#vanlife

In Berlin, he’d been a maker of old people’s porn, a maker of documentaries on unexploded munitions from WWII, a curiosity shop employee, and a background actor. He’d also written a few short stories and started an online fiction and poetry zine with me.

It was a bust. All of it. Nothing paid more than minimum wage if it paid anything at all, so he moved back to Canada, got a job in British Columbia as a flight instructor. Three weeks later, he washed his hands of that too. “Shadiest place I’ve ever worked,” he told me. But with the money he’d earned, he was able to buy a van, outfit it with a bed, a dresser, and a toilet that was a bucket with a foam ring duct taped to the rim. His plan was to go on the road with the van and document it on his YouTube channel.

His first video, called #vanlife, was an instructional about setting up the van and the bucket. After that, he took to the road, tooling through British Columbia and stumbling upon a little village called Lytton. There, he met an old man in a diner who asked if he’d panned for gold in any of the local waters. He hadn’t, but the idea appealed to his romantic old school cowboy nature, so he did some research on the internet and bought a frying pan at Wal-mart and spent the next month squatting on his ass in the frigid river.

It was a bust. Just like curiosity shops, and background acting, and old people’s porn, and documentaries on unexploded munitions from WWII, and editing with me and fiction writing were all a bust. He was even beginning to think #vanlife was a bust, so he packed up and left Lytton, but not before smoking one last cigarette and flicking the butt out the window of his van. Normally it wouldn’t have mattered that he’d done this. But that summer there was a heatwave. Worst one in British Columbia in recorded history. Well, it might not have been his cigarette that did it. But that day, something – a pine needle, a leaf – something caught fire somewhere in Lytton and now the diner where he met the old man no longer exists. The old man might not even exist. Lytton hardly exists. The whole village was engulfed by roaring flames. But my co-editor made it out of there with a half-pack of smokes, driving east, all the way across the country to Nova Scotia.

There, he ran into an old friend who told him he could park his van on his property. The property was immense, with lots of lawn and maple trees, and a Victorian mansion on it. My co-editor moved into the Victorian mansion after just one night in his van under the maple trees. And not long after that, as he thought about his next move, which would have something to do with flying, and little to do with life here on terra firma, his #vanlife video was quietly deleted from his YouTube channel.

2 Poems

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A couple of my poems just published in the Poppy Road Review:

Leaving Berlin

When I come back to this place
the biergartens will be hibernating,
the trees in their anorexia
will stand nude and quivering
against the buildings, the gloomy skies of November
will ring with church bells and the sighs
of concrete angels.

When I come back here,
it’ll be as if to another city
in another hemisphere, the dark northern light
having driven the laughter
from the streets, having replaced it with moaning
afternoon sirens, with people with faces grim
as mildewed clouds in the rain, melancholy Monday
morning faces shriveled in the collars
of an Edward Munch painting.

When I come back to this place,
it’ll be as if these soft September evenings,
the blue grasses, the Dionysian ivy
climbing up the building sides,
the guitars floating from the dusky willows –
all of it was a dream, and the essence
of the city was never anything
but the nebulous dark mists of beautiful
inward gazing
November.

Strange Instruments

Holed up in this pre-WW1
apartment building,
curtains open to the cool green
shade of the garden,
swivel chair like an old man
groaning under him,
bright white screen gaping at him,
the cursor blinking.
He sits hunched in the glow of it,
feels a fissure like a rattlesnake’s jaws
clamped to his back, his legs cramp.
He stretches them under
his desk. He has been here all day,
gone into it, lost in himself,
departed from humanity, fighting
against light and shadow
and age and words that won’t come.
Isn’t there something else
he could’ve done with his life
than be a writer of words.
He thinks about all people
he’s drifted away from, the impossible
distances, the years piled
on each other, the hours spent
bent-backed in the maddening
orchards of literature, his dreams
bound up in the harvest,
his heart like a tiger
roaming the plains, oblivious to the wind, the rain,
the seasons, the moon.
Only knowing the strange
instruments in its head,
only listening to them.

Interview with Black Stone / White Stone

As promised, here is the interview I did with Daniel Flosi, the editor of Black Stone / White Stone.

Why Poetry? 

