Tag Archives: Joseph P. O’Brien

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #23 In Pictures

A tremendous tidal wave of thank-yous to everyone who helped make last night’s reading such a blast: Leland, Kailey, John, Olivia, and Ariel for performing your flappy lits; Alibi for your scintillating singing and photography; Pacific Standard for the always-gracious hospitality; and all you gorgeous humans who came to join the party.
We hope to see y’all again later this summer…

[photos by Alibi Jones]

Leland Cheuk reads his sharp & satirical tale about “Social Media Selves”

Kailey Tedesco reads some of her ring-themed poems from She Used to Be on a Milk Carton

John J. Trause praises the variety of colors of women’s turtlenecks offered by L.L. Bean
Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #23 In Pictures

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FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #21, In Pictures

A billion bouquets of flowery gratitude to everyone who helped make last night’s reading such a glorious gathering: Katie, Laura, Abigail, Gregory, and Gabriela for performing your flappy lits; Alibi Jones for your scintillating singing & photography; Pacific Standard for the ever-gracious hospitality; and all you gorgeous people who came to witness it all…
we’ll see you again sometime in May, perhaps?…

[photos by Alibi Jones]

Katie Longofono shares some of her infectious “Virus” poems

Laura Podolnick Dukhon reads her hilariously hellish story “The Underworld is a Multiverse and All Your Lovers Are Invited”

Abigail Welhouse performs some of her Greatest Hits from Bad Baby

Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #21, In Pictures

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #20, In Pictures

A gazillion gallons of glittery gratitude to everyone who helped make last night’s reading such a groovy deee-lite: Kim, Armando, Sarah, Anthony, and Devin for performing your flappy lits; Alibi Jones for your scintillating singing & photography; Pacific Standard for the ever-gracious hospitality; and all you gorgeous people who came in from the unseasonable warmth to witness it all…we’ll see you again on March 21…

[photos by Alibi Jones]

Kim Coleman Foote reads stories inspired by playing with the letters in her friends’ names

Armando Jaramillo Garcia recites poetry about atomic towns & unrecognized philosophy

Sarah Bridgins shares some glamorous poems about rosé & paintings of Real Housewives

Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #20, In Pictures

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #19, In Pictures

A towering bonfire of gratitude to everyone who helped make our 19th reading such a toasty & crackling evening: Kwame, Valerie, William, Monica, and Gabriela for performing your flappy lits; Alibi Jones for your scintillating singing & photography; Pacific Standard for the ever-gracious hospitality; and all you lovely humans who came out on a Winter’s night to witness it all.  Let’s do this again on February 21 for our 20th (!) Reading / Year Four Flight Party…

photos by Alibi Jones

 Kwame Opoku-Duku reads some of his Ecclesiastes-inspired poetry

Valerie Hsiung shares some powerful excerpts from in her own words

William Lessard performs some of his brilliantly surreal “Facebook” poems
Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #19, In Pictures

“Make American Loitering Great Again” – A Conversation with Leland Cheuk

Leland Cheuk is a big part of the Flapperhouse family: he has performed at three of our readings, and contributed three excellent flash fictions to our Summer 2017 issue (including “Vote For Arnie,” which we posted last week). He has also contributed work to fine publications like Salon, Catapult, Kenyon Review, and Prairie Schooner, and has written wonderful books like LETTERS FROM DINOSAURS and THE MISADVENTURES OF SULLIVER PONG. Leland recently exchanged emails with our managing editor Joseph P. O’Brien about his writing, as well as generation gaps, the universal appeal of Haruki Murakami, and the potential economic necessity of polyamory.

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JO’B: You’ve said that the flash fictions you contributed to our latest issue are part of a “concept album” you’re working on…what can you tell us about the concept of this work-in-progress?

LC: I’m trying to write a novel in mostly flash fictions that features an ensemble of feral characters in a feral, near-future America. I’m becoming more interested in absurdity and surreality and I think shorter fiction is generally a better way to explore these aesthetics. It’s an effort on my part to shed some of the things that we writers learn in MFA programs—like the worship of naturalism, social realism, and character development/epiphanies. I just want to be doing something totally new with each book. 

JO’B: Your flash fiction “Vote for Arnie” suggests a world in which people can go back in time and correct history’s biggest mistakes. If you had one such opportunity, what would you want to fix? What positive results would you hope to achieve, and what negative repercussions would you fear might occur? 

LC: Great question! I’d come back to kill John Connor. No, I think I’d go back and advise the President to devise a more equanimous response to 9/11. That’s really been the biggest game-changing choice is my adult life. Think of all the lives saved, the military spending that could have been repurposed if we hadn’t gone into the Middle East. Maybe there’s no ISIS. Of course, we’d probably have found another war to get into. Fifteen years is a long time for America to be without war—we’re addicts.

