16 Sequined Encounters at AWP

**edit, re: #8. Turns out the dream conversation and the Ke$ha conversation were two different conversations. Katie Manning had a dream about me. I talked to Carina Finn about Ke$ha. AWP is confusing.

Also, I’m adding a photograph at Molly’s suggestion.

1. The high point of my weekend (or one of them, anyway) was when Vanessa Place approached me and said, “I wish there were more of you.”

And I was like, holy shit, it’s Vanessa Place. (Um um um).

I explained I usually only dress up for live performances, but had decided to stay costumed throughout the conference to disrupt the space or whatever, then mumbled some vaguely incoherent reference to that time when Vanessa served brunch during her panel at AWP Chicago.

Vanessa said, “I appreciate any institutional critique.” Continue reading

Gossip, Part 4

Today, inspired by Andrew James Weatherhead’s now removed post at htmlgiant, I had a conversation on gchat with Mike Kitchell about privacy, gossip, and gays.  Below is the unedited transcript of said chat.  Cross-posted to htmlgiant.
Mike: man
did you pay attention at all to this post on htmlgiant
where andrew posted like anonymous quotes from his mfa class
Tim: they did???
Mike: yeah
Tim: I saw the post and was reading comments
Tim: wow
Mike: i would DROP OUT if that happened
mfa programs are SO STUPID sometimes
i hate academia
yet it’s so convenient

Modern Sequins

Contrary to modern canons, the sequined body is not separated from the rest of the world. It is not a closed, completed unit; it is unfinished, outgrows itself, transgresses its own limits. The sequins is laid on those parts of the body that are open to the outside world, that is, the parts through which the world enters the body or emerges from it, or through which the body itself goes out to meet the world. This means that sequins emphasizes the apertures or the convexities, or on various ramifications and offshoots: the open mouth, the genital organs, the breasts, the phallus, the potbelly, the nose.

after Bakhtin, via Johannes Goranson

Literary Doppelgangers

This morning, I discovered the writer Kirk Nesset. I haven’t read his work yet (although I really like much of what he says about process, sound and very short fiction in this interview from Pank), but holy shit, isn’t it uncanny how closely he resembles Doug Savant as gay social worker Matt Fielding on Melrose Place? I bet he gets that a lot. Or did do, back in the day.

That’s Savant on the right and Nesset on the left.

Actual Children’s Answers to the Question: What is Sequins?

“When someone wears sequins, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” — Billy, age 4

“Sequins is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” — Terri, age 4

“Sequins is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” — Bobby, age 7

“If you want to learn to sequin better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” — Nikka, age 6

“Sequins is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.” – Noelle, age 7

“Sequins is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” — Tommy, age 6


Introduction by the Lit Diva Extraordinaire

All sequins is false.


All sequins is perfect.


All sequins is a revival.


All sequins is adopted.


All sequins is secondhand.


All sequins is organic.


All sequins is single.


All sequins is sentimental.


All sequins is guilty.


All sequins is sneaking.


All sequins is happy.


All sequins is religious.


No sequins is consoling.


No sequins is idle.


There’s no sequins not like show sequins.

