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."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eating Scorch Atlas, page 1

Blake Butler eats Page 1 of Scorch Atlas from blake butler on Vimeo.

I am going to eat a whole copy of my book Scorch Atlas, one page at a time.

This page was the first inside, all black, I think there was a lot of ink on it, it really made me sick feeling. I will continue. The full video was six minutes, so this is like, the highlight reel.

If you have recommendations for sauces, other condiments, ways of preparation, please leave them here.

You can preorder the book for $10 here.

Ben Spivey came to my house and interviewed me, we talked about David Lynch, Jesse Ball, writing processes, EVER, sleep, fantasy novels, and a lot of other things. Ben is rad.

Hugest of congrats to Shane on his film rights deal, amazing and inspiring to see go down.

The inaugural issue of The Rome Review is out now, has a list of mine in it, one of the last that I wrote, and in a way very different than most of the other lists. It is a beautiful magazine, magazine-style instead of usual lit mag shape, and quite a roster for its introduction, please imbibe.

Think I am getting a tattoo over the weekend, and maybe branded in the brain.

I must inhale.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Scorch Atlas Destroyed & Ready for Love

Preordering is now available for Scorch Atlas direct from Featherproof, at an early price of $10, which = 33% off the list price before its official retail release on 9/9/9.

As a special treat for those who preorder, in addition the price cut, you can have the option of getting your book hand destroyed or beaten up or bitten or whiskey whipped and maybe humped by myself and the Featherproof crew, as seen here:

Scorch Atlas (destroyed) by Blake Butler from featherproof books on Vimeo.

Those who prefer a clean copy of the book (weaklings) can indicate as such with the order and will receive the book intact and like a fresh baby. (Destroyed copies will still be fully readable, and a lot more pretty).

Thanks in advance to all of those supporting the cause: it seriously is appreciated to the 9 ends. Any reposting of the video, preorder words, links, etc, I will love you.

Preorders will ship to arrive on 9/9/9.

Some more info on the book:

A novel of 14 interlocking stories set in ruined American locales where birds speak gibberish, the sky rains gravel, and millions starve, disappear or grow coats of mold. In 'The Disappeared,' a father is arrested for missing free throws, leaving his son to search alone for his lost mother. In 'The Ruined Child,' a boy swells to fill his parents' ransacked attic. Rendered in a variety of narrative forms, from a psychedelic fable to a skewed insurance claim questionnaire, Blake Butler's full-length fiction debut paints a gorgeously grotesque version of America, bringing to mind both Kelly Link and William Gass, yet turned with Butler's own eye for the apocalyptic and bizarre.

Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas is precisely that —a series of maps, or worlds, “tied so tight they couldn’t crane their necks.” Everything is either destroyed, rotting or festering—and not only the physical objects, but allegiances, hopes, covenants. Yet these worlds are not abstract exercises, he is speaking of life as it is, where there might be or may be, “glass over grave sites in display,” and where we will be forced to make or where we have “made facemasks out of old newspapers.” The sole glimmer of light comes in recollection, as in: 
“a bear the size of several men... There in the woods 
behind our house, when I was still a girl like you.”

—Jesse Ball, author of The Way Through Doors 
and Samedi the Deafness

There’s something so big about Blake Butler’s writing. Big as men’s heads. Each inhale of Blake’s wheeze brings streamers of loose hair, the faces of lakes and oceans, whales washed up half-rotten. You can try putting on a facemask made out of old newspaper. You can breathe 
in smaller rhythms. But you won’t be able to keep this man out once you’ve opened his book. Open it!

—Ken Sparling, author of Dad Says He Saw You at the Mall

I am always looking for new writers like Blake Butler and rarely finding them, but Scorch Atlas is one of those truly original books that will make you remember where you were when you first read it. Scorch Atlas is relentless in its apocalyptic accumulation, the baroque language stunning in its brutality, and the result is a massive obliteration.

—Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody

For those interested, press kit is here.

Free mini book sampler of one of the texts is here.

