Unpublishable: A Year of Emails With Padgett Powell

Jane Dykema



I was Padgett Powell’s TA for two summers at the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, and when I asked if I could interview him about his recent book, Cries for Help, Various, the real interview unfolded around discussion of the interview. What follows is a yearlong conversation about Trump, babies, and not doing an interview. We don’t talk about Cries for Help, Various.

Padgett Powell, October 1, 2016:
 How goes the baby making? Puppy on ground yet?


Jane Dykema, October 2, 2016: Man, I was just going to write to you. Getting a little nervous as he grows, and will only continue to grow, that he has to exit somehow. Like a ship in a bottle. You have to smash the bottle to get the ship out. Do you have kids? If so, what’s it like? Feels like it could be a healthy shift from worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter to worrying about stuff that does matter.

I haven’t forgotten about the interview, by the way.


PP, October 3, 2016: Man is right: I thought we had decided there IS no interview.

Baby will make you afraid or not afraid, according to your own breeding. Terrified me so badly I missed two whole children.  You are right in sensing one thing: your life is now over, its has taken over. This does allow you to perceive yourself as trivial, which is proper.

The thing’s coming out, and what it looks like, is–the best I have ever heard is, “It’s real.” Women get it on (except some: “Cut me open you sons of bitches!”), men faint and regard women in a new way (as men).

You’ll do fine.


JD, November 21, 2016: William Trevor died. Because of your workshop I have a zip-file of everything he’s ever written. Let me know if you need a PDF of anything. I have it. It’ll take me the rest of my life to read it all.

How’s the election aftermath down there? I wouldn’t expect you to be easily alarmed, but this seems pretty out of the ordinary. For my lifetime, at least.


PP, November 21, 2016: This is the first news we have here of Trevor, whom I concluded today another semester of teaching. To think he has gone and Dylan does not claim or apparently want his prize. It’s a sadder day than the one that elected Trump.

You have cause to find it unordinary. The only consolation–well, there are two: 1: They did not elect him, We did. They went to the polls as usual, we did not. Raw numbers: Rep even across 2008, 2012, 2016; Dem was 33% more 2008, 66% more 2012, and 1% more 2016 (hence the marginal popular vote victory). There is a bar graph I saw on Don Lemon that shows this. Disgusting: WE elected his ass. Not a surge of the white man. 2: His presidency will destroy the Rep party; if it destroys the country it is worth the price. Every penny. Speaking of which, we will now enjoy everyday the greatest political theater in the history of the world, for free.

Hang on to that Trevor file. It will prove useful.


PP, November 21, 2016: And good luck on D-Day. The no-drug plan may go out the window (Mike Tyson: Everybody has a plan until they get busted in the mouth) and there is no shame in that. It will be like a puppy to the 25th power.


JD, February 4, 2017: He’s here, born 1/19, just under the wire for Obama to be his first president. He’s a good baby. Very sleepy, not easily rattled. He got used to barking dogs in the womb, it seems. Got any parenting advice?

For every outrageous move that sparks a protest there are a thousand little ones chipping away at our dignity. There’s the wall, and he also took down the Spanish language version of the White House website. There’s the Muslim ban, and it’s now also illegal to help undocumented immigrants. There’s his Black History month speech where the least crazy thing he said was talking about working with Ben Carson, the only black person he knows.


PP, February 4, 2017: Good job, clearly an intellectual. Parenting advice: Guard Dog Training, William Koehler, start at ABE books. Make the area safe, give one command that is reinforced, then neglect.

Trumpster is doing better than I hoped–more chaos, more slop. Only this boy Mad Dog seems to have a clue, possibly Tillerson will, but I think they can’t get in edgewise against the Bannon Conway Spicer noise. Spicer is the best thing imaginable–a spokesman to the press who cannot speak and cannot but assault the press (his slop is then cleaned up late night by Conway speaking outright fiction). There are things about this that real satirists could not improve upon. One thinks of Terry Southern trying to make fun of this. Every move is badly done. It exceeds hope.

I can see getting an eight-week-old terrier puppy to get right in bed with your boy, have them mature together (puppy gets potty training in matter of weeks though). That would be very interesting, their language and devotion.


JD, March 6, 2017: I wonder if it’ll be something surprising, comparably small, that legally does Trump in.

