Your 2012 reading list by playwright Brian Bauman

1. Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre
2. William S. Burroughs – Port of Saints
3. Denis Johnson – Resuscitation of a Hanged Man
4. Mary Gaitskill – Veronica
5. William T. Vollman – The Royal Family
6. Jean Genet – Our Lady of the Flowers
7. Dennis Cooper – Period
8. Clive Barker – The Books of Blood (I-VI)
9. Anne Sexton – Transformations
10. Eileen Myles – Cool For You
11. Chester Himes – Lonely Crusade
12. William H. Gass – The World Within the Word
13. Kevin Killian – Shy
14. Dodie Bellamy – Pink Steam
15. James Baldwin – Giovanni’s Room

 

 

 

 

Thanksgrieving Reading List

Elle magazine, December 2011

The Believer, November/December 2011

The New Yorker, November 14, 2011

Gutted by Justin Chin

Harmless Medicine by Justin Chin

98 Wounds by Justin Chin

Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories by Wanda Corn & Tirza Latimer

Modernest Cuisine Volume 4 by Nathan Myhrvold



Read It and Lament- Ferran Adria, World’s Greatest Chef

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=1e0679e4a9&view=att&th=132f4e1c97dd7c5f&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1382409441469496597-1&zw

Adria, on right. Interpreter on left.

Who’s that guy in the fuzzy, nondescript photograph? Just Ferran Adria, THE WORLD’S GREATEST CHEF who ran El Bulli, THE WORLD’S GREATEST RESTAURANT. This isn’t my hyperbole, either! Both the man and the place were crowned The Greatest by publications, people, and governing bodies who oversee such titles–multiple times. Last night, I sat in a sold out Castro Theatre to listen to The World’s Greatest Chef on his book tour. Something like 1400 people were there, shelling out $30 to hear this guy and he didn’t even pick up the book during the 90 minute event.

Buy this book. Or come over and cook with me.

You never ate at El Bulli, in all likelihood, and you never will.* El Bulli, located on the coast of Catalonia, Spain, was open only 6 months of the year, costs upwards of $450 for the tasting menu, held a 3-star Michelin ranking for years, and had literally millions of requests for its 8,000 seats available per season. El Bulli closed on July 30 of this year so  that Adria can build the El Bulli Foundation on the restaurant’s very spot. And, presumably, move on to a  more financially lucrative career than running so costly a restaurant.

LAMENT. Like the scent of  Guerlain’s original Eau de Cologne Impériale made for Napoleon III or watching stifled, jealous glances thrown at Gertrude Stein by Alice B. Toklas, I’ve missed out on something that the internet cannot recreate. Who knew there still were such things??

Vere Novo c1895Picture of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

How often do we listen to someone who is definitively the greatest in the world at something? I asked this question of my girlfriend who picked me up after the reading. She laughed off and ridiculed my intellectual queries into watching Yo-Yo Ma or, I don’t know, some other undisputed greatest. The best part of Adria’s talk was that he started off the lecture insisting, ‘I know nothing about cuisine or cooking.’ He gave endless examples: if there are over 500 varieties of citrus and this is but one type of fruit which is but one ingredient, how can a person say they are an expert at cooking and cuisine? I saw the Queer Food For Love’s undisputed food genius Yasmin Golan outside the Castro following the event and she said it was really cool to hear such an un-American response to our chef-frenzied times. This guy was not about ego at all. Two things, Adria said and his interpreter held up her fingers: 1. We know nothing about cuisine. 2. Everything is subjective.

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Besides the aforementioned descriptors, El Bulli and Adria are known for deconstructionist cuisine though he balked somewhat at the ‘molecular gastronomy’ label.  (Molecular gastronomy chef, Grant Achatz, owns the Chicago’s famous Alinea restaurant and did a 3 week stint at El Bulli early in his career which sent him in this new direction.) Adria and El Bulli have many food and cookbooks written with or about them but his newest book, the one that I received signed last night at the Castro Theatre is The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria. Worth $30, bitches!