With poetry you can say a lot in very few words but can also say what can’t be said in an everyday conversation. I have noticed that in everyday conversations, people rarely talk about the psychological, the philosophical, or what’s underneath the surface. It’s mostly about the obvious: sports, politics, the latest gossip, and money, always money – how they’ve spent it, how they plan on spending it, what geniuses they are in the accumulation of it. It’s all just such a bore, and you feel yourself dying a little whenever you’re stuck listening to it. Poetry is the great reviver. It’s a cure-all from the dead chatter of your social group, your family, the masses, and it’s my favorite of all art forms. And when it’s going well it can be pure bliss. I get high off it like other people do off jelly doughnuts or bull riding.

Who are you currently reading? 

D.H. Lawrence’s Mornings in Mexico. I love D.H. as a poet but love him even more as a travel writer. He just had so much depth and wisdom and was such a great painter with words. Few could bring a scene or landscape to the mind’s eye so vividly, it’s like standing in front of a Van Gogh or a Cezanne when you read him.

What poet(s)/artist(s) have had a major impact on your work? 

The first poet was Bukowski. He’s the one who opened the door to poetry for me. Before him, I’d hardly read it, and because of him, I started writing it. Luckily, I realized pretty quickly he’s not someone you imitate. His personality was too huge, too overbearing and influential. I see him as a kind of modern-day Silenus, a drunken wiseman who only comes along every 500 years or so, leaving behind his untouchable little myth.

E.E. Cummings was next for me. He’s another poet whose words stand on the page like little paintings. I made my sharpest turn as a poet after reading him. And then came Horace, Shakespeare, Baudelaire, Pound, Trakl, Lorca, Tomas Tranströmer. From Goethe I learned next to nothing about poetry, but he taught me more about living, and about how to live, than just about anyone, including my father. The important thing, I think, is this: to be no less of a poet in your life than you are on the page. Most poets go to shit once they step away from their writing desks. Actually, they’re shit there too. They’re shit everywhere. Especially in their herds.

Where does a poem usually start for you? 

With friction. My poems don’t usually come from a happy place. Most often they come from stress, anxiety, tics, anger, nightmares, paranoia, broken nerves. You need friction in the oyster to create the pearl and it’s the same with me and poetry.

What are a couple features of poems that you enjoy when reading? 

My favorite poems are ones that a.) can be read again and again, and b.). don’t just dazzle with language, or wit, or some unconventional truth, but contain a whole life philosophy in them, expressed in just a few words.

Could you give us an example? 

Here’s a famous one from Horace’s Carpe diem: “Be wise, decant the wine, and since our space is brief, cut back your far-reaching hope. Even while we talk, envious time has fled away: seize the day, put little trust in what is to come.”

Could you give us the story behind Dispatch from a Friend’s Sofa? 

Sure, that happened at my friend’s summer house just outside of Berlin. I’d been drinking heavily all night and thought I’d pass out right when I hit his lumpy Ikea sofa. Instead, I just lay there despairing, hour after hour, my mind racing in drunken orbits. None of my thoughts were any good. It was all just recirculated trash, and all I wanted was to fall asleep before the sun came up. Then, to my surprise, just as the sky was lighting up, the moon appeared like a pearl in the window. It was a gorgeous vision, the neighbor’s roof, the tree, the pearl. It was as though my inner turmoil had created it and put it out there, this symbol that was so peaceful and beautiful it put me right to sleep.

I chose The Transient for the final piece as it feels right, but also because it has those features that you mentioned you enjoy. Could you pick a line or two in this poem and give us a “behind the scenes” or maybe a personal definition as opposed to the universal truths it contains?

The empty ocean, the buried moon,

your hand in my hair.

Love’s early light breaking through the window.

This was written when my wife and I first started dating and I wasn’t allowed to have even a milligram of sperm in my body, ever. My wife is 18.5 years younger than me, and this lasted for quite a while – me going around feeling old and torn up, without any milligrams. But I knew the whole time it was just a temporal thing, that where sex was concerned we were riding on the top end of Fortune’s Wheel and that the bottom end would come round soon enough. All we had to do was get married.

These poems feel like they were written closely together. Are they part of a larger collection? 

These are part of a very large collection that’s been building up on my computer for several years. Most of the poems have been published somewhere, but the collection itself has no publisher. I haven’t really tried. I might self-publish it.

Do you have any other projects or recent publications that you’d like to point us toward? 

I have two finished novels on my computer that I haven’t had any luck finding an agent for. Those too I might self-publish, probably this year, if I can’t find anywhere else to go. In the meantime, my poetry collection Hallucinogenic Dragonfly Intermezzo is available on Amazon. I’m still very happy about the work in that one which says a lot because I usually want to go back and edit my old stuff. There’s not too much in HDI that I would change.

