Thursday, April 18, 2013

Side B Magazine

My prose poem "Black Bloc" appears in the latest issue of Side B Magazine along with my friend Emily O'Neill's magazine artwork debut. Check it out.

Since the poem somewhat addresses this idea, I want to say a little bit about the events of the Boston Marathon, and particularly our reactions to it:

Yesterday I was taking my usual walk down Mass Ave, and I saw that somebody had stuck a bunch of pink post-its on the buildings and signposts. On the post-its were written various positive statements and commands, such as "You are loved," "Heal others," and "Trust." These are all well and good, but the one that troubled me was the one that said, "You are safe."

Now, it is one thing to ask your fellow citizen not to fear. Fear is a cruel master, of course, and some ugly actions can often be taken in retaliation to ugly actions. But nonetheless, I think the better lesson is this: You are not safe. You can never be safe. Death and chaos are all around us even when they are kept invisible. Even if we arm our police officers to their noses and put them on every street corner, painful and senseless tragedy is always a possibility. Tragedy comes when you do not expect it, it comes unfairly, and it devastates for no good reason. That's more or less what tragedy is.

We are not safe; we are alive. Maybe we should just get used to that and try to make it mean something beautiful while we still can.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Interview in Neon Literary Magazine

Krishan Coupland interviewed me for Neon Literary Magazine. We discussed hybrid forms and new media, mainly. Here is some of it:


Your stories and poems are brief, but still complete and self-contained. What are your feelings about phrases like “flash” or “micro” fiction? Do you think that it’s true that attention spans are becoming shorter?
I have a pretty short attention span, so I have always been drawn to short poems and stories, but I really fell in love with prose poetry and flash fiction while interning for Rose Metal Press. To anyone who shares my love of these forms, I especially recommend Rose Metal’s field guides, Sean Lovelace’s How Some People Like Their Eggs, and Carol Guess’s Tinderbox Lawn. But their whole catalogue is really special and great.

It seems possible that our attention spans are becoming shorter, but what’s more certain is that the ways in which we pay attention are changing; as a member of the last generation who can remember a time before the internet, I can attest to that much. The phrase “information superhighway” comes to mind, a phrase that I think I last heard sans irony in the ’90s. Information is everywhere, available to us in an instant – “no duh!” Maybe that’s why we feel the need to shorten the ways in which we communicate it. If one considers the Facebook post or the Tweet as descendents of the open letter, then it follows that literary forms consisting of one to two paragraphs or one to two lines should gain in popularity. I think it’s pretty punk rock.

You mention in your bio that you’re a member of a band. Could you tell me more about that? How does your music interact with your writing?
I write songs – usually alone, but sometimes with Kirsten Opstad. We write breakup songs and call ourselves The Crazy Exes from Hell.

A couple of years ago now, I went through a phase where I kept trying to set my poems to music. I usually picked my more “lyrical”, less narrative poems, and I would recite them over pretty basic chord progressions. There were a few such experiments that I think came out okay, but I wound up returning to keeping the two disciplines fairly separate.

For me in my own work, there isn’t as much gray area between poems and songs as there is between poems and stories. On the page, I tend toward surrealism and absurdity. I know there is plenty of room for those tendencies in music – I love Leonard Cohen and David Berman, and I envy both of their work greatly. But for now, I use my music as the space in which I get more “real” with my audience, if only because it’s easier for me to get reality to sound “good” there, having a guitar handy and all. I enjoy the freedom of saying something like, “Who the fuck is that guy?” over and over, and that is the sort of move that’s harder to get away with on paper.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I am recording an album now! (Thanks, everybody.)

Thanks to so many of you, my Kickstarter succeeded, and I'll be at Steed Sound with Jon Corey this Wednesday to start recording my first studio album, Home Alone Forever.

I'll try to remember to talk about it here as often as possible.

Here are some adjectives that Jon and I have used in our email conversations about how this album should sound:

- nasty
- garage-y
- doom-y
- slightly-to-rather dirty

I can't wait for you all to feel the noise!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The 9

Continuing on my "bold new territory kick: next Saturday, March 2nd, I'll be part of a great big one-of-a-kind show at Tommy Doyle's in Harvard Square. It's called The 9, and "the" other "eight" are:

Shoney Lamar (!!!)
Jenee Halstead 
Sawyer Lawson
Eva Walsh
Tom McBride 
Alec Hutson 
Ada Pasternak 
Liz Cook

Basically the nine of us will be accompanying and collaborating with each other in various permutations to be determined, and it should be a riot. Here is a little video explaining this crazy thing further:

 


Founded in 2008 by singer/songwriter Justin Trawick, "The 9 Songwriter Series" is a touring live music event based in Washington, DC. The show was created with the idea of nine artists getting together and combining their talents in order to play in nicer clubs and to larger amounts of people. Each installment features nine solo singer/songwriters performing in rotation and often sitting in with each other, providing audiences with a rich, intimate, varied listening experience. Where else can you hear almost 30 songs from nine different artists for only $10? To date, over 100 different artists have participated in "The 9", at shows in DC, Arlington, Bethesda, Baltimore, Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, Charlottesville, Charlotte, Los Angels and San Francisco.

@wearethe9
The 9 on Facebook

Friday, February 8, 2013

Holy crap! My first Kickstarter for my first studio album!




I am so excited about this. My album will be called Home Alone Forever. It will be produced by Jon Corey at Steed Sound. It will be 12 tracks, probably clocking in a little over half an hour, and it will be the best thing that I have ever done, validating all of my life decisions.

All of this will happen, but only with your support. Check out the rewards, see what's right for you. But also, share it. Post it on Facebook. Post it on Twitter, with the hashtag "#studiosubrizi." Tell your coworkers. Whatever you do. No noise is too small or too big.

The ten-minute film above was made by my friend Andy Locke, documenting this nice intimate house show that I did for my friends last December. I could watch it every day of my life; sure, that's mostly because it's about how talented I am, but seriously, it's a great short film all on its own! Now, let's give it a happy ending.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Neon Literary Magazine

Three of my poems appear in the latest issue of Neon Literary Magazine.

They are, in order of appearance, "The Last Meat," "Two Seasons of Crashing," and "Angel's Glow." I really love the photography pairings in there, so give it a look even if you already know the poems somehow. Read some poems I didn't write, even!