Ferran Adrià Will Release Casual Cookbook, ‘The Family Meal’

Adria told the crowd over and over his simple idea that created profound change: if cooks eat well, they cook well. Unlike simple leftover dishes at most restaurants (including fine dining, Michelin ranked), El Bulli served beautiful, delicious 3-course family meal for the 70+ staff each day. The cookbook includes those recipes: a month’s worth of 3-course meals, aimed at home cooks feeding people for less than $5/person per meal.

The book is exactly what I want in a cook-book. A clear, concise shopping list and instructions for making simple sauces and stocks to then freeze and use over the course of the month. (And permission to use bullion cubes if one must!) Each 3-course meal can be made in a few hours, tops. Many dishes can be made in no time at all and all are really fucking impressive. The instructions include a shopping list, cooking timeline, and are broken down into methods for 2, 6, 20 or 75 people!

I inhale food books and cookbooks the way you nerds do the same with The Hunger Games (next on my list.) Writing about food, though incredibly fashionable these days, is no simple task because of the inherent problems in describing the senses well. We cannot all be Diane Ackerman.  The exciting thing about Adria’s new cookbook is the recipes themselves are so fascinating because -like the 40-course tasting menu at El Bulli- I would never have come up with the combinations, techniques or core belief that I can make this food on my own.

Call me if you want to try out some recipes together!

 

*Me neither. If you somehow ate a meal there, please contact me, you lucky jerk!

2011 RADAR Lab artists- It’s Tania Katan!

Tania Katan won me over forever when, after crushing her competition in round 1 of San Francisco’s Literary Death Match, she extended her hand to her squashed opponent and -just as he humbly reached toward her- she drew drew back in the Welcome Back, Kotter tough guy hair swipe. Humiliation for the guy! I was smitten! She’s an excellent writer, a stellar comedian, and a terrific performer. We’re excited to have her join us on the playa!
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RADAR Productions: Tania, what are you working on at the Lab?
Tania Katan: A book about a 16 year-old misfit whose ambition to become a famous stand-up comedian almost drives her passed the real comedy and tragedy in her life.
R: What are you reading these days?

TK: Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I HEART this book so much!

R: What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?

TK: I didn’t know it was a queer retreat. Well, in that case…the queer part.

R: What’s harder: writing a book or the first time you did stand up?

TK: The initial process of writing involves vomiting up as many memories/ideas/themes as I can, then picking through the vomit to find chunks of clarity, stories, and threads that start to connect the pieces, make them part of a larger whole. Standing up in front of an audience involves vomiting before going on stage. So, I guess I’m really proficient in throwing up.

R: What’s amazing about Phoenix?

TK: The best thing about Arizona is that it invests no money in education. Na-da. That’s Spanish for Arrest me. This means that we get government officials who are uneducated, which means that we, the residents of Arizona, feel way smarter then we ever done!

R: Why are ex-Mormon girls hotter?

TK: I’m not a planner, so I love being with women who are serious about the future. Whether it’s a One-Year Supply of food, or prepping for the Celestial Kingdom, I like my ladies hungry and thinking ahead. Oh, and you should see what my Mormon lady can do with a bonnet; there is nothing sexier! Check it out:http://www.lisasettegallery.com/a-ellsworth.htm

 

2011 RADAR Lab Artists- Whoa, it’s Andrea Lawlor!

I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Lawlor in April 2011 during the Sister Spit national tour’s U Mass Amherst stop. Andrea read a poem she’d recently written in response to Ali Liebegott’s call-for-submissions for her upcoming “Faggot Dinosaur” journal. Andrea surprised us with the paleontological-correct poem and blew us away with the reading!

She is the creator of Pocket Myths, a series of zines based on mythology. This is a massive undertaking and the edition entitled “The Odyssey” is comprised of both an impressive art and print zine with an accompanying DVD  featuring shorts by 24 filmmakers tackling Homer’s epic. WHOA, Mary.

