New elimae issue

The newest issue of the fantastic online journal elimae has just come out. Included are two poems by one Lincoln Michel.

They are pretty short, so here is a very short excerpt:

how they whittle
with things other
than teeth
Read the rest of the issue here.


Glug glug

- I have a piece up at the Esquire book blog today: Five Books to Booze With by Lincoln Michel

Check it out for tips on what to do this holiday season when you can't stand the relatives anymore!



Tweet tweet

Rozalia Jovanovic is currently writing for an interesting and ongoing collaborative art project that combines writing and modern dance using twitter. Rozi is writing ongoing narratives for the two dance characters. To find out more about the project and dance performances go here.

But check out Rozi's short bursts of twitter poetry and add her to your twitter following:


a bit of tidying up

- So this blog is back with a tad bit of a new design.

- Also, lincolnmichel.com links here now. Had a glitch before, but should work now.

- Big things will soon appear over at the Gigantic magazine blog (featuring me, James Y., Annie D. and Rozi J.)

Stay tuned.


Blast from my past

Something from the vault (McSweeneys.net):

Q: Dear Lincoln,

We often hear about the amazing abilities of other animals, such as the incredible strength of ants, the jumping power of fleas, and the speed of cheetahs. Is there anything that humans are the best at?

—Cathy, age 12

A: I hate to break it to you, Cathy, but those "facts" are little more than myths. The average ant can barely lift a bread crumb, and I have never seen a flea that could jump high enough to slam-dunk like NBA All-Star shooting guard Kobe Bryant (swoosh!)


Is it strange to dance so late?

- It only costs 10 million to clone your own mammoth.

- The Economist tackles Bolano-mania. This author actually interviewed me when I was standing in said snaking queue, although it looks like my comments didn't make the cut.

- For some reason this blog is not the first result for a lincoln michel blog search. (Take that Google!)

- McSweeney's is having a sale since everyone is poor now.

- And finally, a font made out of Kafka's handwriting. (via BookNinja)


I'm on the block....

- Over at Yankee Pot Roast I have a listicle up titled Suggested Emcee Names for People with Disorders Which Might Make It Difficult to Actually Rap. Check it out!


Just some thangs...

- Thanks to everyone who came out to my reading at the KGB Bar. It was a lot of fun and the after-reading Pommes Frites were quite delicious.

- The election is over, but here is an article with critics overanalyzing Obama and McCain's favorite book lists.

- Speaking of the election, here is a sappy racial harmony picture series.

- NEWSWEEK argues that Obama's win means brains are back in fashion!

- The Telegraph says a new study shows fiction is better at explaining the world to people than non-fiction.

- Expect Gigantic (magazine) things from Annie, Rozi, James and I in the near future.


Reading Next Saturday

Come shake off those election hangover blues/joys at the KGB Bar this Saturday, where I will be reading along with several other writers as part of a flash fiction night.

Afterwards we can all eat some Pommes Frites!


Boring personal reading habits ahead....

On New Year's eve I made a resolution to read 50 books in 2008 and, after lagging behind for most of the summer but soaring back in Autumn's third quarter, I have just completed my 50th. Now I don't have to read anything for the rest of the year! No, but this might be the first New Year's resolution I've actually completed (full disclosure: There was also a half-hearted 100 film component which I'm way behind on.) My only rule was that the book had to be finished in 2008, but had to be read from front to back. This allowed me to finish up a bunch of collections and half-read novels I had lying around, but not count anything I didn't completely finish (thus leaving them as half-read things to finish up next year....aka the circle of life)

In chronological order:

1) The Aspern Papers – Henry James
2) How the Water Feels to the Fishes – Dave Eggers
3) Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape – Sarah Manguso
4) The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
5) The Art of the Possible – Kenneth Koch
6) Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
7) American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
8) Erasure – Percival Everett
9) Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Marquez
10) Venus Drive – Sam Lipsyte
11) Minor Robberies – Deb Olin Unferth
12) A Fan’s Notes – Frederick Exley
13) Captain Maximus – Barry Hannah
14) The Angle of Yaw – Ben Lerner
15) The Voice at 3:00 AM – Charles Simic
16) All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
17) Chord of Light – Zbigniew Herbert
18) Stars of the New Curfew – Ben Okri
19) Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
20) Men and Cartoons – Jonathan Lethem
21) Ant Farm – Simon Rich
22) 60 Poems – Charles Simic
23) In Persuasion Nation – George Saunders
24) Paradise – Donald Barthelme
25) Partial List of People to Bleach – Gary Lutz
26) McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern #24
27) The Nimrod Flipout – Etgar Keret
28) The Elements of Style – Strunk and White
29) The World Doesn’t End – Charles Simic
30) I Killed Adolf Hitler – Jason
31) Rock Springs – Richard Ford
32) What I’d Say to the Martians – Jack Handey
33) The Wavering Knife – Brian Evenson
34) Ghost Town – Robert Coover
35) Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
36) Knightfall - Dixon et al
37) i hate to see that evening sun go down – William Gay
38) Home Land – Sam Lipsyte
39) Ultramarine – Raymond Carver
40) The 13 Clocks – James Thurber
41) Flash Fiction Forward – ed. James Thomas & Robert Shapard
42) The Drowned River – Thomas Lux
43) Flash Fiction – ed. James Thomas et al
44) My Custom Van – Michael Ian Black
45) I Pass Like Knight – Jonathan Ames
46) Eternal Enemies – Adam Zagajewski
47) Der Struwwelmaakies – Tony Millionare
48) Emergence – Steven Johnson
49) The Dog of the Marriage – Amy Hempel
50) Coming Through Slaughter – Michael Ondaatje

That's 18 story collections, 14 novels, 8 poetry collections, 5 comics/graphic novels, 3 humor collections and 2 non-fiction books.

I'll leave further analysis (favorite books, etc.) till the end of the year.


Go forth and read!

Please check out the new fiction section at Guernica magazine edited by Ben Marcus.

In particular, two good friends of mine have pieces up:

* She Is, Because by Rozalia Jovanovic

* Regards from Mozambique by Dyannah Byington


I will always be Tom Brady to Todd Zuniga

A big thank you to everyone who came out to Opium's Literary Death Match last night, especially Mark Asch at The L Magazine for asking me to fill in and Todd Zungia at Opium for allowing me to and for hosting such a fun and wacky event.

For those of you who missed it, I won my first (the reading) round, but lost in the face-off laser tag duel against Dennis DiClaudio. Specifically the final blindfolded round. I'm not saying he cheated, but is it possible he had a remote radio feed implanted in his ear allowing a team of laser tag specialists to direct him around the stage? Just saying.


Last minute reading

Hey everyone! Through a series of semi-probable events, I am going to be reading at Opium Magazine's Literary Death Match tomorrow (that's Tuesday night).

7PM at The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St.

These death matches are supposed to be pretty fun and all the cool kids are there. (You're a cool kid aren't you? [Then prove it!])

Apparently there is a round of reading then the two favorites move on to a feat of strength... so if you want to see me fall on my ass trying to do pull-ups or something come on out.

(NOTE: There is a 7 dollar charge... but you get a free copy of Opium in the deal)

Here is the official blurb:

New York City

Prepare for NYC?s biggest Literary Death Match of the year, as Opium teams up with The Kitchen to create a spectacle like none other.

An epic lineup will feature three of NYC?s best reading series and LA?s finest. Katherine Taylor (Vermin Reading in LA), Thomas Hopkins [Now Lincoln Michel] (L Magazine?s Annual Literary Upstart), Dennis DiClaudio (Guerrilla Lit) and Thaddeus Rutkowski (Poetry v.
Comedy) will be judged by the New Yorker?s Ben Greenman, videogum.com?s Gabriel Delahaye and funnylady Jodi Bullock.

Avoid the line and pre-order your ticket now!

When: October 14, 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30)

Where: The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St.

Cost: $7 (admission, plus Opium7:7)

Result: Ridiculousness and gunfire!

Afterparty: The Park, 118 10th Ave.


Before B-Day

- James Wood on Republican "verbage."

Sarah Palin, alas, talks the difficulty. She may claim, as she did in last Thursday’s Vice-Presidential debate, that “Americans are cravin’ that straight talk,” but they are sure not going to get it from the Governor—not with her peculiar habit of speaking only half a sentence and then moving on to another for spoliation, that strange, ghostly drifting through the haziest phrases, as if she were cruelly condemned to search endlessly for her linguistic home: “I do take issue with some of the principle there with that redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you.”

- Annie DeWitt starts a new lit blog.

- Someone punched the CEO of Lehman Bros?

- New Achewood.


Something new

I'm launching a new blog tonight: Three Line Punditry.

Why? Because I spend too much time reading about politics I might as well do something with it. I do not want to crowd this blog (which is supposed to be focus on my literary thingies) with political talk.

The blog with post links to news items and sum them up in a brief and hopefully poetic and/or humorous way.

Unlike this blog, Three Line Punditry will be updated on a very regular basis. Several times a day.

