Tag Archives: Leland Cheuk

“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

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“Vote For Arnie” – Fiction by Leland Cheuk

A politician makes some extraordinary promises in “Vote For Arnie,” one of three sharply satirical flash fictions by Leland Cheuk in our Summer 2017 issue.

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HI, I’M ARNIE CHANK, FOUR-TERM SENATOR of our great state of M—. This presidential primary season has been marred by the usual cynicism and incessant criticism of our federal government and its waning ability to solve the problems of the American people. There’s gridlock in Washington. Partisan rancor is at levels we’ve never seen. I get it. You get it. Hell, the UFOs get it. And I admit that, on many of the average of ninety-four days per year I’ve actually shown up to work to represent the great people of The Urchin State, I’ve been part of the problem, not the solution.

But today, I’d like to send a message to the American voter. Hear me now for words will neither be minced nor julienned.

I have come to help you take our country back…in time.

Yes, you heard correctly.

Recently, I was bored at The Capitol Building during yet another filibuster—this one for the Stop Child Abuse While Ensuring Potable Water Act—and I began looking up the oldest laws in our nation’s existence.  I came upon an obscure piece of Congressional legislation from the summer of 1789 which stated that every citizen of our great nation is entitled to one chrononautical vacation per year facilitated by a practicing Time-Traveling Witch, Wizard, or Magus so long as the aforementioned trip is utilized for the sole purpose of reversing a regrettable action by said citizen.

Imagine the possibilities. We can go back and reverse our many mistakes as a people. Yes, we can.

Continue reading “Vote For Arnie” – Fiction by Leland Cheuk

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #16, In Pictures

A sky-full of thank-yous to everyone who helped make Reading #16 such an unforgettable affair : Ron, Francine, Devin, Kailey, Gabriela, and Leland for performing your flappy lits; Alibi for your lovely via-satellite singing; Pacific Standard for your always-gracious hospitality; and all you magnificent people who came & graced us with your presence.
We hope to see you again in the Fall…

Ron Kolm recounts tales of his bookstore-working days

Francine Witte reads a heartbreaking poem of parenthood

Devin Kelly reads his Oregon Trail-inspired poem “Caulking the Wagon”
Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #16, In Pictures

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #16 / Issue 14 Flight Party

We’re gonna throw your brain off a freaking plane as we celebrate the flight of our Summer 2017 issue with our 16th reading! Wednesday night, June 28, 7-9 PM at the always-hospitable Pacific Standard, 82 Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.

starring
LELAND CHEUK
GABRIELA GARCIA
ALIBI JONES (via satellite)

DEVIN KELLY
RON KOLM
KAILEY TEDESCO
FRANCINE WITTE

Admission is FREE, and you can buy copies of FLAPPERHOUSE #14 for the special reading price of $5.

Facebook event page here

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #12, In Pictures

A hundred thousand hymns of praise to everyone who helped make last night’s reading such a holy moment: Anthony, Francine, Leland, Leonard, Ron, and Deirdre for performing your flappy lits; Alibi for your exquisite singing & fantastic photography; Pacific Standard for once again being our favorite place to read; and all you smart & sexy people who came to catch the show. Let’s do this again on February 15…

photos by Alibi Jones

img_5724Anthony Cappo shares poems of music & memory from his chapbook My Bedside Radio.

img_5749Francine Witte warns us of “Things to Watch Out For” in one of her poems from our new issue.

img_5765Leland Cheuk performs his brilliant short story “League of Losers” from his new collection Letters From Dinosaurs.

Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #12, In Pictures

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #12 / Issue 12 Flight Party

fhreading12posterWe’re gonna flap our downhearted blues away on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 from 7 – 9 PM at Brooklyn’s Pacific Standard as we celebrate the flight of our 12th issue with our 12th reading!

starring:

ANTHONY CAPPO

LELAND CHEUK

DEIRDRE COYLE


ALIBI JONES

RON KOLM

FRANCINE WITTE

& the late LEONARD COHEN

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #9, in Pictures

An endless universe of thank-yous to everyone who helped make Reading #9 such a gone gas: Abigail, Billy, Ron, Jack, Leland, and Jessie for performing your flappy lits; Alibi for your groovy singing & luscious photography; Pacific Standard for being such gracious hosts as always; and all you bang-tail cats who came out to watch. Let’s do this again on September 21…

(photos by Alibi Jones)

(we also streamed portions of last nite’s reading on Facebook Live!)

AbigailReadingAbigail Welhouse performs some poetry from her collection Too Many Humans of New York

BillyReadingBilly Robison shares some of the highly unusual emails from his father

RonReadingRon Kolm reads his raunchy James Joyce riff “Finnegan Joyce”

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The late Jack Kerouac offers a taste of his novel-in-progress On The Go.

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Leland Cheuk reads an excerpt from his novel The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong

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All the way from West Virginia, Jessie Janeshek recites a few of her flappiest poems