Picture attached of boy with dog, though their language and devotion aren’t developing together. The dog is 7.


PP, March 7, 2017: That dog has the idea. The child will be walking with one hand on his back when he is 12 mos old. The dog will understand his first words, and you won’t.

These people rolling off the Trump deck would ordinarily be a good sign if you want the ship to go down. But in this case the A team was so weak that it can’t but improve as we enter the B and C team, presenting us with the depressing prospect of competence and longevity. Flynn in particular could have been counted on for major improprieties had he remained on deck. Also a big disappointment that Conway is not now allowed to speak. Sessions is a redneck leprechaun who at least can yet be counted on to step on dick.

I hope you discovered cloth diapers. If not get some. They will survive the training and be the best polishing cloths and tool rags you can possibly acquire. I got us some for our daughters and never myself changed a diaper, which seems incredible but made consummate sense at the time because I did not want to be charged with molestation. All fathers were being charged with that in 1985; it was well beyond Freud.


JD, March 8, 2017: I haven’t used cloth diapers yet, and every time I change his disposable ones I think about how it takes 500 years for them to decompose. Will get some cloth ones.

I was hoping the B and C teams wouldn’t shape up, the way no one fit would take over for Flynn, but I bet you’re right. This is like a nightmare when you’re trying to make a bus and your suitcase keeps unpacking itself.

What if we forget the shitty interview and do Politics and Parenting with Padgett Powell. Could edit up some of what we have here…


PP, March 8, 2017: Since Nov. 8 the left should have been saying Trumpcare. “I can’t wait to see Trumpcare.” They didn’t–almost like Obama’s refusing to say Radical Islamic Terror. (What they said, ultimately, instead was “Terror.” “This incident cannot at this time be regarded an act of terror, officials said.”)

(A bomb in a dumpster in Manhattan that injured 41 people.)

Now the thing is rolled out and NO ONE gets on it. CNN boy asked Price if it would be called Trumpcare, Price said, “We prefer patient care.” And CNN boy does not move: “Yes, sir, the patient Trumpcare, when will the CBO scores be out? Were you thinking there’d be this much resistance to Trumpcare by Trump supporters?” THEY DO FUCKING NOTHING. They yet run around writing shit like this:

“They have resisted the premise that white skin should not be given special consideration… The force of this resistance has been strong enough to elect a president.” That is from intro to a Didion book.


PP, March 9, 2017: I am not of course suggesting it is CNN boy’s task. What I mean is that every Dem on the Hill, every I-just-don’t-trust-her(-I trust her-now) on the street, should be saying “Trumpcare” fifty times a day. When the word Obamacare is uttered, we should be saying, “Wait–you repealed and replaced that, did you not? Fuck it. How’s this Trumpcare going?” Should have been using this term every time a GOP said “The first order of business, day one,” as they did, “is repeal and replace Obamacare.” “Show us the Trumpcare! Bring it! Trumpcare!” This alone would have stopped them had we done it. Trump says, “No one knew it was so complicated,” and the Dems do not laugh him off the stage. They said nothing. It was left to Noah whatshisname to write a joke about it. It should be added to the list of other reality-detachment toads coming out of him–the crowd size, the 4 million fraudulent votes, what happened in Sweden last night, the personal Obama wire tapp sic, the 122 vicious criminals deGitmoed by Obama.


JD, March 9, 2017: I don’t understand what the Dems are doing. I keep waiting for some big organized strategy to emerge, something that reveals they’re talking behind closed doors, working on something. But I’m starting to think they’re just reading the investigative journalism along with the rest of us.


PP, March 10, 2017: When you get to feeling a cloth diaper, you will want to wear one yourself. You can polish furniture, guns, and your ass with these things.


JD, March 10, 2017: Did you do a service? Looks like they’ll pick up dirty ones and deliver clean ones. How’s the structural integrity?


PP, March 10, 2017: Did not do a service. Just bought probably 4 doz. and handled them. They’re yours if you buy them. They last a long time. I have a few still intact. I would wash cold and gentle unless they tell you different. Can’t advise further on it. Try both.


JD, March 16, 2017: What do you think of this? Feel free to edit, change, or veto parts or the whole thing since we were writing emails, not with a wide audience in mind.