A sample:

* Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old second-year governor of Alaska, claimed dinosaurs and man walked the earth together 6,000 years ago, which is 65 million years less than scientists claim.

My inspiration comes from a book I've been reading, Novels in Three Lines by Felix Feneon. Apparently in Europe very short summaries of random news events (kind of like a police blotter) are common. Feneon wrote some for awhile, but made them very beautiful, funny and sad.

Well that and Fark/The Onion/Daily Show type headlines which I sometimes write.

Anyways, this is just for fun but if you enjoy it please feel free to bookmark.

Dainty Jowls

- The Guardian has a section of essays on "how to write."(via BookNinja)

Robert Harris on writing novels had some good advice.

Remember that most writing is done in the subconscious ("the boys in the basement," as Stephen King calls his unseen helpers) and that inspiration is only a posh word for ideas. Pace yourself, get some recreation, avoid tiring yourself out. Cut your manuscript ruthlessly but never throw anything away: it's amazing how often a discarded scene or description, which wouldn't fit in one place, will work perfectly later. Resist the temptation to show off your research (one of Tom Stoppard's maxims is, Just because it's true doesn't mean it's interesting).

- Retired Army Colonel says Mccain, in claiming Obama confused tactics and strategy, confused the terms tactics and strategy.

- The Morning News has a collection of Sarah Palin jokes (via Yellow Redneck Blues):

Q: How do you tell the difference between a child in a third-world country and abstinence-only sex education?

A: One works.

Q: How is Sarah Palin like a rabid dog?

A: Both could have used a decent vet.

Ho hum.


Thanks to everyone who came out to Lit Crawl NYC last night and saw me read. Twas fun.


R.I.P. D.F.W.

I just learned that writer David Foster Wallace passed away tonight. I did not know David Foster Wallace personally and have nothing special to say, but I do believe he was one of the few writers whose voice truly mattered. His insights into our modern situation and his ability to explain large concepts in accessible (and typically hilarious) terms was utterly unique. Whether describing the transcendent joy of watching Roger Federer play tennis or detailing the absurd hell-hole that is a vacation cruise ship, his writing was always essential. Losing his voice is a loss for all of us.

- An interview with Charlie Rose (starts around 23 minutes in)

- 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address


Save the date

September 27th at Common Ground I will be giving a reading with several other authors as part of a massive drunken literary bout of craziness that will span downtown Manhattan. More details to come.


The Waffle House lady's inquiry

I'm not sure I can answer it, but here is Part II of my New Year's resolution to read 50 books. I realize that for a wannabe writer like myself this isn't an especially crazy goal. Many of my friends probably read twice that amount. But I'm a slow reader so what can you do?

17) Chord of Light – Zbigniew Herbert
18) Stars of the New Curfew – Ben Okri
19) Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
20) Men and Cartoons – Jonathan Lethem
21) Ant Farm – Simon Rich
22) 60 Poems – Charles Simic
23) In Persuasion Nation – George Saunders
24) Paradise – Donald Barthelme
25) Partial List of People to Bleach – Gary Lutz
26) McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern #24
27) The Nimrod Flipout – Etgar Keret
28) The Elements of Style – Strunk and White
29) The World Doesn’t End – Charles Simic
30) I Killed Adolf Hitler – Jason

31) Rock Springs – Richard Ford
32) What I’d Say to the Martians – Jack Handey
33) The Wavering Knife – Brian Evenson
34) Ghost Town – Robert Coover

I enjoyed almost all of the above and won't bother bad-mouthing books here. I did read a stretch of sub-par books from authors I love (Herbert's first poetry collection doesn't stand up to his later work, Bernhard's Wittgenstein’s Nephew felt like a clumsy handling of themes he would develop fully in other works, In Persuasion Nation has several of my favorite Saunders stories, but also several half-baked ones).

As for my favorites, both Jack Handey's What I’d Say to the Martians and Simon Rich's Ant Farm humor collections were fantastic, especially standing out in an era of bland humor writing (Handey and Rich are the only good Shouts & Murmurs authors left going in my humble opinion).

Robert Coover's Ghost Town was a fantastic, twisted, hilarious and inspiring read. Charles Simic's The World Doesn't End was a re-read, but still remains one of my favorite poetry books of all time. Lastly, Rock Springs by Richard Ford was pretty much everything I was told it would be from numerous friends.

Alright, 16 books left to go and about 16 weeks left in the year. I'm currently in the middle of several books (by Roberto Bolano, William Gay, David Foster Wallace and others) so things are looking good for the first New Year's Resolution I'm actually trying to keep.


