All the time I am that nursery rhyme
the one where all the sisters build themselves with weakness
saying, no, no, you cannot come in
and yet he takes down their houses anyway,
that bad, bad wolf they don’t know
belonged in them before they were themselves,
you see, this is why
they build their homes of weak things;
only straw, only sticks.
As for that third one with the bricks,
she is only acting hard,
she will open the door and invite him in for tea
if he wants some.
Christoph Paul is an award-winning humor author. He writes non-fiction, YA, Bizarro, horror, and poetry, including The Passion of the Christoph, Great White House Volume 1 and Volume 2, Slasher Camp for Nerd Dorks, and Horror Film Poems. He is an editor for CLASH Media and CLASH Books and edited the anthologies Walk Hand in Hand Into Extinction: Stories Inspired by True Detective and This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology. Under the pen name Mandy De Sandra, he writes Bizarro Erotica that has been covered in VICE, Huffington Post, Jezebel, and The A.V. Club. He is represented by Veronica Park at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.
In this episode, Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum chats with Paul about managing life as a full-time writer and editor, exploring bold and fearless possibilities with a pseudonym, reflecting on punk rock roots, and much more.
There will have been grief in the home country– Parents’ long divorce, a grandfather’s slow death. And among the burials and separations, there will have been Familiarities and comforts to take leave of, or pack
For travel into Germany. There will have been The German comforts of punctual trains, kaffee und kuchen, Weekly flowers in a crackled glass vase, American Time, and German streets, a marriage.
In Florence at Easter there were bells billowing the air, And the light laying itself against walls, Like a lover’s hand resting against the swell of a woman’s hip. For years after Florence I dreamt through the streets of an Italian city, Touching what the light touched, praying. In Florence I lay my palms against the stones.
Absence populates Rachel Khong’s stellar debut novel, Goodbye, Vitamin. It’s a book about the absence of reliable memories, the absence of people you thought were permanent, and the absence of self-understanding. It’s about the memories that follow and haunt you, and the ones that only leave behind traces of themselves, their negative space haunting you all the same.
When we meet our narrator Ruth, she’s in her thirties and the life she envisioned for herself is in shambles. Her fiancé broke up with her on the day she thought they were moving in together. If that weren’t enough, she’s dispassionate about her job and her father, Howard, has Alzheimer’s disease, which is getting progressively worse. Everything she thought she could depend on has been upended.…