Saturday, May 29, 2010

we like you and we want you to succeed.

Pimpage Department

This is a picture of when we all of us at the racism jail were taken out for a celebration excursion and we all turned black and white and into mans also. Why we are enjoying like anything means we are celebrating the fact that my story Everyone Does Integral Calculus is a sparkly shiny sparklysparkly in the sparkly pantheon of the sparkly Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions of 2010 sparkly sparkly sparkly. The selecting editor was Brian Evenson. I don’t really know who he is but I know he wrote ‘Baby Leg’, which very many people love deeply with their pancreas. It is my deepest and most sincere hope that 'Baby Leg' is not a cookbook.

I also have a new story up at AGNI Online , which has a Canadian in it. In some cultures, this is incentive enough to read a piece of fiction.

I would also like to take this opportunity to shamelessly pimp my chapbook called Three Scenarios Leading to the Rape of a Teenage Girl in the Tropicool Icy-land Urban Indian Slum which is coming out from ml press. It costs two dollars, which means it costs about 100 rupees, which means I will not use the word 'just' here because 'just two bucks' and 'just 100 bucks' are two very different things. Anyway, this chapbook is the first piece written in the Tropicool Icy Land series and you can read these other pieces in the series and maybe it will convince you to buy the chapbook and maybe you won't buy it either and that's ok if you don't, I won't judge you.

Daily Future Life Predictions from the Hotmalluauntywetsarisexboobs Dotcomcenter Based In the Tropicool Icy-Land Urban Indian Slum

The Importance of Having a Minty-Fresh Export-Quality Aadi Velli Special Non-Cola Cola in the Tropicool Icy Land Urban Indian Slum

A Basic Guide To Instigating Violence Among Gentoo Penguins In The Tropicool Icy-Land Urban Indian Slum

Notes Made in Connnection with the Disappearance of a Boy Outside the Tropicool Icy-Land Urban Indian Slum as Investigated by the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Saving The Whales Through Modeling Department

The new Miss USA is a Muslim Arab-American. This has led to speculation that she won because people are really scared of Muslims now so they want to make them beauty queens, which will teach them how to be less terroristy. This is similar to the Draw Mohammed day, which was also an exercise in making Muslims less terroristy. Of course there has also been speculation that the crowning of a brown beauty queen (I don’t know, she looked more olive to me but whatever) means brown people are taking over the world and by world, I mean the USA. This of course is completely true. And if you think it’s not, think about how you are reading this on a brown blog written by a brown person who lives in a country that is bubbling over with brown people who were supposed to speak some kind of brown people language. And yet I am writing this in English! Think about that very carefully. We didn’t cross the border! The border crossed us! RAWR!

I Haz A Sad Department That Cries Cubicle Tears

I haz a sad that Pindeldyboz is calling it a day. The title of this post is taken from their sub guidelines.

We Sort Of Like You But Not Really And We Want You To Succeed We Just Don't Want You To Succeed Here Department

Dear Contributor,

Thank you for your interest in The Literary Magazine That Rejected You and for the opportunity to read your work. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we are unable to use the fiction you submitted. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it and we wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere.

The Editors

This is the formest kind of form rejection. It is so form that not only have you been stripped of your identity, so have the editors, which is just really sad. It’s sad that your story can do that to editors. Let us look at the neat things you can do with a form rejection, not metaphorically or in terms of improving your writing but what you can do with the actual letter to make it funner and to raise the high quality of your daily life generally.

The 'In My Pants' Method

The 'in my pants' game is funny because you take the title of a song, stick ‘in my pants’ at the end and it’s just the most hilarious thing ever. Like ‘I am the girl you lost to cocaine in your pants’, and ‘nee oru kaathal sangeetham in my pants’. Adding these words in the right places can make the form rejection more funner. Like,

Dear Contributor In My Pants,

Thank you for your interest in my pants and in The Literary Magazine That Rejected You in my pants. Also thanks for the opportunity to read your work in my pants. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that in my pants, we are unable to use the fiction you submitted. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it and we wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere in my pants.

The Editors In My Pants

This version makes the rejection sting a lot less because it makes the magazine seem pervy in a bad way. Also the overuse of 'in my pants' in such a small space kind of makes it lose its humor, which is sad but inevitable like many things in life.

The We Are Occupy Your Rejections While We Are Waiting For Godot Method

Running the form letter through different online generators like this one does this.

Dear Contributor,

Thank you for you the fiction you that Rejected Your interest in placing it elsewhere.