Thanks again to everyone for listening and being rad.

Any interested press people who would like to review the book, interview or profile me about the book, etc, please contact me at blakebutler [at] gmail [dot] com

Beginning later this week: I am going to eat a copy of Scorch Atlas one page at a time over the rest of the year, with a variety of sauces and candlelights and tables. More on that soon.

Muchas muchas.

Best of the Web Invades Me: Guest Post by Terese Svoboda

Today kicks off a webfreakout of press and hype for the newly released Best of the Web 2009 from Dzanc, in which I have a two pieces an interview (from Memorious and Action Yes). The collection as a whole is quite something and a wonderful snapshot of the online year.

In honor of this, please welcome this guest post from the incredible Terese Svoboda, author of “How Catholic," which appears in the anthology, among many other fantastic books. Consider picking yourself one up.


"For maybe twenty years I have been trying to write a short story about the effect of finding two moons of green eye shadow on a towel in my youth. I have also written three poems twisting the memory around, alluding to its larger context. But what was that larger context? Was it only a “family story,” an anecdote worth repeating only once to another relative just to make sure I didn’t imagine it?

I feared nonfiction telling: that would be me. I went into poetry originally to throw the velvet cloak around that persona, or to flaunt the “I” voice in peekaboo. Publishing my memoir last year–Black Glasses Like Clark Kent–where I could skulk around as a detective and refer to myself in relation to my relatives—wasn’t too bad. But only under the duress of my uncle’s suicide and the horrific revelations of his tapes would I have attempted its writing. Yet something about the form felt familiar. Cannibal, my first novel, was called a roman a clef by Vogue. According to Wikipedia, that’s the opportunity to portray personal, autobiographical experiences without having to expose the author as the subject. Think “thinly disguised.” The entry suggests that any material based on personal experience is a roman a clef, and used Heart of Darkness as an example. Huh?

What I do know is that all material needs the fuzziness of time until what’s important remains. Time completed How Catholic, enough to gain perspective on what those two green moons meant, and to find a voice to say what I understood about them in a larger context. To find a formal solution for this narrative in creative nonfiction worked. I’m happy.

Maybe I’ve always been happy."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Solo on that ass

3:AM has published Friend Helmet, list of 50 #43, which is a monologue made up of lines jacked from conversations in gmail with a variety of wondrous people, including maybe you? Biggest props to H, who is the majority, and the good. It should be read as 1 mind.

My write up of the 13th story in Brian Evenson's Fugue State, for 'Bauer in the Tyrol' is posted at Writers Bloc.

This photo probably very well encompasses the general mindstate of the 2nd half of the Dollar Store Tour as well as anything could ever (there with our rapist van behind us, bless its black heart):

Swore to myself I'd be inside my head today, trying really hard to get back in the swing of this mess, I am going there now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

LIT 15/16 + OCHO 25

Playing catch-up hard. Email inbox like overgrown pubes. Went to life mailbox today. Jesus god. Got a lot to imbibe, talks on.

Starting where the start:

New 10th anniversary issue of LIT is fucking bajoinkers. One of the best looking thangs I've seen in a min., and at least 2x their normal size, fat with freaks:

LIT 15/16 Contributors Include:

Poetry and Prose by Cynthia Arrieu-King, Kate Baldus, A K Beck, Mark Bilbrey, Sommer Browning, Jennifer Bryan, Blake Butler, Tyler Carter, Jeff Chang, Jamison T. Crabtree, Mónica de la Torre, Christopher Deweese, Denise Duhamel, Brian Foley, Andrew Grace, Kate Hall, Casey Haymes, Chris Hosea, Christine Hume, Kirsten Kaschock, Sean Kilpatrick, Amy Lemmon, dawn lonsinger, Julianne Lynch, Anthony Madrid, Scott Miles, Ander Monson, Linnea Ogden, Shelly Oria, Jeffrey Pethybridge, Marie Ponsot, Brett Price, Justin Quarry, Kathleen Rooney, Catie Rosemurgy, Brian Russell, Michael Schiavo, Roy William Scranton, Craig Morgan Teicher, Brendon Vayo and Dean Young…

