Friend, foe, or faux? It’s necessary to ask. Especially since I’ve seen the best minds of my generation… completely sell out to content, because form requires sustained effort and a working knowledge of what’s come before.

So then, to my friends, namaste. To my foes, nah

“Goodbye, hear? the bells, the old man ringing me on. Now at last, to live deliberately.”

They tell me I could really seal the deal, really nail it if I just used titles that were chock full of allusion, much more intertextual. Therefore, I’m now going to call this The Book of Negative Ideation. No? Doesn’t work? Well, how about The Misrecognitions?

Salman Rushdie once said, “Youth has to fake wisdom; age has to fake energy.” I completely agree, but I also find it crucial to provide the necessary addendum: “Those in between must fake ambition.”

“Feed me,” Erzuli said. “Or I’ll be sure to give you what you wish for.”

The world wants another Baldwin and instead I give them Barthelme; that’s the tragedy of my career.

I concede that, on occasion, I indulge in an inordinate amount of Latinate syntax, but that’s only to show how hard Anglo-Saxon words work.

Like any good Gen Xer, I spent my 20s refusing to grow up and my early 30s in a state of arrested development. Only the pleasure of raising children tempered me. But now, who is there to remember us, to mourn for us? Who weeps for the parents of the dead?

Never refer to the crônica as poetry, because as we all know, “All true poetry is about love, death, or the death of poetry.”

I wish it were otherwise, but “Fragments are the only forms I trust.” And yet, and as always, there is an “and yet,” what is to be done with all of this literary bric-a-brac?  

I’m just gonna say it: The Instant Pot is the Honda Civic of kitchen appliances. Prove me wrong.

I was looking for a job and then I found a job, and heaven knows you know the rest…

All night long I wait for someone to say: “Once more with feeling.”

We live in dimensions but never see the dimensions within ourselves. The memory of smell, the pairing and pop of neurons, the brain’s sentimental drift, when aged younger.

I’m not a poet, I just verse a lot.

Not just yes Molly Bloom yes. Makes me wanna holler. Throw up both my hands.

Which is good, yes, but if you really want to get up on some Nth-level signifying, then you gotta realize the real issue is Kant can’t chant cant.

Why the crônica? Because being a deliberate writer and voracious reader, I felt the need to branch out, to move just a half-step away from the novel. Why? Mainly because “I was familiar with novels the way a surgeon is familiar with blood.” —Percival Everett, Erasure.

Rone Shavers is the author of Silverfish, an experimental Afrofuturist novel just released by Clash Books. His fiction has appeared in various journals, including Another Chicago MagazineBig OtherBlack Warrior ReviewPANK, and The Operating System. Shavers’ non-fiction essays and essay-length reviews have appeared in such diverse publications as American Book ReviewBOMBElectronic Book ReviewFiction Writers Review, and The Quarterly Conversation. He is fiction and hybrid genre editor at Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, and he teaches courses in creative writing and contemporary literature at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. For more information, go to his website: www.roneshavers.com.