Book Cover

Eating Lightbulbs and Other Essays

Steve Fellner

224 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

EXPECTED Pub Date: November, 2021

Subjects: Creative Nonfiction

Series: Machete

Imprint: Mad Creek

Preorder Paperback $23.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5807-1

“In this moving collection, Steve Fellner spins fascinating fragments like a kaleidoscope, always surprising us. He showcases a profound love for the essay as he displays a Sedaris-like humor while also tracing the history of his darkest moments.” —Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir

“Oh god, this book. A wild mouse, a whoopy cushion, a threnody, a meme, a tsunami, a side stitch, a teeth-kick, a heart of ouch, and whoa and bunnies. It’s ‘little fragments of eternity’ and ‘desire of any sort makes me dizzy,’ says the author, who adds: ‘The best way I knew how to write someone a love letter was to write a book.’ I got my love letter, Reader. Go get yours.”—M. Seaton, author of Undersea

In Eating Lightbulbs and Other Essays, Steve Fellner traces the seriocomic absurdities of his own mind, obsessed with family, mental illness, film, poetry, and gay sex. He’s in search of love wherever he can find it: An imaginary 1970s Cineplex movie theatre. Amoebas. A letter penned to the ghost of an environmental activist who killed himself. PrEP.  Lava lamps. A famous queer poet who didn’t know he existed. The AIDS quilt. A book he wrote for his mother who was never able to read it. A co-ed sexual abuse support group.  A baby shower. Fellner is always ready to subvert victim narratives even if he has to commit a few (or more than a few) acts of betrayal along the way. With both laugh out loud funny moments and refreshingly honest glimpses into the moments in life most of us would rather forget, Eating Lightbulbs appeals to our sense of self-preservation and the inherently flawed way we live and love.

Steve Fellner is Professor of Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport. He is the author two books of poetry and a memoir, All Screwed Up. His essays have appeared in Brevity, Mississippi Review, The Normal School, North American Review, The Sun, and Mid-American Review, among others.

Contents


I


Self-Portrait as a 1970s Cineplex Movie Theatre (An Abecedarian)

Eating Lightbulbs

On Redemption


II


No

Inside

Safe Haven


III


How to Survive a Baby Shower

On Apology

A Letter to David Buckel

Two Truths and a Lie

“I see flies, I see mosquitos, but I have never seen a gay man.”

Are You There Judy? It’s Me, Steve.

On Beauty

Self-Portrait as a 1980s Cineplex Movie Theatre (An Abecedarian)


IV


Ten Anecdotes about the Destruction of Books

Popsicles

On Insignificance

The Pencil Box

On Love, Sex, and Thom Gunn

Mad Max

Inspiration

On Fragmentation

My mother is suffering from uterine cancer and all I can think about is the ’80s.


V


On Marxism, My Mother’s Body, and the State of Creative Nonfiction

Deleted Scenes from My Unpublished Memoir

Acknowledgments

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