Monday, December 28, 2009

"It's inadvertent. It triggers something."

I just read The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis by Mark Gluth, a novella, it felt aurally pleasant in a way of great refreshment, with mirror time worming and layers of photography and weaving of levels of consciousness and continuity, all in very brief, clean sentences; a beautiful package with one of the most memorable endings I've read in a while. Feels of classical short French writing but in modern American scenery, which I can't remember having happened in other books. A lot of people I will know will really like this.

I'm selling myself into reading from here on out, reading like happens in a bath, except I won't always be in the bath. I've read quite a lot in the days since Xmas. The sleep book is eating much of my air.

My dad's brain is going quickly.

I published an ebook on Lamination Colony: Georgic, With Eclogues for Interrogators by Mark Cunningham. It is different than most things that have been on the site. I have a huge triple-sized issue that is going up hopefully soon and then another ebook. Then I am not sure what I will do with the site.

I just remember this bit I published last year or something on Wigleaf is one of the only published parts of the novel that will come out from HP next year.


For the new year we are going to the mountains to hide and eat food.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


3:AM Magazine named Scorch Atlas their 2009 Novel of the Year, very thankful and honored.

Dennis Cooper included on his list of Favorites of 2009, as well as Kristina Born's and several other friends, beyond kind as always.

Robert Lopez shouted at it on The Millions, thankful to Rob.

Thankful as well to all those who've listed it and Ever on their year end lists, very kind and thankful all around.

I read 106.2 books this year, here is what they were.

Life is kind of crunchy mix of weird and nice right now, my time has been mostly spent in mind throughout this season, and the season before. It was a nice year. It went fast and mostly in rooms. Next year is the same day.

Seeing an end at least now to insomnia book, MS word stops showing the word count at 100,000, which is good, because words




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Story by Story: Brian Evenson's 'Fugue State' (18) 'Traub in the City'

It's been several months since my last speech re: Fugue State. I've been in a blank mode of my own, circling, recircling, in small rooms, reading texts within texts, thinking about sleep. In this time I've read this next text in the order, next to last, also the shortest, 'Traub in the City,' at least a dozen times. This weekend, I reread The Open Curtain, followed by The Wavering Knife, and then returned again to pick up at the second to last and smallest text inside this book, and found there in the shortest scrim the longest shouting. The book enveloping itself. This is not surprising in Evenson at all, considering his propensity for disclosing volumes within volumes (today 'Moran's Mexico' from The Wavering Knife about made me dizzy, with its room of teeth and tunnels in), and that even in seeing the small spacing of the two pages I knew something laid there ready to eat again in its eating, having learned what I've learned since last touching its face. These ideas could be called hyperbole in their intent, but this year for certain I've begun to feel that the certain thing I've tended toward in these last years can be felt only in such terms, or in the description around the center of the center, as I've gone on about here: that certain things have hyperbolic faces because the body on which they sit is made of something else. I won't continue in the circling of the circling of that meat body, but to say that herein, in the several months since returning to this two page spread, having read Deleuze's Difference and Repetition, and his Cinema 1, and with them begun searching for doors beside my doors, literally, this text, in two pages, owns a context for perhaps a whole body of work, an understanding, the groundwork on which Evenson's fictions sit gathering their power not even out of simple sound, as I've rattled on about in past months, but also in the borrowing of an other dark, of "several faces, coming one after another, quicker and quicker," all while underneath a very fine and sublime curtain, such as the curtains described in 'House Rules' from The Wavering Knife that, when lifted, show that the windows outside the house have been boarded down, allowing in only little stream of light where cracks make the space between the boards, hardly enough to illuminate any part of the whole house. As Traub here sees the bodies of a public metro all part of one vast and unnameable body, continually shifting and amorphous, he continues to try to draw the spaces, knowing he can not, knowing even in that vast amorphous massively spread face the air that makes the room around him does not touch any other object there inside it, does not touch him correctly, like all these texts in their becoming in this book here, in all the books, only a slightly further stretch to define that nowhere space, himself an oddly renamed image of a body already depicted in this very book, the mirror elongation of the slightly earlier 'Bauer in the Tyrol,' and yet he can not disturb that will to draw that space, confining and confined, elongated over several books within books, each ejecting and drawing into their black centers some massive fabric that will not be delineated or erased, will not lose its way in magic among these sentences and the rendition in their flood of something that is just above us and something in the stomach of this stomach in and of this house, a skin.
if anyone has had experience with the out of body or lucid dreaming as related to maps or homes or tunnels or film please email me


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

"I'm laughing!"

Tim Horvath writes an extremely generous and wonderful review of Scorch Atlas for Identity Theory, I mean the whole damn thing is worth excerpting, and wow: "Scorch Atlas is quite possibly the most visceral book I’ve ever read, and in its uncompromising slog through muck and murk, boot-heeled in language, the book carves out a style which, once experienced, feels necessary. As flickering lights can induce seizures, Butler’s prose seems prone toward causing synesthesia; touch permeates and choke-holds all the senses, rendering images tactile, reinventing sounds, smells and tastes, even air itself, as palpable spatio-temporal entities."

Many thanks to Tim and the IT crew.

Also today, the always kind and bounteous J.A. Tyler reviews Kristina Born's One Hour of Television and interviews me, Shane, and Kristina for Rumble.

The review contains excerpts from the book that if you haven't bought it yet, I feel like it could make you want to.

I made a list of 25 important books of the 00s for HTMLGiant

Going to Boston Saturday to lecture at Emerson on sentences, including sentences by a slew of people, D. Williams, Hannah, Goransson, Kilpatrick, Glaser, about 12 others, if you are in Boston maybe you can come or something, here's a flyer:

Fuck, Tyrant 7 is an ill ill motherfucker. I don't think I wrote my story that is in it, my mother's computer did. It's my best story. Still reading slow, haven't read anything that hasn't spinecrushed.

I ate too much meat today, I'm a gooby

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

“Ethics requires a subject bearing everything, subjected to everything, obedient with an obedience that precedes all understanding and all listening to the command. Therein lies a reversal of heteronomy into autonomy, and this is the way in which the Infinite comes to pass.” - Emmanuel Levinas

Monday, December 7, 2009

ooooo ooo uj hh ooo ooo o

oh got a joint in the new New York Tyrant #7 i think it is the longest story I have published besides "Seabed"

it is called "Sourcebook," and is about a mother destroying her child inside their house and the sounds the child makes and what a family is is is

other in Tyrant: Alex Balk, Aaron Burch, Blake Butler, Erich Hintze, Danni Iosello, Brian Kubarycz, Christopher Kennedy, Joseph Cardinale, Jason Schwartz, Greg Mulcahy, Luca Dipierro, Rachel B. Glaser, Atticus Lish, Ken Baumann, G. David Schwartz, Peter Gajdics, Peter Markus, Shane Jones, Conor Madigan, Scott Indrisek, Harry Cheadle, Joshua Furst, Michael Kimball, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.

hey hey hey

hey hey

hey a goony goo goo


um oh i also have what they are referring to as 'fan fiction' in a fan fiction section in Opium 9, it is about Cliff Burton, it goes along with a piece by Matthew Simmons about Geezer Butler, there is some other magic in that boink

Iredell in there, Evenson, some somes and whatnot, Gabbert, Greenman, Boudinot, Rooney, Raffel, Baumbach, Young

tired o typing into machine
that is not the machine

if'n u want to
if'n u wanted
to to
if'n if'n

um let's see i had a question but now the poker is on the tv

your seriousness is very not serious today

Sunday, December 6, 2009





Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vasopressin is a potent nonselective vasoconstrictor

Kristina Born's One Hour of Television is in the house. I've been shipping them in batches, so if it's not there yet, it will be shortly. They turned out as good as I had hoped:

You can still do an order for the preorder price for the next few days until I update it and add a dollar. So maybe consider it? Year of the Liquidator. I think it's a fine deal. The book makes me excited to think.

