"St. Patrick's Day" by Dmitry Samarov

By Dmitry Samarov

This fall, we're publishing Dmitry Samarov's Where To? A Hack Memoir

In honor of today's holiday of beer and green clothing and being absolutely wasted before 10:00 AM, we're publishing an excerpt from Where To?, titled "St. Patrick's Day."

 

St. Patrick's Day

Green River Dmitry SamarovDriving my first fare of the day, a sweating man crosses our path on Ashland Avenue. His eyes are glassy, unseeing, as he stumbles past. Four or five necklaces of green plastic beads cover his wrongly-buttoned shirt and his fly’s all the way down. It’s 2:39 pm.

Three girls, all in green, try to put one of those plastic leprechaun hats on my head as I’m taking them from Wicker Park to Lincoln Park. I ask whether they’d prefer to walk the rest of the way and the hat disappears. Then I tell them I’ve never celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day, which makes them very quiet. They don’t get that at all.

At a bus stop on Western Avenue a mohawked, shirtless man is doing a sloppy striptease for no one’s benefit in particular. He’s just about danced out of his pants by the time I lose sight of him.

I pick up a man and three teenagers from Japonais (an upscale sushi joint). As we pull away, the kids shout, “WE HATE PIGS!” at the cop car parked out front. They’re headed to the Drake Hotel and all along the way the man—the father of one of the boys, I presume—points out women walking by. “Did you get a load of that, boys?” he keeps asking.

A girl on Fullerton hurls so hard she loses her shoe and bangs her head into the side of a parked car.

A couple and their big galoot of a pal get in on Ashland in Ukrainian Village. They want to go to the Pink Monkey but first we need to retrace their steps so the big guy can find the credit card he left at one of the last couple bars they visited. The oaf sits up front and asks if I have any Widespread Panic. I say I don’t even know their music, which floors him. Apparently that’s his preferred soundtrack for a trip to the strip club. He hops out at Chicago and Damen to look for his card and after he’s crossed and re-crossed the street a couple times, the girl loses it and yells, “If you don’t get back in here we’re going to the titty bar without you!” After he finally returns the rest of the ride is spent debating where to stop for a bottle of booze to take in with them. The Pink Monkey’s BYOB.

 
Wannabe - 50

By Chris Prunckle

Wannabe 50

Wannabe is a blog series by Chicago area artist Chris Prunckle documenting his trials and tribulations as a wannabe artist. Check back next week for a new posting.

Chris Prunckle is a graphic designer, illustrator and comic book artist banished to the suburbs of Chicago. Though an advertising industry minion by day, he slaves his nights away creating a mad little world.  He’s previously worked on the comics Fisted, Bonesetter, and The Scarab.  Follow him at @midjipress.

 
The Best (So Far!) of Don't Start Me Talkin'

By Naomi Huffman

Don't Start Me Talkin Tom Williams

Since it's release last month, Tom's taken Don't Start Me Talkin' on the road with him to Michigan and Indiana, to Wisconsin and Illinois, and even as far west as Seattle. In the meantime, the book has garnered resounding reviews and strong support from the literary community.

- At Largehearted Boy, you can read Tom's Book Notes for Don't Start Me Talkin'—a smooth playlist that includes blues classics like Memphis Minnie's "Conjur Man," "Special Streamline" by Bukka White, and Little Walter's "Key to the Highway."

- WordPlaySound posted a recording of Tom Williams reading from Don't Start Me Talkin' at his release party at the Hideout. Listen in.  

- At HTMLGiant, Mel Bosworth called it "immensely satisfying," and went on to describe it as "tense, thoughtful, and funny, this novel will leave readers floating from the show, ears ringing and hearts racing."

- InDigest magazine said, "There’s a kind of quiet sadness about it, but it’s the kind that makes you feel content and satisfied to hear."

- In a special guest post at Superstition Review, Cream City Review interviewed Tom. In the interview, Tom gives the following advice to writers submitting their work to contests: "Send the story that’s currently making you worried; the one that appears to be finished but has something to it that keeps you from sending it out might be the one that’s busted through all the limitations one invariably muscles into one’s work. If a story seems “your” story, it might be one that only works for you. If it’s one that seems to trouble your aesthetic, your standards, your sense of what it is that stories essay, it might work for others." 

- Vol 1.

 
Wannabe - 49

By Chris Prunckle

Wannabe 49

Wannabe is a blog series by Chicago area artist Chris Prunckle documenting his trials and tribulations as a wannabe artist. Check back next week for a new posting.

Chris Prunckle is a graphic designer, illustrator and comic book artist banished to the suburbs of Chicago. Though an advertising industry minion by day, he slaves his nights away creating a mad little world.  He’s previously worked on the comics Fisted, Bonesetter, and The Scarab.  Follow him at @midjipress.

 
Lost in Space: The Release Party + Tour!

By Naomi Huffman

lost in space ben tanzerCurbside Splendor is proud to announce the releast of Ben Tanzer's debut collection of essays, Lost In Space! 

"Ben Tanzer explodes the myths of fatherhood and reassembles the pieces into something altogether more precious and fascinating: the truth. The ugly, gorgeous, shameful, miraculous, transformative truth. This book is both funny and heartbreaking, and at times I thought he was transcribing directly from my own parent brain. Tanzer has a rare talent for making the everyday seem luminous." 
-Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of  
Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and  Pretty
 
 
"Tanzer lets readers in on the softer, scarier, truer side of being a family man."
 -Chicago Magazine 
"Ben Tanzer explodes the myths of fatherhood and reassembles the pieces into something altogether more precious and fascinating: the truth. The ugly, gorgeous, shameful, miraculous, transformative truth. This book is both funny and heartbreaking, and at times I thought he was transcribing directly from my own parent brain.
 


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