Monthly Archives: March 2013

Billy (11 of 11)


– from FUN CAMP

Letter #1, Letter #2, Letter #3, Letter #4, Letter #5, Letter #6, Letter #7, Letter #8, Letter #9, Letter #10

This is not the final letter.

For the final letter, you will need a copy of FUN CAMP.


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Three Parables from FUN CAMP @ The Good Men Project

Who is this Tad Gunnick, we wondered, who offers jokes and withholds the punch lines?

Three new pieces from FUN CAMP are now up on The Good Men Project, all parables about the teachings of most popular camper Tad Gunnick. My thanks to the honorable Matt Salesses for publishing these.

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6 New Pieces from FUN CAMP in Untoward Magazine

May 31 draws ever closer and these kids are FREAKING OUT.

In the meantime, please enjoy these 6 pieces from FUN CAMP in our good friend Untoward Magazine. 3 of them get it done in a quick sentence, 3 just go on forever like your time isn’t valuable. Thanks Matt Rowan for publishing these and putting out a great magazine.

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I reviewed Eric Rayond’s CONFESSIONS FROM A DARK WOOD for the Collagist

“Do you think we should arrive in the white-on-white Bentley,” LaBar asks Nick before meeting with a big potential client, “or would separate Ferraris be more his style?” And when Nick ups the ante by suggesting they hire a driver for the occasion, Pontius delivers the closest thing he’s got to a catch phrase: “I couldn’t agree more.” The emphasis, for LaBar, like the American one percenters his creator skewers, is always on “more.”

The gist is I’m on board for whatever next winds up in Raymond’s crosshairs. There’s been talk this week about hoards of Lipsyte imitators who can’t match the real deal, but I think Eric is one who has absorbed some of the methods for righteous skewering without ever handing over the reins to other stylists. Thanks as always to Gabriel Blackwell for his sharp edits.

Read the review here.

And the whole issue here.

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The 10 Best Modest Mouse Songs

Building Nothing Out of Something: Never Ending Math Equation

The Lonesome Crowded West: Convenient Parking

The Moon and Antarctica: Paper Thin Walls, 3rd Planet, Gravity Rides Everything, Dark Center of the Universe

Good News for People Who Love Bad News: Float On, Ocean Breathes Salty

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank: Florida, Parting of the Sensory

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It was only recently that I made peace with the “like” button.

Mostly, it confused me before. Did we all need this much affirmation from each other?

Then Facebook changed it so that only a small percentage of your friends will have your posts appear in their feeds UNLESS the post gets likes and comments. (Or: Unless you pay them money.) Now I treat the “like” button as an “up” button, knowing that by liking something I am increasing others’ opportunities to see it. Conversely, if I don’t like it, I’m allowing it to disappear.

I generally hate the web 2.0 ethos of being shown what the numbers think I want to see based on my history, but in this case the upswing is that now liking has a purpose other than patting friends on the head.


200 pages in: 2666 is going great. The worst thing I can say about it is that Bolano cares more about dreams than I do.


I’ve been going to some stand-up shows lately, and if all the comedians I’ve seen asked me for advice in aggregate, I’d say this:

Stop over-narrating how your set is going. When a joke does not go over so well, don’t say, “Come on–seriously? Nothing?” or “I guess you guys are offended by jokes about [TOPIC],” or “I don’t know why I like that one because nobody else does,” or make any caustic remark about us (unless some audience members are actively being rude).

And when a joke does go over well, don’t say, “Oh you guys liked that one, did you?” Yes. We did like it. And then you kinda ruined it.

Either way, just keep going. Make us respect you by showing us you are not so fragile, that you will soldier on with or without us. Once we don’t feel like we have to take care of you, we can let loose and be the good audience you so want us to be.

