Showing posts from July, 2020


Introduction:   I teach poetry and fiction at The Writers Studio , where we use models and techniques to help writers discover a unique voice and style for their material. One of my favorite models to teach is Annette Sanford’s “Nobody Listens When I Talk," a short story in which a 16-year old girl feels alone in the drama of growing up. It has an entertaining tone, with moments of humor, and of poignant aching. This excerpt is an early chapter from the novel that served me as a voice and character study of Corey, the youngest of the Americans in the novel  The Good Mother of Marseille , who feels very alone in the drama of discovering who he is and why he has ended up where he has. This was both a pleasure to write and a moving way into understanding Corey's pain. I found it to be a compelling voice in first person, and a very engaging read. Though this could not stay, as I eventually discovered and designed for the novel a third-person, compassionate narrator, a shape-s


Introduction:   The excerpt is Chapter 3 of my novel,  Healers , which chronicles the adventures of three immortal children - Luis, Victoria and Armand - how centuries of inner conflicts over what I call “symptoms of immortality,” like loss of mortal loved ones and how changes of landscape across centuries of societal progress ironically creates painful attachment and nostalgia, at last make them decide to lose immortality, grow up and fulfill their longings of experiencing adult life, and bring to fruition their cosmic destiny or fate as healers. The novel ends with their strong desire to become immortals again, after Luis believes he has decoded the Voynich Manuscript, which to him holds the secrets of immortality. Chapter 3 That night the sky tilted like Yggdrasil’s crown, as though the tree had grown a giant root, interstices between black leaves like stars, the moon hanging like manzanita fruit, full and round with the year’s red auguries and omens. Ancient mariners, astr


Introduction to  T to C: Sun T to C = Travels to Capitals.   It’s a verse novel.  The capitals are Donald Evans ’s , who created postage stamps of imaginary countries. DE avoided fleshing out his world because he wanted to allow room for his friends’ imaginations. I didn ’ t know him, but I take advantage of that allowance to legitimize my appropriation of his terrain. If Evans’ world is the “x-axis”, then Michael Palmer’s Sun is the “y-axis”.  I worked  my way through Sunpoem by poem, using MP ’ s nouns in order as I c a me to them. I  was  not limited to his nouns, I use many of my own, and sometimes wander far afield, but I always return to the MP axis. There is a narrator; he’s like me, but he isn’t me. There are a number of other characters. Some exist in the world you and I share; some do not. All are equally real. ~~ John Bloomberg-Rissman  is an editor and mashup ethnographer slash maker of texts. Among other projects, he has co-edited one volume


Introduction: The Argument:  Tribes of warring pastoralists drive their meat-shrubs across a snowy plain. Their world Hurth does not turn, but is forever divided into Dayside and Nightside. The tribes wander only across Dayside, under the cold blue sun that hangs stationary in the sky. By mythic coincidence, all tribes simultaneously arrive at the gates of Lunagrad, an abandoned automated city. Outside the city stand three great black teardrop-shaped objects, perched on pedestals. These are the “earthships” that, according to legend, travel so fast they appear to stand still. The pastoralists invade the empty city, battling each other at first but then coming to an uneasy cohabitation. The tribes attempt to follow the city’s mindless, automated commands. The city assigns busywork to its new inhabitants, rewarding them with brain-broadcasts called “ buzzah .” The city’s architecture is mutable, erupting unpredictably in new “Builds.” Fresh Builds are temporarily covered in a whit