Turn The Key, Walk In, A Guest Post by Jack Martin

In Worstward Ho, Samuel Beckett says, “Sick of the either, try the other.” To write, or to live and to love is to exist in the either. When is it time to try something else? How long must we wait? How many others are there?

When we write, if we scrawl a story, scribble a poem, even if we use a keyboard, we bring something to life, we invite others (do these others include the other I seek) to love as we have loved, to live as we have lived, to rethink our thoughts. Should I say imagination? Should I remind us that the root of the word imagination is image? The images we live are the real
sensory experiences the world offers. The images we write create another possibility, a sensory experience made of words. Nothing works harder than words, but when we look closer, they are only words. Is this the other?

Something written is not a lived experience, but it is a version. It may be something that has never happened, and as we write, it happens. Anything we write, it happens. Maybe the other arrives.

Twelve years ago, I found my best friend dead. I have tried to write about it. I lived it, and many times, I have tried to write about it. Version after version, it doesn’t hold together. It is all either. Not enough other.

Maybe now:

I knock. No answer.

I stand on the porch of my friend Tom’s trailer house, the trailer where I lived when I was in grad school. Tom let me live there for four years in his spare bedroom, rent free.

I knock again. No answer.

I turn the key, walk in. I say his name. I walk through the kitchen. He is in the hallway on his back on the floor. His eyes are open. He wears a dirty, old t-shirt and boxer shorts. The soles of his feet are toward me. His genitals spill from the right leg of his shorts. I look away. I suppose he was walking to the kitchen, got light-headed, and sat down on the floor. Then, he laid
back. Maybe he knew he was dying. Maybe he just wanted to rest.

I say his name again. I bend down, take his cold wrist. I feel his neck. No pulse. I stand. I walk back out the door.

I enter again. He is still on the floor, still dead.

The evening before, I begged him to let me take him back to the doctor. He’d been there earlier in the week. They’d said he had a sinus infection. Does it matter? Do you need to know what his death certificate said? Now, as a metaphor, does he live again? If I had stayed with him that night, if I had refused to leave until he went to the doctor, would I be telling a different
story? Where is the other when you need it?

Should I tell a different story now? I call his name, and Tom sits up, adjusts his boxers, and says, “Weldon Kees’ death wasn’t a suicide.” An angel breaks through the floor with a crowbar, climbs up into the room, and takes us all out to get ice cream.

Ok. Fine. People die, but what happens to our writing? Is it either or other? How many drafts have I let go too soon? Do I diminish my old friend by using his death as a figure? Am I grieving? Where is the other now?

I sit and wait. Will something worth saving appear on this page?

And… it doesn’t. I’m still looking for the other.

Contributor Update, Cathy Ulrich: ‘Ghosts of You’

Today we are happy to announce the news of past contributor Cathy Ulrich! Cathy’s new book titled Ghosts of You is available for preorder and is soon to be published this October. Ghosts of You is a collection of stories that examines the tropes of mystery and crime storytelling where the plot always begins with the body of a murdered woman.

More information about Cathy and her book can be found here. You can find her work, “In the Crowded Spaces,” in Issue 18 of Superstition Review.

Congratulations, Cathy!

#ArtLitPhx: ‘Sweating It’ Storyline Slam

Stop by The Newton for a storytelling competition.

10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER.

The Storytellers: Each month, 10 storytellers take the stage to share a six-minute story. To put your name in the Electronic Hat, sign up to be a teller on the front page of this website starting the day after the last SLAM. The SLAM lineup is posted the weekend before the show on this website and on the SLAM’s Facebook event page.

The Judges: Audience members are picked at random the night of the show before the SLAM starts to be the judges.  

The SLAM: Five judges score the stories on a scale of ten, with the total maximum points available set at 30. The highest and lowest scores from the judges will be dropped. The remaining scores are tallied to compile the storyteller’s final score.

The Winner: The storyteller with the most points at the end of the night wins $30!

Scoring at The Storyline Slam

Founded in 2011 by Dan Hoen Hull, The Storyline is a series of live storytelling nights that create a space for diverse stories without checking boxes. Several storytelling shows have sprung from their origins within The Storyline Collective including …And Then It Got Weird, Yarnball and The Whole Story. The Storyline Slam continues in that tradition as a monthly slam competition, aimed to further storytelling in The Valley and foster a spirit of fun in the community.

EVENT INFORMATION

Location: The Newton, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix

Date: Friday, June 14

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.

