I’m excited to share what is probably the wildest thing I’ve ever published, a short lyric essay about Thailand, Sunday School, Detroit, and dead bunnies. You can read it in this issue of Cahoodaloodaling, which is all dedicated to lyric essays. Pretty cool.
The last story from my MA thesis (2010) from Miami of Ohio has found a home! It’s based loosely on some experiences I had playing in a cover band on Khao San Road in Bangkok.
You can read “Miss Thailand Country Band” in the latest issue of UNT’s American Literary Review, which also features work by their contest winners and a pretty awesome photo gallery. My friend Raina has a n essay in there too. Check it out.
While you’re at it, enjoy this photo of me singing in a Thai cover band:
It’s been a while since I updated this, but I have had a couple of stories published in 2017. One is in a print journal, one is online.
The print story is, “As Though She Could Actually Do Something,” which appeared in the Potomac Review, just in time for AWP in Washington DC. For a nice surprise, my friend, Kilby Allen, also had a story in there called “Everything Neatly Put Away.”
“As Though She Could Actually Do Something” is based on an experience I had in Thailand when I accompanied some American friends when they took their sons to see a movie at a fancy mall in Bangkok. The majority of the story is fabricated (that’s why it’s billed as fiction), but the strange chaos of doing something that is mostly familiar in a place where everything appears in a new language stayed with me for a long time. It seemed story-worthy to me.
You can read other online, “New Translations,” which appeared in the latest issue of Quarterly West. I wrote that one after accidentally getting sucked into browsing my Twitter feed during writing time, and I stumbled across an article that explained how we might have been reading a Bible verse from Genesis wrong all these years. That concept catapulted into a flash piece. I hope you enjoy it!
Two of my friends who happen to be amazing poets, Caroline Crew and Anne Barngrover, have some killer poems in that killer issue.
Today’s prompt is inspired by the fact that I’m having lunch with my high school Spanish teacher today. Unfortunately, exposure to the Thai language has really confused my ability to speak Spanish. But hey! Maybe I’ll get some Spanish back today.
PROMPT: Learn a song in another language (besides the primary one you speak).
You get to choose the language. I’m probably going to learn a song in Thai, probably a song that the Thai King wrote.
SONG OF THE DAY: ยามเย็น ~ Love at Sundown
This is an example of a song that the Thai King, Rama 9, wrote. He’s got a lot of titles, including “The Agriculture King,” but my favorite thing about him is that he writes music and is sometimes called “The Jazzy King.” (See photo above!) He writes music, primarily jazz and blues. I love his music.
This song here (“Yam Yen” is how to pronounce the Thai title), is one I used to sing when I lived in Bangkok and performed with a choir made up primarily of Thai senior citizens. (LONG STORY, not as long as the cover band story though). I was their magic farang they pulled out of a hat at concerts and things who could sing solos written by the Thai King.
This version of “Yam Yen” is kind of hokey, but the King’s music isn’t always performed in this hokey crowd-pleasing way. I happen to love a bit of hoke, though, especially Thai hoke, but if you take a step back you can recognize that it has a gorgeous tune.
I recommend that you take a youtube tour of his music though–it’s good!