Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Heading to AWP tomorrow. Excited. Will see the bitchin' MIKE YOUNG read on Wednesday night. I think master blaster TAO LIN is reading Friday. Also looking forward to LYDIA DAVIS, BRIAN EVENSON, ANDER MONSON, MICHAEL MARTONE, AMY HEMPEL, and etc. Also excited about meeting lots of people I've e-known for a long time now. Should be good shit.

In my absence, the gracious JEREME DEAN is going to be guest blogging at one of my poker blogs. If you play poker, go read. He is a very smart player and I'm excited he'll get to talk it up.

I'm going to try very hard not to blow $200 within the first 30 minutes of walking around the book fair this year. VERY VERY HARD.

Good announcement when I get back, related to LC. It refers to someone linked here and something excellent that came out of them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

LC & Ron Mueck

The new issue of LAMINATION COLONY is filling up quickly. I've gotten a ton of awesome stuff in a very short time. I am excited. It's going to be a really killer issue. If you're considering submitting, please do it now. Otherwise, submissions will be considered for the next issue. Submissions for the next issue will now officially close on February 8th. Thanks to everyone.

On that same page, there's going to be a little surprise release coming out right before the new issue debuts. I'm not going to say much about what it is yet but I am super excited about it. It is slightly evil. It makes my arms hurt. You should be excited. More on that later this week.

Also, I just found this sculpture artist, RON MUECK. Wow:

I want to see that in person.

Language Poem Written For Sound Alone AKA Suck Mine



Meerspop sunzit leepish buble,
collum neerdrum summit spueam.
Il koppen-vet koin zuddum nahz-hat
en envuggen, beep.
Noi-il vundarrum eye cod kwerkop dillshit eyesliggit teerbulb.
Spoot ungergish i'vellereep dennum ip ten
Beggbox gok palundrit sweerie
sweepie kneedles wippit?
Klorgendikishbossundribber pockle pockle,
sunzdrilerrun oifflissit pishlitsteen.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

4 More Things

1.I watched another Michael Haneke movie: CODE UNKNOWN. I thought it mostly sucked. The 2 hours consisted mostly of short scenes that had little or nothing going on it. There were definitely some good moments, one where a couple is shopping in a grocery store and fighting in a strange way, and one scene where there were all these dead cows and a guy lit his match. Those were okay. I also liked when the drums that had been shown in the beginning started beating over several scenes in a row for no clear reason. I liked that it didn't have to go anywhere but I still felt bored 45 minutes in. I didn't care if I kept watching it or not. I can say, though, that of the 4 Haneke films I've seen they are all very different, and I guess unique in their own ways from other films, and that is good to see in a director.

2. I sort of got into an argument about pot last night. I don't like pot. I've never tried it (as I know it is not for me), but I've been around many people who I've seen get dumber and/or different over the years while claiming it does not affect them and that it is not addictive. Everything is addictive. Touching your feet a certain way is addictive. Especially substances that alter your perception are addictive even if not chemically. I know lots of people who are "addicted" to pot. I'm not against perception alteration. I drink coffee. I drink alcohol. I sit in certain positions long enough to allow my head to change. I absorb light. More so I don't like pot because of 'pot culture' and the stigma associated with it. Pot is kind of like rape. I'm not going to explain why I said that. Pot people are not really people to me. They seem like parts of the furniture but still alive in human ways, and thus not true furniture. I don't trust pot heads. I believe you are a pot head if you own a glass pipe or smoke several times a week or say pot is nonaddictive or smoke pot and simultaneously like 311/Phish/Grateful Dead/any of very many other bands that I don't think non-potheads are capable of liking. At the same time I guess I don't have a problem with people smoking every now and then though it stinks and is boring, though I would question the motivation for doing so. What if instead of smoking pot people went out and stood in the front yard and didn't move for a long time? Or what if instead of smoking pot people walked and touched their head to the wall and left it there and tried not to think? I think those would be equitable solutions for boredom and more healthy and non-smelly and non-associated with so many yellowed cultural associations and would be free and might actually be progressive in the long run. I don't know why I am talking about pot.

