Tuesday, June 30, 2009

my girlfriend is mad at me

this is mostly because of money and our handling of it

but there are other reasons, too

it makes me sad and i don't know how to respond for the most part

my most immediate response is "i want to die"

because i can't handle being the object of anger

and because i hurt someone and i disappointed them

and made them, too,

want to die, in small amounts,

yes, but no less familiar, no less like a fourth wall gone inexplicably


grape jelly

i got grape jelly on my copy of lorrie moore's self-help

last night i got grape jelly on my copy of raymond carver's where i'm calling from

what can anyone do about grape jelly on books?

can i clean my book?

i can only wipe it off so many times.

the grape jelly interrupts my reading.

i will just have to smear grape jelly, now, on all of my books,

all of them. 

edit: it has come to my attention that by "grape jelly" i mean "raspberry jam"

it is also sugar free (unsweetened)

breaking news

i submitted a story to NOON

i am reading self-help by lorrie moore and it kills me 

i am excited to start reading "ethics, politics, subjectivity" by simon critchley

i am also always sad about failing in one way or another

Monday, June 22, 2009

i am embarrassed, and distracted by the internet

i am embarrassed.

my day was three hours long.

i want to submit a story to NOON. i don't know where i could print out the story so i can send it. everyone should read NOON if they don't already. except i only have one issue. 

i probably won't submit a story to NOON. it's pointless because they get submissions from very high-profile and well-established authors--at least from among the magazine community. my story is pretty bad. why would they want it when they can have stories from famous people.

literary journal sounds like a better thing than literary magazine. "i am an intern at a literary journal for the summer," i will tell you.

"are you masturbating?"


"you should put that in the fridge."

i am distracted by the internet. i think that is the case with everyone. because of the internet i am not doing anything that could be considered real. like reading or writing or being with people who are not the internet. 

i have more emails to check. 

i have no new emails.

megan lyons

comment on megan lyons's blog, it is a very similar blog to mine

an essay on My Life Is Terrible

the internet is a weird space for literature. especially when the literary work is contained within virtual bounds, 

i.e. it has no printed counterpart. 

an ebook may be of any length, inasmuch as it is loosed from capitalistic methods of reproduction. or is it. the latter is not the subject of this short essay.

an ebook may be of any quality. as surely you have been able to discern. 

an ebook designs its own rules. an ebook is written in code. an ebook is programmed into online space. an ebook does not simply happen. but it might as well. one moment there is no ebook. the next one can read the ebook in its entirety. 

the ebook is not dead nor does it die. the ebook is a connective tissue of literature. the ebook is the flesh of the literary body, de-gendered. the ebook alters the body from which it emerges each time it is read. it is the child which impregnates the mother. returns to the womb and bursts out in the span of an instant. the ebook is an instant. the ebook is the instant. 

the ebook is not quite infinite. it does not quite experience the solitude of the unbounded work, the work of sacrifice, the work of absolute ambiguity and shadow. because the ebook can disappear in the span of an instant. for the ebook is constitutive of the instant. and when the ebook disappears there is no longer an instant. 

in a way the ebook has always already disappeared. in a certain sense the ebook vanishes in the moment of its reading. but in each renewed moment the ebook makes its violent return from the womb. 

for the ebook must die in the womb before it can be born. the ebook must resign from time before it can be placed. the ebook must bear the trace of no one--no mother or father--before it can be inaugurated qua ebook.

the ebook lives on in the very instant of its death. the death which is, has never been, the ebook's, or anyone else's. the death which engulfs the ebook, which is no longer an ebook.

instead, it is me. otherwise said, it is the death of me.


my ebook

my ebook is fictional.

nothing that takes place in it actually happened. 

but i wonder wouldn't it be like that fictional or not.

an essay, or postscript, is forthcoming.


My Life Is Terrible 4, an ebook

I look at a bike. I look at the man who has a five-dollar bill that's my five-dollar bill. I look at 

I look at tenements. I look at birds. I look at my girlfriend. My girlfriend looks at me.

"I like you," I tell my girlfriend.

My girlfriend is going to leave a comment on chapter one of my ebook. Read that chapter of my ebook. I'm nervous about what her comment is going to say. The music playing now is dumb.

She says, "Oh oh oh" and hugs me and that makes me feel good and happy. Then when she stops doing that I don't feel happy anymore. 

There is an old person jogging. He looks stupid. I want to hit him with a chainsaw. The chainsaw wouldn't be on. I would just hit him with it. 

There is a stupid-looking man walking down the street. Stupid people evidently like to walk down this street.