Thank your work. Unform your Work and for your work. Unfortunately, we regret to infortunity to read you for the opportunity to use the fiction your interest in The Editors
Dear Contributor,

Thank you for you submitted. That we are unable to read your Work and for the opportunity to use the fiction you for you for the opportunity to use the fiction your work. Unform you submitted.

This turns the form rejection into something out of Waiting for Godot. This makes it awesome.





The Shakespearean Method

If you want to make yourself feel worse about your form rejection, you can intersperse it with Shakespearean insults, which can be found here. So you get something like this

Dear Contributor, thou caluminous idle-headed gudgeon,

Thou art a man of wax. But stay, and let us bid thee thanks for your interest in The Literary Magazine That Just Rejected You and for the opportunity to read your work, which confusion now hath made his masterpiece. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we are unable to use the fiction you submitted. So go, prick thy face and over-red thy fear, thou lily-liver'd boy. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it though thou art essentially a natural coward without instinct. We wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere for thou art violently carried away from grace.

The Editors, who think you are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie.

The Fight Xenophobia! Method

The best way to fight xenophobia is to translate work into the xenophobic language and then back into English so we can see that all languages are just like English except some people talk it funny. I conquered Japanese xenophobia by translating the form rejection letter into Japanese and then back into English to get

The contribution person who becomes love, your interest of the literature magazine which refuses your work for the opportunity which reads your work thank you. Regrettable, as for us we you the embankment the fiction which is put out not being used regret the fact that it informs. Thank you in order to give the opportunity which considers that in us we that, the best of appropriate luck is desired at the other place. Editor


The Your Father Has Many Cows And Yours Was the First House In The Village To Get Electricity Method

OrientalSpeek is a bit of an art because you need to make the speaker sound ornate and archaic like the Wise and Holy Colored Person but they also need to sound ever-so-slightly brain-damaged like their brain is leaking onto the floor as they speak. It is worth practicing this art because it is tremendously convenient and can be used across a wide range of "orientals", which include but are not limited to Chinese, Indians, Africans, Native Americans, homosexuals and differently-abled people. It does not apply to poor people because poor people can't talk. Anyway, a good way to practice OrientalSpeek is to transform a form rejection letter into OrientalSpeek.

A thousand prostrations at the feet of your ancestors, without whom your esteemed and illustrious narrative may have never seen the tender light of day, verily, may their names remain evergreen in the pastures of our memory

Like the most auspicious bubbling over of boiling milk, like sweet, clear water joyfully tumbling over a waterfall, our hearts sang with the joy of a million most blessed and heavenly birds for the chance to read with our most unworthy eyes, this noble, esteemed and illustrious narrative. Alas! Our publication which we dare to call a magazine, this filth, this cursed map of letters, this empty vessel of words cannot be the ship on which your bejeweled narrative sets sail. Tirelessly we toiled, beseeched the Gods and all the saints to show us a way to bring these precious words into our publication. But it was not to be. Our saints have turned away. Our Gods have wilted and grown impotent. We rend our flesh, curse our mothers and whip our children in shame. We tear our eyes out and cry to the silent skies, why was this useless bag of flesh given life, why did it create a literary magazine when it cannot publish words such as these? Why?
Our only solace in these dark times, where the monsoons hold back their sweet waters of succor, where the land lies parched, where no birds sing and where the Gods lie naked and dying, our only solace in all this is that your narrative will fly on the wings of a journal far worthier than ours and be kissed by the Sun, the Moon and sweet angels of mercy and love who have already forsaken us all.

We wish you abundant crops, much rain and many sons.

The Editors,
who unendingly praise the womb of your mother, that was rich and blessed enough to bring forth one such as thee

And before I go, awesome dialogue from some of my favorite awesome people in my real life

Awesome Person 1- He had a vegetarian Great Dane called Pinky.

Awesome Person 2- What happened, did it die of shame?


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Conversations- Conversation Fail

S- It’s ridiculous! We never talk about anything serious or relevant, it’s just nonsense from start to finish. If anyone overheard these conversations, they’d say we were-

K- Brain-damaged spider monkeys on drugs?

S- See? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Stop saying things like that!

K- Why? What’s wrong with brain-damaged spider monkeys on drugs?

S- I am not going to have a conversation with you about brain-damaged spider monkeys on drugs or Squirrel AIDS or-

K- Squirrel AIDS is serious stuff, I saw it on YouTube.

