Monday, December 26, 2011
"These novels will give way, by and by, to diaries or autobiographies - captivating books, if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
She needed to fix her computer.
She wanted a dress cause she was going to a party.
She was in the hospital because of kidney stones.
She needed to fix the washing machine.
She needed money for the salon.
She needed money for the salon.
She needed a new cell phone cause her little brother broke her old one.
She needed money cause she was going on a trip with her friends.
She wanted a dress and shoes cause she was going to a party.
She needed pills for the pain from the kidney stones.
She needed a new cell phone cause she dropped it in a puddle of water.
She wanted a new dress and shoes cause she was going to a party.
Copyright JM Hazan 2011
Jose Maria Hazan 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
What little I've accomplished has been by the most laborious and uphill work, and I wish now I'd never relaxed or looked back - but said at the end of The Great Gatsby: "I've found my line - from now on this comes first. This is my immediate duty - without this I am nothing."
Saturday, December 17, 2011
A sincere man am I
From the land where palm trees grow,
And I want before I die
My soul's verses to bestow.
I'm a traveller to all parts,
And a newcomer to none:
I am art among the arts,
With the mountains I am one.
I know how to name and class
All the strange flowers that grow;
I know every blade of grass,
Fatal lie and sublime woe.
I have seen through dead of night
Upon my head softly fall,
Rays formed of the purest light
From beauty celestial.
I have seen wings that were surging
From beautiful women's shoulders,
And seen butterflies emerging
From the refuse heap that moulders.
I have known a man to live
With a dagger at his side,
And never once the name give
Of she by whose hand he died.
Twice, for an instant, did I
My soul's reflection espy:
Twice: when my poor father died
And when she bade me good-bye.
I trembled once, when I flung
The vineyard gate, and to my dread,
The wicked hornet had stung
My little girl on the forehead.
I rejoiced once and felt lucky
The day that my jailer came
To read the death warrant to me
That bore his tears and my name.
I hear a sigh across the earth,
I hear a sigh over the deep:
It is no sign reaching my hearth,
But my son waking from sleep.
If they say I have obtained
The pick of the jeweller's trove,
A good friend is what I've gained
And I have put aside love.
I have seen across the skies
A wounded eagle still flying;
I know the cubby where lies
The snake of its venom dying.
I know that the world is weak
And must soon fall to the ground,
Then the gentle brook will speak
Above the quiet profound.
While trembling with joy and dread,
I have touched with hand so bold
A once-bright star that fell dead
From heaven at my threshold.
On my brave heart is engraved
The sorrow hidden from all eyes:
The son of a land enslaved,
Lives for it, suffers and dies.
All is beautiful and right,
All is as music and reason;
And all, like diamonds, is light
That was coal before its season.
I know when fools are laid to rest
Honor and tears will abound,
And that of all fruits, the best
Is left to rot in holy ground.
Without a word, the pompous muse
I've set aside, and understood:
From a withered branch, I choose
To hang my doctoral hood.
YO SOY UN HOMBRE SINCERO... (Verso I)
Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma,
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma.
Yo vengo de todas partes,
Y hacia todas partes voy:
Arte soy entre las artes,
En los montes, monte soy.
Yo sé los nombres extraños
De las yerbas y las flores,
Y de mortales engaños,
Y de sublimes dolores.
Yo he visto en la noche oscura
Llover sobre mi cabeza
Los rayos de lumbre pura
De la divina belleza.
Alas nacer vi en los hombros
De las mujeres hermosas:
Y salir de los escombros,
Volando las mariposas.
He visto vivir a un hombre
Con el puñal al costado,
Sin decir jamás el nombre
De aquella que lo ha matado.
Rápida, como un reflejo,
Dos veces vi el alma, dos:
Cuando murió el pobre viejo,
Cuando ella me dijo adiós.
Temblé una vez —en la reja,
A la entrada de la viña,—
Cuando la bárbara abeja
Picó en la frente a mi niña.
Gocé una vez, de tal suerte
Que gocé cual nunca:—cuando
La sentencia de mi muerte
Leyó el alcalde llorando.
Oigo un suspiro, a través
De las tierras y la mar,
Y no es un suspiro,—es
Que mi hijo va a despertar.
Si dicen que del joyero
Tome la joya mejor,
Tomo a un amigo sincero
Y pongo a un lado el amor.
Yo he visto al águila herida
Volar al azul sereno,
Y morir en su guarida
La vibora del veneno.
Yo sé bien que cuando el mundo
Cede, lívido, al descanso,
Sobre el silencio profundo
Murmura el arroyo manso.
