Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where did Lucy purchase her new vagina?

Ryan Call now has a promotional offer for No Colony issue 1. All you have to do is buy a copy and he'll send you a free copy of Robert Coover's Pricksongs and Descants, which is an incredible collection of imagist/surrealist and hyperlanguaged stories. I read a lot of it on a plane once and felt really sick, but glad about the sick.

I will follow that up by sending a copy of Gordon Lish's PERU to the person after the person who orders and fulfills Ryan's offer.

This is a strong and good way to promote something I think, and I feel very happy people are doing it, I encourage more give away deals from others, it would be nice to have people doing more.

Everyone can do more.

Here are some ways you can do more, outside of spending $$$.

(1) When you read something you like, in any form, write the author and tell them. You don't have to gush or take forever. Just tell them you saw it, you read it, you liked it. It's a supportive feeling. It's better than not saying anything.

(2) Write reviews of books you like. Short review/long review, whatever. It's not that hard. It takes a little work to think about it clearly, but what goes around comes around. You can't expect to be recognized for your work if you aren't recognizing others for their work. Open the doors.

(3) Interview writers. New writers or well known writers. You like somebody's work a lot? Ask to do an interview with them. It doesn't take a ton of effort. Write up some questions. Let them talk. Spread the word. Talk. Say. Get. Eat.

I have done this for years and have made friends by doing it, have 'opened doors' so to speak: in other words, by helping others, you are also helping yourself. If spreading others' work isn't enough in your mind, think of it as 'connections.' (I hope you don't have to think about it in this way to justify it because that is sad, but, well, some people...) Things often can/might happen as a result of these things, on both ends, even if they are just small things, small things add up, small things can be good things, haven't you read Carver, momentum.

Energy. Power cock.

(4) If you have free time, start an online journal. Start a blog, a review, an anything. If you don't know how I'll help you. Say stuff. Mean what you say.

(5) If you have a journal already, respond faster. Pay attention to your inbox. When someone asks a question that feels dumb or unnecessary maybe, answer it anyway. Don't be a fuck. Yeah, we're all busy. Yeah, things take time. Work to take less time. It's okay to move forward at a wicked pace. (And yes, as an editor, I too struggle to adhere to this advice, but I struggle at least, everyone struggles, but you can always struggle more. I am so tired of seeing journals with 200+ days response time, why do you even exist? Does it really take that long to like something? People should stop sending to these places. Seriously. Just stop sending.

Yeah I know the flood comes strong. Stand in the flood. (Me too.))

Seriously, Conjunctions/Ninth Letter/Subtropics: these 3 journals get just as much work coming in as anybody, and they all respond often in less than a month.

To everyone: Push the fucking envelope even harder than you do. Be an open node.


I am amazed sometimes by people who want to be writers and yet seem to know little to nothing about even the more popular journals, who don't read that actively, who don't buy literary magazines hardly ever but send out their own work constantly, who don't buy even their friends work, who etc etc. Then they want to turn around and call anyone with any stripe of 'success' a 'secret handshake motherfucker' or 'in crowd' or anything like that.

There are people who don't even answer their emails when they get those 'I like your work' mails, which really blows my mind some. You're just typing into a keyboard like the rest of us. Don't be Richard Ford spitting on Colson Whitehead. Don't be a turd person.

Getting involved is being involved, and if you aren't actively promoting others, I don't know why in hell you'd think anyone would ever want to read or support you.

I didn't mean to get into ranting, I really didn't, I had no specific person in mind when I thought of all that, but I know there are tons of writers out there who don't do even a 100th of the amount of work spreading the word as they do trying to pimp their own stuff.

I am happy to know the people I do who do so much everyday.

And yet everyone (me included, I am above none of this, though I try) can do more, and if you want to BE more yourself, you SHOULD, even if its just something tiny like a mention of work you liked, or an email, or an idea, or looking, talking, thinking, shitting, causing trouble, laughing, responding.

Kiss a vagina for online lit? 'This one's for Colin Bassett, baby.'


In that vein, here is some stuff I read today that I really liked:

Titular Magazine continues to eat faces: three really excellent new recent stories: HAIRSPRAY by Kim Chinquee, SAY ANYTHING by Brandon Hobson, and ANTZ by Matthew Simmons.

Shampoo has awesome stuff from Chris Higgs and Mike Young.

I should also mention that I got my contributor copy of SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY 2 in the mail and every story I've read so far has been stellar. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cut the Baby's Smarnitt

The masterful and righteous Elizabeth Ellen recently interviewed me about insomnia for Hobart.

EE is the fuckin champ, believe dat. If you haven't bought A PECULIAR FEELING OF RESTLESSNESS or BEFORE YOU SHE WAS A PIT BULL yet, what's your deal?

I am going to Birmingham today to read @ the Bottle Tree with Todd Dills, Sean Carswell and Jim Murphy. 7 PM. If you are in the area come say hi and watch me learn to lick myself correctly. I think I am going to read some sections from the 10 day novel but that might change, I don't know.

Enter Jereme Dean's NO COLONY issue 1 freebie promotion! by Sunday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

'Live in a Hive of Sex Rooms and Flickering Blue Movie Cubicles'

JOHANNES GORANSSON has a new hybrid-form novel (almost) out called DEAR RA from Starcherone Books, who also recently released Zachary Mason's THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY (which I am reading now and loving quite a bit).

I read Johannes's last book, A NEW QUARANTINE WILL TAKE MY PLACE and was absolutely ripped by it, what Johannes is doing, a kind of multihanded-in-one-mind movement towards a new brutal surrealism in quick pleasure bursts. QUARANTINE was one of my favorite new books so far this year, and I am excited to read DEAR RA. A review will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, if you are interested in new surrealism, Johannes is vital, order yourself a copy of both, you will not regret it.


Thank you to everyone who has preordered and/or blogged re: NO COLONY issue 1. I am excited.

