Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Preliminary Notes on a Miami Cannibal @ Expat Press

 


Click HERE: PRELIMINARY NOTES ON A MIAMI CANNIBAL

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Proust Questionnaire: Taylor Napolsky


I first ran into Taylor Napolsky's writing at Expat Press. He is a talented, dedicated writer; a most generous, happy-go-lucky soul. You can also find his work in MORIA, Lunate, and other journals. His new novel is called Economic Despair and everybody should check it out. You can also follow him on twitter.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?


Making all my money from writing stuff I want—not b.s. articles I don't care about—and having enough money to live comfortably, and buy clothes.


2. What is your greatest fear?

I hate that it's spiders, but it's spiders.


3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Umm, I can't think like that.... I am getting over these traits! I'm determined.


4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Talking and talking and never listening. For sure it's that.


5. Which living person do you most admire?

Kanye, naturally. I guess it's just "Ye" now....


6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Buying trail mix. It's too pricey for me, but it's the perfect snack.


7. What is your current state of mind?

"Nothing bothers me." That's what I'm always trying to get to.


8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Philanthropy. I'll just leave it at that.


9. On what occasion do you lie?

It's more like when do I not lie. Call me young Simba because I am the lying king.


10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Hair loss duh


11. Which living person do you most despise?

Probably this movie exec guy named Toby Emmerich.


12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Smarts!


13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Again, smarts!


14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Not in writing but in speaking: I say "You know what I mean?" constantly. Like, agree with me, please.


15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I'll go with "what." My Brilliant Friend on HBO Max.


16. When and where were you happiest?

High school when I was the star athlete. Kidding.

I spent some time in my twenties just going to clubs and drinking too many Red Bull vodkas every weekend; it was really fun, so I'd say that. I'm pretty happy now too though.


17. Which talent would you most like to have?

Like a "snap my fingers and I have it" talent? Extreme Spanish skills. Also just being good at learning languages in general would be cool.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?


I'd take more charm and charisma, all the way. You can never get enough of that.


19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

It's a combo of all the writing work I've completed, and also, low key high key, getting asked to do this questionnaire.


20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

That baby thing at the end of 2001. Let's fuckin go.


21. Where would you most like to live?

Seattle, but I could fuck with Miami too I think.


22. What is your most treasured possession?

My laptop, because it's so damn expensive and nice, and the battery lasts an age.


23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Loneliness.


24. What is your favorite occupation?

Well I wrote a whole list of activities, but then noticed it's only asking for one occupation, so reading comes first. That's it.


25. What is your most marked characteristic?

I'm a maniac, (in a good way), and always trying to be more of one.


26. What do you most value in your friends?

Being able to be real with them. The more real I can be, the more satisfying.


27. Who are your favorite writers?

I have to start with Morrison (I'm not talking about that Doors singer, either). Also Sayaka Murata (Convenience Store Woman is my book). And Shakespeare. Alejandro Zambra rocks my world. I'm not listing my very favorite though.


28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Hamlet is the most beautiful in all dimensions.


29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Sojourner Truth. She went so hard for what she believed in.


30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Michael B. Jordan, Otessa Moshfegh and Rosalía!


31. What are your favorite names?

I mostly don't think about names like that. I'll try though: Lakeith; Alana; Sergio; Naomi. That's about all I have. Judging by these ones I landed on, I suppose I like longer-syllabled names.


32. What is it that you most dislike?

People's obnoxious opinions on Twitter that I just have to tolerate, mostly, because why waste my time arguing.


33. What is your greatest regret?

One time I kind of cut ties with someone just because it seemed like the cool, trendy thing to do at the moment. It was dumb. It's all good though, because they seemed chill about it, and also I learned the lesson: Never the fuck will I do that again.


34. How would you like to die?

Old. Extremely old.


35. What is your motto?


Nothing bothers me and be a maniac.





Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Proust Questionaire: D'urban Moffer




D'urban Moffer is the producer of alt-write, a costumed performer, writer of American Kashayas…the book is a collection of poetic shrapnel fragments about the American psyche

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?