Ungarbled headline

- On The Sound of Young America Podcast, Tony Millionaire (one of my absolute favs) discusses how he made a living asking random people if he could draw their house for 25 bucks.

- Common Errors in English. This is a simple yet fantastic website that lists common, uh, errors in English. Example:


Here’s a case in which eagerness to avoid error leads to error. The original expression is the last part of a deliberately ungrammatical joke: “If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming.”

- What happened to this VP pick, Obama?

- A cool collection of WWI maps.

- The other day I opened Columbia's webpage to find a video by professor Lincoln Michell. Hey, I'm pretty good at this foreign policy stuff.


Hey baby, is that a quote from Nietzsche on your lips?

- As my regular readers (wha??) know, I give out regular awards for the best/most absurd Google search that leads someone to my blog... I'm afraid I may have to discontinue it after the following gem:

youtube hannah montana very sexy stuff like kissing and guys with shrits off

The spelling of "shrits" seals it!

- Did you know Mike Mussina writes for McSweeney's?

- Who are you voting for this election? Newborn baby or Democratic kitty?

- Another blast from my past:

The first mistake occurs when
you say, I love you and I reply, oh,
I thought you were going to say you had an STD.

- My current favorite quote:

Everybody has about exactly enough courage to jaywalk or cheat a wife or a friend with a quote form Nietzsche on his lips

~Barry Hannah


Blast from my past

Hey, why not? Here is something I wrote a year or so ago.

In the event of an attack, always keep in mind most animals are as afraid of you as you are of them. If attacked by a wild animal, instead of running away, why not stand up for yourself for once in your life! At least if the animal is small and you think you can take him. If attacked by a larger animal, like a Grizzly bear, quickly curl into a non-threatening ball. Then tumble away to freedom (this only works on hills).


Shine down floppy ones

Well... my Hannah Montana headline is causing my hit count to soar. And I don't even know who she is... the WWE wrestler Billy Ray Cirus's adopted daughter or something?

Oh well.

- Tom Tomorrow teaches us how modern satire works.

- Ichiro has a potty mouth with a winning spirit.

- Here is a hilarious Esquire piece on Ikea by Mike Sacks.

- This has made the internet rounds, but it is still pretty funny: Rejected Michael Bay script for The Dark Knight.

But which one of the internets do we hack?

All of them.


Hasta Manana Hannah Montana

- I'm sure you've all seen the controversial Obama New Yorker cover. I don't have much of an opinion. It is a fine concept for satire, but not executed terribly well (the situation isn't quite absurd enough considering what some people truly do believe about Obama.)

However, I like Ruben Bolling's take on the issue.

- Mr. Bolling also has a new Super-Fun-Pax Comix out.

- Although someone apparently takes issue with it.

- Speaking of fake right-wing cartoons, no one does it better than The Onion.

- Speaking of politics, if you haven't checked it out FiveThirtyEight.com is really the best site out there for polling data and analysis.

- The most awesomely absurd movie trailer I've seen in quite awhile: Outlander.

- There are so many obvious jokes here, but I'll try to abstain: Playboy to do "Girls of Olive Garden" spread.

- Real life former Olympic sports. I guess the Olympics used to take a lot of cues from American Gladiators:

Swimming obstacle race (1900): Racers had to swim through the River Seine, climb up and down a pole, then go over and under several boats.

One-hand weightlifting (1896): Similar to the modern snatch event, but athletes were only allowed to use one hand.

Tug-of-war (1900-1920): Two teams of eight try to pull a rope six feet; if neither team reaches the mark after five minutes, the team that pulls the farthest wins.

Duelling pistol (1906): Shooters fired at mannequins wearing frock coats and bull's-eyes on their chests.


Getting back in the groove

Sorry for the absence. Here are some things:

- It isn't all that often that you get to see David Foster Wallace appear in a comic strip, but anything is possible on the internets.

- My good friend Grier aka King Vitamin has his new album up for online listening. Check it out.

- The bread bag twisty tie conspiracy is true!

- One extinction I'm pretty excited about: The banana.