Jereme Dean bought 4 copies and is giving away 3 of them in THIS POST ON HIS BLOG. He is having a comment contest and will select 3 winners to get free issues. Jereme Dean is a king, I love this idea for promo, more people should do this, more people should try to be as killer and real as Jereme Dean. Go enter his contest and get a free issue and if you don't, maybe buy'n?

Seriously, thanks Jereme.

UPDATE: Matthew Simmons has pledged to reward 3 more entries to Jereme's post with free copies.

That's wha I'm talkin boutz.


Today I am focusing on sending out my newer novel to as many open appropriate places as I can find. There seems a bit of a dearth of open free submissions of book-length manuscripts, especially the kind I am sending right now: often bleak, brutal and surreal.

I finally got to unbox my books and it was weird to see them breathing on the shelves again. I spent a while last night looking at my books trying to find ones that seemed of a mind with what I'm doing that I could send to. Particularly the very surrealist and multiformed one I just finished, which I still can't decide between the two titles of, though I think for sending out I will use HOW MANY FLOORS DOES THE NIGHTMARE HAVE?

I realized also that the novel takes a lot from all the imbibing of William Burroughs's novels that I read so often 5-6 years ago. Reading over the passage I had underlined in THE SOFT MACHINE, I realized how much that language and imagery bank had cut into my brain. If there's any major precedent for NIGHTMARE? it is him: his jump cuts, his blabber layering, his brutalism and his sense of recording of moment.

Where would Burroughs publish those books now? If he were new? (He still could be.)

What press would have put out THE WILD BOYS? I don't know more than a couple possibilities, I really don't. That's scary.

Here is an embedded manifesto from THE SOFT MACHINE:

There is the work of getting it off the shelves and that is what I do. We are not interested in the individual models, but in the mold, the human die. This must be broken.

I also found another title I want to use from this line:

Grope movie and walked in on the wrong room warmly. Exempt light and lungs.

GROPE MOVIE: that may have to be the title now.

It's a weird state, this state.

TUPELO PRESS is now open to fiction and nonfiction, but they charge a $45 reading fee, and you're only allowed to send up to the first 100 pgs, and if they like they'll ask for more. $45? Really? What, are you using diamond encrusted page turners? I understand certain reading fees, but that just seems ridiculous?

Maybe I'll get desperate.

I don't feel desperate.

OH!: Lily Hoang's Lamination Colony ebook THE WOMAN DOWN THE HALL, will be out probably by the end of this week. Look out, it's a doozy.

Here's a preview image of the front page:

Friday, July 25, 2008


The contents of the first issue of NO COLONY have now been finalized. We have assembled a brain eating roster of masterminds with which to degrade and uplift simultaneously.

The first issue will contain new fiction from:

Nick Antosca
Daniel Bailey
Jesse Ball
Ken Baumann
Matt Bell
Ryan Call
Jimmy Chen
Kim Chinquee
Giancarlo DiTrapano
Brian Evenson
Brandon Scott Gorrell
Jac Jemc
Shane Jones
Sean Kilpatrick
Michael Kimball
Tao Lin
Robert Lopez
Josh Maday
Miranda Mellis
Sam Pink
Matthew Simmons
Justin Taylor
J.A. Tyler
Brandi Wells
Derek White
John Dermot Woods
Mike Young

You aren't ready for this. But get ready by preordering the issue, please?: I promise it is beyond, each piece here completely shat my mind out and pleased my pudding into state of hyper-orgasmia a little, no lie.

Buying the issue helps us keep this thing on the air, as does blogging and/or telling peoples bout it. Help spread the word?

Also we are now reading for issue 2, so if you have sent work we are en route to responding and if you haven't, why the fuck not, main?

A couple of online features will probably be up in the next few weeks, but for now you can still read an excerpt from Miranda Mellis's THE SHUFFLER on the site.

More soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Throwing a Child is like Cleaning a Dish

Sean Lovelace's new blog includes reviews of nachos and a feature 'the loudest sound I heard today.' He also today pitted me against Phillip Larkin in a who-writes-best-about-death heads up match. Heads up again Phillip Larkin? I think I have burns under my sideburns from the post-grave headlock. The work of mine he is discussing is the 2nd of my two published here.

Sean's SO, THIS IS DRINK is easily among my favorite pieces ever published online, or elsewhere for that matter. Read it. Subscribe to his blog, it's been highly entertaining already.

I want to challenge Sean to a nacho consumption throwdown but I don't think I'm in good shape for it yet. Plus he clearly has a strong nacho mind.

Nachos are the Kool Keith of food.

I feel my energy is shifting. I am fully back in my loft again. It feels new. It feels clean. New bed. New sofas. A wonderful person sleeping beside me.

They say if you say your energy is shifting, if you write it down, it can help make it so, but I actually believe it is.

I don't know if I believe that thing about the saying it making it happen more, but ok. Did I just negate the possibility? I am a negator. That's ok with me too.

I did not just lose two huge poker hands so I'm not being negative and talking about pussy in this post, that's good.

I am going to see two of my favorites in the next 6 weeks, both of which I have tickets for now: David Byrne is playing here, doing the BUSH OF GHOSTS stuff and some Heads stuff and some solo I'm sure. I think that may almost complete my list of people I need to see play live before I die, though I still need some incarnation of Michael Gira at least.

Also seeing Crispin Glover when he comes here for two nights to show WHAT IS IT? and do a q&a and read from his books. Man. It's been a long wait for him to finally come out this far. The preview makes my face softer.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Thoughts while editing/revising novel: HOW MANY FLOORS DOES THE NIGHTMARE HAVE?

1. Footnotes are addictive. I started with a couple here and there for an intended purpose and now am approaching the Wallace-ian (well not quite, there are none that go on for pages, just a couple that are paragraphs thank god). As of now there are 60. There is something immensely pleasing in adding extra info to the text without having it definitively mannered in the flow of the graphs. I do not recommend getting started with these, as it's hard to stop. (Sidenote: When I saw DFW read several years ago in Boston, someone asked him in the Q&A about his excessive footnoting and I swear he blushed a little, and said he'd had a problem, and he was mostly clean now, thanks.)

