Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vampire teeth and childhood toys for pre-ordering SMILES OF THE UNSTOPPABLE

Yes, you read that right. Left to right, I mean, but right. Over at the Magic Helicopter Press Tumblr, find out how you can get vampire teeth and childhood toys for pre-ordering Jason Bredle's Smiles of the Unstoppable.

Monday, December 27, 2010

"In room 345 bed bugs from a French suitcase are about to change the hotel’s summer expenditures."

Hey, eat some leftovers and check out the new NOÖ Weekly guest edited by Crispin Best, featuring octopi, a man who's a moon landing, a lobster who eats donuts, and three TVs to watch the shows you missed while you were asleep. Starring Adam Coates, Shiona Tregaskis, Stephen O'Toole, Nicolle Elizabeth, and Janey Smith.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

rad poetry #20: for beth thomas


"Retirement is a Flamingo Pond" by Ryan MacDonald

for Beth Thomas

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cami Park

We at NOÖ Journal are deeply blue to announce that Cami Park has passed away. Cami lived in Nevada, and she was a sly and observant writer, someone whose work knew the world tenderly and could—as Scott Garson put it—"wake you up where you sleep." Cami was also a generous and delightful person to correspond with. Read some of her work at Fictionaut, Necessary Fiction, Night Train, PANK, and No Tell Motel. Her story “Everyone the Same But Not At Once” appeared in NOÖ [11]. Her blog can be found here. Visit this post at HTMLGIANT for more links and remembrances.  I am sad to have never met Cami Park in person to tell her how much I enjoyed her writing.  Cami’s words will live on and around in these windows of ours. She will be missed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

rad poetry #19: for christy crutchfield



for Christy Crutchfield


A wonder is the name of what we pass across the table. My face is you tell me.
What there is: wonders collude with stub-noses, with reduction,
with meals in boxes. Nothing is shaped. Hard work pays. And pays.
We pay in our own names, so tell me mine. Wonders are trivial pursuits
like putting a flag on the moon. A table pretends that things exist between natures,
no, wonders are the bird overfeeding on soap and stool by accident. Some naturals include lazy
pitchers and suicidal mathematicians. There’s no design for a wondrous mouth.


Wonders are trivial pursuits like putting a flag on the moon.
My face is you tell me. My skin is like a comment box.
Wonder is natural because it comes and makes me
me. There’s no moon when there is plain. What there is:
wonders collude with stub-noses, with reduction, with
meals in boxes. We pay in our own names, so tell me
mine. A wonder is the name of what we pass across
the table. A table maybe tea lights maybe sunburns,
when really there is all this wondering.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I opened the envelope and it was full of blue butterfly wings

After weeks of heavy deliberation and much hand-wringing (or maybe it was just a tryptaphane induced coma?), we're proud to announce a winner of the latest NOӦ contest!
The envelope please (insert drumroll here).....

And the winner is: Sarah

Here's the scene of wonderful, white dwarf imagery her right brain gave birth to, right here, on this very site, on the very wrong subject of craziest dreams involving literary figures:
Sara said...

"I was picnicking with Vladimir Nabokov and Michael Phelps in a wooded clearing.

Michael Phelps was devouring his usual 10,000 calorie breakfast – the whole buffet – eggs, bacon, pancakes, French Toast, a few roast chickens, a couple of liters of Coke.

Nabokov said, "No, no, Michael Phelps. That's no way to start the day.”

He brought out a basket of delicately fried iridescent blue butterfly wings from under the wooden table where we three sat. He began eating them one by one in dainty little nibbles, with great relish.

"See," he said, as he continued crunching. "Like this."

Though I was sitting between them, I said nothing."

Sometimes it's better to say nothing.
Stoicism rocks.
As do crunchy blue butterfly wings for breakfast.

So, are you Sarah (are you in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar?)?

If you are, please come to the customer service desk located in the back of this blog to claim your prize (or, just drop us a line at:, a brand spanking new copy of Dennis Cooper's book "Smothered in Hugs!"

If you're not Sarah, please stay tuned for your regularly scheduled programming...

and we're off to see the wizard


Sunday, November 28, 2010

rad poetry #18: for michael trocchia

(We are actively raising funds to help us print NOÖ [12], so if you'd like your own videopoem, we'd really appreciate any and all help. Find out more here. Thanks!)


for Michael Trocchia

If you sleep inside the water, the water stares back.
I was tempted to split that clause with an Oh. Which
O/h? The kneeling or the reeling? (O)ne means I'm
moved to rhapsody upon witness of my conditions,
and the (o)t(h)er means I'm prepared to make a slight
newness of life. Now the bus only costs five dollars.
They're selling fuzzy crosses in the banner space.
This season isn't as funny as that season, but they're
fake, oh yeah, so they only care a little more than us.
If you back into the water, the water draws your back.
The house across the river has a spokesman. Do you
remember that episode where K. becomes Moviefone?
And then the real Moviefone visits K. at the end?
And this is a moment of terror for everyone except the
studio audience? I have never been in one of those,
but I have reassured people by saying "It's okay, your
name is on there." What am I supposed to do, just
forget the feeling of so many headlights in the other
lane at night? Thanks but no thanks. One story had an
enormous M&M cookie in the glovebox irrelevant to
itself, and I found this very realistic. And did I want to
weep, oh yeah, but there was nobody around to show.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review of Carol Guess's Love Is a Map I Must Not Set on Fire At Lambda Literary

Check out Jocelyn Heath's review at Lambda Literary of Carol Guess's new book, Love Is a Map I Must Not Set on Fire by Carol Guess. Of the book, Heath writes:
It is a risky move by Carol Guess to write more than a simple response to these events; the choice to do so raises age-old questions of the appropriation of tragedy and who has the right to write it. Two things save this subject matter from becoming sentimental or overly political: the authenticity of emotion and the integration of this recent history with the troubled love story of the speaker and Denira, whose relationship is nearly as turbulent as the times in which they live ... One of the loveliest sequences in the book is the quintet of love lyrics spanning pages 16-20, in which Guess makes an announced “detour” from the history of the speaker and Denira to contemplate love and loss for the speaker alone. Though not entirely extricable from Denira, these poems represent the vulnerability that the speaker subordinates to her lover throughout much of the narrative. “I live in the shadow of a breathing volcano in a city with seven days of sunshine a year” refers to more than life in Seattle, especially when followed with the admission that “I can speak of you now to anyone because I’ve stopped wanting anything like what I once wanted from you” (17).
Guess's poem "Detachable Sainthood" is live in the new NOÖ [12]. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hey everybody, it’s NOӦ interview time!

