Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday Night at Boxcar Lounge: Tuesday Shorts presents Robin Slick, Todd Zuniga and Nick Antosca

This was posted to Richard Grayson's MySpace blog on Tuesday, April 15, 2008:

Monday Night at Boxcar Lounge: Tuesday Shorts presents Robin Slick, Todd Zuniga and Nick Antosca

Last evening I went to a fun reading at the Boxcar Lounge on Avenue B by East 11the Street, always a nice venue. It was the grand finale of the Tuesday Shorts reading series hosted by Tuesday Shorts co-editor Shelly Rae Rich. Yes, the Tuesday Shorts reading was on Monday.

For those who don't know, Tuesday Shorts "is a literary blogazine showcasing the very, very, very short work of the talented writers here on MySpace" and elsewhere -- although I can confirm that at least once they've published a writer who's not that talented.

Shelly, who's published a number of fine stories herself, was a funny if distracted host who sort of introduced the readers in hilarious fashion. It was a nice change from the prententious introductions at many readings.

Robin Slick, a writer I've admired for a long time, was up first and read a fascinating essay that started with getting an email that a movie producer named, uh, Spielberg, was interested in turning her very funny erotica book series that began with Three Days in New York City into a feature film or cable TV series.

Robin's tale of her Hollywood experiences, told in her wry voice, made for an exciting story with a shocking conclusion. Hopefully, you'll learn about this on your own. . . Meanwhile, check out Robin's books and works online.

Nick Antosca, author of the starkly beautiful first novel Fires (Impetus Press, 2006), read an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, Midnight Picnic, due out from Impetus Press in the fall.

Nick once said that Midnight Picnic "has drowning and blackberry picking and prison rape. And a game of Putt-Putt golf in the afterlife."

The selection he read did take place in an afterlife that seemed to resemble Kansas and involved a small child, his murderer, "mouth-birthed dogs" and more. Some people in the audience complained that Nick stopped too soon, but I guess we'll have to read the book. I know I am looking forward to doing just that.

Next up was Todd Zuniga, founding editor of Opium Magazine, which has published the great, the near great, and occasionally someone like me.

Todd read four very short pieces from ancient notebooks and in one case off his iPhone. The sequence chronicled not just his growth as a writer but served as a trenchant critique of Western civilization.

Todd -- who said that he'd been drinking continuously for four days -- disappointed some in the audience by not ending his bravura performance by vomiting, but for me such a conclusion would have been unwarranted and have spoiled the fun mood of the reading. But then I'm an emetophobe.

This was the most fun reading I've been to in a long time. Thanks to Shelly Rae Rich for putting it together.

(Full disclosure: all of the writers are friends, relatives or people I owe money to.)

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