As for my other projects, I love to draw and just started painting with oil. Oil painting is as tough as an Opa-Locka prostitute. It takes donkey’s years to master it. But at the ripe age of 51, I have set out. You can find some of my stuff on Instagram @mppowers1132

Black Stone / White Stone (5 Poems)

I’ve got 5 new poems up at Black Stone / White Stone. It’s a little mini-collection that I named Deliberate Insomnias. There will be an interview to go along with it in a few days. I will post the whole of that here when it goes up.

Below is (1) of the poems. The rest can be found at this link:  https://bswszine.com/current-issue/m-p-powers/

Empty Night Monologue  

It’s not even that warm in here
but I am roasting
I can’t sleep I can’t keep
my limbs in one place
I tear the sheets off me
my pores
have eyes
my mind is broken
etruscan pottery

something has climbed
into me some demon
some long
dead cockroach
ancestor a minister
a murderer
my great-great-grandfather
gus wheeler
maybe it’s him maybe
it’s that woodcutter he killed
or a family
curse

I am beginning to see
oblivion as though it were
a palpable
thing like toenail clippers
or a robotic vacuum
cleaner

hey maybe
I won’t sleep
at all tonight

I can’t turn off my mind
I am melting I tell you
maybe I will cry
I might even dance
or fill the room with raw
unearthly
screams

I would
but my wife she’s sleeping
I can hear
the air whistling through her
nostrils
I want to tell her
how I am suffering I want to
tell her about love
about gus wheeler
about my brain not shutting off
but I better
not she is dreaming

I think I’ll just lie here roasting
in this
wretched
humanity
my toes wiggling.

The Oldest

This poem was published recently over at MONO. Here’s a link to the issue: https://www.paperturn-view.com/mono-2/minimalist-gossip-magazine-cover-49-pdf-13?pid=Mjg283559

The Oldest (My Apartment Building)

From a distance, it could be anything
from an overgrown mausoleum
to a blue elephant raging in a garden.

This is the oldest apartment building on the street.

This building was here before flush toilets.

It remembers both world wars,
the forced labor camps down the street,
that madman
with the funny mustache who turned
its radios into earthquakes.

This building remembers the families
that were torn from her belly
and dragged off to Siberia,
never to be heard from again.

Cryptic bloodlettings, narcs with ears of schnauzers,
snub-nosed revolvers
hidden under fruit bowls,
the papered walls trembling with intrigue
and shotty electricity.

This building doesn’t forget; it remembers
even the nothing years
the sunlight swept under the rug,
the old woman in classy old woman’s clothes
stepping out onto a windy balcony.

This building’s balconies are always
windier on the north side
where delivery trucks rumble into the blood-mist
of the dying day and drunks with pushcarts
piss in blue shadow.

The Buddha in the Key Largo Swimming Pool 

Ten potbellied air compressors
sitting
in the shallow end.

They have come from the panhandle.
They have come to release the pressure valve.

They have come with Yeti coolers
brimming with Bud Light,
bags of shrimp, other delights.

And on their radio: songs of pride.

These men are patriots.
These men love America, God, football, their mothers.

These men are men
by almost anyone’s definition.

But they are lesser
versions
of their leader, the largest, the XL
potbellied
air compressor.

He sits in the center
like Buddha
in blue-lensed sunglasses,
his massive arms propped on the ledge,
his ten-gallon straw hat lolling
as he proselytizes
about somethingorother.

I wade across the pool to find out what.
I figure
it must be profound
considering
all the reverence they’re giving him.

Then I hear it: “I sold that
lot for two-and-a-half.”

That’s all.

But punctuated
with a belch, and a thrust of his arm
toward
the Yeti cooler.

“More,” he tells one
of his
underlings.

And is served.

My Father’s New Friend, Les

My father loved cars, but it took him until he was 80 to get the one he’d always wanted, a candy-apple-red corvette that went 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. The car looked like a fireball on the road, and my father couldn’t have been happier his first day out with it, driving along A1A, opening it up on the highway, tooling through the backroads of Boca while listening to Neil Diamond on his Bose premium ten-speaker system. His last stop that day was at the supermarket. He went there to pick up a key lime pie and some diapers for my mother and when he got out of there, he noticed a man of about 60 lingering around his new ride.

   “This your vette?” the man asked as my dad approached.

   “Yea.”

