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Archive for category: Blog Posts

Three Propositions about the Dangers of the Kerouac Classic ON THE ROAD

28 Jun 2013 / in Blog Posts

1. Jail is always a possibility. If you believe Jack Kerouac, he never meant to hurt a fly. Or, more specifically, a mouse. It was a lesson he learned from older brother Gerard, who died at the age of nine and was revered while living by all who knew him, including the nuns from nearby […]

On Anonymity, the Open Road, a Couple of Poets, and Trees Without Toilet Paper

23 Jun 2013 / in Blog Posts

It started simply enough. This past Thursday evening on Facebook, Ron Cooper, novelist and Philosophy prof, posted a link to a Washington Post piece that begins this way: “Friday morning, America’s great poets will wake up to find that someone has TP-ed their trees and scrawled ‘COWARD’ on their doors.” To be clear, the Washington […]

DIY: How to Write a Cheatin’ Song, Cheat, and Prosper

19 Jun 2013 / in Blog Posts

You know this one. Once upon a time, you go on a date. It’s been a while. Too long. Like that stretch of desert that gives way to hallucinations that give way to death and vultures that descend and strip your bones of the sad meat you thought set you apart from others. The date […]

6.13.13. From the Whiskey Tub #2: Susan Yount, Bayo Ojikutu, and The Nearness of Them

14 Jun 2013 / in Blog Posts

Some nights Whiskey Tub gets drunk rereading books it loves. Sometimes the cause of drunkenness is the hole someone thought to put in a bottle. Dangerous, beautiful thing, that opening. Sometimes Whiskey Tub gets drunk on love. How reliable is Whiskey Tub when drunk? And which obstacle, corn whiskey or the brainwashed heart, is more […]

5.31.13. On Surviving a Stroke and Writing a Song about Something Else

31 May 2013 / in Blog Posts

Once I had a sorrow/ long as a rainbow/ crooked as an elbow/ deep as a wish/ wide as a dish. I don’t believe in beginnings. I believe in the long middle. Once upon a time? Storyteller’s trick. Sweet invention. Once upon a time, a novelist asked me to do a podcast about writing. Pick […]

5.28.13. From the Whiskey Tub #1: Robert Wrigley, Kevin McIlvoy, and Garin Cycholl

29 May 2013 / in Blog Posts

Tonight’s Whiskey Tub, obscured by Painter’s Ladder (constant companion), rereads two first books by native-born American Bottom writers, both of whom are seldom associated with the region. To be fair, Eugene B. Redmond, Poet Laureate of East St. Louis (St. Clair County) and Emeritus Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Madison County), is […]

5.4.13. On Faulkner, Garin Cycholl, and Place

05 May 2013 / in Blog Posts

Gasoline Lake, depicted in this old National Enquirer piece, is my Jefferson, and American Bottom my Yoknapatawpha. Those in the know recognize in these references William Faulkner, who signed the hand-drawn map that he included in Absalom, Absalom! (my favorite novel) “Sole Owner & Proprieter,” which you’ll see me using on the home page of […]

4.26.13. On Entering Davenport

24 Mar 2013 / in Blog Posts

It’s the latter months of 1972. I’m a freshman at Eastern Illinois University. So is John Malkovich. I doubt that we ever met, and we both transferred soon enough to other schools and continued on our separate paths, his lined with millions of dollars, mine with pages. Twenty-seven years later, you could enter, as I […]