3. While I'm going on, I do not understand journals that do not accept simultaneous submissions. Especially journals run by writers who do not accept simultaneous submissions. It's so damn hard these days to publish with so much out there and often reply times take so long, you really think authors should just send their work to you and no one else? I don't care if you have a quick turn around time: if you do, all the more so to allow work sent elsewhere: most are so slow you'll be way ahead of the pack if you want it. I think it's a pretty ridiculous expectation and completely unnecessary and against progression of the arts. I say all this because I got a rejection today from an editor at a magazine I love who I'd forgotten didn't accept them. His note on the slip said he loved my story but hoped I had best of luck placing it with one of the other places I simultaneously submitted it. Really? Is it that offensive? How dare I? I don't know. I mean, it's a writer's choice whether or not they want to send to a non-SS-accepting journal, but for the most part I don't get it.

Boy, I'm soapboxy today. I think I got too much sleep last night for once. I probably should drink some coffee and buy some paint and roll around in it.


ADDENUDUM: for this issue I also am going to have a lot of different things that are in forms no other journal would publish. if you have something odd, something that is unlike 'literature,' something that doesn't quite work but still is nice to read, please send it to me. I am not going to name examples because I want people to send me their strange. Send me stuff you found on your hard drive and forgot about. Send me pictures or drawings or XXX self-portraits or spam folder contents or recordings of yourself arguing with your mom. Make a mess. Come on.

Friday, January 25, 2008

THINGS ABOUT TODAY (a list of no great need)

1. I ate microwaved cheese grits three different times today. Twice I had the American Cheese cheese grit and another time I had 3 Cheese cheese grits. Cheese Grits, even microwavable, are an excellent thing to buy and eat at home. I am trying to eat at home more often. It's hard for me to do this because I like to be served, I think. Also I eat a lot more when I have food at home and can eat it at my leisure. I eat uncontrollably, like my inner fat child. I am trying to do a good job. I think I could be happy eating cheese grits. I will only buy cheese grits until I am tired of them.

2. My mom called to let me know that my uncle Joe who died yesterday of Parkinson's had a wake today and a funeral tomorrow. I did not go to the wake. I thought about it but then I didn't. Funerals don't do much for me in the context of understanding someone is dead. I asked my father if he wanted me to go to the wake and the funeral but he said I could just go to the funeral, but he is the kind of person who would not insist even if he really wanted me to go to both. I will be at the funeral at 10:30 am tomorrow. My uncle did not actually die directly of Parkinson's but from complications of his refusal to eat or drink water because he'd basically become a vegetable and he knew it and did not want to be that anymore. He'd begun to have delusions in the last few months from the Parkinson's. He thought his mouth was full of hair and would beg people to vacuum it out. He swore illegal aliens threw rocks at his window at night and tortured him. He thought his eyes had pins stuck in them. He feels better now.

3. I drank some coffee and that was nice.

4. I lost an ebay auction on a vintage TALKING HEADS poster I really wanted.

5. I read some more of ANNE CARSON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED, which I've been reading, and I read it while on a stationary bike and then I put it down and ran more on a treadmill while watching TV on mute.

6. The coffee made me shit twice. This is becoming one of my favorite side effects of coffee.

7. I kept my heater off most of the day so as not to run up a bill and as a result had cold feet and hands most of the day.

8. I ate exactly 6 cookies of moderate size.

9. I played poker and was bored.

10. I came home and was bored.

11. I will not get to sleep in time to be well rested for tomorrow for the funeral though I'm not sure why I'd need to be well rested for a funeral except to work better on making my face into something consoling and/or expressing of grief and to speak to my relatives who I don't see except on special occasions like an anniversary or a death.

12. This list is helping me feel less bored but maybe a little dumber or more crapped out, whatever that means.

13. I took photos of my loft to list it on craigslist so I don't have to pay a realtor even though I probably will end up doing that because I don't want to try to sell it myself because I don't like talking to people and I don't have the motivation to try to sell it because the motivation is indirect and even though I can understand the indirect motivation (of saving money on the realtor) I will probably choose to do it anyway because in the short run it is easier and I am dumb and lazy about things that I don't care that much about.

14. I walked around a looked at nothing a lot and talked to myself and used a Swiffer on the floor. Later I spilled some water on my cardigan and it still feels wet and is making me uncomfortable and now I really wish I was tired at 1 AM though I'm nowhere near it and I am going to sit up looking at the internet for a long time and time will pass as if it isn't there and I will get older without directly feeling it until much later.

