Sunday, August 31, 2008

Justin Taylor invokes a woman's needle by lifting the verb hedge

Decatur Book Fair is in town, mostly it is kiddie books or something, I went and la-la gagged through the hot fields with some out of town friends from the McSweeney's/Believer camp, we drank several pitchers of margaritas and threw ourselves through rooms together, getting nasty loud, I think I had a baby at some point, I talked to a dude who really said "I mean, being famous, it's the point of everything, it's what we're all aiming at, right?, it is the mark of success," he was dead serious, I scrunched a little and said something meanish, he looked at me, who am I kidding

We ended up at some 'VIP' party in a marble room layered in the city hall of Decatur, booze was free, I licked a coffin, I got confused as to the purposes of those who weren't there drunk on margaritas and tongue-dancing, 'writer' writers are weird, there were lots of nice people, I liked it, I shouted some, Sweetwater beer is the nast, I mean that in the worst way, things continued

There was a cannon made out of chocolate, I slept inside it, someone was mowing the grass on a trinket, where was Billy Collins?

BTW, if you are going to the Decatur Fest today or tomorrow, drop by the Mcsweeney's/Believer booth, they also have issues of No Colony for sale for us, nicely.

No Colony orders will be going out early this week.

Matthew Savoca has a new video on HERE EXPLODES MY GIANT FACE, which has been a fun site so far to watch and enjoy and lick your underbelly quietly in the meadow smear.

I have Deb Olin Unferth's VACATION now in my hand, it is beautiful, I am going to touch it with my eyes

Speaking of which:

I got an extra copy of Justin Taylor's new poetry book MORE PERFECT DEPICTIONS OF NOISE, it is a beautiful handmade object full of Justin's sleek sexed language & words, Justin is negating the negation by running right into the nostrils of what you were trying not to look at, Justin is a captain of megawattage,

What I am saying is, I want to give away my 2nd copy of the book, who will get it?, here is how to get it: before this poetry book, Justin edited an anthology The Apocalypse Reader. Leave a comment telling which book by any of the authors in Apocalypse Reader you like or admire and why. You may be as brief or verbose as needed, 10 to 10,000 words.

Person who I think says something some way, I will send the copy of Justin's book. I'll choose it like later this week, maybe Wednesday, don't think too much, just type it in the comment, go for it, win.

Authors to choose from include: Grace Aguilar, Steve Aylett, Robert Bradley, Dennis Cooper, Lucy Corin, Elliott David, Matthew Derby, Carol Emshwiller, Brian Evenson, Neil Gaiman, Jeff Goldberg, Theodora Goss, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jared Hohl, Shelley Jackson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stacey Levine, Tao Lin, Kelly Link, H.P. Lovecraft, Gary Lutz, Rick Moody, Michael Moorcock, Adam Nemett, Josip Novakovich, Joyce Carol Oates, Colette Phair, Edgar Allan Poe, Terese Svoboda, Justin Taylor, Lynne Tillman, Deb Olin Unferth, H.G. Wells, Allison Whittenberg and Diane Williams.

This is the easiest-to-enter contest of all time, considering how that list of contributors is probably the most concisely genius list of workers I have seen compiled in one text. Find something to say about one of them, win a book.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Crispin Glover's What Is It?

Last night saw Crispin Glover do a live performance and screening of his film WHAT IS IT? at the Plaza in Atlanta. Plaza is a perfect place for such shit, as it's the only independently owned theater left downtown and has been held over from I believe the 50's, with the old style long curtains and deep screening rooms held over.

Glover started by coming out and reading excerpts from six of his books. He basically delivered a dramatic monologue using images from the text (which varied from erasures, to weird photos with inscriptions, to scrawled drawings and architectural images, etc.). His reading added a lot to what would have otherwise been easy to misunderstood text. A couple of the books in particular hit me for the way he was able to evoke a lot from little mental snippets, kind of like Dennis Cooper meets Edward Gorey or something. It was also quite funny, and Glover's mannerisms (which seem truly him, and not just a theatric b/s) added another layer to the crypticism of it.

Then they screened the film WHAT IS IT?, which is about 72 minutes long, and features Glover in a cast almost entirely of actors with Down's Syndrome. Later in the Q&A, Glover was very emphatic that the characters did not necessarily have Down's, but the actors did, and it was one of his stipulations for the film, which was adapted by him from a script offered to him that had been written by another physically handicapped author (who was held against his will in an asylum for 10 years), who plays a central character in the film. The film was surprisingly narrative, if highly skewed, for all of its bizarre imagery, which included at various points (1) salt being poured on snails up close, making them shrivel (2) Nazi insignia and a man painted in black face (3) the song 'Some Niggers Don't Die' by Johnny Rebel, played during a scene where the author actor, who is handicapped, is laying inside a clam getting a handjob from a nude woman with huge tits and a animal mask over her face) (3) a Down's couple making out and simulating sex (4) Down's kids beating the shit out of each other with shovels and talking about Michael Jackson (5) organ music by Anton LaVey and songs by Charles Manson, etc.

At some point I turned to my girlfriend and said, "This has everything."

I liked the film. And for all of its obviously intentionally taboo imagery, Glover was extremely particular and concerned over its reception, which he said is why he tours with it, so he can 'protect' the work, as it clearly stirs certain people to the point of anger in frequent spots. The imagery was really well done and the shots were crafted with care.

The Q&A then led into Glover offering extremely long answers to questions (he pointed out that the answers were long so as to answer many questions he used to getting at once, to save time, which I understood, as he's been touring with it for more than 10 years). He spoke a lot about how the film was made as a stab at the film industry's effect to smother out all instances of taboo, which has created the stilted yard of shit in theaters now. He explained an extremely detailed vision for the film, in which his taboos were selected specifically to evoke certain responses, rather than just piss people off. He was very articulate and clearly had put a lot of thought into the film, and to the roles the Down's actors played, and their experience of the film. His reception by the actors' families and others with Down's who'd seen the film was one that suggested they were glad to see such imagery in the film and that it was not exploitative. I got the feeling that the place the imagery came from was 'genuine' and that Glover knows exactly what he's doing, and isn't just weirding around.

In fact, perhaps my favorite part of the night came during the Q&A, when some girl in the audience, who obviously had pegged Glover as 'weird for weird's sake' and thought she could hang, raised her hand and asked, "Which would you rather swim in: a pool of scabs or a pool of kittens?"

Glover snickered a little, then looked at her more directly and kind of grimaced, and essentially said, "I do not understand this question or why you are asking it. I would not like to do either of these things." He did not play into her joke, it was slightly awkward, funny.

Glover was so explicit in his statements that eventually, after about an hour of the rather dry q&a, we ended up having to split out early to meet some friends from out of town, so I didn't get to meet him, and I was rather glad to exit without the full barrage of q&a, as I didn't want it explained away to me. Enough context was given, and Glover seemed almost so concerned about the correct reception that he went on even beyond needed, but overall I was happy I saw his work and where it comes from.

I wish I'd gotten a chance to ask about the presence of LaVey and Manson in the film, as well as some of his method of creating the text in the books, but fuck, hm, next time.

Now back to editing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Editing 'Ever' & Punk

I am working with Derek now from Nairobi making edits on my 'Ever' manuscript.