We have to leave the cafe because they are closing for a morning clean-up. Fuck. What do I do with these glass dishes. These glass dishes are actually ash trays. I want my three dollars back. The guy who has my three dollars is leaving. I want to throw his ash trays at him. I throw his ash trays at him. He dies.


My Life Is Terrible 3, an ebook

Now "Mad World" is playing. It is 5:22 AM. The sun has risen. Outside a tall guy has opened the trunk of a minivan. He’s carrying into the cafe boxes. I’m hungry and depressed that I lost three dollars to a person who gave me glass dishes and glossy paper with my name written on it. Also my girlfriend’s name. 

    We have been in this cafe for eight hours. 

            I hate my life. 

   My girlfriend thinks I lie to her a lot. I don’t really. I can’t remember the last time I did. The only time I can remember lying to her recently is about my feelings and feeling sad or angry. 

            I just lied to her about reading something she says I didn’t read. I sort of did but not entirely. I think that counts as reading it. It probably doesn’t. I am a liar. How can I even be honest about my lying. Ha ha.

            The guy who took my three dollars is back and he says he has money for breakfast. The money he has for breakfast is my money. I want to stab him in the head a bunch of times. 

            New York City is great.

            “Like a Bollywood type movie?”

            I hate everyone in New York City. I hate everyone everywhere else. I hate Brooklyn. I wish I never had to talk.

            There are so many stupid conversations happening at once. Actually it’s only one conversation. It could easily be about thirty conversations. These thirty conversations are coming from the hot barista. I want to stab him in the head a bunch of times, too. I probably think his conversations are stupid because I think my girlfriend is going to have sex with him.

She probably will.


My Life Is Terrible 2, an ebook

3:19 AM 

David: hey


me: hey


David: how's nyc?

3:22 AM 

me: amazing


how's home


how was hong kong


David: boring and awesome


how is the internship?

3:25 AM 

me: awesome, i love everything i'm doing


i'm in a cafe in the west village right now


this is so cool


do you think you'll be able to come up here?


David: ha badass

3:26 AM 

yeah i think so. when would be a good time?


me: whenever

3:27 AM 


David: alright then i'll start looking up tickets. i don't have a job and do nothing everyday. btw guess what i found out eariler?

3:28 AM 

me: what?


 David: i'm transferring to emory


me: what holy shit


that's awesome




David: yeah, i literally didn't give it a second thought. i noly applied because my parents forced me to

3:29 AM 

me: whoa that's so cool


maybe your parents fixed it so you'd get in


maybe to make up for all of the years of abusing you

3:30 AM 

David: that would actually be awesome and might even redeem their poor parenting


me: it would for me

3:31 AM 

i'm at a cafe and there is a crazy person who keeps talking to himself, he is bald and really fat with fat rolls in the back of his head


now he's talking about his invented girlfriend


that's so awesome though



3:32 AM 

did you do really well in college?


David: man now that's awesome, can't get that anywhere else


me: you should come here as soon as you can

3:33 AM 

David: no, which is the really weird part. i have the exact same gpa as i did in high school, which is a 3.1


me: he just called me tom brady


that's literally a crazy thing to happen


even though a 3.1 is better in college than in high school right


David: you should take that cas a compliment


me: i am choosing to

3:34 AM 

this is amazing, i am facing a window that looks directly out onto mcdougal street (which is bob dylan's street in the village)


you should come here as soon as you can

3:35 AM 

David: min-blowingly cool


will do, just got to clear it with parents, which should be easy considering i jus tpulled off a fucking miracle


me: hahaha i bet this was a great father's day for papa cao

3:36 AM 

xiu? right?


David: close, xu


me: even better


David: it's funny filling out forms with his name, especially when they ask for only the first initial

3:37 AM 

me: hahaha


so what'd you do in HK


David: mostly toured the city and some scenic spots

3:38 AM 

doing much of the same in ny?


me: sort of. i've mostly been eating


i'm also living with my girlfriend, which is great so far

3:39 AM 

David: damn, nice. is she from there or did the both of you move there fort he summer?


me: she just graduated from new college, but yeah, next month she's moving into her own apt though

3:40 AM 

David: niice, dating someone with a degree already. you are a god sir

3:41 AM 

me: hahaha, likewise


this bald man is now yelling "miss" at my girlfriend


now talking to himself

3:42 AM 

now talking to someone else


David: lol is he right next to you?

3:44 AM 

me: no he's in the corner opposite to mine

3:49 AM 

what've you been doing


this city is amazing

3:50 AM 

David: pretty much noting.


i bet it is. everything happens there


me: it really does


what'd you want to do here

3:52 AM 

David: i don't know. what do you recommend? i'd like to eat at some famous/good places. and i guess any good concert/events that only happen in ny?

