Exhibit 1.6.5

The Actual Book I’m Reading Next

So I read around in this when I got it, but I had to put it away until after my exams. Now I’m reading it for real, and I’m excited. You should read it too because you like excitement and good things and good people.

Pick it up.

Comment / Posted in Fiction, Reading, Tyrones

Exhibit 17.6

Plot Synopsis Of A Showtime Action Movie That Captivated Dave, Tyrone, And I As Remembered One Month Later

The movie opens with a team of poorly concealed soldiers rappelling down a hill they could probably walk down, but the rappelling lets us know they are highly trained in all of the military arts (except concealment). Our team forms a perimeter around a terrorist base camp oddly appropriately located in Southern California Afghanistan where a stripper/spy has been taken hostage. A fake closeup/computer simulation let’s us know her captor is unimaginatively called The Bombmaker. I don’t know how else to describe the computer thing. Just know there is a lot of beeping and, I think, some faux-night vision. Still, it’s day. That’s why you can see those 15 to 20 soldiers spending the better part of an hour disconnecting their rappelling cables over by the hill where the Afghan kids go sledding.

Anyway, our hero infiltrates the camp, frees the girl, and spends 20 seconds turning around while a suspiciously Anglo terrorist fumbles with his kalishnikov. I think I actually went to the bathroom and came back during our exceedingly un-agile hero’s maneuver. Still, Worthington P. Terrorist III gets a knife to the chest in the end. Our hero grabs the girl and oddly leaves The Bombmaker alive. We never see him again. Na, I’m kidding. We totally see him again.

The hero and the girl begin to kiss in what I think is the back of the truck they’re driving away in (I assume this truck is where they kept the rappelling gear which is really looking less necessary than ever). We learn our hero is Australian. This seems surprising but whatever. So they’re making out when the hero opens a briefcase he stole and finds that it’s full of money. Cut to a black screen with our Aussie hero’s voiceover:

That’s when I moved to Las Vegas and founded…

…The Crazy Girls!

I think Dave and I actually high-fived here. We were that excited. Turns out America’s greatest spy is actually an Australian and has gotten out of the game in order to manage a strip club. Yep. Anyway, despite being out of the game he’s training his strippers to break into houses and steal information. Also, his strip club has a high-tech lair where he can run operations. Otherwise he’s completely out of the game. He says this a lot. If there’s a game, he’s not at it.

Until the CIA asks him to go to a poker game. He’s in that one. It’s hosted by the guy who finances all of the world’s terrorists. I think we get more beeping and green screen, but this time it’s okay because it’s actually night. So our hero is winning (naturally) when a girl bursts out of the other room. Apparently our financier friend had another poker game earlier and ordered this girl killed because she won. Except they then waited until our financier had yet another poker game to actually do it. Then she escaped. Everyone with me? Good.

So, our financier is going to kill both of them because he hates losing. Or he loves murder. All we know is that he sucks at poker and uses it as an excuse to satisfy his bloodlust. Needless to say, his henchman botches the job. Our very, very slow Aussie hero and the girl go back to his place where she tries to seduce him but fails because he’s looking at a picture of his dead family while sitting at a piano and playing wistfully. (!) The girl goes away sad. Then comes back thirty seconds later to try again. His family’s angry, Australian ghosts placated by some John Tesh, this time it works.

This is about when Ty comes back. Dave and I excitedly recap the plot. Ty seems dubious. One of us expresses hope that the Aussie beefcake gets naked even though he probably shouldn’t. The rest of us express desperate anti-hope. No one thinks about changing the channel.

Also, from this point forward imagine that whenever the scene changes there is an establishing shot of the Riviera hotel and casino. They apparently financed the movie and therefore get about 5 minutes of total airtime. These shots happen whether or not the following scene actually takes place in the casino. It’s very odd.

