"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." ~Samuel Beckett
Two by Mark Strand

Two by Mark Strand

I get these poems in my inbox from Knopf, their Poem A Day, as it were. These are two prose poems by Mark Strand, and they’re really good. I particularly enjoy “The Triumph of the Infinite.” They’re both from his Collected Poems. Enjoy (although neither one is very springy!)  ...
Lucky 7: Coydogs, Journeys, and Trimming the Fat

Lucky 7: Coydogs, Journeys, and Trimming the Fat

  This is a story about a story. My seventh story published. It happens to be a very dear story to me, partly because it took so long to travel from inception to print. Heck, it may not even be done on its journey yet. I started writing “Coy Dog”...
Cult of Smiles

Cult of Smiles

I very rarely get to go to places when they are just opening. In fact, I have a predilection for waiting, call it an overdeveloped sense of delayed gratification. I never go to the movie on opening weekend, will wait months to hit a new restaurant, and am ok with...
Soothe the Savage Beast

Soothe the Savage Beast

Little stream of consciousness ride tonight. Hold on tight. At least there’ll be in-flight entertainment. The other night I stumbled across Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” streaming from my Amazon Echo (thanks, Mom and Dad, for inviting SkyNet into my home), which nuzzled my hippocampus, curled up licking my subconscious, and...
Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

Welcome, 2017. And hello again, blog of mine. It’s me, Brian. I’ve had some pretty monumental lapses with the old “Sharper Thesis” blog, but a nearly six month silence is hard to justify. Sure I’ve been busy…who hasn’t? Sure I coached a football season from August to October, started a...
Latest entries
Scrivener for iOS and the Dilemma of Too Many Places to Write

Scrivener for iOS and the Dilemma of Too Many Places to Write

It’s here! Scrivener for iOS arrived earlier this month, and I’ve been out vacationing and reading and finishing up another successful year at the Cole SUmmer Writers Institute, so I missed it. But today I rectified that mistake, and I’m really glad I did. I don’t often do reviews here, but this is very cool...
Number 6: Legitimizing the Whole Endeavor

Number 6: Legitimizing the Whole Endeavor

Story number six was published earlier this month. “Pillow Talk.” One of my favorites. I’ve learned some lessons from the last story- some hard to take and most I’m not ready to talk about publicly- so this was such a pleasant surprise to see it come so quickly on its predecessor’s heels. The problems were...
Writing After Auschwitz

Writing After Auschwitz

From The New York Review of Books interview with Syrian poet Adonis on April 16, 2016. NYRB: But can poetry address the terrible, barbaric violence now engulfing Syria? One thinks of Adorno’s claim about poetry after Auschwitz. Adonis: This is talk. Auschwitz was a catastrophic disaster, but humanity has gone through many catastrophic disasters. On the contrary,...
Old Friends Publishing Books

Old Friends Publishing Books

It was a pleasant surprise to learn earlier this year that my former department chair at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, Dr.Paul O’Brien, was publishing a memoir after retiring from his forty-seven year teaching career. Paul, pictured to the left at a book signing at ND-BG last night, was one of my earliest mentors, and a true...
Snowmageddon '16

Snowmageddon ’16

The big blizzard of 2016 missed us. Crippled the mid-Atlantic coast, but missed us completely. The picture shows Toby relaxing on the couch watching the Patriots-Broncos game, and, if you look behind him out the window, you can see the complete and total lack of snow. Truth be told, today was a glorious winter day-...
Story #5

Story #5

Sometimes the good stuff in life is worth waiting for. Delayed gratification can bring about some of the sweetest rewards a person can experience. My fifth story, “What You Wish For,” was published yesterday in Black Denim Lit (http://www.bdlit.com/what-you-wish-for.html), an online literary zine. It’s listed as one of the four December stories the editors selected....
Explanatory Notes

Explanatory Notes

So I feel I need to clarify the last post. It was titled “Happy 2016 (Do Unto Others Edition).”  In that post I felt that I did a pretty good  job of describing the Happy 2016 part, but failed to fully articulate the “Do Unto Others” part. It’s not really a long thought, but I...
Happy 2016 (Do Unto Others Edition)

Happy 2016 (Do Unto Others Edition)

Happy 2016! It’s been a long time, writing here on my own blog. It feels weird. This is my start of the new year post, the one that lays out the plan for the next 365 (leap year? 366?) days. So here goes. First, I’ve been spending so much time on The Blackbird Review, the...
Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos

And this poem wiggled its way to the surface on this Dia de los Muertos, appropriately I suppose. Mid-Term Break By Seamus Heaney I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o’clock our neighbours drove me home.   In the porch I met my father crying—...
David Foster Wallace on Writerly Pretentiousness

David Foster Wallace on Writerly Pretentiousness

Ok, so I’m struggling with Infinite Jest right now. I love it, I hate it, I struggle with its weight. But more than anything, I’m blown away by David Foster Wallace’s sheer brilliance and hutzpah. He’s funny, biting, thought-provoking, anger-inducing, and one hell of a writer. Here’s a quote that I read from him regarding...