S- I just want to talk about something with intellectual maturity and depth.

K- You mean like science? I don’t know anything about science.

S- Do you have anything serious, relevant or important to say? About anything?

K- No.

S- Well call me when you do.


S- So obviously the ‘serious relevant important’ conversations aren’t happening.

K- Obviously.

S- How about we talk about normal things in a normal way? Maybe if we stick to normal things the conversations will stay normal.

K- Ok.

Tell me what you did today.

K- I…oh, nothing.

S- Tell me.

K- I don’t think I should.

S- Tell me and I’ll decide whether we should pursue the conversation further.

K- I was trying to make candy by melting some old Bournvita.


K- The neighbor auntie’s hair caught fire.

S- Ok, that’s a conversation we don’t want to have because it will probably go into non-normal areas. I better hang up.

Ok. I need to go apologize to the neighbor auntie anyway.

S- Call me if something normal happens.

K- Will do.


S- So I take it nothing normal has happened.

Not really. Something normal almost happened and I almost called you but then the normal thing became very non-normal.

S- Do you have normal conversations with other people?

K- Sure. They talk about stuff and when I get bored I hang up.

S- Ah. This is probably why you have no friends.

K- Probably.

S- Let’s talk about the budget.

K- Why?

S- Because it’s normal, serious, important and relevant to our daily lives. What do you think about the budget?

K- I think it’s neat how the words ‘bud’ and ‘get’ come together to form the word ‘budget’, especially when there is no ‘j’ sound in either ‘bud’ or ‘get’.

S- Forget the budget. Let’s talk about poverty.

K- I want to make a movie about American poverty called GhettoDawg BlingBling. I want to promote it by adopting a lot of poor white children.

S- Forget poverty. What books have you read lately?

K- I don’t read.

S- Then I’m going to tell you about a book I’ve read. I’m going to tell you about this book and we’re going to have a normal, intelligent conversation about it. Ok?

K- Ok.

S- This book was about a guy-

What was his name?

S- I can’t remember.

K- Was it Juniper?

S- No.

K- Isn’t that neat how you can’t remember what the name was but you can remember what it wasn’t? Imagine if that was how we introduced ourselves. Hi, My Name Isn’t Juniper.

S- You’re doing it again.

K- Isn’t it neat how your name isn’t Juniper and my name isn’t Juniper? We have that in common. Same pinch.

S- For the love of God please stop.

K- In school, some girls used to say same pinch kreech-kreech. What is a kreech-kreech?



S- Maybe we just can’t have a normal conversation. Maybe it’s impossible.

K- Maybe we should talk about how I set the neighbor auntie’s hair on fire. It sounds way more interesting than that book you read.

an edited version of this appeared in The New Indian Express Zeitgeist Supplement, Multiverse, Conversations, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

good authors too who once knew better words now only use four letter words writing prose anything goes


Do you know where black Africa is? It’s between orange Africa and chartreuse Africa. It is often confused with brown India and yellow China, which are both very colorful countries.

That isn’t really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the steamed rice cake. I do not know what a steamed rice cake is. That’s not really a big deal- only recently I learned what a fajita was and I was also immensely disappointed to learn about the Garibaldi biscuit. These are just a few of the many, many, many things that I’ve read about in stories but only have a very vague idea about. But among the few things that I do know is idlis. I appreciate idlis so much because they are simple, cheap and when your stomach fucks you over so that all other food readily forsakes you, it is the idli that will stand by you and help you get better. In many ways, the idli is like a very good friend that you don’t like to acknowledge as a very good friend.

So you can imagine how flabbergastingly disappointing it is for me to learn that in certain pieces of fiction, this exotic ‘steamed rice cake’ is supposedly an idli. It’s not an explanation or a definition of an idli- the poor idli is stripped of its Indian name and given an awkward English descriptor instead. I know, I know some peeps are saying duh, those stories are not written for you, in which case I haz a sad, like how I haz a sad when I sit in India and watch a documentary about Indian slums that was clearly made for non-Indian audiences [Shot of cow in street with somber voiceover saying ‘Indians are culturally opposed to toilets which is why they enjoy defecating at the side of the roads.’]. I also know that some peeps are saying oh no you d’int! Oh no you di’nt because you know those English descriptors are being used for better factual accuracy and better representation and all that other stuff you keep whining about so oh oh oh NO you di’nt.

