward, when we were lying in bed I played with the dolls. I noticed that if you held them upside down their eyelids closed with a whispering click. As I held one, I decided to tell Lola about Claude the Genius and his nighttime visits to me. I'd never mentioned him to anyone before, but I thought since she told me she would maybe like to kill someone, I owed her a secret. Claude the Genius was the only one I had. I told her the story of how a voice whispers to me in my sleep, how he told me his name was Claude and that he was a genius from another dimension that couldn't be described in any way that would mean anything to me, and how he tries to explain the mysteries of the universe. "But even with his help, I still don't get it," I told her. She held me tight and started into my eyes with wonder.

"You are chosen," she said, "chosen." And then she climbed on top of me and we rubbed our sweat-soaked bodies together, staring into each other's eyes in absolute silence.

From his story "Observer Status":

My sister continues. "I think I would like to be artificially inseminated by a Nobel laureate." My sister stands and takes a deep breath. "I know this is difficult to comprehend from within the cultural morass, so if you could please just take a second and try to free yourself from the stifling limits of this idiotic society with its servile, unimaginative mores, I think you may find my reasoning sound."


My sister sighs, arms folded, and she half turns away. "I can see you two are having trouble freeing yourself from the confines of this idiotic cultural..."

"Don't tell me about culture, young lady," Mom warns, wagging a spoonful of herring in the air. "Cultural abstractions have no place at this table."

"Oh! Is that so? Well let me tell you something, cultural abstractions abound! To label them ubiquitous would be a comic understatement. They are at the heart of all morality, all judgment--everything!"

"Well, yes," Mom says, leaning forward in battle, "but only as abstractions. Abstractions are meaningless when applied to individuals--you know that."

"So are you really going to stand there and acknowledge the existence of a stifling cultural narrative and then insist that it has no impact on the individual--in this conversation, that would be you two?"


"So if you can't rip yourselves away from the illusion of normalcy you're wallowing in, and you're against it, just say so and I'll wait."

"We're against it," Mom says, lifting a spoonful of herring to her mouth. "We are definitely against it."

My sister shrugs and jams her open palms onto her hips. She looks the two of them in the face and shakes her head in disappointment and says, "At what age should I expect everything to take on such dramatic meaning?" She leaves, however, before either can answer, humming.

From his story "Mouthfeel":

"It's a waste of life. The earth just spins and spins," she went on, shaking her head, rolling it back and forth in the dirt. Miles noticed an old dead branch had gotten stuck in her ponytail. "So anyway, I was leading this discussion--about mouthfeel--when this very dark, black woman who I had never seen before came in carrying this enormous tray of cold cuts. It was huge, the size of a good-sized kitchen table top, far larger than ours, anyway. And she moved with such grace and precision that she captivated my attention. Here is a woman, I thought, here is a real person, doing real work in the real world. She is setting out a tray of cold cuts. I envied her like you cannot believe, Miles. I wished to God I was a black servant woman."

Jenny was still lying on he ground. A long one or two minutes of absolute silence passed. "I am a foods scientist, Miles." Another pause. "I say the word mouthfeel dozens of times every week." Longer pause. "My car cost thirty five thousand dollars." She went on, and on.

Jim's photography is not too shabby either. The captions are especially entertaining. Smile and Monkey for instance.

YOU KNOW WHAT'S *REALLY* HILARIOUS? DEPRESSION. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini . . . it really is kind of a funny story. I read it the day after Thanksgiving. It is a book about depression that is not depressing, just like its blurb says. The protag in IKOAFS is a high school freshman named Craig who is clinically depressed and planning on jumping off a bridge. I like mentally ill protags, as previously mentioned--or if not explicitly mentioned, then strongly implied. In other words, I am the target audience for this book and Ted Vizzini hit that target. I would have loved this book in high school, but I like it now, too.

Ned Vizzini, I like your book. Quite honestly, though, I probably won't see the movie. Even when I want to feel excited during movies, I don't. Then I feel uncomfortable and unexcited all at once. But my sister saw it and said It's Kind of a Funny Movie. I do want to see stills of what Nia looks like in the movie though. I hope she has black circles on her cheeks!