Yo he puesto la mano osada,
De horror y júbilo yerta,
Sobre la estrella apagada
Que cayó frente a mi puerta.
Oculto en mi pecho bravo
La pena que me lo hiere:
El hijo de un pueblo esclavo
Vive por él, calla y muere.
Todo es hermoso y constante,
Todo es música y razón,
Y todo, como el diamante,
Antes que luz es carbón.
Yo sé que el necio se entierra
Con gran lujo y con gran llanto.
Y que no hay fruta en la tierra
Como la del camposanto.
Callo, y entiendo, y me quito
La pompa del rimador:
Cuelgo de un árbol marchito
Mi muceta de doctor.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The United States of America Circa 2003
Jose Maria Hazan
You go to Afghanistan to find Osama.
You get deported back to the US.
You sell your story to Hollywood and become famous.
You get addicted to cocaine with your agent while attending celebrity parties.
You fall in love with a porn star.
She leaves you when your fame ends.
You and your agent go after Saddam Hussein.
You both sneak into Iraq and end up in a crumbling palace snorting more cocaine, making plans that never materialize.
Copyright 2011 Jose Maria Hazan
Monday, December 12, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
by: Oscar Wilde
LILY-GIRL, not made for this world's pain,
With brown, soft hair close braided by her ears,
And longing eyes half veiled by slumberous tears
Like bluest water seen through mists of rain:
Pale cheeks whereon no love hath left its stain,
Red underlip drawn in for fear of love,
And white throat, whiter than the silvered dove,
Through whose wan marble creeps one purple vein.
Yet, though my lips shall praise her without cease,
Even to kiss her feet I am not bold,
Being o'ershadowed by the wings of awe,
Like Dante, when he stood with Beatrice
Beneath the flaming Lion's breast, and saw
The seventh Crystal, and the Stair of Gold.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
attributed to Jorge Luis Borges
Si pudiera vivir nuevamente mi vida,
en la próxima trataría de cometer más errores.
No intentaría ser tan perfecto, me relajaría más.
Sería más tonto de lo que he sido,
de hecho tomaría muy pocas cosas con seriedad.
Sería menos higiénico.
Correría más riesgos,
haría más viajes,
contemplaría más atardeceres,
subiría más montañas, nadaría más ríos.
Iría a más lugares adonde nunca he ido,
comería más helados y menos habas,
tendría más problemas reales y menos imaginarios.
Yo fui una de esas personas que vivió sensata
y prolíficamente cada minuto de su vida;
claro que tuve momentos de alegría.
Pero si pudiera volver atrás trataría
de tener solamente buenos momentos.
Por si no lo saben, de eso está hecha la vida,
sólo de momentos; no te pierdas el ahora.
Yo era uno de esos que nunca
iban a ninguna parte sin un termómetro,
una bolsa de agua caliente,
un paraguas y un paracaídas;
si pudiera volver a vivir, viajaría más liviano.
Si pudiera volver a vivir
comenzaría a andar descalzo a principios
de la primavera
y seguiría descalzo hasta concluir el otoño.
Daría más vueltas en calesita,
contemplaría más amaneceres,
y jugaría con más niños,
si tuviera otra vez vida por delante.
Pero ya ven, tengo 85 años...
y sé que me estoy muriendo.
(English translation attributed to Ursula
on The Garden of Jorge Luis Borges)
If I could live again my life,
In the next - I'll try,
- to make more mistakes,
I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed,
I'll be more full - than I am now,
In fact, I'll take fewer things seriously,
I'll be less hygienic,
I'll take more risks,
I'll take more trips,
I'll watch more sunsets,
I'll climb more mountains,
I'll swim more rivers,
I'll go to more places - I've never been,
I'll eat more ice cream and less (lime) beans,
I'll have more real problems - and less imaginary
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives -
each minute of his life,
Of course 1, I had moments of joy - but,
if I could go back I'll try to have only good moments,
If you don't know - that's what life is made of,
Don't lose the now!
I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umbrella 2 and without a parachute,
If I could live again - I will travel light,
If I could live again - I'll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till
the end of autumn,
I'll ride more carts,
I'll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live - but now I am 85,
- and I know that I am dying ...
1 originally: 'offcourse'
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Quítame el pan, si quieres,
quítame el aire, pero
no me quites tu risa.
No me quites la rosa,
la lanza que desgranas,
el agua que de pronto
estalla en tu alegría,
la repentina ola
de plata que te nace.
Mi lucha es dura y vuelvo
con los ojos cansados
a veces de haber visto
la tierra que no cambia,
pero al entrar tu risa
sube al cielo buscándome
y abre para mi todas
las puertas de la vida.
