I’m takin’ this nonfiction class right now, and one’a the essays we had to read was "What Killed  Aiyana Stanley-Jones?" by Charlie LeDuff (from The Best American Essays 2011). Told the class how it was a gritty, more realistic version of Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland, and how I’m interested in stories like these of former booming areas in the Midwest that collapsed under their own glory/become rotted messes after all the factories and general industry closed down. The essay’s about what’s become of Detroit, how it got there, and how the people are caught in the middle, just trying to live. Aiyana Stanley-Jones was a kid that was killed by a stray bullet during a police raid, the result of a murder case regarding a teen-aged boy who was killed for looking at someone the wrong way. I’ll let you all read yourselves, though. There’s no sense in me layin’ out the whole damn thing here, especially since there’s so much packed into the essay.

So in class I talked about living in the Rust Belt, how all over the Midwest there are towns that were really kickin’ in the twenties (like Muncie or Gary, IN) but now they feel like cold shadows or ghosts or dying animals (and this makes me want to stay in the Midwest to hopefully see it overcome, though I’m not sure how I can help). The prof. told us that LeDuff expanded on the essay and turned it into a book titled Detroit: An American Autopsy. The next week, the prof. comes up to me (also the head of the MFA program, Tom Grimes) and tells me he ordered that book for me. Says he’ll put it in my program mailbox when it comes in.


Man. Just never expected something like that.

What a cool thing!

Dude handed to me before class the week after. Can’t wait to read it, but it may have to wait till summer. Readin’ The Skin Team right now, and between that and finals, I don’t think I’ll have much time for another book.


Here are some recent things:

Made my first Manhattan:  two parts rye, one part sweet vermouth, and a splash of angostura bitters, straight up on account’a we dont’ have no ice trayz (oh, I made that coaster too). I got a taste for the drink at the Austin airport, waitin’ to fly to my first AWP. No cherry, but I have a pink marshmallow peep and I might try puttin’ the ass end in the drink.

I won’t really do that. That sounds disgusting.

And one red Skittle will prolly do the trick.

Skittles really open up your drink options. Perfect garnish. You got your lemon twist, your lime twist, your…uh…grape…taste.

Made my lady this ring with a no-nonsense tough guy on it outta cheese wax. She said it smelled like cheese. Btw, I had to give’im a face ‘cause it was originally just those two eye dots and I said they were diamonds and we both agreed they were shitty diamonds and they shouldn’t be so small and right next to each other. We’re tres practical, as the French say.

Found this app from Penguin. It’s a poetry memorization game, which sounded kinda kickass, but it only comes with two free poems and the rest you gotta buy. Kinda bourgie, Penguin. But I guess that’s how you sell thingz. And I guess a dollar per poetry bundle isn’t that much, but like I’m tryin’ to get things for not free.