We started playing Rock Band a couple of years ago. My kids and I arrived late one night at my brother’s. We were aiming for eight but landed at eleven. We caught a second wind and Casey asked if we wanted to try Rock Band. Video games make me grumpy for all the stereotypical geezer reasons, but it was late and my defenses were down. Plus, we’d never played the game before. I figured after a song or two we’d run out of gas, but we had a blast. We stayed up past one stumbling through various classic and alt rock songs.
The Enchanted Forest’s Edge
by Brandon Lewis
CHAPTER 1, In which we find ourselves stuck and unstuck.
Once upon a time in pandemic-America, a boy and his dad invent a game called stuck.
It’s easy to play: the grown-up plops a leg down, says, “You’re STUCK,” then gives the kid a small but fair chance of escape. If you are the kid, you’ve probably already lost and may be screaming in pretend agony. You then simply reply, “I’m STUCK.” And when wiggling out, you will be let free, pretend it was easy, and want to play until your grown up gives up.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.