We're having words with Mr. Timber Masterson
( interviewee extraordinaire)

Timber Masterson is a man on a mission. What’s that mission, you ask? Why, to poke and probe at the quivering mass of strangeness that lurks just below the surface of our personalities, the Blob of our unconsciousness if you will, and to try to get under its skin to see what makes it tick. Or quiver. Or, well, whatever it is that a Blob does.

He deals strictly in the weird and unexpected, specifically, the fantastical space between reality and unreality, imagination and delusion, fact and fiction. His work runs the full gamut of the electromagnetic spectrum, infecting you as you affect it. Reading his stories is like looking at old, grainy, black and white photographs, faded by too much time spent stuffed in shoe boxes in locked attics. The images flicker in and out of transmission. They could be of Minotaurs or mustachioed street sausage vendors in Toronto. They could sound like a papier-mâché Mel Tormé, singing somewhere, off in the distance, in all his velvety, foggy glory. The melody carries over the miles but the image is not indelible. Rub the photographs with an errant thumb and you get a clean slate, like so many of his characters can only dream of, and do dream of. Like so many of us dream of.

Secrets best kept secret often come tumbling out of his stories like clowns out of a clown car. The resulting effect is that of the narrative, running far behind the secrets, terribly out of breath and desperate to catch up, cursing that free gym membership offer it threw away last month, then finally stopping, giving up, and drowning happily in a flood of seltzer water amidst a hailstorm of lemon meringue pies. This is not to say there’s a preponderance of clowns in his stories, or any at all, for you coulrophobics out there. That was just to prepare your eyes for the burn. Timber Masterson stories live on the borders, in the in-betweens, and they are summarily thrust upon the reader, in media res, like a hot potato, as if to say, “here, take this, I don’t know what to do with it.”

And away we go:

Hi, Timber Masterson!

1. A lot of your stories have a dream-like quality to them. Consequently, a lot of your characters remain trapped in vague and ethereal spaces, where they discover some truth about themselves or their world that, paradoxically, may or may not even be true. That leaves a lot of room for audience participation; the reader has to fill in the blanks, and decide just how much they want to believe - is that something that you consciously try to construct when working on a story, or does it simply happen that way?

There does leave a lot of room for the reader to kind of involve his own character, his own beliefs, his interpretations, why should I dictate it to him. Since I’m the writer, I also say NO RULES, and you can choose to believe it or choose to believe that the protagonist is so out there, like just on the edge of his own world that it is a kind of truth from him. It’s also based on the strangest things I think while I walk around the city, like, hey, imagine if that guy asking for money isn’t a veteran, like from war asking for donations, but he’s a ‘Veterinarian” and go from there, how odd, has business gone down, and then not only have you got a humorous bizarre place to go from, but it’s up to you, the reader to ponder, “Hm, what would that look like?”

2. Can you describe your writing process?

I use only the Hindu language, a sharply shaven purple crayon on a cocktail napkin, it’s a good system as long as I remember to number the napkins. Then a team of tiny villagers work day and night, transcribing, at a dumpy fleabag of a motel near the airport, then they staple it all together back to my assistant and voila, my first draft.

3. A lot of your work seems to revolve around questions of identity and self, and unusual perspectives if not outright insanity or fantasy – do you get the feeling that there’s something horrible and insidious going on outside right now, right around the corner? If so, what do you think it is?

It’s a hairy old Jewish lady that mutters under her breath at me….I’m convinced she waits for me with her whips and Polish meats. Yet, I am strangely drawn to her thick leg wear.

4. What’s the most disturbing thing in your fridge right now?

There appears to be something moth-ridden near to the back, which moves on occasion. Let me explain. I swear one day, it was in the crisper, then one day it was in the back right of the fridge, now it’s on the left; I recall a grade 9 science project I worked on, that involved moss and growth hormones and something, I’m scared and hope it goes away. I will have my assistant check Tuesday.

5. Siamese Twins” (NOӦ 4!!) is a grainy gray matter that deals with identity, duplicity, possibly repressed memories or outright lies, strange leaps of logic, and, halfway through, out of nowhere, it suddenly shifts gears into a full blown plea for help to the audience. The sudden shift in form feels completely natural and seamless, and one comes away from the story with a sense of having taken part in an event, or shared an intimate truth with a perfect stranger. Could you talk a little bit about that story?

I think that sort of tale enters into the realm of “what if” I mean, it’s in everyone that is if you allow it to, a question of what if something was kept from you, from parents, a lover, a best friend, some huge thing that if you came upon, say, as in this character did, “…while rifling his mother’s drawers”…what would that feel like, is that the reason for my isolation, loneliness. I’ve always thought there has had to have been some deeper reason for this sense of depression, apart from the world, feeling not a part of, so I guess in this essay I used the “separation metaphor…which also could lead down the pathway further into abandonment issues.

6. You travel a lot. What are some of the strangest things you’ve seen recently?

I travel the most from the living room (the tv) to the kitchen, to the computer/office/internet place, to that glorious soft cloud of cushiony la-la land, known as the bedroom. It’s a boudoir I suppose if one is single, though now that I think about it, it becomes French - a “boudoir” - if you’re sharing it with a lady friend for the evening; I picture a red light, a la Woody Allen’s Annie Hall plus four poster bed with silky material hanging about the joint.

7. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are some of your favorite books?

I like it best when I’m surprised, like when I come across something really unexpected, like I’ll be in a bookstore and read a few paragraphs and then, whammo, something hits be in there that I connect with. I recall this best when I picked up Nick Flynn’s book , “ANOTHER BULLSHIT NIGHT IN SUCK CITY” The way he conveys his isolation and day to day loneliness but keeps getting on through…it blew me away, there’s not that much brilliance out there, brilliance I speak of that also possesses originality, then again what’s wunderbar to some toads isn’t so to another animal, if you get what I mean. It’s all so personal. I’ll give you ten as far as fave authors and books, but it would take many pages to describe why and how these particular ones came about and why it hit me and just how the whole deal; the advice I can give is go check these out and pick ‘em up off the shelf and spend 3 - 4 minutes flipping around the pages and then you’ll be able to tell if it’s something you’d spend your hard earned dough on.