I AM SAVAGELY LATE TO THE 2007 PARTY AT WHICH EVERYONE WAS DIGGING ON THIS BOOK. I also am savagely obsessed with Roberto Bolano. I don't know how to make a tilde online but whatever, you know who I'm talking about, the author of THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES

I just read the book out of order---the first section, then the end, then the middle--so now I have to read it through again in sequence. My friend recommended it to me and I wrote him half way through to thank him and noted:

"It's like ON THE ROAD--if ON THE ROAD were beautifully written and hilarious and international and not gay."

This review and this review are interesting. (The first review more than the second, I think). In the first review, I liked this part:

It’s something close to a miracle that Bolaño can produce such intense narrative interest in a book made up of centrifugal monologues spinning away from two absentee main characters, and the diary entries of its most peripheral figure. And yet, in spite of the book’s apparent (and often real) formlessness, a large part of its distinction is its virtually unprecedented achievement in multiply-voiced narration.

Above all, Bolaño overcomes the problem of getting so many voices to comment on the same events, or sing to the same music, by letting each voice persist in its natural egocentricity. True, the reader is liable to protest, somewhere before page 200, that this book isn’t about anything. Later on, it’s possible to recognise, with admiration, that Bolaño has found a way to keep the novel alive and freshly growing in the Sonora of modern scepticism – our scepticism, that is, as to what can finally be known or said of any life, and whose life is worth being represented, or considered representative, in the first place.

I think the most interesting thing about this book is how it keeps being interesting--despite its structure (or lack thereof). Why should this be interesting? I kept asking myself. If you took this book to an MFA workshop, people would tell you

a) this is not about anything
b) this is not how you write a story

It is NOT how you write a story, and yet, it's so continually engaging and authentic.

Bolano presents 38 different narrators in the middle section of the book. They are being interviewed about Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, the founders of Visceral Realism (a literary movement that's never defined, even the founders and its members seem uncertain about its definition). The best part is Bolano doesn't even attempt to create a hierarchy of narrators or give narrators equal face time or focus on dialect or even keep the narrators focused on the subject of the interview. Some of the narrators' stories don't even mention Lima and Belano. Other than the fact that it's beautifully written (though in plain language) it doesn't really do anything a good book is supposed to do--which may be why it is so staggeringly great.

Two questions:

1. Who's the interviewer in the second section?
2. Are the symbols at the end [insert idea] devices, or are they poems? Or both? Or neither?

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have four poems from my manuscript THE EFFECT OF SMALL ANIMALS in the first online issue of BLUESTEM.

The "Retard" poem is an English-to-English translation of Matthew Lippman's "Retards" poem at FROM THE FISHHOUSE.

BLUESTEM, formerly KARAMU, has been published since 1966 and is produced by the English Department at Eastern Illinois University. Thanks, BLUESTEM!

I also have five translations in REVISTA CONSENSO which is produced by the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Northeastern Illinois University. These poems are from a collection of poems COSES PETITES (LITTLE THINGS) by Anna Aguilar-Amat and Francesc Parcerisas. With the authors, I translated them from Catalan to English. Thank you, REVISTA CONSENSO!

In related translation news, the translations were also recently published in BONE BOUQUET's second issue, and I'm going to be reading with Anna in Brooklyn in January as a part of a BONE BOUQUET reading. Thanks, BONE BOUQUET!

A little about the authors:

Anna Aguilar-Amat was recently awarded three prizes for Catalan poetry: the Jocs Florals of the city of Barcelona for PetrolierI Teatre (Oil and Theater); the Carles Riba award for Trànsit entre dos vols (Transit between two flights); and the Màrius Torres award for La música I L’escorbut (Music and Scurvy). Her fourth book of poems is Jocs d’loca (The Goose Game). Aguilar-Amat is president of QUARKpoesia (Aula de Poesia de la Universitat Autònoma) with the aim to promote poetry translation of less translated languages. In 2006 she started the poetry imprint Refractions (Refraccions) with the aim to publish mostly bilingual or trilingual poetry books. She has a Ph.D. from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where she now teaches Terminology as a faculty member in the Translation department.

Most importantly, Anna is, as they say in Catalan, amazeballs.