2. Though I think I like the original title now, part of me wants to call the book: READ THE CHILD THIS BOOK OR IT WILL SUFFER, which is a phrase that appears a little too early on in the narrative for me to be okay with using that title, though I think it would be kind of neat. Neat.

3. Esp. in early drafts I like to put one paragraph or set of graphs on a page by themselves so they can breathe and I can better see how to add or subtract from them, which is something I started doing in the other novel I wrote earlier this year. I have found it much easier to generate a lot more 'healthy feeling' text in this fashion, though now I have grown too fond of the graphs on their own pages to put a lot of them back together. SAMEDI THE DEAFNESS was the most recent book that made me want to write like this, though I think I read an interview with someone else, like maybe William Vollmann, who said this helped him a lot. It might have been DFW come to think of it, but I don't think so. Nicholson Baker? I can't remember. Oh, maybe Gary Lutz?

Actually I think it was Don Delillo.

Probably a lot of people do that.

4. Switching voices is fun but I think there usually needs to be at least some discernible reason for doing so ie: perspective, collision, etc., maybe something more than just a new voice, otherwise it disrupts more than it adds I think. This novel has several voices though they tend to play off each other and are set up in various parts of the novel distinctly to add to that section, then are not repeated. The hardest part I'm having in revision is there is a voice at the end of the novel that goes on after the last 'palpable action' occurs and kind of deals with some of the energy left at the end, I think I like the way it works, though I am having trouble making all the words fall in line. Funny how you can write carefully, with attention to every syllable, and then come back the next time and look and say, 'What the fuck was I thinking?' Certain kinds of writing are all about mood, I think. I've been in a lot of weird moods lately.

The worst example in me of this is I was writing a novel about a guy who tells his son he's got a job at Disney World so his son will be more happy and excited about moving to Disney World, then he locks himself in his den and starts destroying all his old records. At that time I was reading Gordon Lish a lot, I read like 4 or 5 of his books in a row, and I went back and tried to add a scene where the guy leaves the den and gets in his car and decides to kill himself by parking on the highway in the fog and getting hit, then he gives up and goes to a diner and sits there and some guy at the counter orders him a full enormous steak dinner with everything and demands he eats all of it, then makes him come out to his car and get in and sit. The scene ended like that. It sounds better now recounting it than it was when I tried to insert it, trying to write somewhat like Lish, god it was terrible.

5. Reading Aase Berg's REMAINLAND while line-editing certain things has added a lot of visceral elements to the mind of the book: I felt close to those words anyway, but specifically looking at the phraseology each Berg poem between revising my own lines is interesting in its collision.

6. I think this novel could be considered a sister novel to the one I wrote in ten days earlier this year, though I'm not sure how to say why, nor should I.

7. Advice from a very drunk Tom Bissell while I was at Bennington, advice I have cherished since (this is an approximation of how he said it, though he said it better I am sure): "People say in writing you have to kill your babies. Don't kill your babies! They are your babies. They want to be there. Nurture them. They are what is most you."

8. I would love to use this image turned vertical for the cover of the novel now. I can see the bold font on there massive. So me. It would probably work for anything of the books I've been submitting come to think of it. Scare the customer.

9. More later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Didi Menendez interviewed me about LAMINATION COLONY for MEN OF THE WEB.

I just lost a big hand at poker so I am probably going to be negative in this post.

Really I feel too dumb today to be negative. I don't know what's going on with anything. I feel like my cousin who developed blindness in the form of tunnel vision, wherein she would lose a little bit around the edges every so often until she could no longer see.

I don't know, my hope seems whipped to bits like some old horse.

I had an idea I was going to talk about where I was going to suggest something I felt could help small publishing: where each year, each literary journal that is quarterly or more replaces one of their issues with a book length ms instead of that issue. This would focus the energy of that press into that one book, giving it a lot of hype and attention for each, 'this is 8dy7fa08suf0ua08a0ew[r80a97ew40t8a7er8tuyao8gfoahdsfgohadsfghasfdhga oaihdfo hasd aohdfj asjkdfh asj hdfjhasodhfoashdfashdfhjasdhfasdhfahsdfhasdhfasdfl;jasldjkflaskdjfljasdlfja;slkdjf;las ahjdl fasldjk fajkdf ja

I don't care

I think if I ate some human flesh it would make me feel fine, i really would do that, i don't know when it could ever happen, one of my friends let his friends eat part of his arm once, he cooked it up real good, no shit

I like

read some

Bill Faulkner

i reread the damn AS I LAY DYING thang

it was good

i just lost another big fucking poker hand, it is orchestrated for me to want to cut my face off today, i say that a lot, 'cut face off' 'cut dick off' shut up

the last scene in AS I LAY DYING was partially stupid, that's ok, most of it was excellent, bill claimed he wrote it in 6 weeks and didnt change anything, i like that, ok good

if I had a pussy bill faulkner would eat it through the pages

i am going insert that in my novel, the novella is a novel now, it is getting longer/////////////////////// i am about to have two novels from this year on my hard drive, though these are ones i like, unlike the X # of novels on hard drive from other years where i was still too dumb, i am probably still too dumb, but ////////////// in this new novel i am going to insert a passage where the narrator eats the pussy out of the reader, if I knew a book would eat my pussy i would definitely buy it nahwahimsayin

Someone should write a book that keeps asking Do you know what I'm saying over and over again like the way rappers n shit do, if you can work rappers into your books along with getting your pussy eat, more people will do it, i am 100% sure


oh boy, NOVELZ!))!)

gosh, this post, i know, i'm sorry

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I fell asleep inside BACK TO THE FUTURE am I okay

1. If someone is smart they will publish SAM PINK's fragmentary prose amalgam: I AM GOING TO CLONE MYSELF AND THEN KILL THE CLONE AND EAT IT. If I had a press, which I might soon, I would give Sam Pink an eight figure advance so he could stroke his shaft with 20000 dollar bills.