It is funny, making final words. With proofs from magazines I mostly always feel some kind of thing running in nodules on my back. Something final with them, but final only for a second. These edits here are 'final' final.

In the early stages now I feel very good, though, about the way things are going. Derek is making images and developing page layouts for the text that make me feel excited and ready to nail this thing into what it exactly wants to be.

The structure of the text is strange, slightly less usual than most other books. I'd used a numbering system on the lines while I was making them so I could keep the thoughts in strands, kind of layered, but as it is being put to the page the numbers are less vital, and there are other ways to guide the text. Reading the book I think in the end will be more an experience than a read, at least that is what I am hoping, and from what Derek has done so far, it feels true to think that.

People are funny about letting others edit their work. I think I like it, the interchange at least, especially when the editor is someone I trust a lot. It is like switching another tint in pane of glass at a window to see what the yard looks like that way. Something.

There are lots of little things wedged hidden in the lines that I am remembering only as I read them, I don't really remember writing most of this thing I'm finding, it's almost like editing someone else's work, which is nice.

In my room at night now there is no way to get out all the light.

Someone has been letting themselves into our apartment supposedly for upkeep reasons such as changing the blinds. When we got home from NYC there were mud prints all over the floor. They had not removed the trash outside and the trash bag was covered in huge maggots looking for a way in.

Yesterday I spent many hours line editing and moving through Derek's notes then came home and we cleaned up the house trying to make it ours again.

I tried to find a youtube clip of my favorite scene in Lost Highway, it's not even a scene really, just the parts where Bill Pullman's character is walking through the house in the dark, looking for his wife, and there are parts of the house that seem to stretch forever into darkness and he just walks into them and is gone, then reappears somewhere else.

I just now remembered that I'd said before how I felt like the 10 day novel I wrote was set in that house in Lost Highway, which is actually David Lynch's house, and I also feel this novella is set in that house, if another part of it entirely.

My friend just called to let me know he got in trouble for having printed out a mail in his Gmail browser to hand in to a professor at his school, which happened to have his Gmail chat buddy list on the page with it, including my current away message 'MY PUSSY IS COLLAPSING.' The teacher was not amused.

If someone gave me $10,000 I feel like I could change my life and possibly several other people's lives, $10,000 is not a lot of money to a lot of people, it could probably even be a lot less than that, maybe just like $6 or $7 thousand, I would not use it on my self but on making things, I read somewhere today that the average CEO makes in 3 hours what an average blue collar low pay worker makes in a year. Those people should be required to give one half-hour of their pay each month to an artist to make art. Or probably to hungry people first, but I think more importantly to make art. Is that more important than eating? Let's not have anyone complain about me saying that, or how it would be bullshit if those rich people were required to give $$ away and no one else was, who gives a fuck.

I am tired of hearing about the election. The same thing is going to happen no matter what. Nothing is going to change except for what would change by the year anyway, I think, it's like flushing the toilet. The 2nd time I saw Don Caballero right before they broke up and Damon Che was pissed about the drum sound, about the way the drums had been mic'd, he got on a mic and asked if anyone in the audience had a paper chef's hat, he said 'We desperately need a paper chef's hat to come up and mic the drums.' It was funny. It's sort of like that.

Poets and Writers talked about Calamari Press kindly, I agree with the word 'punk' Peter Markus used in relation to their ethic, 'punk' has become a misplaced word, maligned, when people say 'punk' now they are often referring to shit like NOFX or Warped Tour or some other bullshit that is basically a commodification of indie beer sold to you by men whose Vans are suits, I think Calamari is more indicative of the real meaning of the word 'punk,' the meaning exhibited in the creation of work like The Clash's SANDINISTA! or the Eno records by Talking Heads, and less in the beat-yourself-in-the-head-while-puking-PBR idea that it's been torn into.

Noy Holland is punk.

New York Tyrant is punk.

Ellipsis Press is punk.

Gaspar Noe is punk.

Chris Higgs is punk.

Tao Lin is punk.

Sam Pink is punk.

Brian Evenson is punk.

Gordon Lish is punk.

DIAGRAM is punk.

Gene Morgan is very punk.

I would try to name a recent band now that's punk, real punk, but that's not really possible anymore, try to argue with me.

My friend said he'd buy my book if it has the word 'titties' in it, I am going to go find a way to get 'titties' in it, if it's not there already, it might be.

Titties are punk, sometimes, though if often not at all.

Lady Tyrant

While I was in NYC, I got a copy of the fourth issue of New York Tyrant, which if you haven't heard consists entirely of female writers, a kind of shout out in my mind to the recent slew of calls from other journals saying there aren't enough women submitting. Among them included are Sheila Heti, Kim Chinquee, Rachel B. Glaser, Rachel Sherman, Deb Olin Unferth, Dawn Raffel, Eva Talmadge, Leigh Newman, and many others, with a stark black cover with large white writing that continues onto the back, a quote from one of the included writers Cezarija Abartis: "I can smile like a woman, smile at their jokes, make my eyes mild and bring dimples to my cheeks, but inside I am bears and panthers."

I read the whole magazine pretty much cover to cover on the Amtrak from NYC to Philly.

Like the other Tyrants before it, Tyrant 4 destroys. There's no filler here, it's all sentence-driven, at least slight innovative stories that keep you reading just to see what they will do next. I was constantly excited from line to line as I read through, I felt an energy, I was ready.

In particular Rachel B. Glaser's story 'PEE ON WATER' ripped me open. Easily in the top ten new stories I've read in the past several years, both for its scope (it's kind of a history of the world but in elbows, if you will, weird catalogued tidbits and rams of destruction, all in a weird cutup language that still manages to read pristine), for its innovative imagery (it is overflowing, the title alone makes you know this person is not speaking in expectation), and its birth of want in me to create also. There's nothing quite as great as a story that inspires you to work more, and this definitely did that. Even if all the rest of the pages in Tyrant 4 were blank, this magazine would be worth buying for Glaser alone.

Fortunately they are not blank, and there is a ton of brilliance to go around (Kim's story juts and looms, as she is wont to, and Elizabeth Koch's 'ANGER GENE' really got me, as did most of this. Tyrant is the future.

Unfortunately they are already sold out this issue once again for mail orders, but you can find it still in stores, which are listed here. It is worth tracking down.

- - -

I am beginning to put together the next Lamination Colony, and I still need pictures of people's heads close up looking into the camera, you should be wearing no clothing though this won't be evident in the photo except for your shoulders, the background does not matter, you will be used in the issue, please make the photo large enough res so I can make it stretch over a background or thereabouts, the standard size of digital photography will suffice. Please email me some photos, it will be *FUN*

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cooch Braids

No Colony / NYC weekend went down like a hooker with a crunch eye, I mean we ate a lot and I moved my mouth and looked at people and felt happy in my inside.

Seriously, the reading couldn't have gone much better, great crowd (thanks!), beerz, smart readers (everyone kept it short and sweet and there were never any 'oh fuck this guy's drifting into the void of his own mind's grandeur' moments).