Also new is the inaugural issue of an online journal I've been stoked for since I heard about it, Gene Kwak's We Are Champion.

It's gots Higgs, Glaser, Svalina, Lutz, DiTrapano, Gould, Robinson, Papas, Annarummo, Harris, and I have two links bits that came from my attempt at appropriating Bernhard's The Voice Imitator.

Among those, really stoked that people will be able to read Rachel Glaser's Pee on Water online, as it is still one of my favorite stories ever.

And the DiTrapano comes from the first story in the first issue of No Colony, for which we are working hard on issue 3. It's gonna rip.

Another new online journal is Truth Sauce, who published this short thing I found I'd written on my hard drive and hidden in a series of nested folders, unless someone else wrote it and hid it there.

I like this proliferation of the online new.

Insomnia book is at 69269 words as of this minute. Today writing about dementia, Satanism, and Diane Arbus.

I have a 3,000 page book on my desk that I am reading a little.

The new Beach House album Teen Dream is the best album I've heard come out in a long while.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


a took my dad took wendy's today cuz he wanted to and he ordered 3 asian chicken salads into the machine, tried to get me to get 4 instead, we took em home and ate em then came down the hall and gave me a box of blackjack cigars, he'd been hiding 3 boxes from i don't know who in his workshop, it seemed important when he gave me the cigars

b took a bath reading the city and the city with a lot of lights on in the tiled area, i like this book, i'd like this book to have been edited also by a machine and perhaps translated into a different alphabet some, one of the books inside the book talks about having a different language with 34 characters

c earlier today i told my mom i was thinking of jumping out of a window and she said make sure the window's not closed, she meant it in a good way

d eating snow cream ice cream it's like that ice cream we'd make as kids scraping fresh snow off the diving board and mixing it with sugar and vanilla though the last few times i tried to do that again it tasted like shit

e insomnia book today is at 57977 words, it is less insomnia and more ____, it is doing some things. i think this manuscript is going to turn out quite something long, seems like i am just getting started, seems like

f sleeping troubles still shitting on america inside our household, last night H slept on the sofa by choice cuz of how i kick and bash i guess when i am sleeping, she's said the other night inside my sleep i said i want to shit on someone and something else i can't remember

g earlier today dad couldn't find the blue cup he likes to drink juice out of and so poured a lot into a blue bowl and sat it on the counter and left it there and kept looking for the glass

h i feel like i've gotten a lot older this year like my body is being older i've been finding it harder to run as long as i'd like to, there are people who come into the gym almost all the same times as i do and none of us ever talk to one another except there used to be that woman who came in with a different dude each time and they would stand behind her and watch her ass while she did the step machine and looked at a really loud tv

i i have been feeling really flatly emotional about a lot of small things like certain kinds of food and in certain minutes where the desk is almost turning to look at me but it doesn't, sometimes there are little bugs crawling up the glass inside this room

j made a mix cd for the first time in a long time the other night downloading music off the online, trying to find some new music again that i can be ok with, trying to be nicer, to think longer before i say things, to be more resilient or careful in certain ways but the more i do that the more it seems it comes out the wrong way, seems like being literal is not appreciated or not ok, seems like there is paper made of hair somewhere in this house all underneath me and

k i don't know, like chris farley said inside that other person, 'who gives a rat's behind,' earlier today and just before we went to wendy's my father told me something about a machine that had broken his 73 year old heart

l reading james merrill

Monday, November 23, 2009

writing about insomnia is returning my insomnia

i wrote a book notes for largehearted boy for scorch atlas, a soundtrack, musics

there it is

i'm going to be gone/quiet for a while i think/hope
maybe not

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ay ay oh tob ay it it et

A rad dude made a flyer for my lecture at the New College of Florida this saturday:

Shit, libraries are cool, it's like candy store when it hits you, in the library right now at Emory, gotsded:

Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist
Joseph Cornell's Dreams edited by Cathering Corman
Deleuze, Difference and Repetition
James Merrill, The Changing Light at Sandover

libraries are the old new Napster

it's like America in a can

refound on blog where I kept track of the writing of the novel that will come out next year


day 1 is at the bottom up to day 10 in the end

necklaces and dogs

america is a planted

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Organism (1975)

Killer short film @ Ubu by Hilary Harris, made 7 years before the much more popular Koyaanisqatsi:

This other things is is weird too
by some group called JODI

this is kind of what life is:

it is titled: My Desktop OS X 10.4.7 (2007)

Reading You Bright and Risen Angels by Vollmann after years of it on my shelf. Holy what the fuck. Might have a new book in my top five.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The softest location in the house.

Radical Chris Higgs interviewed radical Kristina Born @ The Faster Times about her forthcoming book, which I swear to shit better be in my hands from these printers on Monday and shipping out to you. Printers dumb. Anyway, yeah, next week. Last chance to preorder.

I am becoming sponge this month so far, filling in some gaps on films I'd meant to see and hadddnt

Le Cercle Rouge
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
(finally from beginning to end)
something else I ain't remembrin

Dogs are vacuums I realized

I accidentally started writing a book about the Crips

Rereading The Age of Wire and String is making me feel like I like in an excellent palace somewhere by myself without balloons

Thinking too hard on accident about what kind of people become the people who produce the bulk of art makes my hands ache like the only part of my body not in a hot bath.

I am tired of gender and not person



I want some really good curtains to eat off of

Please stop whatever you are doing right now and go buy and read Robert Lopez's Kamby Bolongo Mean River. I'm not kidding. Whatever you are doing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

i'm back

D. B. Cooper, skyjacker, collected a ransom of US$200,000 then jumped from the rear stairs of the Boeing 727 at a height of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) over the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, somewhere between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. The FBI believes Cooper did not survive the jump, and had acted alone; originally presuming him to be an experienced parachutist, they later concluded that an expert would not have jumped as Cooper did (at night, in a rainstorm, wearing loafers and a trench coat, with no idea of where he was, and apparently failing to notice that his reserve parachute was sewn shut). In 1980, $5800 of the ransom cash was found on a Columbia River sand bar, about 15 miles (24 km) from the estimated drop zone area, but exactly where he landed, his true identity, and his fate all remain unknown.

i want to chew on carolyn's fingers

food is everywhere


"I threw one away just before I started this. I tried and tried. But it wasn't any use."

i said i'm back

Monday, November 2, 2009

then i'm goin fo they sista

'The Gown From Mother's Stomach,' originally published in Ninth Letter, is running this week at HP's 52 Stories. This seems to be the most common 'favorite' of the texts in Scorch Atlas for some reason. I'm OK with that.

Halloween I saw a Black Sabbath cover band and a Misfits cover band, both did a good job, H and I dressed as pregnant Floridians and spent some like $100 on booze, I am told I did pushups on the dance floor alone, both of my knees feel fucked up.

If you want to dance let's dance.

Approved final proofs for Kristina's One Hour of Television, they should be printed up and done by the weekend, then shipping. In the meantime, K has made a video promo, it kind of freaks me out:

Next 3 people to preorder will receive a special bonus magical insert in their package.

Reading on Friday night in Athens with John Dermot Woods and Sabrina Orah Mark, if you are out there come widdit, 700 PM at CINE.