PP, March 16, 2017: You are supposed to be consumed by raising that new puppy. Isn’t it sucking on you etc. to the extent that an interview is a trivial thing you have forgotten about? Is it the case that you can get MONEY for this or something? (That would change things a bit.) I will poke at this with vicious unsuitability if I do it.


JD, March 16, 2017: It sure is sucking on me–I’m trapped under this guy minimum 12 hours a day. Imagine all the thinking one can do. No money, just advertising you and your book, which you don’t need and is barely mentioned. Do whatever you want to it; it’s not like we’re getting paid.


PP, March 16, 2017: You must let him suck to heart’s content so that he is not a moron in pursuit of titty when he is fourteen. And even then I think at best you will only be able to deflect or tamp that urge down.

Ian Frazier describes Indians who fed children to age five by bending at the waist in the field. You hear of Indians being drunks but not tit-mad.

I will pervert the interview but really we ought not bother.


JD, March 18, 2017: That’s some grade-a deductive reasoning. Who says Indians aren’t tit-mad? Just may not be newsworthy.

Ann Ward suggested I send it to Guernica. I re-looked at it with ambition in mind, and it’s actually much more interesting if you take out my part. You can tell what I’m saying by what you’re saying. But then we’re in a situation where I’m shopping around a piece in which I do not appear, except that you’re talking to me, and you, the only speaker, don’t want any part of it, even though I think that’s a mistake.


PP, March 18, 2017: Let’s improve your part; this is yours. I will punch it up at some point. Get some money. It will be yours.


JD, March 22, 2017: I’ll reverse engineer something improved…

You see Tillerson’s comments? Amazing. God is indeed not through with him.


PP, March 23, 2017: A good day today: Nunes invalidated the House Committee, upping likelihood of select outside committee (McCain called for it already; when Graham throws in, it rolls). Manafort money is direct from Kremlin; he was aboard to remove Ukraine clauses from Republican platform, then strangely disappeared–why was he released? His boys Stoner? (with the hats) and Page (maybe his boy, not sure, the other one is) when subpoenaed will spill guts so weirdly it will be like having G. Gordon Liddy again. And Flynn–he’ll be back soon; I saw Bob Woodward say he did not think Flynn’s apparent cause for firing was cause for firing “not a fireable offense,” lying to Pence. And surely the little redneck leprechaun will circle back in too. Manafort got the Ukraine cleaned, for money; Flynn told ambassador not to respond to sanctions, told Trump he had, which is why Trump tweeted, immediately, he was happy Putin showed restraint, “a smart guy.” I.e., he listened to us, we know, we spoke to him. Nixon went down for a piece of tape on a door lock and some arrested burglars. Trump had the Russians do the break in (to the same office), benefited from the vast material stolen (Watergate got nothing), encouraged them (at least publicly) to keep at it. Now he’s got a plumber on the House Committee who has not better sense than to walk over to the boss’s office in broad daylight and walk outside in the sun and admit it. The Watergate boys were arrested at night by cops with flashlights and did not hold press conferences.

Meanwhile MSNBC puts “Trumpcare” on a crawler tonight (first one I have seen) and tomorrow either the bill is pulled (their best hope), or the vote fails, or the vote passes (their worst nightmare). If it passes, in two years 22 million people have no insurance, by most counts. There will be 22 million people who know them and see them die and so forth.

And best of all, not much on it yet, the stock market is shaking. As soon as Flynn resurfaces, Woodward, the old Watergate hand, will be back on, and this thing goes into third gear.


JD, March 23, 2017: Trump just gave congress an ultimatum!


PP, March 25, 2017: Smartest thing he’s done, because it effected pulling the bill before vote. Their best outcome. Trump went on camera and blamed Pelosi, Schumer, and all the Democrats who did not vote to repeal their own program. And that is whom his base will blame.

Just remember–Watergate and Nixon exit (and Nixon was brilliant politician) owes to a piece of tape on a door lock and five cat burglars, who stole nothing. Not a Russian, a ruble, a dollar, a million dollars, transcripts, dossiers about whores peeing on POTUS in sight. No business deals, no staff on Russian payrolls, no inept spokesmen, no POTUS tweeting lies. This is the best theater the world has ever been provided. I hope the world will at least thank us for that.