Got to hang with lots of the online friendlies I never get to see and met some new faces I've talked with for loveyoulongtime on the internet, NEW MEETS = Shane Jones is a real dude and smiles nicely (he has videos from the reading here on his blog I forgot to tape them myself damn it), Ken Baumann is genuine and refreshing and funny in a way others are often not funny, and good, Nick Antosca is svelte and righteous and a good person to have lunch with, GianCarlo DiTrapano hypnotized me with his No Colony reading and was killer nice to boot, Catherine Lacey is a gentlewoman with class (got copy of her new chapbook with Chelsea Martin and Ellen Kennedy just out from Happy Cobra Books, it looks awesome, I have a blurb on it), Leigh Stein was sweet and I wished I'd been less drunk so I could talk better, Gabe Durham was like a wise cousin, Joe Salvatore felt genuine and kind, and etc etc etc so many names and faces, good to be in the house.

I vaguely remember yelling about eating a baby on the back porch on some bar and interrupting some dude on a date, said dude who then tried to scorn me for talking about eating babies in public, his mind was turning behind his eyes trying to think of Dane Cook joke, they left quick.

I didn't black out, you owe me $5 Jereme. :)

I didn't ask anyone to tell me a story about France.

Eating at a Mexican diner at 4 am with some of the above + the ever-awesome Robert Lopez and Mister Master Mike Young was a place I wish I could press a button anytime I want and return to, blearing drunkenly at those around us and the neon cake case, gorging.

Thanks to Justin & Tao for putting me up and leading me around, that was nice and kind.

Leaving my email and rss feeder basically untouched for 5 days feels like letting your bush grow huge all up and down your legs.

Last night on the long drive home accidentally stayed on i-95 instead of getting on i-85, ended up 2 hours out of the way, ended up invoking a small carnival town owned by a man named Pedro where all the buildings were named after Pedro and with huge ceramic mexican men standing around, then we invoked a demon road by playing Fantomas's DELIRIVM CORDIA loud on a road through nowhere, I saw the road topple sideways, we were going down,

you can invoke another land there, in South Carolina, I am sure of it, there will be more.

Listening to REMAIN IN LIGHT 7 times through thereafter will cut you in little ribbons under the ribbons in your cooch braids

There is too much to say now, my email is shitting in my hair, will come back later or some

** ALSO: you must read this **

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NO COLONY Promotional Shaving Video + Byebye


This FRIDAY AUGUST 22nd 7:30 PM in Park Slope Brooklyn NYC @ Barbes

NO COLONY issue 001 Launch Party

Featuring readings by Nick Antosca, Giancarlo DiTrapano, Tao Lin, Robert Lopez and Justin Taylor, hosted by myself and Ken Baumann

Issues on sale, I think $10, something.

Yesterday I shaved my face and spoke into the light in recognition of the folding forces, please observe:

Yeah, I'm really bad at shaving.

I tried to add text titles to the video but iMovie is a real piece of shit and I don't have Final Cut anymore, use your imagination, pretend there are words going in the video saying about the reading or something, pretend my head is leaking fry grease.

Blogger replications of this news &/or clearly erotic video in a promotional effort to garner attendance will be most thanked via mental explode.



Those attending the event are encouraged to bring a tennis ball or other spherical object that may be thrown at my head or body while I am speaking, my skull is large, I make a good target.

Concurrently with my offer, Ken Baumann is accepting offers of manual stimulation and/or cash rubdowns.


We got the issues in yesterday, they rub on my eyelids without my nodding.

It looks crooked in the first photo I don't know why, its not actually crooked:


Anyhow, hitting the road tomorrow morning early and won't be back till late Sunday, so in the meantime, keep your panties tucked tight and your fingers liquidated. Order will begin shipping upon return, thank you to those who preordered, thank you to those who will order soon or now. :)


Guest Post: Mike Wood on Dzanc Books's BEST OF THE WEB

Today is a big promo day for the brand new BEST OF THE WEB 2008 from Dzanc Books (for more posts all around the web and info on how to buy, check out this post at the EWN.

Later this evening I will have a post about the No Colony issue 1 (which we got in the mail yesterday and they cut my v) as well as a promotional vid for the reading this Friday, which happens to include one of the fine fine dudes who's in BEST OF THE WEB 2008, Justin Taylor.

Here's what Mike had to say:

Blah Blah Blah: What Online Publishing Means To Me (& More!)

Hello there! My piece in Best of The Web 2008 is called ‘The Mystery of Henry’s Bicycle’ and is about Henry James’s testicles. I had hoped that my contribution to his website business today would be the first nine pages of a comic book I’ve written that’s about a bunch of movie stuntmen and a zoo (Da Bronx Zoo!) that has been illustrated by my friend Ed Suckling. I’ll explain in a moment why this was not to be. For now I’ll note that in trying to convince Dzanc Books publisher Dan Wickett that I be permitted to submit this instead of what was actually asked for, I noted that while not directly commenting on the issues us contributors were asked to comment on, it does at least sort of represent how I feel about some of them. For example, I bet that when you started reading this you didn’t expect to have the chance to read the first nine pages of a comic book I’ve written that’s about a bunch of movie stuntmen and a zoo (Da Bronx Zoo!) that has been illustrated by my friend Ed Suckling (or anyway, to read about why you will not be able to read about it) and that’s what online publishing means to me. It means the chance to waste a lot of time getting distracted looking at websites that sound as if they might possibly be at least kind of interesting (potentially interesting enough, anyway, to justify the expenditure of the energy required to push the button on your mouse while the cursor is over where the link is; you also, I suppose, have to expend the energy to get the cursor there as well; and then there is the time needed to assess whether the website you are now on is maybe interesting or just another piece of garbage of which there are so many) but human beings are pretty incredible, and all that work doesn’t really take all that long (still, how many websites are out there where we have the chance to look at them but decide that even that amount of expenditure isn’t worth it!) and so it’s really not such a big deal, is it? Still, there are a lot of websites out there – it’s like everything’s connected to everything else, it’s like some kind of crazy web or something! – and that’s where things can get hairy, where you can end up wasting even tons more time and energy than you intended, often with nothing more to show for it than one or two lousy websites you find that are sort of mildly amusing or whatever and so you email the links for them to your friends but then they never even bother to look at them (to expend even that miniscule amount of energy…even though they are your friends!) because they’re just too cool for school. Now, I suppose you can have like experiences just flipping through books or other print media but in doing so one is much less likely to end up on Wikipedia. And, as another example (of the comic book that was not to be expressing if not directly commenting on ideas related to the issues us contributors to the Best of The Web 2008 book were meant to comment on here) well, the story takes place in New York City, which is where I’m from (go Mets) and so I’m sure there’s some sort of a non-coincidental connection at play there as well.