Tickets: $6 online or $8 at the door

For more information about the event, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: KJZZ Arizona StoryFest and Authors Showcase

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 
Mesa Convention Center, Building C, 201 N Center St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Type(s): 
Community Event, Reading, Talk, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Mixed Genre, Poetry, Storytelling
Cost: Free – $10

About this Event 

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is partnering with local radio station and NPR affiliate KJZZ for their Arizona StoryFest & Authors Showcase, Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center, Building C, 201 N. Center St.

The event features storytelling, readings, workshops, activities for children, and more. While entry to the event is free, tickets for the main storytellers stage are $10. Proceeds benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a non-profit organization providing audio access to information for people with disabilities. 

Table space is also available for local authors. Full tables are $80; half tables are $40. Exhibitor spaces are available for $100. To learn more about tabling, you can review the author guidelinessubmit an application, or visit KJZZ’s website at http://storyfest.kjzz.org.

StoryFest is produced in partnership with South Mountain Community College’s Storytelling Institute, the Arizona Storytellers Project, and the Arizona Republic. 

For more information about this event, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline SLAM: Transition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date: December 28, 2018

Location: The Newton, 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Arizona, 85013

Tickets

Event Description:

Life is one big transition. – Willie Stargell

10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme Transition.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org November 24th through December 22th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn on Sunday, December 23rd and posted on the TheStoryline.org. At least two more names will be drawn at the beginning of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges. The storyteller with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline SLAM: Holidaze

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Date: November 23, 2018

Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm

Location: The Newton, Camelback Rd., Phoenix, Arizona, 85013

Tickets

Event Description:

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations ― Oscar Wilde

10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme Holidaze.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org October 13th through November 17th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn on Sunday, November 18th and posted on the TheStoryline.org. At least two more names will be drawn at the beginning of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges. The storyteller with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline SLAM: Haunted

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Date: October 12th

Time: 7pm-9pm

Location: The Newton, 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85013

Event Description:

We’re all of us haunted and haunting. ― Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby

10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme Haunted.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org September 15th through October 6th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn October 7th and posted on the TheStoryline.org. At least two more names will be drawn at the beginning of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges. The storyteller with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline SLAM: Skool’d

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Date: September 14th

Time: 7 pm-9 pm

Event Description:

10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme Skool’d.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org August 11th through September 8th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn September 9th and posted on the TheStoryline.org. Two more names will be drawn live at the beginning of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

Get Tickets Here

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline Slam: Luck

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10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it. – Hunter S. Thompson

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme LUCK.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org May 18th through July 7th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn posted July 8th on the TheStoryline.org SLAM lineup page. Two more names will be drawn live at the beginning of the show on July 13th.

The line-up for this coming Friday, July 13th Storyline Luck SLAM:

  1. Danae Barnes
  2. Dortrecia Adelis
  3. Lenys Andrade
  4. Seth Goodman
  5. Dixie Walljasper
  6. Jessica Lamartiniere
  7. John Chakravarty
  8. Mike Savarese

At least two storytelling spots are open for a live drawing at 7:00pm on the night of the show.

Five members of the audience will be the judges and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

#ArtLitPhx: The Great Storytelling Mashup of 2018

#ArtLitPhxThe Great Storytelling Mashup of 2018

Location: The Newton 300 W Camel Rd, Phoenix Arizona 85013

June 22nd

7pm-9pm

 

Local storytelling hosts come together for a night to share a story, a song, and a stage. The Storyline SLAM host, Dan Hoen Hull has collected an all star lineup composed of hosts from THE MOTH: Phoenix StorySLAM at Crescent Ballroom, The Storytellers Project, Bar Flies, Chatterbox, Vinyl Voices, Untidy Secrets Storytelling, and The Whole Story! Each storyteller will share a story and play a music video that inspired the story.

Purchase tickets through the link below for $6 or at the door for $8.
https://www.changinghands.com/event/june2018/great-summer-storytelling-mashup-2018

Featured Storytellers:
Jessie Balli (Chatterbox)
Rachel Eseoghene Egboro (The Whole Story)
Megan Finnerty (The Storytellers Project)
Elle Murtagh (Vinyl Voices)
Sarah Maria Rainier (Untidy Secrets Storytelling)
Amy Silverman (Bar Flies)
Sarah Ventre (The Moth SLAM)
Joy Young (The Storyline SLAM)