SmokeLong Quarterly
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Smoking With Corey Mesler

What is it like to own and operate a book store?
It is a calling and a curse. All the dire predictions you've heard about small independent bookstores and their suffering are true. Yet it is all I know to do. I wish I could guide the jumbo jets in or turn someone else's investment into profit for myself but all I can do is fumble in a greasy till and recommend David Markson novels to unsuspecting housewives.

On your website, you have included a self-portrait with a third eye. What does this eye see?
It sees the things that are necessary for me to write.

Why did you choose Flaubert for "The Angel's Visitation?" Did you consider any other writers?
No big literary secret. Flaubert sounded better. Plus, well, ok, Flaubert is like a visitation from the angels all by himself.

Silence is significant to the story. How does silence relate to your writing in general? To your life?
If I could I'd make my entire output silent. Beckett said, "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness." I pull every word out of myself and some are breech births. Writing is hard so silence is easier. Silence is like surcease of sorrow. Silence is the snow cover before we walk all over it.

"The Angel's Visitation" is reminiscent of Richard Brautigan. What kind of influence has his work had on yours?
I came to Mr. Brautigan at a young and impressionable age. He stamped my ticket and away I went. Like the Beats he gave a lot of young writers permission to talk, to get it down on paper. I used to write in frank imitation of him (well, not just him, but him along with James Tate and Frank O'Hara and Mark Strand and Leonard Cohen and Raymond Carver, among others) and now, rather than imitation, I prefer to call it homage.

Read The Angel's Visitation.

Issue Twenty-One (June 15, 2008): Paper Mouse by Bob Arter «» The Folk Singer Dreams of Time Machines by Matt Bell «» The Bone Orchard by Randall Brown «» Disease Relics by Blake Butler «» We Decided to Make Porn by Brian Allen Carr «» The Baby Drop-Off by Natascia Casey-Dean «» The Cougar by Dave Clapper «» Anointed by Myfanwy Collins «» Sister Earth by John Colvin «» Soap by Katrina Denza «» The Interpretation of Light by Murray Dunlap «» The Hole by Ashley Farmer «» Repair Man by Kathy Fish «» In the Kitchen She Wakes by Stefanie Freele «» American Gothic by Scott Garson «» Lobster Girl by Alicia Gifford «» Pen and Notebook by Natalie Goldberg «» Memento Mori by Rosanne Griffeth «» BiC by Steven Gullion «» Parting by Evelyn Hampton «» Tuesday by Lindsay Hunter «» Waiting on Lombard Street by W.P. Kinsella «» Johnny by Nance Knauer «» Like Swimming by Jeff Landon «» Feeling Sad by Darby Larson «» Alone With Cooper by Ellen Meister «» The Angel's Visitation by Corey Mesler «» South Dakota by Mary Miller «» California Fruit by Meg Pokrass «» Home Made by Bruce Holland Rogers «» Handful of Dirt by Jim Ruland «» Steam City Girl by Paul Silverman «» Sugar by Claudia Smith «» The 13th Toast by Amy Sparks «» Gathering by Kelly Spitzer «» Tiny Shadows by Maryanne Stahl «» Double-Exposure by Thomas White «» Epistemology by Joseph Young «» Why This Isn't a Good Story to Tell by Shellie Zacharia «» Liquid by Michelle Zellers «» Real Estate by Bonnie ZoBell «» Interviews: Bob Arter «» Matt Bell «» Randall Brown «» Blake Butler «» Brian Allen Carr «» Natascia Casey-Dean «» Dave Clapper «» Myfanwy Collins «» John Colvin «» Katrina Denza «» Murray Dunlap «» Ashley Farmer «» Kathy Fish «» Stefanie Freele «» Scott Garson «» Alicia Gifford «» Rosanne Griffeth «» Steven Gullion «» Evelyn Hampton «» Lindsay Hunter «» Nance Knauer «» Jeff Landon «» Darby Larson «» Ellen Meister «» Corey Mesler «» Mary Miller «» Meg Pokrass «» Bruce Holland Rogers «» Jim Ruland «» Paul Silverman «» Claudia Smith «» Amy Sparks «» Kelly Spitzer «» Maryanne Stahl «» Thomas White «» Joseph Young «» Shellie Zacharia «» Michelle Zellers «» Bonnie ZoBell «» Cover Art "Five Years of SmokeLong" compiled from art by Marty D. Ison, Robert Dornberg, Malina, and Rebecca Gullickson «» Letter From the Editor
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