Rilke, Rainer Maria

The Young Workman’s Letter (Guest narrator: Chris King)

Usually, when I think about this humble little project, it fills me with all kinds of amourpropre. Even when I’m temporarily removed from my own devices (audiotorily speaking), I can’t help but self-congratulatorily pat myself backwise (I’m flexible) at keeping the motor of this anthology running.

Then sometimes I’m introduced to other projects that leave me licking the dust of underachievement. Tonight’s narrator is behind one such project. You should have a listen to Poetry Scores, and share in the dust-licking awe of it. And as a bonus to all of us, Chris King, the genius responsible, is a Rilke enthusiast of the very best sort. It’s our lucky day.

Visit Poetry Scores and Confluence City and don’t forget to thank Chris for the story.

I’ll be back very soon now, honest.

McDermott, Alice

I Am Awake (Guest narrator: Philip Shelley)

Tonight’s guest narrator owns and operates The Devastationalist Manifesto, a project I desperately wish would soon revive itself from its two-year hiatus, and not just because I miss the occasional chance for self-gam-gawkery. The project is one of genius, sometimes seemingly singlehandedly keeping the internet’s signal-to-noise ratio from flatlining, and maybe if you help me to strongarm him (GENTLY), he’ll rouse it from its vanWinklery nap.

Reflecting on his interpretation of Alice McDermott, I realise that perhaps I haven’t given her a fair shake, and that should change. This is heartwrenchingly rendered beauty, which, given our narrator, shouldn’t surprise anybody.

I’ll be back in my own voice very soon now, and still have a few guests to post. If you told me you’d read for me and you haven’t, I am probably very disappointed in you, although I just might understand all the same.

O'Connor, Flannery

Enoch and the Gorilla (Guest Reader: Patrick Scott)

Some of you may remember the sweet sounds of Patrick Scott from earlier Miette Bailouts. When I put out the call for guest readers, he was quick to the case. But Patrick’s a busy guy, now that he’s a famous filmmaker, and so when you listen to his lustrous interpretation of Flannery O’Connor, you will pick up the occasional whirr of what seems a loud computer fan.

I’m here to tell you resolutely not to mind this, not to let it interfere with the almost toxic pleasure you might receive from a Patrick/Flannery one-two-punch. If anything, think of it not as a probably loud computer fan, but rather, as a Flannery O’Connor story as broadcast from the other side of the buckle of the asteroid belt.

The next two weeks will be just full of guests, and if you’ve offered a story and haven’t delivered, I will remember this when your birthday rolls around. There’s still time to redeem yourself. You know who you are.

Wallace, David Foster

Everything is Green (Guest narrator: George Carr)

The voice you are about to hear is not my own, though today’s guest narrator insists his distinctive lilt can be attributed to “equal parts whisky, speed, and diction practice.” Which means that it’s probably closer to my voice than we’d think at first listen.

And so, I would appreciate no murmured speculation on rhinoplastic nasal blockage or testosterone injections on my part. For the next month or two, I’ll be hosting some featured narratorial guests, as I take care of some necessary business of a personal variety, which may or may not involve the sexual reassignment of my nose. Go ahead, speculate away.

My first guest, George Carr, is (on my authority) among the world’s most dedicated and assiduous close readers of David Foster Wallace, so it was with a blushing schoolgirl’s delight that my inbox received his reading of Everything is Green. It’s a story on the shorter side, when measured in minutes, but don’t let that stop you: every second is greater than itself. And if you’re as in thrall by George’s voice as I am, put your eyes back here next week for more. Enjoy.

I’m featuring guest readers for the next month or two. Stop writing to me with snoopy questions about my health! My health is just fine! Or at least, it is, and will continue to be if you don’t send me into a paranoiac hell of hypochondriasis. Nor am I in prison. Yet. I do have a talented stable of guests lined up, and if you’d like to have a stab at a reading, email me.