- Being a bit of a slow reader and having a problem with starting collections and not finishing them, my new year's resolution was to read 50 books this year. They have to be read completely from front to back. I'm a tad behind, but here is what I got so far:

The Aspern Papers – Henry James
How the Water Feels to the Fishes – Dave Eggers
Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape – Sarah Manguso
The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
The Art of the Possible – Kenneth Koch
Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
Erasure – Percival Everett
Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Marquez
Venus Drive – Sam Lipsyte
Minor Robberies – Deb Olin Unferth
A Fan’s Notes – Frederick Exley
Captain Maximus – Barry Hannah
The Angle of Yaw – Ben Lerner
The Voice at 3:00 AM – Charles Simic
All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy

Of these, my favorites were:

A Fan’s Notes – Frederick Exley (simply one of the best books I've ever read. The Great Gatsby meets Charles Bukowski... or something. Pick it up.)
The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter (A few of these were sub-par, but most were excellent. Twisted retellings of popular fairy tales.)
Venus Drive – Sam Lipsyte (Killer stories.)

I also quite enjoyed the Deb Olin Unferth, Cormac McCarthy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Charles Simic. Four authors I always admire.

- Lastly, the future of male contraception is part cyborg, part car door lock:

A surgeon inserts a silicon chip into the vas deferens. A key fob sends out RF waves, just like the key to your car. The silicon chip converts the RF into acoustic waves, which in turn induce movement in the material, allowing it to expand and seal the tube. Sending another pulse from the key fob lets the material contract allowing sperm to pass.


High on NOON

Friends, family and foes, NOON magazine will be having its annual reading slash party on the 14th of this very month.

The Mercantile Library
17 East 47th Street
April 14 at 6:30

with readings by
Clancy Martin
Dawn Raffel
Christine Schutt

Please RSVP with the Mercantile library if you would like to come... which you should.


How you got here

Top five google searches that brought someone to this blog in the last month:

5. fancy woodcuts
4. teething jewelry and blog
3. disease for patients
2. baby teether pictures. indian
1. snickers commercial song lyrics king lear


- Also, I have a short piece in the current issue of Quarter After Eight magazine (although they haven't put the new issue's information up online yet.)


Collecting Lincolns?

Yesterday someone tried to add me as a friend on Facebook. I didn't recognize the name but clicked on their page anyway. It was some random girl I didn't know and she only had a few friends. However, all of her friends had the first name "Lincoln."


Have I been stalked by a Facebook Lincoln Collector?


I'm big in China....

Ever wonder what diligent post-Maoist Chinese students read when they want to study English?


Or at least I have a story in the above anthology published by Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press that I just received in the mall. This is honestly the coolest piece of mail I've gotten in forever. (The above book is basically the same as the following American published anthology except it also includes study questions. Yes, I have study questions, thank you very much)


- Also, in case it got buried amongst the DMX rantings, I have four poems up in the current issue of Night Train.


Salty, not stirred.

- First up I have for you not one, not two, not even three, but an entire four poems for your perusement (that word is trademarked.) They come courtesy of Night Train issue 8 volume I.

- I try to stay out of politics on this blog, but I must say I can't help myself at this whooper. Hillary Clinton claimed that when she landed in Bosnia as first lady she had to run from sniper fire (!!) for her life and didn't even get a greeting ceremony. The only problem is that Sinbad (yes, that baggy pants 90s comedian) who was with her (as was Chelsea and Sheryl Crow) didn't quite remember it that way, nor did anyone else involved.

Hillary stuck to her guns, but then someone dug up the news footage of the landing. No fire. No running. A big ceremony with the president and even a little girl reading poetry.

I hear Michael Bay might direct the Hillary version though.

- One more political thing. XXL magazine interviewed DMX recently. He is that rapper who likes to make dog woof noises on his songs. Apparently he doesn't keep up on politics too much.
(Note: He is married to someone named Tashera and has kids with names like Tocoma and Javon Micai)

Are you following the presidential race?

Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.

What the f**k is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
Barack Obama?

What the f**k?! That ain’t no f**kin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the f**k outta here.

You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.

I ain’t really paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…
Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the f**k, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his f**kin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullsh*t. Stop that bullsh*t” [laughs] “That ain’t your f**kin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.

So you’re not following the race. You can’t vote right?

- This is currently my favorite thing in existence.


Woodcuts are back by indifferent demand

- Who is the better writer, Clinton or Obama? (Hint: It's Obama)

- The Morning News's Tournament of the Books bracket is out.

- You Have Time For This (Amazon link), a rad anthology that includes one of my stories, has a YouTube ad up with some very dramatic music.

- Finally, Tom The Dancing Bug explains the origin of Super Delegates.

Like Rip Van Winkle, this blog reawakes the same but with a beard

I had to resist posting for a bit so I didn't turn this blog into a series of rabid political rants. Things will be starting back up soon.

In the meantime, here is a There Will Be Blood / Kelis mash-up for your enjoyment.