Non-Fiction

Awkword Paper CutMrs. Chatterjees Most Excellent Review | Glow Magazine | Yareah Magazine (#35, #36) | Atticus ReviewNZ Nat’l Flash Fiction Day | Northville Reviewthe view from here | Pure Slush | Full of Crow | kill author | Bentcountry | Virtual Writers World | Interviews (2009-2012)
La confusion des langues by Gustave Doré

La confusion des langues by Gustave Doré

An essay for Awkword Paper Cut about some serious changes in my relationship with language — “NEGOTIATING BABEL — A BILINGUAL WRITER’S RELATIONSHIP TO LANGUAGE”. Excerpt: [#157]

»This language [of the Internet] … is becoming the biblical Babel’s idiom, the babble of billions who believe that “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them”. I’m no longer one of them. I’ve weighed my linguistic limits and found them wanting. Now, I once again believe in language as a mystery, something that comes to you not as clay to be molded, but as a marvel. Does this position constrain me? It surely does, but with it comes a spiritual depth that I would not want to miss.«

(As of 2015, APC is no longer publishing)


henna keys woman hands
In “The Seriously Lazy Writer” I’m sharing the lessons of a lazy lifetime with the readers of “Mrs. Chatterjee’s Most Excellent Review”. Excerpt: [#148]

«Let’s increase entropy together. Drift with me, people. Linger, dawdle, loiter, slack and dally. Niggle the days and nights away. Have nothing to show for and don’t account for anything or anyone. Don’t keep track of the drinks or the dumb things. Collect losing propositions and stroke them with all the tenderness saved up through a lifetime of working the hamster wheel. Rejoice in laxity and be careless with your time as if it’d never run out, which it won’t, seriously, that’s the beauty of it!»


My essay “The Imagination of Matter” is an hommage to the work of Carlye Birkenkrahe, my wife, which was exhibited in Berlin between October 2012 and February 2013 at the library of the Berlin School of Economics and Law. Excerpt:[#150]

All art is competition: to begin with there is the artist competing with her art’s own inner image. She imagined one thing and created another. Now the latter must be transformed into the former.

Image: Untitled, by Carlye Birkenkrahe (2010), 13X18 cms, beeswax and silkpaper on canvas.



Will Kurt restlessly turn in his grave after reading my “Vonnegut Challenge“? After all, I’m discarding both technology and sexuality as necessary ingredients to sustain the fictional dream. Excerpt:[#144]

We don’t notice the absence of today’s technology or the presence of yesterday’s when we plow through Shakespeare, when we weep with Henry James or when we laugh, bitterly, with Vonnegut.



Linguistic cross-dressing
is what I’m all about as a writer—an essay on translating and bi-linguality in Spain’s marvelously colorful Yareah Magazine. Excerpt: [#143]

For more than 10 years I have been regularly tormenting myself with the question whether I am better off writing in my mother tongue, German, than in English, which is a language I acquired in passing as it were but which is not mine by birthright.



Atticus Review asked me about the Short Story and I couldn’t help it, I had to tell it how it is in “Flash Fiction Encourages Reckless, Rickety Reading (and that’s okay)“. Excerpt: [#119]

«It is well known that the short story was invented by the Man in the Moon for two important reasons…»



Heretic views on flash fiction in “All About Flash” for National Flash Fiction Day in New Zealand. Excerpt: [#114]

«Dear Slawa, call me a tragic figure, or call me an idiot, but I don’t actually believe in flash fiction as a literary art form. That makes me feel like a little mermaid on land…»



Northville Review ran a series of confessional pieces “The Story, So Far” where writers talked about their online writing experiences. I chimed in with “The Story, So Far: Marcus Speh“. Excerpt: [#95]

«I’m an online writer. Apart from a few print publications, I can only be read online. Sometimes I feel “online” is like a birth mark: can’t get rid of it. Follows you everywhere. Obscurely related to your gene pool. Not pretty perhaps but, in the right light, one might take it for a giant tick or for a smudge.»



Blogging is important to me and it’s increasingly important to other writers, too. I’m exploring this activity in my essay “Blogging for Writers – A Grammar” –  published at the view from here. [#67]

« Blogging is a writerly virtue, not a necessity. It is a journal left on a subway seat but found again, every week. It is an absurd effort for the literary minded. But it can also be a refreshing change from writing that is up its own arse.  »


Jamesjoyce tuohy-ohne
Sometimes remembering is not enough, it needs an editor to push you to write it up. I did and “In the nude” is the result. Thanks to Matt Potter of Pure Slush for teasing this memory out of me. [#65]

« We lived in Trieste then, my wife and I physicists both, on the High Street across from one of the places where James Joyce had lived, who’d moved all over town so that it must’ve been difficult for the city to follow him but follow him they did, leaving bronze plates wherever Joyce had as much as sat down, all beginning with “Il grande scrittore…”.  »




Reading for Writers” was published in On the Wing 2.0, the non-fiction…limb of the darkly, ravenly gorgeous Full of Crow, edited by Michael J Solender. Some rants come from the heart. This one does, too, with a podcast — and Pete Dickes turned it into this video for Awkword Paper Cut [#64]

« … Being read to by someone you want to have sex with. Having sex with someone while reading. Making love to someone who is reading. Making love to someone who read your book. … »


> kill author issue eleven: Carver

Guest introduction to > kill author issue eleven: a collage (02/2011) – excerpt: [#46]

«These pieces are authentic – you can see where the writers’ heart is beating in every single one. They breath the seriousness of the craft of writing: no shortcuts via nonsense or needless scatology to the final destination. They are brave: not infected by the epidemic contemporary inability to express anything for fear of being uncool or not awesome/rad/wicked.»


Cathedral” – guest post at Bentcountry – Sheldon Lee Compton’s Kentucky blog (12/2010) –excerpt:[#63]

« I can see that “cathedral on the great plain.” It’s huge. I could never build anything like it. I can also see you sculpt away on your stone saint. Myself, I’d pick the dragon’s head because I come from a long line of semi-professional pagans and eccentrics: we’re fire-eaters. »



Flawnt’s Virtual Views: between September and December 2009, my virtual self contributed a number of articles on topics ranging from death to listening properly in the Virtual Writers World, a meeting place of writers with avatars in the 3D world of Second Life – excerpt:

« … knowing that I am way out of my depth with my own topic, dishing out Kierkegaard cookies, but feeling passionate, plighting nevertheless: why don’t you, over the holidays, take a little break from the computer. Touch your face, look at the wrinkles of your skin, marvel at the way your partner moves when she crosses the room, wiggle your toes in your slippers, or just burp. »

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