Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Don't forget: 9 PM, Next Friday (November 2nd) there will be an informal soirée at my abode.
All of you are welcome.
BYOB. Also BYO-Swimsuit if jumping into unheated pools in November is your thing. Alex Crompton is game.
Get to know other staffers! Sit on my couches! Dance around the living room with me!
email me for me info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, October 22, 2007
I didn't have many options I lit up a cigarette with difficulty and sighed.
Clearly, my name is Alex Altman, because smoking cigarettes angstily is what I do.
But, anyway, why would you care too much about that?
The only things that matter are good cheese and a fleece penguin blankie.
With these things he settled down and prepared for a long night of
talking about whether she should go off the Pill or not.
She thought it best to consult her father, who was something of an expert.
He knew all about the lethal effects of the peppered moth, and would be able to distinguish the pattern unique to the species-- hopefully in time for her to return her book to the library.
Unfortunately, he was ensconced in the throes of amnesia from the tragic rock quarry incident and all of his previous acquired moth-knowledge was forgotten.
Walking through the midst of the moths, he had a shimmer of remembrance from one of the Indiana Jones movies. Concentrate! Concentrate! he told himself as he resolutely grabbed through the fluttering bodies and pulled the lever.
However, it was all futile because in the grand scheme of things anything we do is meaningless but then the grand scheme is meaningless in our lives.
You used to make fun of me being a writer,
saying ‘Scientists cure diseases,what do writers do?’
But of course, you wouldn’t understand, Jason.
I mean, have you ever gotten an inner thirsting for Zora Neale Hurston?
Or heard angels herald for you
to read F Scott Fitzgerald?
Have you ever had a beat attack for Jack Kerouac?
The only Morrison you know is Jim, and you think
you’re the noble one?
Go Plath yourself.
Your heart is so dark, that even Joseph Conrad
couldn’t see it, and it is so buried under bullshit
that even Poe’s cops couldn’t hear it.
Your mind is as empty as the libraries in Fahrenheit 451.
Your mind is as empty as Silas Marner’s coffers.
Your mind is as empty as Huckleberry Finn’s wallet.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
All submissions due by "e"-mail (email@example.com) no later than Oct 27. Undergraduate submissions only.
Please send high resolution image files with a native size of at least 8" x 8". Examples of past covers can be found in the English Dept. Office, 2nd floor Herring Hall or online at r2mag.rice.edu. Any questions may be directed to Ann Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
*P.S. All fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction submissions are due by December 3rd. Turn hard copies into the English Department Office.*
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Kundera, The Incredible Lightness of Being, p. 124
Thursday, October 11, 2007
"So I was talking to a friend, and I said, 'I wanted you, and I needed you, but I couldn't find you. I couldn't find you,'
And he said, 'Hey! Are you talking to me? Or are you just practicing for one of those performances of yours?'"
Also, as per Ann's request, I'm including one of my famous haikus.
R2 is but a
conglomeration of texts.
Geese converge on loaves.
“But he was chiefly celebrated among the populace of our community for having imported into our thankful midst a young woman of sporting morality: an inconscionable aesthete by the name of Marita who had been drummed out of high-rolling society in Phoenix City, Alabama after her health card had been punched so many times it disappeared into thin air.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
And of course I'm no one to tamper with a great writer's work, but I'd say you can just replace "women" with writers. It's a true enough statement for everyone who wants to write, and I'm sure she realized that; she only meant to point out that women, arguably, have to (or, had to, depending on your view of the feminine situation) struggle a bit more for it.
Also, on a more personal note, study abroad is the perfect opportunity to travel and idle and let the line of your thoughts dip deep into an entirely new stream. Do it if you haven't already.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
to convince us
the spaces between stars are nothing
to worry about,
it’s when those secrets burst
in that emptiness between our hearts
and the lumps in our throats;
and the words we find are always insufficient, like love,
though they are often lovely
and all we have.