15. Okay.

16. Okay.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pebble Lake Review & LC

The Fall/Winter 2007 issue of PEBBLE LAKE REVIEW is now out. It has work by Kim Chinquee (she and I seem to be haunting the same ships recently), Tony Triglio, Alex Lemon, Brent Goodman and many others. I have another list in it as well, this time as nonfiction. This is list #27, titled EXHAUSTED BODY LOOP.

Here are the first 14 lines:
1. I can never quite get comfortable enough in my mind or in my body.
2. The words I want won't seem to come out.
3. My lungs billowed with such error. My tongue as if spasmed, charmed, enchanted.
4. I am often compelled to do the thing that will cause most strife in any given moment because something in me keeps clicking until I let it out.
5. The same click that keeps me up all hours.
6. That wakes me before I'm rested.
7. A flying trapeze artist rarely weighs more than 150 pounds so as to not damage the catcher’s shoulders.
8. This weekend outside at 4 AM I saw myself across the street.
9. Sitting on the ill-lit stoop of a small church, back against the door, staring straight into my head.
10. We watched each other for several minutes.
11. I seemed more at peace in my other body. As if I knew more over there than where I am.
12. Turned for a moment. Took a breath. Looked back and he was gone.
13. In the strict sense a disappearance is therefore not referred to as such if the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person are known; if the body is found or if it is made plausible or known that the victim is dead.
14. 1 x a = a

To read the rest, please buy the issue.

To receive this publication, I googled 'how does blake butler publish so much crap' from my home state of Wisconsin. I did not receive an answer, but I did transmit a message to myself. Then I enjoyed an evening with my recent bride, who enjoys Jell-O, and who is learning to growl from the hole under her chin.


The next issue of Lamination Colony will include a series of pieces of 'creative criticism.' It's funny how submissions tend to coagulate in strange ways. I already have 2 pieces that are awesome and another third I'm about to accept. I'd like to see some more 'creative criticism': by this I mean the author either emulated a certain writer or responded to their work in some cool way. If you have anything like that, please send it to me. Also cool would be people mocking or emulating or parodying other writers. I can think of a lot that would be cool. You should do it. If you want to do it but can't think of anyone, please email me and I will assign you a writer to parody.


Good great grand.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I might go through that again one day but not any time soon."

I've been checking the windows every hour. I have a great idea.
Underneath your eyelid you will find a button that clears the room.

There is nothing that will stop the hall from sinking.
There is nothing in this cup. Maybe try walking in a circle.
Come back in an hour.

I don't know. I'm tired. I want to see you. Listen.

I am prepared to sniff your mattress with precision
until you tell me where you've been.
I have a plan that could be perfect.
I have nothing written on my arms.

The tree in your front yard has been growing at an alarming rate.
You will need to stop now before something else is striking.
What have you fed the baby? What else are you not saying?
Could you take that away please? I need a bath.
I need a future for this houseplant. I will pay you back in sneezing.

Or please prepare to buy this window. In the gummer. In the guts.
I don't know quite what I'm saying. Will you be there. Could you not.
When I move my arm to certain angles I become aware of other people's needs.
Today I felt very angry. I've been sweating. Will you stay?
How do you like it? The hall is shorter. The carpet is sinking through the floor.

I feel you are doing an excellent job but there's not enough time
to get the name right. You are doing an excellent job.
You are someone I have trust in. I wish you'd bake another cake.
I wish you'd stolen that other kitten.
Your skin is all over the kitchen table.

I will meet you there tomorrow: if something happens knock the wall.
I don't know why I feel uncertain but I can't stand long enough to leave the room.

In fact, I'm sure there'll be a problem.
I'm afraid of something burrowed in my lungs.
Or in my feet my knees my haircut. Please be sure and shut the door.
Please be sure and kiss my forehead.

Please be sure and shut the door.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I just crapped myself a little

In the mail today I got a handwritten letter from DAVID MARKSON, about my thing in FENCE and thanking me for including his book WITTGENSTEIN'S MISTRESS in my lists of books I love. Forwarded from the magazine, no return address. I just stood in the kitchen and smiled a while. Happy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2 Films by Michael Haneke

I watched two films by Michael Haneke last night with my girlfriend. I like sometimes to sit and watch several things by the same director, especially one as put together as Haneke. I'd only seen one of his films before, FUNNY GAMES (the original version), and liked it a lot.

