Make It Real

Blog Tour

Make It Real
by Kathe Koja

Hey, boy, welcome to reality – David Bowie

When you write a book about reality, when I wrote this one, you need to consider what reality is, really. Is it tangible, physical? a rapturous hug from the one you love, a tasty cocktail sipped in the sun, a broken thumb, a lit cigarette, a stubborn headache, the view from a balcony? Or is it a metaphysical construct, an art school joke, a philosophical itch, a lone proverbial tree forever falling, falling? Is it emotional vertigo? Is it vertigo? What if reality defines itself? How would we know?

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Signs I Have Known: On pattern-making and narrative exhaustion

Ocean

Not long ago, I sat by the ocean and watched the surf break. Each wave brought with it its own sense of drama, crashing against the rocky shore and drenching backwards, spit through teeth. It was like serialized television: I couldn’t look away. Some of the waves were majestic, cresting towards me from far away and exploding up in milky foam, but some were disappointments. These would approach and then die out, shoved backwards by the recession of their predecessors, or else just losing steam. Others still were happy surprises, unassuming until their final curl, at which point they would smash to shore as joyful and furious as headbanging teenagers.

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Notes on Los Lobos’ “Native Sons”

Los Lobos

No More Beatlemania, Once Was Enough!
It’s Time for Los Lobos Mania!
Notes on Los Lobos’ “Native Sons”

I once published a theory about bands with five guys. It went like this: bands with five guys suck. I published the theory in a zine and we received dozens of letters, most contesting the theory and saying what a fool I was. When my band played shows, strangers accosted me to tell me I was wrong. I can be timid and don’t always think well on my feet outside the classroom. Yet I fended off all challengers. The theory was silly but surprisingly solid. 

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The Punches 

Paula + Gian
The Punches: Some words on Giancarlo DiTrapano, on the 1 year anniversary of his death

Gian published me twice in his journal, affectionately known as the Tyrant. The first time I didn’t know him well, but by the second time, we were close. We stayed close until his death. I had a crush on him as we began to get to know each other, and on a cigarette break during some reading in Brooklyn —in, like 2007? — he had fucked a priest in Hell’s Kitchen — I think behind a building. I asked, how was it? He said it was great. That was how I realized we were not on the same team. We both were on team friendship and as our friendship grew, we agreed on so many writers and books — the journals of Cheever was a particular bonding moment. At the beginning of publishing the Tyrant journal, he’d publish the work of dead, unfashionable writers — F Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams.

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Telling It Straight? Bloody Oath.

Blog Tour

It’s ace to see Mage of Fools getting good love in some rave reviews, so I guess it’s no biggie to stretch a bit and give back to the community. 

What I’d love to do for youse is fire up a barbie, throw a rack of lamb, sweet potatoes, veggie burgers on it, even pass around cold ones in a tinnie or a bottle, platters of smashed avo on toast as aperitifs. 

But the pandemic is a bummer, covid cancels plans and we get all suspicious real quick about tucker and booze from bloody strangers, especially ones from Woop Woop.  

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Hair After Chemo

Hair

Hair After Chemo: A Guide to Post-cancer Treatment
by Logan Davis

Every nickname I ever received was, in some way, about my hair.  No playground triumphs or hallway altercations ever demanded the notoriety for a moniker. I was born just ahead of the release of Gilmore Girls, so my name wasn’t quite as popular (and consequently ambiguous) as it would be for those a few years younger. Some folks called me “Lo” but that stopped after a doctor told my parents that was a cruel thing to do to a kid who was just diagnosed with depression. So the names were always about my hair. 

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Happy Hour of the Wolf

Bar

Happy Hour of the Wolf
by Michael Narkunski

The innocent start: you’re sitting on the stool, as usual, awkwardly waiting to be seen. 

It’s the wrong time again, as usual. Too early to get anything close to the amount of attention that could satisfy you—but that’s just one way to look at it. Another side of you is thrilled with the happy hour hunt, thinks it’s more civilized to meet someone not-so-sloppy drunk (anyway, a bar is a bar). It’s also more charged and surprising, two guys connecting in the daylight when everyone else is in friend-mode, in unwind-mode, in still-a-person-in-the-world-mode.

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The Stories That Save Us

pills

The Stories That Save Us
by Claire Phillips

“Don’t worry Claire, you have my genes.” This said by my British astrophysicist father when I called to ask why he had failed to disclose my mother’s actual mental health diagnosis for several years A man so reticent I didn’t even know he held the John D. MacArthur professorship at Caltech until I did a bit of sleuthing for my memoir, A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia

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