I haven’t said much about the actual Crazy Girls. Basically, they all have stripper names and a singular talent that may or may not prove useful. One steals cars. One can make computers do whatever she wants after some very stilted typing. One doesn’t talk. I’m serious, one’s power is that she doesn’t talk. They decide to use their skills (or, in one case, handicap) to infiltrate the financier’s hotel room where he is having…wait for it…another poker game. Oh! And he still has the same (white) goon. To recap, our Middle Eastern terrorist financier’s goon is able to keep his job despite:

A) Somehow botching the murder of an unarmed stripper locked in a room
B) Then botching killing her again after her first escape
C) Not killing America’s greatest Australian spy (this one is sort of understandable)
D) Failing to prevent the stripper from breaking into a poker game she wasn’t invited to
E) Not killing her AGAIN when ordered
F) Not sharing an ethnicity or religion with his boss while doing the one job in the world (Terrorist Goon) where this would be listed as a requirement on the Monster.com posting

So our goon (who is presumably in the process of converting to Islam) is 0/5 in successfully executing direct orders. Now, I’m not saying you have to kill him (maybe he’s Yusef’s adopted brother) but at least hire a second goon. This one is clearly overmatched. If what the beeping green screen thing told us is correct, the financier should have the money.

So the Crazy Girls all retreat to their lair (to what end was this stuff going to be used if our hero didn’t get back in the game? I really, really want to know). And…

I fall asleep. I wake up at one point and Dave and Tyrone are still watching as The Bombmaker is doing something. I’m guessing it involved bombs.

The end.

2 Comments / Posted in Davids, Movies, Tyrones

Exhibit 16.20

Arkansas Recap

* No one asked me what kind of Coke I wanted. I was sad about this until they handed me plates full of fried chicken and green beans. Turns out they knew exactly what kind of Coke I wanted.

* Tyrone’s students were fantastic. I’ve never seen such an enthusiastic writing community among undergraduates, and all of the work I heard was great, too. Ty has a good thing going there. In particular, I enjoyed talking with Robin, Adam, Rae, Sarah, Zora, Heather, and I’m sure several others whose names are slipping my mind. I got to hear a remarkably earnest conversation about Foucault. I wanted to hug all of the participants. I wanted to believe in something again.

* I was in the Memphis airport three times in one trip. How you ask? Well, it doesn’t really matter but here’s a hint: it ended with a 2.5-hour bus ride through eastern Arkansas at night, a trip I was actually fairly happy to take, in the end, as I enjoyed finishing the book I was reading. I’ll talk about that sometime, maybe. I think I’m going to review the book, and I’ve actually already started (if by “started a review” I mean “began a self-involved collage essay.” I might mean that. We’ll see).

* Tyrone and Julee live in what was once a concrete factory. It is exactly as cool as it sounds.

* Lake Conway was scary and awesome and full of debate over the quality of Mitch’s girlfriend.

* At the student reading we went to on Thursday night, they had a contest to give away some very impressive-looking cupcakes and I got to serve as guest judge. Basically, a description of a very pathetic character was read aloud–the man liked to hang out in bathrooms, as I recall–and the best name got to take home the cupcakes. I turned to Tyrone while everyone was writing their answers and whispered that I hoped someone submitted my name.

* Someone submitted my name. This made me very happy personally yet very sad for the girl who has to share my instincts. I never actually met the person (I don’t think) but I imagine her also thinking it’s a good idea to try to learn Japanese and to buy a new coat only once every eight years. I should warn her.

* Tyrone summed up my reading shtick so pointedly that I wanted to hate him, but he was just too right. He said I acted like a North Platte Woody Allen behind the podium. I still want to hate him for it, but instead I’m just going to focus on being a North Platte Kenneth Branagh at future readings.

* A lot of good people were also kind enough to let me enjoy their birthday/dance/sushi party on Friday night and not act at all creeped out when I sat down and started to read this book from their library while Beyonce played loudly in the background. I didn’t want to do this, understand, but it really was fascinating. I was on page 17–right where Fukuzawa is describing how he used to help his mother crush a beggar’s gnats with a rock–when I re-entered society to the sounds of Katy Perry, just as my man Yukichi would have wanted it.

* Tyrone pointed at where they…

* Thanks to T & J for hosting me and all of the students at Hendrix. I had a great time.

Comment / Posted in Branaghs, Readings, Tyrones

Exhibit 16.12

AWP Recap

I’m too tired to do an AWP Recap, really, but as I’ve been making awful decisions since the Midway Dunkin’ Donuts on Wednesday, it’s clear that I’m not going to be able to stop myself from doing anything until tomorrow at the earliest. Now is definitely the time to ask me to loan you money or collaborate on a series of villanelles. One way or the other, you will leave the conversation with a handful of cash and tercets. At this point, I’m nothing but a series of impulses and refrains and apologies.