First we watched CACHE. This film is about a couple (played by Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil) who realized they are being taped by surveillance cameras. The tapes are left at their house wrapped in a child's drawings, such as of a child head vomiting blood. There's a lot of interesting perspective work in the film. The first shot is of the front of an apartment in a street and it sits static for several minutes before you realize you are watching one of the surveillance tapes. There is a lot of strange, Lynchian energy in the film: particularly from the LOST HIGHWAY-esque premise, but also from the clean long shots and the stylized settings and the interspersing of short and long takes, as well as the fact that a lot of the film is left open-ended. I like open-ended films, especially mysteries. I'd rather have less questions answered and more to think about rather than "know" why everything happens. Things continue to get more strange and miscontrued as the film continues, and the way it ends leaves you even more so wondering what exactly just happened. Overall, an absorbing movie. I enjoyed it.

The second Haneke film we watched was THE PIANO TEACHER, which I'd heard good things about, but didn't know anything about the film other than it is about a piano teacher's student trying to seduce her. Could be material for boring over-sexualized romance crap, but this movie went any way but the one you might expect from it. There was never a moment that I wasn't fully attentive to what was happening on screen, and I was continually surprised by the way Haneke twisted what was going on, making a film that is unlike any I've ever seen. This is another thing I think Haneke has in common with Lynch: they set up an expectation (in Lynch by using noir and 50's style campiness) and continue to turn it further and further on its head, not for the sake of exploitation, but in a way that feels genuine and fresh to the screen. This film is definitely rarely what you expect of it, is not "precious" in execution, does not make you feel like you might think "shit, I am watching this because it's foreign and I'm supposed to like it," is genuinely different than most any other movie I've seen and for honest-seeming reasons, is fun to watch. The same things could be said of CACHE.

I think one of the most interesting things about Haneke's stuff (other than the excellence of his shots and development of the narrative) is the way it is edited. He very rarely leaves extraneous material in. He cuts out of scenes, especially the most dramatic ones, early, so that it doesn't have a chance to get stale or boring. You often want more. This displeases many people. Many scenes, particularly the ending shots of both films we saw, end seemingly abruptly, in the middle of the upswing. I like that. It lets the film go on after the film is over. The only times he seems to use long takes is in particularly awkward moments, or in ones that you can't quite figure out why they are there, as if he's zooming deeper and deeper into a bruise or a flat panel. Eventually the texture emerges. And then just as quickly he cuts away.

Writing could benefit from using these kind of techniques. As I've said before, I don't think there's ever been a great literature-based companion to the work of Lynch, and Haneke is probably in the same boat. But I think there's definitely something in these works to be mined: techniques that haven't been put quite to use yet in language. There are many that touch on it, such as some stuff by Robbe-Grillet, particularly JEALOUSY, which I really like, and definitely some Kafka, and occasionally in modern writers like Brian Evenson, Jose Saramago, David Markson and even David Foster Wallace (particularly in OBLIVION), but none that get at it the way I would like to.

I think I want my NEXT BOOK to be OF THIS NATURE. I've begun to think about WHAT I WANT TO DO but I don't know exactly WHERE IT WILL COME FROM. I've been relaxing the past week. No particular ideas drumming. Though watching this kind of stuff makes me feel READY TO RECEIVE, I guess, I think. I don't know why I'm saying it all like this, but okay.

Interview with Elizabeth Ellen

I interviewed Elizabeth Ellen for miPOesias.

There are also several other interviews in their new interview issue.

Friday, January 18, 2008


OUTDATED BLOG OF THE DAY: creepy, abandoned Chi-Chis



THING I STILL WANT TO KILL OF THE DAY: neighbor's smaller dog, who I am now convinced might be capable of invoking a hole in the solar system that will eventually become a spigot of sludge and hence our ending

MESSAGE I GOT ON FACEBOOK FROM SOMEONE WHO IS EITHER PRETENDING TO KNOW ME OR IS GENUINELY CONFUSED OF THE DAY: man ive missed you so much like u have no idea. its so boring, jake just like stopped coming and theres been ppl around town that look like you but its not and i just really want you to come back. wether you believe it or not u had an impact on me and everyone else in the youth group. u talked to me a couple of days after i meet you and i tried to call u that night on new years just to say that i hope u have a safe trip back and that you can come back as soon as possible. u really are the greatest person thats ever impacted me like that before. u gave me trust, granted you didnt reveal everything up front but u did tell me some stuff and i thank u for that. my # is 706-767-5641 call me some time but after 1 because i have school till then. u better call me and tell me when ur coming back. thanks for trusting me. and i cant wait to see u again? did u grow ur hair out? or didnt u rethink that. Happy Hippy! lol im slowly growing my hair back out, u should come and watch it,