David Foster Wallace - "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again", "Infinite Jest"
James Frey - "A Million Little Pieces", "My Friend Leonard" Bright Shiny Morning”
Nick Flynn - "Another Bullshit Night In Suck City"
Richard Hell - "Go Now"
Dave Eggers - "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"
Elizabeth Wurtzel - "More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction"
David Rakoff - "Fraud", "Don't Get Too Comfortable" (Canadian)
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall - "Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shanty Town", “Ghosted” (Canadian)
Dan Kennedy - "Loser Goes First: My Thirty-Something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation"
Bret Easton Ellis - "Less Than Zero", "American Psycho"
Jay McInerney - "Bright Lights, Big City"
David Sedaris - "Me Talk Pretty One Day"
Mark Leyner - "My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist", "Teatherball"
Heather O'Neill - "Lullabies for Little Criminals" (Canadian)
Mordecai Richler - "Barney's Version" (Canadian)
Robert Bingham - "Pure Slaughter Value"
Denis Johnson - "Jesus' Son: Stories"
DBC Pierre - "Vernon God Little"
Augusten Burroughs - "Running With Scissors", "Dry"
Martin Amis - "Experience: A Memoir"
Peter Hyman - "The Reluctant Metrosexual: Dispatches from an Almost Hip Life"

8. What are you working on now?

I’m working on a pop-up book, scratch-n-sniff pamphlet for adults; you could pick them up at roadside diners along the highways and byways of our great nation, it’s still in the works. I have just finished my collection of stories/essays (when I say “just”, I mean a few months ago, still looking for someone to publish it.) It’s called: True Imaginings from the Dementia Cul De Sac: A Bizarre But Entertaining Life I Seem To Have Survived. The title felt oh so appropriate, as I’ve felt I’ve really explored the life I’ve lived so far, and there have been some weird avenues and boulevards I’ve said to myself, “How the hell did I get here?!” But in retrospect, now, I wouldn’t change it, maybe a little a bit of the heart break I would have exchanged for something else, but the rest has made me who I am.

Thanks for your time!


While finishing his mammoth personal memoir, “A Long Way From Kind and Pretty,” Masterson has been cleansing his mind, keeping his website up to date and donating his imaginative talents and heartfelt jazzy epistles to online and print journals: So New Media, Word Riot, Fresh Yarn Salon, Yankee Pot Roast, Ghoti, Wandering Army, and most recently in his home town Toronto, The National Post and Now Magazine. He co-produced and hosted a monthly interactive literary series at The Drake Hotel in Toronto entitled Word Substance Spatula and is a regular contributor to CIUT's talk radio show, HOWL, with Nik Beat and has read a spooky Halloween story on National Public Radio. Mr. Masterson ventured to Philadelphia to ply his literary wares at The 215 Festival. "A Big Thrill", Tim says, as this was where he first saw and drew inspiration from authors of the McSweeneys collective years earlier. He's been awarded a Toronto Arts Council Grant for this writing project and has put the finishing touches on his latest project, a compilation of essays and stories, (some published some not), "A Bizarre But Entertaining Life I Seem To Have Survived: True Tales From The Dementia Cul De Sac". He is not the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship or any other fancy shmancy glammarama literary prize...yet.

For a full listing of his work, and anything else you’d like to know, check out his homepage at:

**** Mr. Timber Masterson reports that, yes, while living at present in Toronto Canada, he is exquisitely moisturized, (he has dual citizenship, his Dad was American) yet this doesn't stop him from being, on occasion, terrifically lonesome, so he wouldn't mind at all if you dropped him an email, just about anything at all, your fave game show host from the 70's/80's, sandwich meat, carnies, cuddling, even the art, love and appreciation of books and magazines and stuff, don’t be shy.
( ****

Sunday, November 14, 2010

rad poetry #17: for emily toder



for Emily Toder

We are things embarrassing, strange, and hang around
feeling everything things, things, considering beautiful
that which does not consider anything. Are we? Strange
and hang embarrassing, things around, beautiful
feelings. Consider everything. That which considers
we are. Feeling feeling, not beautiful. Hanging things.
Everything we are, strange, which does not feel. Strange,
that which hangs around feeling. Consider beautiful
embarrassing anything. Which thing? That thing thing.
We hang around embarrassing our strange everything.
Consider feeling. Are we? Beautiful everything, we that
does and does not. Hang strange, things, things feel.
We are. Everything feels that strange which feels.
Everything that strange which feels. That strange
everything. Which feels. That strange beautiful
anything which feels strange and embarrassing.
Are we? That hanging strange and everything which
feels considers that we feel, things, hangs, things
and feeling everything we are. Oh and not who.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy: Bradley Sands's new book of prose poetry

If you haven't heard elsewhere, Bradley Sands has a new book of prose poems out called Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy, featuring his poem from NOÖ [10]: "Eggs Benedict," Here's the beginning:
I AM SITTING BY MYSELF in a booth, eating Eggs Benedict. It is during peak hours. I have been eating the same breakfast for the past 72 weeks. The waitresses have just started to give me dirty looks. Hungry, tableless people also give me dirty looks. A tyrannosaurus rex sits down across from me. She is a very rude tyrannosaurus rex. I say, “You are a very rude tyrannosaurus rex. You should have asked if it was okay to sit at my table.” The tyrannosaurus rex does not respond. I leer at her. She feeds coins into the jukebox. Her eyes become fluorescent lights. Her teeth become a stack of menus. Her mouth becomes the door to the women’s bathroom. She becomes the diner. I feel lightheaded.
Check out Brad's book! And if you're an old NOÖ contributor with a new book out, let us know! Email us at editors at noojournal dot com.

