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Archive for April, 2009

Zara Potts

The Karate Kid 4 Eva

April 30th, 2009
by Zara Potts

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -

What can possibly be more pleasurable and painful than an adolescent crush? Is there anything as tender and heartbreaking?

I suspect my nearly teenage stepdaughter is in the throes of this hormonally charged phenomenon after having seen ‘Twilight.’ She insists it’s because she’s always had a thing for vampires but I have a feeling it has more to do with Robert Whats-his-name. The pretty boy bloodsucker shot soft focus for all he’s worth.

I suspect this because when I asked, she doth protested too much. I suspect it because when I was her age I developed a massive crush on Ralph Macchio.

The Karate Kid.

(more…)


Uche Ogbuji

Only one poem for the implosion of Capital

April 30th, 2009
by Uche Ogbuji

BOULDER, CO-

I’ve often heard it said that “there is no such thing as a communist Igbo”, a reference to our intense mercantile culture. Somewhat like stereotype of Lebanese, we’ve tended to structure our very existence around what we can sell, and in this 419 age, what we can con out of others. Ok, before I get an earful, that’s just a handful of petty thug “areaboy” “yahoozees”, but I digress.

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Brin Friesen

Girl Peeled Off A Cigar Box

April 30th, 2009
by Brin Friesen

VANCOUVER-

I was waiting in an empty bar to meet a Cuban for the first time over here yesterday. There might be two in the whole city. I had to meet at least one. I figured he’d be easy enough to spot: fourteen layers of clothing and shivering in pretty mild weather.

For a long time I’d had some plans to meet a different Cuban over here, the one who really did look like a girl peeled off a cigar box. She was just my exact, perfect type: WAY out of my league. 

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Paul A. Toth

Those Ignorant Theists

April 30th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

In a new book reviewed by Salon here, Terry Eagleton readies the religious backlash as if the tiny minority of American atheists somehow threatens his lukewarm beliefs. His favorite tactic is to lump Christopher Hitchens together with Richard Dawkins and refer to them as “Ditchkins.” The first is a neoconservative whose book only tried to raise profits, while the second is one of the most elegant proponents of evolution who happens to feel we arrived here without the help of God just fine…though we may exit unless we rid ourselves of ill-informed beliefs.  But that, according to Eagleton, is absurd, for Eagleton himself doesn’t believe in such fundamentalist hokum as creation “science.” Why, he’s not even sure God created man.  With religions like that, who needs atheism? (more…)


TNB TV

Mary Gaitskill Reads Aloud

April 30th, 2009
by TNB TV

TNB TV 
Mary Gaitskill reads a portion of an essay about personal responsibility and artwork.


TNB Photo of the Day

Mary Gaitskill

April 30th, 2009
by TNB Photo of the Day


Mary Gaitskill 
One of America’s preeminent fiction writers, she once worked as a stripper and a call girl. She was also a born-again Christian for roughly six months at the age of twenty-one.


Paul A. Toth

007 at 77

April 29th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

Sean Connery is not a tough guy. That’s what he wants me to believe in this coffee bar that’s so hip no one knows it exists. “If I thought you were screwing me in this interview,” he says, “I might bite your balls off. But never mind that. I’m no longer double-07. I’m double-7. I wear a girdle in the few action scenes that don’t involve stuntmen, like sitting down. I’m still growing as an actor and a man.” (more…)


Claire Cameron

A Guide to Thinking About Urban Chickens: Chapter 4 - Ethics

April 29th, 2009
by Claire Cameron

TORONTO, ON-

By keeping chickens in your back yard, are you: a) A responsible person who is sourcing food locally and ensuring the eggs you eat are from happy, free range chickens? or b) An omnivore who is trapping and cultivating a food source?

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Erika Rae

Thin Places

April 29th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

There is a crack underneath my fireplace, where the intake vent meets the hardwood floor. It is too small for most things, but perhaps large enough for a mouse to squeeze through if it is very determined. Tonight, however, something about this crack gets to me. Makes me dizzy. Above, the glow from the fireplace hot on my face; below the crack leading to the depths within my house. Leading perhaps down to the foundation. Maybe beyond.

I wonder what could be down there. Large rodents, maybe. Nick Belardes’ Mothman, probably. I stare at the crack half expecting long, dark fingers to flit through and make a quick probe. Nudge a dust bunny or two on their way to my soul. On their way to finger other thin places in my life.

