I’ve failed my four readers yet again. I’ve neglected this venue for weeks, in favor of living an offline life that included reading my story “The Four Hermans” at the Triple Rock Social Club like some sort of literary punk rocker and talking about comedy/storytelling for photographer Alec Soth‘s “Little Brown Mushroom Summer Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers.” I also emceed the Summer Camp’s closing Slideshow and Dance at the Soap Factory. I wrote a new column and produced a new edition of the podcast in there somewhere, too. And “What Happened Next,” a new noir-ish flash piece, appeared online at Shotgun Honey. I almost forgot.
This pic is a $1 Portrait by LBM Summer Camper Tara Wray. She’s back in Vermont by now. I’m still here in Minneapolis, answering questions for The Missouri Review by email. More about that when the time comes.
So I’ve landed a new regular writing gig, covering the arts (and whatever else I notice at any given moment). “The Columnest” is written for mnartists.org and is currently a blog feature at walkerart.org. I hope you’ll go give it a read, leave a comment, etc.
My first column, which included a respectful shout-out to Chicago artist-of-many-talents Tony Fitzpatrick, was a throat-clearing exercise, just to be sure the mic was on. That’s his piece “The Bruised Village” above.
The legendary Spider John Koerner, the hilarious Maria Bamford, starving artists who’ve forgotten that being a little hungry comes with the territory, the art of bad advice and the published commencement addresses of David Foster Wallace, Neil Gaiman and Kurt Vonnegut are all in my sights.
All of my comedy and poetry responsibilities have been fulfilled! My performance calendar is empty for the first time in a while.
Maybe now I can get back to some projects I’ve been neglecting. Because the world deserves a one-act play from me. And possibly a new short story. And there’s always the podcast to attend to. And more little ditties to write and record.
After another cup of coffee, maybe. Or you’re also welcome to contact me about performance opportunities.
When I’m not writing or standing on a stage somewhere saying things into a microphone, I’m often sitting around my house playing guitar, banjo or dobro. Or, recently, mandolin. If I land on an idea that holds my interest for a minute or so, I do a quick field recording of it. Sometimes my music winds up playing in the background of the podcast. Sometimes nobody hears what I record. Until now. I plucked and strummed all the instruments on these ditties, for better or worse.
If you enjoy what you heard here, feel free to share it. If you’d like to use any of my music for some kind of collaborative project, please let me know.