Um, this week is mine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


@Diagram, Kim Parko contributes a review of Ever b/w Shane Jones's Light Boxes, including mini-interviews with both of us, and lots of wild thought: These books are creation stories, funeral dirges, and the mystifying yawn between. Thanks Kim!

I am reading Michael Ondaatje's Divisadero right now on a whim, and man so far it is gorgeous. Huge. Hope it continues in such way. Seems like it will.

Halloween. Everybody getting boners or throwing up some. I wish I was 12 again. I wonder how my life would be different if that year I was 12 I hadn't stopped my friend and I from walking down the hill in the neighborhood down from my house, where in the light off of the tall lamp a van had parked and as we crossed some grass these two men came walking as if to cut us off, no one else anywhere around. I stopped and said we'd missed a house behind us and my friend said no we hadn't and I said yes we did I'm going back and the men were getting closer and my friend didn't get it and I grabbed his arm and we started up the hill again and the men walked faster and we ran. That night a few other kids were abducted in our area by men inside a van.

That is better than being around more dumps getting drunk.

Longest thread ever at HTML Giant is weird.

I am doing a photo shoot tomorrow for a profile in a big UK based magazine, I think I'm supposed to destroy something in the process, if I want to. I think we're going to a ghetto strip mall and an abandoned bunch of tiny buildings.

New proof of Kristina's book looks amazing and beautiful, should have them hopefully by end of next week, which is later than I'd hoped but they will be just right and magic. If you'd like to review the book or interview Kristina please drop me a line. She's funny.

Monday, October 26, 2009


This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


@Keyhole, a long interview w/ Molly Gaudry re: Harper Perennial deal, Year of the Liquidator, Scorch Atlas, etc. Thanks Molly!

The new Flaming Lips sounds like Oneida. I'm not sure yet if this is a good thing, but it seems better for them somehow.

The new Themselves has me excited, downloading now. I think I am irretrievably stuck listening to rap for the rest of my life, except in small spurts of other, as it is the only music that still innovates, while still repeating itself. In this way it is like Gordon Lish.

I am going to be lecturing on Three 6 Mafia and Gordon Lish and why Chekhov is bad advice at the New College of Florida next month.

Reread the proof of Kristina's book last night: it is fucking amazing. There is no other book that reads like this book. I can't wait to get it into people's hands. We're aiming at Halloween, but may be a couple days late due to fucking with the printers. The cover is bright red and came in burgundy. Proofs are smart.

If you are in Atlanta, Heather Christle and Chris Deweese are reading at Beep Beep on Thursday at 700. You should come. They are both hilarious and amazing. Heather's book just came out from Octopus. I am going to buy it from her there.

After &now I have decided to spend all of October and November focusing only on perfecting the novel, which is due in December or something. Editing is kind of fun and kind of gritty. Feels like the book is coming even more alive. Feels like there are still mirrors hidden in it that I have to turn around and face the other way in the paper.

Book inside a book.

I kind of want to call the novel Ever also. Can I do that? Can I just keep writing Ever for the rest of my life, over and over again?

This download needs to hurry up.

I tricked Apple into replacing the battery on my laptop after 380 cycles, 15 months later. I didn't know their coverage of the battery supposedly stops after 300 cycles. If your battery has changed at all in quality and you have Apple Care and you are nearing 300 cycles you should call and make them replace it.

There is a big difference between nice and kind. I like to think I'm kind.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Jereme Dean again benevolently bought a bunch more copies of Scorch Atlas to give away. For one, just comment on this thread with anything and I will put you into a drawing for it, done on Tuesday.

I killed all of my links mostly, cuz linking 50 people seems insane, and not linking 200 other people seems insane. I've had complex linking guilt for a long while now and so just decided to erase it. I will link things now from the postbody, as they are better there. What is linking.

@Deckfight, a list of the 5 best things I've read lately

@Holy Land, Rauan Klassnik talks about his experience so far 45 pages into Scorch Atlas: "like biting into a burning apple. A sizzling cherry. Each taste's a piece of fire that whirrs on the tongue and surrounds the brain in a live-dead sack of cold-burning aura. This book's going on my night stand next to Finnegan's Wake..."

@htmlgiant, I wrote about my experience of the &now conference

Should I call my novel Beehiveded. No. I want to just call it Exit. I like the long title but maybe should just make it brutally short. Should it be called O0o0oo000oo, or another unspeakable chain. I don't know. No. I'm way behind on everything.

The rest of this year will be spent focusing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The benevolent J.A. Tyler reviewed Scorch Atlas for Tarpaulin Sky: Scorch Atlas is a world of mold, a world of festering wounds, a world of hurt. Scorch Atlas is a carefully and meticulously distraught world of language, a trembled and shaken line of thought, a vibrant dead trance of phrasing, the measure of words put together all and in the right ways. Blake Butler has made something enormous here, in the reams of his Scorch Atlas, and if nothing else, we are simply destroyed by it, mistaking our skin for its cover, our blood for its damage, our eyes for its violent and broken images.

Kind thanks to JA.

K. Born's book is on it's way to the printers, expect preorders to ship by Halloween. Boom!

Leaving tomorrow for Chicago book release party at No Coast at 7 PM, then Quickies on Tuesday night, 730 @ Innertown Pub. Then Wednesday through Saturday evening in Buffalo at &Now, including a panel for the 30 Under 30 Anthology on Thursday at 1130.

Let's get it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Unsaid has a new website, with a lot of issue 4 all available online. People aren't full of shit when they say this might be the greatest issue of literary magazine of all time. I still haven't stopped reading its 500 pages, a bit every other day or so.

I have 3 pieces in the issue, one of which was part of EVER. This piece is a section from something much larger. The emdashes are fucked up online, but yeah.

A rather long and in-person interview I did with the rad Ben Spivey is up at Writers Bloc.

Dennis Cooper mentioned Scorch Atlas as a book he's recently read and loved.

The new issue of Make is out and I have a list in it, along with work by Dorothea Lasky, Stephen Elliott, Claudia Smith, Tomaž Šalamun, a lot of other good, it is beautifully designed.

Researching roleplaying games and BBSs and bikini briefs and sleep disorders and plastic money is giving me sleep problems again.

And I am actually listening to the new Pearl Jam, it's like an ass tattoo.

See you at &Now?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kristina Born's One Hour of Television

Year of the Liquidator, the press Shane Jones and I started earlier this year, will release its first title, Kristina Born's One Hour of Television, on Halloween.

Designed to run as a series, the books, as we hopefully put out more, will form a continuum of design and style, like a little freakhouse on your nightstand.

People have already said nice things:

To read One Hour of Television is to flip channels between a 50’s science film on the joys of nuclear prowess and a heist-driven road movie set in a late-imperialist apocalypse. In Born’s hands, all social code is a recipe for deadpan horror. Strained domestic tableaus are intimately wedded to carpet bombings and crowd control, and our best chances at intimacy arrive via gruesome medical emergencies. This book is in revolt against language as an anesthesia machine. It's in revolt against an empire in which any vote you cast necessarily ends up as a vote for genocide.
- Lara Glenum, author of Maximum Gaga

One Hour of Television's recurring headwounds make an apt symbol for the work as a whole; urgent and insistent, the oozing gauze on an otherwise lovely skull. Would that all flash fiction be this deadly.
- Amelia Gray, author of AM/PM

You can read an excerpt and preorder One Hour of Television now for $10.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lamination Colony contest issue

New contest special issue of Lamination Colony is now live, with the contest winner Bobby Alter, as well as 9 finalists: Mark Doten, James Chapman, Mel Bosworth, Christian Tebordo, Darby Larson, Sasha Fletcher, Drew Kalbach, Andrew Borgstrom, Ben Segal. Feel really excited by all of the work in this issue, like it demonstrates a coming explosion. I like to stare.