THING I WISH I COULD GO BACK AND TELL MY FAT TEENAGE SELF OF WHICH I REMINDED AFTER SEARCHING SEVERAL ITEMS ON EBAY OF THE DAY: stop buying the goddamn Marvel trading cards. you don't even want to look at them. you're only buying them to try to collect them all and you don't even read the backs or look at the pictures besides when you flip through them in their protective cases. they will never be worth anything. they will sit in your closet forever. you can get the whole set on ebay right now for $4. and no you won't miss them, they do not add anything to your young life despite being useless, because you get just as much mental satisfaction out of eating breakfast cereal. nothing will be 'damaged' if you never collect marvel universe trading cards, but you will have a lot more room in that closet at your parents' house that is filling up with more and more and more crap. relax.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lapdance & reading

Last night after being fed many shots I did not ask for, and in fact asked NOT for, I was taken to the Clermont Lounge, which is known in Atlanta as "where strippers go to die." The Clermont is an unairconditioned basement to a seedy motel, known mostly for its stripper Blondie, a heavyset black woman who wears a blonde wig and crushes beercans with her large flaccid tits.

This stripclub operates more closely like a circus than a place of sexual inspiration.

After almost getting into an altercation with the female bartender, who I offended with my drunken speech, my funny friend paid another stripper, not Blondie, but also aggressive and black, to give me my first lap dance. It was strange. If I'd been sober, I would have run out most likely.

The woman took me aside and showed me her ass. She fondled my genitals through my pants several times. My friends kind of left us alone, which was also disconcerting. I was too drunk to be concerned or scared. At one point the music went out so it was just a room where this woman was rubbing her tits on my face and asking me questions about myself. She told me I would remember her vagina for the rest of my life, and then she showed it to me.

Her bellybutton looked like a little shriveled Caucasian baby.

In other news, there's a new update of elimae out, with lots of cool stuff in it, including some really excellent work by Mike Young, William Walsh, Daniel Bailey, Minna Lincoln, Michael Hemmingson, Matthew Savoca, and Bryan Coffelt.

Bryan Coffelt should here on be known as the guy who brought Wu Tang to elimae.

elimae is doing good stuff these days.

Also, in the new issue of Harper's, there's a short section of a work-in-progress by David Foster Wallace called 'The Compliance Branch.' It is very short and about a man who doesn't like the looks of his coworker's baby. I enjoyed it very much. It makes me excited for a new novel, whenever that might happen, as this has been referred to as part of a larger 'brick.'

Here's a section from the piece that I liked which describes the baby:

The infant's face, as I experienced it, was mostly eyes and lower lip, its nose a mere pinch, its forehead milky and domed, its pale red hair wispy, no eyebrows or lashes or even eyelids I could see. I never saw it blink. Its features seemed suggestions only. It had roughly as much face as a whale does. I did not like it at all.

I can still see that woman's vagina.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Sitting in the dark watching ERASERHEAD on my birthday. Massive hyped on coffee. This scene makes me feel itchy. To eat at Little Bangkok shortly. Then get dumb. Very dumb. I want.


UNSAID Magazine has a new print issue coming out. UNSAID Magazine has been called the descendant of Gordon Lish's THE QUARTERLY. They also have a new website, archiving all of the work they've printed in their first three issue, including: BRIAN EVENSON, MICHAEL KIMBALL, NORMAN LOCK, GARY LUTZ, ROBERT LOPEZ, PETER MARKUS, PAUL MALISZEWSKI, PADGETT POWELL, M SARKI, CHRISTINE SCHUTT, WILL ENO, NOY HOLLAND, COOPER ESTEBAN, JOANNA HOWARD, DEB OLIN UNFERTH and many ridiculously talented others. You can read all of that work online now.

Jesus christ.

For the launch of the website, they've published a short thing I wrote. It is in the web exclusives section of the site: 13 PLASTIC DOORS.

It is short and has short sentences. You can read it very fast. It owes somewhat of a debt to David Markson's WITTGENSTEIN'S MISTRESS.

I am very stoked to be involved with UNSAID. You should order the new issue.