Francesc Parcerisas is a poet, translator and critic. Since his first book, Vint poemes civils (Twenty Civil Poems, 1966), he has published a number of collections of poetry and literary criticism and has regularly contributed to Catalan newspapers and magazines. His collected poems, Triomf del present (Triumph of the Present), includes his poetry up until 1992. Natura Norta amb Nens (Still Life with Children, 2000) is his latest collection. Parcerisas has worked as Director of the Institute of Catalan Literature at the Catalan Ministry of Culture in Barcelona since 1998. He has also translated a number of works from Spanish, Italian, and English into Catalan, including El Senyor dels Anells (The Lord of the Rings) by J.R.R. Tolkien.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS? You can be impressed now, it's okay.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


IN THE MOOD Not that I'm pimping my exceptional instructional design skills but. . .I am? I suggested that my friend Kathleen Rooney have her students create poetry moodboards.

She did and they did and look at these things of beauty">!

The moodboards really FEEL like those poems/books, don't they?

The moodboard representing Elisa Gabbert's THE FRENCH EXIT literally brought tears to my eyes. I don't usually get tears in my eyes over sad or happy things--I just cry in those instances.

But I often get tears in my eyes when I read or see or hear something especially "right." When I feel like "this is exactly how/where/what something should be." Olfactory stuff does not trigger tears for me. Neither does touching stuff. I wish they did.

TOWARD A GENERAL RECKLESSNESS I was reading THE ART OF RECKLESSNESS by Dean Young and that was happening constantly--Tears In Eyes. So many right things in one place.

Dean Young is having heart problems right now, and he needs a transplant. You should give some money to him, even if you don't have any. Medical bills are the worst. Believe me, I know. And still, there's something really nice about trying to help someone else pay theirs, instead of worrying about yours. Helping other people is exciting. Helping yourself is stressful.

I don't know Dean Young but I've heard nothing but great things about him--both as a teacher and a friend. And of course, I know his poems.

Dean Young, I hope your heart comes in soon and that it fits and makes you feel good and works perfectly and lasts a very long time.

THINKING ABOUT THINKING VERY SPECIFICALLY ABOUT SEX The feeling of "so many right things in one place" and "this is exactly how/where/what it should be" makes me think about thinking about sex. I was thinking about sex the other day, and I hope this isn't too much information, but of course, some people think any information about sex is too much information, and I'm not speaking to those people.

Anyway, I was trying to think about and then articulate what emotional desire feels like for a man during sex, but, after a while, I gave up. I couldn't figure it out. I guess because I've never had a penis, and therefore, I have never had sex with a woman with my own penis.

So then I tried to articulate the emotional desire of sex for women. I'm not even sure how to describe what I mean by "the emotional desire of sex" except to say "the thing that you're thinking/feeling in your mind during sex that makes it sexy?"

In any case, in trying to articulate this sexy thought, I kept thinking of this one movie. I can't remember the name and I have no idea what it was about. It was terrible and unmemorable, and it was supposed to be a comedy. In the movie, during a sex scene (and there are several and they're the same every time), this lady keeps saying to the guy on top of her: "Fill me up! Oooh, fill me up, Baby!"


BRIEF DETOUR Okay, detour, my friend Kathleen reminds me that the movie is ELECTION. She thought it was great and hilarious, and apparently so did everybody in the world but me. This always happens to me.

The same thing happened with THE ROYAL TENNENBAUMS. I saw it and my friend was with me and she was like, "What did you think?" and I said, "Well. I didn't really like it. I didn't think it was funny. I thought it was kind of boring." And my friend was like, "Well it's not supposed to be ha ha funny! But that was a great movie." And I was like, "Oh. Okay."

Same thing with AMERICAN BEAUTY. I didn't like it. I thought it was dumb. I thought Kevin Spacey was creepy and disgusting, and his wife, and his wife's boyfriend, and K Spacey's daughter, and the daughter's friend.

I know their characters are creepy and disgusting on purpose, but I don't care. I don't want to watch movie characters who are revolting in that particular way. Also, I was annoyed by the ending--the part where Kevin Spacey breaks down the meaning of life in his paper voice. I was like: Boo. I've had more than one person become irritated when I said I did not like anything about that movie.