I can’t wait to talk Modern Jackass astrology with her!
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What are you working on at the Lab?

I plan to work on my novel, which is about a young queer shapeshifter in the early 90s. My dream is to see the end of this novel, to write my way there. I’m also working on a series of poems (see here <http://mipoesias.com/2011/04/05/andrea-lawlor> and here <http://www.scribd.com/doc/53201841/OCHO-31>), a sort of busman’s holiday from the novel. I’m pretty excited about poetry right now, after taking workshops this year with Dara Weir and James Tate.

What are you reading these days?

I’m re-reading Siddhartha right now, out loud, which is such a good way to read it. I read it first when I was 30 and it had its trademark profound effect on me even then. But now! I am appreciating how carefully Hesse uses language, how he tells the story of a spiritual quest in a way that’s both gripping and true to its subject. I’m very interested in quests, and also in fiction that isn’t depressing or coming from a cynical worldview. Plus, Siddhartha and Govinda? Total boyfriends.
I’m also re-reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, which both address the question of how to be an artist in this world. I love this thing Thoreau says: ”It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.” So great, right? And Virginia Woolf, for all her blind spots, breaks down the economic conditions of possibility for art-making under capitalism.
Other books I’ve recently loved: Eileen Myles’ Inferno, Heather Christle’s The Trees The Trees, Malinda Lo’s Huntress and Ash, China Mieville’s Embassytown, Ali Liebegott’s The IHOP Papers, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I got Just Kids for the plane. I could go on forever here, maybe a leftover from working at Dog Eared Books.

What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?

I love being around queer people! It’s so relaxing. And of course I’m excited to talk about writing with queer writers. For instance, how are other people addressing issues of representation, gender, language? In a group of queer artists, there are higher odds of finding people who are facing similar challenges, who share culture and values.

How’s Western Mass’s writing community?

So great! Everyone should come here. I’ve heard people say Western Mass is a poet’s paradise–because of the UMass MFA Program, Flying Object <http://www.flying-object.org>, the Smith Poetry Center, etc., etc.–but I have to say it’s a writer’s paradise. It’s beautiful, fairly easy to live cheaply, and there are tons of writers of all sorts. And also queers! Northampton used to be called Lesbian-ville, USA, and you really can’t walk down the street without seeing a bazillion lesbians. But I think they might need to start calling it Translad-ville, USA now. What else? There are tons of local writers who aren’t part of the Five Colleges, like the novelist Susan Stinson, who organizes lots of literary events. There’s even an Experimental Queer Writing Workshop for undergrads at UMass. I’ve been lucky enough to co-teach that for two years, and those young writers are so ridiculously talented. Watch out, world! 

What astrologically do you bring to a group?

I generally bring the fire (Aries Sun, Aries Rising, Leo Moon) but I’ve got Mars in Capricorn and Mercury in Taurus, so hopefully that will calm the fears of people who are scared of Rams. I also bring over 20 years of low-level exposure to astrology (part of my queer cultural heritage), so I’m always ready to chat about people’s charts with a knowing air and little actual information.
What art are you really into right now?

My favorite painter is Xylor Jane <http://www.canadanewyork.com/Artists/xylor-jane>. I love looking at her paintings and also I find talking to her about her creative process fascinating and inspiring.

 

2011 RADAR Lab artists- Ooh, ooh Dani Leone

People around the Bay Area are OBSESSED with Dani Leone’s food column “Cheap Eats“  in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and with good reason. It’s smart, weird and unusual food writing that makes me feel listless and want to lay down on the grass and think about how food shapes my thought processes. I love that Dani said at a RADAR Reading that even though she is a longtime food writer, she never has any idea where to eat when she’s out with friends.
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RADAR: Dani! What are you working on at the Lab?

Dani Leone: I’m working on a series of short stories with one common tie: each features a positive, entirely likable male character who is lucky, tough, brilliant, badass, great at sports, or heroic in some way, and who — coincidental to the story of the story — just happens to love a trans woman.