What I Came Home With

* The new Black Warrior Review (which is incredible from front to back and has a great DIY feature section)

* The last two Keyhole magazines (including the awesome handwritten one)

* Some Hobart (which I definitely should already be subscribing to)

* A Saltgrass (you should send them your best fiction right now)

* Only 10-15 total Cupboards (everyone was very nice and generous – thank you)

* A desire to pony up the $250 for The Jungle from Rope-A-Dope (words can’t describe)

* Shane Jones’s Light Boxes (which might be what I read first)

* Bryan Coffelt’s In a City with Neighbors and the first Barnaby Jones both from Pinch Pinch Press (one of these is Dave’s and both were to make up for our absent HTML Giant Secret Santas from someone who totally didn’t have to – thank you again)

* El Greed by David Nesmith from Publishing Genius (which made me laugh a lot on the first page I read yet also fearful I might go to monkey heaven)

* Less Shiny by Mary Miller from Magic Helicopter Press (which has a great cover and is presumably as good inside)

* One Neither One by Shane McCrae from Octopus (something I read at the table and loved so much I had to buy it. That Shane came around and was a great guy only made it easier)

* A t-shirt from Octopus (we all agreed I get to be the only person in Lincoln who wears one, right?)

* That’s all from one bag I unpacked with one left to go and there was a lot more I left behind for space reasons but intend to pick up online in the next week. Look for me to fawn all over this work as I read through it.

Information You Need

* Rope-A-Dope Press makes beautiful things and you need to submit to their chapbook series by the end of March. Perhaps we could go in on a series of villanelles?

* You should be aware that everything I know about villanelles I learned in the last ten minutes. Tercets? Tercets.

* Octopus Books is reading full-length poetry manuscripts in April. They are such a great press that I’m considering writing my name on the copy of The Dream Songs I borrowed from Mathias last year and submitting that.

* The Cupboard is going to officially stop reading submissions on March 1st. (Although if you’re reading this, you can [and should] submit whenever).

* Everything I just wrote I said hundred and hundreds of times this week. It might not be until March that I am able to say anything else.

Uninteresting Personal Revelations

* I no longer trust myself to do anything, especially order correctly when faced with sprinkles and an employee’s disinterested upselling. Somehow the more half-hearted the offer is, the more likely I am to add a second donut for a nominal fee. I like knowing this about me.

* I’m trying to remember what it is I do in Lincoln. I think I got back last night and stared at my apartment for twenty minutes before drinking some coffee. That seems about right.

* Between the first AWP post and the Mac post, this blog has become distressingly confessional in the last week or so and I look forward to quitting it soon. But I won’t. But I may post less. Or more. I feel like I’m not posting exactly the right amount or precisely the right stuff. In any case, I’m probably going to remove myself from it a bit which is good as I don’t feel like how I portray myself on this blog is particularly representative. And if it is, you definitely shouldn’t tell me that I’m this neurotic, desperate, and navel-gazing. I hope I’m one, maybe two, of those things at most.

* I realize everything about what I’m typing right now contradicts that last paragraph. I know it’s tedious when I complain about the blog. But know that I’m sincere in my desire to never write or say the word blog again.


* If I met you this week I had a great time and liked you a lot. There were a lot of people I was really excited to meet and without exception everyone was friendly and smart and funny. I was just happy to be there and tried to keep up. I now want to collaborate with you. Did I mention our collaboration is going to be about vampires? It is.

* I also want to collaborate with all of the old friends I ran into, but they know better.

* I’m leaving to visit Tyrone’s college in Arkansas on Wednesday. If what happened to me in Chicago is any indication, I will not sleep, my face will continue to go all guy-who-chose-the-wrong-cup-in-that-Indiana-Jones-movie, and my new found fondness for late night text messaging will continue to wake you up with ring tones and inanity. So, good?

* Yes, very good. I’m excited for the trip. I’m going to read two things from the old anonymous Cupboards that never get to see the daylight.

So I think that covers it. Thank you to everyone who gave me things or who took things I was giving them. You were polite not to say no.

Any questions?

1 Comment / Posted in Chicago, Conferences, Tyrones

Exhibit 16.11



2 Comments / Posted in Chicago, Clown School, Tyrones