The Letter Project

July 28, 2009

Special Delivery (10)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 6:26 pm
Tags: , ,

Here, Kyle McCord writes to his friend Ezekiel Black.  Kyle and Zeke were housemates at UMass-Amherst.  Among other subjects, Kyle discusses his appreciation of Franz Wright’s work.  Kyle graduated from the UMass MFA Program for Poets and Writers.  His first book of poems, Galley of the Beloved in Torment, was the winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize and is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press this Spring.  His work is forthcoming or published by Cream City Review, Columbia:  A Journal of Art and Literature, Gulf Coast, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere.  Kyle’s blog, Boredom is a Disease of the Western World, explores his thoughts on bloggery, poetry, and writing programs.  Click here to read work by Kyle in Segue.  –TW

(Des Moines, IA)

Dear Zeke,

Hope all’s well in Georgia. Admittedly, you are living in a state that’s a major producer of Coca-Cola, malt liquor, gold, and airplanes, so, based on my understanding of the world according to gangster rap, things should always be pretty good in GA.

I’m back in Des Moines after some serious driving from Amherst. I made the trek back with my buddy who goes to conservatory out in Boston. We did the whole deal in about three days: one day from Boston to Bowling Green, OH, then to Iowa City, then Des Moines. On a side note, I don’t believe anyone has ever put more volume of items in a single Kia Rio; I’m willing to do the Pepsi Challenge on this one. Bags brimming at each window, trunk un-open-able, a bike rack strapped to the rear. I’m sure it must have been a beautiful thing to see. Like watching a squirrel on campus trying to carry a piece of pizza twice its size.

How’s the adjuncting going? I’m trying to find a job, a residency, or something tied to academia. I don’t want to say much more than that, as looking at the whole picture throws me into a bit of a panic. I’m not sure how you put that whole gig together for yourself down there, but I must say, in light of my search, I’m impressed. You’ve always been a crafty creature. I’m thinking about coming to UGA for my PhD. If I do, we’ll have to hit the Indian Buffet and you can finally teach me drunken boxing.

I’ve been reading more than usual recently, though the most enjoyable has been Franz Wright. I imagine he’s someone you would like. Not as experimental (whatever that means) as you, but the line-breaks generate some really neat effects through proximity, uneven cuts, etc. Really edited-down (sometimes one sentence) and clean feeling, both things you appreciate in work. His dad is the pastoral master, so that just seems to be an implicit part of the package. Plus, he’s got this rewarding contrast between his religiosity and moments of serious, unapologetic depression. Both God’s Silence and The Beforelife, if you don’t have them already.

Anyway, buddy, need to hit the ole dusty trail.

Let me know how things are going with the lady-friend and whatnot; have you sent the book out? Any more reviews? If you haven’t seen Drag Me to Hell yet, you aren’t living right. It basically convinced me that if I work in San Francisco as a loan officer I will be killed by angry gypsies. Some facts are not worth debating. Take it easy.



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