JO’B: If you were to run for President in 2020 (in a world without time-travel, of course), what would be your platform? If you won, what would be your first executive order, and your first official tweet in office?

LC: I’d probably run on a similar platform as Jon Gnarr, that comic that became mayor of Reykjavik. I’d want to Make American Loitering Great Again #malga and make Dazed and Confused required grade-school viewing. I’d commission Oliver Stone to make a sequel to Wall Street named Main Street, in which I would make the Gordon Gekko speech, except the word “greed” would be replaced by “dumb.” Dumb is good, dumb is right, dumb works. Continue reading “Make American Loitering Great Again” – A Conversation with Leland Cheuk

“The Human Part is Now.” – A Conversation with Mila Jaroniec

Mila Jaroniec has been part of the Flapperhouse family since way way back: her poem “Window Glass” appeared in our very first issue, and she was the very first reader to perform at our very first reading.

Mila’s work has also been published at Hobart, Teen Vogue, and LENNY, among many others. She’s an editor for the wonderful team at drDOCTOR, and her excellent novel Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover was published last November by Split Lip Press. (Check out an excerpt over at Joyland.) She recently exchanged emails with our managing editor Joseph P. O’Brien about her new book, as well as the afterlife, airport novels, hilarious Polish proverbs, and much more…

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JO’B: You’ve aptly described Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover as a “road novel with no road,” and it also struck me as a novel about living in limbo. It resonated especially strongly with me, and reminded me of whatever I can still remember from my own early/mid-twenties. There’s plenty of excitement in the sex & drinks & drugs & uncertainty, yet that same uncertainty also creates this restless, stuck-in-a-rut, waiting-at-the-airport sensation, constantly anxious for something to “HAPPEN.” And while that feeling of limbo has certainly ebbed for me as I’ve progressed through my late-twenties & into my thirties, I still find myself there on occasion. With this book, did you intend to create an atmosphere highly specific to that particular stage of late adolescence/early adulthood, or was it meant to be even more universal & accessible than that?  

MJ: It wasn’t planned that way at all. I mean, I didn’t think about stages or accessibility. I just wanted to do a portrait of a person. A young messed up person, in this case, but there are many, many older adults who are stuck in this eternal adolescence. Drug addicts especially.

JO’B: At one point in the book, your narrator (aka “La Maga”) and her friend discuss whether an after-life of non-existence is closer to heaven or hell. Do you side with one character more than the other in that debate? Do you have any unique theories on human existence post-death, or do you think we just cut to black?

MJ: I wanted to think we just cut to black for so long – it’s so easy – but I can’t make myself believe that. It’s just a comforting thought when I feel afraid of dying. Blackout is a comfort. But, you know, I don’t necessarily believe we retain our consciousness as it is now. It changes form. We are souls being carried around in bodies, for now, and then we are set free to do something else. There’s no human existence post-death. The human part is now.

JO’B: PVBS is kind of an “airport novel,” in that much of it takes place in an airport, even though [SPOILER] La Maga never really gets where she’s going. The book’s also overtly inspired by Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch, which La Maga refers to as “the perfect airport book.” Of course, when most people think of an “airport novel” they probably think of fast-paced, plot-heavy thrillers by Dan Brown or James Patterson. So if a publisher offered you a lifetime of financial security to write a more typical airport novel, what would the title & plot summary be? (And your pen name as well, if you prefer to keep your literary & genre work separate?)

MJ: A lifetime of financial security to write one fast-paced thriller? I’m not above that. So maybe it could be about this housewife with humble beginnings, maybe an immigrant, married to this very high-profile multi-millionaire, and she has everything she wants and an extremely lavish lifestyle, but then she starts to suspect he’s killing and dismembering women, something like that. Which he is. And hiding them in the house. There’s a whole torture chamber in the mansion. So what does she do with this information, and does she make it out alive? He treats her completely normally the whole time. Until he finds out she knows…

Is this convincing? I might actually write this. Get a how-to book, like Ottessa Moshfegh did to write Eileen, and go to town. And of course I would keep my name. I’m not precious about stuff like that. Continue reading “The Human Part is Now.” – A Conversation with Mila Jaroniec

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #10, in Pictures

A thousand gabba-gabba-heys to everyone who helped make Reading #10 bop like a rock n’ roll high school: Cooper, Nancy, Adam, Ilana, Emily, Armando, Monica, and Stu for performing your flappy lits; Alibi for your stellar singing & striking photography;  Pacific Standard for being as cool a venue as CBGB (but much cleaner, of course); and all you punk rockers who came out to be part of our happy family; we’ll do this again on October 26 with our 1st-ever Halloween-time scary story celebration…  

(photos by Alibi Jones)

img_4077Cooper Wilhelm takes us into the dark with some brand-new poetry

img_4085Nancy Hightower reads “Charlotte,” her twisted take on Charlotte’s Web from FLAPPERHOUSE #11  Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #10, in Pictures