Amor mío, en la hora
más oscura desgrana
tu risa, y si de pronto
ves que mi sangre mancha
las piedras de la calle,
ríe, porque tu risa
será para mis manos
como una espada fresca.
Junto al mar en otoño,
tu risa debe alzar
su cascada de espuma,
y en primavera, amor,
quiero tu risa como
la flor que yo esperaba,
la flor azul, la rosa
de mi patria sonora.
Ríete de la noche,
del día, de la luna,
ríete de las calles
torcidas de la isla,
ríete de este torpe
muchacho que te quiere,
pero cuando yo abro
los ojos y los cierro,
cuando mis pasos van,
cuando vuelven mis pasos,
niégame el pan, el aire,
la luz, la primavera,
pero tu risa nunca
porque me moriría.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
Lately, I've become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus...
Things have come to that.
And now, each night I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.
Nobody sings anymore.
And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter's room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there...
Only she on her knees, peeking into
Her own clasped hands
[More Amiri Baraka Poetry here.]
"Boris has just given me a summary of his views. He is a weather prophet. The weather will continue bad, he says. There will be more calamities, more death, more despair. Not the slightest indication of change anywhere. The cancer of time is eating us away. Our heroes have killed themselves or are killing themselves. The hero, then, is not Time, but Timelessness. We must get in step, a lock step toward the prison of death. There is no escape. The weather will not change."
Friday, March 11, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
"It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility, and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissors. If you get a prudent, healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient."
You can read more here from his In Praise of Older Women Letter
Friday, January 21, 2011
Scott McClanahan sent me his book a while ago, and I read it as soon as i got it, but I hadn't gotten around to writing the review because I was being a procrastinator. I think I've done enough hibernation to really sink my teeth into it now. I really like this book and it's presdecessor - Stories - both published by Six Gallery Press. I'm actually not even sure which book i like more. They're both really good reads. There are some stories I really like from the first one and some that I really like from this sequel. This book continues the funny, intriguing adventures of Scott. Scott McClanahan has hit the jackpot of matter of fact, conversational, witty banter speak as narration. His voice is spot on as in captivating and realistic. The book reads like watching a very cool indi movie in Cannes. And I wouldn't be surprised if both books are ever optioned. Like I stated in my previous review of Stories I, Scott McClanahan's voice is very similar to Denis Johnson in Jesus' Son, but not as poetic. It's a very natural voice without any self concisousness at all. McClanahan does this thing where you don't know wether to laugh or cry and sometimes you end up doing both. I don't think I've ever read an author that can do that. But I'm not the most well read guy, either. For example, let's take the story Suicide Notes which is about Scott going to work one day to find out one of his co-worker's commited suicide. Pretty simple premise, really, and with such a premise, a writer can take it to a number of different places. The way Scott captures office talk is brilliant. He captures every beat masterfully. But what's peculiar about this story is that it feels like a horror story that could go on foreever as you're reading it. But the way he tells it, it's almost comical but it never crosses any line, and you almost feel morbid reading it. The tone almost verges on sarcasm so much that as you read it, you begin to wonder if he's trying to be funny or is he really being serious? Is there a punch line coming? The story treats suicide like a virus or disease that is going around the office, and everyone was so affected by their coworker's suicide that they all begin to wonder who is next. Eventually, Scott the narrator catches the fever or suicide disease and pens his own goodbye suicide note, not forgetting to tell matter of factly the reader that they will soon be writing the same note. After I finished it, I thought, that is fucked up! But that story comes right after The Future Teller, which has one of the most beautiful endings I've read in a story in a long time. The Future Teller can be considered the story foil of Suicide Notes. In Future Teller, Scott reveals he has a gift of seeing the future. He tells you from the first sentence, "O but I've always had the gift alright." As the story rolls along, Scott tries to convince the reader of his clarivoyance by citing different examples from his life. Most of the examples are in a gray area, because most of them were dreams he had about himself and his uncle. The story has the same feeling of waiting for a punchline that never really arrives, but in the ending Scott takes control by throwing away all the negativity of the piece with this great ending that could make any body smile: "So I ask you now - would you tell me I was wrong? Would you tell me I was wrong if I said I had a dream about you last night? And in this dream I saw into your future. I saw you living a long happy life. In this dream I saw you walking out the door tomorrow and finding true love, if you haven't already. I saw your children growing healthy and strong and throwing their arms around you saying, 'I love you Mommy. I love you Daddy. I love you forever.' I saw you living there in this future world without pain. surrounded by children, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and knowing one thing in this world, knowing that you would never die. So I ask you now-- Would you tell me I was wrong?" Another one of my favorite stories is The Couple which is about Scott going on a date. Scott goes on his first real date with Kim and they have the pleasure of being witnesses to a scene right out of the TV show Cheaters or Jerry Springer. Scott and Kim are at a state park and he is broke, until they finally spy a man being caught by his wife and her brothers with another woman. Scott and Kim end up stealing the cheater's pizza and continue to watch the scene unfold. The prose at the end of that story is also brilliant: "And so Kim and I sat and ate their pizza and we drank their pop and we watched it all because this wasn't our life being destroyed." I really like Stories II, but Stories I is also very good. I recommend you buy both. These are the type of books that you can give to your friend that doesn't like to read, - I guarantee you will turn them into readers. The art of story telling is alive and well, and Scott McClanahan has his pulse on a new kind of storytelling voice that has a tradition that comes from Mark Twain himself. I can't wait until Scott McClanahan writes the great american novel because I will be first in line to get my copy.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Kevin Fanning is the author of the short story collection Jennifer Love Hewitt Times Infinity, which I advise your run out and get specially if you are a Party of Five fan. His stories can also be found online like here. A lot of his short stories that I've read onlne are brief but quite brilliant. You gotta give props to anyone that manages to write an extremely awesome literary short story collection with Jennifer Love Hewit as the main character/metaphor. Below are his answers to the questionnaire.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Not having to worry about anything.
