I'd also like to encourage anyone and everyone to pick up a copy of my good friend Andrew Foster Altschul's book, Lady Lazarus. It's an epic literary fictional biography monstrosity (almost 600 pp!) full of poetry and footnotes and meta--on the subject of one Calliope Bird Morath, celebrity-poet daughter of a famed punk rock star suicide, an exploration of the culture of fame in music, Hollywood, etc. I've not yet read the whole book, but I've heard the first chapter read by the author, and it's worth the price of admission alone. This dude can spin a brilliant scene of domestic turmoil under the watchful eye of the paparazzi. I've got a copy waiting on my bookshelf for the semester to end, then I dive in. You should, too.
Meanwhile, my buddy Craig Renfroe (we've been pals ten years now, since our days in the MFA program at UNCW) has been publishing uniquely clever and concentrated shorts all over the internet. Here's his most recent one called "Trash" at The Potomac. And here's "Melvin Blaylock Attempts a Hallucinatory Revelation" from Monkeybicycle. And perhaps most enviably, here's "The Focus Group's Transcript For My Prospective Garage Sale" on fucking McSweeny's Internet Tendency! Jesus, Craig--your titles are longer than the accompanying text.
Finally, here's a little music from Andrew Bird, live on Letterman. I'm currently obsessed with this musician, this virtuoso violinist, whistler, singer, songwriter. His album Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs is one of the most brilliantly sustained albums I've ever heard, and I hear a lot of albums. Not a less-than-genius song on the whole thing. It has essentially supplanted every other CD in my car for over a month now, and I still can't get enough. Thanks to Danielle for bringing Mr. Bird to my attention, quite insistently, I might add.