Saturday, March 26, 2011


…I have a new story, "Good Children" up at 52/250 A Year of Flash and also here under "Words in Print."

…Sprees must be the happiest candies in the world. (Gummy Bears are a close second.) But Sprees are so freaking colorful. Have you seen them? Have you ever really looked a Spree in the eye? They're crayola-colored technicolor/dayglo/andy warhol/electric kool-aid acid test inspired discs, and the best thing is, they taste like sensate pleasure. The chewy, tropical-flavored Sprees are just as good as the originals. Trust me. I just had two packs. Yum.

…I have been listening to Alanis Morrisette's "Jagged Little Pill." What a wonderful record, full of angry rants and clever phrasings. Also, I pulled out Sinead O'Connor's "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got." "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a such a great song, with driving percussion and smart lyrics.

…In keeping with this nostalgic bent I'm on, I introduced my kids to "Risky Business" and "True Romance" last night. Both held up nicely although they could have used a bit of pruning. Every actor's performance was brilliant. I think all the haters should leave Tom Cruise alone.

…It gets windy where I live now. When I was a boy I was shy and reclusive. We lived on three acres and behind me was 40 acres more of random wilderness and I had this favorite spot that was up on a very small hill, really almost a mole hill, but it was surrounded by craggy, gray-skinned boulders, and rimming the base were some wild black berry bushes and so, late afternoons, with nothing to do, I'd venture to my special spot, pick a few wild berries, eat them, and then lay down on the ground and put my hands behind my head and listen to the way the wind worked through the tree tops, watching the limbs lash out at nothing, at each other, playing tag maybe. I'd do that for hours.
Sometimes when it gets really windy now and I'm outside I'll remember being a boy and it's not such a bad memory after all.

--I just finished Diane Williams last collection, or the last collection I had of hers. I'm sad to be through with it, with her, but I guess I can always re-read her. Her writing is so strange yet evocative. She was flash writing before people knew what flash fiction was. I wonder if she's still writing. I'd like to have lunch with her. Here are some bits I like, for whatever reason:

--"Let us endeavor to sum up. How much repetition does it take? A preservation? Biological investigation is required to explain the impulses and their transformations--the chief traits of a person. It is easy to forget, not that we ever should, that everything in this world is an accident, including the origin of life itself, plus the accumulation of riches. We should show more respect for Nature, not less. An accident isn't necessarily ever over."

--"I looked in vain for just one member of my family, or the most prominent person in my world. I was so grateful.
Typically, we are left, so many times. I love that routing--the horns of my dilemma--when they try to drag me forcibly away."

--"To have seen his face then--what's it caled?--turgid with lust for me?--was a forgotten truth."

--"I have gone so very far to deny death."

--"I trust the unknown. I could never be astonished by such painless deaths apart from one episode, wherein I attempted to twist my fat, and to rear a child, among other things."

--"If I could have an insight about this man's insight, I could probably save myself. That's my insight. I could save my children, my marriage, the world, if I could let enough people know--that there's a powerful solution in here somewhere--a breakthrough trying to break through.
The stranger was so angry talking to me. I don't think he believed I was believing him, and I didn't.
Will you please rise and shame us not, O Father."

--"She is plump because she has been stuffed with pralines, which is the secret of her plumpness. She likes to eat sweets.
She touched her genitals, thinking wistflly that they were flawless.
They are at their succulent best--red and yellow, but still firm--and if the skin is tender, you do not need to peel them. You can have the butcher make a series of fine, shallow cuts on the surface."

--"After her bath, she feels she is significant."

--"With this view in mind, your face is a composed as my vulva is. I would like to suggest that the smartest, the strongest, the most perfect person in the universe is my property.

--"I will not go to see someone just because he or she is conveniently located.
And if you do that thing again, evil people will be ruined completely. Good people will feel great. Springtime will span the year because that's my decision. Anyone who would have preferred some other season may feel a not-so-serious mistake has been made.

--"Our lives, which are leading us toward the shiny, bright flower of death, are austere, but if she says so, here, she can have money and glamour, she can have it.

--"People have to do so many things just to live their lives." -- Diane Williams


  1. Oh, damn it, Len. Your comment about wanting to have lunch with Diane makes me think how much I want to have lunch with you. I love your "Acts of Love". I am now going through all your work, here and there and everywhere, going, "Damn, I wish I wrote that." "Wow, that is great stuff." Gushy, I know, but also real. I already gushed at you at F-naut but I guess you don't go there much. Thank you for your writing.

  2. andrew!
    you're very kind and i appreciate that--your reading and commenting.
    no, i don't get on Fictionaut very much, really, not at all. to be honest, i'm not a fan of it. seems like a lot of blatant brown-nosing and no real critiques being made. but i can see a usefulness there.
    in any event, please feel free to stay in touch. i love writers and all things writerly, so if you ever have questions or want to chat, cyberally or otherwise, i am open to it.
    thanks again, and have a super sunday.
    best regards,