Now, why can’t you have a look at this comic book about stuntmen and the zoo? Well, it’s because the illustrator, Edward Suckling, has simply been too lazy to illustrate the thing. Ed, a really lazy and wretched bastard, is incredibly lazy, and an incredibly wretched bastard. Yes, this is the truth, though to hear Edward tell it he’s simply currently been too busy because he’s engaged in some sort of a b.s.-sounding paying gig because he needs to bring home the bacon for his wife. Or some such b.s.-sounding business such as this. This is what he says, but you and I know better. We know the truth! (He’s lazy a you-know-what!) Still, if you want to see any of the work actually produced by this incredibly wretched and lazy individual (this bastard) (and not just work he’s talked talked talked about doing) then you can go to his website ( and while you’re there, if you go there, if you can stomach going there, if you can expend but a few of your precious ergs of energy to move about your little cursor and push a couple of pretty easily depressed buttons, then you can enjoy (watch, anyway) a bunch of Ed’s movies and see a bunch of his pretty little pictures and stuff. And, among his short films, as it happens, is one called ‘You. Me. Let’s Hug!’ and this one, I hasten to add (but only because to do so so encapsulates (at least a part of!) my feelings for online publishing) it has my voice in it. And, further, as it happens, this movie was recently shown in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on a television show called The Culture Show. And, even further as it happens, one of the hosts of that television show, Mark Kermode, actually compared my work to that of one Mr. Robert DeNiro. This is absolutely true…Robert DeGoddamnNiro. Okay, Robert DeNiro, specifically (and perhaps not entirely meaning it as a compliment) in ‘Meet The Fockers’. (But still.) And but still so especially I think because, I hasten to add, I brag, I boast, I crow, because Kermode is listed in something called The Screen Director’s chart as the tenth best film critic ever. Ever! Ever!! Don’t believe me? Just check out his Wikipedia entry.

Take care,
Mike Wood

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Really Long Post about MFA Programs AKA Scurchemeaneradfiueruy

Ever since I read Johannes Goransson's post What did I learn at Iowa? I've been meaning to write something about my MFA experience at Bennington, where I studied in the low residency program during the years of Liam Rector's reign. Yesterday when Sean Lovelace mistook my comment 'outside MFA' to mean 'against MFA,' I then felt the time had come to run my mouth.

Looking back at 2 years year round of a low-res creative writing program, there's no question that I loved all my time there, and made some incredible friends (most of whom I've lost contact with now unfortunately), though I still can't say specifically what I paid to learn.

When I was looking around at schools to apply to, I found a lot of online forums from ex-MFAers bitching about how MFA programs are meant to turn you in John Cheever or Ray Carver, that they systematically aim to destroy the innovative parts of their students via the workshop process and assimilation to one mind. When I read about that I would always roll my eyes and think, "If you are allowing yourself to be assimilated, it is your fault." After all, no one is writing your words for you, and at least in my experience there were not 'grades' where a professor could pass or fail you based on how well you pleased them (our main evaluator was mid and post-semester reviews, which for the most part I think always passed the student unless you just didn't do the work, which leads to another kind of question). The thesis also had to be approved by your final teacher and a 2nd reader assigned by the school, which I only heard about a couple of instances where this had happened in recent years (and in the cases of one of the writers I knew of who'd had this happened, the stories I heard him read were a man and son watching a baby calf being born while the father explains life to son in a very textbookish manner).

While I still hold to the idea that writers are only 'made into bad writers' if they allow it, I do think there are some pretty major flaws in the common workshop process, flaws which I won't try to outline simply because they've been discussed to death, and most anyone who's been in one of these knows it pretty runs in one of several ways

(a) everyone likes the story, no one can figure out what to say bad about it, you end up discussing how good it is, even the teachers, etc., at some point the writer is invoked to talk about what they had in mind when they did it with a little swagger in their mouth, 'i had no idea this was even done,' this is rare, and usually seems to only happen with well-encapsulated, not-challenging stories (or else how would everyone agree?)
(b) everyone hates the story if for different reasons and the workshop leader spends most of the time trying to parse negative comments into constructive criticism for the writer, who often won't look up from the desk except with a little sheen in their eyes while writing everything everybody says down with their hand moving as fast as they can across the paper in a blur of ink they probably won't even be able to decipher later
(c) some people like it, some people don't, and you get to hear people go around saying why they thought it worked, why didn't, sometimes arguments, no real conclusion, or sometimes a pasted-together conclusion ie: 'this is what we think you need to change,' and in the end you end up with a pile of notes that all disagree with one another and for the most part most writers end up only listening to what the instructors said anyway, cause they are the ones who know?

Anyhow, rather than blabber semantically about how this kind of group speak can be damaging to a budding writer (which I feel I should mention, of all the writers I went to school with there are only a handful out of them that I have noticed publishing even a little, though I don't know how prevalent that is in the post-MFA scene, a lot of them started families), instead I'll just say some things that happened to me while I was there.

- The first story I had workshopped was an excerpt from a now-abandoned novel I was working on (ugh, yeah, I did a novel excerpt, sigh), a pretty surreal-ish but still narrative section where this fat kid is climbing hotel stairs to try to get to his even fatter mother's floor, where she has been eating and drinking herself into oblivion, rather ridiculous but mixed with a kind of bizarrely sentimental jaundice: during the discussion of the piece one of the instructors, a well published and successful writer, female, called me often over-the-top to the point of nausea, and pointed at a description where I had likened the main character's pained facial expression to something like 'like a very Jewish rabbi passing a kidney stone.' She pounded the table with her fist after she read it. She said, 'What is that? I can't see that. I can't see that!'

- During another workshop of a story about a woman that had little to no backstory, was basically a character without definition just acting in the moment, attending a funeral, moving through the city, a general consensus came among the group that she needed to add more to the character, motivation, background etc. I raised my head and said I completely disagreed, that why couldn't the character be faceless, just act, why did we need to throw light of who the parents were, who the character had loved, etc. into the mix, which resulted in a kind of defensive 'No, no, we're not trying to 'MFA-ize' the story (I had said they were trying to MFA-ize the story), maybe you're right, it could go either way, digress, digress... Often it seems the most constructive and/or fun things you can do in a workshop is to disagree just to start a fight and/or take a shit on the workshop table and watch everybody move their water bottles and their coffee.

- During graduate lectures Liam Rector would sit along the rails near the front of the room (the building sunk into the ground some, so there were areas along each side that looked down into the room where the people read), and listen and always have several questions at the end, long often contentious questions, he loved to poke at people and make them speak up, he was huge on 'big nasty free speech' and was very much an excellent counter-figure style persona to have heading an MFA, if anything his spirit of contesting rules had a definite grasp over the program as exhibited by his tendency to show Alec Baldwin's monologue from GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS to new students on their arrival, making the majority of them go, 'what the fuck?', and which, I think now, should be definitive THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST DO viewing for new writers, if you have the mind to apply what is being said into the publishing realm, Liam was wicked smart, encyclopedia-brained, and could quote at length from more work than anyone I've ever met, though outside these meetings the only time I ever really talked to him was in the men's room.

- I got told at least several dozen times a residency how I had to be gay, I was too 'good looking' to be a male writer and not be gay, impacted probably because I never 'hooked up' in dorms, neat, I don't know what this means

- Tons of students were intensely interested in 'publishing modules' offered by the school, where you'd go listen to agents or publishers talk about what they looked for, their process etc., how to write a cover letter, query, etc., bullllllllshit, which always had the effect of making people think 'how the fuck will I ever get published.' If there's anything I would change about the writing program experience it would be creating a much more realistic, step by step, (I hesitate to say 'grass roots') style method of publishing small in magazines and moving up, how to use the internet as community, how to make contacts outside of bullshit handshake shit with agents you meet at these kind of functions, etc. REAL PUBLISHING ADVICE, which isn't as difficult as it seems, I think.

- I made exactly 0 'connections' at my school that helped me end up getting published, which I think is probably a big misconception for students, that 'you will make contacts to help get you published,' which I know I thought. Honestly, I would say most MFA students should forget about trying to publish at all until they are well out of the program, I wish I had done that.