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John McNulty

Parisian Women Never Look Up

April 29th, 2009
by John McNulty

PARIS-

Parisian women never look up. They don’t. They just don’t. It’s a fact. No eye contact. So don’t expect it. You’re never going to get it. 

A true Parisian woman finds the floor fascinating.

I’ve seen them in their daily commutes. Ladies getting where they have to go. They sit in their seats and stand in their standing places. 

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TNB TV

Millard Kaufman on Life and Writing

April 28th, 2009
by TNB TV

TNB TV 
Millard Kaufman talks about life and writing. He was an accomplished screenwriter who was twice nominated for an Academy Award.


TNB Photo of the Day

Millard Kaufman

April 28th, 2009
by TNB Photo of the Day


Millard Kaufman 
His first novel, Bowl of Cherries, was published in 2007 when he was ninety years old. He died last month at age ninety-two.


Brin Friesen

Straight, No Chaser

April 28th, 2009
by Brin Friesen

MANHATTAN-

Double-whammy, the curse of bumping into Swimming Pool Girl again and an hour later sailing over the handlebars of my bike like some fucking human crossbow onto a busy street landing on my thumb, permanently eliminating my prospects for a southpaw career in hitchhiking… 

Out of the corner of my eye I saw her antique bike leaning against a parking meter. I’d never seen that bike before but I knew it was hers. The shark infested turquoise color of her bike matched the color of her eyes. I looked inside the window of the cafe:

She was darting around the joint like a video game fairy delivering little 10am potions to cure hangovers. Swimming Pool Girl always reminds me I need to write a story about a cat-burglar who tries to rob someone and ends up falling in love with who lives there. Swimming Pool Girl is a 110-pound feminine powder keg for writer’s block. Ten seconds inside the door—five years since I last saw her—she mentions she’s been constipated for the last five days. Nearly reason enough, she says, to take back up smoking. 

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TNB Photo of the Day

Gertrude by Pablo Picasso

April 27th, 2009
by TNB Photo of the Day


Gertrude Stein 
A 1906 painting of Gertrude Stein, by Pablo Picasso.


TNB TV

Gertrude Stein Documentary

April 27th, 2009
by TNB TV

TNB TV 
Please enjoy this excerpt from the documentary Paris was a Woman, about Gertrude Stein.


TNB TV

Vader Reads Tim O’Brien

April 26th, 2009
by TNB TV

TNB TV 
Darth Vader reads an excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.


TNB Photo of the Day

Tim O’Brien

April 26th, 2009
by TNB Photo of the Day


Tim O’Brien 
Born in 1946, he is the author The Things They Carried and his most recent novel is July, July.


Simon Smithson

A Little Fear

April 26th, 2009
by Simon Smithson

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-

I was told it was Spanish.  I was told it was terrifying. All I needed to hear was that there were zombies involved and I was going to sign up come hell or high water. One brain-eating confirmation later and I was on my friend’s couch with two amigos, watching [REC], cheering every time one of the undead got taken out and trying to utilise my recent Spanish lessons to understand what was going on without the aid of subtitles (luckily for me, screaming is the same in any language). (more…)


Oksana Marafioti

Bless me Boris!

April 26th, 2009
by Oksana Marafioti

LAS VEGAS, NV -

My father turned on the speakerphone, then dialed the number. His long, recently dyed hair shone black against the sunlight streaming through our Los Angeles apartment windows.

I glanced at my stepmother, Natali. She winked, a pair of golden teeth gleaming at me. She loved meddling, gossiping, trouble of any kind. So did her teeth.

Lyda–a retired hair dresser from across the hall–stood behind my father, arms crossed at the elbows, lips moving in worried waves.

I couldn’t believe they were actually doing this. But they would not listen to reason, so I hoped nobody was home. And then it came, the answer on the other end of the line. “Hello?”

Natali jumped in her seat. Lyda looked like a ripe tomato at a food festival, happy and terrified at the same time.

“Bless me, Boris,” my father said, motioning for us to stay quiet.

(more…)


TNB TV

J.G. Ballard Documentary

April 25th, 2009
by TNB TV

TNB TV 
Please enjoy this BBC documentary on the life of J.G. Ballard.