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The 10 Best Josh Ritter Songs

From Golden Age of Radio: Harrisburg, Golden Age of Radio

From Hello Starling: Bone of Song

From The Animal Years: Monster Ballads, Girl in the War, Good Man

From The Historical Conquests: The Temptation of Adam, To the Dogs or Whoever

From So Runs the World Away: Lark, The Curse

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These advance review copies of FUN CAMP will attend AWP 2013 in my stead.

These advance review copies of FUN CAMP will attend AWP 2013 in my stead.

They will be at Mud Luscious Press table. Go say hi.

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5 Passages from Deadwood Transcripts

Thanks to Brain Carr for finding me these scripts. I think the cheeky action description throughout is fan-provided.

Episode 2

Jane:   If you see Bill Hickok, or that sore asshole, Charlie Utter, could you tell him I looked to the stock?

Seth:   Sure, I’ll let him know.  (Seth leaves, Doc turns to go inside.)

Jane:   You’re wrong not to trust him.  He formed a party that found that little one among all the dead of her family.

Doc:    Didn’t he?  And didn’t he also shoot a man he suspected in the murders?  And if I were to confide in him when you circulate my optimism, I mean, wouldn’t he say, “When the little one speaks, you’ll see I was right, not the Sioux killed her family, but road agents?  And supposing it was road agents, and they hear his talk, where’s the little one stand then?

Jane:   You got a dark turn a mind.

Doc:    I see as much misery outta them movin’ to justify their selves as them that set out to do harm.


Episode 6

Joanie:              What fills the rest of your time?

Ellsworth:              Well, Ma’am, I’ve got myself a workin’ gold claim.

Joanie:              Well, sir, is that a damn fact?

Ellsworth:       Yes, Ma’am, a hell of a workin’ gold claim.  And if we knew each other better, I’d throw a fuckin’ in there somewhere.

Joanie:              If you did, I’d try to catch it.

Ellsworth:       A workin’ fuckin’ gold claim, Joanie.  And thank you for allowing me my full range of expression.


Episode 10

Merrick:         Gentlemen, what’s to prevent up from freeing our friendship from dependence on that little dining room?  Relying not on happenstance and appetite to further commence between us, but on our own conscious choice?

(Seth grabs Sol’s arm)

Utter:  Meanin’ what?

Merrick:         Meaning, Mr. Utter, the most informal and disorganizedof clubs.

Seth:   We gotta open, Sol.

Utter:  Yeah, I don’t join clubs.

Merrick:         Ah, now, its sole purpose could be just walking together as we are now.

Sol:      Well, why don’t we just walk together when we happen to be out?

Merrick:         We could, we could, or we could dedicate ourselves to the principle of walking together.  Would it—maybe all we need is a name.


Episode 18

Al:       How’s the Jew-fucking going?

Trixie:            (smoking) It’s alright.

Al:       What does it add to my understanding?

Trixie: He’s meetin’ with the widow this morning—spoke to the other of formin’ a bank, and of her in that connection.

Al:       Who’s the fucking “other”?

Trixie: Fucking Bullock.

Al:       My sensibilities do not need coddlin’ either.

Trixie:            (shaking head) It’s no concern for you. (Ashes her cigarette) I don’t like naming the cocksucker.  Anyways, that may be it’s purpose, his sittin’ down with the widow.

Al:       The Jew? (Trixie nods) I hope you’re getting paid for the pussy.  Don’t put a price to it, you’ll lose their respect.

Trixie: He’s teachin’ me accounts.

Al:       That’s all right then.  Learnin’ is like currency to them.

Trixie:            (Widens her eyes) He stares in my eyes when he fucks me, longing-like.

Al:       Jesus Christ.

Trixie:            (Studies Al) You don’t look so bad.

Al:       Yeah, next thing to up and about.


Episode 19

Al:       You’ll tell that child no hard feelings, hmm? (He turns to leave)

Alma:  What tea do you enjoy?

Al:       (turns back) I like that fucking black Darjeeling.  Oh.

(He puts a finger to his lips, all coy, like he didn’t mean to say that.  Cute, Al.  Corrupt the one true lady left in Deadwood.)

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