Notes Toward Everything recently recommended BROKEN PIANO FOR PRESIDENT as its pick for this summer’s beach read.
Goofy without being stupid, funny without pandering, satirical without taking itself too seriously. Fun way to break up the constant stream of new Badiou translations.
Check it out here.
TODAY’S DRINKING STORY:
Here we see Patrick Wensink discover the magic of being drunk and hungry and a picky eater.
Sometimes the Pizza Fairy sprinkles her magic dust on our lives like grated parmesan.
This garlicky nymph only appears maybe once in a lifetime, if at all. Your odds of spotting a sasquatch waterskiing behind a Nessie-powered boat are probably higher. Ah, but when the Pizza Fairy hits town, you never forget. Even if you are dangerously close to blacking out.
Technically, the mistress of all things cheesy did not visit me.
But, then again, technically she did.
Or, rather, the Pizza Fairy simply used me as a medium the way Beethoven used a piano. The Fairy actually handed over her fresh, piping-hot miracle to my college buddies.
The Louisville-Courier Journal had this to say, amping the city up for Patrick’s upcoming reading and drink-a-thon:
Patrick Wensink had me at Lothario Speedwagon, the name of the band in which the protagonist of his new book, “Broken Piano for President,” more or less sings. But there is much more to this book than a biblically awful band fronted by a black-out drunk — things like corporate murder, starving cosmonauts, fast food wars and the world’s worst parking valet, who also happens to be the drunk, Deshler Dean.
Wensink, of Louisville, writes with a sardonic cackle and an often hallucinatory glee. His style is a D.I.Y. Frankenstein’s monster that uses parts pulled off Kurt Vonnegut and David Cronenberg, drunkenly stitched together while a Stooges bootleg plays at 110 decibels. “Broken Piano for President” was published by Lazy Fascist Press, and Publishers Weekly called it a “psychedelic trip of a novel.”
Wensink will celebrate the release of the book at 6:30 p.m. today with a reading at Second Story Books, 2004 Highland Ave. Drinks to follow at the nearest dive bar.
— Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal
Louisville’s NPR station, WFPL, recently interviewed Patrick about his Broken Piano for President drinking game.
Louisville author Patrick Wensink has discovered one simple strategy to help people pay attention during book tour readings. He’s made a drinking game out of his.
“I’ve always felt like the worst part of a book reading is the book reading,” says Wensink. “I’m as guilty as anybody. I’ve sort of zoned out in the past and haven’t paid attention to every word.”
Today’s Drinking Story:
Here we find Matthew Revert destroying VHSs with his hands and destroying perfectly good trousers with his drunkenness.
Sometimes we lose control of everything. Sometimes we’re not even aware that it’s happened – we’re just left to rot in the aftermath. How is it possible that, during the course of one fitful, inebriated sleep, I could lose control of every bodily function in my arsenal? At what point did the vomit escape? What about the piss, and the shit? How could the alcohol overwhelm my body to such an extent that my most primal safeguards were usurped?
I wish I remembered the night before in detail, but all I have are snapshots, exaggerated with the passage of time. My friend and I were dining with his family in the city, eating cuisine from a country I hadn’t even heard of. I remember navigating a menu, trying to avoid the spicier items, knowing my weak English body would be unable to handle it. A waitress, with an accent so thick it ceased resembling any language, was trying to help me steer clear of the more dangerous items on the menu. This is where the intake of beer began. That snapshot ends and is immediately replaced with another.
Today’s Drinking Story:
Here we see Georgia Perry learning a lot about her love life…at a hard cider festival…in a port-a-potty.
You know how sometimes you really want to love somebody, and you want it to be easy, but it’s not? You want desperately to not be annoyed by this person, so you can just settle down nicely and easily, be happy, for chrissake, but you are. Annoyed by the person.
Jordan annoyed me. He was also breaking my heart while I used a portable restroom facility. Christian, my boss, was texting me.
“I’ll be out in a min,” I wrote him back. We were at an artisanal cider festival in Portland, Oregon. It was late June. My boyfriend Jordan was involved in a dragon boat race on the Willamette River, something all Portlanders know about and eagerly participate in, but the rest of the country maybe-or-maybe-doesn’t remember reading about in their seventh grade social studies textbook’s sidebar on the Chinese New Year. I don’t know. I grew up in Indiana. I went canoeing once at summer camp, I think.
Lit journal extrodinaire, JMWW, says Broken Piano for President is “a laugh out loud, thought-provoking novel.”
Also, Patrick gives an interview with helpful advice to young writers, like: “Self-loathing is the best motivator money can buy.”
Read it here.
Today’s Drinking Story:
Here we see Patrick Wensink‘s epic tale of trying to fly cross country to party at the Kentucky Derby with a painful injury that needed medical attention.
Nothing wakes a man up before dawn like standing in your underwear, shoving a hand through window glass and watching your blood paint the sill.
But to get the scar on my hand, you must first go through the scars on my liver.
The plan was to drive to Phoenix and catch a plane to Louisville. Then we’d skitter up the highway for graduation parties, attend the ceremony and return to Louisville in time for the Kentucky Derby.
That idea couldn’t have gone more completely wrong.
Patrick penned an article for The Next Best Book about his writing space.
“My office is a shithole. Or so my wife tells me a couple times a week. To me, it’s not so much a shithole as a meticulously managed chaos, all neatly packed within square footage smaller than most bathrooms. And for reasons that would require a stunningly large therapy bill, this cyclone of crap is the only place I can focus.”
It mostly talks about a Sting poster, oddly. Check it out here.
Three Guys One Book recently asked Patrick to pen an essay about rock novels. His article explores the cliches that most regurgitate, but also points out how covering weirdo noise bands as a rock critic helped showcase another way of literary thinking.
He also lists his favorite rock novels that got it right.
Check it out!
Wensink’s favorite rock novel, “Great Jones Street.”