Friday, November 2, 2012

Quadrupled


Honored to have a short story published in the newest issue of FRiGG.
http://friggmagazine.com/issuethirtyeight/fiction/volpe/quadrupled.htm

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jordy Museum


I was a big fan of Jordy Smith when he first came onto the scene, especially his smooth and swooping power hacks. His contest performances have been less than impressive the past two years. Given his mix of style, power, and progression, he should be in serious contention for the title every year. His ratings have slipped and I had previously blamed this on his over-training. As I've blogged before, I am not a huge fan of the new Mick Fanning-robotic-jock style of surfing occurring on the ASP world tour. In my opinion it's what stifled Kalani Robb's career. It stiffened up the flow and speed of Hawaii's best-ever prospect (before John John). Once the fastest surfer on the planet, Robb's style became heavy-footed and laborious. Jordy started hitting the weight room two seasons ago and in my opinion his contest surfing has suffered. Surfers like Jordy, Mick, Taylor, Adriano, and sadly now even Julian are too muscly and technical. There's no expressiveness to their surfing. There's no fun. No joy. Certainly no playfulness. At its best, surfing displays these elements. Parko and Dane seem to exude both muscle, playful progression, and style. Certainly Kelly and Taj do too. I had always seen Jordy Smith as capable of joining the company of those aforementioned surfers, but somewhere along the way he became committed to a mechanical style that appeases ASP judges.

I'd written Jordy off until seeing this video posted on Surfline the other day.

http://www.surfline.com/video/webisodes/when-life-gives-you-lemons_77804

Why can't Jordy surf like this in heats? Playful, powerful, expressive! Jesus Christ! The waves look like New England on a good day and given their size this is one of the most exciting surf clips I've seen. Jordy is clearly on the same level as Dane and Parko and the ASP needs to find a way in which contest surfing resembles this type of surfing. It's amazing that a human being can ride a wave like this. This clip is like walking into the Louvre and standing before the Mona Lisa. No, fuck that. It's better than the Mona Lisa. This Jordy clip is the new way for humans to stand before the work of another human awestruck. The ASP is blowing it. Surfing is one of the most beautiful human activities and they've managed to stiffen it up and make it soulless. ASP heats reward playing it safe. They reward self-dehumanization. If they want to promote the true wonders of our sport they should reinvent surf contest heats. If they want to sell Quiksilver tee shirts to kids in Iowa, then whatever, keep promoting the overly technical, soulless aerial wizardry of Gabriel Medina and the robo-jock lip bashing of Mick Fanning. Surfing isn't just a sport. It's not quite art. It's something else and should be exhibited as such. It should always look something like this clip.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Revived

http://smokelong.com/flash/eugeniovolpe37q.asp
The new issue of Smokelong Quarterly is live today with my story "Revived" and an interview at the bottom with author Jennifer Pashley in which I basically whip it out.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

August Wind Swell

A few rides from a mid-August swell. Hadn't surfed in six weeks prior to this session. It was crowded and weak but felt good. Check out Chad Bruce's blog rock-lobsters.blogspot.com.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Literary Diversity

http://solsticelitmag.org/what-in-the-hells-diversity/

I am the new assistant fiction editor and blogger at Solstice. Here's my first essay for them. It's about literary diversity. Of course, I mention Don DeLillo.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rate Your Creative Writing Professor



Sure they’re widely published and highly decorated, but how are they in the classroom? Are they egomaniacal bores? Are they bullies? Do they have bad breath? Do they pick their nose in class? Some of those questions are answered below in what is a compilation of RateMyProfessor.com comments from some of today’s best-known writers. 
 

Joyce Carol Oates, Princeton  
Overall Quality: 4.0 Helpfulness: 4.0 Clarity: 4.0 Easiness: 3.6

“What an honor it was to have not one, but two creative writing seminars with this woman. (I was never good at the actual writing, but she helped me become a better critic, more than anything else.) She's surprisingly small and birdlike, but you know you're in the presence of a very fine artist and an insightful mind. Fond memories.”

“Not as good as John Oates of Hall and Oates fame, but good.”

“This lady is a legend. It was an honor to have her as an instructor.”

“Brooke Shields told me this was a great blow off class. Warren Oates would have been a more inspiring teacher--he's dead now.”


George Saunders, Syracuse
Overall Quality: 5.0 Helpfulness: 5.0 Clarity: 5.0 Easiness: 5.0

“Maybe the best fiction writer alive. His lectures put me in raptures.”


Leslie Epstein, Boston University
Overall Quality: 3.6 Helpfulness: 3.4 Clarity: 3.7 Easiness: 1.7

“Brilliant, but bitterly honest. If you can't take a joke, don't take this class.”

