“I did not know what Ted Hughes looked like prior to reading The Silent Woman, but I was so compelled to learn the structure of his face that I set down my champagne flute and stopped reading to look up his image. I searched “Ted Hughes”, and then “young Ted Hughes” because I wanted to see the version that Sylvia knew. He appeared to me as a compilation of every boy I’ve ever loved.”
The Last Book I Loved: The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm, remembered by Michelle King

An excerpt of Red Doc>, which appears in the The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2014, edited By Robert Bringhurst. Lois Bassen reviews it over at The Rumpus.

“I discovered The Silent Woman, Janet Malcolm’s portrait of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, last fall and read it in just one sitting, the book in one hand and a champagne flute of white wine in the other. I had recently broken all of my wine glasses. I did not break them all at the same time. Some I broke while cleaning, and I was upset that I had managed to destroy something while trying to make it clean, make it better. Other glasses were broken using more theatrical methods, smashing them against walls to prove points. I had also recently broken my bed frame, cracked a rib, and wrecked a series of valuable relationships. Broken things had become my metric. It was fall and this book fell on my head in the Strand. It was fall and everything was falling out of place. It was fall and I felt, constantly, as if I were in a state of vertigo. I could go on. I won’t.”
“But Fight Club was never a fairytale. It’s a painful howl into a night that probably isn’t listening and that is more a cry of pain than a drive to hurt. When a bunch of confused, angry, and sad men bond together, first to fight one another, then to indiscriminately terrorize an entire city, we are meant to feel uncomfortable. We are also meant to feel uncomfortable by the fact that, for a little while, Tyler Durden’s diatribes did seem interesting and seductive.”
“Take off your boots, babe,
swing your thigh over mine. I like it
when you do the same old thing
in the same old way.
And then a few kisses, easy, loose,
like the ones we’ve been
kissing for a hundred years.”
— A poem from Like A Beggar by Ellen Bass, reviewed by Julie R. Enszer.
“But it just—like a lot of the writing that I do—is just pages and pages and pages of lyrics. And maybe one percent is any good. So with the pages of lyrics that I was writing in 2009, where I was kind of trying to mine my own personal experience for songwriting stuff, the ratio of good to bad was very, very low. It took me a little longer to kind of get into that world of knowing how to write songs like that. Do you know what I mean?”
“I looked down at my book again, and when I glanced up I saw the dynamic that had been at play the entire length of our conversation: the man’s dick was out of his pants. I looked down quickly and thought about what would provide him the least satisfaction. I considered ignoring it for the final two stops of my ride, but I felt the anger rise in me. I looked up into his eyes, and said, “Get away from me.” He smiled. “What?” “You know what I said. Get away from me and cover yourself.” I pointed toward the door. “Cover yourself. Cover yourself,” I repeated in full voice until he apologized and pulled his pants up.”
Repetition by Jac Jemc.

Rumpus columnist Thomas Page McBee has just released a new memoir, Man Alive. The new book is, in his words, “basically a prequel” to the Self-Made Man column, and attempts to answer the question “what does it really mean to be a man?” Check out the book that Roxane Gay says “shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive.” McBee will also be at The Strand bookstore in New York City in October.

“I was obsessed with the word ‘boy’, in all its facets,” Jones says. “There are the racial connotations, but also the American-ness of the word, the way it’s used in an S&M context. I just kept turning the word over and finding more angles, more things to write about.”
Saeed Jones: Prelude To Bruise | Brooklyn Magazine