Also, A BEAUTIFUL MIND. With its swelling music to helpfully signal--THIS IS POIGNANT YOU SEE. And then whenever John Nash would have a brilliant thought, the lights would get really bright. Like, LIGHTS SYMBOLIZE BRILLIANT THOUGHTS.

Also, when they showed John Nash having that one intellectual breakthrough, like he's figuring out some theory or whatever and they represented it as numbers flashing on a screen, I burst out laughing. What the hell does that mean, some random flashing numbers? That movie made me want to die.

The best part of that movie is that it's based on John Nash and I have a real-life story related to John Nash.

My friend John (not John Nash) used to work in a bar and John Nash and his wife and son used to come into the bar sometimes, so my friend knew what they looked like. Well, one day my friend John was in MacDonald's and he got up to get napkins and John Nash's son (who is a little unstable according to my friend) came over and tried to eat my friend John's hamburger.

So my friend John yelled across McDonald's at John Nash's son, "Hey, you. Get away from there! That's MY hamburger!"

I was like, "John, why didn't you let the dude just have your hamburger?"

And John was like, "Because I was hungry. That's why I bought it. I don't care if he IS John Nash's son."

I said, "Well I doubt he cares that he's John Nash's son either."

Now every time somebody brings up that movie, I don't reveal that I don't like it. I just tell the McDonald's story so I don't get hassled about my terrible taste in movies.

BACK TO BUSINESS Anyway, back to the character who kept saying "FILL ME UP." I thought about that and then I thought, "Well, maybe the "fill me up" lady has a point. Is that it? Is that what "the sexy thought" is? The thought of someone filling you up? Maybe the sexy thought has to do with temporary emptiness with promise, like "I am empty but I have the potential for fullness and that fullness has to do with you."

"A little," I thought, "but that's not exactly right."

Then I thought, "Maybe the sexy thought is more like, 'I am completely open.'"

But that's not really it either. That's imprecise, because sex is not open, it's contained within a body, and also, how does "I am open" account for the other person, like, what is the other person's contribution to openness?

So then I thought, "Well, if the sexy thought is not 'being filled' or 'being open,' what is it?" And what I concluded is, in English we don't have a word for the feeling/thought that I am trying to describe.

To me, the sexy thought is something more along the lines of "having room" or "having space." I'm still not describing this well.

I don't mean just having room in general, like "Guess what, your penis fits into my vagina, I never thought it would, this is sexy," and I don't mean it like, "I am negative space and, look, you happen to be my positive space, this is sexy."

I mean more like, "I have a space inside me, but to you, it will be something else, it will be non-space, this is how you will perceive this space, and this is very sexy."

Then I thought, "Yes, that's right: I have non-space--as you and only you can see--so come get it." This is the sexy thought. Having exclusive non-space is the sexy thought.

But then I thought about it more, and I thought, "What the fuck does that even mean? Non-space? What is non-space?"

So then I Googled "non-space," and what do you know, I came across this blog called Multiplication by Infinity: Steven Colyer's Musings in Mathematical Physics and Its Effects on Humanity and Other Life Forms

Non-space exists it seems. Or so says Steven Colyer's blog. I'm not really sure it clears things up for me on the sex front but here is how he explains non-space.

So what is "non-space?"

Before anyone submits the lame joke "non-sense," please hear me out.

I submit there are three kinds of space, the first of which we have never observed, and one I personally reject:

1) NEGATIVE SPACE - In such a space, if you took one step forward, you would end up one step back. This has never been observed outside of the U.S. Senate and the European Parliament, but those are macro-sized objects where quantum effects average out in the aggregate, so they don't count.

2) POSITIVE SPACE - This is the space we are all used to.

3) NON-SPACE - Alleged to exist within a wormhole, if you enter a non-space you appear instantaneously on the other side. It is as if space didn't exist! You are not traveling faster than the speed of light and thus breaking causality because the "space" you are going through doesn't exist! It's not even a "bubble" because "bubble" implies there is something inside.

I hope Steven Colyer doesn't see this and get mad about me for taking his post in this direction but what I want to know is:

Is there a non-space existing inside my wormhole?

If you enter my non-space, is it possible you will appear instantaneously on "the other side"?

I don't have the answers to these questions.

I have no idea how to transition out of this.