“Sadly Dr. Epstein runs classes that are geared to feeding his own ego than to student growth. Expect mind games, bullying, shaming and a clarrooom where the professor's subjective judgement rules all interaction.”

“brilliant. gorgeous.”

“Difficult but I learned a lot from Dr. Epstein. From what I hear he has a pretty cool son too.”

“He'll only make you feel bad about yourself if you a) are a terrible writer, b) have a thin skin, or c) both. Amazing course, amazing professor. Check your ego at the door and you'll learn more about writing than you ever thought possible.”

“Do it his way, or watch out!”


Robert Hass, U Cal Berkeley
Overall Quality: 4.0 Helpfulness: 4.2 Clarity: 3.8 Easiness: 3.4

“Terrible lecturer, mostly had no idea what I was talking about, went off on random tangents and didnt focus lectures. I know he is supposed to be a genius but even when I tried to see that in his lectures, just couldn't. Absurd amount of reading, but nothing was that difficult. Writing assignments easy, study guides for all tests. lecture=useless”

“The class had so much interesting material but his presentation of it was boring and monotonous. Instead of bulleting key points he divulges into extreme detail on a few unimportant points. Not a good teacher for ESPM.”

“First of all he's a stone cold genius,The person who wrote he goes off on irrelevant tangents is the biggest geek on the planet and probably just too stupid to follow him. Hass is beautiful in every sense,there's a golden aura of spirituality radiating about him,He's also like clairvoyantly intuitive, +I'd just his bones if he weren't my teacher.”

“Of all the English classes I took, definitely near the bottom of the list. As approachable and amiable he is, "American Poetry" lacked substance. He would spend all of class sharing anecdotes about poets and leave only the last 10-15 minutes talking about our readings. I wanted to gain a better insight into reading poetry but didn't find that here.”

“Because how can one spend four years at Berkeley and NOT want to take classes from a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet laureate? Who is genuinely helpful (even to students from other classes) as well as kind, brilliant, fascinating and funny? Terrific guy.”


Brian Evenson, Brown University
Overall Quality: 3.2 Helpfulness: 3.3 Clarity: 3.0 Easiness: 1.7

“Tough class, a lot of reading, but very rewarding if you're willing to put in the work.”

“ugh. sounded good. but not. fun class, but no structure. Papers were supposed to be as response, but no guidance, then poor grades =( poo.”

“We didnt talk about the act of writing or how writers do that. Instead, we talked about the same stuff as any lit class: themes etc. (we did touch upon book design, but thats not relevent to writing as publishers choose that) He is a very very stringent grader- but the workload is reasonable. Triple your efforts though, bc he is TOUGH. too tough.”


Chinua Achebe, Bard College
Overall Quality: 4.2 Helpfulness: 4.2 Clarity: 4.2 Easiness: 4.0

“cool”

“Achebe rules!”

“KNOWS EVERYTHING. amazing class”

“Chinua is impressive only because he personally knows the authors he teaches. However, he doesn't really teach at all. It's sad, because what you read in modern african fiction is really interesting.”


Monday, August 6, 2012

Dane vs Kelly 2012 US Open



Tom Curren and Kelly Slater are the two best surfers in the history of surfing. They changed both free-surfing and competitive surfing. Their highly technical, highly stylized brands of wave riding became the paradigm for both groms and ASP judging during their respective eras. Their fame didn’t need the ASP. Magazines and films were enough in those days. Curren and Slater have made the ASP what it is today. Luckily for that organization, both Curren and Slater were as competitive as they were gifted. Both surfers went on to break all sorts of ASP records in regards to championships and number of heats won. Professional success takes genius and competitiveness, but it also requires luck. Curren and Slater had /have an uncanny way of getting lucky in heats. Their heats always seem to have the best waves in a given contest. A rogue wave always seemed/seems to come in the dying seconds when they need it. The ocean always seemed to be in their favor. You’d swear it seemed to be playing favorites with them.