JD, March 30, 2017: I’m not sure I understand what exactly is going on with Nunes except that he’s a Trump guy overseeing hearings about Trump’s camp.

It’s becoming difficult to focus. Even when the baby’s asleep the threat of him waking is paralyzing. Did you deal with this?


PP, March 30, 2017: Nunes I believe to have deliberately terminated, via inept-looking malfeasances, his committee and its work. He did this at Trump’s behest. After he did the lawn talking etc.–keeping everyone informed of the malfeasance of his getting the intell from White House and then just in case that weren’t enough taking it to the White House–stepping outside the White House and telling everyone what he’s just done in case they missed it, he was pretty sure the committee would be somehow declared invalid and corrupt. Nobody said that so he cancelled all its meetings. They still do not take the hint. I suspect that there is no intel; there does not need to be, they thought. Just pretend we gave you something and pretend you gave it back and tell them you did all this; that should do it. End of committee. Then we can get the other one shut down.

This guy Burr started that today–said they would not be investigating ongoing rewards from Russia for any services performed by Trump camp: that is the press’s business, he said today, to no one’s alarm, except your girl Maddow caught the irony of it. It looks to me like early decline of that committee too. So, bringing up the rear, the only hope all along, is McCain calling for select committee and Graham bless his drag-queen heart calling Nunes Inspector Clouseau.

I was asleep during all the not sleeping and the diapering. I began fathering about age 4 for one lesson and did another about age 12 on the first girl. In the first I told her not to eat a piece of candy she found on a playground and she asked why not and I said because children pee on candy and she asked twenty minutes later why do children pee on candy and I said I don’t know.  At 12 I was asked “Dad, what’s the story on booze? Mommie won’t tell me.” I said, “Well, it makes you feel real good and it makes you stupid.” She said, “That’s what I thought.” I said, deciding to get two birds at once, “Same thing with sex. Don’t get pregnant.” “Yep.” Both of these sage advisements worked perfectly. Done fathering, more or less, with that girl. With the second a divorce intervened before I could exert two-lesson control and things with the child have not gone as well.


JD, April 5, 2017: Is it true you didn’t used to vote? Do you vote now?


PP, April 5, 2017: Everyone used to not vote, everyone does now (except liberals taught not to trust her, who elected Trump).

You see how well I called Nunes’s killing his committee? Radical that no one sees the deliberation; they continue to ponder the mystery of it all (same class of mind waiting for the revelatory tax returns–these people are dumber than Trump).


JD, April 6, 2017: Everything you’ve predicted is unfolding: Nunes’ committee, Flynn’s reappearance, etc…


PP, April 6, 2017: I see that I did call for Flynn return, but I also predicted Woodward would resurface, and he hasn’t. I hope he is at work on Manafort. I think he will be bigger than Flynn. Much.

Trump is going to figure out that tweets about Obama personnel (the latest Susan Rice, and a brilliant choice; Randy Paul and Lindsey Drag jumped on her like poopstink) are good for only a few days each–what he needs is a nuke coming out of Korea to get rid of Russia once and for all. WWIII, that is to say, ought to stop this Russian hoax. Either that or he manages to damage a Russian MIG in Syria and bro Putin waxes unhappy. They gone do something.

I saw someone last night reprise a June 2016 Trumptweet: “Can you impeach a president for gross incompetence?”

Now that Nunes ended his committee, does it seem peculiar that no one mentions it or apparently cares? Which means that this maneuver has been 100% successful.

He will provoke Kim Jung Ill before he maddens Putin because a revivification of the Korean war will be better for him politically than provoking Putin’s revealing The Donald watching two gorgeous Russian whores peeing on Obama’s bed.


JD, April 6, 2017: I’m glad we have time stamps on your emails to compare to history.


JD, May 9, 2017: On Friday I gave a talk in which I mentioned your use of specific types of horses in your story “Horses,” that it was a strategy we might expect to point to expertise, but you used it to create confusion, and in subverting our expectations created humor, and after the talk an elderly lady came up and said, “did you know one of those is actually a type of cow?” I did not.

Looks like Trump fired Comey.


PP, May 9, 2017: Holstein, which I thought a cow when I did it, has been pointed out to me to be also a horse. Your lady is exactly where I was when I wrote it.