R: What are you reading these days?

DL: Mark Twain. I grabbed “The Innocents Abroad” off a friend’s shelf almost literally on my way out of the country (I’m in France) and it’s been good to lose myself in some excellent English after a long hard day of understanding very little.

R: What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?

DL: I haven’t moved much in queer communities, so this will be new to me. And new is always interesting. My writing — especially my fiction — has tended to be pretty straight-themed. Most of my friends, and all but one of my writer friends, identify as straight. So it will be good for me to be surrounded by queerness. Especially while working on these stories, which say less about trans women (who are in my experience marginalized even within the queer community) than the men who love us. If there is a name for them that isn’t derogatory (i.e. trannie chaser) I don’t know what it is. And this is probably a matter of demographics (I’m in my forties) but none of the cis-gendered men I’ve dated have even thought of themselves as queer. So they’re not — but I don’t care what they are or aren’t. What I wonder is why they are always (again, in my experience) so secretive about it. Well, prolly because outside of the queer community, as within, it’s simply not cool to date trans women. I’d like to see that perception change. Thus, these stories…
R: Do you like other food writers? If so, who? If not, why?

DL: I loved Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples, and I also like MFK Fisher, and Calvin Trillin sometimes. I like to read writers writing passionately about food, and I love food flicks. But I don’t read restaurant reviews, per se, except on Yelp. In terms of actually assessing a restaurant, I think all restaurant reviewers – myself of course included — have been made irrelevant by Yelp. And I love this. From an eater’s standpoint, 100 one-paragraph opinions are WAY more valuable than one writer’s (presumably) educated one; and from a writer’s standpo
R: Have you killed chickens before? How many? What was that like???

DL: Yes, but not that often. I have swung the ax maybe 10 times total. It’s not pleasant, but if you want to eat meat — and I do and do and do — then I think it’s good to find out you are capable of killing your own. After that, though, I don’t know.At four in the morning this morning my French chicken farmer friend and I rounded up about seven dozen of her biggest, and drove them to a place that butchers them assembly-line style. I didn’t feel good about this. The worst part was waking them up in the
middle of the night, taking them away from their home. After that, it doesn’t matter much is my guess. It may be wishful thinking, but I suspect the assembly-line way is a cleaner, quicker death than the tentative blows of a tearful backyard chicken farmer. By the way, both seem better — from a strictly chickenly perspective — than to fall prey to a raccoon, fox, hawk, or weasel. Which, of course, happens to small-farm free range chickens as well as backyard ones, and isn’t pretty.

2011 RADAR Lab Artists- Here’s Danny LeVesque!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE listening to Danny's novel-in-progress of a busted kid's attempts to run away with the circus and, if you've heard him read from this work, you do too. He's one of 3 Danny/Dani writers coming but we were smart and split them up among the two retreat sessions. Anyway, Danny is also a hairdresser and using this insider knowledge to write something that promises to be brilliant AND scathing!
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RADAR: Hi Danny! What are you working on at the Lab?

Danny: "Hairdresser On Fire", a collection of stories that follow Francis, an oddball hairhopper of 20+years, through the trials and tribulations of working inside the "Beauty Industry"- two words that when put together make me want to slit my face. Beauty Industry? Gross. I've renamed it the Corporate Industrial Beauty Cult.  The stories follow Francis as a young Charasmatic Christian Cult Kid, surrounded by faith healers- present but never saved, ya know? (He is finally saved at 9 years old by seven inch leather heels and The Book of Thoth). Progressing through Beauty College, odd salon jobs, talk therapy and life as an E ducator for a notorious Beauty Cult, we watch Francis slowly spiral into an anti-beauty culture madness.   All is revealed in narrative and character study rather than essay; I don't want to beat people over the head with my ideas on this industry.
R: What are you reading these days?

