Monday, August 31, 2009

Closing out August the Metazen Way

New fiction by me at Metazen. You can read Victor, Pushed Through here.

Warm thanks to Metazen and Frank Hinton.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Required Reading #1

I’ve been accused of writing poetry on occasion, but I wouldn’t classify myself as a poet. David Blaine may also suffer from this hasty branding by friends, critics, and contemporaries. But after reading his chapbook Antisocial (OWC Press, 2009), I suspect the “poet” moniker might not fit.

David Blaine is simply a writer. And a damn good one.

While reading Antisocial, time slowed for a stretch, which is somewhat ironic seeing as the pieces are nothing if not concise. No words are wasted, thus leaving the reader with a bare bones, yet never skinny, rendition of truth.

David’s truth.
My truth.
Our truth.

As I moved through this collection of poetry, verse fiction, prose poems, and story poem things (thanks, R. Gay), I caught myself smiling, laughing, sighing, and nodding. I also caught a black eye. This work hits hard and fast. Little time to duck.

David Blaine paints a world in which we are all victorious, defeated, lonely, excessive, shallow, pensive, and indelibly human. Heroes are dead because we killed them, Beats are broken because we forgot to move forward, and the drinks are stronger than we'll ever be. Above all, and perhaps most importantly, David Blaine paints a world in which we are all culpable. He holds the mirror to our collective face and challenges us, and himself, to become who we are.

Whether sifting through trash for treasures, or painfully marveling at our nature to succumb, David never fails to entertain and provoke. My true enjoyment of Antisocial comes from knowing that this work was produced by a man alive, and therein lies the optimism and hope. We’re all going to be okay. Somehow.

From Infidelity:

“let’s piss on the rules
blow the door off this shit house
and open a window
on our own potential.”

….Yes. Let’s.

Big ups to David Blaine for keeping it real, and to OWC for supporting those who keep it real...really. For reals.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pushcart, BULL, Giveaway

Happy Friday, everyone.

Well, it appears that Folded Word has decided to nominate my story "Leave Me As I Lessen" along with Nathalie Boisard-Beudin’s "The Sage's Secret" for the 2009 Pushcart Prize.

I really don't know what to say other than "Thank you." You can read the proper announcement here.

....Wow. So that happened.

Also today, BULL: Fiction for Thinking Men made available the printable (and very free) Summer 2009 issue. Yes, I'm in it.

Since I'm at such a loss for words today, I've decided to have a wham-bam giveaway instead.

I've printed, folded, and stapled 3 copies of BULL #3. I am also offering up 7 of the professionally printed copies of Heron featuring the now Pushcart nominated story "Leave Me As I Lessen."

How do you win something? It's really simple. The first three people who comment about wanting a BULL get one. The first seven people who comment about wanting a Heron get one. You can't win both from me at the same time, but you can download and print both yourself. For free. Does that make sense? Anyway.

If you're one of the 3 or one of the 7, send along your name and mailing address to eddiesocko at gmail dot com. I won't blow your cover, I promise. What I will do is send your prize expeditiously. Doesn't matter where you are in the world. I'll send it to you. I'll also scribble a bad haiku if you want. In any case, I'll scribble something.

So, yeah. Drop a note. Get some good mail. And if no one wants good mail, I'll eat some candy and pass out the prizes to the strangers that don't run away.


Thanks again, everyone, for your love and support.

Free downloads of Heron and BULL are here and here.

...Thanks, Jessi.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Blanket

Enjoyable Jake Moments at Outsider Writers Collective.

Are you an outsider writer? If not, you really should be.

Thanks to OWC for the love and for making awesome things like this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some New Me For You

Late August.

New piece by me now live at the inimitable Writers' Bloc. Read aqui.

Also, great interview with Writers' Bloc editor Kevin Dickinson (although a completely different Writers' Bloc) at PANK. Read that aqui.

There's irony in here somewhere, but I'm too tired to find it.