2. What is your greatest fear?
That I'll never actually finish anything.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am short-tempered and crabby almost all of the time.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
My partner. She is super smart.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Extravagance is hard in my tax bracket. I guess mp3s. Yes I pay money for music, and not only that, but it's how I take care of myself.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Worried, freaking out, stressed.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I can't even think of one virtue off the top of my head. OK I looked up virtue on Wikipedia. This questionnaire, honestly. Could it be rewritten with some questions that are more applicable to modern life? "How would you describe your entourage?" "Why should any of the good people of Brooklyn be interested in you?"
But OK so Wikipedia has a good list of virutes. I pick "poverty" as the one that is over-rated.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
When my kids catch me in a logical fallicy.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
When I look in the mirror I am disappointed that I am not just a brain in a jar.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
There are so many! I could not even choose. Basically anyone who ignorantly tosses around their notion of "values" in order to do me and my loved ones harm.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
I like a man to have a certain easy-going watchability. The man I am referring to is Ryan Reynolds.
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
I like a woman who can write. I like a woman who can point out how little I know about the world.
And I guess the person who wrote this list did not know any transgendered people. The quality I like most in a transgendered person is that they are trying harder than anyone to be true to themselves.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Like," "OK," and "SHUT UP ARE YOU SERIOUS."
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My special lady friend. Come on, man, she's reading this. Like I was really going to say Ryan Reynolds.
16. When and where were you happiest?
I'm counting on this happening somewhere in the future.
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Finishing the things I start, and liking the way they turned out.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like it if worry and panic were not always my default initial responses to everything.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I'm not answering this. Check back in 40 years.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A duck or a kingfisher or something. Any kind of deal where you can walk, OR swim, OR fly. That would be ideal.
21. Where would you most like to live?
In the city, where I don't need a car. But also far off in the country, so I don't have to be around people.
22. What is your most treasured possession?
Does a family count as a possession or is that creepy. It's a little creepy, I guess. So, a necklace made of human eyeballs.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Holy smokes this questionnaire goes on forever, yeah? Anyone bored? Can I get you something? Lemonade?
24. What is your favorite occupation?
I have so much writing I should be doing right now.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
I tend to get a little bored with overlong quesionnaires that take themselves too seriously.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
They put up with me.
27. Who are your favorite writers?
I have a lot of friends who are really good writers.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Honestly, come on.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I'm getting stressed thinking about all the writing I'm not getting done right now.
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Having heroes is dumb.
31. What are your favorite names?
32. What is it that you most dislike?
I am pretty sure this was asked somewhere up above, a couple dozen questions ago. Has anyone edited this list? Maybe I am farther down than anyone else has ever gotten before. At least I accomplished this one thing in my life.
33. What is your greatest regret?
I was never not easily distractible.
34. How would you like to die?
No thank you!
35. What is your motto?
Friday, January 14, 2011
"Haiml began speaking to me, to himself, and to no one in particular:'Where did all the years go to? Who will remember them after we're gone? The writers will write, but they'll get everything topsy-turvy. There must be a place somewhere where everything is preserved, inscribed down to the smallest detail. Let us say that a fly has fallen into a spiderweb and the spider has sucked her dry. This is a fact of the universe and such a fact cannot be forgotten, if such a fact should be forgotten, it would create a blemish in the universe. Do you understand me or not?'"