DL: Psychodynamic Perspectives on Religion, Sect and Cult, edited by Dr David A. Halperin, has been a treasure trove for this project. I'm mostly doing a lot of "re-reading" to gear up for the Lab. Lots of character studies- bits and pieces of "A Confederacy of Dunces", "Cather in the Rye", "The Great Gatsby", all of those incredible character-driven classics. Also bits of Jim Carroll's "Downtown Diaries" and Kerouac's "Lonesome Traveler"....hmmm... I just re-read "Unplugging Philco" by Jim Knipfel. I love him. And Kristen Hersh's "Rat Girl" is wicked good. I don't know if "The New Yorker" counts. Of course it does. "The New Yorker".
R: What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?

DL: I'm sure "safe space" comes into play a lot here, and that is part of it. But more than anything, it is the structure of community placed before me that has lovehearts popping all around my head. This retreat could be two doors down from my house in Oakland and it would be wonderful- having it in paradise is a tureen of bonus gravy. Mmmm. Also, keeping myself aligned with RADAR has a lot to do with my roots as a writer. Without Sister Spit, K'vetsh, and the queer artists who have been such cheerleaders for my work, I would probably not be writing. Probably be weaving baskets or trying to sell oregano to tourists. So, yeah. I love me some queer support.
R: What secrets does the hair industry try to keep that you want to reveal to us now?

DL: Ooooh. Good one. There's so many...The main thing I disagree with in the industry is the ancient adage that you have to "suffer for beauty." Bullshit. You do not, and should not. I don't even know where such ridiculous sentiment came from...I'd imagine some misogynist queen said that to a client with welts on her scalp once and it stuck and became law. It's always sounded so horrible to me. Suffer for art, suffer for love, for family, for your cat. But beauty? No. Not neccesary.
R: What astrologically do you bring to a group?

DL: I'm early Leo, and I feel more ready than ever to get very clear on what I want to recieve and what I'm willing/not willing to do for it. So much has fallen away in the past month; since Jupiter has settled nicely into my tenth house for a whole year, I find that many of the constructs I had previously allowed to define me have been broken apart, leaving me free to re-package myself as I wish. I have no more fear of proclaiming myself to be "a writer", and I want that for everybody. My want is for everyone to become more of what they are, to lose all the fear and allow themselves the freedom that is their birthright. I'm all fire and air. Crackle... crackle... crackle... BLAMMO. So I welcome this new earthiness, this grounding, "get-down-to-business viewpoint" I've been handed with open Leo arms.
R: How's the East Bay for writing community?

DL: I work in a very small set. Often one-on-one. It can be difficult to keep a solid group, but just like anywhere else you need to seek out the community you require and stick with it, making changes as you go. For regular, scheduled writing, I have always preferred a small group to a massive one. The smaller size allows for more in-depth critique and for the development of a loving trust and respect between the folks involved. So, for me, having one or two people checked-in with my work on a regular basis keeps me on my toes and makes it so that when the work is presented to a larger community I feel safer, as if I've already gotten a green light from my "micro-community." Does that even make sense? I hope so.

 

2011 RADAR Lab artists- Oh my god, that’s Noel Alumit!

I am excited to meet Noel Alumit not only because his acting credits include Beverly Hills 90210 and The Young and the Restless though I am titillated in the purest sense by these facts. He’s also written great award-winning books including his debut Letters to Montgomery Clift which is such an outstanding title! We adored reading a sample from the work he’s bringing to the retreat! It doesn’t hurt he’s a Capricorn like yours truly.
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RADAR: Hi Noel, what are you working on at the Lab?

Noel: I’m working on my third novel, A Remarkable Boy.  It’s a story about a spiritually gifted youth who disappeared in Los Angeles.  I’m exploring themes like faith, dedication, and AIDS.

R: What are you reading these days?

NA: I’m reading books about atheism and humanism.  A character in my book doesn’t beleive in God.  I’m reading God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and Good without God by Mark Epstein.  They’re for research purposes, but they’re also fascinating conversations about morals, religion, the dangers of fundamentalism.