- The majority of what I learned came not from the workshops but from the one on one time with my instructors, who would write long responses and usually line edit the huge packets of writing we had to turn in each month. This was all very helpful even if I didn't always fully agree with what was said. Some of my best advice though, happened to come from my 2nd reader of my thesis, Tom Bissell. Mostly 2nd readers would read through the thesis, write a paragraph to the author about it maybe, pass it or don't. Tom wrote me a 20+ page letter that began 'There's a lot of good stuff here, but seeing as time is short we won't linger on the good, let's get ripping...' (extremely paraphrased, but you get the idea). Tom then spent 20 pages telling me, in various ways, to quit fucking around and write from my testicles, which is harder to come by advice than you'd imagine. After I read that letter, no shit, I think I realized the point of the last 2 years of study, I could not stop smiling, and I think maybe without this letter a lot of my experience would have been a bust, because...

- My writing during this time SUCKED. I don't know if it was partly me falling into the traps discussed by those like I'd heard before, or if I was still just really green and trying to catch up among a group where I actually felt what 'writing life' could be like (outside me just blabbering into my computer for hours). I think I honestly did try to start melding myself to garner approval of certain forces, not necessarily any one teacher, I can't even really say what it was, but I know that when I look back now at what I wrote it is of a much more linear, explanatory and unmagical mind, even less so that what I was writing before I started there. I do have to say though, that the writing I did before my MFA also lacked a certain kind of prowess I think, on an opposite end from the way I sucked while 'in the mill' you might say. It was only after I spent those two years going through a certain mind, faced with various opinions (most of which came from a place different than where I wanted to go), and otherwise just reading a ton of new stuff some forced upon me and some quite exciting, it was only after I saw what exactly what in me I wanted to conquer, what I wanted to shred, what I wanted to move toward and what I needed, that I figured out why the hell I was even doing this writing shit thing in the first place (if I've even come anywhere near knowing that now).

It's not exactly a 'learning the rules so you can break them' mindset, but more a process of metamorphosis, and learning, by example of others and by being continually questioned, that you start to uncover what you're after.

There's a whole question of price vs worth here, the cost of an MFA program vs just spending a ton of time reading and writing intensely on your own watch, and since MFA programs are often what you make of them, you can 'skate by' if you want to, I think there's definitely a question of 'what kind of writer do you want to be' here, and 'what do you want out of that shit?'

In the end, though, an MFA program is several years of intense focus, heavy reading and writing, which how could that not be helpful? I still really do believe that if you don't come out of that bent in some new way (whether just inside your own mind and even further from the minds you encountered in the process, however you realize) then maybe it IS you that's putting the brakes on, and maybe there's a reason for it.

More so, though, words are words.

I really believe these 5 things are what I would write on the blackboard the first day if I taught in a writing program, which I one day have hopes for:

1. Fuck the man.
2. Read a lot.
3. Vomit is important.
4. It feels good to beat your head against the wall it really does.
5. Do the fucking thing already.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tie the Bib Tighter, Dicklick

today 330 pm nothing has happened
except i threw a bunch of shit away
and drove in circles trying to find an on ramp that would let me on i75
they had closed off so many exits
there were cop cars just stalled off
i saw 4 traffic accidents one with a guy just holding his hands on his head
and yelling at an elderly black woman
behind the steering wheel of her car she was smiling
she'd really done a number on the guy's car and hers too
i feel like i've been sweating though i haven't sweat
my clothes feel musty or having dried
i threw away a paint can that had poured over and dried stuck onto a t-shirt
that i had had in my house for at least a year i think
yesterday i read three books straight through i don't remember a single word
we sat at a coffee shop and listened to these two people on a date
they were talking about what kind of alcohol they like
and what their parents do for a living
the guy had on a special shirt that could have come from any store at the mall
the girl was showing her shoulders and you could see the tanlines off her tits
today i wrote down the sentence 'i made the baby die by folding my face'
with the intent to write something else out of it
but i don't think i will
google is going to have sublet my urethra sometime within the next 8 years i feel it
if everything doesn't turn into foam before then
foam/foamed/foaming is one of the words i am trying to keep myself from using in my fiction
today my girlfriend asked me to show her a book that i had that was readable
she said it was up to me to define readable
i went to my shelf and just stared
and then after a while i turned around and looked at her and she was smiling
yesterday she was reading rings of saturn by w.g. sebald at the coffee shop
and i tried to watch her read it but anytime i looked she could feel me seeing i think
today i don't even want a grilled cheese
my 'brief flash of extreme railed positivity posted online' i am pretty sure is over
today 333 pm nothing still has happened
soon it will be 333 am and time to go back to bed
and get up again whenever
and do stuff
if i could live inside klaus kinski during the years he filmed fitzcarraldo and aguirre and cobra verde i would do it
i would wrap myself up in the little wires that ran from his pituitary to his aorta
and take little bites of them when i felt hungry
and try to locate a wifi signal around his bellybutton
i want a colonic
i am white

Friday, August 15, 2008

Smarmump Eliminator

I think my loft's front door unlocks itself. Most nights I check sometime before I sit down the final time. Many mornings the door is unlocked.

Yesterday I saw a woman with a wooden eye, she winked at me, no shit.

'Blake Butler' is a pseudonym.

I don't think I should explain.

I wonder if how I feel a lot of days now is how a heroin addict feels, partially, though while on the way down.

I read WASTE by Eugene Marten (brand new from Ellipsis Press) day before yesterday, I am most impressed by Marten's ability to write about overlooked everyday people in a way that makes their lives seem layered like a secret door, like every person is a door into some small compartment where they keep things they value, where they sleep. WASTE is maybe a 2 hour read and will jar your teeth out some, no, really. It has a blurb by Gordon Lish, what do you think about that. It is about a janitor who goes around in this one buildings working with trash. I will read anything Eugene Marten's for the rest of my life, I feel like he is important. His sentences are sentences in the realest application of the word, in that each one kind of condemns itself on the paper or in you in your own mind. I would buy this book (and the also brand new FOG & CAR by Eugene Lim also from Ellipsis, which I am reading next) if I were you.

It seems like whenever I am getting close to the last 10 pages of a book or so, that's when all hell breaks loose, the phone starts ringing, people want to talk to me, there are things looming, that always happens at the end of books, even if I make a point to hide somewhere where no one can interrupt, so now when I get to the last few pages of a book I often start to feel an extreme sense of anxiety.

This same phenomenon also tends to occur when I am taking a shit.

I took two laxative pills the other night to see what would happen. You are supposed to take them when you go to bed and then you'll wake up and expunge. Instead I woke up with awful stomach pains and it constipated me, I was crying a little, I brought my computer into the bathroom so I could look at things while I 'worked,' I am sure you are very interested in hearing about this.

Little things are beginning to become the most severe points of contention in my mind.

I had to stop underlining passages I like in THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE THE MOON SAYS I LOVE YOU literally because I would pretty much just be underlining the whole fucking book, no joke, every line.

'reached up under your dress and got the nation sack' 'pew of deacons' 'dripping through a wound like a virgin's piss'

NO COLONY release party next Friday at Barbes in Brooklyn is beginning to become like a mini-internet summer camp meetup, the list of attendees is growing, I am excited. If you live in NYC, please spread word by blogging, etc. Info is on No Colony website.