Hot heat hotness. But less humidity. Stay summer stay, stay like this. Out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Interview: Sunday 7 with Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay (writer, associate editor of PANK, woman, student, teacher, all around good person) was kind enough to "sit" down with me recently to answer a few questions. Here's how it went:

1) The word "PANK" conjures a spray of different images/definitions in my mind when I look at it. Sometimes I think "Pink," or "Spank," or "Grilled Cheese." What's the meaning behind "PANK?" Or, if you're not comfortable answering that question, what does "PANK" mean to you?

I often think PINK too, as do many others. It is annoying trying to say our name when I'm making phonecalls on PANK's behalf. People always think I don't know how to spell pink which I'm pretty sure I do. Also, I make that association because pink is my favorite color. As I understand it, PANK is an old mining/Upper Peninsula term. It means to tamp down dynamite or to tamp down snow until it becomes a hard pack. I interpret it as pushing something down until it becomes something new, and in some cases, something explosive.

As an aside... grilled cheese? (MB. I like grilled cheese. And PANK. Both yummy.)

2) You're a prolific writer as well as an incisive editor. I know from personal experience that PANK (and you, of course) takes the time to encourage, nurture, and foster writers and their prospective works. Do you think this is something that's lacking in the overall exchange between writer and editor these days?

You're special. Special people get special attention. (MB. Hey!)

Seriously though, as of late, there is something often lacking in the editor/writer relationship. Many editors are very much in the "as is" mode of publishing. So many editors seem so frustrated/tired/burnt out and in some publications that (understandable) fatigue really shows. The fatigued editors are looking for writing they don't have to work with because they have so much going on or so little tolerance for having to put more effort into what they publish. Other editors seem to publish magazines merely because they want a magazine and thanks to the Internet anyone can have a magazine. Many of these "I want one" editors seem to have no real understanding of writing or editing or how an editor can work with a writer to improve their writing. They just take whatever and throw it up on an ugly website and think they're doing something.

Everyone is fairly familiar, at this point, with the litany of things that make editing very frustrating work, and fostering relationships with writers is one of those things that has really fallen to the wayside because editors can't or won't make the time. Now, there are some editors who think that a writer's vision is a writer's vision and as such it should be preserved. That's fine. To each his or her own. But the indifferent editors who can't be bothered, who only want to find perfect work in their submission queues or who don't think that fostering relationships with writers is their responsibility, they make me sad. I often think, if you're that burnt out that you're indifferent, maybe it's time to take a break. (Disclaimer: I have days when I think fuck it or have no patience for anything. I'm trying not to be judgmental here.)

I am not looking for perfect writing nor am I a perfect writer. As an editor, I am looking for writing that makes me sit up and want to do a dance, that makes me exhale, that makes me think, "holy shit." Sometimes the stories that ellicit that reaction are also flawed in some way. I'm not going to reject them because of those flaws. There are many instances where writing can be improved through editorial suggestion. I do try, when possible (alas, life sometimes intervenes), to work with writers on their stories (poetry not so much as that's not my wheelhouse). I've really been doing more of that type of work this summer and thus far, it has resulted in some really exciting work. Just as a shout out, Matt Bell of The Collagist is an editor who has a keen understanding of fostering a writer/editor relationship. He always sends thorough, thoughtful rejection letters with valuable feedback for improving my writing.

I do go on. I will stop now.

3) After reading submissions for a long stretch, do you find it difficult to disconnect when reading for your own pleasure, or is the pen and notebook still by your side? Do you use a pen and notebook?

No, I don't. I think that's mostly because I love what I do something fierce even when it is annoying. Or I'm a masochist. Either way, reading submissions doesn't make it hard for me to read for pleasure. In fact, it makes me want to read more, sometimes to cleanse my palate from unfortunate writing, other times to sustain that euphoric feeling found when I've read something amazing. I use a pen and notebook sometimes, Moleskine, because they're cute and they fit well in my bag and my hand.

