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José Padua

JOSE PADUA's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in many publications. He is co-author of the blog Shenandoah Breakdown.


Fame can be a huge pain in the ass. And sometimes, of course, it can be a hell of a lot more than that. On the one hand, it can mean that an artist has a decent-sized audience—often a necessity if the artist wants to focus on the work and not have to deal with crappy jobs to make a living.

A Great and Joyful Noise

Seventeen years ago, my wife bought a television after seeing an ad on Craigslist. It was a small cathode-ray-tube TV, the kind you never see now in the days of flat-screen monsters.

Serenade to Oblivion

It’s one of those nights. You’ve fucked up really bad and you’re fucked-up drunk. You’ve embarrassed yourself and everyone around you. Your friends hate you. People who have only the vaguest notion of who you are hate you. People who only know your face hate you.

A Temporary Spoken Dub Zone

As I drove into the playground parking lot on a warm spring day, the sound of Mohammed El Amraoui’s voice was pulsing through the speakers and out of the open windows of my car. My three-year-old daughter was in the back seat, listening comfortably to the music as she gazed out the window.

Put a Yodel in Your Soul

When I was a child and first heard yodeling, all I knew was that it did something to me, and that what it did to me was strange, mysterious, and maybe even (if I were wont to use such terms back then) spiritual and profound.

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

When you think of the great images that have come out of rock ’n’ roll, what comes to mind are pictures of, say, Jimi Hendrix holding his arms aloft like a voodoo priest as his guitar goes up in flames.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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