Chicago folks, there will be a release party for Scorch Atlas on Monday October 12 @ 7 PM at No Coast, readings, bands, stuff. Trying to rummage up a baby to take a bite of.

Also going to the &Now Conference from Wednesday to Saturday, a panel on Thursday at noon for the 30 Under 30 Anthology, with tons of good readers. Come hang out. Free with attendance is a copy of the &Now Anthology of Innovative Writing, what they are calling the anti-Pushcart, which I have a piece in, and Giancarlo Ditrapano's piece from the first No Colony also is in.

Speaking of No Colony, we have just reopened for submissions, looking only for long works, from at least 8000 words up to whatever. The issue will probably 3 or 4 very long pieces only. Don't send short, we'll have to delete it. We don't wanna do that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sleepfuck + Scrotal Cash hard

Have you ever written or invoked a language in your sleep?

We are thinking about printing up a limited run of hard copies of the Scrotal Cash remix of Scorch Atlas. They would be rather expensive since they'd be in very short run, probably like $20-$22 apiece, at like 180 pages, but would look really nice and I think the work is powerful enough that it warrants book object? If you would be willing to buy a copy at this price, please comment? I will throw in some extra junk like a soundtrack and some other goodies to help increase value. I would really like as many people as possible to read the incredible work of remixed here (still available for free.

Contributors would obviously need to give their seal of approval on this, which is pending, and we couldn't afford to buy everyone one out of pocket, but if there is sufficient interest and everyone is cool with it, it will go down, and be a cool limited edition object of sorts. Holla?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

claim matter-of-factly to have asked a dream question.

Over the weekend I saw Sunn o))) at a refurbished church basement in the ghetto, I have never been a super huge fan of Sunn on record (though their latest album is kind of amazing), as it seems for noise music there is something lost in the recording, thus going to see them live was the perfect way to absorb.

They played for 2 hours straight at the loudest volume I have ever experienced in a smallish room, it was so loud that my whole body was shaking and in the way the chords would vibrate as they rang out it would flutter my shirt and pants, if I put a hand against my chest I could really feel my sternum shaking. I went unearplugged though they were selling them at the door.

Over two hours the sound was drummed and shrieked so hard into me that when they would pause and at the end the whole body still went on gumming, it was as if I had been put through some kind of masher or a tunnel. An amazing sensation that I have never felt elsewhere. Their robes and lifting arms up to the ceiling with the chords vibrating at first seemed silly but by the end I was knowing exactly.

Also during this Attila from Mayhem came out and did vocals over most of the set, he held the microphone out before him like in worship, and played with it in such ways for about 5 minutes before he even spoke, his voice would shift from deep and large to the most pressure-cooked vocal garble I have ever heard, to strange backward speaking and prophecy. At some point he went backstage and came back out wearing a cloak of mirrors, he took his knees and donned a crown of mirrors, then lasers literally shot out of his hands and he would hold them tightly in his face and then spray them into the mirrors and refract, or hold the beams to shoot across the room.

All in all, amazing as performance, and if you have a chance to see them, do it.

Obviously you can't capture sonics like this on tape, much less video, but the sound here is actually OK (unfortunately it does not feature Attila).

Matt Bell kindly wrote about his experience during the remix project, which is still available free for download from featherproof.

In other great news, the 30 Under 30 anthology that I coedited with Lily Hoang has been accepted for publication by Starcherone Books in Spring 2011. Really excited about that, it is packed with some really incredible new work. More on that soon.

Equally excited about ML Press rereleasing their first year of chapbooks all together as a single volume, including my 'In the Rape Year of the Ghetto Toddler the Houses Will Awaken' and a ridiculous count of others.

Heavy at work on my insomnia book. It is coming out like like.

Things good.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Scrotal Cash: the Scorch Atlas remix ebook

The results of the Scorch Atlas Remix Contest is now live and arrived, had a ton of crazy awesome shit come through, and here are the fruits of that freak labor:

a 150 pp ebook full of Scorch Atlas remixes by a crazy slew of folks, including: Brian Evenson, Matt Bell, Elizabeth Ellen, Chris Higgs (who remixed the whole book by erasure), Matthew Simmons, Marcus Whale, J.A. Tyler, Catherine Lacey, Andrew Borgstrom, John Madera, and Jon Cone.

Thanks to all of those others who entered, it was seriously hard to judge, and amazing to see the string of insane results that came through. Watching people take words and remake them and chew them up and spit up new spit up is exciting. Bird peoples. Let's make more.

Out of the all the contest entry submissions, I chose Krammer Abrahams's 'Remix' as the winner of them all: dude took the 1200ish word story and made new sentences for each sentence, then wrote paragraphs appending, a total of 10,000 words in total, each line cut from some fucked language limestone I have yet to see most anywhere at all. I seriously could not believe what I was reading, and how hard I laughed. It is better than the original, that's a promise. Take the time to lick and imbibe, free (or for a small donation to F-proof, if you dig)!

Download Scrotal Cash here.

Also please note that you can enter two win one of two free copies of Scorch Atlas in the post below this one,

and you can buy the book here.

Scorch Atlas Contest

The always very kind Jereme Dean has purchased a few copies of Scorch Atlas for me to give away. These, if you wish, will come as damaged copies like from the preorder period, bloody or waterlogged or otherwise chunked to bits (but readable), which are now no longer available anywhere but here.

So, two copies to give away (a third copy will be given away later this or next week on my blog), and entry is simple:

Name the book you would most like to see beaten into shit and destroyed for all of time, and briefly why.

If you don't ever wish a book would be destroyed because you are not that kind of person, tell me why you are not that kind of person.

Contest will run until Thursday morning when a winner will be picked (based on which answers I like the most), copies will be trashed, and mailed.

Thanks again to Jereme for the support and the fun.

** PS: In the latest edition of the Ninth Letter podcast, a reading of 'The Gown from Mother's Stomach' spoken by Jennifer Bradford.

*** PPS: The SA remix ebook is very very nearly done and should go live any day now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Thanks to everyone again for the kind words about things. Feels nice. Humbling, and I am grateful.

For those that have asked, the nonfiction book is not my book of lists, but a new manuscript that is currently in progress, which will be about insomnia and obsession. Getting along, underway.

Feels like there's more I could/should say about all that but maybe I'll just hush for now. Maybe I should lay out how the whole thing went down, which seems a very unconventional method of a book deal happening. I don't know. Maybe later.

The Faster Times reprinted a conversation between me and Michael Kimball about acoustics and language. It's probably my favorite craft talking I've gotten into. It originally appeared in Unsaid 4.

Tobias Carroll followed up on his profile of Scorch Atlas by posting the full text of his interview with me at the Scowl.

Barrelhouse asked me and a bunch of other people about favorite Patrick Swayze movies.

I ate some more pages of Scorch Atlas but the video came out really dark, I wish I had Final Cut still so I could put a bunch of them together in hyperspeed, iMovie really sucks.

You can review or say small things or post segments from already existing words you've blogged etc. about Scorch Atlas on Amazon, I'd really love you if you did, things like that seem to help.

You might also review Young Jeezy's 102.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harper Perennial

It's been in the making for a while and is official as of today: I've signed a two book deal with Harper Perennial, for a novel and a book of nonfiction. Crazy and exciting for me in many ways, most of all in having a book as crazy as the novel that has been bought is to be considered in the big houses. It seems a sign of good times, I think.

Massive thanks to Cal Morgan, my editor at HP, and to Carrie Kania, the boss, for not only stepping up to a wild book, but for really working to make HP something else. I could not be more excited to work with such minds.

