Monday, August 18, 2008



Those of you who, oh I don't know, have looked at the internet in the past several months... might by now have run across a wild haired multihued screamer by the name of MIKE BUSHNELL, likely in any of his many promo spots where he dresses up like a wrestler named the Industry and rants and squarks like so:


As you can tell in these clips, Mike Bushnell has a lot of energy.

The first time I saw one of these videos, backed by several other videos in Bushnell's posse including TTB, The Golden Bear, etc., I laughed, and then I laughed a little less, and by the time they'd been doing it for a while I honestly got bored and thought 'These guys are either really full of jargon and are that bored, or something else is looming.'

Since then, Mike Bushnell has proved that this chest pumping wasn't just for attention mongering: in fact he's been busting more ass than most people it seems.

Mike Bushnell started Bore Parade, which pretty effectively mocks the releases at Bear Parade. I was surprised by how well some of the mockbooks worked. They have also released Kendra Grant Malone's private journals, which were some of the most honest and direct words I've seen on the internet in a while, far outside the 'I am sad and lonely' genre that seems to have sprung up, and more intensely honest about sex, friendships and day to day existence.

Then he started Jaguar Uprising Press, which is releasing handmade hardbound books by members of the Jaguar Uprising, including Bushnell himself, as well as Sam Pink (I am currently touching my dog's fake anus feverishly in anticipation of reading his chapbook YUM YUM I CAN'T WAIT TO DIE), and a forthcoming slew of work that you will no doubt be hearing quite a lot more about, via those web promos and the slew of related blogs by Bushnell's crew.

Now that I've gotten Bushnell's business side out of the way, which was kind of hard to do in such a short span (and all of this in a matter of months it seems, since the debut of those online videos), I want to talk more about Mike Bushnell as a writer rather than a publisher, though I think what he is doing with Jaguar is strong and important and will only continue to grow. Look at the books they are beautiful.

Here's a Gchat I had with Mike a couple days ago, which will sort of get you in the mood about his mind:

5:00 PM mike: i was glad to see you were reading the battlefield where the moon says i love you , that is my favriote book. that is the book.
5:01 PM me: ah yes. man it is kicking my ass
i dont know why i never knew about this
5:02 PM more than a little
5:03 PM mike: you know about the circumstances of frank killing himself? how cd wright was involved and all?
i am going to yale in the spring to go through his papers they have there
he wrote that poem most of his life
it is a completely different way of writing than the short poems
he is the man
i am a long poem writer
5:04 PM frank is one of my guides
me: i have heard the story some yeah
i love long poems
ginsberg made me want to write
mike: i have been working on a long poem called on earth through nothing with ease for three years, it is a few hundred pages now.
I am modeled after frank there.
5:05 PM me: wow
mike: the battlefield came from a collection he called St. Francis and the Wolf
me: how far is it from being done
mike: i am not sure. i used some of it in the gospel of tom cruise, i just went through and cut some things and put tom cruise in more to make it.
5:06 PM i imagine i will make a long long poem like that from it once i have a few hundred pages
i like to make 90 minute tapes of reading through it to give to people to go to sleep to
i have yet to repeat a page in the tapes and i have made a couple dozen
less than a couple dozen
me: i want a tape
mike: more than a dozen
5:07 PM I will make you one!
on earth is my little baby
me: that would be awesome. listening to people read while sleeping is most excellent
mike: i hide it from the world for now. i dont think people would have the interest just yet. it is a very long montage, sequential images, with an i and a you.
5:08 PM it is a very long love story between the i and the you and the image lines surrounding are there to fill in a context of the world surrounding us
us as in the you and the i , and the you is the reader rather than someone else.
me: what made you start it, stanford?
i like direct communication between reader and writer
5:09 PM might as well acknowledge
5:11 PM mike: it is the book i always wanted to write, but couldnt for a long time, then, after working through some books, it came naturally, frank helped. the battlefield shows methods of transfering life experiece into a general narrative landscape that doesnt really need an order. i try to write every line kind of isolated, that way you can go from any page to any page and it makes narrative sense, i think of it as a spatial narrative rather than a temporal narrative. frank is an overlord though. i guess i can put it this way, i 'try to make sure' that this shape is distinct and different from the battlefield, that is how helpful the battlefield was to it's creation
5:12 PM frank started a press, lost roads, and lost roads was the first to put out battlefield, i plan on using the jaguar uprising press to put this book out
me: that is a good model
5:13 PM i like epic objects
have you read the tunnel by william gass

Mike jumped out there and we never followed up, but I think you can get the idea of the flood that is coming out of this man already. Any nodule of doubt I had about the Jaguar's intentions has pretty much been put out by Mike's intensity and his obvious willingness to break any necks he needs to, and to grab readers by the throat to get them to put down their remotes or dicks or dildos and have a peek at a written word:

By the throat, ho.

Mike's most defining work online to this point is THE GOSPEL OF TOM CRUISE which he published under the name Tom Cruise. I've read the majority of it now in spats and spurts and it definitely has a weird epic imagery like that Bushnell wanted to snatch from Stanford, but also uploaded with a weird set of pop culture imagery, awkward selfism and lines that shift gears with a kind of energy that seems vital to both the kind of writing that the internet has birthed, in the mind of keeping the reader's eyes glued on a glowscreen, and of just in general, fucking shit up.

