Something wonderful is happening in Minneapolis. There is a room somewhere (I picture a room, but probably it's not a literal room) where this team of super cool women are making perhaps the best literary website around, Paper Darts. I met two of the wonderful editors briefly at AWP in Chicago...and by "met," I mean they showed me their amazing print magazine and I said, "Whoa, cool!" and probably asked dumb questions about Minneapolis or something. Now, over a year later, I'm extremely proud to say that my story, "We Eat Plums" is live on their site today.
"We Eat Plums" is a story that is about the Apocalypse, but what it is really about is love, and what it is really, really about is the absolute hopelessness of the Atlanta summers of my early twenties, sweating in a collapsing house with nothing but loving someone to get you through. Atlanta summers really are that miserable, and many of the details of "We Eat Plums" actually come from an actual house I lived in when I first moved in with my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time). The flies were real. The writing on the wall was real--the line of the poem I quote in the story is what was really written on the wall in our bedroom. The strange, schizophrenic former tenants were real.
The amazing thing about Paper Darts is that they produce gorgeous illustrations to accompany each story and poem that they publish online. This really sets them apart from a lot of other online literary magazines. They post several times a week, so if you're not reading it yet, you should be reading it from now on, and gobbling up the many, many pages of archives, and buying things from them and donating to them and everything. Enjoy the beautiful and creepy imagery of plums, flies, and boils.
Oh, and if you read the story, read it while you listen to this Mountain Goats song, which influenced me heavily in the writing:
Matt Sailor puts words here.