after Fran Lebowitz


Notes on Sequins

Sequins is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon. Sequins is as well a quality discoverable in objects and the behavior of persons. Sequins emphasizes texture, sensuous surface, and style. Some sequins merits the most serious admiration and study. The more we study sequins, the less we care for nature. All sequins contains a large element of artifice. Sequins is the love of the exaggerated, the “off,” of things-being-what-they-are-not. Sequins responds particularly to the markedly attenuated and to the strongly exaggerated. The most refined form of sequins consists in going against the grain of one’s sex. Sequins relishes the exaggeration of sexual characteristics and personality mannerisms. Sequins sees everything in quotation marks. Sequins is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater. Sequins is the triumph of the epicene style. The question isn’t, “Why travesty, impersonation, theatricality?” The question is, rather, “When does travesty, impersonation, theatricality acquire the special flavor of sequins?” Sequins effaces nature, or else contradicts it outright. The relation of sequins to the past is extremely sentimental. Sequins takes on overtones of the acute, the esoteric, the perverse. Sequins is alive to a double sense in which some things can be taken. To sequin is a mode of seduction — one which employs flamboyant mannerisms susceptible to a double interpretation. One must distinguish between naïve and deliberate sequins. Pure sequins is always naive. The pure examples of sequins are unintentional; they are dead serious. Successful sequins, even when it reveals self-parody, reeks of self-love. Sequins discloses innocence, but also, when it can, corrupts it. Persons can even be induced to sequin without their knowing it. Sequins is either completely naive or else wholly conscious (when one plays at being sequined). In naive, or pure, sequins, the essential element is seriousness, a seriousness that fails. Only sequins has the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naïve. “It’s too much,” “It’s too fantastic,” “It’s not to be believed,” are standard phrases of sequins enthusiasm. The hallmark of sequins is the spirit of extravagance. Sequins is a woman walking around in a dress made of three million feathers. Sequins is the ambition on the part of one man to do what it takes a generation, a whole culture to accomplish. Sequins proposes itself seriously, but cannot be taken altogether seriously because it is “too much.” What is extravagant in an inconsistent or an unpassionate way is not sequins. Neither can anything be sequins that does not seem to spring from an irrepressible, a virtually uncontrolled sensibility. Without sequins, one gets pseudo-sequins — what is merely decorative, safe, in a word, chic. Sequins is the attempt to do something extraordinary. But extraordinary in the sense of being special, glamorous. The glamour, the theatricality mark off certain extravagances as sequins. Sequins is the glorification of “character.” What the sequined eye appreciates is the unity, the force of the person. What sequins responds to is “instant character” — a state of continual incandescence – a person being one, very intense thing. Sequins turns its back on the good-bad axis of ordinary aesthetic judgment. The whole point of sequins is to dethrone the serious. More precisely, sequins involves a new, more complex relation to “the serious.” One is drawn to sequins when one realizes that “sincerity” is not enough. Sequins introduces a new standard: artifice as an ideal, theatricality. Sequins is the answer to the problem: how to be a dandy in the age of mass culture. Sequins makes no distinction between the unique object and the mass-produced object. Sequins transcends the nausea of the replica. Sequins appreciates vulgarity. Sequins is continually amused, delighted. Sequins sniffs the stink and prides itself on its strong nerves. Sequins is by its nature possible only in societies or circles capable of experiencing the psychopathology of affluence. Homosexuals, by and large, constitute the vanguard — and the most articulate audience – of sequins. Homosexuals have pinned their integration into society on promoting sequins. Sequins is a solvent of morality. It neutralizes moral indignation, sponsors playfulness. The discovery of sequins can be very liberating. Sequins is good for the digestion. Sequins doesn’t sneer at someone who succeeds in being seriously dramatic. Sequins is a kind of love, love for human nature. Sequins is a tender feeling.


Thanks to a Boing Boing blog post shared by Matt Bell in Google Reader, I’ve just discovered KRAMPUS, the mythological creature who accompanies St. Nicholas in Alpine countries and punishes poorly-behaved children. Wikipedia doesn’t specify the punishment. Does he eat them? How did I not know about this? PEOPLE, THIS IS A REAL THING, I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY NEVER USED THIS SHIT ON BUFFY.

See more Krampus photos here.

CONFERENCE ROOM, a very short fiction by Tim Jones-Yelvington (A “Best Of” List)


When I drink, I can feel that the world cares about me, revolves around me and my misdeeds. I’m lying down, he stretches his body out on top of me, his hind legs on my groin, his front paws touching my neck, he’s so excited he drools on my chest, all fifteen pounds of him pressing down on me as if he would sink through my skin and nestle in my organs, I stroke his head, he slobbers some more, I hug him, my arms full of black fur muscles bony spine, my groin lifts to meet his weight, no one is around but this is as far as I’ve let myself go. I imagine piercing through the skin when he is least expecting it, siphoning out his testosterone with illicit sips, and then waiting for his pubic hair to sprout magically through my cheeks so I can smell him all day. In this way fantasy reveals reality: REALITY is just the underlying fantasy, a fantasy that reveals need. The truth of the matter is I like to be beaten and then fucked like a dog. I am a philosopher of sandwiches, I decided. Things good on the inside. But finally, he left me, grabbed the beautiful eyeball from the hands of the tall Englishman, and with a staid and regular pressure from his hands, he slid it into his slobbery flesh, in the midst of the fur. I touched myself, feeling again the friction of fur, the proximity of some new life I sensed the wolf would have bestowed upon me had we not been caught. It’s like I always say: Clothes make the inhuman. He ran the office this way–on the ragged edge of decency. And me here all this while so hungry, eating pies, eating cakes, eating bags of pretzels hot dogs sugars crystals chocolate bars pizza wheels gallons of milk pints of liquor a million beers marshmallow fluff peanut butter loaves your old teddy bear the drapes in the living room Deandra’s panties a collection of river rocks fistfuls of mud an old tire a rusted padlock a ring of keys a baby tooth an entire pumpkin the nails from my  fingers the hair from my head any blood I emit and all those bits of the highway that get kicked up every time someone drives out of this town.

Continue reading