grant maierhofer

Grant Maierhofer - nonfiction 'piece'

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Grant Maierhofer emailed me a bunch of stuff. This was my fav. If you like the nonfiction below, you can see the rest of the stuff he emailed (poetry & fiction) here. Grant seems cool.


I’m doing several things. I’m rereading Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock and reading The Devil all the Time because I’ll be interviewing him and reviewing those books for HTMLGIANT sometime soon. I’m doing other things for that site. I have a tumblr and a twitter, I have a wordpress, I have many things that don’t matter a great deal to me. I want to become celibate because I’m scared of ever feeling something for anything or whatever. I text fat girls about having sex and don’t ever fuck them because I’d feel weird I think. I’m an idiot. I’m definitely an idiot. I started writing a novel but it hasn’t gone anywhere because I wrote myself into a bit of a hole and don’t know how to get out of it. It was my first attempt at writing a novel longhand wait actually that isn’t true I tried it last summer and gave up after awhile. I like the beginnings of things which is bad obviously. I think I have problems in my head that I’m unwilling to face. I want to push myself to be better, to be the greatest artist that ever lived and the greatest writer. I don’t know. I want to know. I want to be a human. I want to be a living human with thoughts and feelings and be a great man. I want to be horrible. I want to have killed like Tolstoy. I want to have read all of Tolstoy. I hate myself. I hate everyone else. I like Samuel Beckett. I don’t like Samuel Beckett. I don’t like women. I hate men. I hate you. I hate this world. I am a small man. I am an unimportant man. I will not break this paragraph no matter how much you pay me. Today is November 14th and I have to cope with that and understand that there will be more November 14ths in my life and I will have to live through them or kill myself. I think about killing myself often because who doesn’t? if you don’t hate yourself I can’t imagine you live a very interesting life. Coffee and nonalcoholic beer sits on the table in front of me. A copy of Knockemstiff with two stories read. The Art of the Novel by Milan Kundera with a bit of the first essay read. I’ll read them in the bathtub in a second. My mother is painting with watercolor to my right, a fake fire burns to my left—real fire fake buildup gas etc. I want to be better, more well-read, that sort of thing. I want to hang out with famous writers and be ugly. I want to hang out with ugly women and be famous. I don’t like anyone I’ve ever met. I don’t like coffee. That’s a lie. The only thing I like is coffee. Coffee and films. I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where I was born and I’m studying Creative Writing (capital C and W) at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where I’ll get my BFA then go on to get my MFA and perhaps a Ph. D elsewhere but who the fuck knows anymore? Do you love yourself? Why? Give me ten reasons why you love yourself at the bottom of this page. People will be annoyed by this entry. This is a book? Is this a book? Am I writing a novel this entire time? Perhaps this journal will go on until my book is officially published! That’s a great idea! Here I am, pre-publishing. I hate everything, I hate myself, writing, the books I’ve reviewed, the websites that have accepted my drivel. If I don’t get published for another thirty years I’m still going to write in this very same journal and fill it up so full that it becomes Proustian and afterwards I’ll burn it or eat it or something. Who are you? Do you love yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you want to get married? People won’t believe this is a part of the same book of journals they’ve been reading because it’s so completely different but I assure you it’s the same I’m just feeling rather Beckett-struck and I want to embrace it before my fingers go cold and I have no interest in writing another word this way. That is the mark of a true writer, I guess, the ability or the interest to fill a page this way and the inherent joy one feels afterward; if the joy isn’t there the urge to write isn’t truly there because unlike painters and visual artists this is the one platform we have. I love myself and I wish I was dead. I wish you were dead. I wish the pain of this world was no more. Do I wish the pain of this world was no more? Does this journal have quotations? I cannot remember. Some editor somewhere is going to have an awful time tying this shit together. I hate you editor. I hate you publisher. I hate you everyone. Bye.


