Author: Alec

‘Heat’ a poem by Denis Johnson

Here in the electric dusk your naked lover
tips the glass high and the ice cubes fall against her teeth.
It’s beautiful Susan, her hair sticky with gin,
Our Lady of Wet Glass-Rings on the Album Cover,
streaming with hatred in the heat
as the record falls and the snake-band chords begin
to break like terrible news from the Rolling Stones,
and

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Author: Alec

I miss you, Denis Johnson

“I stood at home plate, vomit on my blouse & whiskey in my blood, & heard the dirt of my hometown falling grain by grain out of the afternoon.”
#DenisJohnson, who wrote two perfect books & one sprawling, monstrous, ungainly masterpiece, national treasure, hearty soul, sober since 1983, I saw you read once & you shook

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Author: Alec

Cortázar’s Apocalypse

The following is from Literature Class, a collection of eight lectures Julio Cortázar delivered at Berkeley in 1980. Translated by Katherine Silver.
What I wanted to say?—??and perhaps this is the reason for the misunderstanding?—??and what I will repeat now perhaps more clearly, is that at this time, above all, and very especially in Latin America

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Author: Alec

Matthiessen

On this day in 2014, I had the great honor of interviewing the indomitable Peter Matthiessen for @lareviewofbooks. He’s one of my writing heroes. Far Tortuga shaped my early writing life as much as any book. I read the book to my mom while she was recovering from brain cancer & I have no doubt the haiku-like stillness

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Author: Alec

Secret Octagon Society

My grandfather, Harold Milne Alexander, and his brother, Robert Alexander, started a group when they were in high school called the Secret Octagon Society (SOS).
In 1989, Robert was interviewed for an oral history project about architecture at the University of California at Los Angeles. The text of the entire interview is online here.
ALEXANDER: We had a meeting

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Author: Alec

Author: Alec

Author: Alec

Iggy Pop on ‘The White City’

Iggy Pop, the grandfather of punk, deejays a radio show on @BBC radio 6. During a recent episode, while introducing Chicagoan Howlin’ Wolf’s song “Killing Floor,” Iggy started talking about Chicago and its dark history—and he ended up plugging my novel, The White City.
You can listen to Mr. Pop—and his great Chicago-Detroit accent—here:
http://soundcloud.com/alejandrored/iggy-pop-talking-the-white/s-ynCo4

Author: Alec

Author: Alec