   “Boy this is a beauty. This thing must’ve set you back a fortune. I mean, what a gorgeous car…”      

   Introductions then followed along with car talk. My father loved good clean car talk and he was especially interested in hearing the first comments from people about his new Corvette. He told his new friend (whose name was Les) about the 6.2L V8 LT2 engine, the HD rear vision camera with park assist, the power-retractable seats.

   “It’s just such a gorgeous machine,” said Les. “Hey you mind if I sit in it? I just want to know how it feels…”

   Les was a small man wearing khaki shorts and a pink Polo shirt.

   My father let him sit in the driver’s seat and was happy to hear that Les found the seat to be comfortable, extraordinarily so.

   Les got out, and there was more of that good clean car talk, more flattery of the vehicle, but somehow the subject veered to politics. Les, it turned out, was an avid Trump supporter, my father was a democrat. They had strongly opposing views, but my father, not wanting to waste his time in senseless debate, didn’t let Les know it. Instead, he dropped a few hints that it was time for him to get going. Les ignored them and went on babbling about everything from taxes to inflation to immigration to healthcare and finally to his prostate.

   “I don’t know how it happened,” he was saying. “I mean, I’ve been doing it right for years: exercise, a good diet, lots of whole wheat products, legumes, hardly any meat, no soda, I don’t drink much. I didn’t think I’d ever get prostate cancer, but sure enough…”

   My father by now was sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition and Les standing there, hovering over him. “And let me tell you, the surgery? I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I didn’t ever think it’d come to this. You see, well, ya know my dick’s kinda curved now. It’s one of the things that can happen with prostate surgery. It curves to the left… It’s just… it’s not good. Who’s gonna wanna date a guy with a dick that’s shaped like a pothook! I feel like a freak!”

   It wasn’t too long after that proclamation that my father, feeling both duped and disillusioned about the turn the conversation had taken, managed to weasel out of there, leaving Les and his pothook standing in the middle of the parking lot, staring at that marvelous red machine like it was a woman leaving him.

A Day in London (8.12.2022)

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Last Saturday, my wife and I took the train from her parents’ house in Surrey to London. The weather was about how you’d expect London weather to be on a December afternoon: damp, gloomy, with an icy island wind that sliced into your bones; and dark, even at 2 p.m., dark like just before a storm, when the traffic lights are Rorschachs floating in the mist, when those old-tyme black taxis and the double-decker busses rumble through intersections with headlights throwing reflections, when the people stare and drift through the streets like spirits animated by some hidden underground force.

     The first place we went was to visit Bunhill Fields Burial Grounds.

     Bunhill Fields is a 4-acre plot of greenspace in central London. In it, or under it, 123,000 dead souls reside, all of them interred there between 1665 and 1854. Only a small number of them got a monument out of the deal; the rest were rolled into a hole and covered with earth.

   The tombstones at Bunhill Fields are tall and skinny and crumbling, their epitaphs mostly worn away. They stand in the dead leaves and grass at curious angles, victims of gravity and decades of rolling London seafog. No wonder so many of them are gated-in and inaccessible to the public – they look like one small nudge would topple them.

     But we hadn’t come to see those relics.

     We had come to visit my old friend William Blake whose tombstone was on a concrete pad outside the gates, not far from the monuments of John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe. Blake’s was the most modest of the three. It was a slab of about three feet high with his wife’s name on it too. On top of it, someone had left a handful of coins; a pot of orange flowers had been set on the ground in front of it. Blake himself was somewhere else on the grounds… behind one of the fences, lying in the mud with the others, but deeper underground, deeper than everyone else, deeper than the worms and the roots of the trees, deep as his imagination was deep…

                                       As I was walking among the fires of Hell,

                                      delighted with the enjoyments of Genius;

                                      which to angels look like torment and insanity…

     We had little time for all we wanted to get to that day, so unfortunately couldn’t stay long with Blake, nor with those two others I hadn’t yet read. We did however spend some minutes with the monument of a certain Mary Page. The epitaph on it read thus:

                                     HERE LYES DAME MARY PAGE

                                     RELICT OF SIR GREGORY PAGE BART

                                     SHE DEPARTED THIS LIFE MARCH 4 1728

                                     IN THE 56th YEAR OF HER AGE

And on the other side:

                                     IN 67 MONTHS SHE WAS TAP’D 66 TIMES

                                     HAD TAKEN AWAY 240 GALLONS OF WATER

                                     WITHOUT EVER REPINING AT HER CASE

                                     OR EVER FEARING THE OPERATION

Alas, poor Mary!