Comey will prove the tipping point. Lordy, he’s feeling slightly nauseous now and he’s found door #3. Trump has done of the favor of canning his phony ass and tying his own noose.


JD, July 12, 2017: Hello, sir! Just got back from Disquiet where I attended many question and answer sessions I loved and you would have hated. Attached is a photo essay of Brendan at two-minute intervals during the asking of one question.

Do you think Trump Jr will end up mattering at all?


PP, July 12, 2017: Trump Jr is the greasiest weasel I have ever seen. He’ll bring Kush and Manafort in deep before it’s over. Trump today saying Putin wanted Hillary is the latest sign he is really a loose marble (put that with our forming a cybersecurity unit with Putin and you have pure Monty Python). What I can’t fathom, among other things, is how all this can go down and not one party revives the old slur “Pinko.” Sixty years ago that is all you’d have heard the first time Trump said Putin is strong, and the campaign would have been over.

The portrait of Brendan is perfect. I will send a series of photos of my dog and Trump doll that are at 5-minute intervals but I want the expertise to insert the time stamp.


JD, July 13, 2017: What a gorgeous dog! What kind is he? And he knows to avoid rattlesnakes.


PP, July 13, 2017: He is pit bull with actual pit breeding. You’ve never seen one before. Took three years’ pestering of my old dog man to find him, and I went to Austin Book Fair only so I could go to Huntsville to get puppy. I am not certain what happened in the woods with the rattler. The event was odd–the tussle I heard was not where I then found the rattler, etc. But dog was nervous and spooked, for sure.

By the way, in re pinko, today on MSNBC or CNN I see a subhead kind of banner that says CRIMSON TIDE as they present Russia stuff. It’s the first reference to Red I have seen. They are afraid to say Red so they’ve come up with this cute entendre.

To be clear, I mean this is not the big dog you see aggressive on the street, the big blue (current rage) dog at the dog park, the dog you read about taking pantsuits off women at trailer parks, breaking the postman’s arm, being “rehabilitated” at Michael Vick’s. This is seriously, professionally bred fighting dog, primary side effect of which is sweetest dog on Earth, won’t bite a person without proper training.


JD, July 13, 2017: They’re the most loyal dogs, right? They’ll fight if they’re trained to, which is what makes fighting them even more horrific. Is it irony that we use their skill for fighting, a side effect of their devotion, to their destruction?

I never thought the republicans, the biggest capitalists of all, would not mind this association and collusion with Russia. At least communism works on paper. Capitalism doesn’t even work on paper. There has to be an impoverished class, everyone just hopes it’s not them.


PP, July 13, 2017: Irony has been extrapolated by misuse into the senseless. Forget trying to use it.

You have the dogs a bit backwards: their skill for fighting is not a side effect of their devotion. The fighting skill is primary, what they are (were) bred for. As this happens all sign of aggression to a man is eliminated–at least it is until the street breeder takes over and starts breeding for aggression and size, which dogfighters never do. How are you on thoroughbred horse racing? Not dissimilar things going on there.

I believe Putin cannot be called a communist. But I am surprised that that little nuance apparently stops the entire history of calling them the Red menace and their sympathizers card-carriers and pinkos. That that has gone away is almost like everyone deciding to get tattooed. Huge mental seismic shift.

I think things are going to deepen around Pence. He appears above fray, with his Cotton Hill squint and outrage when cornered, but things seem to creep around him. I cannot forget Bob Woodward’s saying “I don’t see lying to Pence as a firable offense” when Flynn was fired. Woodward himself is strangely low, or maybe he is writing and I don’t see it. When he resurfaces it will be Pence in his sights.


“That was not the only dramatic incident involving Kasowitz and the Palm hostess. Late one Thursday night in March 2013, the same woman was arrested for felony assault at Beauty & Essex, a lower Manhattan restaurant and club, after allegedly throwing a bottle that hit another woman in the head, according to NYPD records. A former partner in the law firm said that Kasowitz was with her and sustained an injury. Afterwards, Kasowitz walked around the office with two black eyes looking ‘like a raccoon,’ according to the former partner.”

The personal atty of the Prez. When this is over, we will die of boredom.


JD, July 14, 2017: It’s indistinguishable from reality TV.

That’s what I can’t believe–that we’re in a situation where republicans aren’t calling Russians communists whether or not it’s accurate.