R: What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?

NA: Well, I think some of the themes I’m exploring are important to the queer community.  AIDS obviously devasted us, and it’s still on ongoing discussion.  However, for alot of straight people, I think, it’s still a foreign conversation.  When I tell queer people I work in AIDS, they’re like, Cool.  When I tell straight people I work in AIDS, they look at me like:  why?

I’m also looking at religion in my work.  I encounter people of faith who honestly can’t see anything wrong with religion.  Who think that religion has done no wrong.  Queer people have been badly hurt by it.  However, I also know queers who are uplifted by it.  It’s a very complex issue, and I’m looking forward to exploring it.

R: What’s the LA writing community like?

NA: It’s large and vast like the city.  I was in a writers group that had a hard time meeting because we were from all over the place (Culver City, Topanga Canyon, Echo Park, Silverlake).  I now meet with a group where we’re more local.  I have lots of writer friends.  We have many voices and many genres.  It’s kinda cool in a way.
NA: What’s your sign and what will you be contributing astrologically to RADAR’s retreat?
Funny you should ask!  Both my Eastern and Western signs are similar.  I’m a Capricorn (goat) and was born in the Year of the Ram.  I’m a mountain animal all the way!  I look at this as reinforcement that I’m constantly aspiring to new heights.  This also means that I tend to head-butt with people.  Not that I get into fights or anything, but I like conversations that challenge ways of thinking.  I think head-butting made me a good AIDS activist. (Don’t worry, I won’t be menacing in Mexico)

I like to think that I’ll be adding lofty ideas to the retreat, and encouraging us to go higher, further.

 

2011 RADAR Lab artist SARAH FRAN WISBY

Sarah Fran Wisby’s got a great voice in both her writing and her live readings. As you glean from her photo, she’s got a really tough, wry, seen-it-all-before-which-shaped-my-excellent-sense-of-humor style. She is sort of unflappable which I personally admire because I am so often flapped. Her first collection of work Viva Loss is -to quote one of Andy Warhol’s high school yearbook descriptions- genuine as a thumbprint.
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RADAR: Sarah Fran, what are you working on at the Lab?

Sarah Fran Wisby: I am working on short stories, a collection that has tried on a few different names: The Goner Party, Sympathy for the Details. I can’t seem to get away from puns and wordplay in my titles. The story I am working on now is about two people who live in a burning building–I am enjoying the pressures of verisimilitude in what is basically a fantastical scenario. What details can make this impossible world seem true? The story is about a relationship, which strikes me now as equally impossible and in need of supportive details…

R: What are you reading these days?

SFW: Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, Bluets by Maggie Nelson, Gravity and Grace by Simone Weil, Stand-Up Tragedian by Chaim Bertman, and Speak, Memory by Nabokov are some of the books I’ve read or am reading this summer. The last book that changed my life was Sex At Dawn, a somewhat-cheesily written exploration of our hunter-gatherer past and what it means for contemporary human sexuality. Not that I necessarily know what to do with the information that the female sexual response cycle evolved to be satisfied by little less than a gang-bang!
R: What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?

 

SFW: Well, first of all, I want to thank RADAR for its inclusive definition of queerness, which has room for hasbians like me. Secondly, the great thing about being marginalized as an artist is the freedom to create without the pressures of success! That’s a snide way of saying something that is both bitter and sweet: when who or what you are is not valued, propped up by society, you must carve your own path with others like you. There is certainly a lot of fun to be had in the margins, on and off the page.

R: What art have you recently fell in love with? 

SFW: I have just discovered Jennie Ottinger, an artist I was paired with in the online magazine Stretcher: http://www.stretcher.org/features/seesaw2/ She has a website: www.jennieottinger.com/
R: What was Valencia St like when you first moved to the Mission and how is it different?

