A great article from The Guardian, about the widow Karen Green and the aftermath of her novelist husband David Foster Wallace and his suicide. Wallace, killed himself in 2008, in the couple’s backyard – he bound his hands together and hanged himself from a belt. Wallace’s widow speaks publicly for the first time about her struggles with her husband’s life and her profound inability to truly celebrate his work. Because of his death, it is true that Wallace has been heralded even more; even turned into a “celebrity writer dude”. Green is not comfortable with this. She is dumbfounded and heartbroken that his work became even more illuminated and even more poignant.

Still, to this day, she says, she has “a different ending (for him, for me): it’s the one where he controls his own damn poignancy, and also kisses me goodnight…”

From her new life, the perspective is not a romantic one. It is a practical one.

“I think I’m supposed to buck up and be the professional widow… and I have found that very hard. Very hard. I mean one day you are a couple living in a little house and watching The Wire box-set for the third time, and letting the dogs do their antic stuff, and then suddenly you are supposed to be functioning as the great writer’s widow. That wasn’t how we lived when David was alive. I felt about him like I would if I had been married to a sweet school teacher.”

Read the whole article here: www.guardian.co.


Our lexicon is based on popular usage. As such, some words go out of use. As a result, they fall from their place in our lexicon’s library: the dictionary.

We think that all words should be kept around. And really, they are: you just need to look for them sometimes.

Here’s a list of 20 words that shouldn’t wither:

Lexicomane: a lover of dictionaries.

Monology: when one chatters away with or to one’s self without necessarily having anything else but one’s own company.

the sound that gas makes in your intestines when it becomes audible externally.

Polylemma: a situation where there are multiple options.

Also on the list: Nikhedonia, Metagrobolize, Hypoprosexia, Filipendulous, Agowilt, Eristic, Hebdomadal, Lethonomia, Tachyphagia, Nutation, Agastopia, Verbigeration, Chaetophorous, Pococurante, Sternutation, and Antistatis.

What We Do

February 8, 2011

We write literature. We don’t misquote. We are not journalists. We are writers. We tell stories about people. We are not here to give reach-arounds and to smell your farts. We have always known that people stink. We are here to find the good in you.

“I love humanity but I hate people.”
– Edna St. Vincent Millay

For our take on the humanity around us, visit our quarterly:


Enjoy Language

October 20, 2010

Music is enjoyable. But it seems that language is one thing that is almost never enjoyable. It is scrutinized by pedants and dolts those too dry to bask in the musicality of words.

Enjoy words.

We are all writers in the same way that we are talkers and readers and walkers and sitters and sleepers.


In 1909, while away in Dublin on business trip, James Joyce makes a pact with his wife that they will write each other erotic letters. The letters of his wife disappeared, but the ones he wrote were published in 1975 as the “dirty” letters of James Joyce to his wife. Here is one of these (deliciously) filthy letters.

Many more appear in this upcoming, May issue of syntax.

8 December 1909


My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also.

You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly.

Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.


David Foster Wallace Suicide

September 22, 2008

David Foster Wallace was found dead Friday at his home in Claremont, California. Wallace’s wife found her husband had hanged himself when she returned home at 9:30 PM Friday.

David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer as well as a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Wallace was best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which Time included in its All-Time 100 Greatest Novels (1923-2006).


July 7, 2008

To grieve is also to praise.

“(G)rief is awareness that you will have to be alone, and there is nothing beyond that because being alone is the ultimate final destiny of each individual living creature. That’s what death is, the great loneliness.”

“Grief causes you to leave yourself. You step outside your narrow little pelt. And you can’t feel grief unless you’ve had love before it—grief is the final outcome of love, because it’s love lost… It’s the cycle of love completed: to love, to lose, to feel grief, to leave, and then to love again.”

– Philip K. Dick from Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said