                                                                              ****

After Bunhill’s, we’d planned to visit the National Gallery, but the line was so outrageously long, we said to hell with it and went for some ales. The pub was called The Harp, Covent Garden. The Harp is a cozy little locals hangout hung with varnished chandeliers and old oil paintings, nicotine-stained paintings that were probably older than the ones we would’ve seen at the National Gallery.  The Harp itself has been around for centuries, long enough that many of our dirt-covered friends at Bunhill’s Burial Grounds had probably drunk ales there. Blake might’ve even come to the Harp. And Mary Page, before she had been tap’d and dewatered, might’ve come…

     A person’s character doesn’t change, but tastes do. I used to hate ale. I used to think it tasted like muck scraped out of the exhaust manifold of a retired Jaguar. Now, after having spent the last 8 years with a British woman who has plied me with it on numerous occasions, I have grown to love it even more than those other things she’s plied me with: Cornish pasties, pork scratchings, Marmite… I still haven’t developed much taste for tea…

     We ordered two ales, lucked two seats near the entrance, and then they came. Watch Crunch. A meet-up group of watch enthusiasts. There were about 15 in total, all of them (except for the hostess) white British men between the ages of 40 and 70. The host was a white British woman in her early 40s. She was wearing a tight jacket and a shiny leather skirt and high heels. Very overdressed for the bar and occasion, but it didn’t seem to bother the 14 other enthusiasts. Any one of them would’ve loved to have a roll in the hay with her was my guess and my wife’s guess was that she’d set up the meet-up for that very purpose, or simply to find a husband.

     “What do you think they talk about besides the time?” I asked my wife, looking the group over. Whereupon one of the members unveiled a small box of watches of various styles.

     “Huh? Huh?” he said, as his companions stood there fawning.

     I ordered two more ales at the bar.

     When I came back, my wife was talking to the host who was telling her about how her watch was the very one Arnold Schwarzenegger had worn in the Terminator. She’d gotten it in an auction, I think. I asked her if she knew a friend of mine who was from London and was also a watch enthusiast but had brain cancer and upcoming surgery (back in 2017) and one day simply vanished. She didn’t know him.

     “What about Mary Page?” I asked. “Did you know that in 67 months she was tap’d 66 times and had taken away 240 gallons of water without ever repining at her case…etc., etc..”

     She didn’t know that either.

     I drank, ordered more ales at the bar…

Alas, poor Mary!

                                                                                ****

The last place we went that day was to Jack the Ripper’s old stomping grounds, Brick Lane, where all the Bangladeshi curry houses are located. I love a good curry. That’s another thing my wife has gotten me into. And Brick Lane has some of the best curry houses I’ve ever been to, all of them with well-dressed Bangladeshis flailing menus outside them, vying for your business when you walk past.

     “Try our vindaloos… our Rogan josh… our Joe Rogans… come…it’s cheap… & spicy enough to set your bunghole quivering…”

     The place we went to we’d picked out beforehand because of its high rating on Google. It was a tiny place, very narrow and sparsely decorated, with a downstairs bathroom and a painting of a Bengali tiger on the wall. It was loud and chaotic and jammed with people, but we luckily managed to score a two-person table that was between two other two-person tables. The tables were so close you could hear your neighbors’ conversation if you wanted to. I didn’t pay much attention. Not until the hair and makeup wench sitting to the left of me registered a complaint to the waiter.

     “This dish is bloody awful,” she was saying. “I bet you put it in the microwave…you did… “

     “Uhm, I’m sorry, ma’am,” said the waiter. “I’m so sorry… so sorry… I’ll take it off your bill…. I’ll… I’ll do whatever it takes… I’ll… ”

     “I wouldn’t feed this to my dog,” she went on, grimacing with her fake eyelashes and those puffy fake lips.

     My wife and I then switched to German and started talking about her.

     “Was für eine zänkische Frau,“ I said. She sucks.

      Meanwhile, at the table on the other side of us, a couple in their 20s sat without talking. They were looking at their phones, scrolling endlessly. Even when their food came, they would eat and scroll, eat and scroll, saying nothing to each other. But the rest of the restaurant was still noisy and chaotic, the waiters scampering about balancing their sizzling hot plates, white tablecloths flying, clanging bottles and shouting and laughter, mad groups of tourists coming and going, the walls folding in on the drunken air.