As well thanks to Bill Clegg, who has recently signed on as my agent, for negotiating the deal, and being amazing.

Also thanks to Dennis Cooper, Tony O'Neill, Justin Taylor, Shane Jones, and Ken Baumann for keeping me clued in and glued up and halfway sane in the proceeding. Seriously. Feels insane.

More on this perhaps later, but right now I'm going to go walk around the block.


Tobias Carroll posted a very awesome article on Scorch Atlas at Flavorwire: "Butler’s decaying worlds resemble the vistas of Steve Erickson in their dreamlike logic and those of J.G. Ballard in their sense of the subconscious eroding restraints mental and physical."

Cari Luna also weighs in at From Utopia: "My god... this book."

The remainder of the tour was excellent and awesome, thanks again to everyone who helped out and came out, it was refreshing and relaxing and this time I did not gain 10 pounds from beer, which is good.

Here's a shot from Baltimore, where thereafter I took down the poker prize of cash and a metal eagle:

Last night watched Philipe Grandieux's Sombre, some of the best static shots and filmwork I've seen in a while, if still a serial killer story, and often quite so lauding of Lynch you could meld the two, which I will take as a good thing, need to watch more of this guy's stuff. The opening driving scenes cut with the children howling in a theater will stay with me for a long time.

Fun, grody.

Now time to start peeling some of this backup work off my neck.

Some exciting news very soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


My write up of the 16th story in Brian Evenson's Fugue State 'Alfons Kuylers' is up now at Conversational Reading. Thanks Scott!

Today while in Providence got to go by and read for Brian's Writers on Writing class at Brown with Rob, we both read and answered questions, it was an honor and a blast. Brown seems really good. Sushi and beer was really good. Brian is too kind. Joanna Howard is really excellent also. Excited for her new book On The Winding Stair, which just came out from BOA.

Having a really killer time on the book trip so far with Sam and Rob, laid back and fun and many excellent people coming out, I feel happy. Things are good.

I feel happy. Things are good.

Last night in the lobby of this hotel in Providence a guy approached the front desk while I was on this public computer and told the desk clerk that everybody he walks by on the street has been making stabbing motions with their hand at him. He did not want to go home as he thought there were people there trying to get inside and hurt him. He was Irish and here at Brown studying engineering. The police were called. He was afraid of the police too, told them he was afraid they were going to try to stab him, the cop said something like "The only thing I have that I could stab you with is my keys and I don't want to get blood on them." They talked to the guy for 45 minutes trying to figure out what was wrong, he was sober and not on drugs, they called his father in Ireland, asked him if he was lonely or homesick, he kept nodding at me and saying again that he thought people wanted to stab him and that he just wanted to go to "the safest place." Then I had to go outside and the firemen came and more police came and an ambulance came and they walked the guy out and he got in the ambulance quietly and they drove off.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Scorch Atlas Tour | Reviews | Dog n Cat

More Scorch Atlas hype

Reviewed in the Boston Phoenix by Nina Maclaughlin: "Scorch Atlas doesn't make its point with narrative arc or character development or paragraphs or even the lovely, terrible sentences. Instead, it's the heaping of words — mauled bubbled clods knotted clogged rot foam mold growth cragged bugged curdle boils lumps ooze gunk stung and on and on — that press on you, as if you were being buried, drowned, dissolved, as if you were about to swallow your tongue."

Review at Pank by Roxane Gay: "Scorch Atlas is a fine example of experiment with purpose (writers, take note!), of world building, of decadent, detailed and innovative writing. This is a book that should be read, and widely." + "...if ever there was an argument for the importance of the book as a physical object, that argument would be Scorch Atlas."

Tweeted by @LairdHunt: Just got my copy of Scorch Atlas -- nicely "destroyed" by the author. A few pieces in. Both delirious and controlled. Highly recommend.

Profiled @ Three Guys One Book

Leaving tomorrow morning for reading dates with Robert Lopez and Samuel Ligon, please come out if you are around, would be rad:

9/12: Brooklyn, NY @ Barbes @ 6 PM
9/14: Portsmouth, NH @ River Run Books @ 7 PM
9/15: South Deerfield, MA @ Schoen Books @ 8 PM
9/16: Boston, MA @ Brookline Booksmith @ 7 PM
9/17: Providence, RI @ Myopic Books @ 7 PM
9/18: Clinton, NJ @ Clinton Bookshop @ 630 PM
9/19: Baltimore, MD @ 510 Series @ 5 PM
9/20: Philly, PA @ The Dive Bar @ 8 PM


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Scorch Atlas eats streets today

Today is the official release date of Scorch Atlas, and no better way to kick it off than a glowing review from Time Out New York's Kimberly King Parsons, who writes: "The extreme subject matter and obsessively rendered syntax will evoke comparisons to writers like Brian Evenson and Gary Lutz, but Butler is an original force who is fearless with form."

Also glowing words from the ever awesome Matt Bell at his blog: "Butler excels at forcing the familiar through the a sieve of strange until it is stripped clean of its everyday banality, until it is once again made so fresh you can smell the decay it contains, until you can taste the despair that threatens to destroy not just his characters but also the dangerous worlds they inhabit."

Two kind and killer reviews, both for which I am quite grateful.

Things feel nice. Blessings and blessings. Graciousness from eyes.

Did I mention how amazing Sean Kilpatrick is? His novel excerpts at Spork are black fucking teeth. What the fuck.

Pleasures. Mud.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Today is the last day you can get a limited edition hand-damaged copy of Scorch Atlas direct from Featherproof. All copies after today will be normal and clean and kind. Except for if you bite them.

John Domini wrote an incredible piece about Ever and Matt Bell's The Collectors, up now at Bookslut: "Appreciation of Butler's small, scary miracle requires appreciation of such beveled prose gems, the majority of which appear between brackets. It's as if everything were a whispered aside, the bits and pieces of former lives picked out of a whirlwind."

Thanks John!

Saw Thirst yesterday. It was great, if not quite what I'd expected. I was glad it was not what I expected. Some of the best scenes in a film I've seen in a while: the two main characters sucking blood out of each other's hand and foot in a loop; burping up blood onto a recorder; apartment painted white with people screaming; weird sex; boils, stabbing, hallucinations; the end images. So much. See this. It is wonderful to have a director putting the grotesque onto film, of course it always has to be the Koreans or the Japanese.

Something happened. More soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chong Li eensanend

Just ran 4.1 miles while watching the climax scenes of Bloodsport, from the friend getting injured by Chong Li, to Frank Dux's fight with Chong Li where he is blinded and must fight using his senses and training, something about that film came over me with great power and I could not stop smiling, I almost clapped standing paused on the treadmill in the gym alone when he forced Chong Li to verbally concede though I have seen that film at least 11 times.

I feel bananas.

Caused and enjoyed this discussion on difficult texts today at HTMLGiant, felt weird, expected maybe 10 comments.

I am going to humor people and trying reading 2666 but from the sections of Bolano I have read I feel certain he is merely well marketed average writing and were he not a young death he would not be receiving this treatment. Sorry. Maybe I will eat my words on that on further reading but I remain skeptical to the nth, and not for not having approached with an open mind.

If someone wants to lend me their copy ok.

I really want that new Nicholson Baker novel, dang. If somebody has a galley of that I will trade you for it.

2 new badass titles from Ellipsis Press, just bought both, mmm deliciouses.

Hopefully going to see Thirst this weekend, excited for it. Previews look stellar.

Time to eat american gelato, which is not italian gelato, but is gelato.

