Archive for July, 2014

Sideland Four

Posted in Sideland with tags on July 31, 2014 by sethdellinger

If you’re into my Sideland blog, a new one is up.  Also, I think it might be a good thing of me to let you know that I am, in fact, working with an actual planned narrative here (ie, a plot), but of course, as you can see, it is not going to unfurl in a typical fashion and will not be a satisfying read in the sense that you consider most “fiction” to be; but I think it is important any of you still reading it know that I have sketched out a general outline that exists over the course of 20 entries (although I have an open-ended plan that could allow me to expand it to 30 entries) that contains, very roughly speaking, and beginning, middle, and end.  So if you’re still reading but not sure what the fuck I’m up to, stick with it.  Also this next entry talk a lot about my urine, just so you’re forewarned about that.  If you’re new to these, I suggest you read them in order.  The first entry is here.  The brand new (fourth) entry is here.  Enjoy!

The Foxes

Posted in My Poetry with tags , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by sethdellinger

Here is some audio/ visual accompaniment I created to supplement my recent poem “The Foxes”.  The text of the poem is underneath the video.  I apologize for my sweaty face at the beginning; it kind of looks like snot running down my face.


The Foxes

The thrift store was having a sale.
How forlorn they looked,
the two red foxes dangling over a hanger,
sold separately.
They were whole bodies—
heads, legs, tails, even claws
except on one leg.

My friend giggled
as I wrapped one
then both around my neck.
They seemed alive
chasing each other around my shoulders.
They were warm,
nuzzling my ears.
Sold—the pair.

To celebrate their rescue
I wore them to coffee
at a nearby diner.
My friend said the woman at the register
grimaced when we walked in,
the foxes and I.
No, I said.
Yes, I’m certain, he said.

I gently laid them down
together, by my side in the booth.
A waitress brought a menu.
Oh no, she said when she saw them.

Do these people think
I could kill these babies next to me?
I would have freed them,
opened the trap,
nursed the severed paw.
I wear them as a tribute
to their beauty, their existence.

Does anyone think it was my fault?
Monica killing herself,
so alone there in Chicago.
I wasn’t there and she had called
the night before but I never answered
and now it’s been four years,
she’s long since dead in the ground
and I’ll never even visit the grave.

Philly Journal, 7/24/14

Posted in Philly Journal, Photography with tags , , , , on July 24, 2014 by sethdellinger

It is not unusual for me to throw whatever current book or magazine or newspaper I am reading into a backpack and bike to one of the city’s parks or otherwise unique public spaces to do some outdoor reading.  I was just about to do that this evening, when I realized that I always go pretty far away to do this–usually the mile and a half or two miles toward Center City to hang out in one of the more illustrious or famous public spaces.  There are tons of parks near me, but these are actual parks, used by the residents who are regular folks!  I suppose I’ve stayed away from them not only because they are less interesting, but because I have typically felt like an outsider at them.  But this evening I took my book straight to Mifflin Square Park, by far the closest park to my house, at only 5 blocks away.  Mifflin Square Park is unique in that it is bordered on two of its four sides by the largest population of Cambodian residents in the state of Pennsylvania.  Not everyone who uses this park is Cambodian, but I would say 80% of the folks there are in fact Cambodian. Like, first-generation, speaking-Cambodian folks.  It wasn’t my first time there, but it was my first time spending any significant amount of time there.  It was nice!  Very pleasant folks (except the group of white teenagers sitting a bench next to me who were smoking weed).  I took some pictures that you might find pretty interesting:
























Sideland 3

Posted in Sideland with tags on July 23, 2014 by sethdellinger

Hey folks, there’s a new Sideland up!  Not sure what that is?  Here’s the explanation.  Need to catch up?  Here’s the first entry, and right here is the second entry.  The brand new third entry can be reached by clicking here!

Sideland: Two

Posted in Sideland with tags on July 16, 2014 by sethdellinger

Post two of “Sideland” is up!  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read my explanation here.  If you missed the first post, you can catch up here.  And the second post is right here!

Remember, if you like Sideland, click the little blue thing that says “Follow Sideland” to get e-mail updated when I post, because I won’t be posting these reminders forever.  Enjoy!

Philly Journal, 7/15/14

Posted in Memoir, Philly Journal, Prose with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2014 by sethdellinger

I’m not a video game player.  It’s not 100% accurate to say I’ve never been one, though.  In the dawn of the home video game console era, for just a small slice of time, I, like every single other kid my age, was video game crazy.

