Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A more positive outlook about experimental fiction

This is a revised version of my previous post about experimental fiction. The previous post was -- in all seriousness --- kind of a joke, the result of some exasperation. I sent out my strange little story to a couple of magazines and got some perplexed responses. However, I will continue my publishing quest while trying to flesh out this story. I wrote this piece for a class in my writing program. The other day, I ran into the writer who teaches the course. I told him I was having a bit of trouble finding a home for this thing and he said, "Well, it should be a book.'' That was pretty cool to hear him say that. However, I'm wondering if people will buy an entire book about Golem-like slave children made of terracotta and wood, with raisins for eyes. The cool thing is, after I published that last post, a couple of classmates have emailed me with some thoughts on this matter --- many thanks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thank God for Po, and lack of subway tweakers

This is an unbelievable restaurant (in the village.) There were gnaw-marks on my plate by the time they finally dragged me out of there. It's on Cornelia Street, just off Bleecker. My wife wanted to go there because she just read "Heat,'' a book about Mario Battali. Battali doesn't actually work at Po anymore, but the restaurant is doing just fine without him. We had the gnocchi and the cod. For once there were no loud tweakers on the subway to kill the mood. And there were no tuba trios or rats on the way home. I've been extremely busy lately so this was a nice break. By the way, uneventful subway rides are a rarity for me this month. Why, just the other day, I was taking a southbound 1 to somewhere or other. Some guy stepped on another guy's foot and, instead of apologizing, made kissy-kissy noises at the offended party!! I kept thinking, just apologize and shut up and stop giving this guy air kisses, please, but he just kept doing this. I was sitting right between them and was sure they were going to throw punches but I waited it out and nothing happened.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Raging tuba headache

So I was hanging out in Soho with my wife the other day, and we were eating Portuguese food at a restaurant with outdoor seating, right next to the Ear Inn. It was a nice, balmy evening, a hint of breeze, and the servers ladled out this great big pile of bacalao fried up with onion and egg on my plate. So far so good. Amy ordered some crazy dish --- shrimps with lemon shellfish bread pudding. Then suddenly out of nowhere I heard the blaring squawking shriek of a trumpet, a tuba and a snare drum. A trio of street musicians called the Stumblebums started cakewalking down the sidewalk, shrieking and wailing and making all kinds of faces while dressed up as tinpan alley tunesmiths from Prohibition times. They sounded like a cross between the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tom Waits and an industrial gas-powered leaf-blower. I kind of like them --- they have style --- but I wish they wouldn't play so loudly. When they moved close to our table, it was just so ungodly loud, it felt like my skull was going to unhinge itself from my spinal chord. Waiters and diners watched helplessly as the Stumblebums squawked and wailed, with the drunken encouragement of Ear Inn patrons, who were lining up outside to get in to that bar. I'm wondering if the Stumblebums are one of those weird only-in-New York traditions that I'm supposed to know about already. I just hope this roving wind ensemble doesn't read this and somehow figure out where I live and show up to my apartment at three in the morning with drums and tubas a-blaring. That would be a horrible thing.