I feel bananas, and this is bananas gelato.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Scrud formt

Birkensnake 2 is out now, in print and online, with a slew of rad new work from Joyelle McSweeney, Evelyn Hampton, Danielle Dutton, Michael Stewart, several others. The issue is both available free to read online and in print handmade for $4. They do a wonderful job with the object, for the price it can't be beat. Plus I hear the covers were burned with a blowtorch, for real.

My story, a newer thing called 'From now on all I'll talk about is light' is readable here.

You can read the whole issue here

It is part of the Glyph Atlas story collection I am thinking about thinking about aligning in the next 1-3 years.

Scorch Atlas preorders are shipping this week from Featherproof, and are in Barnes and Noble and Borders all over, as well as indie stores and the like.

Until the official release day of 9/9 you will be able to get the hand destroyed copies from Featherproof if you order there. These objects will not be available after that day, so order now if you want. Plus it's only $10 from there, while list price is $14.95. Yar.

I ate page three of the book the other night but the shot is really dark and I burp a whole lot through it because I am drinking Diet Dr. Pepper, I may upload it later. Eating will continue. And you too.

The Scorch Atlas remix book is almost done, we have a winner, we have several selections to be printed, should email this week and let those know they've been selected, etc. The eBook is gorgeous and has some crazies in it.

About 50000 words into a new novel, I think it's going to be at least double that when I am finished, I feel like dying mostly

I have a

I don't know what I'm talking about much.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Note from somewhere to someone

The next evening when I returned home I found our vessel’s walls had blanched slightly whiter through the daylight, and while I was away you’d let your body into public pools where sun would kiss you and make you warm.

The present idea that you would look more yourself with the hair cut up around your ears, the shorn ends that much closer to your brain.

While with the stored light still coming off you in our blanched home we this time left through doors at separate ends, turning to look again at one another slowly, and smiling, and with the intent that tonight we would be apart but not forget.

And where at a spot among those noise-sunk houses, I found you in again a different form, among a group of people I had also surely known once but could not herein recall. Their faces far-off surfaces even in nearing, where along a slope of mud between the houses we gathered on cracking concrete to watch the speeding cars, come hurtling in their fury from some nearby ruptured and unrestricted interstate. The cars, they flew off the mud gorge one by one, each one behind the other not seeing the one there just before them flying off again into a cup of nowhere even you (vague in that body) or I or all our others could not see or know or name.

Each car with its windows steamed up. We watched them go and smiled.

Here, though I did not think about the man with black teeth, I know he must have been nearby. Perhaps in one of the many cars decompiling, or the mouth from which the cars or mud had come.

Perhaps inside the body of one of those I thought I’d known then, as I never took the time to check their eyes.

And when David came to stand beside us I saw he carried his guitar, a silver stringed thing with blonde body that he had learned to play by holding up upon the air. With his eyes he made the strings sing, the instrument stiff-armed out before him as a shield.

The song was something even then I knew I would not remember when we left, though in its touching of my body, through my ear coils, I could feel the water in me gunned, the cars passing David often in the mud by inches and his arms still straight out above his head.

I believe Peter was there in his long hair and his slow grin, though you have not met Peter and by then you (the you worn in me) were not part of the crowd there I recall.

You through your own door perhaps with your own me or in another mind in full.

That would be the only section of the evening I’d hold in me when again I went to leave the house.

Where in the day the days last less long every hour we are alive.

Finding my body often wanting for the feeling of the mud room, to remember the sound from the guitar⎯but from here not remembering how I’d found my way there, and wondering what had while I was gone become of you, though when I saw you next, for just a second, in another building, I did not think to ask.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

I saw my head in the head of heads

Home from Europe, gassed to the nines. Did up Paris, Chartres, Annecy, Turin, Asti, Venice, Rome. Bonkers in my teeth. Tired. Tryin'.

Had a fucking ball though, straight up. My once again massive thanks to Ken Baumann for getting me on board and being a real brother. Rad 100. Also big thanks to Dennis Cooper, Alberto Brosio, and Luca DiTrapano (as well as GianCarlo for helping us find his cousin).

Luca took us on a late night tour of Rome to many secret spots during which we drank 4 bottles of wine, including Dom Perignon, coupled with shots and other crap that took me to blackout mode. I barfed in the tour car, like a gimp. And I guess also got out of the car and laid down on the concrete in front of the Coliseum at some point, preserved here in image for the one blanked in my brain:

At some point as well we rapped ODB and 3-6 in the Vatican City, video forthcoming.

I have seen more of Jesus than you could ever lick.

I am going to write a novel about the closet that was in my hotel room in Venice. In that city you can watch chubby bitches rub their butts together on public TV. I had a dream about the perfect person, who was a lesbian, and had a small rind of fur.

I will holler more later maybe.

On the plane home began reading Werner Herzog's Conquest of the Useless, his diaries from the making of Fitzcarraldo, which is seriously fucking phenomenal. Seriously fucking phenomenal.

Here is all of what I read in Europe.

Just excitedly ordered Sean Lovelace's How Some People Like Their Eggs. So should you. Sean is smart.

Yesterday was my day on Everyday Genius, Michael Kimball edition, it is from a thing I was writing about weird kids I knew in elementary and middle school.

Didi Menendez is selling a tie with my face on it. :)

Shit's goin down. I'm tellin ya.

PS: Scorch Atlas drops in about a week. Amazon shows it as shipping now, I have heard people are receiving it from there. But you should of course more importantly pick it up direct from Featherproof. More on that, the remix contest (sorry for delay), and more soon.

PSS: Cool and new-styled review of SA by Nik Korpon at Outsider Writers. Thanks Nik!

PSSS: EVER gets a nice write up by AD Jameson in the new issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bitch gitcha mind right / Lemme talk to em

In Rome sitting buttass on my bed next to my in-house fishtank with the complimentary rubber ducky on the bed. Legs are sore from days walking. Think Ken is already asleep in his room across the hall. We have done a lot a lot. It has been too good. My twitter feed follows some of what happened. Too tired to replicate it here. Tomorrow we storm Rome some more, get blessed, eat $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Email is backed up beyond my eyes, trying to catch up. Laying low in this baller hotel for a while and zoning.

The toilets here flush with huge buttons on the wall that you can regulate how long it flushes. That makes sense.

Americans might really be swine, they do kind of stick out and seem hokey here, Italians are nicer than Parisians. I repped today with my Mickey Mouse shirt that says Florida on it and the girl at the gelato stand put a bauble on my huge ice cream tower with Mickey on it too. Super.

Venice is a heckuva a place, you have to be careful tho, on the 2nd night there we got really drunk and missed the late ferry back at the usual spot and were too blasted to figure out where the one that did late night rides was. We seriously walked halfway across Venice stumbling sweating trying to find it. The streets there clear out at like midnight. Blank as a blank. Nowhere nobody. So strange, corridors. We finally laid down on benches and slept in a small park sparely laid with trees. Woke up an hour or so later and got on a boat that still didn't go where we wanted, finally Ken just bought a 3rd hotel room and we crashed from 4 am to 10am


I have eaten some shit I would never have eaten, raw veal, squid ink, weird crawly things, fucked cheese of spores, things i couldn't say what they were, Ken does it big

Ken rules, i owe him a lot for making this trip happen, like beyond



I am tired of typing now

Monday, August 17, 2009

This keyboard eats catt

Trying hard to typeon this tiny keyboard, I have real faat fingers
Parisis is fucking expensive, man. You get one shot with a waiter then it's blppppppppp

Spent mostof todayy walking around with Dennis Cooper and Ken, we met at the glass pyramid then went drank a lot of coffee, ate, mre coffee. DC is the kindest person. So wonderful to be around. He showed usthe Beat hotel wherethose dudes wrote, and the streetwhere Perec and Artaud both lived. Much wondrous conversation andrelaxing. A wonderful afternoon.

