A bird unbound

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Credit: M. Jakubowski

A translator reached out to me last week after my short story, “New Names for the Dead,” appeared online asking if I’d allow him to publish a translation in Tamil. I gladly said yes. It’s the first time my work has been translated and it feels kind of miraculous to have a story of mine exist now in a language as gorgeous as Tamil.

The translator, who prefers to retain some anonymity (his Twitter handle is @thackli), also gave me permission to post some of his notes on the translation.

For reference, here is my story “New Names for the Dead” as it originally appeared at (b)OINKzine. (The story is summarized in the notes that follow in case you’d rather not leave this page.) And here is இறந்தவர்களுக்கான புதிய பெயர்கள், the Tamil translation.

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A lovely pair

Men on the wall Martin creative commons lovebirds1

I have to make an apology of sorts for touting my own work on the blog so much lately. It was not at all planned, and this will be the last such post for a good while, but July has been a wild month!

On the 15th I had two flash fiction pieces published, “Half of Love” in Minor Literature[s], and “Currawong” in Berfrois. With “The Open Air” in Numero Cinq, that makes three stories published in July. Add to that the flash piece I published last month in The Bohemyth and that’s four stories in two months’ time. Four is typically my output for a year or 18 months, so it’s really caught me off my guard, in a wonderful way naturally. And being pressed for time otherwise with work and parenting I haven’t been able to post anything else worthwhile in between — though I do have more interviews with book critics in the works.

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The Open Air

M. Jakubowski, 2015 My new short story, “The Open Air,” appears in the July issue of Numéro Cinq. About the strange world of office work, it incorporates thoughts and things I’ve experienced over the past couple decades working in offices and corporate highrise towers in different cities across America. Office environments are some of the oddest places I’ve ever been in. How these so-called corporate cultures develop and how people survive in them is fascinating, something I’m sure I’ll end up writing more about later on.

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Kingdom of Reversal

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My 200-word piece, “Kingdom of Reversal,” appears in the current issue of The Bohemyth.

It’s about the last deer my father shot before he died in 2012 after many years with cancer. It’s also a small attempt to hint at an enormity of things. What a family goes through during a loved one’s treatment, the motions of anger and solace that form grief. I took the picture of him, above, a few years before the last deer, on a cold morning in Michigan.

The June 2015 issue of The Bohemyth brings together texts and visual art by artists from around the world. And the journal’s archives showcase a fantastic mix of traditional and experimental work. I’m grateful to the editors for including my piece, especially to Michael Naghten Shanks.

Death is just a circus trick

A little while back I contributed a prose-y poem to the wonderful art + text collaboration site called Visual Verse. They provide a piece of art and you write about it for an hour, between 50 – 500 words. It’s a wonderful way to take a break, just let yourself write and enjoy it, then send it in, where it’s beautifully archived and becomes part of a larger project where other people have done the same thing, taken the same chance.

Anyone can contribute. I highly recommend it. Below is the captivating image by Denise Nestor that I studied while writing my piece, called “Death is just a circus trick.