SFW: Um, gosh. That’s a big question. I moved to Valencia Street in 1995. It was still common to hear Spanish spoken on the street, and coming from my neighbors’ apartments. There were lesbian-owned businesses like Old Wives Tales and Osento. My block was pretty quiet, mostly centered around New College, and next door to it, the Daniel Creamery, where I got to know the men who handled the early-morning milk deliveries, because I’d be walking my dog at five AM before heading off to my own early morning produce job. My memory of those times always includes the gutter streaming white from busted milk cartons and trying to keep my dog from drinking from the swill.
Nostalgia’s a tricky business though. Sometimes I look around at Valencia Street now with its four dollar lattes and its gourmet pizza and elegant bicycle parking structures and I know I’ll be nostalgic for this too someday.

2011 RADAR Lab Artists- That’s Leopoldine Core!


I need Leopoldine Core to finish the book that she submitted as her work sample in her Lab  retreat application so I can BUY IT AND READ IT MANY TIMES. While I inhaled her 25 page work sample, I felt deeply understood and connected with her writing in a manner that made me feel like she were writing my brain down for me so I could know myself better. Such is her ability to capture the complex subtle weirdnesses of relationships and our awful human psyches. 
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RADAR: Hi Leopoldine, what are you working on at the Lab?

Leopoldine Core: I’ll be working on my collection of stories. I have this big crazy file of fragments. Just bits of dialogue, descriptions of rooms and bodies. So I’ll be bringing a big santa sack of tiny papers to arrange.

R: What are you reading these days?

LC: Generally I’m more of an obsessive than a carnivore when it comes to reading. So I’m not hungry for the next book, I’m hungry for the same books over and over. Right now I’m re-reading Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles. It’s a masterpiece. He’s a looser miniaturist than Jane Bowles, so there’s a speed to his delivery I really enjoy. And there’s
a character in this book who is obviously based on Jane, so I feel I’m entering the private life they shared. Someone should really write a book about how their work overlaps.

R: What’s interesting about a queer artists retreat?
LC: I don’t know. It makes me kind of nervous and uncomfortable. But I’m sure I’ll have a really good time.
R: What art (any media or form) are you really obsessed with and want the world to know about? 

LC:  There’s a great street artist in my neighborhood who signs their work: Bortusk Leer. The work doesn’t look very good online (I just googled “Bortusk Leer”) but live its gorgeous, all these ghoulish sea creatures. On 10th street between avenue B and C, there’s an especially striking lobster, pink with blue eyes and a yellow smile. Also, someone is walking around writing YOU WOULD in really smart places. I think this is old news. But who is this person? You are so
cool, whoever you are. My friend Miranda found YOU WOULD written on a square white plank leaning against a  trashcan. So she took it home and tacked it to her wall. It looks really great.

R: What astrologically do you bring to a group?

LC: I’m a Capricorn so supposedly I’m some really organized workaholic. It doesn’t feel that way. I’m more of a creature of leisure. I make a lot of time for work but often just wind up listening to records and masturbating. Then I’ll write a little. Make a sandwich. I like to feel free. Probably because I’ve had all these shitty jobs. So I’m sure I’ll be really happy in Mexico. I’ve never been there. I’ll probably look like someone who just got out of prison.
R: What are you listening to with abandon?

LC: The Monks, Useless Eaters, Dinosaur Jr, Gram Parsons. Thurston Moore’s new album Demolished Thoughts is really beautiful. And I love Jay Reatard, every stage of his music. What a fucking genius. His melodies are so good that I can sit listening to all the crackly live shows on youtube for hours. I have a little bit of a crush on him actually. His hair. And his life. He was poor growing up so he used a pickle bucket as a drum, obsessively recording songs in some little
shack instead of going to school.

Lastly, I love the new album Bones by Fenster. Until very recently, I was proofreading at an office and of course hated it but they let us listen to music and that was nice. I listened to Bones on repeat for DAYS and haven’t been the same since. It’s such a transporting set of songs. You can listen here: http://fenster.bandcamp.com/album/bones

 

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