But I don’t think this is about factual accuracy. I think this is about discarding the Indian word completely in favor of the English descriptor, like we are ashamed of it. Isn’t an idli an idli like how a nacho is a nacho? You don’t see American writers calling nachos ‘thin, unleavened flat bread made from maize and often cut into triangular wedges’, do you? Personally speaking, I have trouble reconciling the idli with the steamed rice cake because when I think of ‘cake’, I think of birthday cake, when I think of ‘steamed’, I think of a steam pressure washing unit and when I think of ‘rice’, I think of curd rice. So when I read Anand’s mother packed him a simple meal of steamed rice cakes, I’m thinking that he’s getting a birthday cake made of curd rice and steam pressure washing units. But hey, that’s just me.

Is idli one of the many four-letter words we’re not supposed to use in fiction because it is bad? Are we ashamed of idlis? Are we ashamed because many people don’t know what an idli is so we must never speak of them at all unless we apologetically refer to them as Steamed Rice Cakes? Do we fear that non-Indians (otherwise known as white people) might think we are all terrorists if we don’t deconstruct the idli completely so that even native idli eaters don’t recognize what we’re talking about? Is that the only way we can get white people to like us?

I don’t really know. What I do know is that reading some of the English descriptors for Injun things can often be an irrealisticallysurreal experience for myself. Because I am awesome, I have been able to break down how these irrealisticallysurreal experiences happen for me. I am only going to use Tamil words here because that’s all I know.

Example 1

Tamil Word- pottu

English Descriptor- caste mark

Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor –
Heavy bruises and blunt force trauma sustained after being bludgeoned with a cast, possibly a full-body cast with the body still inside it

Complete Sentence- She walked home from the local temple, her forehead blazing with caste marks.

Thought Process Following Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor Within The Complete Sentence- For some reason, this woman was beaten up with a body cast by someone in the temple. It doesn’t sound like a very nice temple.

Further Confusion Caused By Another Sentence- He was sitting in the temple, deep in meditation, his body covered in caste marks.

Further Confused Thought Process- What kind of temple is this? Why do people go there? People shouldn’t go there.

Example 2

Tamil Word- sambar

English Descriptor - lentil soup

Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor - In my little youth, I heard a story about a woodsman who was so poor that all he could eat was lentil soup, which I imagined was three pieces of grass in water with a lot of tiny pebbles. To this day, this is what I think of when I think of lentil soup

Complete Sentence- His mouth watered as he thought of having a hot meal of steamed rice cakes and lentil soup.

Thought Process Following Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor Within The Complete Sentence - The aforementioned steamed rice cake and this lentil soup combination makes me think that this is why so many people think all Indians are strange and super poor and would be really happy if someone gave them a sandwich.

Example 3

Tamil Word- vadai

English Descriptor - deep fried spicy lentil cutlet

Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor - This is a code or a secret password for something. The black eagle flies at dawn. Deep fried spicy lentil cutlet.

Complete Sentence- Lakshmi served him a delicious breakfast of steamed rice cakes, lentil soup and a deep fried spicy lentil cutlet.

Thought Process Following Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor Within The Complete Sentence - This whole sentence is a secret password for something. Or maybe Lakshmi is serving up some kind of Chinese food, I heard they eat steamed rice cakes in China. Or was it California. It was some place that started with C. Probably California because Lakshmi seems more like a Californian name than a Chinese one. Hey! Maybe this is a story about Padma Laksmi and Top Chef!

Example 4

Tamil Word- Payasam

English Descriptor - Milk Pudding sweetmeat

Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor - Milk and pudding and pieces of sweet meat all mixed together.

Complete Sentence- As a birthday treat, grandmother served her special milk pudding sweetmeat which all ate with great relish.

Thought Process Following Flawed Initial Understanding of English Descriptor Within Given Context- I do not judge your grandmother for feeding you a mixture of sweet meat, milk and pudding because maybe in your culture you eat that sort of thing. I do judge you for eating this with large quantities of relish which judging from my personal experiences, is always some kind of dodgy, banned American relish that somehow ends up in India along with certain kinds of dodgy peanut butter and chocolate pudding. The Surgeon General recommends you take up smoking instead of eating milk and pudding and sweet meat and dodgy relish. If you decide you would rather not heed this worthy advice, the Surgeon General says to tell you goodbye.

Special shout-out to

She closed her eyes and prayed to the elephant-faced god

Can I just say that I think peeps need to get over the fact that G-dawg has an elephant’s head and maybe do this totally novel and unconventional thing like maybe, oh I don’t know, maybe actually refer to him by name? You don’t see people calling Jesus ‘That Guy On The Cross’, do you?


no wait before okbai, let’s listen to some music, no? yes.