Sam Pink is like Russell Edson with much bigger balls and a tendency to aim at the throat rather than the spleen.

Seriously, shit is real. This should be made flesh. Talk to him.

2. THE CUPBOARD is a revitalization of a pamphlet series releasing incisive work, the first released is by Jesse Ball, I am subscribed, it is cheap to subscribe or to at least buy the first issue by Jesse Ball, $5, go support this excellence.

3. Ross Simonini's musical project THE FAMILY DANCES made me feel glad about listening to music again, he is doing something here with this, it makes Animal Collective sound like Staind.

4. Paul Siegel has released POEMERGENCY ROOM through Otoliths books, it seems nice, I am going to touch it.

5. Jeremy James Thompson posted more about the Charles Bernstein broadside I helped annotate.

6. Saw GONZO, the Hunter Thompson documentary last night. Hunter Thompson was a real piece of shit. He didn't even write that much, he just kind of babbled, I like babble, I like FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, he could have done more with himself, he could have done more, I find it amusing that one of America's most 'famous' authors was more famous for his being a dick and doing a lot of coke etc. than he was actually saying things, he 'gave up' I think, maybe I will give up but instead of coke I will slide into throwing babies in the air and catching them and sticking my tongue far up their nostrils.

7. Daniel Bailey started a video blog where writers can do videos of themselves reading, it is here: HERE EXPLODES MY GIANT FACE.

7.5. I want to record an audio book of Roald Dahl's THE TWITS, that is going on my to-do list goddamn it.

8. RYAN CALL posted an excerpt from a conversation we had yesterday. I think Ryan Call was nicely drunk when we spoke again later in the evening, he said things more directly that he usually does, I liked it, he helped me figure out to keep the title I have for the new novella I am finishing.

The novella may be almost long enough to be a novel, it is spaced out with a lot of white space and works in graphs and lines mostly, I think I like it a lot, it is going to remain with the title HOW MANY FLOORS DOES THE NIGHTMARE HAVE? until I have that title beaten from my hand by someone.

I think I am just going to send the novella around all over the place like those Chinese restaurants that stick ads on my doorknob, that must work somehow, they probably at least get a few customers like that, I feel like I can be reckless with this thing. Right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My high school was made of cooch and watercress

I got jive-talked about in the comments section of this blog post, which is actually part of a sweet! blog novel by 'King Wenclas' of the ULA, who managed to completely miss the point of the post he is discussing.

That guy's still around? Oh neat.

'King Wenclas' has always kind of reminded me of those guys from high school who lived their glory days on the football crew and could never quite get over them, going on to live in the sad teetee of their beer-gut years as their wives grow oranger and fatter. That's just what he reminds me of, I can't help it.

I am in the 'in crowd' now apparently. Also neat.

Hang on, receiving txt msg from Jonathan Lethem re: wanna come over and touch dicks?

Gotta tell him no, I am busy shaving my facial hair into some kind of muppet for when the lit-luminati's brilliance-detecting cunt-sniffers finally sniff the cunt on my intensely post-MFA novel and decide to stick that cunt on a book made of matte paper with french flaps so someone will nod their head out of their M83 headphones and maybe sniff my words a minute.

So much neat.

That guy must feel tired.

It's okay, I feel tired too.

** EDIT ** Sorry, I had to add this, after looking around the ULA's geocities-esque website, here is one of their flyers that they intend will invoke the 'literary revolution.'


That is pretty sexy. I feel it, I feel it.

Anyhow, for the next installment of my secret handshake publishing career, you should check out this new book from a massive mega-house illuminati BETTER NON SEQUITUR, who have just released the second volume of their sex-themed literary anthology, SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY, of which I shaved a section of my mother's scrote off and mailed it to them with the promise of ownership of every hair I will future grow, as well as the fact that I've slept with people in important bands like Anal Dynasty and the Bulbs.

The cover, by Matt Furie, is fucking real:

This surely masturbatorily inducing set of 50 texts of 1000ish words includes work by myself (OK, I paid Annie Proulx's hot granddaughter to get me in) as well as many others who regularly get invited to King Wenclas's Random House backdoor circle jerk, including Aaron Burch, Lee Klein, David Gianatasio, Jimmy Chen, Elizabeth Ellen, Paul Kavanagh, Chelsea Martin, Harold Jaffe, J.A. Tyler, Justin Taylor, Kevin Sampsell, Savannah Schroll Guz, and Steven Coy, as well as goosh of others who've likely stuck their tongue into the proverbial glitter literati d-hole.

My story involves a man looking up a Mexican's cleaning lady's anus, it really does.

And really, the book is ten bucks, is sexy, you should do a buy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Derek White's MARSUPIAL

Calamari Press has now released Derek White's new novel MARSUPIAL, wherein the term 'new' is both germane and not germane in several ways, as foretold by the note in copyright page at the beginning, stating it was written from 1997-2008. From what I understand of the story and in following Derek's blog, it is based at least in part on a remasked novel, the first version of which he wrote those almost 10 years ago and toyed with after, a novel began during which he was employed as an extra or body double during the filming of a film by bizarre Quentin Tarantino once-collaborator, Roger Avery (for more on that backstory, read Derek's post re: the novel germination here).

This book excited me from the get-go not only because I love Derek's collection POSTE RESTANTE, but also because you can't help not getting excited about a book with as beautiful and provocative a cover as MARSUPIAL's:

In this case, the cover does speak to the book as a whole itself: in that, it is stark, cryptic, and gritty, and yet in all the same ways it is pristine. MARSUPIAL for the most part is a wide collage of disparate but all related elements. There are prose vignettes, there are bits from film scripts, there are the strange collagist images Derek has impressed into most of the Calamari releases, there are news clippings and other official documents, dream sequences, definitions, and on and on, and tying all of these together, there is the first person narration of Stu, a character who over the course of the novel continues to shift identities and meld with other characters to the point of a kind of laden, historical blur.