Friday, November 5, 2010

"What I Feel, Maybe, I Guess:" Gabe Durham on James Robison’s The Illustrator

expanded and revised from Gabe's blog at

A few months ago, I had my first visit to the fiction stacks of the downtown Nashville Public Library, a big impressive room where Dawn Raffel’s collection graced the new releases shelf and where people actually seemed to be reading stuff. I hit the R’s looking to see if they had the new Mary Robison (they didn’t), but they did have James Robison’s The Illustrator (1988), which I’d never heard of.

And I thought, “James Robison, that guy who said a something nice about one of my pieces on Fictionaut?” (I have a special talent for remembering people who compliment me.) The full-sized author photo on the jacket’s back proved it was the same guy, just younger and with more hair. In a blurb, Donald Barthelme called the novel “a brilliant piece of work” and “a remarkable achievement.” I was sold enough to check it out. I just didn’t expect it to be so good.

The Illustrator
follows Ash, a middle-aged Bostonian who’s just quit being a commercial artist to be an Artist-artist. Ash falls for an almost-legal high schooler named Q (whose actual name is Erin, whose actual-actual name is Pauline). He takes a job in South America and tortures himself with thoughts of Q, then returns to Boston and remembers what she’s actually like and kinda loses interest. And starts painting big weird anti-paintings.

The plotting is loose and natural while each short scene is a like tightly constructed flash, ready for Quick Fiction, often complete with punchy/mysterious last lines. The looseness and Ash’s obliquely cool temperament gel nicely. Each narration and conversation volleys from irony to sincerity and back, and Ash is never more tentative than in a situation that calls for sincerity. “I recognize the escalation of faith and terror that is, I guess, love,” he narrates of his thing with Q. “It’s what I feel, maybe, I guess.” Every genuine feeling expressed is a quailfier-fest, every joke a razor.
Roles change constantly as the characters create what the dust jacket pretty astutely calls a “present tense morality out of the moment.” Throughout the book, Q goes from hook-up to semi-girlfriend to longed-for lover across the sea back to semi-girlfriend to daughter to, finally, something like a distant niece.

The wow-sharp dialogue is never better than when Q is talking or letter-writing. Young and eager-to-impress and language-lax, but smart, too smart to dismiss, Q’s voice gives me the zap of recognition that goes, “Sometimes pop culture makes me forget that teenagers in the mid-to-late 80′s basically sounded exactly like teenagers today and like teenagers always will until the end of time.”

And then Ash’s ex-wife, Lucia, literally shows up at his doorstep. She’s barely mentioned in the book’s first half, but when she shows up (“Hello, Ash. You could hug me, I guess.”), she arrives with so much nuance and emotional baggage that Ash has to be reconsidered in the light of her arrival. “Look at your oeuvre,” she says in the same scene, looking over his paintings for the first time. “My, my. Aren’t you weird. You know, I never minded that we both had sex with so many others while we were married–I thought that was fine. But what I minded, minded purple, was that you didn’t love me, Ash.” “I minded that too,” Ash says, “but you were terrible, just terrible awful. You’re not awful anymore probably, isn’t that so?”

It seems for awhile that Lucia might restore some lost part of Ash, but she’s a protagonist in a book full of protagonists, and has her own stuff going. When, late in the book, Lucia goes with Ash and Q to Vermont, she gets consumed with doomed love for a guy who’s barely on the page at all.

Employed here is the kind of minimalism that uses telling and concise details to point outward to the big lived-in world. By the end of the book, so much ground has been covered that it makes for a jarring return to the opening pages after a first read. At any point in the book, it feels both as if anything might happen next and as if Ash doesn’t care one way or the other what will happen. And yet the difference between this book and slackery “the point is that not much happens” books is that his actions do affect him, again and again, and usually for the worse. If Ash had a stake in himself, he might save himself, but doesn’t, so won’t.

To rope in David Shields for a minute, The Illustrator is a choice example of what’s wrong about Reality Hunger’s point that fiction writers waste so much space on character when the writer could just get to the point and say what he or she thinks. “The world exists,” Shields writes. “Why recreate it?” But what in the hell kind of personal essay could the heart of The Illustrator be reduced to? The feeling’s there in each scene and gone when you name it. Even if we’ve got the spotlight on Robison, he’s decked out in a suit and tie, and have Charlie Rose and Oprah ask him, in unison, “So what, Jimmy, would you say the book is about?” I’m not sure he could give an answer more satisfying than, “Scuba,” or, if then accused of being difficult, “Scuba in America.” I mean that like the opposite of an insult.

James Robison’s only other book, Rumor and Other Stories, came out two years before The Illustrator. The opening story, The Line, pushes the observational people-watching story as far as it will go, waiting until the last minute to point to any sort of meaning, a neat trick he later repeats to even greater effect in “The Indian Gardens.” Even with its subversive touches, Rumor is more of a classic book than Illustrator, less of its time, still minimal but working closer to the tradition. My favorites are, “Envy,” “Eleven,” and the title track, “Rumor,” all of which slow-build their loss and longing and tend to end pretty hopefully.

Eventually, the web helped me put this together: James was married to Mary Robison, hence hence hence. (Pretty perfect, then, that I found him while searching the stacks for his wife.) The Illustrator is dedicated to Mary.  If you go looking for stylistic parallels, his book has more in common with Mary Robison’s more-recent Why Did I Ever than with the stories she was writing when The Illustrator came out.

But really, James Robison’s style (circa Illustrator) is closer to Frederick Barthelme’s than to his then-wife’s. And surprise! They all went to grad school together. In Barthelme’s famous & fun article “On Being Wrong,” there’s a great long paragraph in which Barthelme characterizes the “beyond irony” writer scene of the John Hopkins MFA, 1976, in which Barthelme and his colleagues grew to suspect that “a plain sentence, drab as it may seem, might be more powerful by and large than the then standard-issue clever sentence.” He characterizes the teachers: John Barth, Charles Newman. Then continues: “And the students were good too. Mary and Jim Robison were there; everything in Mary’s stories ‘snicked’.”
It’ll be a shame, though, if this passing mention is going to be James Robison’s legacy: A good writer who was present for a scene in which his then-wife had a starring role. Mary Robison herself, in an interview with BOMB, praised her ex-husband’s prose while simultaneously burying him: “[Being labeled a minimalist] did a lot for me (laughter) in that I received some attention other deserving writers did not. Patricia Geary, Moira Crone, Liz Inness-Brown, Steve Barthelme, or even my late husband, James Robison. Joke, my little joke.” Ha?