I think coffee is beginning to have adverse effects, I am becoming dependent, and yet I am starting to not like the feelings.

Yesterday at a coffee shop, very blitzed on caffeine and sitting next to an extremely loud black woman who was on the phone shouting at the service provider of her website, or shouting at the woman next to her about the photos they were editing of severely stylized black models, I began to find myself inside this other woman, psychically rather than in the body:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I uploaded the pierced vulva to REDBINKERS.COM and got a response query mailed in 30 seconds

<<<I blurbed Sam Pink's first book.>>>

Keyhole just launched their new website, it will now run online content to accompany the excellent print leg, the debut site has a new interview I did with Tao Lin about COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, another interview with William Walsh, new fiction by Kim Chinquee and Thomas Cooper, and more. Plus the site just looks really nice. They are accepting submissions of all kinds of writing for it, go look. The site is beautiful and will be a great place for new words.

Michael Kimball wrote my life story on a postcard. Michael is probably one of the easiest people to talk to I've met in years. Not to mention one of the coolest, and with a sweet tooth to battle my own. This postcard project is pretty insane, the text all really came to my house on a postcard handwritten very small, I don't know how he does it.

My review of his absolutely amazing and form bending novel DEAR EVERYBODY is forthcoming, but let me just say you don't need to wait for me to say so: this book is new, unusual, compelling, fun to read, and unlike most any other, you should go ahead and preorder.

Today I got THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE THE MOON SAYS I LOVE YOU by Frank Stanford in the mail, I had meant to order and finish reading beyond the little bits I'd read before for quite some time now, Peter Markus's encouragement that he carries it everywhere with him when he is reading it "and he often does" pushed me over the edge, and now I am just sitting here staring at what a beautiful book and words.

If you have some extra money, even a couple bucks, consider donating to Peter's Inside Out Literary Arts Project, which sends writers in to teach writing to K-12 students in Detroit, they are having a fundraiser where donations will be matched I think if they reach $25k, you can't ask for a much better cause.

Too much good to read now, things are good.

Approved proofs of NO COLONY issue 1 yesterday, planning to arrive in NYC early next Friday afternoon for Launch Party at Barbes, excited, please come.

Other things are brewing.

- - -

The next issue of Lamination Colony, I am making, I need favors from people who look at this blog, I am going to ask you to do it and then you can decide if you want to do.

I would like people to send me headshots, close up shots, you should not have clothes on, though it doesnt not have to be apparent in the shot that you don't have clothes on, except your shoulders should not have clothes on them.

You are welcome to also send more photos in the same series, I may also use them with it.

The background can be anything, but mostly I just want the face close up.

It should be in a high enough resolution that it can be used for something. If you use the default on your camera don't shrink it, just crop it clean and send to me, or don't crop it, I can crop things, I know about cropping.

Please mail these not to my personal address but to laminationcolony [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, August 11, 2008


For the last 5 years at least I've read Donald Barthelme's SNOW WHITE once a year at some point. I don't know why it was SNOW WHITE exactly, there were other books that hit me more ways, but something about the way that one in particular goes down, and the nuance of it, I felt a little puddled a bit more each time and often reading it I felt like I gathered something, sapped something, some kind of word blood or something, something.

I think now instead I will be reading Stanley Crawford's LOG OF THE S.S. THE MRS. UNGUENTINE at least once if not several times.

This book joins SUTTREE and INFINITE JEST as among those things I could sleep with against my chest.

I would try to review the book, to say more about it, but really anything you say is just going to get deflected off the sentences of the book itself if you actually decide to ever read it. Even Ben Marcus's small afterword in the new Dalkey Archive version just is kind of like a smear of gas on the hub of a huge goddamn tanker of a weird ship.

There's a ship in the book that's one thing. A ship and a woman and a complete blur of dream logic but ordered and rendered in a very methodical and almost guidebook sort of way, layered with so much of the kind of imagery and storytelling mannerisms that are mostly what keep me reading instead of just sleeping all the time for entertainment, trying to get more wedged out of my head.

I love books that take place mostly nowhere: I think 'place' is one thing in writing that is often too harped upon. I remember in workshops or in discussions of fiction, the question of clarity of time and place being so important: and yet it is this kind of stuff that really slays me, the stuff that happens nowhere and anywhere. That's not to say I don't think place can be made strong in fiction, but that there are just certain kinds of books that don't need it, and would be crippled by it.

If you like short imaginative and sentence driven stories, this book is at the top of the list, no kidding. It's kind of like Roald Dahl by way of Gordon Lish or something.

Stanley Crawford looks kind.

Stanley, will you be my grandfather?

I feel like someone pressed the refresh button on my brain browser.

This thing has made me really hungry to create.

I've had a sentence on my desktop for a little more than a year now, and never had found a way to move past it, but reading UNGUENTINE, even just the first twenty pages, something got dislodged and I am now 4000 words into something from that sentence.

I've been writing a lot slower lately though, doing a lot more staring and sipping and touching keys in little bursts, which is nice, and I think the way whatever next things come should come.

If I don't end up getting a block of gibberish on my forearm, I found a quote I want tattooed on me maybe, if I decide to really do that.

Friday, August 8, 2008

NO COLONY NYC LAUNCH PARTY aka Politics Made the Earlobe Whittle, Wouldja Shush?

NYC launch party for ISSUE 001 of NO COLONY will be going down at BARBES in Park Slope Brooklyn --- Friday AUGUST 22, 7:30 PM.

If you live in NYC please come. Directions are on the Barbes website. Please be on time a little too, because there is an event after us at 10. Assumedly the party will bleed out to elsewhere after, I want to accost NYC with margarita blood and make videos.

We will have issues of NO COLONY freshly in our hands (they are to arrive the day before, please someone make UPS not suck a d this once).

Readings by Robert Lopez, Tao Lin, Giancarlo DiTrapano, Justin Taylor and Nick Antosca.

If you live in NYC area, please help spread the word, I want the walls to snort when I wiggle and maybe there will be live pigs we can bring in and roll around with and maybe I can forget how to talk.

Ken Baumann's ass is supposed to be in the house from all the way across the country, he is going to do it, you should email him and tell him make it happen no matter what, he is on the fence a little, push him over.


I am excited to be coming back to NYC.

Right now there's some sort of bitchass crawling in my urethra.
Not physically, but like a mental liquid noose.
I want to take a bite out of a baby, I'm not kidding, how much would that cost?

The internet is like my cooter, it keeps making me randomly upset but often glorifies my yamkitten.

I have the tattoo mapped and/or not at all.

Vast Aire's new record DEUCES WILD has a track with the hook: I'm not a rapper I just talk alot. Obviously squatting on Big Pun's 'player's anthem.' I like Vast Aire, his voice sounds more nasal than most rappers, he is smart, the new record has really weird, creative beats, rap is tickling my yearnum

someone needs to email that lyric on loop for like 20 hours to certain people's computers in a vein of sludge they can't stand up from,

I sometimes imagine hordes of special liquid coming out of the monitor like a billion hands and one or two of them touching special moments but the most of them like beating like the shit like out of like my head

my face

More nice now.

Brandon Hobson reviewed THE WOMAN DOWN THE HALL on Clusterflock. Thanks to Brandon.

Justin Taylor's first poetry book is out now from the new X-ing Press. Congrats to Justin, the book looks beautiful, I am about to order it.