With all of these elements embedded, it would be easy for a text like this to get derailed to go so off course. In fact, the story itself, even in its most linear sequences has a tendency to skew everything to bits. In the mind of INLAND EMPIRE it follows the production of a film subject to all kinds of strange interruption. The narrator often finds himself out of body, referring to himself in quotes. As early as page 9, his head comes off his shoulders as he holds in a sneeze. As things continue, the narrator, worried he is being surveilled, obsessed with his brother's broken-english speaking girlfriend, acting as his brother's stunt double in a film that continues to become more and more flush and fractalled with the reality in which it is being filmed: all of this could make for easy, lazy 'surrealism' (in fact there is a quote somewhere embedded regarding this effect, the way laziness in art can often be passed off as intentional in the name of the surreal).

I for one have never been at peace with the 'surrealist school.' I've always tended toward bizarre images, and juxtapositions of weird dream logics, etc., but I've often felt coming up dry in the ways of the actual produce of these effects. Breton's NADJA, for instance, bored the shit out of me, and seemed passed off, sold as an idea, in the way that Bolano's THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES seemed to be trying to sell me a new leg of poetics. Surrealism, to me, should not be political, and this is where so much of the genre has gone wrong. Politics? In art? Aren't their politics enough all everywhere else? Can't we have one fucking awake state that feels as good as sleeping? Isn't that the point?

White's MARSUPIAL, though, if anything, bends surrealism into the kind of effects I've always wished to see rendered literarily. I've talked a lot on here about trying to write the David Lynch novel. Derek White, the motherfucker, may have beaten me to it, at least in a way. There are definitely Lynch-isms loaded here, the mother is referred to as 'Mary X. White,' a name fans of ERASERHEAD will immediately recognize. A lot of the meta-work and the way White manages to breed a certain feel of noir schlock and confusion humor (the screenwriter's drug use, the weird sex jokes, the studio's talkie-talkies, which translate the French film crew's directions into mangled English, 'pornography hero,' etc) with another kind of anytime-metamorphing energy, in which you literally could see the roof fly off a building overflowed with circus peanuts with little faces and feel completely okay about, not wonder what the fuck is wrong with the author. And so much of the narrative terrain moves in the way I love so much about the spatial orientations of INLAND EMPIRE and etc. It moves not as a logic earth, but as rooms connected associatively, by cosmic necessity, rather than some map sketched and pored over on the author's desk.

Somewhere near the beginning of the book the narrator's brother John says, "Personally, I think it's more interesting to write about what you don't know." This has always been, in my mind, one of the most important things to grasp in new writers, those getting told 'write what you know,' who will by and large go onto to say nothing that will ever stir anything that could not have been said by 1200 other MFA grads.

Literature for me has always felt crushed a little by realism, by BEST AMERICAN aspirations, with the need of setting place and time, getting cornered by what should or should not happen, how the characters 'feel' about it, how they assess/parse/deal with it, what's going on, even within a certain confine. The tendency to have resolution and the need for repeating images has always bothered me, and yet when there is just empty noodling, I get the same feel. It takes a deft hand to manage the surreal in a way that feels like it is doing what it should, that it has a reason to exist in the same way that Steve Vai sounds like a dickface for being all around and yet nowhere at once.

Which leads me to one of the most impressive things about MARSUPIAL, one of the things that I think I am most awed by in this weird, corrosive, and yet immensely refined book: the way White is able to take his imagery, take the sometimes intentionally obfuscated (but in a playful way) story of a man filming a film that melds with his life, his mind, his mother, his everything at once, and manages to stir it all together, with all of these disparate elements, into a thing that comes together not in a forced way, not in a 'here is why you're reading way,' not in a way that makes me angry for how it took the moody energy and explained it all to bits, but in a way that instead somehow marries these things into a non-resolutional ending, a way to leave the book, that both leaves most questions unanswered, and yet fills my stomach.

To be true, the last 20 pages of it, the climaxed chord of all these threads speaking together for a moment, in their clearly semi-en-route-discovered understandings, and their simultaneously clearly long-boiled (nine years!) effects, in what they leave out and leave for my brain to try to cut through, the embossed energy of association!!!!!!!, it left me reeling a little, somewhat in the same way I felt after having watched MULHOLLAND DRIVE for the first time, like I'd been led among a series of rooms by someone who'd designed them to unravel and reravel for us both at once.

If literature is not about discovery, a method often just as accidental as it is deigned for, then I can't feel like I'm inside it. And yet this pushing for discovery, so often it is what pushes me away. I want to be inside it, and I want it to be inside me, I don't want to feel it soldering me back closed before its over. I want to be ripped open a little. I want to see thing going on, and be awed at its creation. MARSUPIAL manages to do all of this, and yet it does not feel like work. In an age where the book is already so maligned, it is refreshing to see such a new and challenging narrative be delivered so pleasantly, with such focus, and yet with such utter disregard for the implications of straight storytelling.

MARSUPIAL is something new.

MARSUPIAL is a book that will continue to strum the mind long after it is silent, that has so many layers it can't help but seem to explode, that like INLAND EMPIRE and other open texts, will remain basting the brain long after with its cold juices, that even as I type this now with the book still inside my mind and around me I feel the same way I did the years when I was 12 and could not move inside my bed, stuck again in the recurring dream of a boulder rolling in slow motion down out of the ceiling each night to crush my face, and yet I couldn't wait.

You will buy this book.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What is a canary's overwhelming want for j/o materal?