I’m no better with horse racing, but I think I get it. And furthermore, we should quit breeding animals for our entertainment.


JD, July 31, 2017: Scaramucci’s gone so soon??


PP, August 1, 2017: We have been robbed of incalculable value. The WH release–that Trump was displeased by the profanity–another clear lie, so maybe this will provide a bit more fruit. Maybe, at least, the Mooch gets drunk and calls Rizza again.

Flake seems to be trying to send up an SOS for the party itself. Could come together.


PP, August 10, 2017: He’s done it: with one casual, corny, proud phrase, Trump has managed to turn off Russia and turn on Korea. It has taken longer than I thought it would. Even he will realize this soon, how easy it was, and he’ll not let this recede into Russia Theatre again. With a nuclear fire on a horizon, whether threatened, promised, or real, he will never be plagued by collusion, by legislative agenda, by any campaign promise broken, by the matter of a single job for one person or jobs for millions (the lives of millions, even if Koreans, will douche the jobs of millions, even if Americans, and the matter of millions of Mexicans crawling over an unbuilt wall will never matter again, and Trump will matter more as a president than Washington). The visible invisible coup d’ etat of generals at all important points (except for Tillerson, where is Colin Powell when you need him) may keep the actual bird from flying. If it flies, of course Mueller is history; if it does not fly, he’s a laidlow. Trump will win this, and the ease with which he can get thousands of people even today to chant Lock her up! on a Thursday night from bleachers in West Virginia is all the proof you need. We is dumb people. We let this happen.


JD, August 10, 2017: And even though we know that’s what he’s doing, the most important thing is not going to war with North Korea. I can’t reconcile the motivations with the consequences. Do you think the generals will manage to keep us out of war?


PP, August 10, 2017: I don’t think they can stop this clown. Doing this, after all, is easier than his getting elected, and we did not stop that, now did we? He seems to think that no one but he knows that US has more firepower than rest of world combined, and that we need him to prove it. Even Alexander Haig would be helpful now; he must have died.


JD, August 10, 2017: I just listened to this week’s Slate Political Gabfest and they don’t seem to be taking him seriously, talking about it like a strategy, but I don’t think he has strategies and I think this is the same mistake we made in electing him.


PP, August 10, 2017: Strategy my ass. He does not even fully yet see the strategy of supplanting Russia Hoax with nuclear war. Slate doubtless did not mean that strategy, did they? He still thinks the Russia Hoax is just an effort to prove he did not win the election. This is all hopeless. I wish to God someone would give Scaramucci a TV show, unfettered, support him completely. Where is the smart liberal money? We are as dumb as they are. The Mooch can have as special guest . . . Donnie, Donald, Ivanka, Melanie, any of the blondes, Jason Vaginamouth Miller, Paris Happymouth Denard. Model it after the MCNBC one-man shows, go head-to-head with them. MSNBC should in fact host this show.


JD, August 11, 2017: No, they didn’t mean that strategy. They’re treating it like foreign policy strategy, but they didn’t consider war as a possible outcome. They discussed the danger of making candid remarks, making empty threats the way Obama did with Syria, as if the threats are obviously empty. The lack of our media’s real consideration seems like the exact thing he’d go to war over. Surely someone will give Scaramucci a show…


PP, August 11, 2017: I see that I was slightly misconstrued, because I wrote not well.

Slate doubtless did not mean that strategy, did they?  should have been

Slate did not mean that strategy, now did they?

The media is always a bit behind: to this day they think they can yet get his tax returns, which is naive, and they think they will discover all manner of malfeasance in those truthful documents, which is well beyond naive.

We could speed things up with Scaramucci show. There’s money in it, and there’s the possibility of speeding up the destruction of Trump. How can someone in power with some money not see it? A profane Hannity (possibly one not so retarded). Has Bill Maher had him on yet?


JD, August 11, 2017: Ah, I thought the strategy you meant was turning the coverage away from Russia. Bill Maher is as pleased with himself as Maddow. It’d be a perfect appearance for mooch…


PP, August 11, 2017: That is the strategy I meant. We are hopeless.

I can take her because she does get good scoop and she is good-looking (the good lesbian tomboy look, very appealing), but it is hard. Maher has neither charm. But I’ll bet he and The Mooch could get it going and it’d be fun.