     It was London on a Saturday night; London in December of 2022 and the fog was crystal, and the Thames was a dream, and the Queen had croaked, and Jack the Ripper was a Polish Jew named Kosminski, and Mary Page had been reincarnated as an overflowing crapper at King’s Cross Station. London, and everything was exactly as it was supposed to be, as it had to be, not a second in that city would ever be lost, nor gained; the Watch Crunch people were right; Big Ben and the London Eye and the flowers of Kensington Gardens were right; Blake was right: eternity is in love with the productions of time.

 

Diary 10.11.2022 (Metaphor)

All autumn, I’ve been watching the leaves in the trees around my apartment building change color and fall. It’s pretty when they are in a state of falling, especially if the leaves are yellow, or red, suspended in air and made luminous by the sun. The trees are also (of course) pretty in the early stages, before they’ve revealed too much of themselves.  But then you notice something that looks like an elbow, or a kneecap, or part of a ribcage and you feel a little dread. If only the trees could hold onto their leaves a little while longer, you say to yourself. But then a cloud eats the sun, the worm eats the apple, and you see the notches of a spine, a twisted ankle, a mouthful of rotten teeth. Winter is coming, there’s no avoiding it, and no reason to cling anymore to leaves that are themselves tired of clinging. Let the trees reveal their bones, you say to yourself. Bring on the gloom, the icy rain, the waves of winter fog. You’re ready to embrace it all. Anything is better than this in-between stage when the leaves that are tired of clinging haven’t figured out yet how to fall.

Diary 19.10.2022

I’m at a strange place with my writing. I have two finished novels that have just been sitting on my computer for months. The first one is set in a tool rental shop in South Florida; the second one is set in Berlin. Each one is about 80,000 words, and the second is actually a continuation of the first, but I’ve split them up because 160,000 words (in our shortattentionspan era) is too much for your average reader to handle. It’s also too much your average publisher when it comes to first time authors, or so I’ve read. The sweet spot for them is generally about 80,000 words, but unfortunately, I have had no luck in finding either agent or publisher for either of my 80,000-word efforts. No one’s shown even the slightest interest. Nothing. Zilch. I might as well have sent them a stalker letter or a garbage bag of anthrax– at least that would’ve garnered some response… other than a form rejection.  

The sad part is that I believe these novels are really fucking good. Would they appeal to a commercial crowd? Fuck no. But they’re both sincere, emotional, philosophical, full of comedy, the writing is poetic, the characters are real as the veins and scars on your hands – not cardboard cutouts like you get in most popular novels. In a word, neither novel sucks. In fact, they’re probably the best things I’ve ever written, but who knows? Maybe my best simply isn’t good enough. Or maybe my best just doesn’t have a place in the world of today. I look forward to being discovered after I am dead. I can’t wait, actually.

One problem with my novels is that my lead character (based on yours truly) is a CIS white middleaged male. It’s a lousy he/him fer chrissakes, and to many publishers and agents, the story of such an individual has been told 1001 times – there’s nothing left to be said… unless of course the FBI, or Dracula, or zombies, or Russian oligarch zombie Dracula FBI agents are somehow involved.

You know, when I first set out to be a writer, the publishing world was so much simpler. For one, there was no such thing as social media. If I had known 20 years ago, that if you wanted to get a book published in the 2010s and 2020s, agents would expect you to cheerfully waste your every day in Twitter hell jerking off with hordes of morally posturing, trauma-exaggerating he/him & she/her & they/them avatars, I first would’ve told them to suck a fat rat’s chode, then I would’ve done something else – sculpt, blow glass, learn Mandarin, play the stocks, play with myself – anything but write.

Another one of today’s lit world problems, is that lit mags are like the heads of the Lernaean hydra: cut one off, and two more appear, ad infinitum. I swear, there must be 10,000 lit mags out there, most created by some nambypamby subpoet, most with a lifespan of less than twoandahalf TicTok clips. Remember 11 Mag Berlin? I’m still pissed at the assholes who folded that one.

Okay, so, as I was saying. I’m at a strange place with my writing. Not strange enough that I’m ready to quit or even slow down. I would never do that, no way, not so long’s my mind and belly and balls are intact. But I think I will be self-publishing my two novels just to get them out of my hair, peddling them around Berlin, then moving on with the third part in the series – a diary – something to go with my paintings and drawings, but not limited to that at all. Have you ever read Delacroix’s Journals? Something like that. Or not. I just came up with the idea today. Maybe I’ll just write concrete poems from here on out.