Tuesday, April 06, 2010

29 Mini-Essays by Joe Brainard




PEOPLE

People are the most interesting books in the world.





THE BEACH BOYS

“The Beach Boys” are worth feeling old about liking.





AMBER

What few people seem to realize is that amber is just petrified tree sap.





T.V. DINNERS

Sometimes progress takes too big a bite and ends up with indigestion.




VAN GOGH

He dared look the sun in its face and steal its radiance.




OPTIMISM

Perhaps it is enough to know that nothing will ever be as it was before.




AMERICA

That a giant economy-sized box of “Supreme—Three Ply—Extra Soft—De Luxe” cleansing tissues only costs 39¢ ought, it would seem, to restore one’s faith in something.




MOTHER

A mother is something we have all had.




GIRL SCOUTS

Girl Scouts is more than selling cookies.




IMAGINATION

Imagination is the mother of reality.




PRIDE

Pride creates its own banana peels.




BREAD

Bread is the greatest loaf story in the world.




RECIPE

When in doubt, sprinkle with cheese and bake.




GARDEN

When in doubt, mulch.




FREUD

From Freud we learn that when a wife smashes a vase to the floor, it is really her husband’s head that lies there broken into many pieces.




THE ERA OF MIND

Geology, which is the story of the rocks, finds its climax in the history, which is the story of man… if you get my drift.




AUTUMN

Autumn gets the red out.




WOMEN’S LIB

A woman can do anything she puts her pants to.




PEOPLE

People who need people are the peopleish people in the world.




GARBAGE

As I was saying to my garbage on the way out the door the other night—“Why should I carry you down three flights of stairs? I don’t even like you!”




ON THE OTHER HAND

If you go to bed with your shoes on, you’ll save time in the morning.



EARLY ATHLETE’S FOOT

There is an old saying not to judge a man until you have walked in his moccasins for two moons.




YOU CAN’T LOSE FOR WINNING

He who would give his right arm to be a free man is a free man with one arm.




REMEMBRANCE OF WOMAN PAST

The echo of an interesting woman can be an ordinary scarf.




MOTIVATION

“Some day my prince will come…”




THE TRUTH

It may just be—you know—that “the truth” is far too obvious to risk any comprehension of.




SIGN OF THE TIMES

Would you believe a new Revlon fingernail polish called “Burnt Toast”!




HISTORY

What with history piling up so fast, almost every day is the anniversary of something awful.




PEOPLE

If I’m as normal as I think I am, we’re all a bunch of weirdos.




* Joe Brainard, 29 Mini-Essays (Z Press, Calais, Vermont, 1978)

15 Stories and Poems by Mike Topp




“Mike Topp is a disablingly funny writer—a miniaturist of nervous precisions, our supreme abridger of metropolitan startlement and inner fidgetry. He dazes and graces us.” —Gary Lutz


“Just when I think Mike Topp’s poems are funny, they’re wise. Just when I think they’re wise, they’re bad. Just when I think they’re bad, they’re great. Mike Topp’s poems are exactly like the world.” —Eileen Myles




WAFFLE HOUSE

My friend from Waffle House says if you stacked all of the sausage patties they serve in one day, it would reach the top of the Empire State Building. I say, why bother?




FLAG

We were pledging allegiance to the flag and Dad caught me looking out the window. Mom said she didn’t think that was very patriotic of me. I said I was looking at the flag outside on the pole. Dad thought it over and said that from now on we were to all look at the flag inside.




TIMMY JOHN

I remember the first time we left little Timmy John alone. We had one of those doors for the cat to go in and out of. Sure enough, when we got home, little Timmy John had his head caught in it. He wasn’t hurt or anything—just a little frightened. But the cat was mad.




POEM

Low tide, flat water, sultry sun.
One observes profoundest shadows rolling
And messing up my lawn.




FOOD FACT

Two glasses of orange juice contain more Vitamin C than one glass of orange juice.




LAUGHTER

Laughter, according to Reader’s Digest magazine, “is the best medicine.”




DREAM JOURNAL ca October 10, 2009

Dear Dream Journal,

Last night I dreamed I had a lot of trouble falling off a log.




DIVINE LOVE

God rains his love down on us every day. But we don’t feel that love, because our ego is like a giant umbrella that we hold over our heads. What we need to do is put that umbrella away in the ego’s umbrella stand—then we will feel God’s love. Ego’s umbrella stand, in black walnut or mahogany. $7,500.




STELLA

It was a hot afternoon—perfect for a swim—but I’d promised Stella I’d meet her at the train station. Around two o’clock I took my bicycle and started out. When I arrived at the train station, Stella wasn’t there. Then I realized I wasn’t at the train station, but in a hut made of tongue depressors and pieces of gum. Still, where was she?




POST OFFICE

There’s this thing I do where I swallow letters, then I swallow stamps, then I pull them out and all the letters are stamped.




SHORT STORY

I got a great job last Friday but the pay is too low and the work I do is humiliating.




A BRONX WOMAN

Lindsay is always handing me jars that I can’t open. “Open this jar for me,” she says. Then she leaves the room and I twist and twist. The jar never opens. She comes back in a few minutes, and without saying a word she takes the jar from my hand and opens it. Then she goes about her business until there is another jar to open. “Open this jar for me,” she says. She doesn’t do it on purpose. Not Lindsay. I don’t know why she does it. I know her in person after worshipping her in Get a Clue, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Just My Luck, and Mean Girls.




What r your thoughts on WINDSHIELD WIPERS?

I’ve always wanted one, off and on, since a friend got one (from his aunt) in high school. Well, just as sure as death and taxes, I thought of them again yesterday when it was raining. Here’s a drawing I did of the one I want: /




EASY LOBSTER RABBIT

You will need a plate. You will need a saucepan. You will need two cans of Welsh rabbit. You’ll need a can opener to open them because you’re going to make Easy Lobster Rabbit. So you’re going to need one 5- or 6-ounce can of lobster, cubed and drained. You’re going to need mushrooms, 3 ounces of sliced broiled mushrooms. You’re going to need a small pan with a handle. So you better have that—that little pan with the handle. You’re going to need a small pan with a handle. You’re going to need hot toast points. Okay, let’s just recap really quickly, and just move things, really fast, fast as you can. You will need a small plate. You will need rabbit, lobster, mushrooms, white wine, hot toast points. A can opener. Dinner in 45 minutes? It’s possible! Delicious? Of course! Mealtime, on time, will be no problem with Easy Rabbit Lobster.




DEAR WEDNESDAY DIARY

I am interested in knowing if the Learning Annex will include typing in its program again this year. The rumor is that due to last year’s small turnout they might be discontinuing the class. I had to drop out for personal reasons and not for any lack of interest. Some of the other people I talked with that couldn’t continue the course said the same thing and are as anxious as I am about it. _TAB_

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Stuyvesant Bee, Volume 1, Issue 87