Flora the Whore
Flora the Whore?
is: (1) the title of my current project, another verse novel, which is much longer than WTMA and pays more attention to meter; (2) being tweeted over at Twitter, a chapter every so often; (3) what I’ve renamed my blog, which is where I post poems for pay.
From Ovid’s Fasti: “Yet he made amends for his violence, by granting me / The name of bride, and I’ve nothing to complain of in bed.”
“He” here refers to Zephyrus. And I’m beginning to think that although this project began as an exploration of Flora (I mean, what kind of psychology would lead a woman to marry her rapist and glorify his sexual abilities?), I’m equally interested in Zephyrus’s psychology. In Flora, “Z” is a female pimp, Flora is a drag queen, and the marriage between them is a business deal—they are joint owners of Club Z, where Flora is the headliner whose nightly show is a re-enactment of the original Flora myth. It begins with rose petals dripping from her lips, just as they do in Fasti.
Tell us about TELL.
TELL is an anthology of fifty stories that reject that old “Show, don’t tell” advice. The current list of contributors includes: Aimee Bender, B. R. Smith, Kathy Fish, Terese Svoboda, Diane Williams, Kate Bernheimer, Blake Butler, Nelly Reifler, Paola Corso, Benjamin Percy, Selah Saterstrom, Robert Lopez, Gary Lutz, Crispin Best, Dawn Raffel, Miles Harvey, Michael Griffith, Rebecca Curtis, J. C. Hallman, Alexandra Chasin, Lydia Millet, Michael Martone, Roxane Gay, Kevin Wilson, Christian TeBordo, Ben Marcus, George Saunders, Lily Hoang & Justin Dobbs, Clancy Martin, Deb Olin Unferth, Peter Orner, Susan Froderberg, Anthony Doerr, Christie Hodgen, Stuart Dybek, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Christine Schutt, Lee Klein, Shelley Jackson, Lidia Yuknavitch, Sam Ligon, Brian Evenson, Ben Segal, Michael Stewart, Charles McLeod, Rick Moody, J. A. Tyler, Peter Markus, Thomas Glave, and Matt Bell.
The foreword will be written by Richard Nash, who, during his reign at Soft Skull, published my all-time favorite book ever, Lydia Millet’s My Happy Life. I’m really excited and honored to have his endorsement of this book. There’s a great story about how that all came about, but I’ll save it for the Introduction.
Cow Heavy and Floral
Rumor has it you and Donora Hillard are going to start a press . . .
The rumors are true. Cow Heavy will be the press, and Floral will be the annual print journal. It may be a while before we announce officially and launch our website, but, rest assured, we’re in the planning stages. And it’s exciting.
Doggers is sleeping on a chair beside mine in our local coffee shop. Tomorrow, she goes to the groomer! Only one of us is happy about that.
Read anything good lately?
I’m catching up on all the books I didn’t get to in recent months and am probably most looking forward to finishing Christopher Higgs’s The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney. Also excited about Shane Jones’s A Cake Appeared, Shya Scanlon’s In this Alone Impulse, Ana Božičević’s Stars of the Night Commute, Lindsay Hunter’s Daddy’s, and Mathias Svalina’s Creation Myths.
Rereading Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News. Love those fragments. Want to write a story in fragments. Will.
Following Shome Dasgupta’s “On Reading” project.
Anticipating Kate Bernheimer’s Horse, Flower, Bird, which will be released from Coffee House Press in September.
Last week was the final week of spring semester, so I’m officially on vacation now. I’m ordering the stories for TELL. Hopefully I’ll be done with that soon and will send the final ms. to the copyeditor at FMC. Then I’ll spend the bulk of May doing some serious bustass on Flora. I hope to be doing said bustassing on a beach, smelling of coconut oil, sweating over a notebook. In June, I’ll very likely be starting Gordon Lish’s summer seminar at the Center for Fiction (at this point, it’s a matter of coming up with the tuition), which runs through August. Somewhere in there, in July, I’ll return to the classroom as an esteemed adjunct professor of freshman composition. Woohoo.
I have no idea what I’ll be doing. Possibly staying put; possibly packing it up to head on out again toward some new great adventure. Hopefully the latter.
any last words?
If you’re a writer and have stories under 1,500 words, consider submitting to Twelve Stories.
If you’re a poet who has some seasonally themed writing, submit to Willows Wept Review. I’ll even consider reprints if the pieces appeared over a year ago in a print journal; I think it’s only right, to give writing a second life.