Merry Christmas

I wish you all, those few who read this blog and those many who don’t, a merry Christmas. I hope you spend time with your loved ones, however you define that group for yourselves: family, friends, lovers or a combination thereof. This has been a very very difficult year for me, and I’m sure for some of you it hasn’t been easy either. I salute those of you who have had a lovely year and commiserate with those who have had a different one. I’ll probably be writing more about my year, and I will be offering an overview of this year’s reviews as well, but I am not necessarily in the mood to draw up lists and results and proclaim on The State Of The Marcel tonight. Instead I’m sitting here, in Bucharest, near the Dâmbovița river, in a cozy apartment, slightly lubricated by some gentle alcohol and some lovely food. I’m a bit more sentimental than I usually am, so this little paragraph is what you get. Like Blanche, I oftentimes rely on the kindness of strangers and I have had a lot of strangers who have been exceptionally kind to me. There’s Joe, whose work I greatly admire, who read and advised me about the most personal piece of writing I have ever published, a short piece that is part of a much longer manuscript of autobiographical fragments, lamentations and musings. There’s Nate, a magnificent writer, who has given me advice, help and more on publishing things, on making a little bit of money on the side with my skills that feel fundamentally unmonetizable. There’s Tristan who very kindly published my first piece of work this year. There are all the kind bloggers and Twitter users who have commented on or retweeted my work. And then there’s all the friends in my life, of whom I have more than I deserve or genuinely expected to have at this point in my life, not to mention my family or families. I had an emotionally absolutely miserable December, I didn’t send out any of the things I wrote, I read very little, and it wasn’t a great time overall, but today is a good opportunity to consider the gifts I have been given by all of you, strangers, friends and family alike. Thank you. Thank you everyone and Happy Holidays to you all.

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#GermanLitMonth

This year I participated in Lizzy Siddal‘s #GermanLitMonth

Somehow I mostly ended up reviewing untranslated books. Here they are:

There’s everything in there: positive reviews, negative reviews, science fiction, poetry and autobiographically inspired novels.

Blog Recommendation!

I don’t do this a lot, so you know this has weight. One of my favorite people in the world, poet and writer Steven Rineer, has a new blog. He has had difficulties publishing his poetry, but he’s one of two largely unpublished poets I have admired for years. And not because we are friends, but because I find his work extraordinary and it pushes me to get better at my own writing. So now he has a blog. You can find it under http://stevenrineer.com. Don’t mind the large banner. I have had the pleasure of visiting California 6 or 7 years ago and Steven hosted me. He is a brilliant reader, and a brilliant writer. TRUST ME ON THIS. On some level, I owe my life to that man. Go follow the dang blog. His first post is up, it’s called “On Being Sick, Astral Weeks, and Sometimes Getting Through.” Click on the link! Do you like it? Tell me! Tell him. He’s a light in this world, a weird, gentle, awesome light.

über das ertrinken

ein flirren im hinterkopf und ein gefühl des ertrinkens unter der schädeldecke. irgendwas jährt sich immer und man geht klirrend zu bett. ich habe in den letzten zwölf jahren neben einem klumpen uranglas geschlafen und vielleich wächst mir deshalb ein zweites leben. man sitzt im november neben einem kaffee, einem knäckebrot und zwölf ungelesenen manuskripten. ich zähle: eins zwei drei usw. ich zähle auf deutsch sonst denke ich überraschend wenig auf deutsch oft denke ich auf english ich denke in sätzen, in satz- und gedichtanfängen vielmehr. manchmal rede ich auf russisch mit mir. ich kann keine filme über seeunglücke sehen. vor nichts habe ich soviel angst wie vor dem ertrinken und dann sitzt man im november hier und fühlt wie sich der schädel füllt und alles wegschwemmt alle sätze mit punkt komma usw. es bleibt nur ein flirren. ich sitze im ungefähr, und denke in keiner sprache. überhaupt, was denken. ich have angst vor dem tod. so weit ist es schon gekommen.