Later We went to a contemporary museum with lots of crazies in it, some Louise Bourgeois meat sculptures andlots of weirding/ I liked the video of the room with the neon bulbs falling out 1by1 until the room was dark.

We thought about tryng to fnd where Deleuze threw himself out the windowbut nahh.

Ken crashed early, our sleep is megafcukked. I walked in the streets after dark for a good while drank a mojito, felt good came here, now gonna flp thru this new Werner Herzog Conquest of the Useless I got, I think tomorrow we may go to Nice, nice.

I ant type on this little board ne more, oh. Oont.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scrawl ass w: 100 wicked

Leaving on Saturday for random sporadic trip to France & Italy for about 8 days to see some shit with master Ken. Going to buy a tree and scrape it with my face.

In case of trouble, REF: Warszawa by David Bowie and Brian Eno from the album Low.

Think I am going to take The Great Fire of London by Roubaud, maybe another very fat book too. Fat books are the only books.

Soon after that, will be on tour in support of Scorch Atlas with Robert Lopez for Kamby Bolongo Mean River also out that month and Sam Ligon for Drift & Swerve already out. Here are what the dates look like for now:

12 - Brooklyn, NYC - Barbes
14 - Portmouth, NH - River Run Bookstore
15 - Northampton, MA - TBA
16 - Boston, MA - Brookline Booksmith
17 - Providence, RI - Myopic Books
18 - Clinton, NJ - Clinton Bookshop
19 - Baltimore, MD - 510 Series
20 - Philly, PA - TBA

Mark it?

Here is a brief review/presentation of Scorch, focusing mainly on design, and including lots of pictures.

Excellent post today on DC's regarding Gaspar Noe and his father Luis Felipe Noe. How much longer will I have to wait to see Enter the Void??? Excited to hang out with Dennis in Paris.

Today will reach 40k word mark on a new novel about a black field that spreads, a twin brother who speaks tongues, a horse with very long hair, a series of 10,000 fences, a flat pyramid, and quite a bit of blood.

Watch After Hours if you haven't seen it. Scorsese's Lynch. Loved.

Life is poodles.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Story by Story: Brian Evenson's 'Fugue State' (15) 'Life Without Father'

Fifteenth in the order of stories in Brian Evenson’s Fugue State (out now from Coffee House Press) is ‘Life Without Father,’ which originally appeared in Lit.

In so many of the stories in Fugue State, the power has laid not in the saying of the thing itself, but in the circling of that saying. Elucidating the black center by describing it in relief, as it is a center that can not be described, thus its horror.

In ‘Life Without Father,’ however, it is no longer as much the circling of the unsaid, as the face of the unsaid thing itself. In handling a situation wherein there is a very clear emotional response to be intoned in any reader (specifically, a daughter dealing with her father’s peculiar death), Evenson evokes a further response by, rather than stoking the gross layer, inverting it, entering the unsaid.

This kind of tension has been used to great ends in horror films rather extensively⎯the thing the audience can see but the persons on the screen can not⎯but here it is allowed a rather different kind of intoning, as the unsaid comes from a blank spot in Evenson’s protagonist, as the daughter can not quite explain the condition of her father’s death⎯nor can the reader. There is an emotional distance, then, which in its revolving around the hazy and terrifying approach to death (as laid bare and gruesome in the first graphs of the story), becomes more volatile by having no volatility at all.

What is odd about the function of this kind of ununderstanding in ‘Life Without Father,’ is that in its function in the characters’ lives, it opens in them a unspeakable clarity, a “new period of… existence, a step closer to… death” (144). Thus, in the sort of circling and continuous unreckoning of the blank spaces of the previous stories, there is a smaller, calmer kind of awakening, which in its manifestation becomes inexplicable, and thus ends the story here itself.

The result is again rather Bernhard-ian, making the repeated phrase “Correction,” here in the story used as a demarcation of the shifting of the mind between new modes, an embedded homage, both directly in the naming, and in the taut and seemingly harmless manner of circling a great horror than Evenson so aptly wields to shape the blank.

Further Bernhardian method is used here to great ends, in the face of the unreckoning, by resorting to description of minute, seemingly mundane details to distract the reader from what is looming on its face. As in: here, in seeing her father’s strange, inactive manner of moving into death, and into clarity, the daughter focuses on making hashmarks in her school book for each time she alters his body, paying close attention to the count, a number that she will then revisit as the nature of that death is called into question, opening her own door into herself.

In the course of the stories here in Fugue State we are entering the tunnel out of the book, as it were, a point which, in folding against the first half of the book seems to mirror the beautiful, quiet but unnerving moment of ‘Girls In Tents’ that we wormed through on our way in. In a way, it is even more unnerving realizing that this story, which in most any other book would seem violent and revolting, here seems a moment of breathing in⎯which in realizing that realizing makes me think again of all I am breathing in among this reading, and in this very room where I am sitting with the book unable to see behind my chair.

It is in such ways that Evenson’s books are not books at all, or even books within books⎯they are weapons, they are tools and tunnels.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Skipping version of 'Listening Wind'

New Yinzer new issue guest edited by Claire Donato, includes excellent words by Brian Foley, Justin Taylor, Evelyn Hampton, and about 12 others, an excellent and tight issue. I have a paragraph, 'Accident,' in a way a manipulation of Thomas Bernhard's The Voice Imitator. Thanks to Claire & Jeff.

Also just out is the new issue of Puerto Del Sol, the first under the fiction editorial flagship of the excellent Evan Lavender-Smith, includes new by Eric Chevillard (trans. by Brian Evenson), Peter Markus, Dan Beachy-Quick, Joanna Scott, Jenny Boully, B.J. Hollars, and a ton more, really excited about the future of this magazine.

My thing is a new story 'Choir(s)' that is the first story-length thing I think I've published since those appearing in Scorch Atlas, and is maybe rather different. Thanks to Evan & Mike Meginnis.

Reading Alain Robbe-Grillet's Recollections of the Golden Triangle, fuck. Wish I'd read this 5 years ago, would have saved me some time.

I have a new writing room, it feels weird, shifted from where I've been writing for at least 5 years now, this new room has red curtains low light purple walls and looks straight onto a quiet road. Hm. I guess I'll see. Still trying to get my brain back after almost a whole month of zoning. In there somewhere, not really.

Monday, August 3, 2009

'black metal'

Web extras for HOBART 10 is alive, including a set of collages the wonderful Guy Brookshire made for my story 'Smoke House,' which have changed the way I see the story in a pleasing way. Also supplemental issue material by Mike Young, B.J. Hollars, Alicia Gifford, JoeAnn Hart, some fun and good things.

Last night I read Dennis Cooper's The Sluts straight through after buying it at a local gay bookstore in heavy rain, for some reason it was the only DC I hadn't read, it ended up being perhaps the most visceral prose experience I've had in a long while, it is about a urban myth-style series of internet sex forum postings that involved Sade body destruction and extreme sex and Clue-like cryptic hysteria, I seriously felt like someone was pressing on my chest at several points, and I could not stop reading. One scene very briefly involving blowtorches on a face I believe I will never forget. If more books felt like this more people would read.

