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Somethings occurring to me on the acela to Philadelphia.

August 18, 2010 \am\31 7:47 am


Thoughts occurring while on the acela to Philadelphia:

The coffee at Penn station is fake.

There aren’t enough people reading books on this train.

If I were Paul Theroux, I would be in the bar car right now meeting someone interesting. Is it a sign of something bad or good that instead I thought, Let’s write down some thoughts to send to the internet people?

If this is the last train ride I ever take I’ll regret not looking out the window more.

If this is the last train ride I ever take, how am I going to get home instead?

Charles D’Ambrosio had a novel at Knopf called Train I Ride but then he gave back the advance and pulled the manuscript because he was unhappy with it. That was pretty awesome.

Train I Ride is a great title.

I really don’t give a shit what people think about Jonathan Franzen anymore. I want to read Freedom because I feel like it’ll give my brain a break from rereading Markson. Is there anything wrong with that?

I don’t really care if you think there’s anything wrong with that.

That’s a lie. I do care. More out of curiosity than anything.

I’m in the middle of my second time through Adam Robinson’s Say, Poem. It’s really fantastic. When I’m done I’ll write up some thoughts on it and post them here for the internet people.

The woman sitting across from me looks a lot like Diablo Cody.

Diablo Cody is a cool name.

I wonder if that’s her real name or a pen name.

That coffee at Penn Station was real only in that it was awful. It was unreal in that I’m still exhausted. I should have clarified.

What was the best short story you read in the last year? I’ve been trying to think about this for the last few days and I’m thinking it might have been “Midnight in Dostoevsky” by Delillo. Or Rachel Glaser’s “Pee on Water,” which I read when it was in the Tyrant but just reread in the book of the same name.

That was a good book.

Really good book.

The National’s new album is subpar. I expected better. Or at least something interesting.

The wife of The National’s lead singer was Charles D’ambrosio’s editor at the New Yorker. I remember meeting her at a reading.

I didn’t know she was married to the baritone at the time.

Brooklyn power couple until she quit the New Yorker.

If you could be in any band (active today) what band would you be in?

I think I’d be in Them Crooked Vultures or the Dead Weather. Something really rocking. I’d like to drink Bud on stage and thrash on a flying-V.

Realistically, I think I’d be better off in a band like The National. Just add another layer of telecaster arpeggios.

Why are we stopping? This is supposed to be an express.

New Jersey gets a bad rap.

I haven’t lived there in 9 years but Washington State is still my favorite.

Dawn Raffel has some good short stories in her new book.

I’m going to go back to reading. The computer table is hurting my wrists. Sort of cutting into them.

I’m sure that would be a metaphor for something if I were Paul Theroux.

If I were Paul Theroux, I would write a book about the subway.

Have you read The Great Railway Bazaar? Talk about a fun read.

Forget Franzen. Read The Great Railway Bazaar.

Theroux would write something about mortality and the railroad being more like life than flight if he were sitting here with his wrists hurting on the edge of the laptop.

He would be writing by hand, though.

I suspect.

Did you read all the way through this?

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9 Comments
  1. August 18, 2010 \am\31 9:37 am 9:37 am

    i read all the way through and i liked your thoughts a lot.

    ‘pee on water’ is probably my favorite story too. ‘the kid’ is awesome too. is ‘the kid’ in the book? i have not gotten the book yet, but i will. ‘the kid’ was first published in elimae.

    if i could be in a band, no doubt it would be ‘star fucking hipsters’.

    diablo cody is not her real name. i can’t remember what it is.

    don’t read franzen. (i don’t know why, just seems like a cool thing to not do)

    thoughts are nice things.

    • August 18, 2010 \am\31 10:52 am 10:52 am

      “The Kid” is in the book. That’s a good one, too. Also “Jon Lennin Experience” is pretty lovely. All of the stories are solid, but the title piece and “Jon Lennin” really are really noteable.

  2. August 18, 2010 \am\31 9:43 am 9:43 am

    Smiled thinking about Adam Robinson, got to where Diablo Cody’s boob ended, then moved my mouse rapidly to the bottom of the post.

  3. David W. Pritchard permalink
    August 18, 2010 \am\31 10:12 am 10:12 am

    Have you read Ted Berrigan’s poem “Train Ride”? This is a lot like that–a list of thoughts to share with someone (or in this case, some ones–the internet) that he wrote while riding a train to Providence. His is lineated of course, but also hilarious and seems like the model, conscious or not, for this post.

    • August 18, 2010 \am\31 10:56 am 10:56 am

      Will have to look at that before I get on the train ride home tonight.

  4. Robin Elizabeth Sampson permalink
    August 18, 2010 \pm\31 12:11 pm 12:11 pm

    I read all the way through. I’ve never been on the acela.

  5. August 18, 2010 \pm\31 2:01 pm 2:01 pm

    Brooke Busy is Diablo Cody’s real name. She just had a boy and is writing a movie based on Sweet Valley High. (The original 90210).

  6. August 19, 2010 \am\31 1:21 am 1:21 am

    Thanks for reading/posting Joseph! I love train thoughts and train feelings.

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