America's Got Talent is a hit show

I don't want to read a book set in a foreign country if the person who wrote the book traveled there to write it and especially if they are white

Nothing is important

Authentic mexican food makes my whole head vibrate clean, tonight there were so many mexicans there, they were smiling at us, I was worried about the table in the back of my father's truck even though we'd tied it down, we saw the most perfect mexican mullet go into the men's room and he stayed in there with another guy for a long time

Anytime I think something it won't take long for the opposite to manifest itself unless I am aware of the expectation of the opposite manifestation, and then it will just crawl inside my ass and eat dinner, I serve a good buffet I think

Poker is not for math people, it will crush your little fragile vagina

Everyone has a vagina especially me, it's like magic

I've been saying 'cunt' a lot I don't know why

If someone asked for advice right now about being a writer I think mine mostly would be: don't

The television is on in the room and I just limped with 8 3 offsuit and got raised

I don't want to keep thinking about anything that isn't made of slush puppie

As of right now that includes email

I am starting to despise my email, it's like a special driver's license that you aren't allowed to touch

Am I going to go to the dentist soon

Less than 30 minutes ago I threw myself on the floor and beat my fists and I was saying a lot of shit and the dog looked up at me

I am almost done living with the dog

If you limp, they raise if you don't have a big hand, if you limp and have a big hand they don't raise and they hit the flop harder than you do, if you have a big hand in late position they will all fold around it makes a swishing sound kind of

I am impressed with 'the lack'

Soon I will receive an email cursing me out with *'s making the expletives I will call my mother to the computer and show her

The other day I wanted to go into the room I am using and turn on a video recorder and lay on the bed with a box of cereal and pour it all over myself laughing and call my mother into the room and see what she says but I didn't do it because I felt serious about it

I feel flashing pangs of the biggest shit and these times where I am absolutely positive if I touch my head against the wall hard it will go right through

How much does it cost to make someone break your spine

Poker players make a lot of sense talking about hands in retrospect, they make the hands seem arranged by god

Is every hand arranged by god or are we going to get me some new socks

I said one time to someone 'I hate new socks' just because he'd said how much he likes new socks

4:29 am is ok to touch your urethra during, I am not doing that

Where does the urethra start?

Can we have a special day together

Anything you delete I'll delete, I'll do the whole of it I promise

I'm gonna make a bowl of cereal and watch it cry

I feel very focused in my lack of focus, if I had a photo of Jesus Christ I'd kiss it to bits

I am going to write mean emails back to everyone who emails me tomorrow including my employers including nice people, not including the spam folder, not including people who write me specifically now to get written back to mean, including nuns and babies, including list-servs and other stuff that asks you not to write back to them because it's just going to bounce

One of the bounced emails will be the best fucking thing I ever fucking wrote

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am going to put my parents in alphabetical order soon they won't know what hit them

Since several people asked about musics, I made a MUXTAPE of some musics, I like the layout and design of muxtape, it makes me want to like music more again. There can be music, this muxtape is a painting of my inner penis, I mention shit and dicks a lot on here, why do I do that. There are babies who listen to music. The Believer music issue is out, my head is on the cover a little, no it isn't, it does say something, Ross Simonini did a good job with their music mix tape that comes with the issue, that is a good idea, Ross Simonini is an excellent musician, I 'believe' him, I saw his band in Atlanta last year, I think it was last year, they were good enough to make one of my friends almost cry, I am going to put one of Tao's BRITNEY SPEARS stickers on Deerhunter/Atlas Sound's tour van, maybe where they won't see it, it will just be there, it has rained every single day since my loft has been opened again, I can't move my bed. That's okay for another minute. I want to eat chocolate rice? Someone should make a website like muxtape for literature somehow, I don't know what would happen, I don't know how that would work, I got tired of doing New Heavy, I am going to make it into something else, I want more interaction with the internet, everything is slow I feel slow. What can I do to make this less slow, what can we do, let's start a press, I have two books in mind that would be great to start a press with, it wouldn't cost that much if we did it together, can we do it together, can we dance like this:

I laid on a $4000 sofa yesterday, I felt like my life could be vastly improved if I could afford and buy the sofa, I would lay on it and feel excited.

I was going to make a list of objects that make me happy by the way the look being pleasing as what as inside, I can't think about it right now, all my shit is still in boxes, one that comes to mind immediately when I think 'aesthetically pleasing' is Miranda Mellis's THE REVISIONIST, I could hold that book and lick it and maybe cry on it but I don't want to get it wet.

I moved the new frame to my bed from the store to my loft yesterday and it started raining the second I left the store, very hard, the frame is wooden and new, it poured torrentially on the boxes all the way until I got to my loft 15 minutes later and dragged them inside in the pouring, they were soaked, as soon as I got inside it stopped raining, almost immediately once I was inside, god is watching, I bet god somedays sets the ends of his beard hairs on fire so he can smell how it smells.

Let's make something happen.

'Real talk.'

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Alligator Juniper 2008 & Why People Don't Read

Hey um well there's a new issue of Alligator Juniper out for 2008.

I folded my dick in the pages a little. On the cover there's a photo of dead fish. I think they are dead.

I'm in this thing, another list, in a section called 'Genre Blur,' where we like blur genres. It's on yellow paper in the back of the magazines instead of on white like the rest, caused we are blurry.

Also here is Aaron Burch, who won the 6-word story contest they had for the issue, and others are Joshua Leavitt, Rachel Toliver, Margot Singer, Justin St. Germain, Matt Mendez won a contest judged by Benjamin Percy, a ton of other people. There is nice photography.

This is a really nicely designed magazine. Thank god for nicely designed magazines. I've been really confused lately by a proliferation of magazines that seem to either not know much about design or don't care, which is really confusing, considering it costs so much to put these out, and people aren't going to buy an ugly magazine unless their sister or bonk-partner is in it? Some journals at AWP, they couldn't give their shit away, I remember one who actually had old women standing in front of the table trying to force people to take it and no one wanted to? I took one. I don't think I ever read it.

There are presses, too, I've seen that have the damn ugliest books. Are you looking at your covers? Are you seeing that they aren't nice looking? Really, if there's any definitive self-controllable point-to on the whole 'why don't people pay attention to indie books so much?,' well, there you go.

