If you've ordered a copy of Saltgrass and it never reached you, please email me and I will pop one in the mail to you. I think there are two orders my co-editor thought I was mailing out and vice versa. If that was you, I am VERY sorry. I did not mean to steal your $5. In fact, if you email me and let me know that your Saltgrass did not arrive, I will stick a suprise present in the package. Like a chunk of gold. Or a mix tape. Ok, it will most likely be a mix tape (CD) made with the gold of my heart.
So I'm looking at apartments in all parts of Brooklyn and some parts of Queens. Apartment hunting is hard if you're trying to avoid the beady eyes and cloying hands of a broker. A broker who wants over a grand just to help you find a small apartment. Silly broker.
My evenings go like a bad haiku:
"Back off, broker. Wait,
don't leave, I need you like po*n.
Oh, I take that back."
My contribution to National Poetry Month, folks. Anyways, I am actually trying to find places sans broker because if you divide up a $1,100 broker fee over the year, you are basically paying $100 extra bucks a month for that fee. I'd rather either save that money or find a bigger place without a broker for an extra $100 a month. Right? Right.
Today I am meeting with a broker but after that: I go rogue.
Jordan Davis tells us what to check out during NaPoMo over at Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2190205
I assume you have all read the article that just came out about the woman, now 42, who was locked in her father's basement for 24 years and gave birth to 7 of his children? Apparently the wife/mother thought her daughter had run away and joined a cult while the father was tormenting/raping/abusing his daughter for a quarter of a century in the very same house? This is one of the most twisted news stories I have read in a while, Jesus:
For almost a quarter of century, as life unfolded in the quiet Lower Austrian town of Amstetten, Elisabeth Fritzl was enduring an unimaginable ordeal behind the plain gray walls of a nondescript house there.
Her 73-year old father, Josef, today confessed that he held his now 42-year-old daughter captive for 24 years in a concealed, windowless basement hideout, where he repeatedly had sexual intercourse with her and where she gave birth to seven of his children. The shocking case has reminded many Austrians of the fate of Natascha Kampusch, who was kidnapped at the age of 10 and kept in a narrow basement for eight years until she managed to flee in August 2006. But the senior investigator in Amstetten, Franz Polzer, said that the cruel deliberateness of Josef Fritzl's deed outstripped the Kampusch case "by far." Though cases of such longstanding hidden crimes have cropped up elsewhere in recent years, the revelation of two in less than two years has set about a round of public soul-searching in Austria.
The police became aware of the family after Elisabeth's critically ill and confused 19-year old daughter, Kerstin, was admitted to the local hospital. Kerstin, together with her brothers Stefan, now 18, and Felix, 5, had shared their mother's miserable life in the basement and had never seen the daylight. The hospital's urgent request for medical information from Kerstin's family triggered an anonymous tip, and Josef and Elisabeth were seized by police.
Having been promised protection from her tormentor, Elizabeth Fritzl told the investigators her nightmarish story. She says she was 11 years old when her father raped her for the first time. But it was only after she had turned 18 that, according to colleagues, she disappeared from her job at a highway rest stop and never returned. A former colleague told the Austrian Kurier newspaper that the parents showed up at their daughter's former workplace a few days later appearing very worried.
Another child born in the basement died shortly after its birth due to lack of medical care. The other three, Lisa (15), Monica (14) and Alexander (12) lived in the house, attended the local school, and appeared to be normal. Josef allegedly told his wife that their daughter had run away to join a cult and had left the babies on the doorstep of the house. He produced a letter allegedly from her, which was quoted in the Austrian press: "Don't try to find me, it would be pointless and would increase my suffering and the suffering of my children. Also too much education and too many children are unwanted there."
Polzer said Elisabeth looked very pale and thin and "much older than she actually is." Kerstin is described as being in stable but serious condition, while Elisabeth and the other two children who lived with her are under the care and observation of psychologists.
Josef Fritzl appears to have meticulously carried out his deed while acting like a caring father. The former electrical engineer carefully prepared what would be his daughter's and her three children's prison. The basement consisted of four windowless rooms and was equipped with a shower and a toilet, as well as a television. The electronically secured door to the prison could only be opened by entering a code number, which was known only by Fritzl. His wife, who insists that she had no idea what was going on in the house, was never allowed to set foot in the basement.
The neighbors, none of whom noticed anything unusual, are now asking lots of questions. "I was railing against the neighbors in the Kampusch case", a businessman who lives across the street told the Kurier. "Now I am in the same situation." So, perhaps, is all of Austria. "It won't be possible after this case to just go back to the usual course of things," wrote the Vienna daily Der Standard in an editorial today. "A whole country has to ask itself what it was that has gone so fundamentally wrong."
Well, on an optimistic note, there are 3 great readings this week. I am most definitely going to the Friday reading:
1) I REALLY REALLY wanted to go to this but I have to check out an apartment at the same time:
CIRCUMFERENCE celebrates POETRY IN TRANSLATION
with BRIAN HENRY, CHRISTAN SVENDSEN, BITITE VINKLERS, and JEFFREY YANG
as part of the PEN World Voices Festival
Tuesday, April 29, 7:00 pm
Translators will read poetry from around the globe in English and in the original. Participants include: Brian Henry reading his translations of Tomaz Salamun and Ales Steger (Slovenian); Christina Svendsen reading her translations of Kurt Schwitters (German) and others; Bitite Vinklers reading her translations of Imants Ziedonis (Latvian); and Jeffrey Yang reading his translations of Su Shi (Chinese) and others.
Housing Works Used Book Café
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012
Subway: W, R to Prince; B, D, F, V to Broadway/Lafayette; 6 to Bleecker
2) This Thursday, May 1st at 7pm,
Timothy Donnelly is reading and being interviewed
at the Lillian Vernon House at NYU, 58 W. 10th Street.
3) Please come, this Friday, May 2nd @ 7:30 pm
Jordan Davis & Patrick Morrissey & Sommer Browning
Only at The Fall Café
307 Smith Street
between Union & President streets
in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Take the F or G to Carroll
Come get a drink with me afterwards, ok?