On Being Mentioned, Honorably

A friend recently wrote to congratulate me. I asked, What for? For the Pushcart thing, she said. What Pushcart thing? I said. The honorable mention, she said.

It was news to me.

Happy news!

And soon confirmed, also happily: a story called "Falling Through," originally published in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Alaska Quarterly Review, had gotten an Honorable Mention in the latest volume, XXXIII.

But I did wonder why the 'Cart hadn't gotten in touch directly.

The answer was obvious enough: that many more email addresses to track down, et cetera.

But still: it is a happiness-provoking thing, hearing that a story has been honored in some way, and happiness is rare enough already. Why wouldn't an editor--or anyone else--take the opportunity to cause a little more?

But then I thought, Okay, Kesey, back to work.

But then I thought...

And I went to check.

Amazon, search function.

And sure enough:

"Wait," first published in Volume 28, Issue 4 of the splendid Kenyon Review, received an Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: 20th Annual Collection.

And "Asuncion," first published in McSweeney's Issue 15, had been HM'd the previous year, in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2006.

And I thought again:

Why didn't they let me know?

Were they afraid I was already too happy?

That the slightest bit more happiness would push me over the edge?

Or were they just too busy?

And so to all you anthologizers I say:

We know how hard you work, and for such little recompense in the idiom of mammon.

We know!

And we thank you for it.

We do!

But also:

No one is ever too happy.

January 31, 2009, 3:54 p.m.Categories: Litmags, Short Stories

If you too

will be in Chicago for the upcoming AWP conference, by all means track me down.

January 30, 2009, 11:03 a.m.Categories: Interviews, Litmags, Nonfiction, Short Stories, Travel

And as I think.

And as I think on you, America, and on how much I miss and have missed you, suddenly here you come in through the door. And you are wearing the rule of law, and you are wearing intelligence in discourse, and you are wearing administrative competence, and they must have been folded carefully in the back of some closet somewhere because I haven't seen them in what feels like forever but now here they are again and you look terrific. And you smell like justice and you smell like sanity and oh those smells they get me hot. It is so good to have you back, America, so good so very good to have you back and I am not crying but if I were crying if I am crying it is because of how much I missed you and how good it is to have you back. And it would be too much to hope, that you will always look and smell this good. Of course. I know this. You are imperfect just as I am imperfect just as we all are imperfect but just this moment oh you look and smell so good and I have missed you and it is so good to have you back, America, so good to have you back.

January 20, 2009, 9:40 a.m.Category: Politics