An Interview with Margaret Cho / summer.thomad

summer.thomad

all articles written by summer.thomad

Three Bodies in Texas

There’s an optical illusion that went viral a few years ago, an illustration from a nineteenth-century German humor magazine. From one angle, the drawing looks like a duck; from another,……

Tool: CDLP swim shorts, $159

FEATURES: Side-seam pockets Available in “Deeper Lagoon” Ecologically considerate “Consciously constructed” in Portugal Call them hams. Call them my milkers. They are thighs, mine, and these names are the blows……

A person spins, performing in a delirious haze as an ink blot figure records them, resulting in 30,000 social media likes.

Trilogy of Doubt

What form do you ask for pointing at me with your scorn- raised brow you clutch your coxcomb    velvet robe with your left hand ringed    married to God……

A man sits at his drawing table, looking nervously at his creation, as an ink blot dog barks in the background.

Holed Up

Finally, the mint is up. My small ambit of yard. Monitoring its progress.  The azalea has a few tightly furled pinks like napkins twisted in a lap  anxiously below the……

A person spins, performing in a delirious haze as an ink blot figure records them, resulting in 30,000 social media likes.

Trilogy of Doubt

What form do you ask for pointing at me with your scorn- raised brow you clutch your coxcomb    velvet robe with your left hand ringed    married to God in cuffed surplice and say: so shall you burn What dunce cap bows me down cracked hands clasped over tunic of pale yolk the Jews’ color I was made to wear for shame I am ready to renounce nothing even should they… What standing  crone \ what blood- bearded henchman……

A person examines the features of their face with worry—an eye, a nose, a pair of lips, divided between two mirrors.

Deep Cuts

A man in a suit and tophat (think Mr. Monopoly)walks gleefully through a changing neighborhood. Building in the distance are under construction, and someone lies on the sidewalk across the street.

Casting Call

Hospital patient  to die on-screen.  Must be able to stay dead for money. Must stay dead  for several takes. Must not flinch when the protagonist’s tears make a lake  of your mouth. Must not swallow.  Craft services provided. Must be able to pronounce the words perseverance and dream and soon. Part has no lines. Part requires only your lack of breath. Part requires the prolonged feeling  of someone’s knee on your diaphragm. 3 to 5 years’ experience needed. Must stay……

An illustrated portrait of Bijan Stephen, by Kristen Radtke

Side Quest

List of games mentioned: Magic: The GatheringFortniteValorantCounter-Strike List of ’90s trading card magazines mentioned: The Duelist As you might imagine, I play a lot of video games. I grew up with the medium; I sometimes feel like I came of age as it did, though I think everyone who’s lived alongside video games could probably say that. I grew up playing couch co-op and multiplayer games with my brother and our friends in unregimented, undocumented time. One of the more……

Side Quest

Non-exhaustive list of video games mentioned: Deliver Us the MoonMinecraftValheim Lately I’ve found myself playing games about survival:Valheim and Minecraft, for example, the kind of video games that make you confront your character’s inherent frailty again and again. At least at first. In both games—and in most of the entries in this genre, like No Man’s Sky, Rust, and Don’t Starve, to name a few more—your character is dropped into a randomly generated wilderness, and your only real mission is……

Novel in Progress

It’s not not knowing           how the end ends That turns the page          it’s how you want someone To join you, the doves     sun-dazzled in streets Act like lonely stones     just some of the many objects To whom you proposed     an arrangement of suppose What’s next, as some of us     haven’t already guessed The eventual fiction     of saying I wears thin The……

Sestina Gratitude

Thank you in gold particle. Thank you in wave. Thank you any zygote worth its salt. Bend down to be capacitated. Bend down to take your crown. Thank you parting membrane. Thank you for the crown that wants to be a noose. Thank you—slip down, cervical vertebrae. Thank you, fontanel. You have turned this brain into a fosse. Thank you scouts  spreading out across the grain. Your doggy snouts now pick up the scent of blood. Thank you thought, that……

Named Storm

Each phase of my childhood was marked by  the death of another child, but my parents didn’t worry much, and I spent summer afternoons  nowhere to be found.  It was the most useful thing I’d taught myself,  to move through life unnoticed.  I could put authority figures at ease, make myself small enough  on busses and planes,  disappear into crowds  when a man trailed me down the street  or around the mall.  Once my family, returning from vacation,  drove for……

Jeff Tweedy in Conversation with Jeff Tweedy

I  was asked through my intermediaries if I would be interested in the prospect of conducting an interview with myself. Though my curiosity was piqued, I did regret to inform the editorial staff that I had, unfortunately, not been on speaking terms with myself for quite some time. They asked if they might reach out on my behalf, and upon doing so, I was delighted and surprised to learn that I had agreed to sit down for the discussion that follows…….

