Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh, inverted world...

The link between child porn and Islamic fundamentalists. Can you believe this?

Monday, October 20, 2008

i am old news...

Just found out that a 7-minute documentary made by Jana Sintschnig and starring myself and my good friend Ayman Ramadan was screened last night at the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco. Pretty f-ing cool! And probably ok that you missed it since in most of the footage Jana used of interviews with me, I look like a drowned rat. I was all sweaty that day, having gone bike riding before meeting up with Jana. Still, such a well-edited piece by her, and awesome, really, in telling a small part of Ayman's story and of some thoughts I formed on contemporary art while working in Egypt from 2004-2005.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Milan's Closet

It has been revealed that as a 20-year old, Kundera outed a man living in his dormitory as a spy. He was arrested and served for years as a prison-worker in a uranium mine. Does this mean we can't take Kundera seriously when he uses his crafted fictions to denounce totalitarianism? Does it mean he will lose clout?


Found at Narrative Magazine yesterday, and sublime, I think:

Slow Dance

by Matthew Dickman

More than putting another man on the moon,
more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga,
we need the opportunity to dance
with really exquisite strangers. A slow dance
between the couch and dining room table, at the end
of the party, while the person we love has gone
to bring the car around
because it’s begun to rain and would break their heart
if any part of us got wet. A slow dance
to bring the evening home. Two people
rocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant.
A little music. An empty bottle of whiskey.
It’s a little like cheating. Your head resting
on his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck.
Your hands along her spine. Her hips
unfolding like a cotton napkin
and you begin to think about
how all the stars in the sky are dead. The my body
is talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained

Stairway to Heaven, power-chord slow dance. All my life
I’ve made mistakes. Small
and cruel. I made my plans.
I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine.
The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like

(continued at

From All American Poem

Friday, October 17, 2008

So gone...

Anyone who uses this blog to keep up with me, whether you know me or not, must be wondering whether I still exist. I do, but I sorta feel like I don't. No! It's not bad. It just is. Part of it has to do with the fact that I lost my glasses (again!) and so things more than ten feet away are pretty fuzzy and at the same time my left ear is blocked up. Ew. Things should be back to normal since a new pair of specs is supposedly on the way and I've been treating my ear with some drops and trying to wash it out with water, but until then, I am the faintest tinge of deaf and blind and everything feels thrown off. I am not the me I used to be. I can't hear so well so I don't listen, and I can't see, so I walk around touching things. It's weird. I don't exist, see?

I also don't exist because Richmond has swallowed me. Well, really it's this new grad school program. Intense, I'm telling you. But it's good! Mostly. A class on theory which is seriously cramping my style with a long paper due next week and tons of reading and then another paper at the end of the semester. Then also I am writing new stories. Two so far since I've been here, one in the next couple weeks. And I'm liking them. My fiction workshops is my favorite two hours of the week--not my most exciting or funny or anything extreme like that, just favorite. I've also managed to get my schedule working so that I have good time to write in the mornings. And then there's the writing center, which I give 10 hours/week to. I sit and face students from all over the university and whatever writing assignments they have for class, for 30min a pop. As you can imagine, some intriguing stuff comes up, a random list of it as of late: dream interpretation, eating disorders, business speak, King Arthur, childhood development, discrimination against Arabs, Plato... Oh, and if you are in or near Richmond, Virginia next week you should consider coming to hear me read as part of our graduate reading series, Moveable Feast, at the Visual Arts Center on Main Street, Fri, Oct. 24, at 7pm. Free beer and wine! Come on, you know you want to.