“You have to lay on it,” She said as she sucked methadone out of the sleeve of her pink hoodie and placed a few sandwiches in between two gym mats. Somehow, I had found myself on the bench of a jail cell learning how to spice up a frozen cheese and mayo sandwich. I had opted for the PB&J, a rookie mistake. I don’t know why I did it—I don’t even like peanut butter—and it wasn’t PB&J; it was peanut butter and honey. It was a gooey brown substance on frozen bread that resembled wheat but didn’t seem like it should be considered wheat. Was this shit gluten free?
I was going on hour twenty in prison, trying to stuff the frozen sandwich down my throat before I could taste it when she walked in. Her hair was seemingly wet with grease, her neck covered in hickies, wearing a five-sizes-too-small pink belly shirt and sneakers without laces. Her butt-crack and stomach were hanging out of her diamond-studded True Religion jeans. She came in like a storm. She was given four sandwiches from the prison guard before she entered the cell. They had a long embrace before she sat down near me. I guess she was a regular. She threw her sandwiches onto the floor and ran into the bathroom: an open toilet with a piece of wood in front of it to allow for the smallest amount of privacy possible. As we sat there, I listened to her poop and complain about accidentally dropping a cigarette in there. I stopped trying to eat my meal.
Paul Salveson likes stuff, that we’re sure of. Past that, his work confounds us in the best way possible. Is that a cinderblock made out of bread? I honestly don’t know, but I love it. His new book is Between the Shell, which justwon MACK’s First Book Award and is due out this Fall. The book is a collection of mind-bending assemblages he’s been constructing from household objects over the course of the last seven years. “It’s got a lot of older images and most of them haven’t really seen the light of day. So, it’s this nice culmination of work I was doing and continue to do,” he told us.
As well as these weird and wonderful amalgamations, Paul’s work has taken a turn towards more conceptually weighted subject matter, creating scultpures out of wheat and other materials (so it was bread!). He recently received his MFA from the University of Southern California, and did his thesis on toothbrush design, of all things. Paul says he’s always been interested in “how crazy and baroque they are and how there’s a new crazier toothbrush with different colors and moving parts and plastic bits and stuff like that.” Paul tells us he’ll be moving to Philadelphia at the end of the summer, so keep an eye out.
Taipei Carbs – by Tao Lin
above: Tao’s dad eating an “oil stick” (literal translation from Mandarin)
Over the next month, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei food,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semiannual visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live. This selection is titled “Taipei Carbs.” All photos and captions by Tao Lin.
Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.
I seem to rush, whenever I see this photo, to think Huffington Post quickly, like I’m answering a question before someone else does
Al Gore should abruptly stumble cross-stage during a TED talk, falling to his knees, when his vision is replaced with this photo, which he’s never seen, for 2.5 seconds
Under Fire for Bread in Aleppo, Syria
Every day the men, women, and children of Aleppo, Syria, must risk their lives to stand in line and hope that they can buy a kilo of bread to survive another day. Many of the bread factories in Aleppo have been destroyed amidst fighting between the Free Syrian Army and Assad’s troops. The few that remain are staffed by brave souls who risk their lives every day to ensure the local population has basic sustenance.