There are even more ugly online journals, where the question of design really is inexcusable. They've got words everywhere, messy tables, weird glaring images like from the early days of the internet, with the author's work kind of wedged among the other eyesores. I really can't figure it out: is it laziness? I don't think so, they started a journal, they must care. Is it lack of taste or know how? I guess. There are so many design people out there now, though, and so many easy editors to make simple webpages instead of Geocities style transom, I don't think there's an excuse for having at least a very simple, eye pleasing site.

All of this, though, is preaching to the choir mainly. There was a lot of talk recently about 'why don't people pay attention to independent books as much as they pay attention to independent music and film?' People wondering why the guy wearing the Dirty Projectors t-shirt doesn't buy books from Fence or Calamari Press? A lot of people seem to think it's a question like the one I'm talking about above, units being produced that don't have as much aesthetic appeal, that don't bring the ever important function of post-Apple design into their game. And that certainly does effect the small #s already coming in: journals like Ninth Letter and McSweeney's sell more for a reason, because they are gorgeous objects, and also because they have hype behind them and they are put in stores more, but at the core of it, this is something people want to touch.

But really, and maybe I'll be pegged as Negative Nancy here, I think the real answer is that people like music and film because they are easy. It takes no work on the part of a person to listen to the new Liars record, it takes them 45 minutes to have a full enough tidbit to bring it up for their friends, to justify wearing the shirt, there is no 'work' involved, it is an instant stroke of culture on their back. They can read about the Cramps or Wolf Eyes on a blog, download an album, hear it, buy a shirt on ebay, then they are a certain kind of person to those who see them in the shirt with the mussed hair. I know tons of kids in Atlanta who don't know shit about where their music came from, how it's made, what it maybe is about, to whatever extent you can say that, but who will show up at the bar looking pretty with their indie shirt on, and have the cd in their car that they listened to on the way to the bar from home. Instant culture. Instant art. In hipster scenes, everyone wants to be an artist without doing shit. 'I'm a DJ. My taste is art. I like Cut Copy and Deerhunter and I also like Debbie Gibson ironically. I hide the Pitchfork bookmarks on my iBook.' Likewise 'I saw the Godard retrospective at Midtown Art last night.' What about it? 'I saw it.'

Maybe part of this is why I lost my interest in music. Yes, I like it as wallpaper, but for the most part it feels like an easy in, a way to have something to say without having anything at all to say. Your playlist speaks for you, all you have to do is accidentally let your friend see it, or turn on your iTunes shuffle loud in the house so all your roommates know how cool you are. The personal side of music, the one that kept me going for so long, in me has pretty much been flattened, so there's no need for it anymore.

When it comes to books, the blank looks on people's faces who absorb so much 'art' in other venues is one that probably will remain there.

People don't read because it's work, and most people don't like work, even for their art.

Of course, there are the thousands that do care, and do build, tons of journals who pay close attention to their design as they do with content, and do keep things moving in a way that has independent publishing, I think, doing more than it ever has, but if you're wondering when will books catch on like wildfire, well, I think you can thank shitty reading lists in public middle and high schools for people associating the pleasure of reading with the equivalent of running a marathon.

Want to save books? Read Peter Markus to a little kid. Play Allen Ginsberg or Dean Young reading mean poetry to a room full of high school english students. Give Robert Lopez or Donald Barthelme or Tao Lin to a undergrad who you see carrying Harry Potter. Tell your counterculture friend who worships Hunter Thompson all the ways Gordon Lish makes him look normal. And if you edit a journal/press/lit website, make sure the objects you are putting into the world look like something you'd want to see if you hadn't made them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We Heart 4 Things & Novella

This week at WE HEART 4 THINGS there is a nice 'online literature' profile put together by the massive Shane Jones, featuring IM interviews with me, Brian Foley, Kathryn Regina, and Zachary Schomburg. It is a lot of fun, and I am happy be in the company of these brilliant brilliants. It is a fun read.

There is also short work from each author. Mine, MASSIVE ORGASM, has some raunch, and is one of my excerpts from the much longer work alternatingly written with Justin Dobbs. It is called TWIN MOTHER and I think will be released in the fall by Happy Cobra Books.

Also, mega mouth congrats to Shane Jones's wonderful ms LIGHT BOXES getting picked up by Publishing Genius for release next year. I am happy and excited for Shane.

I really like this short thing by Martin Cozza @ Pindeldyboz.

I think I am almost done with a novella I've been messing with for a while, another one, that I was going to call HOW MANY FLOORS DOES THE NIGHTMARE HAVE?, though I think I don't like that name anymore, its OK, I am having trouble naming it for some reason, I don't even know who publishes novellas or what the hell I'm going to do with it when its done, the way it is spaced makes it long, maybe it's almost a novel? Maybe when I revise it will grow longer. I want the word 'soft' to be in the title.

Really though, who publishes novellas? I like the concept, though I can't remember reading any recently, except Diane Williams's one in IT WAS LIKE MY TRYING TO HAVE A TENDER-HEARTED NATURE, which was published with a ton of other stories along with it, I don't know, maybe, I don't know.

I have a reading in Birmingham later this month:

The woman went up and down some in the bigger side sack with her gross one

I have been inspired I think a little lately by the lack of recent click in things. I feel like I am waiting with some massive concrete clod above my head and it descends a little each morning when I wake up and things are going to start again. I don't know how the hours are gone. Six months of dogs fucking in a pile of insulation.

All day I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Last night saw Tom Waits at the Fox, he played for almost 3 hours, a wide variety of stuff from all eras of his stuff, some from Rain Dogs, some from Alice, some from most everything, it felt as if in the presence of something. I felt excited and laughed some and got burny in the back of my throat some like I wanted to cry but didn't. He did '9th and Hennepin' essentially performing spoken word to a sold out crowd and people going apeshit for it. That was impressive. I sat there thinking, books would never draw this audience, what would they do, just stand there, who could bring in this many people, not even the most famous of famous. Tom Waits makes me think there are still things left good about music. Mostly music turns me off now, funny all the years I spent obsessed, I wonder what else will turn off.