I’m talking about the era of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES) and the original Nintendo Game Boy, the little hand-held guy.  Those two systems were as far as I went; I never even owned a Super Nintendo.  I do remember having plenty of fun with those systems; lots of good Mega Man memories, just to name one.  The era did last a few years.

Three or so years ago, when I was living in Erie, I got oddly nostalgic for a little while for this short video game part of my life.  I still owned my Game Boy and a smattering of games, but the Game Boy itself didn’t work anymore.  I had some extra cash flow, so I looked on eBay, and sure enough, there was a Game Boy in my price range.  I ordered it.

It came in the mail and I played a few of my old games once or twice and, just like I knew I would, put it away again.  I’m just not a gamer.

But I keep this little Game Boy with me anyway.  It made the move from Erie to New Jersey when I lived with my mom.  It lived in my bedroom, within clear sight, but I never ever picked it up.  It made the move from Jersey to Philly with me, about seven months ago.  A few weeks after I had moved in, I was still unpacking some boxes.  I came across the Game Boy and its attendant games and took them up to my room.  I decided to give the Judge Dredd game (which was inserted into the Game Boy at the time; also this game seemed a lot cooler before they made two bad movies out of the comic book character it is based on) a whirl, but nothing happened when I turned it on.  The batteries must be dead, I thought.  I turned the Game Boy over to take the cartridge out, but it wouldn’t budge.  I thought to myself, well, this thing is screwed.  And I put it as well as all the games in a little cabinet under my TV in my bedroom.  I have not opened that cabinet in the seven months I have lived here.

Today, when I got home from work, the first thing I did was go upstairs to use my bathroom.  Then, I went into my spare room, where I promptly disrobed, because A) it’s hot, and B) the first thing I do, lately, after getting home and peeing is I weigh myself.  The scale is in my bedroom.

So, naked as a jaybird (that’s a weird saying) I went into my room, but immediately upon entering, there was a really weird sound in the room.  At first I wasn’t sure if it was coming from outside or was in the room.  I followed it with my ear, toward the television, which was clearly off.  As I got closer, I knew without a doubt what it was, but could hardly believe it.  I flung open the cabinet below the TV, and there was the Game Boy, its screen aglow in the dark, with the Judge Dredd start screen demanding I select One Player or Two, the terrible arcade-style theme music playing over and over again.


Posted in Memoir, Prose, Sideland with tags on July 10, 2014 by sethdellinger

Hello, faithful blog readers!  It is with great excitement that I introduce you to a new project of mine, something I am calling Sideland. 

Sideland is a separate blog from the Notes, and it’s a little more unique.  In Sideland I will be chronicling my life living here in Philadelphia, but it’s only kind of me, and it’s only kind of Philadelphia.  It’s a difficult project to describe; I suppose one could say it is a series of fictionalized memoirs.  The narrator is me, and the city is Philadelphia, and a lot of it will be true stories from my life as well as my own thoughts on the world.  However, some of it will be exaggerations of the truth, or even pure fiction.  It is an alternate universe, but one not far removed from our own.  In addition, sometimes I shall even employ “magical realism”, as in, things may occur in these blogs that appear to be set in reality, when suddenly the impossible may happen (for instance, I begin to fly under my own power, etc)

The writing style and tone will be similar to what you’re used to here at the Notes, however, it will not be identical.  The style I’ll be using with Sideland is more cynical, colloquial, and dense.  In short, this is not going to be down everyone’s alley.

Some entries will have a distinct narrative feel, while others may be entirely free-form prose.  The main thing you need to know as a reader is, if you stick with me through many entries, you’ll be rewarded. It may seem like I’m not going anywhere at first, but I do have a plan and a larger framework.  Keep reading! I promise that, even though I’m writing about a semi-fictional version of myself, I’m going to be talking about and exploring concepts much larger than my own life.  But…it’s not going to be simple and straight-forward.  Fair warning.

(and just to put it out there for you English/ grammar folks: tenses will be changing in these entries on purpose [ie past and present], which is often a novice writer’s error, but I assure you, instances of it on this blog are quite intentional)

I’ll post updates here in the Notes at first when a new Sideland is up, but if you dig them, I recommend subscribing to that blog, as eventually it will exist independently of this blog.  And worry not…Notes from the Fire isn’t going anywhere, as I’ll continue to post as usual in here when I have random thoughts/ rants/ poetry/ pictures.  Oh also, return to Sideland frequently, just to see the image at the top of the page change…it randomly displays one of about 20 possibilities (each a photo I have taken) each time you visit the site.

So without further ado, please click the link below…

Take me to Sideland.

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