Pictures and Words and the 2009 2nd Story Festival


Thanks for asking. I mentioned it last time, but I’ll be reading at this year’s 2nd Story Festival. Specifically, I’ll be reading a new story, “Incapacitator,” an epic tale of desk jobs, pants, unpleasant co-workers, crawling through mud, drunken jerks, video games, high-velocity vegetable oil, denial, self-esteem, pizza, weekend warriors, a south suburban farm and a good-looking girl. Rated R for comedic violence and extreme, pervasive profanity.

WHEN: Thursday, May 7, 7pm
WHERE: Webster’s Wine Bar, 1480 W. Webster, Chicago
TICKETS: $16, on sale March 26 at This one will definitely sell out so take care of this in advance if you think you can make it.


Lots! The second issue of Normal Words launched last week, featuring the amazing photography of Erin Drewitz and an excellent essay by Lisa Gus. My long-promised last word on Led Zeppelin’s heavy metal credentials is online at MadeLoud, and baseball is just a few weeks away. I also contributed to RedEye‘s Five on Five column last week, and even after all that still managed to stop and take a picture.


We’ll talk about it when it happens. Until then, check out the Steven Wilson album. Like I said, it’s pretty good.

Thank you as always for reading,
Chicago, IL / March 23, 2009

News, News and Other News

Three items of interest to report.

First off, it is my great pleasure to announce the debut issue of Normal Words, a new online literary project based right here in Chicago with yours truly (sort of) at the wheel. The first issue is a quick read but still entirely awesome, and you can just assume subsequent editions will follow suit.

Second, I have been writing about media for the Chicago Examiner, and you can read all that here. I keep some pretty good company over there – Rob Duffer on the lit scene and my esteemed blogger-in-arms JJ Stankevitz on the White Sox – and so far so good. It’s a bit more newsy and business-oriented than a lot of my other work, but it’s interesting stuff all the same. At least I think it is.

Finally, I’ll be reading at this year’s 2nd Story Festival in early May, and will post more details about that as they become available. I promise nothing short of a great time and some highly entertaining words. Which, if you think about it, is kind of the point.

Anyway, that’s that for now. I’ll do a clips update soon, because I know you are all just dying to know what I think of the Steven Wilson album (hint: it’s pretty good).

Thank you as always for reading.


February 18, 2009

More Details on the January 11 Reading

WHAT: Yours truly alongside three of my esteemed peers
WHEN: Sunday, January 11, 7pm
WHERE: Webster’s Wine Bar, 1480 W. Webster Ave., Chicago

As mentioned before, I’ll be reading a new story entitled “Hey Eddie” as part of the 2nd Story Monthly Series. More details are available [here]*, as well as ticket info for the pre-planning inclined among you.

Thank you as always for reading, and hopefully for listening as well.
January 6, 2009

(*) if your browser hates my site.

Harmony Korine

If you live in Chicago, as I suspect many of you do, you know the routine:

  1. Let it snow
  2. Dig out car
  3. Stand back as city does not plow your street
  4. Develop elaborate, unspoken system of laws and guidelines with neighbors around the etiquette of your shared snow-covered street
  5. Dig out car again
  6. NoticeĀ  city finally plows your street, creating huge snowbanks around the perimeter of your snow-free car
  7. Observe rain
  8. Laugh as rain freezes, creating walls of ice and trapping your vehicle and rendering the whole process obsolete

Not much a boy can do, really, except go to Baltimore, or maybe Nashville, although neither destination seems to be worth the effort if those pieces are any indication.

In other more significant news, I will be reading a new story entitled “Hey Eddie” Sunday, January 11 as part of the 2nd Story monthly series at Webster’s Wine Bar. More details on that as they become available.

Thank you as always for reading.
Chicago, IL / December 29, 2008

A Funny Story

Today, allow me to offer some advice to any new, young or aspiring writers out there: do not assume everything is done, even when everything is done.

A local literary acquaintance was all set to put out the inaugural issue of his or her quarterly journal of fiction and literary non-fiction. “Serious people saying only mildly serious things,” was the way he or she pitched it to myself and just over a dozen other writers, poets and visual artists. I’ve known this person for some time and was honored to contribute, and a (rather lengthy) story I wrote was slated to appear in this issue.

Our Hearst-in-the-making called me today. Nearly in tears, they told the story of how, after sending the expertly-crafted proofs to the printer, they hadn’t heard back even though the issues should have come off the press last week. After much distress and convoluted legwork, this publisher found out the printer had folded without telling any of its clients or creditors. The proofs still exist in digital but the several thousand dollars paid upfront, unfortunately, do not. If anyone wants to commit an act of charity, I can put you in touch with the jilted editor; everyone else, the slightly-awaited 1509 West is on hold indefinitely.

In sunnier happenings,

. . . the Smoking Popes are still awesome

. . . as are the two albums by Jenny Scheinman, RTB2. Not so much the mostly depressing reasons Chicago became musically famous.

. . . baseball ended but not without some last gasps of loudmouthed air.

. . . oh, and I got a new camera.

As usual there is tons more over here, and you’ll notice some slight reshuffling of things. The contents may be of suspect quality, but the least I can do is put it in a pretty package.

I should have some more updates for you real soon. Until then, thank you as always for reading.
Chicago, IL / October 28, 2008