10 Years: An Editors’ Retrospective, with an introduction by Nicole Steinberg and Peter Bogart-Johnson, LIT co-editors, featuring work by Mary Jo Bang, Erin Belieu, Mark Bibbins, Liz Brown, Jenna Cardinale, Clifford Chase, Shanna Compton, Elaine Equi, Paul Feldman, Andy Fitch, Jonathan Franzen, Caroline Knox, Wayne Koestenbum, Thomas David Lisk, Justin Marks, Chris McCabe, Nancy Nalven, Kathleen Ossip, Angela Patrinos, Rebecca Reilly, Joseph Salvatore, Maureen Thorson, Chris Tonelli and Matthew Ulland…

Bars Across Sky Across Feeling: A Selection of German Poetry in Translation, curated by Liesel Tarquini, with work by Susan Bernofsky, E.H. Bottenberg, Marica Bodrozic, Katy Derbyshire, Catherine Hales, Victoria Hill, Wendy Ann Kopisch, Friederike Mayröcker, Alistair Noon, Veronika Reichl, Monika Rinck, Silke Scheuermann, Lutz Seiler, Tzveta Sofronieva, Donna Stonecipher, Matthias Traxler and Chantal Wright…

Mine's is a piece of Scorch Atlas, 'Water Damaged Photos of Our Home Before I Left It'

In few intro peeks inside, Sean Kilpatrick wins again.

It's got a $8 cover price dudes. You can get it from their forthcoming new website now.

For those interested, issue 25 of Ocho, edited by me, you can buy now in print version from Amazon here, I got a copy, it looks really rad with art by 12 yr old Jaycee Menendez, do a buy?, lots of freaks inside, including:

Matthew Simmons, Sam Pink, Jeff Johnson, Peter Davis, Hickory Assbags, Janey Smith, Rauan Klassnik, Dan Hoy, Michael Bible, Claire Donato & Leslie Patron, James Iredell, Conor Madigan, Adam Robinson, Mike Topp, Ethel Rohan, Kim Parko, Kendra Grant Malone, Jonathan Papas, Ravi Mangla, Christopher Higgs, A. Minetta Gould.

You can still also read it online here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dollar Store Pregnancy

Home. Feel kind of crazy, vanfever, vanced. I seriously think I gained 10 pounds in beer, booze, and tacos, as well as doughnuts, whiskey, and 3 am FEED ME shit. Simultaneously missing my Dollar Store freaks and glad to be home getting my run on, drinking water, home. Home.

Was pretty amazed at the quality and size of crowds that came out to the shows, I had been expecting many nights of slim pickins, but almost every night there was a nearly full house. Thanks to everyone who came out said hello bought books bought drinks got crunk, I really don't think it could have gone better than it did.

I'd like to post more about more cities following the first half but I don't think I have the head for this right now. Let me try.

In the van I read

Degenerescence by James Chapman
Jerusalem by Goncalo M. Tavares
Ray of the Star by Laird Hunt
God Jr. by Dennis Cooper
Death Sentence by Maurice Blanchot

In Atlanta:

Home friends, swimming in warm light, destroying several copies of Scorch Atlas in the street outside the show, setting them on fire, punching, jumpkicking, throwing copies under cars (one guy got out and looked to see if running over the book had fucked his shit, he didn't realize it really had, a baby is now in the gastank) (preordered copies of SA (option coming soon) will have the option of coming all beat up by hand), read drunk in front of my parents, said titties a lot probably, took the crew to the Clermont for weird strippers and more beer, actually got stopped by a cop driving home at 3 am which made my van-lidded heart go wah, but dat girl just said g'on.