First, let’s listen to some white people music which is such a racist thing to say. Let’s use the titles of the song in a sentence to make it more funner. Ready?

Clap your hands because you are the girl you lost to cocaine who isn’t so much into cocaine anymore but I know that you want the candy. For some reason, you do not want the anglerfish. That was two sentences.

And now, as penance for our lying and racism, let’s listen to some Das Racist. Band name and two song names in a sentence. Ready?

You oughtta know that you can’t have a Big Mac at the Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell because Das Racist.


no wait wait. You saw UK Cosmo’s spread of nekkid menz? No? Don’t afraid, you can see here. And what exactly will you see when you clicky-clicky? You will see men you’ve mostly never heard of engaging in lolwutly awkward and staged posing with rapey face, I’m-looking-at-something-over-there face, i-am-going-to-sneeze face and the very popular no-for-realz-this-is-sexy-why-are-you-laffing? face. There is also a gentleman who has a pineapple pressed against his matrimonial areas.

okbai. for realz.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Conversations- Random Observations Made After Getting High at the Dentist

K- Happy Bird Day!

S- It’s not my birthday.

K- Not birthday, Bird Day. It’s your Happy Bird Day. It’s your day of happy birds. Birds are just like you and me except they all have wings.

S- Are you always this high when you come back from the dentist?

K- Yes. I don’t know how drug addicts manage it, being high is extremely exhausting for me. And disorientating. Disorienticorating.

S- That sounds painful.

K- Why is ‘orient’ in the word ‘disorient’? Does it mean that all oriental people are lost? Isn’t that racist?

S- I think you should lie down and not talk on the phone for a while.

K- You’re right. Call you later.


K- Did you know that ‘full without’ means ‘completely naked’ in Tamil?

S- ‘Full’ and ‘without’ are English words, no?

K- Yes.

S- How can it mean something in Tamil if it’s in English?

K- Magic.

S- I thought you were supposed to be lying down.

K- I am lying down. Ask me to explain the magic.

S- You’re not lying down somewhere weird, are you?

K- In English, the phrase is kind of like an oxymoron but not really.

S- That’s not an explanation.

K- Magic has no explanation.

S- You are full without brain.

K- See that makes no sense. Because that implies that my brain is naked. Which it isn’t. Because brains can’t be naked.

S- Are you still high?

K- Yes.

S- Maybe you should concentrate more on lying down and less on talking on the phone.

K- Ok. Call you later.


K- I just noticed something.

S- Yes?

K- There’s these birds in the birdbath.

S- And?

K- And they are all full without.

S- They’re birds. They’re allowed to be full without.

K- But I think there are ladies birds and gents birds bathing together. They must be Western birds with no sense of Indian culture. That’s why they are shamelessly bathing together in the full without.

S- Bleddy Western birds!

K- These Western birds are roaming around our country in full without and corrupting our Indian bird youth. Soon a Western ladies bird will get raped by a corrupted Indian gents bird.

S- I don’t think birds rape each other.

She’ll get raped and everyone will blame her because she is a Western ladies bird. I feel sad for the Western ladies bird.

S- I think you need to go lie down again.

K- Yeah. God I hate birds.


K- I thought you should know that a lot of cartoon characters are in half full without. For example, Donald Duck has a shirt and a cap but no pants.

S- Maybe he doesn’t like wearing pants. Like Lady Gaga.

K- Mickey Mouse wears gloves and shorts but no shirt. I think he should tell Donald to put some pants on, no?

S- Or at least some shorts.

K- I wonder if Donald Duck is the cartoon embodiment of the Real Indian Woman. Because a Real Indian Woman would never wear pants, right? Or shorts.

S- She would never, ever wear shorts. Even if someone put a gun to her head and said WEAR THESE SHORTS!

K- I feel Donald Duck would not have that same steely resolve. He would probably wear shorts if his life were at risk. What a weak Western gents bird.

S- Those must have been very powerful drugs your dentist gave you.

K- I fear I may be high for a very long time.

S- Please don’t say that. I can’t handle anymore of these conversations.

K- No problem, I’m going to go talk to the full without Western birds. Maybe I can convince them to put some clothes on.


an edited version of this appeared in The New Indian Express Zeitgeist Supplement, Multiverse, Conversations, May 8, 2010

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