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So >>> everything is over there >>> at Book Armor.com
And here is just a place I used to come, going to grow old and lose its relevance, like a glove on top of a bus shelter...
"The dead hand of the yokelry on the instinct for beauty cannot be so heavy if the handsome exercise in wonder of Extreme Unction exists." - Simeon Strunsky in the New York Times.
by Granta , in an anthology of new writing, and on the British Council’s New Writing website. In June 2007. I returned from fifteen hours on various chicken buses, visa renewed, and there was an email.
New Writing 15
I am delighted to inform you that your Short story entitled The Sandwich Factory has been selected by the editors Bernardine Evaristo and Maggie Gee for inclusion in New Writing 15.
… Please expect to hear from Granta should they have any copy-editing queries for you, and expect also to receive page proofs directly from them. This will be for a final check and they will ask that you only make changes that are absolutely essential.
We will be sending your contract and invoice for completion shortly.
Isn’t that good news for me? Now when I say I am a writer and the question comes back about being published, I can say, “Oh yes” etc.
Patti took some blows for Team Gringo yesterday. He got the snot beaten out of him by four Guatemalan men. They took his phone, his watch, and all his money. I had done my best to get him home and we never quite made it. The man is too heavy and drink revealed a boneheaded streak. I left him real close to home, thinking, hoping, he would be okay. And he is okay, only his eye is out a mile and his top lip is two inches thick."It could've been a lot worse," I told him, "it could've been me who got beaten up."
Patti has two beautiful young Dutch girlfriends and I suggested he ask them to lay in bed with him, figured they could break out tissues and do a little "erotic dabbing." When I cracked that joke, the other two men present started smacking themselves around, "Hey, we need a little nursing, too..." Such is the power of beautiful Dutch girls to warp men's minds.
For today, here I am, holding a crab. This is one way to always think of me, stood there, holding a crab tied up with fresh banana leaf.
(Remember to recommend BookArmor.com to other people. This post is part of a 3-part tour through my early 20's...)Had an evening of marijuana cigarettes. For the occasion, the listening pleasure was two classic Sixties albums, Forever Changes by Love, and Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane. And what a great pleasure it was. Even through the vile meandering plastic mess of my laptop speakers, out came amazing music, music of a lost time. The usual passion for a time machine, set for The Summer of Love gripped me, then subsided into a sweet ache as the music pulsated. And for my money, if I had to choose the higher high, it would be Jefferson Airplane. They are not as talented, but they throw out a study in bliss mixed with the most awful tension. And I dig it. Love is a beautiful off-kilter experiment, a phenomenal psychedelic tapestry. At times it sounded upside-down, just my thing.
And tonight those happy days are not gone. I am still in possession of every marvellous bus ride, every wasted second trying to convince myself of the dubious artistic merit of the latest Gnu Fuz offering, every wasted hour trying to decipher incomprehensibly stupid lyrics, either via the ears, or by pouring over the equally disgracefully punky exercises in erasure that passed for a printed lyric, and every wasted day spent wandering around my village in a band t-shirt for something hopelessly obscure and ill-judged, Pussy Crown or Mutated Hard-Boiled Eggs, hoping some impossibly informed and heavy-chested pouting beauty would wander up to me and say, "You're the one..."And the marvellous thing about the disease I describe above, that gripped me so hard, is that it was a collective disease. And it had a place where everyone suffering could assemble and escape further into their sad fantasies. And the name of that place was cool, too. It was...
(actually, somebody should guess the next Three Word Phrase...)
* See, I'm not making this shit up!
Cease, then, nor order imperfection name:Goodbye!
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, whatever is, is right.