This story may or may not be part of a novel I've started working on, to be worked on more after I finish the ebook I'm working on, which is getting very close to done, and I think now is for sure called PRETEND I AM THERE BUT VERY LITTLE. Come to think of it, 13 PLASTIC DOORS is rather connected to the ebook in certain very distinctive ways.

To receive this publication, something clicked inside me and I clicked it back and I walked a little further and felt it slipping and so I leaned against a mailbox to try to keep it from slipping more and the more I leaned the more the mailbox leaned and soon we were parallel to the ground.

Today I am 29.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


By far my favorite film of 2007. Maybe my favorite Lynch film period. Probably in my top ten favorite movies. I don't even know why. There's something about this that will never be answered.

Phoebe & Etc.

I got my contributor copies of the new issue of PHOEBE in the mail yesterday. The issue looks beautiful. I really like it. The front and back cover art is nice. I've read a bunch of the work so far and it is very well put together. It seems to form a continuum. My story is the last one in the issue and seems to be perfectly bookended by Zachary Schomburg's opening. Ryan Call and company did an excellent job putting this together. There is also work by Aaron Burch, K. Silem Mohammad, Kim Chinquee, Erin Gay, Heather Green, Karen Rigby, Anne Boyer, Brandon Lewis and lots of others.

My story is the longest I've ever published. It is called SEABED. It is in my collection SCORCH ATLAS. Here is the first graf:

Gilbert had a head the size of several persons' heads—a vast seething bulb with rotten hair that shined under certain light. Several summers back he'd driven to a bigger city where smarter men removed a hunk of him due to the wide black cyst that'd laid claim to his brain flesh. They'd said it was on account of the wires that hung over his parents' house. Little Phillip hadn't been so fortunate. The crap ate through the kid's whole head. Radiation. Scrambled cells. One had to be mindful of these things. Now, though, with the woman gone and the baby dead, Gilbert didn't give much of a damn. He kept on living in that house where guilt breathed in the walls. He lugged the kid's last Christmas tricycle everywhere, the handlebars screeching from side to side with rust on account of how Gilbert even brought it in the shower.

To read the rest, please buy the issue. It's only $6.

To receive this publication, I winkum blubvad steerzum cubba ling fwahblip eich non slem, et veer vod auslit peerpeep nigh-jum tiki soldinaffutz.

Also: there was a new story by BEN MARCUS in the latest issue of Harper's. I wanted to read it but I didn't have $7 on me when I saw it. I read a bit of it standing in the store but I was in a hurry. It seemed very different from his other stuff. Much more linear and standard-seeming. It was kind of a detective story. Weird.

Also: the next issue of Harper's has a DAVID FOSTER WALLACE story, which is supposedly also very different than his other stuff. I have to find that damn thing.

Also: Is anyone going to AWP? I know it's sold out but you can volunteer on their website to work 4 hours and they get you in for free. I am trying to arrange it so I can go. I had a lot of fun last year but that was easier since it was in my backyard.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I saw P.T. Anderson's new movie last night, THERE WILL BE BLOOD. I was super excited about this movie as I love all of his other films, and the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis was starring couldn't have made it more compelling. I'd been waiting for this one for a while.

The movie is really different from any other Anderson movie. It contains very little of what I liked about all of his other films, with small exceptions. You should not go into this movie expecting to see those kind of films. This story is much more linear. There are hardly any of the long tracking shots that made certain scenes in other Anderson movies great. I love the shot in the second to last scene of BOOGIE NIGHTS where Burt Reynolds is walking around the house and all of the other characters are there in different rooms doing their own thing and there's a soft ominous music behind him that kind of puts the film to rest. There were more of those kind of moments in this film but also more that tried to make it something else, though the score of THERE WILL BE BLOOD was also key. It added a lot of tension and mood in a way that altered the images and made them more loaded.

Unfortunately THERE WILL BE BLOOD was missing a lot of the magic that I'd expected, though there was magic in other ways. Certainly Daniel Day-Lewis's performance was the center of the film. Without him, this movie would have been very boring. A lot of the camera and framing work that made other P.T. Anderson movies great to me was pared down and contained in little glimpses, short static shots that conveyed a lot of energy without any story. There are certain images that will stay in my head for a long time, but as a whole I think this movie doesn't quite come together. Instead it works as a series of images and vignettes. Moods. A collection. The shot of Daniel Day-Lewis floating in the ocean with a wave growing and looming up behind him over his head then transitioning to him sitting in a dark room was so excellent. Another certain, perhaps the most action-oriented scene in the film, was most like other Anderson pictures and worked very well to make me tense and nervous.

