You know that any resemblance to real places, spaces, people, time, or things is purely coincidental.
Alone, you sit on the floor of your apartment thinking about evil,
honesty, that malignant growth in your hip, your dead uncle, letters you
should have written, the second person, and stretch marks. You’re
wearing an XXL T-shirt you plan on wearing the day your novel comes out.
The front of the T-shirt says, “What’s a real black writer?” The back
reads, “Fuck you. Pay me.” You open your computer. With a scary pain in
your hip, you inhale, force a crooked smile before reading an email from
Brandon Farley, your fifty-four-year-old black editor.
“The success of your book will be partially dependent on readers who
have a different sensibility than your intended audience,” he writes.
“As I’ve already said to you, too many sections of the book feel forced
for the purpose of discussing racial politics. Think social media. Think
comment sections. Those white people buy books, too, bro. Readers,
especially white readers, are tired of black writers playing the wrong
race card. If you’re gonna play it (and I think you should) play it
right. Look at Tarrantino. He is about to fool all these people into
believing they were watching a black movie with Django. I guarantee you that whiteness will anchor almost every scene. That’s one model you should think about.”
Read the rest of "You Are the Second Person" HERE.
P.S. Thank you, Rion Amilcar Scott and Kima Jones for turning me onto Kiese Laymon.
P.S.S. Think the author misspelled "Tarantino" on purpose?
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Friday, May 31, 2013
My story collection has been eleven years in the making. Beginning my senior year in college, carrying over into graduate school, then all the years after. I wrote the first draft of "Genuflection" in 2002. I wrote the first draft of "Benediction" the summer of 2004. I wrote the first draft of "Marcelle" four years ago. I wrote the first draft of "Reservoir Bitch" six months ago. This collection tracks my evolution as a writer. It reveals my insecurities and obsessions. Dog Men is my mixed tape. A love song. A tribute. I've garnered inspiration from many-a-muse.Thank you. Lots of people have believed in me. So many have shown support. Roxane Gay is my fairy godmother, and like I've said a hundred times, I intend to kiss her toes. Hopefully, I didn't forget to thank anyone in "acknowledgments" because I have many beautiful, generous, genius people to thank.
I dedicate my collection to three very important people. Can you guess who they are?
Dog Men coming soon from Tiny Hardcore Press.
I promise to share excerpts in the next few months. I also promise to share video of myself reading.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
“...trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”—Jay Gatsby
I’m sorry, but I think we have to discuss the elephant in the room here. While Baz Luhrmann’s movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby looks gorgeous, and probably brings the novel to life in a wonderfully larger-than-life manner, at no point have I seen anyone discussing how Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby is obviously Jack from Titanic. And how the movie is obviously an alternate timeline where he survived the sinking of the ship and went on to build a life for himself in America in an attempt to reunite with Rose.
Not only that, but no one is discussing how this is the sixth Leonardo DiCaprio movie depicting an alternate timeline where Jack survived.
Read the rest of "The Great Gatsby is an Alternate Timeline" HERE.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
(From The Nervous Breakdown)
This story, I swear, has a happy ending.
I’ll start here, though it’s not the beginning: My father is banging on the wall with his cane.
This is what he does when he needs help. He lives downstairs from us, but most days his legs don’t work well enough to get up our back stairs, and his hands shake too much to dial a telephone. So with my mother temporarily in nursing care, when my father requires assistance, he stands in the back staircase and bangs on the wall with his cane until I come down. He has one of those necklaces he can use to call the paramedics, but he usually doesn’t wear it, and even if he did, the paramedics are not going to fix him some spaghetti or run out to buy him bananas* or make his answering machine stop beeping. His wall-pounding stamina is impressive.
Read the rest of "This is Happiness" HERE.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
(From Antonia Crane Rants)
J didn’t need a stylist, really. Her wardrobe was lady chic; not Lady Gaga. I have her text messages to prove it. She’s been sending me photos of herself in potential CNN-worthy shirts: emerald green sleeveless, silky royal blue tank, dark blue jersey and her electric smile with the words, “Which one is best?”
She got the call to appear on CNN last minute to talk about her choice as a 27-year old woman to have a double mastectomy and to have her ovaries removed when she found out that she had precancerous cells. She was going to have a conversation with the world about vanity, our bodies and taking responsibility for our health. She was going to tell a million people, especially women, that she felt deformed and ashamed, but not now. Thanks to the sexiest woman alive, Angelina Jolie, she had cried for the first time in ten years about making that brave and necessary choice—the choice to live without her boobs and her ovaries. That making her decision was perhaps sexy and beautiful. She was going to tell women to love themselves. She practiced her responses with me in her bathroom.
Read all of "Forget the Lashes" HERE.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
(From Antonia Crane Rants)
C asked me “Did you see those guys?” The hair on his arms was erect. He had chills. We were eating dinner together in a dark, crowded, stylish pub. “They were like these horrible looking guys.” He was talking about the men who raped and terrorized those young girls for a decade— The ones who recently escaped because a neighbor sensed something wrong. That’s what I heard. I don’t have a TV anymore. C watches the news around the clock. He has anxiety. Wakes up at 3a.m. sometimes, pale blue eyes going bad from staring hard into worry, sipping instant coffee, clenching his neck. Head-to-toe beautiful.
Read the rest of "It's Us Up There" HERE.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
(From the Globe and Mail)
Old age is my territory now. I have sailed past septuagenarian status and landed relatively peacefully in the octogenarian zone.
Here, truly, lies the Age of Invisibility when we disappear – certainly as physical, sexual beings.
“Once you pass 80 they will applaud you just for standing up,” my mother used to say. These days, I get a laugh when I stand up and tell people that.
Becoming an old woman has been a sexually liberating experience for me. It has given me, among other things, a great ability to love generously, since I am not impelled to act out that love.
Read the rest of "Sexually Liberated Invisible Woman" HERE.