Here are some lines I like from TOM CRUISE:

Tom Cruise sits at a dinner table with his family talking about junk food
the body of water touches rocks and air at the same time
there is a noise coming from under the leather

This has that Stanford line by line shift, but also has another kind of momentum shift about it that makes me feel very good, while also making me not quite want to keep my ass in my seat for fear and/or for titter.

A couple lines later:

those gummy worms are motionless and slightly melted on the sidewalk
this is a sad™ day with a few smiles spread throughout
a car dropped on another car in the dump behind the
meadow at the foot of the mountain
it is a cartoon piano falling from the harness down to the street

I don't have to tell you why that is nice.

Bushnell and the other Jaguar books, you know what they seem to want, they have this post-cartoon, we stopped taking our meds, we read the Beats but not in the same way people read the Beats in the 80's kind of slap your head off on accident vibe, truculent about it, and outside the lines, but in a way 'outsider' groups like the ULA just don't seem to get: that you can write outside the mode of the expected, outside the MFA lines, and still say something that's not just about beer and fucking, that isn't whining, that has blood in its in mouth.

And one more:

it is a lovely™ mummy in the museum surrounded by lights and tourists
a small robot sits on the surface of mars surrounded by the moving dust
and it does not pace it does not call home it is a slow burial
the feather gently out of the pillow and down to the hardwood

Please also observe the following posts in the Incestuous Promotional Incrowd Circle Jerk:

Brandon Gorrell writes about Colin Bassett
Chris Killen writes about Ken Baumann
Colin Bassett writes about Chris Killen
Connor O'Brien writes about Tao Lin
Gena Mohwish writes about Sam Pink
Gene Morgan writes about Noah Cicero
Jereme Dean writes about Blake Butler
Jillian Clark writes about Kathryn Regina
Justin Rands writes about Matthew Savoca
Kathryn Regina writes about Kendra Malone
Ken Baumann writes about Jereme Dean
Kendra Grant Malone writes about Brandon Gorrell
Matthew Savoca writes about Gena Mohwish
Mike Bushnell writes about Zachary German
Noah Cicero writes about Shane Jones
Sam Pink writes about Justin Rands
Shane Jones writes about Jillian Clark
Stephen Daniel Lewis writes about Two Tears Boye
Tao Lin writes about Gene Morgan
Two Tears Boye writes about Connor O'Brien
Zachary German writes about Stephen Daniel Lewis


jereme said...

very good

BlogSloth said...

Hold, hold, hold, the circle jerk is WAY bigger than this list. Are u joking? It could have been a rant.

Ok, this subtle (not so) shots-across-the-bow at MFA programs will certainly require a blog/rant/reply, by me.

Blaming MFAs for Carver stories is like blaming law school for G Bush..

No sir



i have an mfa
i like mfas
but they smear a lot of writers into doing the wrong thing

or hold their hand while they do it

or something


i should write a post about what i think of mfas and my experiences,
i have mixed feelings

good will hunting

Justin Rands said...

Yes. !

Kendra Grant Malone said...

thank you for the kind words blakey poo.


also, yes, this is only one 'node' of the circle jerk, the circle jerk is clearly much wider and inclusion of many other kind of sperm


brandon's private circle jerk exhibition, i will wear a lard girdle for the fetishists

jereme said...

uh what is an mfa again?

is that a government agency or a vitamin deficiency


it is a discontinued klondike bar that had nuts in it

Brad Green said...

Since I came back to words, I've solicited the help of a couple of forums. They kept telling me to take this out and take that out. It's jarring, they type at me. Those images disrupt and pull a reader from the story.

So, I say ok and ok and ok. They are published and I am not. Or maybe they aren't published and just sound authoritarian. Either way, I figure I better listen. I start stripping all the stuff out that I like and they start to say better, yes, better and at the end it's like, this is ok, you know, you've really suppressed yourself in the text well.

So I put up a story with all that stuff culled out. If it were a tin can and I had a stick, that story would clang when I hit it with the stick. I'm told people like clangs. Lots of views. No responses. Eventually I'm told my punctuation is wrong.

I start to think: hmmm, when I leave that stuff in people really hate it or they like it; it's polarizing. Maybe that's better.

Or not. I don't know. Then I found this collaboration of internet authors and here you are talking about MFA's and the rather stale fiction that they produce, while churning out some startling sentences of your own that almost vibrate when they're read.

It's good stuff. I'm learning more now. A long comment, yes. Sorry. I'm old and I have a lot of words that need to be used.


brad, i think i did a lot of trying to listen to people also, esp. when i was in mfa, but when i started listening to myself, fueled with the knowledge of what would be expected of me, that seems like when i started doing the things i have been most happy with.

keep finding

ryan call said...

write an mfa post

i want to read it


i will do it

Keith Montesano said...

joe bolton man.

he didn't have c.d. wright to talk up the shotgun blood blast to the wall. not sure if it was heart of brains.

and that's the shit no one ever wants to talk about.

i want to also read the mfa post. do it. do it.

liam rector specifics. hanging out and whatnot. i guess. not really i suppose.


liam didnt really hang out, but ye si will include him

mfa post today perhaps, if i start feeling sassy

jereme said...


i am leaving my "i heart blake butler" post up for ever and ever and ever

it is similiar to the first time i fingered a girl.

i didn't wash my hand for a month.

you are greater than

can you smell the love


why jereme dean is the realest motherfucker is a blog post coming soon, don't doubt

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