Dane Reynolds is currently the most talented surfer in the world. He is an amalgamation of Curren and Slater. His competitive ineptitudes have been widely publicized and discussed. My opinion is that Dane’s competitive struggles aren’t due to his lack of competitive edge. Dane is more competitive than people think. His is of the silent variety, as was Curren’s. Dane’s contest failings are result of luck. Waves never seem to come to him in heats. So many of his heats leave him needing an easily obtainable score but with the ocean going flat. Sure he’s had some brain farts in heats, but his skill is so great that he can easily overcome it with a single move on a closeout. The ocean never delivers for Dane. His heats are always wave-starved. It’s painful to watch. His latest heat against Kelly in this year’s US Open was yet another example of the ocean not giving him what he needs. What promised to be the heat of the century ended up depressingly anti-climactic. The heat demonstrated Dane’s habit of over-hyping for big heats, of getting frustrated too quickly, which could be interpreted as trying too hard, or being too competitive. He did have his opportunities but seemed to be pressing too hard on a few maneuvers. If he had landed that one backside air-reverse, the hear would have been over. Fortunately for Dane, his reign as surfing’s new god doesn’t need the ASP. His blog is more than enough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

American Idle

New short story out with Spork about white trash amorality.
http://sporkpress.com/fiction/?p=907

Monday, July 9, 2012

Revived

It's fitting that this story of mine is being published today with Smokelong Quarterly, a few days after the six-year commemoration of my very close friend Bob Pollard's death. His passing was clearly the inspiration for my writing it. The artwork was done my other close friends, Thomas Deininger. Please share it around Facebook and enjoy. Also, thanks to the SmokeLong Quarterly editors and guest edtior Jennifer Pashley for selecting it as this week's short story. It's an honor. 

http://www.smokelong.com/flash/eugeniovolpe37.asp 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Onward Christian Surfers!

http://www.surfline.com/video/featured-clips/electric-blue-heaven_72031 
This is one of the creepiest surf videos I’ve ever seen. It takes place in a wave pool in Dubai. There’s a supposed Muslim woman “shrouded in black sacred dress” who drives a yellow Lamborghini/Ferrari (not sure which). She claps her hands to produce the artificial waves upon which Dion Agius launches big progressive airs with a Christian cross airbrushed on the bottom of his board while blonde bombshells euphorically cheer him poolside. It views like a Christian propaganda film promoting Jesus, capitalism, and thongs. WTF?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homeland Security Buzzwords

The Department of Homeland Security monitors the use of certain words to detect potentially dangerous incidents, such as acts of terrorism, extreme weather, traffic accidents, and hazardous spills. It's part of the agency's "Media Monitoring Capability Mission" (MMC), an effort to discover clues from web sources like Facebook, Twitter, forums, and emails, to develop what it calls "situational awareness." Unless you want Big Brother spying on you, avoid using these words on the Internet, or anywhere else for that matter....

Simulacra
Verisimilitude
Historicity
Non-event
Absolute event
Humus

Just to be safe, you should probably avoid these words too...

Panoptic
Cellular
Organic
Genetic
Gaze
Fig

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Open Letter to Robert Frost



Dear Robert Frost,

Guess what? Nature’s first green is not gold. It’s fucking green.

Yeah, yeah, we all know how rich you got writing poems, but why does everything have to be about money with you? Gold this and gold that. It’s pretty much your only metaphor. You sound like one of those Glenn Beck, Tea-Partying apocalyptic infomercials urging people to invest their life savings in gold. I know you read at JFK’s inauguration so I’m guessing you lean on the liberal side. Unless you want to be interpreted as a right-wing libertarian nutjob, I suggest dropping the gold propaganda. Let nature’s first green be green, but not the Benjamin kind.

The problem with poetically mining for gold is that it reinforces the Genesis mentality of man ruling over the earth, sea, and sky. It slaps a price tag on our vital resources. Reservoirs are bottled in plastic. Forests are felled into low-cost furniture and shoddy lumber. Soil and streams are contaminated by the hundreds of millions of cows we herd for drive-thru eating convenience. Basically, nature has become nothing more than a planet-sized, retail warehouse megastore. Think smutty ménage a trois between Target, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot. It’s why Glenn Beck and his followers refuse to care about the environment. Nature is our bitch. She’s ours to pimp and ho. Who cares if the oceans are rising? Once the icecaps melt, we’ll simply eat more Filet-O-Fishes and less Big Macs. I hate people who think this way, but thanks to you, Mr. Frost, they’ve become the majority. A man can’t build a high enough fence in guarding himself from such neighbors.

Another, more general problem with evoking so much nature in your poetry is that nobody relates to it anymore. You’re not just beating a dead horse, you’re beating the empty bottle of Elmer’s Glue from which the dead horse was boiled down and mixed with lye. I was born in 1974. Nobody born then or thereafter spends much time outdoors. We grew up on couches watching television, couches made of the most synthetic materials. Nature is never gold to us. It’s plaid tweed that itches worse than poison oak. In my mind, nature is a freshly laid forest green shag rug in a den with walls painted avocado. That was the den of my youth, the environment that surrounded me while learning my ABCs from Big Bird and adverb usage from Schoolhouse Rock!