A mean temperature of 80 degrees F, a Swiss Family Robinson tree house and a legion of Latinx warriors.


2. What is your greatest fear?

Boredom.


3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My big fat yap's propensity to flap.


4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

See answer to previous question.


5. Which living person do you most admire?

I try not to, but it's probably someone none of you would know from my secret lives.


6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Costumery, media and Home Shopping Network.


7. What is your current state of mind?

I'll answer this with movie references: Blair Witch, Willy Wonka and Brazil.


8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Piety.


9. On what occasion do you lie?

When I'm on the internet.


10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I cannot mold it, no matter how I try, to mold it like Silly Putty.


11. Which living person do you most despise?

Currently, that would be The Chairman and all that he stands for.


12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Rationality.


13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

See answer to previous question.


14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Y'know? Whatever, maaannnn...


15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

They number six. Four are human, two are not.


16. When and where were you happiest?

Here- now.


17. Which talent would you most like to have?

An eidetic memory. Also, a business acumen.


18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My desire to be ever-changing.


19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Myself.


20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Scatophaga stercoraria


21. Where would you most like to live?

Belize.


22. What is your most treasured possession?

My betrothed.


23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Abject desperation.


24. What is your favorite occupation?

Mortician.


25. What is your most marked characteristic?

My hypnoidal eye.


26. What do you most value in your friends?

Rationality and loyalty. Failing that, a willingness to sexualize any situation.


27. Who are your favorite writers?

Kale Darnegie
Burma Bombspeck
Daniel Cravey


28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Either Jiminy Carter or Out-In-The-Shed.


29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs


30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Anyone who has no fucks to give but a heart of gold.


31. What are your favorite names?

Dirty ones in foreign languages. Or pharmaceutical ones.


32. What is it that you most dislike?

Social manipulation and/or interpersonal treachery.


33. What is your greatest regret?

Hurting anyone I've ever loved.


34. How would you like to die?

Lightning strike or anvil falling from the sky.


35. What is your motto?

Currently: 'Live like Human Resources is watching.'













Friday, April 1, 2022

Our Little House in Lisbon: An Excerpt from GITANES just posted at Expat Press

 


                                                                       CLICK HERE

Monday, June 28, 2021

Proust Questionnaire: Calvin Westra


Calvin Westra has been around -- his work has  appeared at Terror House Press, Harsh Lit and Back Patio among others. And now his debut -- Family Annihilator -- was just released by Expat Press. It's described as, "a novella about the writing of a short story about the making of a youtube series called family annihilator that is not about a family annihilator. it will teach you the best method for mopping tile floors on snowy days. there is a sex cult. a secret menu burger is going to kill a man on reality tv. she can pick up her pills today. everything will be okay. bad egg!"

He also makes an appearance in Expat 4 with yours truly (and the rest of the gang). 

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Chilling in the backyard, probably reading a really good and long book (2666, Vineland, Windup Bird Chronicles – something you can actually get lost in). Ideally with a stray cat occasionally wandering in the yard, trying to figure out if I can be trusted.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Everyone I know and love being replaced by demons that look just enough like who they’re replacing that I can tell who they represent. They all know me and each other and act as if nothing has happened and I have to play it cool and act like these demons are my friends and family or they’ll eat me alive.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

The part of me that is self-serious and wants to impress people.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Self-seriousness, really. I have a hard time with pretentious, name-dropping people or people who seek to hide or distort who they are. Especially because most of that behavior is really boring.

5. Which living person do you most admire?

There was this homeless guy who used to come to my chess club. I can’t remember his name but he always smelled like shit and he almost never talked but he was insanely good at chess, especially blitz and bullet (high speed chess) and I remember him beating a couple of Experts and a FIDE Master once. I think that’s really cool and I like that he just showed up out of nowhere, kicked a bunch of ass, and then probably drifted off to some other town. My friend who worked with the homeless shelter in town knew him better than I did and said that he once saw him running full speed in nothing but his underwear while carrying his beat-up copy of the Bible that he took with him everywhere. I love everything about that guy. He told me he mostly played chess online at the library. I like to think about him showing up at random libraries and playing online chess. He has to be at least 2000 ELO, maybe 2200.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

I spend like ten percent of my income at a diner, where I am slowly working my way through their entire menu. I like to splurge and get fried pickles too.