4) As a writer, have you ever been involved in a heated exchange with an editor? And if so, what was the outcome?

Sadly, no. Though I have in recent months gotten two rejections that made me rant like someone in need of medication to my friends. Then I got over myself.

As an editor, I have been in heated exchanges with writers. One was an angry heated exchange wherein a poet responded with one of the funniest lines ever uttered, something like, I guess I underestimated my importance as a poet. That is classic. In the other exchange, there was a different kind of heat but I don't know how it's going to turn out. The exchange is ongoing.

5) The print edition of PANK is ridiculously well done. Which do you enjoy working on more--the print edition or the online edition?

Thank you very much. I love working on both equally. I am a Libra, after all. I love instant gratification so the online edition satisfies that need for now now now, and I love that it can be read by a wider audience. On the other hand, the print edition is always a labor of love. It is a thrill to put a unique range of writing together to create this new, awesome thing. I also really enjoy the production of what we hope is an artifact and something memorable both visually and in terms of the writing within.

6) What aggravates you the most about writing? What thrills you the most?

The only thing that really drives me crazy about writing is the interminable wait once I've sent my writing to a magazine. I have been writing for years and have yet to develop a modicum of grace or patience about the submission process. Two things thrill me--the act of writing itself is always a pleasurable thing for me and I know I'm lucky in that regard and I am also thrilled by people reading my work and getting it and liking it.

7) Finish this story: The year is 2030. Roxane Gay wakes up and....

...claps twice to illuminate her sleeping chamber. The sexy beast next to her continues to sleep. She stares out of the porthole at the darkened space through which her spaceship speeds then orders a Starbucks Venti Vanilla Mocha from the replicator. Before she sits at her desk, she takes a sip of her coffee, brewed perfectly, then glances at herself in the mirror. She winks and says, "My shit is flawless." Then she sits down to write. (MB. I love that story.)

(Keep up with PANK here. Keep up with Roxane here. Here here here.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Time Thursday

Two interviews go live in one day. What are the odds?

Jason Behrends of Orange Alert was kind enough to let me run my mouth recently, and I can't thank him enough. I feel like I never run my mouth, or maybe I do it so much I don't even realize it anymore. Read the interview here.

Thanks again, Jason. You're a fine man and a true patriot. Orange Alert f*cking rules.

And second, PANK was also kind enough to shoot some questions my way recently. Big thanks to Roxane Gay and Red Light Harlota. May we pillage and plunder until the sun goes down, or until the sun comes up. Or...until we get sick of it, which I hope never happens.

You can read that interview here.

And, PANK? You f*cking rule too.

Thank you mucho.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The Stray Branch #4 is now available for purchase. My tiny story, Por Su Hija, lives there among many great works of poetry and fiction.

Much love and thanks to The Stray Branch and Debbie Berk.

Get yourself a copy. Right now. You'll be happy.

Feeling PANK


Featuring great pieces by Eric Burke, Jason Jordan, Sandee Lyles, many others.

Read/Listen to my silliness here.

Thank you, PANK. Thank you, Roxane.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Full of Crow's Lynn Alexander recently took a poke at my piece, Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom (Prick of the Spindle 3.2).

Read her review here.

Not only do I heart Full of Crow, but I also heart that Lynn called me "Bosworth."

Many thanks to some stellar women and publications. I'm looking at you, Lynn. And Aleathia. And, of course, Cynthia.

Thank you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Orange Spotlight

Photo courtesy of JS Graustein


Orange Spotlight.



Thank you, Orange Alert.

Thank you, Folded Word.

I'm going to try not to walk into any walls now.

Greased Points at the Club of Ruthie

New Flash at Ruthie's Club.

Greased Points.

Foggy, humid. Summer is still here. For now.

Get outside.

Bye bye.

Monday, August 3, 2009


new decomP.

new elimae.

Abjective is always up to something.

As is Shape of a Box.

And Writers' Bloc.

Dispatch Litareview.


That's it for now. Eat it.