“Miss Bensonhurst” in Ovunque Siamo

Ovunque Siamo is a journal of new Italian-American writing. The title–translation Wherever We Are–is apt for our assimilated and diffuse ethnic body.

Miss Bensonhurst”  is a fictional account of my grandmother’s friendship with Marylin Monroe. The story was first presented in nonfiction form in 2013 in Salon.

She and the girls are enveloped in the warm bakelite booth. A curtain shields her from the crowds. The two little angels share the hard seat. The camera–that possessed apparatus which would stalk her to the end–here blinks obediently. Flash.

MissBensonhurst

 

#Queer v. 2 now with Raunch…

Today’s the release of  Volume 2 of the Anthology Hashtag QueerMy short story  “Raunch Daddy” appears . Purchase print and kindle editions at the link. Loosely based on sex work experiences, the character “Dean”  is based on the late Dean Johnson. 

“I think I’m in love with Benito,” Nick confessed over a beer.

“Who’s Benito?” asked Dean.

“You set me up with him. The Mexican writer in the West Village?”

“Oh, raunch daddy,” Dean said with laughter. “You can’t go falling in love with your johns. You’ll go out of business!”

HQ2 front cover

Twofer! “Miss Bensonhurst” in Ovunque Siamo; “Raunch Daddy” in Hashtag Queer

Two short stories placed within a few days of each other and they couldn’t be more different.

“Miss Bensonhurst,” a fictional account  of my grandmother’s real-life friendship with Marilyn Monroe, will appear in Ovunque Siamo‘s July issue. OS (“Wherever we are”) is a journal of Italian-American writing so it’s a great fit for this story of MM’s interaction with Italian-American culture.

“Raunch Daddy” will appear in Volume 2 of the Anthology Hashtag QueerIt’s a story mined directly from my sex work past which I believe succeeds in subverting conventional sex worker narratives. 

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Off the Rocks Reading in Boystown

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Photo credit: contributor Chuck Kramer

NewTown Writers  hosted this reading at the Center on Addison.  Bringing New York in the 80’s flavor to Chicago:

He’d been crossing through the Ramble by night for years, as Smart lived on the East Side and he lived on the West. He navigated its paths by moonlight, nodding to a few familiar huddles of men. Sometimes ambling through its shabby splendor was the only way to shake off Smart’s fixated gaze.

 

Off the Rocks #21 Reading in Chicago

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The reading took place at the charming Charmers Cafe  in the Jarvis Square neighborhood of Chicago. The excerpt I read ended with these lines:

Something about seeing this aristocratic British man tied to his throne with his own silk had soothed him, like the synchronized click of jail door magnets on multiple strike plates. Behold my colonizer!

“Choke a Horse” (fiction) in Off the Rocks

I’ve been attending NewTown Writers workshops in Chicago. NewTown has been actively workshopping and publishing since 1982.  “Choke a Horse,” a short story based on an earlier short memoir piece of the same title appears in this year’s anthology, Off the Rocks #21 :

“What’s the charge?” Nick demanded as the cop handcuffed him.
“Indecent exposure,” the cop replied.
“Nothing was exposed until you came along with your flashlights.”

Thanks to Bruce Kamsler for facilitating workshops and Robert Klein Engler for the diligent edit and fine cover art.

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The Return of Reading for Filth!

Reading for Filth is back at a new venue–– the transitioning Eastern Bloc (soon to be Alan Cumming’s aptly-named venture, Club Cumming). For the 4/26 inaugural reading, I brought  “Raunch Daddy” a short epistolary:

All is illusion except for your odor, mi norteño. Let me also remind you that it’s quite inconvenient–given my populist and anti-imperialist leanings–to be so enraptured by your capitalist body.

Thanks to Hattie and Daniel Nardicio for bringing back the filth!

 

#SASFest17 Class Photo

SAS17 AnthoReading
Atop the Quarter in the Hotel Monteleone’s Vieux Carré Room with some fellow Saints & Sinners Short Fiction Contest finalists: Debra Curtis, winner J. Marshall Freeman,  P.D. Walter, runner-up Alise Wascom, Thomas Westerfield,  Louis Flint Ceci,  Chris Smith,  William Moeck, and contest judge Michael Thomas Ford.
Get the anthology over at Bold Strokes.

Miss Bensonhurst a W@W finalist 👑

“She and the girls are enveloped in the warm bakelite booth. A curtain shields her from the crowds. The two little angels share the hard seat. The camera – that possessed apparatus which would stalk her to the end – here blinks obediently. Flash.”

“Miss Bensonhurst,” a fictional account of my grandmother Helen Rizzo’s friendship with Marilyn Monroe circa 1953, is a finalist in the 2017 Writers @ Work  Annual Writing Competition. The fiction judge is Christina Garcia.

MissBensonhurst

 

My story ✍🏽 your pocket📱

Great Jones Street Press is a new platform and we are in a relationship now. They have a well-designed app that brings a curation of award-winning short stories to your mobile device. Get the app here. Find “Drowned River” in the app’s searchable database.