The Process: Steve Sharp, “Vista Peace Vigil”

Hollywood Boulevard and Hillhurst Avenue meet at the north end of one of the most complicated intersections in Los Angeles—a five-sided maze that seems to confuse even the stoplights themselves, and the right of way is often taken simply by those brave enough to claim it. The intersection marks the edges of several neighborhoods—Los Feliz, East Hollywood, and Virgil Village—but the area feels like it belongs to none of them. It’s the embodiment of sprawl. Prior to the pandemic, it……

Cocaine and Gold

  I never wanted to be this far Into the business of heaven                           Chasing my father hunting               His soul in the corn and confusion of this harvest                               My father who is hidden In the last sheaf of heaven maybe           Heaven……

Side Quest

Non-exhaustive list of video games mentioned: Neo CabSurgeon Simulator 2The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Amid the listlessness and trauma of summer 2020, I became a monster hunter. I’ve now spent a lot of time as Geralt in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a game that came out six long years ago—before the Trump administration, and before the unique misery of our pandemic year. It’s been an escape, even though a lot of the gameplay is completing rote fetch quests, which……

A Brief History of the Word “Goombah”

What You Need to Know From the Napulitano (Neapolitan) word cumpare Could be a racial slur if used by non Italian-Americans Alternate spellings: gumbah, cumpà, goomba Means associate or accomplice Goombah (pronounced “goom-buh”) is a slang term used to describe people of Italian descent. It’s predominantly used in the USA (mostly in NYC’s Little Italy), it has links to the Mafia (which makes it a bit risqué), as well as Italian organized crime syndicates or people generally of Italian-American origin. But where did the……

Behind the Kodak Moment

Hip Hop Cricket

This ’hood’s vast and I’m its chief sentinel, a natural  born horn.  I’m a clarion  nation, the itch  in heaven’s  evening clothes.  Where I’m from ain’t no “my bad”— I am bad: That’s truth. So pony  up, falsettoed  crotch-grabbers, you whistling wannabes,  and listen to  what’s real: I don’t  have to touch it  to know that it’s there. This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Spring Cricket’s Discourse on Critics

Everybody’s got a song they’ve gotta sing. So they say. So they  think. Everybody’s got a pair of fat thighs  they believe they can  just crush together  & crank out the golden tunes, ye olde razzmatazz, & the opposition will drop like—  no, I’m not going there.   I’m gonna sit here  awhile, & watch the dew  drop: its letting go  so lurid a metaphor for failure,  I can’t help but take it  out of circulation. Everybody’s hungry, everybody’s hunkered……

Forced March

after Dan Beachy-Quick The difference between marching and walking is the order to depart from the barracks, automatic rifles behind us.  Around their stocks and grips, their barrels and magazines are the hands of guards, one of whom shouts from the muzzle of his mouth not a name, not one of our names, just you.  It is as if he has rolled a boulder away from the entrance  of a cave and waits for one of us to walk inside, ……

Notes on Translating a Children’s Book

THE BOOK The 1898 children’s classic known in America as ​Bob, Son of Battle ​and in England as ​Owd Bob: The Grey Dog of Kenmuir​, by Alfred Ollivant, was long declared—and still is considered, by some—one of the great dog stories of all time, if not the greatest. One reviewer, E.V. Lucas, writing in ​The Northern Counties Magazine ​soon after the book was published, felt that this was the first time “full justice” had been done to a dog as……

Ask Jeannie: Advice from Jean Grae for December 2020/January 2021

Dear Jeannie, I noticed that you minister your own church, the Church of the Infinite You. I’ve been noticing lots of new age or alternative churches and spiritual centers cropping up recently. I’ve always wanted to explore spirituality outside the confines of organized religion, and I think starting my own church would give me a chance to assess my values. But I’m low on resources, and starting something new takes a lot of energy and responsibility. How do you decide……

Side Quest

Non-exhaustive list of video games mentioned: Night in the WoodsWhat Remains of Edith FinchEarthBoundThe Last of Us If you were feeling cheeky, you could call the first chapter of As I Lay Dying a walking simulator. The language William Faulkner gives his first narrator, Darl, is just as spare, evocative, and engrossing. “Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file,” he writes. “Although I am fifteen feet ahead of him, anyone watching us from the……

Object: Inflatable Hot Tub, $349

FEATURES: 242-gallon capacityWeighs 2,103 pounds when fully inflated and filledHolds four to six peopleNot a sauna I never need to check the Farmers’ Almanac to know when the seasons are about to change, because the bugs in our house tell me. Early spring brings plump and nosy carpenter bees to root around the untreated wood of our eighty-three-year-old porch pillars; each summer, pinprick-sized ants hitchhike inside on the waxy skin of the novelty peppers my husband loves to grow. Autumn……

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