7. What is your current state of mind?

Surprisingly peaceful. I feel like I went through a year and a half long period of feeling very under attack mentally and I’m not sure why. I almost feel like it’s a cycle I just have to go through. Lately I have felt good. Enjoying life, spending a lot of time alone and trying to convince this stray cat that visits my backyard to accept food from me, and reading as much as I can. Happy.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Determination. Giving up is fun and more people should try it.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

I guess if I think the truth will hurt someone unnecessarily, I might lie but I try to be as honest as I can be, both with others and with myself.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My chubby cheeks.

11. Which living person do you most despise?

I won’t name him but if I ever catch him lacking...

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Humility and self-deprecation.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Honesty.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

In person, probably “theoretically,” which is an idiot word I get from my dad that he also overuses.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Definitely my now deceased feline companion, Fausta, who would sit at the front window when I was at work and actually wait for me to come home. I hate everything about her being dead.

16. When and where were you happiest?

In 2009, after six months of fruitless jobhunting in Denver, living in low-income housing with a MySpace rapper, we suddenly both found jobs and could do things like eat every day and smoke cigarettes and weed regularly. I remember eating a microwavable chimichanga for breakfast and thinking, life has never been better than this.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

I thought about this question for a long time and couldn’t think of anything, which I think is cool. I’m happy with whatever talents I have, am grateful I don’t have the ones I don’t have. I probably appreciate some things better because I know I can’t do them or even learn how.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think I would change myself to be more comfortable around people.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I want to come back as a tree.

21. Where would you most like to live?

I would love to try out life in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Seoul, and Oslo.

22. What is your most treasured possession?

I have a pair of child safe scissors I found on the ground once and thought, oh, these are really special. I carried them in my pocket for five or six years and now they sit on my desk in a coffee mug along with pens and stuff. I have no idea why I picked them up, or why I carried them, or why they’re in the coffee mug, or why I am declaring them to be my most treasured possession, yet here we are.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

When the voices in your head are really hostile and you can’t figure out how to negate them or defeat them or relieve that pain.

24. What is your favorite occupation?

I like being a janitor a lot. I also think being a marionette repairman would be cool.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

I am really good at getting in the head of a cat, understanding the cat’s personality, and then doing a solid voice/impersonation of the cat. I have mastered every cat of my own, my friends’ cats, the strays in the neighborhood etc. I can do it with dogs and other animals as well, but I specialize in cats.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

Friendliness 😊

27. Who are your favorite writers?

Haruki Murakami, Philip Roth, Lydia Davis, and Nathaniel Duggan.


28. Who is your hero of fiction?


Sean Phillips from Wolf in White Van.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I don’t know anything about history so I’m forced to say no one.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

I don’t think I have any but I dream of a world where a hero exists, in my neighborhood, who wears a cape and doesn’t necessarily fight crime but likes to show up after a crime has been committed, with a clipboard and a tape recorder. He’ll take people’s statements and be a nuisance to the cops and then eventually drive off in a Toyota Tercel but sometimes the battery is dead and the cops have to give him a jump before he can leave.

31. What are your favorite names?

Cyril, Cletus, Clem, Cierra.

32. What is it that you most dislike?

Boring, insecure people. People who value fitting in so much they can’t have fun, try something new, enjoy life etc. Self-serious, pretentious people. Cops. Managers. Rent-a-cops. Assistant managers.

33. What is your greatest regret?

Regretting things.

34. How would you like to die?

Either in my sleep at like 120 or killed by a bear.

35. What is your motto?

Just don't it.













Friday, August 28, 2020

Billy Joel, a Love Story @ The Times of Israel Blog

 


My most recent short story, 'Billy Joel', a Love Story, can be read HERE