Not even a little dead, Robison’s with us, he’s writing, and has actually had a lot of shorter stories appear on the web recently. Here’s my favorite new thing of his: a story called Guard from the latest Smokelong Quarterly about a museum guard striving to out-ironic a condescending artist who has used him in her exhibit. It’s more pointed and conceptual than his old stuff, and no less careful. Makes me hopeful that a second collection’s on the way nearly twenty-five years after the first. But why rely on new books to get the hype machine humming?

An exciting thing about my time in an MFA was getting to be in a community of readers who passed books around like secrets. Noy Holland taught The Log of the S.S. Mrs. Unguentine (1972) to a class I wasn’t even in, and in a couple years we’d all read it and Mr. Crawford Himself was guest-teaching a workshop, riding the wave of Western Mass enthusiasm for a beautiful strange book he’d written three decades earlier.

Not that I need to cite examples of how word can spread about aging books. Just saying it’s exciting when it does, that a friend’s recommendation has a better batting average that playing the Nashville Public Library Stacks Lotto, that it’s easier to beef up somebody’s “critical standing” it used to be, that it’s fun to do the open node thing, and that it’s easier and cheaper to track down out-of-print books than it’s ever been. 

The Illustator is a book that could use some noise. I might kinda love it a little.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


It’s a new NOӦ contest!
Do you need a Hug?
How about a good old fashioned smothering?
You do? That’s great, ‘cuz we’re giving ‘em away,
400 pages worth of Hugs! For free!

Here’s what it is:
(Warning: this book may or may not be full of tiny plastic bears, so open at your own risk)

Here’s where you can get it:

Here's what the jacket (not a members only) has to say about it:
"Selected from the range of Cooper's essays and reportage in Artforum, Bookforum, Detour, Interview, LA Weekly, Spin, and the Village Voice, among other publications, Smothered in Hugs presents the best nonfiction of one of America's greatest writers. Cooper has written on grave social issues, producing touchstone pieces for a generation of readers. His obituaries for Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, and William S. Burroughs offer portraits that are both crystallizing and appropriately indefinite. His reckonings of contemporary writers are astute and unsparing. And, of course, he serves as witness to the work and play of an illustrious roster of cultural personalities—and does so with an acuity and fairness missing from most pop culture criticism."

And here’s Mr. Cooper’s The Snow Globe for the uninitiated, or the memory-challenged, which you can see read taste smell hear in NOӦ 11:


A SHAKY FLASHLIGHT BEAM illuminates a stiff. Is that the boy you hit? It’s prone beneath the snow wearing your overcoat and dirty, scotch-taped glasses. Yes, sir

He had a deep depression, the worst one in our short lives’ storied history. It reduced him to a speck. The storm helped. That snowball hid a rock.

You froze to death ten feet from here under white out conditions. It took years, this glass of scotch, and a cheap crystal ball to find the body.

He hobbled through a blur and hurled his snowball at my head. That missed. Later, he’s lit by a jittering beam. Once this ugly little globe was the whole earth.


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Craziest dreams you've had involving literary figures
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Times Ticking Past Ahead: Tinkers by Paul Harding

“Remember the night of deliverance when – your unraveled body falling away like a veil – you breathed a little of the incorruptible air; and remember the sticky animals that seized you again”

- René Daumal

If Cyndi Lauper were to write a novel, I doubt it would read anything like Paul Harding’s Tinkers. Still, reading the novel, I can’t help but think just how much Lauper’s song “Time after Time” is a perfect microcosm of Harding’s Pulitzer Prize winning opus. I can hear the calls of “sacrilege!” ringing out throughout the tinny tubes of the interwebs, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Tinkers is about connections, and how they hold our lives, our minds, and the very universe itself together. So it’s only natural that my brain tracks this seminal work to something as random as an 80’s hit pop song, right? Tinkers is a meditation on the life of one family, specifically, a father and son, and their nearly lifelong disconnection and eventual reunion. Harding tinkers with the connections between man and mind, father and son, husband and wife, time and timelessness, with the same steady handedness that the horologist protagonist, George Washington Crosby utilizes in the taking-apart and putting-back-together-again of the guts of clocks.
The sublimity and clarity of Harding’s narrative occurs precisely everywhere, everywhen. His prose shines bright as an epileptic’s fit, specifically that of Howard Aaron Crosby, a tinker and George’s estranged father, whose life we see in flashback, reverse engineered for our reading pleasure. We even get a glimpse of his relationship with his father, burrowing further and further into this wormhole of family and time. Harding takes care to craft his singular mix of prose and poetry with the elegance and precision expected of one attempting to measure life and the universe with the gilded calipers of his words, to borrow an image from William James’ painting Urizen as the Creator of the World. The written word, here, takes the place of law and reason on either side of those mythic calipers. But what does it mean to measure a man, a life, or a universe? For Harding, that means taking apart the mystery, to see what makes it tick, but never giving away its secrets. He keeps those locked up in the imaginal realm, somewhere between the forests of cognition through which Crosby rides and the rivers of the unconscious through which the reader must wade.

He tinkered. Tin pots, wrought iron. Solder melted and cupped in a clay dam. Quicksilver patchwork. Occasionally, a pot hammered back flat, the tinkle of tin sibilant, tiny beneath the lid of the boreal forest. Tinkerbird, coppersmith, but mostly a brush and mop drummer.”

The floating consciousness of a dying George Washington Crosby frames the narrative of his father Howard’s life, as an epileptic and tinker, who left his wife and son, under fear of being committed. It also touches on the life of Howard’s father’s, a preacher who, as his faculties began to go, openly speculated to his congregation about how maybe the devil wasn’t such a bad guy after all. So, three generations of New England fathers and sons are caught in this strange loop of estrangement. It is meticulously detailed, painted in lush brush strokes and finally played out with a warm, ferocious detachment in a final reunion scene between George and Howard, flashbacked and forwarded by father and son, respectively. It is a quiet scene of understated emotion and wormhole beauty. This scene of Howard’s brief reconciliation with his son, if only for a few fleeting moments, if only to leave as quickly as he came in, represents the most delicate of truths, applicable to all of our lives - that we never can truly know one another and no matter how connected we are, there is always some level of separation, and there will always be some form of disconnect. The metaphor encompasses all, and the narrative, like a clock, is ticking past ahead.
Into the river Lethe, repeatedly, Howard Aaron and George Washington Crosby dip their toes, feeling for temperature, testing it for comfort and clarity, only to forget their place, their person. But they don’t forget each other, or their collective story. And neither shall we, even if we do, for the artifice is almost done; you can smell it all the way upstairs - the burning bacon and eggs smell of synapses misfiring, then firing for the last time, and snapping off their connections with one another, forever, their long fingered tendrils waving good bye like jelly fish limbs in slow motion underwater tango moments.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet Todd Orchulek!