Shepard, Sam

A Small Circle of Friends

I know; this is two posts in a row that make direct mention of ladies’ underthings. I have three very good reasons for this:

1> the last post was James Joyce, who can hardly be noted without mention of underthings OR orificial expulsions. And underthings are far pleasanter for that particular task.

2> this post features a rare appearance by my friend Patrick, who has a tendency to tease us all with the hope and promise of starting his very own regular microphone-purring habit. Patrick is, if memory serves, the only other living person to have made a narrator’s appearance here, and once you listen, you’ll understand why. If you don’t, ask Christine. You’ll want to lap him up out of your headphones, and if you figure out how to do so, tell me.

3> it’s hot where I am, and quite likely where you are too. Too hot for underthings. Too hot for overthings. Too hot for anything other than the barest of skin. And headphones.

I’m back next week, if we and our underclad selves survive. (For those following, there’re also new chapters at The Man Who Can’t Die)

Carver, Raymond


Oh-h-h-hhhh ladies! Oh men and oh boys and girls, the sexiest man alive is BACK. Patrick has been threatening to start up Patrick’s Bedtime Story Podcast, and with a voice this smooth, he might have to do it, much as I’d miss his occasional guest posts here. I’ll warn you that there’s an outburst of laughter in the middle of this that I didn’t have the heart to cut out, and also that he does a killer bird caw, and that Olla’s voice is a little on the saccharinely fey side. It’s that good.

I don’t get the chance to kick back and listen to another’s purring drone very often, but when Patrick delivers the musing about Fran’s hair, there was a little patter in this dark heart o’mine.

And if you think all babies are angelic beauties and that children are some sort of personification of happiness, this may help set you straight — and in that sense, it’s a morality story. Hope you like. More from me next week.

Woolrich, Cornell

It Had To Be Murder (part 2)

Yes, I have mighty big arms to give myself such a massive self-congratulatory bearhug, but, you know, I’m entitled, it’s my special day. And so, here are a couple of things I am considering for my next one hundred podcasts:

— podcast in Estonian
— serialise a novel (eh, a short one)
— go back to a very low-tech setup, maybe not using a microphone at all, maybe just screaming and telling you all to lean your heads out your windows at the same time.
— on-screen accompaniment of the text
— sell out commercially and insert product placement for leading beverage companies into the stories
— create an interpretive dance troupe based on the content of these podcasts

You see? We’ve so much distance yet to travel together. Fun!

This is PART TWO (part 1 below)

Valerie, Sebastien, Scott, Philip, Miette, Marc, Jen, Hugh, Heidi, Dream, Ben, and Alex’s Bedtime Story PodCAST.

Woolrich, Cornell

It Had To Be Murder (part 1)

I began scheming for the one hundredth podcast several weeks ago, thinking that I’d gather all the voices that were most important to me, personally and podcastionally, share the wealth and spread the love, and, let’s be honest, go soak on a beach in a land where all the drinks are pink, while all my friends hang out in the trenches of pops and hisses.

But what I got back from my various requests, at all sorts of sound levels and all levels of craziness (at least, auditorily speaking), a veritable catalogue of every variety of background buzz, white noise, and telephony thrum… well, it’s rather perfect (or so I think, and I’m the lord of this podcast, so that’s the law here.)

Of course, very few of my lovely readers have voices that might be mistaken for mine, but otherwise: there are glasses clinking, there are sirens, from time to time there’s an inner-ear-awakening pop, there’s a dog barking, and there’s even a classic Miette moment (patent-pending) of a lost-page expletive (thank you; it made my day). And while the unedited transitions between variance of white noise may be jarring, if you listen a little more closely, perhaps it will be for you like it is for me, approximating the feeling of being told a bedtime story by a dozen crazy uncles and aunts, the kind who let you watch horror movies and eat pancakes for dinner.

Alex, Ben, Dream, Heidi, Hugh, Jen, Marc, Miette, Philip, Scott, Sebastien, and Valerie’s Bedtime Story PodCAST