A friend and I talked the other day, 'There will never be another major artistic innovator in music, it is impossible.' There were probably other times where this was said but I honestly think now the thing is beyond dead. Innovation is not possible, and the bands that are hailed as innovators are more in the lines than ever now. It is sad a little but mostly I don't care.

Read Noy Holland's THE SPECTACLE OF THE BODY this weekend. That was some kind of experience. I had read and heard of how when she would read the 80ish page story ORBIT from this collection that whole audiences would stay and listen to every word to the end, and that it could 'change your life,' etc. Seeing your life change in act is I don't know, but I did feel very blipped in a certain way over ORBIT in particular. In that I felt more connected to it by voice and rhythm than most anything I've recently read. It sometimes felt as if I were reading the thing I've been mimicking without having seen it: certain rhythms, phrases, ideas particularly in some of the stories from my Scorch Atlas seemed as if I had studied ORBIT and tried to invest in it. This made me feel right, like I'd been somewhere or like I'd been okay. Like there was someone else. I don't know. ORBIT is pretty much pitch perfect and opening in all kinds of modes. If I were going to teach an advanced fiction class, this would be my primary example of voice, voice as story, voice as how to move the image.

There is something many of the Lish students seem to do that always strikes me, the small repetition of little phrases, such as here:

We hear her pleading with the Pope at night, blind-gigging geese at night.

The repetition of the 'at night,' I don't know, most editors would comment on this, yet in voice-building it seems to add and rhythmically it defines things, like there are little sets of colored stones around the words, I don't know, I often like it when it happens, but in lesser hands it can seem so petty, it is strange how these little repeating phrases, that seem to pop up all the time in Lish students' work, it is funny how they tend to add another layer.

Lish in his own fiction would do this to the point of bizarre often, I can remember whole pages where he was basically saying the same thing over and over with little variations, and it works somehow. Causes pattern and disturbance? Incantation?

Here's another example, particularly where the repetition goes and then breaks and where it breaks it hits even harder than if you'd said it straight:

It got to be she quit begging me for it, quit begging or sleeping or eating at all, or wanting at all like she used to want to have something cleaned or moved in the room like she used to want, or to be touched.

Holland also works in those kind of references I'd talked about before, saying place names like Macy's and specific brands that tend to hull more energy and develop a kind of colloquialism from them, a little budge. I am convinced of something by it, I have a little mannequin in my sideburns.

Anyhow, yes, ORBIT, it is a story that if you are interested in voice-driven fiction, should be read, and the rest of the collection is quite magical as well. I have a feeling I will come back to THE SPECTACLE OF THE BODY again and again in later years, however I turn out.

I'm not talking very well today, I don't want to anyway, I am gagged a little.

It is raining.

I feel weird these days at night, like there is something, or there is nothing.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I should probably keep the dick/head dream to myself, the dream dictionary threw up a little

Finally got to sleep 4-5 hours last night after about 60 hours of being up. Had one scene of a dream so awful it made me come through my sleep and force me to wake myself up. Basically I was in a small room and there was a small person who had a head in which there was an impression of a dick. By that I mean the head was meant to hold a dick, there was an outline for it, and it fit inside its skull. Ok. Then there was this really huge fat muscle man with weird hair and he took the small person by the skull and was putting his dick into the head, but his dick was too big to fit inside it the way it was supposed to. The balls clicked into the mouth, but the center of the head had to like split open to receive the shaft and the face stayed intact in halves, eyes blinking. The large man continued to force his dick into the head receptacle. Like pulling on the small person's face and ramming and making it stretch and rip. It was a massive, weird looking dick. The small person was screaming and crying in pain about the way the dick was fitting into his head receptacle. I mean screaming in such revulsion, and the skin on him was ripping and the big man was sort of grinning in this expression of weird insistence and he had huge fat teeth with all this shit on them, and he kept fitting his dick into the head with all the damage. I was just there seeing it, I don't think I was actually in the room with them but I could see it. The sound of the small person screaming was so awful. Somehow I forced myself to wake up, I just stepped out of sleep, and I felt so disgusted and awful I felt afraid to go back to sleep though I knew I needed to, I was so tired. I thought about what if my dreams became so that I did not want to sleep. I don't remember what I dreamt about after that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My hand was bleeding and my wallet had threw up and the hefty woman told me take my time

Even if I had a videotape of the last 14 hours, no one would believe me.

I'm not going to try to explain it.

On the videotape it would probably look normal. I think my face was going eating by biggest large birds with VD teeth with melted Wendy's frosties.

According to the internet sleep deprivation mostly does not actually cause legal insanity, though it has been accepted in 2-3% of cases

I think I'm at 50 hours now

I can't find the kitten

It actually hurts thinking of these words to make them

Mostly actually goinkbarringenly I have an article in the new music issue of THE BELIEVER.

It is about the Jingle Babies.

That picture is an icon for my current life.

Matt Simmons is in there too, fuckin a, Rick Moody twice, I think Cake Baker has an article. It comes with a CD when you buy it?

Thank you Ross Simonini

KEN BAUMANN is eating through America. BRAIN

Did you hear there is a new kind of water

and soon a skyward gripping cooch arm

I can't sit up anymore right now my heart is beating too fast

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sack of Lithuanian women eating lettuce & squishing ass

DIAGRAM 8.3 All Fiction issue is launched now. Read my little story. It has Tom Waits in it a little, kind of. I am seeing him play at the Fox on Saturday. Fuck.

Read Amelia Gray's story. It is incredible. Read the others.

Here's a nice interview @ Hobart with YANNICK MURPHY, whose new Dzanc book I have professed love for.

I am moving back into my loft this weekend now for sure. Four months of displacement over. Energy shift. Krusherz.

Here is the only passage I underlined in AS I LAY DYING when I read it the first time in 11th grade:

In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not.