3:54 AM 

me: yeah i haven't been to many famous/good places so we should go to them


yeah there are free concerts in the park and stuff


i saw david byrne for free in prospect park a couple of weeks ago


so we could go to those

3:55 AM 

there are free movie festivals


i'm sure we'll get to go to some parties and stuff, or at least opium magazine events


David: damn, that already sounds awesome

3:56 AM 

almost all of the flights from bham to ny require at least one stop it seems, and thet all take more than 6 hours

3:57 AM 

me: this guy just came over who works at the cafe and gave us free glass dishes

3:58 AM 

shit that sucks


well hm which airline?


laura took a jetblue flight that was really short


David: ah ok, i was looking at sw

3:59 AM 

lol free glass dishes?


that is awesome

4:00 AM 

me: yeah and then he came over and wrote our names in permanent marker on some sort of glossy paper


and wrote "NYC" on it

4:01 AM 

David: any reason for this or was he just being badass


me: up. then he asked me for 2 dollars

4:02 AM 

and i didn't know what was going on and for some reason entertained him and it turned out i had 5 dollars and then he gave me only 2 dollars in return


and now i am out three dollars and am depressed


David: hahahahahaha


that's even cooler


me: i also think the dishes are from the cafe


i think he stole them

4:03 AM 

David: hahahahah, wow he must be a really lazy criminal or just crazy

4:05 AM 

ok how does july 6 or 7 sound?

4:08 AM 

me: that sounds fine except i might have someone else coming to stay with me for a couple of days on the 7th


i don't care it's up to you with regards to sleeping arrangements

4:09 AM 

David: oh where i sleep is the last thing i care about. as long as you're ok with two extra poeple staying with you

4:11 AM 

me: nah i don't care


july 6 and 7 is fine

4:12 AM 

i hate my life


i really miss that three dollars


David: heh can 3 bucks even get anything

4:14 AM 

me: yeah


a 2.50 falafel


a cup of coffee


a bagel


a lot


David: great, now i'm hungry



4:15 AM 

me: haha i am too


but i've lost 3 dollars!


anyway i'm going to go back to my apt i think


David: hmm now i empathize with your conundrum


me: let me know about the plane details once they happen

4:16 AM 

yeah i empathize too


i hate my life


good night

My Life Is Terrible 1, an ebook

I think this fat bald man is now yelling “miss” at my girlfriend. He is talking to himself. Now he is talking to some else.

            “Welcome to the Esperanto Café ha ha ha. They have really good chocolate cake,” he says to someone seated at the counter. The person seated at the counter laughs in response.

            He walks outside and talks to two people seated on a bench. He walks back inside and sits down. He’s sitting in the corner opposite from me. He’s really fat and his head has a lot of rolls. Now that I look not so many rolls but some.

            Now with his arm resting on his chair he talks to himself.

            “This guy reminds me of The Shining.”

            My girlfriend, Laura, might be about to cry. She might be about to cry because she can’t get her resume to meet her aesthetic standards. Her face is flushed anyway. Which is funny because I’ve never known her to have a high barometer for appearances.

            Which explains why we are dating. I want to die.

            Tom Waits is playing from café’s speakers. The speakers playing Tom Waits are posted in every corner of the room. Tom Waits is playing from all of them.

            “The cat got fat, my girlfriend’s cat,” the bald guy tells the guy working behind the counter, who my girlfriend told me is hot. I believe her. He is hot.

            “I’m so excited for my friend David to come visit us,” I tell my girlfriend. She isn’t going to cry. That makes me glad because it makes me feel sad when she cries. It's only natural that I should feel happy when she doesn't cry.

            “Some guys find me attractive when I’m drunk,” this fat and bald man says. “He said ‘I’m on speed.’ I said ‘Speed it up.’ He bit my lip and smacked it in his jaws. I said ‘What was that for.’”

            “Let me tell you something, when I lived with my girlfriend, every time she turned on me, that cat gave me solace. But then that cat got fat.”

            “He said it was really philosophical,” the hot barista says. I wish I were the hot barista. The hot barista probably doesn’t wish he were me. This as I look at my reflection in the window and make a face that my girlfriend calls a “rapper face.” I make this rapper face whenever I look at my reflection. I am now looking at my reflection. I want to die and then “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star starts playing from every speaker. Then I don’t want to die as much for the most part. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

mrs. ted bliss


here's a good book i'm reading slowly. i wish everyone would read books slowly but they won't, fuck.