Todd is the new NOÖ Journal/Magic Helicopter Press intern. He is a student at UMass-Amherst and a Massachusetts native. He applied to be an intern and I hired him when we started talking about John Hawkes's The Lime Twig. Todd is a human person and not a twig or citrus. Besides doing behind-the-scenes stuff, you'll see him here on the blog keeping things active: interviewing NOÖ contributors, reviewing books, highlighting cool stuff from other literary journals, and running sweet contests. Want to know more? Yeah, so did I. Here is my interview with Todd:

Hi Todd. Where did you grow up? What is one interesting character you remember from your hometown?

I grew up in Ludlow, Ma. and still live there. One interesting character that can still be seen riding through the area on occasion would have to be “The Can Man.” He rides around on a beat up old mountain bike, digging through trash cans and dumpsters with a gaff, with duct tape all over his shoes and pants. That, in and of itself probably wouldn’t make him all that interesting of a character (gaff notwithstanding), but knowing that he is a retired telephone company worker who drives around in a BMW in the daytime makes him, I think, possibly, some kind of super-hero/vigilante, fighting evil doers and non-recyclers alike at night, while living a life of luxury during the daytime.

What are some of your favorite books?

That would have to include just about anything by Kurt Vonnegut, Denis Johnson, John Hawkes, Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Hunter Thompson, James Joyce, Alex Garland, Jean Paul Sartre, E.E. Cummings, Jonathan Lethem, Robert Olen Butler and C.G. Jung.

When did you first realize that these squiggles called writing could affect people in real ways?

Probably the first time I heard Christopher Walken recite “The Raven.” Or, more likely, the first time I read a Robert Frost poem. It was eye-opening.

What is your favorite meal?

That’s easy: mixed vegetables in garlic sauce and General Tso's chicken from the Great Wall in Chicopee. I hope that gets me a free meal.

You used to manage a gas station. Do you have any crazy gas station stories?

I would use the term “manage” loosely, but yes, I do have some stories. One time, for instance, I watched as a 95 year old woman lost control of her car on the street adjoining the place and swerved directly into the express lube—you know, one of those oil change buildings with open doors and open floors, going about 35 mph. She slammed into the car that was in the bay, pushing it and the car behind it out into the parking lot, and in the process somehow managed to half submerge her car in the bay, so it was teetering half-in, half-out. All the while, she had the accelerator pinned to the floor. So the engine was roaring, the tires were still spinning like mad, and the guy who was working downstairs had just narrowly avoided being decapitated. We had to get her out of the car, and then fish the car out of the bay. So I can say, ‘I once caught a fish this big,’ in all seriousness. There was also the time that a beat up old Pinto pulled up to the pumps engulfed in flames because, you know, what better place to park your car when it’s engulfed in flames than at the gas pumps?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Two new Drunk Sonnet write-ups

Some Drunk Sonnet news from the interwebs. At Molossus, Vlad Osso writes: "The accomplishment of Bailey’s all-caps sonnets ... transcend the gimmick of their genesis to achieve a sort of beauty that aches with simple honesty."

Meanwhile, on his blog, Zachary Whalen writes: "This book is like a crazy homeless man that runs into your bedroom screaming and distributing Xeroxed pamphlets in a haphazard fashion, but somehow he ends up becoming your best friend and you ride a Ferris wheel together and you both stare off at the distant lights of the earth and the stars in the sky and contemplate the mistakes you've made in your respective lives in a calm, accepting manner."

Thanks Vlad and Zachary!

If you haven't already picked up a copy of The Drunk Sonnets, you should soon, because we're almost sold out of the first run.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New NOÖ Weekly! Edited by Thomas O'Connell!

Check out the new NOÖ Weekly edited by Tom O'Connell! Featuring Julianna Spallholz, Corey Mesler, Kyle Hemmings, and Steve Kissing. Train dismemberment, damned rivers, pretzel scammers, and dinner club blazes! This might be the last Weekly before NOÖ [12], so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cami Park on Evelyn Hampton's WE WERE ETERNAL AND GIGANTIC

Cami Park has a nice little write-up about Evelyn Hampton's We Were Eternal and Gigantic at her blog Odd Citrus, where she is writing about a different poetry book for every day of September. Awesome! Park calls Hampton "uniquely insightful about people and their relationships" and says that the book "covers America’s money-obsessed culture, superficiality, capitalism, sexism and other heavy topics so lightly and effortlessly, you barely notice."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Congratulations to D.A. Powell!

D.A. Powell won Ep 32 of the Literary Death Match in San Francisco! As a representative of NOÖ Journal! Pretty sweet. Congrats to Doug and all the readers, and kudos to Opium for going strong with such an awesome series.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New NOÖ Weekly! Edited by Adam Peterson!

Check out the new NOÖ Weekly, edited by Adam Peterson! Featuring Laura Eve Engel, Angela Hume, Jeff Downey, and Dave Madden! Flies in fruit jars, incentive-white, abandoned hospitals, Christmas scarfs, and Shiner Bock!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Drunk Sonnet #10 as performed by Jesus Angel Garcia

Click here for more Jesus Angel Garcia and click here for The Drunk Sonnets.

root for D.A. Powell!

The endlessly awesome poet and champion of poets forgotten, D.A. Powell (read his poem "Space Junk" in NOÖ [11] is going to be representing NOÖ Journal at the August 13th Literary Death Match in San Francisco. Go root for him!