The only time me and my friends ventured outside was to masturbate in the woods with a stack of my dad’s Playboy mags. They published some pretty good limericks back in the day. Anyway, we’d crouch down in a thicket of some overgrown who-knows-what bush and have at ourselves. Kind of like the boys in your poem “Birches” who ride the stiffness out of saplings by bending and straddling them. I grew up in a working class beach community. We weren’t fancy enough for birch trees. We had black cherry and scrub pine, both of which have some seriously rough bark. As horny as a pubescent boy can get, you wouldn’t want one those between your legs, not unless wearing two pairs of snow pants, which is sometimes required here in New England, but I’m sure you know that being a Vermonter and all.

As a fellow New Englander, you should also know that nature’s first green if anything other than green is that of yellow forsythia, which I guess you could kind of squint and call gold so long as you’re not connoting monetary value. Just be cool, Mr. Frost. Times are still economically difficult for the rest of us and even if you are a member of the 1% don’t get all poetic and feverish about it. Leave the gold mining to young women with silicon lips and breasts. Until someday marrying their very own Hugh Heffner, they support themselves by posing naked for young boys hunched over laptops in dark rooms worldwide who seldom see light of day.

In the words of my generation’s greatest author—Stay green, Ponyboy.


Word,


Eugenio Volpe

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Coo Coo Ca Chomp, Mrs. Robinson

The other half of We Being Brand, artist Thomas Deininger's Photoshop collage.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Buon Pasqua

Easter surfing article about Nietzsche, Jesus, and shredding waves.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Best Surfer in the World?

Would the ASP be better with Travers Adler on tour? I think so, especially if the cliche about the best surfer of a given line-up being the one having the most fun.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eluceat Omnibus Lux

What do Borges, Dante, Mike Tyson, Ezra Pound, Lorin Stein, and deli meats have in common? They're all masturbatory fodder for my creative process. I pretty much pull my pants down and reveal all in this story...so enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Human Beings


This photo makes me wish I were a lion or grizzly bear, even a giraffe or rhino, a butterfly, a moth, a mole, a salmon, something, anything other than a human being.

So I guess Maria Menounos made a bet regarding Super Bowl XLVI. If her hometown team of the Patriots lost, she'd wear a Giants bikini in the middle of Times Square. If the Patriots won, her colleague A.J. Calloway would wear a Patriots cheerleader outfit. The fact that this is newsworthy, that it would somehow garner media space worth millions of dollars, makes me wish I were a crab scuttling across the floors of silent seas. There would be so much more dignity in that. If right-clicking such an image of Menounos and Mario Lopez has become an everyday part of the human condition, then we have clearly wasted our once-in-a-universe opportunity of genetically evolving from apes. I'd rather wank off from a tree and eat bugs.

P.S. Due to cropping you can't see in my pic that Menounos is also wearing Uggs to go with her bikini.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thus Spoke Dane's Neckbeard

Worried about Dane Reynolds' burning out on magic markers and neck pubes? Many bemoaned his premature exit of the ASP World Tour, accusing him of excessive hipsterdom and brattiness. His Declaration of Independence raised genuine issues, but many read it as yet another ungrateful athlete unwilling to make certain lifestyle sacrifices, sacrifices that we mortals like to think we'd die for given such opportunity. Dane reminded us that he is human. We didn't want to hear this. Curren was never human. Slater is a downright god. We expected more of the supernatural with Reynolds. I was disappointed to hear of his ASP departure because let's face it, there's only a few guys on tour whose surfing talents are worth a day of sitting by your computer in anticipation of their next live-streaming heat. Reynolds' surfing is worth the 3 AM wake up time to watch him rip J Bay. Not many others are. However, Dane's heats were getting ugly. He'd score two nines in one heat and two twos in the next. People were getting upset with him, losing patience. We wanted to see him win an event. His blog was also suffering. He wasn't uploading as much quality surfing vids; instead, he was offering more and more second-rate hipster art. I was happy to see him leave tour if it meant better blogging. The last two videos, "singles. part3" and "singles. part 3. epilogue," filmed during the past few swells to hit California might consist of some of the best surfing I've ever seen. Dane is back to achieving godliness in these vids. Watch the ride at 2:07 of "part 3. epilogue." Dane is approaching video game surfing on this wave. ASP judges couldn't reward it with a number high enough. They'd have to give him a 100, which could then carry over to his scores in the next few events. So rest assure. Dane is off tour, and perhaps now he can relax and enjoy himself, and thus take his freakish talents to divine levels.
http://marinelayerproductions.com/

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mid Century

Honored to have a new story up at matchbook. Thanks to the editors!
watercolor by David Barnes