Total Oblivion

"A fast-paced, suspenseful dystopian picaresque, part Huck Finn and part bizarro-world Swiss Family Robinson..."



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Skinny Dipping

Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Goblin Mercantile Exchange

Futures, Options, and Swaps (the weblog of Alan DeNiro)

Welcome to the Club

It’s hard to know how to either quantify or qualify universalism, because so many communities make a claim to at least a cultural universalism that obscures interconnections with other communities. Truth (although the word “truth” is rarely used) becomes the cornerstone for an enclosure for-to put it in vernacular-a fandom. This also includes the fandom […]

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Thu, December 5 2013 » Fiction, Life Studies, Poetry » No Comments

barely yours

‘Jack Spicer did not reserve his critique of literary journals to “major” venues. In fact, he was outspoken on all forms of literary production, high and low. After receiving an unsolicited copy of the independent newsletter Floating Bear, for instance, Spicer responds by politely asking them not to send another issue and proceeds to critique […]

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Mon, October 14 2013 » Poetry » No Comments

How to Succeed at Writing inside the Upper Middle Class

Be a writer. Opportunities exist. You will be rewarded. Youth is important at first, especially when you are young. Those ambitions will serve you well in college. Your precocity-especially if you are a man-gives you a natural base for success at writing. Precocious ideas become an extension of maleness. But DON’T WORRY-even when you get […]

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Sat, March 30 2013 » Fiction, Poetry » 1 Comment

The Self-Self-Referential

In an age of unending information, basing one’s work on a past of referentials can seem foolhardy (in America). One, educations are getting worse. Two, even nominally good educations will tend to miss a lot. We are no longer in medieval universities. There is little use (or should this be in quote marks?)” in including […]

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Sat, August 4 2012 » ?!?!?, Fiction, Poetry » 3 Comments

Jennifer Moxley on The Structure

“Like many people, Marx’s critique of capital was my first structuralist revelation, the first time I thought, oh my, structure, it’s controlling everything! But of course nuance is key here. You know how gloomy you get when you first realize you are determined? Whether you feel determined by patriarchy or capitalism or whatever, a gloom […]

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Thu, May 31 2012 » Poetry » No Comments

David Jones and Anathemata

This poem by Welsh Catholic artist and writer David Jones (1895-1974) is one of the more remarkable long-form poems I’ve read in awhile. Probably best known in America for his World War I hybrid ficiton-poem piece In Parentheses, The Anathemata was first published in 1952. It is subtitled “fragments of an attempted writing”, and is […]

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Mon, January 23 2012 » Poetry » No Comments

The Myth (poem)

(a sort of companion piece to “The Men”) The Myth An empty picturebook contains a rhetorical question Would you buy a hole if you knew it was haunted Joes arise from the flank They have phones they have axes It’s a pretty decent crowd They knock the wind out A red limb points out: The […]

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Sun, October 16 2011 » Poetry » No Comments

Why We’re Not in the Streets

I had written this poem in the spring, but it seems apropos to post it now… WHY WE’RE NOT IN THE STREETS weighed down by November snow these pines have broken my child is not an open book snow falling on an iceless lake this is the secret salt lights lead up the cabin stairs […]

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Sun, October 2 2011 » Poetry » No Comments

Gog of Minnesota wordle

After turning in my new novel (of Vermeer), it’s nice to switch for a while to poetry. I’ve been pecking away at this long quasi-narrative poem called “Gog of Minnesota” for a few years now. At about 50 pages in, this is what the Wordle (I keep trying to spell it Worlde) of it is-an […]

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Sun, September 11 2011 » Poetry » No Comments

Beyond This Life

One more! One more.

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Wed, February 9 2011 » Poetry » No Comments

There Is a Lamp

Yes, another one. Revising this to the drum generator in 4/4 time was actually very helpful. Always good to have a new hobby.

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Mon, February 7 2011 » Poetry » No Comments

A Night Inside the Lost Mountain

Goofing around with YouTube, random beat generators, open source sample databases, and poem fragments in iambic tetrameter will lead to this: Definitely the “first pancake is always the lumpiest” syndrome going on here, but there you go.

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Mon, February 7 2011 » ?!?!?, Poetry » No Comments

John’s World

(This is more “drafty,” I guess…but these poems have been my enjambed journalings of late.) John’s World I’m not a beloved disciple. What is the definition? file tide lost, once remembered John’s world A prayer dislocates That hounds us. I’m an affection addict, there’s no getting around it. You and I are not in Jerusalem, […]

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Fri, January 28 2011 » Poetry » No Comments

In the Vulgate (new poem)

In the Vulgate I don’t want to be fine. The desperation of a presence incites. the existent secrets in a coffeehouse jam band, in the fundraiser for a child’s cancer (a pancake dinner, a silent auction) a flyer, and the strip mall will last for a while, maybe past my life. Are we to spurn […]

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Sun, January 16 2011 » Poetry » 2 Comments

Notes from Richard Diebenkorn

I came across these notes on a book of Richard Diebenkorn‘s paintings, and thought that they have a certain transference to writing, especially poetry. Happy new year! Notes to myself on beginning a painting 1. Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion. 2. […]

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Mon, January 3 2011 » Poetry » 2 Comments

In Poetry’s Defense

Letter of Philip Sidney, New Year’s Day, 1578

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Thu, December 23 2010 » Poetry » No Comments

Version 2

(But wait there’s more. I’m writing prose as well, I swear. This is from a form known as a ballade, not to be confused with a power ballad.) Version 2 What does it add? pearls, moon rob Sounds; There calling forward my cousin… forgiveness for all human mobs!! (rapt>> apart in common muslin) Garden resistant […]

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Wed, October 13 2010 » Poetry » No Comments

The Whippoorwills (poem draft)

These poems, in between prose bouts, are helping me work through things that I don’t discern yet. The different yearnings couple with the disparate styles. One mood is not like the other. Quatrains between poems can be unalike as well. There are inside-out narratives that aren’t secrets. The Whippoorwills *first baptist air The trees of […]

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Tue, October 12 2010 » Poetry » No Comments

The Men (poem draft)

The Men The men came out of the woods And we were children And didn’t know what to do to them We watched them from the window How would they die In the cold We thought They were walking toward us We closed the blinds We are not here The farmhouse is not here The […]

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Tue, October 5 2010 » Poetry » 1 Comment

The Caged Tulip

While gardening yesterday, I came across a vegetational oddity that was both grotesque and poignant. I was weeding the lower tier of our terraced garden, where our radiant tulips are in full apotheosis. However, near one of them, a suet feeder (i.e., a small rectangular cage) somehow had fallen into the garden thickets. Lost in […]

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Sun, April 18 2010 » Fiction, Life Studies, Poetry » 3 Comments