Can’t sleep. Ear infection. Absolutely terrible. If I swallow or make any movement in my throat I feel a pulsating in my ear that’s nearly unbearable as though a small alien is growing there. Christ I hate this. I can’t sleep. I’m taking antibiotics and I’ve just eaten some cashews and watched some TV but afterward I just felt deflated and wanted to think for myself a bit and sat there trying to do so with the lights out and became distracted and now all’s simply lost. Everything seems to be flying through my mind at once and yet there’s nothing really substantial to cling on to. I cut myself last night or maybe the night before. It was the night before. Just small cuts with a razorblade just above my kneecap on the right leg for a bit of entertainment in the shower, nothing serious I assure you. I also brought CDs into the shower with me and licked those a bit as well. And into the shower I wore socks, my underwear, and the cardboard roll from an empty roll of toilet paper over my cock—then softening from masturbating a bit earlier to shemale pornography. I enjoy shemale pornography because it has everything I want in a sexual experience without being explicitly gay or straight. I don’t like gayness and I don’t like straightness. I like the area between. I don’t like the idea of sleeping with a man at all. Shaking a man’s hand isn’t bad. But beyond that I’d feel out of sorts. But then only sleeping with a woman without any sort of juxtaposition of roles or parts feels entirely boring as well. I’m not sure what this makes me, or what this says about me. I don’t like these roles and it makes me want to eat society and shit it out and laugh at the pile. I fear that the following fifty pages or so might be entries like this with long paragraphs etc. and no deference to the reader because the reader isn’t the reason I’m writing this drivel. My ear is. I was thinking about adding something to an earlier passage where I mention loving Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity about how after a few more pages from the one I quoted I realized it was a pile of shit and the main character was an asshole and Nick Hornby is a hack who can go fuck himself. I hope the time between makes this jarring. I hope Nick Hornby tries to fight me someday at a book fair and I still have this ear infection and he goes near my ear and I can’t do anything in response but bite his nose off slowly, digging my teeth in as well as I can even though cartilage will almost certainly prove immensely difficult to chew through. Shifting my incisors and front teeth subtly from side to side until his nose is completely in my mouth and blood is shooting out behind it and instead of spitting it out high into the air and punching the spot where it once sat I’ll swallow it down and it will be Nick Hornby’s nose that kills me much like the toothpick that killed Sherwood Anderson.

1:40 PM

I am surrounded by nothingness, by trees, by parents, by everything. I am surrounded. I’m looking out at the window right now in my kitchen or at the table adjacent to my kitchen perhaps in the dining room and I’ve tried to write a bit of prose to add to a new story I’m working on but I’m too distracted and I might’ve lost interest in the story I’m not exactly sure. I certainly don’t want to lose interest in this story it’s the greatest thing I’ve written in some time but I don’t know. I just don’t know. I just ate some eggs that were undercooked and with my ear infection this is certainly a recipe for disaster. Fuck. I’m going to vomit or have diarrhea soon I’m sure of it. What is worthwhile? Nothing exactly. Will these journals be published as something worthwhile someday? Are you reading them now? Do you care? Are you interested in everything that happens in the life of the character ‘Grant Maierhofer’ probably not but that’s quite alright neither am I. I love storytelling. No I don’t. I love fantasy, yes I do. I guess I do. Can one approach the creation of an entire class of men and language like Tolkien with the same perversity of fantasizing about fucking the girl running the cash register at a grocery story? I certainly hope so. Fantasy is one word that connects both of these things and that has to be worth something. Something has to be worth something. Try to make videos and maybe something will come of that. Try to paint pictures and maybe something will come of that. Try to write poetry. Try to write an album. Try to do absolutely everything all at once and you’ll probably get somewhere innovative and original and what the fuck will it all matter when you’re dead or in prison anyway? What will prisons look like in the year 3000?