- Stephen Dunn, from the poem "Those of Us Who Think We Know"
Amazing book-excerpt of the day -
"Love falling buttered side down, fate falling arse up! Why doesn't anyone know when everything is over?" -Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (p. 165 if you're rockin' the New Dimensions edition) (which you should be, because it's an amazing book)
Come be my friend. I want to know all of you.
xo, your friendly neighborhood fiction editor,
Monday, October 8, 2007
Where: Brazos Bookstore on Bissonnet
What: Reading by two superb poets
My worthless opinion:
This is first reading I've been to since last semester. I had forgotten how much I miss readings. I love hearing people oo and ah softly when a pretty line is delivered.
It was a nice pairing of readers (not only because they are married). To make some very elementary comparisons, both of them wrote about the body, about poets, about death, about art and artists, about themselves, and about historical figures and events. I would say they embody the idea of the poet as art critic, historian, and lyricist.
Nadine Meyer went first and read from The Anatomy Theater, a fascinating collection that primarily revolves around images from anatomy lab. I found many of the images gorgeous and revolting at the same time. I especially liked the pieces she read that combined agricultural and physiological metaphors. Some really moving lines, especially in the last piece she read. I have vague (and only vague because of my bum brain) memories about "hand of memory" and "vial of melancholy."
Steve Gehrke had a great "stage presence," a humorous modesty. He shared some of his new projects with us; and no, Steve, I did not know that Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression, or that Eugene O'Neil ripped up his house with a machete! I admired how personal some of his poetry could be. I especially like the charged, clipped rhythm of the first piece (the one about Eugene O'Neil) and the second-to-last piece (excerpt from "Empty Chair"). I wish I could quote you some lines, but alas I was too poor to purchase the books. Or I'm a cheapskate.
At any rate, it was loads of fun, and I hope you all come to the next reading (November 7th), which will feature our very own Sasha West and Marsha Recknagel, two of the nicest women I have ever worked with, and, might I say, both excellent writers.
To the end,
Photograph "borrowed" from: http://middlewesterner.typepad.com/middlewesterner/2005/08/pardon_the_prou.html
I had already planned to build a blog into the new website so that R2 staff could communicate their thoughts on readings, announce events, discuss what they're reading, etc. The blog will also be public in order to destroy the myth of elitism that seems to surround R2. I thought we might go ahead and start the blog while everyone waits for the new R2 site with their panties in a bundle.
Oh, in case you didn't know, R2 is Rice's undergraduate literary magazine. It is run by students who love to write, love to read good writing, love to share good writing, and love to talk about writing and reading. We publish good writing by other people who love to do all the things we just listed, and then we try to suck these writers into our staff. It's really a very vicious cycle. Some staffers have of course mustered enough resolve to eject themselves from this cycle, and have gone on to graduate school to do some even better writing.
Another thing I love about this magazine is that we publicize readings by renowned authors, both from Rice and beyond the hedges. The past two years, our lucky staffers have also gotten to interview some really big-shot people like Jennifer Egan and Thomas Sayers Ellis. We also get to interact with famous writer-folk through the Campbell Series (this year featuring Alex Ohlin!) and the Cherry Series (Steve Almond coming in February!
If you're interested in joining our staff, it's not too late. E-mail email@example.com with inquiries. This is my fourth year on staff, and I have no regrets. Well. Those are strong words. Let's just say I have very few.
If you'd like to win
If you'd like to test the literary waters and have a good time with Rice's (and UH's and St. Thomas's) writerly folk, come to our Open Mic Night on November 14. This is not that sort of thing where everyone wears berets, smokes stuff, and snaps to invisible music. Unless you want it to be like that (we are full service, and we can so make that happen. maybe except for the smoking stuff). E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
If you'd like to make even bigger BANK (we're talking big $$$ here), submit your fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction to the English Department by December 3rd. E-mail email@example.com with inquiries.
Well, that's all for post no.1. I will post again in approximately 5 minutes about the first Cherry Series reading.
Let's hope this is the start of something beautiful?
To the end,