Ellipsis Press just put up preorders for two new novels, one by Eugene Marten (who crushed my ass with IN THE BLIND) and Eugene Lim (the editor of Harp & Altar). I have preordered both, I am excited. Also they are open to electronic novel submissions, their books seem really nice,

A lot is happening.

I will not be a negative fuck face

I will be a cordless drill carried in the sweaty palm of Klaus Kinski to make a peephole into the year of Draining

know what I mean

no, no

good mood


last night someone got to this blog with my favorite google query ever,
they were from India,
they looked up
'horse insert his cook in women's pussy'

exactly like that

Indian man



i could think about the nuances of that conception for the rest of my life and be happy

next book title, swear to god

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Engorged Sinus of the Bird Hormone

I got a rejection today from New Ohio Review, for my story THE DISAPPEARED, which appears in their current issue. That's kind of new. The editorial culling process employed by these bigger magazines is really confusing, so it probably confuses them too. I know the editor from the first 3 issues who had accepted and published the story just got yanked for reasons I am unsure of. Still, I want to send them a copy of their own magazine back with my story in it and the rejection slip attached, and a rejection of their rejection.

Rejection letters now just make me smile, if anything, I have no feelings anymore, the work is what the work is, in fact I think I get more kicks out of rejections than I do acceptances somehow, is that weird?

Shane Jones had some extremely nice things to say about my forthcoming novella EVER... to be mentioned in the same breath as Unguentine, Motorman and the Singing Fish is beyond...

No Colony went off to printers today. I feel like we shat a baby, Ken and I. Looks like we'll be having a couple of launch parties in the next few weeks or month, one in NYC and maybe west coast and/or Atlanta. More on that soon.

Luna Park Review called NO COLONY "2008's most talked most about and most feared new lit mag."

Whatchu know about dat?

Atlanta/Brooklyn based magazine THE OPEN FACE SANDWICH just took one of the last unpublished stories in Scorch Atlas. Their first issue looks really nice and has work by Deb Olin Unferth, Ariana Reines, etc. People should buy issues and send to them, they read quickly and have a good style, aesthetic.

I am going to post a list of the small presses I found when subbing my longer books recently, ones that are open and accessible seeming. This is a note to self to remember to do this.

The 4th issue of Keyhole Magazine is now for presale and it looks amazing. Keyhole just keeps getting better and better, I can't wait to see this issue. It includes new work by Kevin Wilson, whose story from 2006 in Diagram fucking rules: THE DEAD SISTER HANDBOOK, as well as friends Jason Jordan, T.J. Forrester, more.

Adam Robinson continues to be one of the most entertaining people on the lit web, profiling/interviewing some bitchass kid named Zach

Thanks to everyone so far who has had kind words, posts, etc., about LILY HOANG's THE WOMAN DOWN THE HALL, I hope people keep reading it, the story is designed that each page stands apart and they weave together, so reading in splashes is encouraged. It's hard to read long online, so the book will be there for you, gobbbless the interslice. Please more share!

I can't believe I missed these guys in Atlanta this year:



Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Now available for your consumptive g-spot banging, please observe the newest Lamination Colony ebook by LILY HOANG:

It's a sick little magickal book, please enjoy.

This book scrunched me into a ball the second I clicked open on the email it arrived in, it choked me into submission with its fairy screwtape and its post-Eraserhead screech.

Also note: Lily's first book PARABOLA was just released by Chiasmus Press (after winning their Un-Doing the Novel contest), so if you are interested you should consider a purchase. She also has a second novel CHANGING forthcoming from Fairy Tale Review Press and THE EVOLUTIONARY REVOLUTION from Les Figues Press.

Lily is on fire, for a reason.

If anyone is interested in interviewing Lily re: the creation of this ebook, as well as her other new forthcoming work, please email me and I will put you in contact.

Those who review THE WOMAN DOWN THE HALL on their blogs or elsewhere and/or throw up links or magic rice or otherwise turn their voices into metal eaters who crowd the streets screeching our condition via Ms. Hoang, these people will surely find something underneath their pillow within 7-9 days, no shit. Share the demon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

WHERE AM I excerpt @ Pequin

There is a new excerpt from my 10 day novel, WHERE AM I WHERE HAVE I BEEN WHERE ARE YOU, now live at Pequin >>>> The Son's Book

It is very short and random, more a moment than a 'scene,' and fairly unlike most of the novel (ie: this one and this one) though all of the novel's many little sections are pretty different from one another, while still remaining somewhat narrative I think. Somewhat.

I am reading the Dalkey Archive rerelease version of Stanley Crawford's THE LOG OF THE S.S. THE MRS. UNGUENTINE and so far it is one of the most unexpected and refreshing things I have read in a long time. I mean it is goddamn amazing.

It has a new afterword by Ben Marcus.

I wonder if Ben Marcus has a new book somewhere forthcoming?

I wonder if I could get Ben Marcus to blurb EVER? I think I am also going to try to dig up David Markson.

I think too much.

Bookslut gave me a shoutout.

Lily Hoang's THE WOMAN DOWN THE HALL will debut later today or tomorrow, depending on certain things.

Time to begin writing something new so I can shut up some.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Johannes Göransson's DEAR RA

When Burroughs died in '97 it was the summer after I finished high school. I had just gotten the internet on a computer in my room, I had my first email, I had saved pictures of naked women on my hard drive and knew where to look at them. That was some summer then. In his last trilogy of books Burroughs wrote about a sex propelled virus that destroys humanity. Burroughs had written this before AIDS was discovered. Burroughs had birthed in his male uterus the perfect virus that by replicating to paper he shat straight through the earth.

I read a lot of Burroughs, I read him over and over, I read NAKED LUNCH before I knew a lot of things after I bought it from the only independent bookstore I'd ever been in, where the ideas on the pages seemed profane and new already to me: the first poetry reading I ever went to when I was like 16 there were guys with long hair who got tired of reading their own shit and so they got NAKED LUNCH and started reading their favorite passages from it, they didn't stop to take a breath even when the train went by and you couldn't hear what they were saying anymore. I read THE SOFT MACHINE and THE TICKET THAT EXPLODED back to back on a bad in a basement room that had no windows.


There never seemed anyone for years. I think I read the most during my undergrad blur at a major technical college spending my library hours masturbating in the bathroom or staring at texts I knew no one had really written on the massive databank computers in the library, walking around in circles. I don't think I believe in rebirthing, maybe I do, but I definitely believe in invocation or attachment, or consumption via layering.

If anyone has been infected as the heir of the mass-apocalyptic Burroughs language virus megaburden, it must be Johannes Göransson.

I realized this while reading his new DEAR RA, out from Starcherone Books now THIS LINE DELIVERED TO YOU VIA TELEMARKETING UPLOAD.

I don't know whether how he would take this idea (though the Burroughs surname is layered in the book along with other loaded refs like offhanded shotputs), if you've ever spent any time reading Exoskeleton you know the man is made of some kind of multipolymer plastic that glows in no light, but I still think the transcription is illuminary, at least for me, in that no one else since Burroughs seems as capable of inveigling such mass hysteria, hyper-sexual anti-sex mutation, cultural whitewall, rhythmic jargon, and just plain ravaged flesh language in such tangible, tasted bursts.