Following from that I had a dream that I believe in dream time lasted 7-12 days, I was locked in a very large building where many rooms had no floors, there were weapons and strange food and people were taking drugs and making gangs and performing odd music, there was some kind of transfusion going on between our bodies, nudity and sometimes calmness or I would not be able to find anyone for hours, in one room I found I was hanging onto the outside of a very large truck, I tried to die by throwing my body off the truck, when I died I ended up back in the house. Even as black and fucked as the house was I did not want to wake up from it, I reentered sleep 2-3 times, the last time I woke up I found I could not get back in.

All of this came into me after a long weekend in which I honestly felt like I could not proceed thinking or speaking in language. I have had this feeling several times since I began writing seriously, each time getting not more intense, but less intense, meaning that I cared even less that I was beginning to not care.

I hope this renewal fuels a longer blank in that blank but I am not sure.

The fact that suddenly now after years of not being able to stand Thom Yorke's The Eraser I have found myself unable to listen to most anything else might mean I am truly losing cells.

Or otherwise:

A Box for Black Paul 9:44 Nick Cave From Her to Eternity Rock 1 8/1/09 12:47 PM
Cabin Fever 6:13 Nick Cave From Her to Eternity Rock 1 8/1/09 12:38 PM
Well of Misery 5:26 Nick Cave From Her to Eternity Rock 1 8/1/09 12:31 PM
From Here to Eternity 5:35 Nick Cave From Her to Eternity Rock 1 8/1/09 12:25 PM
Things Will Never Be The Same 9:56 Black Dice Beaches And Canyons Alternative & Punk 4 8/1/09 12:16 PM
The Door Opens the Other Way 7:12 Belong October Language Indie 6 8/1/09 11:50 AM
Late Night 3:32 Belong Colorloss Record Electronic 51 8/1/09 11:36 AM
Protection 4:30 Liars Liars 4 8/1/09 11:29 AM
Pure Unevil 3:54 Liars Liars 18 8/1/09 11:28 AM
Second Hour 3:33 Flying Saucer Attack Chorus Alternative & Punk 1 8/1/09 11:24 AM
Respect 3:20 Flying Saucer Attack New Lands Alternative & Punk 2 8/1/09 11:20 AM
Zerthis Was A Shivering Human Image 15:37 Eluvium Indecipherable Text Electronic 13 8/1/09 9:53 AM

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Large french fries and sneakers

yeah cool life is cool
people are eating every day now and getting fatter
i feel really fat
i have on a shirt i bought from the thrift store 14 years ago
its probably essentially a shirt of bacteria and nits
you're supposed to put your money where your mouth is, i'll wear the shirt
i still need to get in a fight
i'm probably not a good sport or even good at chess anymore
i used to could have ripped
earlier today i felt sure i'd seen a police officer shot in the face by the side of the road with his face all eat up already
every noun should be a verb
i think a lot about a lot of people
i think a little about a lot of people
what's not a waste of time
maybe jelly or getting wet
people thinking about people thinking about money is funny
don't ask about my dad, it's just not good

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eating Scorch Atlas, page 2

Blake Butler eats Page 2 of Scorch Atlas from blake butler on Vimeo.

Mike Meginnis dissects EVER, including two video posts of the reading I did for the NYC launch with Gary Lutz and Robert Lopez. Feels weird to watch one's self read.

An excerpt: "There is nothing floating about these sentences. Again: They are fundamental. Your fundament is your asshole, where shit comes from. There is shit in this book, and come, and blood, and mold, menstruation, mucus, fat curtains. I resist intimations of transcendence. Some might call these sentences musical. But not everything pleasure is music (though most of it is) and we should demand recognition of this. There is pleasure in the sentence, in these sentences."

Just got my order from the ridiculously awesome Dalkey Archive sale, 10 of any of their titles for $65 shipping included, going to go stare at some now.

Monday, July 27, 2009

YEAR OF THE LIQUIDATOR presents Kristina Born

So, at the end of 08 Shane Jones and I discussed starting a press, releasing some small beautiful books from new people, and having fun.

And now, about half a year later, we're really excited to announce the first title from YEAR OF THE LIQUIDATOR:


In the words of Shane: "It feels really good to type that." It does it does.

It feels even better to read ONE HOUR OF TELEVISION even though afterwards Shane couldn't sleep and was scared to watch American Idol, and I felt like paper was trying to eat me in my sleep.

You may have read work from Kristina Born in fav places like UNSAID, NO COLONY, and GUSTAF.

Her first book is our first book is your first book and you can order now for its release in October. It is $10 postage paid to the US and a couple bucks extra elsewhere.

We're excited about this. We plan on publishing 2 titles a year. No other info given at this time. Some info on ONE HOUR OF TELEVISION, including a brief excerpt, is up at the site.


1st Scorch Atlas Review

The first review of Scorch Atlas is in, and could not be more kind. Comparisons to DFW and Lynch? Yes please.

An excerpt: "The pervading oddities and grotesqueries bring to mind the fiction of Brian Evenson or the filmic work of Harmony Korine or David Lynch. Still, nothing is done solely for the squeamish factor, rather, things are what they are in this twisted world and throughout, the people that inhabit Butler's stories still grope for their humanity. They fight for their homes. Their schools. Their blood lines."


"In the same way that Infinite Jest, written thirteen years ago, presupposed communication being fragmented via technology, in particular, the internet, Scorch Atlas presupposes a bleak, dystopian future (although let's hope it's farther off than thirteen years from now) where people bloat and grime, the world is a cracked shell of its former self and families do what they must to eke out an existence."

Read in full: 'Scorch Atlas Does Not Bode Well for Us' @ Keyhole

Big big thanks to Gene Kwak.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Larix U' Thule

Sitting on the bed sometime ready to die,

not really

Hurrying to the gymroom to run 3.45 miles, black kid already with afro sitting on concrete porch playing by himself | under the window where last week I saw a naked girl getting flash photographed & how she smiled & touched the glass I did not even slow down | the afro child talking to himself or to the object he is holding that I can not recognize from anything

He says something to me in my passing and the only words I hear inside them are 'Michael Jackson'

& in hearing that much & how his eyes are I go, Oh yah, with the short A sound the way I have suddenly affected in recent weeks, only realizing post-answering that he has asked if the figure pictured on my shirt is Michael Jackson & no it is a woman with white skin and red lips almost showing her tits

(long story, how I got this shirt) (not really long at all)

& he watches me approach him briefly with the shirt on & then think better of it & I go on & he is not there when I come back sopping & the lights in the apartment there are off

The pool today was very busy, people were large or small, I stood behind the bars

Last night the man in the bar with forearms big as three of mine with the skin head and the tattoo of flames where there should have been hair, who under whatever could not stand up & instead toddled through the bar leaning on whoever was right there

grabbing Chris's ass & Alex's ass & air humping at a forced huddle group hug, taking whoever would let him by the hand & somewhat barking & to Chris, "It feels good" "What feels good" "(incoherent)"

Alex (my paraphrasing): "There are some kinds of people who you can see who have just been through the thing, & there's nothing you can do to stop them."

On his chest Alex with the tattoo of Jeff who we realized has been gone now 8 years

The fruit juice that was in the refrigerator last I looked is not there either | & there are all these books inside my house

I don't know I guess I feel pretty good

If I ever had the chance to buy a machine gun cheaply I would lay it on the floor of here in the most difficult place to walk around

& leave the bullets in the oven

Open the book perpetually beside my bed, pick a sudden sentence, try to imagine it as an advice:

"Every proposition must already have a sense; assertion cannot give it a sense, for what it asserts is the sense itself. And the same hold of denial, etc.

"One could say, the denial is already related to the logical place determined by the proposition that is denied."

& the second book beside my this year sandwiched underneath the other, another sentence sent in:

"He is cured by faith who is sick of fate."