Today is thanksgiving day. I don’t feel thankful for much, is that alright? I don’t want to sit here and give you some massive list of halfway accomplishments that I’m not proud of anyway and people in my life that I’m happy to have around because I’m not happy and there’s nobody around. Family, but that’s a given, that’s always a given. I’ve sent copies of journals to various people. I’ve sent stories to various people. I’m always doing things like that. Last night I was up until 7 30 in the morning and I actually spoke with this gay guy from Columbia College and we kind of had phone sex which was weird. I guess I’m bisexual but I don’t really like that. I don’t know that I could date a guy but then maybe I could. Kil also texted me to today and we both masturbated texting each other. God. I’m pretty fucked up I guess. Not because of the gay stuff. I don’t think gay people are fucked up, I think that’s something I used to think that I’ve had to wipe from my mind. I feel fucked up because of the Kil stuff and the depression and everything else it all just makes me feel insane. I want to stay up late again tonight but I know I shouldn’t. I want to write more or write less or write something infinitely more substantial than these long ambling paragraphs. Ted Hughes spoke about the downside of writing on a word processor being such an immediate connection between your thoughts and your words written out and hence there’s no real thought at all, just constant streaming motion towards the screen. Maybe that’s what Capote meant regarding Jack Kerouac but I hate Jack Kerouac and don’t find Capote all that impressive so that’s a terrible example to call to mind. I’m listening to Erik Satie, I guess. I just took a shit. I’m drinking Diet Coke poured into a glass with ice. I just read a portion of an essay on fiction by Alain Robbe-Grillet while I took a shit and then read a page or so more of the Writer’s Chapbook—a collection of essays created with Paris Review interviews, basically. I don’t feel alive anymore. I feel dead. Is that OK? I feel dead. I need to die. I need to hurt myself or throw myself from something. My writing is all shit. I am shit. I am complete shit. I would like to die. Can I die? Why are people so prohibited from killing themselves? Fuck this. Fuck you. I love you. Bye.

the first pages from ‘The Persistence of Crows’ that i cut out of the final draft, for free by Grant Maierhofer

                ‘The Persistence of Crows’ is a book about a trip to New York City. Grant Maierhofer does a good job of showing the outsider perspective of the Big Apple, from the magic of the subway to simply meeting a guitar player. Over the course of that book the main character appears to become considerably happier with his life before the cycle completes.

                With these few pages Grant Maierhofer gets intensely into Henry Alfi’s backstory. In the original book the introduction is a bit of a cold open. This is both literal (a cold Midwest) and figurative (Henry Alfi does not reveal much about his background until much later in the book). By introducing these first few pages Grant Maierhofer grants the reader a few additional characters to root for and care about. 

                Family life is explored in full. Aspects of this are done through his interactions with his sister that tend to reveal his childhood, growing up with her, and what they share. His history is explained. Many of the moments go over the past rather than the future of what his future holds. ‘New York’ is mentioned but only briefly. Grant Maierhofer has the flashback reign supreme over everything. The sister is a good choice as she shows how Henry could have eventually turned out (better adjusted but still fragile) rather than Henry’s less ideal situation that appears tenuous at best. 

                Henry’s father is the warmest aspect of the entire thing. It is wonderful. The relationship Henry has with his father indicates a simultaneous sense of worry and joy. No parent ever really knows what will happen to their child, what will interest them. Showing off the relationship means Henry and his father did have a serious moment. How the moment builds is equally interesting as Grant Maierhofer alludes to a great deal of pessimism Henry has with the world. 

                Yet that pessimism does seem to evaporate. Ultimately Henry, for all of his brooding, comes across as a rare breed of pessimistic idealist, especially in these few pages. He sees the beauty in the world that others don’t because they focus too much on the positive. Music of rainstorms makes him happy. Sad people make him happy because he sees how they can be, the beauty that they still possess. Even when it comes to his kind of water, the bubbling kind, he is aware of what makes him happy. The little things bring him together to give him meaning. Experiences like those he had with his dad in Chicago are the affirmations he needs to keep on moving forward into the future. The past can be a very reassuring thing sometimes.