JD, August 12, 2017: You’re coming around on Maddow! A few months ago you said she was unwatchable. I still can’t take it, but I haven’t tried, either.


PP, August 12, 2017: It is unwatchable, but I have been forced to see her introduce new material, refreshing, despite her, at the end of the all-day news loop. They seem to do some actual reporting, and she’ll get the day’s newsmaker on the show. More time is spent faux lusting for the other leftist babes. This is fun because CNN and MSNBC are putting women on for their looks and will never admit it. (Look how long Greta lasted.)


JD, August 13, 2017: Greta Van Susteren, the OJ Simpson trial lady? Are you saying she is or is not a babe?


PP, August 13, 2017: Not a babe, could not hold.


JD, August 14, 2017: I wonder if Charlottesville will distract from North Korea for a while.


PP, August 14, 2017: Nope. Minor base-appeasing flap: on many sides, on many sides.  He could encourage some rioting to keep Russia off his ass for a few weeks. Maybe better if we can start outright civil war–I want it to start at Monument Avenue. The press is so effing asleep at the wheel that in their early reporting of the trouble brewing there they are NOT MENTIONING that Arthur Ashe is one of the (appeasement) statues–or maybe in his case the statue can be called a monument. This is where it should begin: BLM at the foot of Ashe statue, the alt-right army (ARA) at base of Bobbie Lee, and smoosh them together via some weakass policing, and maybe we can burn Richmond down for the second time. Putin and Lavrov eat this up, invade Estonia while it’s happnin, get the whore-Donald tapes ready, put ten blurry seconds on Wikileaks. The President in a wet bed, kingsize bed, some Russian ladies’ voices off screen. Korosho? Korosho?


JD, August 14, 2017: I hadn’t heard anything about the Ashe statue. If the driver is charged with terrorism then Sessions will try him instead of the Dem Governor of Virginia.


PP, August 14, 2017: Ashe will surface soon enough. These other monument removals are trivial next to this joint–it’s a half-mile of grand statues. No county Johnny Reb horseshit. And Richmond has good angry black centercore. Very promising.


JD, September 6, 2017: Are you taking hurricane precautions?


PP, September 6, 2017: Was to have flown out Monday for insane trip to Canada dog. Had to postpone. Cannot miss a storm, probably could not have flown anyway. Arranging affairs to handle high water (all vehicles mobile) and no power (generator fuel stabilized, large quantities of ice in the making). As Donnie says, I love it! Lay in cases of Chek club soda, a man cannot be stopped. Threat of ladies basketball team fleeing S Fla to come here . . . I want the lesbians here if we have to split team up.


JD, September 8, 2017: I’ll cross my fingers for a scenario in which you and your dog are safely trapped with the lesbian half of the bball team.


JD, October 1, 2017: How was the storm? I trust you made it, since I hear you’re working on a remembrance for Denis Johnson. Did you guys get much action where you are?


PP, October 1, 2017: House flooded, I’m on a martial-law basis. Vehicles etc. gone and half-gone, my fault. Four or five boxes of TYPICAL under a bed I forgot, swole up so large and heavy requires tractor to get them to burn.


JD, October 1, 2017: How was the storm? I trust you made it, since I hear you’re working on a remembrance for Denis Johnson. Did you guys get much action where you are?

I think I’m going to try to get our emails published with Fanzine. What do you think? Will you let me publish it?


PP, October 1, 2017: House flooded, I’m on a martial-law basis. Vehicles etc. gone and half-gone, my fault. Four or five boxes of TYPICAL under a bed I forgot, swole up so large and heavy requires tractor to get them to burn pile). Proceed with your evil plans in re whatever is attached and planned. Good luck with our imminent fame . . .


Padgett Powell is the author of five novels, including Edisto, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and The Interrogative Mood, a novel written entirely in questions. His writing has appeared in The New YorkerHarper’s, and The Paris Review, and he has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Florida.

Jane Dykema’s writing has appeared in Electric LiteratureBig Big WednesdayCosmonauts Avenue, the anthology, Cover Stories, and elsewhere. She’s a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow and holds an MFA from UMass Amherst. She teaches writing at Clark University and Grub Street, and is a Program Assistant for Disquiet International Literary Program.