Suspend Your Disbelief

Brian Bartels


Brian Bartels was raised in the small town of Reedsburg, Wisconsin. His work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Literary Juice, Pop Matters, New York Stages, and elsewhere. Bartels serves as the director of bar operations for Happy Cooking, which runs the West Village restaurants Jeffrey’s Grocery, Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Perla, and Bar Sardine. His first book, The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, releases from Ten Speed Press in March of 2017.


Essays |

Waiting on Norman Mailer

Mr. Mailer entered shortly after the party began, walking with two arm canes, and his presence filled up every available space. When I wasn’t refilling bubbly, I watched, then I wrote. But even what I jotted down in my notebook remains fragmented to this day, a choppy result of overwhelmed giddiness in such company: A girl with bones sticking out of her back; nursing a new belly ring and a half bottle of wine. Chevy luminaries. Pencil guts…