The first 2/3rds work so well, if slow-paced, in building a mood. It seemed as if the final 45 minutes or so was something put on speed-track by the producers, to wrap things up and make it more of a story. The last scene in the movie I absolutely hated. I wish I hadn't seen the last scene because I would have liked it a lot more. I would have liked it more if it had been 8 hours long instead of 2.5. This is still worth seeing but I'd probably never watch it again, unlike other Anderson films, all of which I've watched many times.

I am tired of seeing disappointing films. They disappoint me as much as music these days. This was still more satisfying than others, though not a perfect movie.

Coffee never disappoints.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Venom Literati's pee week

I got asked to write about pee.

I wrote about pee.

It's very hard to concentrate.

Monday, January 7, 2008

elimae's ebooks

In my thinking about html ebooks recently, I realized I'd forgotten about those released by elimae, which consists of two by Norman Lock and one by A. Bioy Casares & Silvinia Ocampo.

I am reading Norman Lock's ebook GRIM TALES right now and I am loving it. It has Lynchian strangeness mixed with short, cold descriptions of strange scenes like in Thomas Bernhard's THE VOICE IMITATOR (which is also short and easy to read and very interesitng). The book is broken up into short paragraph sections. Here is one I particularly like:

From the fissure that had opened during the night "like a piece of black lightning," issued a seemingly endless column of giant ants of a kind not previously identified but now believed to have come from the depths of the interior. In a short while -- shorter than anyone had thought possible -- the ants carried off the houses with their contents down to the last bed, broom, and cup until nothing remained of them, and the ground where they had stood was beaten flat. Why this neighborhood had been singled out is unknown, as is the fate of those who had lately dwelled there. Some think that the former inhabitants are now living in a reconstruction of their original houses deep below ground under an artificial sun. Whether they were brought there to rescue or to punish is hotly debated.

and also

Those unfortunate enough to open their closet doors that night were smothered by the coats hanging inside. It was revenge taken by objects whose function is to humble themselves in the service of their owners. What is more, to stand in harm's way, between their owners' vulnerable bodies and the harshest of elements. Those who considered themselves lucky to have escaped their coats had only to wait until the next rain, when they were impaled on their umbrellas the moment they were unfurled.

Excellent. Please read.

I also reread Daniel Spinks's small pale humans several times in the past few days. It is still very excellent. I like that book.

I also read the first story in ST. LUCY'S HOME FOR GIRLS RAISED BY WOLVES by Karen Russell today and liked it a lot. More magical realism-ish fairy-tale-ish-isms.

I finished a draft of what I want to make into an ebook today. It is about 3700 words in 14 short sections. Right now I like the title PRETEND I AM THERE BUT VERY LITTLE, which accidentally came out of an IM conversation with my girlfriend last night.


Sunday, January 6, 2008


Why don't more people start publications like BEAR PARADE?

BEAR PARADE is such an excellent model for a publication.

I'm surprised no one has tried to mimic or follow after what Gene Morgan is doing.

More people should publish e-books in HTML format.

Maybe for the next next issue of Lamination Colony I will publish one long work.

I would be very picky about it. If you have something long(ish) that you think would make a good e-book, please send it to me. But don't be sensitive about it. If you'd be mad if I didn't want to do it, please don't send it to me. I don't like hurting people's feelings.

I have about 3/4ths of a thing that would make an e-book, I think. I am working on it now to fill the void I feel after finishing my collection. I'm not sure what I'll do with it. It does not have a name yet. I am trying to write in a different way than I do most often.

The first sentence right now is: After I sold my teeth to the museum, I used some of the money to buy a Dachshund.

I am glad I'm not as bored as I was yesterday tonight but I feel like maybe I will be again soon.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Poem snatched from Tao Lin

Today is nothing. Today got started. My car was dead when I tried to leave after waking at 2 in the afternoon. It died again after I took a shower. I went and bought some crap at the grocery and then I ate it. I am sitting in a chair.