Though at the same time, Göransson is too made of himself to be just an infection, even one so now-real.

DEAR RA is like 89 hyper-prose pages, stuffed with white space, though here the white space is as loaded as the floor of the Tangier hotel covered in black muck where Burroughs was discovered in a daze with the pages of NAKED LUNCH strewn all around him. These are letters to the sun god, though some might say now this god's replacement is a florescent lamp, a tanning bulb, a whoops. Göransson's text is the kind that slips past spam filters and makes you consider the dick surgery. Göransson's mind is the kind you feel breathing behind you while you're watching that slightly more filthy than usual porn download that you will delete from your web browser's history when you are finished even though no one ever looks at your web browsing history because one day motherfucker you will die.

The most important books, I think now, are the ones that you either can't read because of where they touch, or that you can read in 30 minutes because they are so cleanly chiseled and short, to the windpipe.

This book is still stuck in my windpipe.

This book made Breton cry because Breton knew he never had such glimmer, and Breton is very dead.

This book is much bigger than it feels with its slick cover and its quickburst easy-on-the eyes, and though I want it on my nightstand, the fucking thing keeps crumpling under the weight.

I am going to open the book to a random page and quote the first line I see, because the pages of this book were cut from a rotting tree and made white enough for you to lose your eye-tint regarding, and still they have the wound layered in them enough that no matter where you are inside it, you will be infected:

No, the interviewer asked me something about you, and 'moths' is how I replied.

As I typed that, I accidentally typed 'mothers' at first where 'moths' is, and I felt the paint in the room around me on my face and a new McDonald's opened right down the street and everything was okay.

DEAR RA knows more than it knows it knows, and the channels can't quite control their color.

Göransson, if he's not shotgun/cathair infected, is at least here an associative kingkong, stirring up Göransson's already hyperattended vocabs (sternum, animal, thievery, problematic answers to unasked questions, orifices, fucking, drive-bys) into little things that might sliver your balls hairs into new ball hairs. Then you'd have some hair ass balls and you'd wake up earlier and go places you didn't see despite having walked past them 1500 times doused in gasoline.

I would say Göransson is the Tupac of tonight's slurfest, but Tupac isn't dead yet and I don't want him coming off that island to cut his wiser, buzzheaded brethren where he breathes, because then Tupac would have the Göransson blood gushing all over him and he wouldn't be able to record his next posthumous clubjam without spitting the realest realest shit he ever wrote, and I don't think those fratkids are ready for that yet, and I want one more weekend to sit and slurp my own saliva before we go past empty to negative neon. This is a new node on a lexicon that will not let itself be lexiconned.

Did I mention J.G. has among the finest gloss of craniums in our wordland? You kind of want to kiss it.

See how I've been infected?

What am I saying: this book is worth your while, you will read it in the bathtub or on the shitter, you will remember, you will be glad.



Sunday, August 3, 2008

Crudding the Baby's 'Infinity Gauntlet' Graphic Novel Bib

Thanks to all the amazing notes/blog posts/comments/etc. from everyone in the past few days about everything going on. I feel like things are happening.

Christian Peet from Tarpaulin Sky (which has a new issue online now that I am excited about reading) blogged about some of the things in my 'do more' post, with some other chronicling of his building his home, it is an excellent post and includes another edge of perspective: WHY I HAVE BEEN REMISS IN SAYING THAT YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE.

Christian's blog made me remember another important thing, on the opposite leg of one of the points I made before: to writers submitting work: learn to chill. Yeah, it sucks when it takes editors a long time to get back to you, and I do think it's important for them to stay on top of shit and try to minimize waits, but, in the end, it's important to keep your cool and realize that your submission is, in the end, a submission, and a lot of the time editors are doing everything they can to get shit done, and even if they aren't, try to chill, go swimming or eat a taco or something. Everyone is waiting with you. Patience is valued on the author's end, just in the same way timely attention is valued in editors.

I'm not going to get ramped up again. Instead, check out Dan Wickett @ EWN and Matt Bell's excellent additions to the thread.


I did a video reading of my Chris Farley / Andy Kaufman texts from the new issue of Keyhole for the Keyhole Blog. You can also download a higher quality version through their iTunes podcast for free, which includes interviews with William Walsh, readings by Michael Kimball, and more. Keyhole is exciting to me in all that they are doing and plan to do. Watch out.

I was sick in the video.

Mark Baumer from Everyday Yeah just started a new feature on the site called TWO MINUTE MINDS, where for two minutes you just say what is in your head w/o thinking. The first person that did it was Rainn Wilson, who I am not a big fan of, his face annoys me, and I am now up on the site also. I hadn't had any coffee when I did it maybe you can tell.

Mark Baumer is doing interesting things with Everyday Yeah, I like the way he bends forms of reviews and interviews while also promoting small press lit. Another model for innovation. He used Elizabeth Ellen's picture for my picture.

Here is me in my Tao Lin promotional t-shirt, though the shirt is mostly not in the picture, use your promotional imagination to complete the image:

Tao is also a model for innovation, he was the person who suggested I start this blog, he is using ideas I think people will use in the future if they are smart, he deserves post Al Gore internet innovation credit, Tao Lin is smarter than Radiohead, if I had money I would buy a share in his next novel.

I have a lot more to say, but in the spirit of not going on forever again (more than I already have, how the fuck does this get so long so fast) I am going to go look at stuff.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I've been waiting a long time to write this post and now I don't know really what to say.

Short word: looks like Calamari Press will be releasing my novella, EVER, sometime in the foreseeable future.

Those who happened to be among the gajillion commenters/perusers in the last few days re: my last post might have seen this buried in the comments, as EVER, I think most likely, became the first manuscript ever officially accepted via blog comment.

No clear plans as of yet as to when, etc., as Calamari father Derek White is as we speak perhaps still in the air in midst of his departure from America to live in the fairer climes of Kenya, of which I can only wish to one day follow. (I hope Derek doesn't get eaten by a wild goat: I will find the goat and eat it and vomit Derek back up and paste him back together.)

Save it to say I am beyond excited and honored to have my first full-on book with a press I could not admire more.

Thanks to Derek for this moment even in the midst of his own moment of such huge transition. And thanks to Peter Markus, the other new Calamari captain, for reading and believing in the book, and to Robert Lopez for just being a Calamari brother. It's no stretch to call these guys inspirations to me.

I'm blabbering a little, sorry.

EVER was written over several months during the period between the last story in Scorch Atlas and when I began the 10 day novel. I spent a lot of time staring at nothing between each sentence.

If you are interested in peeking at what EVER is like (I like to think of it as somewhat of a reversioning of Markson's WITTGENSTEIN'S MISTRESS fed through a Ben Marcus shredder and doused with maybe melted WHY DID I EVER and the spit of who I become only during sleeping), the only part of it that has been published to date is on the Unsaid website: 13 Plastic Doors.

Funny, also, and yet not cosmically surprising, that other brother Sam Pink almost simultaneously placed his mindfuck of a collection I AM GOING TO CLONE MYSELF THEN KILL THE CLONE AND EAT IT with the brand new Paper Hero Press. Fuckmaster bananafuck. I am going to mail myself to Sam tomorrow so we can walk into the street and take turns taking wide bites out of small cars while our ears spurt black blood.

I guess I have to get a tattoo, now: I always said I would.