Where: Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St.
When: Doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm (sharp)
Cost: $7 pre-order*; $10 at the door; $7 with a valid student ID. This event is free for Literary Death Match subscribers.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a new Adam Peterson edited NOÖ Weekly is coming soon, but first check out this line-up for NOÖ [12], due in late September!



Trina Burke
Brian Allen Carr
Todd Colby
Mark Cunningham
Charles Du Preez
Gabe Durham
Andrea Fitzpatrick
Carol Guess
Nathan Logan
Ben Mirov
Emily Pettit
Ted Powers
Nate Pritts
Emily Siegenthaler
Gregory Sherl
Sampson Starkweather
Jordan Stempleman
Zack Sternwalker
Eugene Thomas
Michael Trocchia
John Dermot Woods

*Not the cover har har

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th NOÖ Weekly! Guest edited by Sara Mumolo!

Check out the new NOÖ Weekly, which is back after a month's break and guest-edited by the awesome Sara Mumolo. Tons of great Bay Area-based writing from Craig Santos Perez, Lorelei Lee, Jared Stanley, Alisa Heinzman, and Barbara Claire Freeman, featuring loincloths, a Holiday Inn diner, the scumble of a pika, heavy straws to shove in necks, and the location of everything from laughter to lighting fluid. Do yourself a gawk, kind reader. You won't regret.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Vouched Books

Check out Christopher Newgent's new project Vouched Books, where he promotes and sells independently published books at art events (concerts, openings, etc), and all the books on his table are books he's read and likes. Very communal and organic DIY spirit. Check it out!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jack Christian guest edits this week's NOÖ Weekly!

Jack Christian, author of Let's Collaborate, is at the helm of the new NOÖ Weekly, which features raspberry dental pain, God tromping the sky in his undershirt, Verlaine’s bullet, free-climbing the live crown of a forked blade, lethargic vacillations, the extension cord's other outlet, and more! Check it out for work from Diane Seuss, R.H.W. Dillard, Kevin Goodan, and Philip Pinch.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Praise for We Were Eternal and Gigantic!

Nice words are rolling in for Evelyn Hampton's We Were Eternal and Gigantic: thanks to Andy Linker and Jack Boettcher for their write-ups. And hey, while we're on the subject, congratulations to Evelyn, winner of the 2010 Collagist non-fiction contest!

Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 Wigleaf Top Very Short Fictions: NOÖ makes the cut!

Brian Evenson has selected two stories from NOÖ [10] as 2010 Wigleaf Top Very Short Fictions: Matt Bell's "Brother, There Is a Field" and Karen Gentry's "Treasure Island." Congratulations to Matt and Karen, and thanks to Brian and Scott Garson for their work on spotlighting online fiction!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"There’s much to reap from The Drunk Sonnets even if you don’t often feel like throwing up at work"

Joseph Goosey wrote a very thoughtful review of The Drunk Sonnets for The Rumpus. Here's an excerpt:

Just as Charles Bukowski could be typecast as the despairing drunk and Frank O’Hara could be typecast as the joyous drunk, Bailey’s work embodies more accurately the bi-polar nature of drunken thought, sharing both his despair and his joys and all that sits in between.

Thanks Joseph!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"If we are kin, that is a rare and dangerous thing"

NOÖ Weekly returns with selections from Guest Editor Joe Hall. Check out the work from A. Minetta Gould, Caren Scott, and Eric Scovel, of which Hall says: "The blood here is not pure but wonderfully polluted with technology and crucifixes and things I do not know about. If you drank it you might die."

Monday, April 19, 2010

NOÖ Weekly April 19th Edition! Guest Edited By Carrie Oeding!

New NOÖ Weekly! Guest-edited by Carrie Oeding, this week features Mary Biddinger, Angie Mazakis, Scott Poole, Star Rockers, and Martin Arnold. Inappropriate penny loafers, casual escapes, President Nixon's best friend, tuna sandwiches for Christmas dinner, and scarab beatles--all of this and more awaits your eager eyes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

funny statistic about NOÖ Journal and the Million Writers Award

Jason Sanford has been posting some cool statistics about the Million Writers Award at his blog. Here's one I'd like to add: Because we're such slackers, NOÖ only published one issue in 2009. In that issue, only two of our stories were over 1000 words (thereby meeting the criteria for Million Writers Award Story Notability): Kim Chinquee's "One Below" and Crispin Best's "At the End of This Story Three Months Will Pass." Both stories, however, won Notable Story mentions. Therefore (you probably see where this is going) 100% of NOÖ's eligable 2009 fiction won Million Writer Awards. Not that we're competitive or anything, but I hate losing at tennis, and I like posting 100% in large font. Next round's on us, eh? Thanks to all our contributors and submitters for allowing us to showcase such amazing work. We're here because you're awesome!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

going to awp? come to these things!

1) Thursday Afternoon Dewclaw reading! (Click image to see bigger)

2) Friday Afternoon Panel on Independent Publishing!

Noon-1:15 PM | Friday | April 9th

Room 108
Colorado Convention Center, Street Level

F150. Indie Mags: Publishing Outside of MFA Programs and Other Institutional Support. (J.W. Wang, Aaron Burch, Dave Clapper, Mike Young, Jennifer Flescher, Blake Butler) Independent journals provide an alternative to the established journals affiliated with universities and creative writing programs, and they frequently serve as pioneers in the world of literary publishing. Join editors from Tuesday; An Art Project, Hobart, NOÖ Journal, Juked, Lamination Colony and SmokeLong Quarterly for a roundtable discussion about the workings of independently-published literary journals, what it takes to keep them going, and what these journals mean to potential contributors.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"a toothed walleye / is not worse than being down fifty"

This week's NOÖ Weekly is guest-edited by Gabe Durham and features Sarah Boyer and Brian Baise! Scone toasting on the heart! A statue that may or may not be funny! Check it out.

Congratulations to Kim Chinquee and Crispin Best!

Hooplah's in order for Kim Chinquee and Crispin Best, whose stories from NOÖ 10"One Below" and "At the End of This Story Three Months Will Pass" respectively—are Notable Stories in the storySouth 2009 Million Writers Award. Blammo!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

NOÖ Weekly March 26th Edition! Edited By Carolyn Zaikowski!