I decided to look at some old posts from Tao's blog. I wanted to read the ones about him editing the book for Future Tense that got canceled and ended up on Bear Parade because those posts are so weird and sometimes funny and almost sad. I started to copy and paste little bits of quotes out. I made it into a poem. I am that bored and/or tired and/or aimless. This poem consists of language made by Tao, Kevin Sampsell, Matthew Simmons, some girl that complained at Tao in an email, Fernando Pessoa, whoever writes the rejection letters for some lit journal I can't find the name of, and probably one or two others from comments sections. I used several different posts. The em dashes come when I switch posts. The title is from the first post Tao ever did. I don't know why I did this. I don't know why I'm putting it online, but I think if I delete it I'll feel even dumber. And anyway I like the poem. It made me feel better about today while I was making it. Good job to those who made the words.


i don't know what to do,
no one knows what to do,
I'm glad you understand this.
I know you're really young.

If I wanted to help myself
in the way you are talking about
I would write a young adult novel
I can’t remember. Okay. Good. Thank you.

Wait. I don’t want to make this longer.
what are you going to do then?
why do you ask? i am fucked no matter what i do—
sorry for any trouble trying
to express something specific and unique.
consider subscribing at the low rate of $16 a year.
it's okay to disrupt people's lives—
i realize how i've been manipulated.
i've convinced myself that this is a good idea.
I have form letters from people I have asked out.
Stop writing. Please stop writing.

To want not to suffer from this is to want too much—
the universe will somehow agree.
people will never look around the room
and the movie screen will show a cow on a field
with a photo of my face on it—

you aren't going to like this.
i also do not understand.
there is also something that happens
and that is what has happened to me.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Reading. Dogs.

I am reading a lot right now. Reading seems to be the only thing I can think of. I don't have a specific project I'm working on right now so I feel kind of useless. But reading is good.

I read William Walsh's WITHOUT WAX which is coming out very soon from Casperian Books. It is a 'documentary novel' about a famous porn actor. I read the whole thing in one day. It is very well written and uses a lot of different forms, including documentary-type testimonies by lots of porn-related characters. It is funny and weird and very readably literary. Sex is fun to read about when it is written well. It reminded me of BOOGIE NIGHTS, which was a good thing. One of the parts of the book is about a guy going to participate in one of those break-the-world-record videotaped gangbangs, which made me jealous because I've tried to write a story like that several times and he did it very well. I like this book. I am going to write a full review of this for somewhere soon.

I read Jeff Parker's OVENMAN. I read it very quickly too. It is about a guy that works at a pizza place and skateboards and gets drunk a lot and gets in trouble and has shitty tattoos and his girlfriend dreams he is trying to kill her and she keeps bringing home animal skulls. I liked reading it. It was funny and was able to convey a subculture that no one else that I can think of has written about.

Next I am planning to read Haruki Murakami's AFTER DARK. I've read several of his books and I usually think I like them when I'm done but I never know why.

Would it be wrong if I killed my neighbor's dog? He has two. What if I killed just one of them? The small one has the most annoying bark I've ever heard. I would be killing that one for myself. If I killed the other one it would be for it, because it has to listen to the other dog all day, plus I think the owner is mean to it. He is always yelling for her to GET OVER HERE. I hate him. Instead of killing, I should break his window and set those dogs free.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

North Carolina

There is someone in North Carolina who googles my name 10-15 times a day. Today they spent 9 hours with my webpage open.

Here is the visit list of that person for today:

Date Time WebPage
2nd January 2008 11:28:40 AM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 12:27:20 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 01:42:44 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 02:01:52 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 02:52:40 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 04:05:50 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 05:18:56 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 06:20:23 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 07:00:08 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 07:28:31 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t
2nd January 2008 07:56:34 PM www.google.com/search?q=blake butler&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS228US254&aq=t

It shows up like that most everyday.

Who is this? Do you know about bookmarks? You can bookmark the page instead of googling my name over and over. I have never been to North Carolina except once about 8 years ago for one night at a skate park.

Please tell me.

I am confused.

Do you know David Lynch?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Lamination Colony, Winter '08

The new issue of LAMINATION COLONY is now live. It is a special issue on different kinds of porn, including people porn, fairy tale porn and thought porn. It includes work by Noah Cicero, Jesse Ball, Corey Mesler, Michael Hemmingson, Kathryn Regina, Paul Kavanagh, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Karie Buss, Prathna Lor, Susan Slaviero, Stephen Chamberlain, Brooklyn Copeland, Matthew Savoca and Minna Lincoln. It also includes me talking about each piece to pornographically explain the presence of each piece, as I often wonder why some journals publish what they do. Please read share and enjoy. Please link it from your blogs and say nice things.

Last night I threw up cheese.