Posts Tagged ‘Books’

The Next Big Thing

February 27, 2013
And in a brief departure from MM’s usual flavor…
The Next Big Thing: Sara Nolan


Travis Cebula, thank for inviting me into this delicious arts crucible.


but this is bigger…

Sarah Suzor, poet who lures words, called The Next Big Thing “the anti-thesis of mainstream advertising.”  TNBT generates nourishing art community like flash mobs.  Appropriate to the project is the M.O. of Seth Godin, a tribal promoter: “My job is to notice things.”  TNBT facilitates noticing things outside of mainstream advertising, which attempts to place whoopee cushions under your most subtle and heartfelt ideas about what matters.

I am going to push this beyond where it is legitimately pushable and describe projects below that have not yet fully incarnated, thereby advertising something that does not yet exist.  But if God, however unfathomable and abstract, can and does have front-men and women pushing her fuzzy agenda, so can my proto-books.  Here they are.

What is/was the working title of the book (s)?

For What It Is: Essays in Transit (I explained to my partner that I sometimes feel like a child trapped in an adult’s body, and he said—something like– well maybe you just see things for what they are.  Yeah. Thank you, title).

Unprofessional. (My beef with professionalism).

Orpheus and Eurydice: To Hell and Back (A lyric sequence co-authored with Rick Benjamin, now small-state RI’s poet laureate).

Where did the idea come from for the book?

From the general realization that Life is unfathomably strange to me, and preciously close.  From taking my shoes off in Corporate America offices and walking in the hallway in Smartwool socks.  Rejecting the micro-wave popcorn style of careering. Obsessing about those who lose everything in a moment of impulsive love and then attempt to shatter loss like it is a piñata.


This is my boss

What genre does your book(s) fall under?

Poetry masquerading as Creative-Non-fiction; Life masquerading as Words.  Self-help with spirit medicine.  Dialogic Poetry.  Cup Runneth Over.

 What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Anywhere “I” appear, “I” would be played by Jasmine Tea, as I am sure my blood is mostly composed of that now anyway, and Jas is too formless to be overly formal.  Loss would be played by an avocado born without a pit.  My characters all shift shape too quickly to be played by any single actor or actress, so a blurry screen would serve the works best.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Outlandishness takes Rigor on an extended date; both opt for unemployment over Status Quo; en route to humble corners of the Big Picture, they collide with mythic figures in a Rent Controlled apartment with a rusted fire escape, where Love combusts. [Admit what great community service semi-colons do!]

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Lifetimes. 15 minutes.  A lifetime + fifteen minutes. A few years of late-night emails under the influence of heart.


Timetable of a Little Fish In A Big Eternity

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Multiplicities.  Rick Benjamin insisted that I was sent here for my gifts.  Poet Doctor Martha Oatis kept insisting I already had a book. I was irritated about what we are groomed for and so groomed out of.  I think Love should cost everything, because it gives everything.  So I’m spending all my words on that.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I hope its generosity and overactive bullshit detector.  Or maybe its abject commitment to being here.  Its undisciplined genre.  I’d like writing to overturn things—but the right things.   So that the heart beats a little cleaner and more commitedly.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The jury is still sitting on this egg.  Unprofessional will likely be published by Shadow Mountain Press and the one and only Travis Cebula.

Tagged: Rick Benjamin, Shin Yu Pai, Martha Oatis…and two others unconfirmed!  Look for their next big thing-ing next wednesday!


Training Artists

December 6, 2010

Dearest Missive Receivers: Don’t faint: This post is actually short.  Love in postcard proportions, S.

this train is bound for

Training Artists

A young man with a cap and pencil-thin, short dreads passes through my train car with handfuls of what look like pamphlets.  He holds them out, fanning them.

I wrote these! He trumpets, leaning over so he is at eye-level with the passengers.  Here, you can look at it! He extends his mini-book, back-jacket side up.  His dreads shake like a bowl full of jelly on a Lazy Susan.

I am loaded down with bags—even a mule would laugh.  Returning home from a week in Boston with root vegetables, family and friends.  Among my equipage, big, empty, mason jars.  This is just in case of an ER requiring a sealable lid.

I can feel the mucus race down my nasal passages.  Humans can make a quart of the stuff per day.  Though I could use his papers as tissues, I try to look disinterested in his autobiography.  Luckily, he is interested enough for everybody.

He puts a booklet directly in front of my eyes.  I wrote this, he says again, a marketing strategy he seems to trust.  And you can buy it. He is nimble.

I’m not going to, I say, but that’s awesome.

Many things are awesome. I’m not sure his book is one.  But his good cheer is welcome.

This guy also wrote a book but I haven't read it yet

O.K., he says. And you have fun in the woods.

What, did my knit hat confuse him?  My dirty rainproof jacket?

I’m not going to the woods, I say.  But maybe you could try selling your books there.

To some cows? He asks.

Do woods have cows?

Sure, I say.  You’d have to give them a little context though.

O, He laughs.  You could do that for me.

So now I am his agent?  Because I didn’t want to buy his two-dollar book but talked to him about it anyway?  I think this similar to how the publishing world really works.

I’m going to Brooklyn, I say.

He leans against the subway pole and flashes a big smile. It’s his E-Z pass.  He has all his teeth but looks like he’s missing them; so naked and small do his pearly-(off)-whites seem so when his lips pull back.

Where are there Woods? He asks.  I don’t even know where there is A Wood!

One wood? I think about it.  You should start in the Park. I say. And see from there.

O.K. He nods happily.  I will.

He gets off at the next stop and moves on to the neighboring car.  Same gig.

The woman beside me pulls her purse strap out of the way of my arm with great dramatic flair.  I know—it’s contagious, this communication.  And I could have bed bugs.

I’m trying to figure out how to bring my own writing into the world and I wonder if I should follow the young man’s example: Photocopy it by the dozen, whore it on the subway and ask for money with a big smile?   To do this you have to be more than O.K. with getting a “No”—but can’t let the “no” turn into a clot.  It’s our duty to keep the bloodstream of art in motion.

sometimes art even has a nice ass

Other artists make other choices: they share their work with anything that lives, for no price at all.  Telling their stories to trees, ivy, the vermin in dumpsters.

The 2 train screeches horribly along its tracks, grating at my nervous system.  I have so many bags that my fingers can’t reach my ears to plug them, so I hum madly.  The woman beside me perfects her expression of annoyance.  Like Prometheus’ face when he registered that he’d been nabbed for stealing the fire for mankind.  He was annoyed about pyrotechnics, she’s annoyed by the proximity. I look towards the adjacent car.  I can see the writer there, arms outstretched, his story prickling at his fingertips.

What I feel like when art happens