It's up! Read new work from Dawn Sueoka and Ben Hersey. Visit NOÖ Weekly.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Not even above using a better period" : Nat Otting on the first week of NOÖ Weekly

NOÖ Weekly is the new bi-weekly or weekly arm of NOÖ Journal, allowing us to publish more great writing all the time, and it's guest-edited by a different person each week. We couldn't have picked a better inaugural guest editor than the erstwhile Nathaniel Otting, Minutes Books publisher, HTMLGIANT contributor, a distinguished founder of the Robert Walser Society of Western Massachusetts, and a supporter of literature whose enthusiasm and sweetness seems magic enough that I often believe he was born on a submarine made of buttermilk. Oh, and he's a pretty diabolical poet his own self. We're honored to have him talk a little bit about his choices for the first NOÖ Weekly.

You toss something in Italy that lands at my feet. I pick it up. You read something funny on the internet, like "Terrible pass, great catch, terrible shot" (Seth Landman quoting Lewis Freedman), and then you read Guy Pettit's poems and think how perfect that the spot on the internet where you go to do so is called catch catch throw throw. You go, and lo:


I am standing next to the solid gold tube. 
When I wait for it to speak a religion hurries in,
like a recycled screen, I call the Capitol. 
I pose indirectly for a stranger 
until I’ve discredited every inch of my body.
The Capitol is not your head. It tells your head
that you have none until it’s gone. 
I see the figments of a careless toss.
You toss something in Italy 
that lands at my feet. I pick it up.

From Italy (great catch: your toss is "in Italy", "my feet" could be anywhere), you cross the Brenner Pass into Austria where you read Pettit's "Even If It Lasts For Hours" and "Archive Your Mistakes" to Ilse Aichinger, the nigh-on-90-year-old-master (Bernhard's elder, an Austrian Beckett, Kafka's etc.), whose "Bad Words" begins:

I now no longer use better words. The rain which pounds against the windows. Previously something completely different would have occurred to me. That’s over now. The rain which pounds against the windows. That’s sufficient. By the way I just had another expression on the tip of my tongue, it wasn’t only better, it was more precise, but I forgot it, while the rain was pounding against the windows or was doing what I was about to forget. 

(translated by Uljana Wolf & Christian Hawkey in the latest Poetry Project Newsletter)

After reading Aichinger's "Salvage" (from Bad Words), you won't feel bad about leaving better words to Dakotah Burns, whose Austria ("Also since I returned from Austria I've been back to wanting to do all kinds of stupid things in the woods.") is neither Aichinger's nor Bernhard's. Watch him throw around gait: "my gait moves from marvelous to monstrous in an instant" or "my gait’s mistakes are excused as a tantrum of imperial feeling" or "my gait consented to a period of more formal instruction." Burns--read his story "NBA Fantasy" and you'll see--is not even above using a better period, a period of more. As he once put it, on the internet:

What about two periods,
at the end of a sentence,
instead of one. Two periods.

Friday, March 12, 2010

rad poetry #16: for erin fitzgerald



for Erin Fitzgerald

I held a tornado
let loose amongst the people
who keep blood in their veins

for too long.
Beverly called it lifelines,
but Mindy called it french fries.

The longer it sat
in my palms the more paths,
Taya said, I could take

with my life.
Then she said it could be like
in a bus or something. And I could bring all

my friends. And I
said what if I hold the tornado again?
Wont we all die in my palms?

And she said, Yeah.
But it wont be that bad.
It never is.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

rad poetry #15: for michael jauchen


(written one word at a time by Ella Longpre and Mike Young)

for Michael Jauchen

Home trails in a gorge.
Slate tiles outlast my flat
notions, upscale neighbors
disapprove. Meanwhile, our
growing congregation of talcum-
colored cacti lay untouched and
depraved. Careless! Mobile,
lifting patches, ranking wayside

This time, the whale wouldn't gesture
to anyone, but maybe she expects sympathy
or revenge. Eh!

And, thankfully, the less we notice this
backasswards nostalgia, this imminent
mealtime snack, this understated crunch,
the bigger our luck. Windy, mulchy, barren,
swamped. It's a timeless turbine
that performs. But frail as passing.
Faulty signals, fitful returnings.

rad poetry #14: for nicki-poo demske


(as read by Carolyn Zaikowski)

for Nicki-Poo Demske

We moved and mom took the pylons.
We reconvene, sinister ventriloquists,
cliquey as a microbrew. Sure I get down
hill, but I don't use skis. Is there anything you
know that you didn't find on the wet underside
of a Snapple lid? Thanks, but no. Thanks, I'm
good. We moved and mom put the pythons in
expensive Tupperware. My dad worked in a salt
mine and then he worked in a lighthouse. My dad
works for nothing and then he'll work for love.
I don't sit, I study. When we move in together,
you're not allowed to bring the setee. Hard candy
and Skoal. Cum and photo chemicals. We sat up
all night writing blurbs for cereal. Sandals and dust.
Prayer cards and piglets. I would care about the world
more, I think, if it would meet me with the things I think.

rad poetry #13: for roxane gay


by Carolyn Zaikowski & Mike Young

for Roxane Gay

In walks a robe we all know. It covers
leotards we don't. In walks a known we've all
robbed. We will never know a cape. We will never
cowtow a charred knoll. Is there justice
in a hot mama? There is no fallacy in a can.
If you're on TV, is it ever a real gun?
It's never, ever a toad of steel. The way
I see my problem is this: if it's not my
problem, I'll accept a smaller check.
I don't have a Sam to worry about nor do I
take Deborah well. It's not like I'm paying
for these seats. This shampoo's got a
hole in it. Frig. How many reps does it take
to know yourself? About a quart, we said,
about a thimble knock. If I was a judge,
we said, I'd be mostly in it for the wig.

rad poetry #12: for jono tosch


by Carolyn Zaikowski & Mike Young, starring Maude

for Jono Tosch

Sometimes you cook 'em the big trout.
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark.

Don't you gimme me that looking get.
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark.

Grandpa pair of dice swooned for the pork.
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark.

Don't marry that kale before you know her.
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark

Tow your bride to a burn pile.
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark.

Don't pinch an itch on the side of the tweeze.
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark.

If you don't take your breath, agreed?
Daddy eat my sugar. Daddy clean my bark.