In Baltimore:

Another long delirious haul, though I already miss the van under my butt, I think it was on the road to there that we ate at a middle school mixed with a old folks home that I laughed at, then got goodfed on ham and scramp and chickens, in day of Balitmore we went to the BMA and saw some like, contemporary sheeit, a woman who had handdrawn exact copies of pages from Proust book, fucking nuts, we went to a corner store and asked for 'the largest bottle of liquor you have,' bought 6 20ozs of Coke and poured them half off, drank most of that before the show even started, minus a couple cups we handed to some young entrepreneurs who saw us drinking and hurried to McDonald's so they could have some cups to get a swig of our drank. This might have been the most fun of all the readings, everyone was electrical and powered up, we proceeded to more fun rooms and hanging and everyone was so nice, and everyone was.

In New York:

Ate sushi dinner with Derek and Jess, tried sushi I had never tried and really enjoyed, showed up at the club for $9 jack and cokes and a house full of rad friends, talked some shit, said the hello, ate the pizza, had a cab decision, got my ass handed to me shooting pool against a hustla, I think Aaron hit top party level this evening while wearing a Mormon style backpack, Aaron is now named Snack Pack, understand. NYC went so fast it felt like, we could have used at least another day or two, bonus cash. In van next day I read a draft of Amelia's forthcoming FC2 and my brain went holy shit magic lives. The van the van the van. Friendses.

In Philly:

Went to Mutter museum of oddities, saw some cleft babies and ruined organs, basked in light, read at a large bar for many more friends, finally met Lee Klein who I think was my first ever internet-land book-related connective tissue bit, Lee was a kind and smiling man, I think the room went still after I made an Anne Frank joke, we opened for a transvestite named Needles who did a cover set of Nico songs more sniffing than singing, looked like somebody took Iggy Pop aged him 15 years made him a grandmother and covered him in powder, weird crowd good people, we walked across the city for cheesesteaks, it was worth it, I think at one point I ran off by myself up a road and made people worried, I peed on a dirt field looking at the cops, Sasha Fletcher drove us home kindly, a kind man indeed. This night I passed out the second the futon hit my head.

In Boston:

Only late-ish show up on the tour, we came in five past, having spent time at Zach's aunt/uncle's, which I could not stop thinking of as that French house in Apocalypse Now (they were French, it was a port in the storm, etc), another amazing packed house at the amazing Brookline Booksmith, seriously almost as many as Austin, Aaron and I took 5-8 shots of whiskey apiece in 10 minutes right before coming in with the books, I think I had a baby, I read a piece about redneck pussy written in two different voices that I wrote sitting hungover on a curb in Baltimore sun while waiting for the van to fill, "This pussy smells like America," I think I scared some people, I think I was most happy I'd felt ever reading, afterward I lurched into some books. Afterward Gene Kwak and crew threw down. Boston being my last night had a weird sense of loss and homecoming at the same time, I went a little looloo and cut my hand partypiling in a bush, again everyone was so kind and awesome, that reading tours could be like this I had no idea.

Though I am glad to be home now and resting and letting my body eat the caloric reservoir I have in 2 weeks acquired, building a visible gut I never had, so fast, Dollar Baby, and drinking water (I think in NYC I realized I hadn't had a glass of water the whole trip), coming out of the long light, I can't say enough how much it really lit me up being out there with my dear friends funning, "for reals."

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I was

Profiled by L Magazine.

Profiled by Willow Springs (2 new lists of mine appear in their new issue #64 along with Kim Chinquee, Dean Young, Jeremy Voight, etc, one of the lists is available online at the profile)


edited Ocho 25

had 12th Evenson Fugue State review appear at Dogzplot for 'The Third Factor'

review project also mentioned in interview with Evenson by Drew Toal at Bookslut

I am

in Atlanta on the near halfway mark of the Dollar Store, having too good a time to even begin to explain really, van of freaks! You can get a good feed of brief freakisms from our Dollar Store twitter.


In Nashville

read at a mall bookstore as a result of a late booking and a notreallyliterary town, it was still fun reading among $100 handbags, Peter Cole kicked it out, Todd Dills sang, we drank way too much and set the bar for drinking to the point of partygirlisms every single evening thus far, went to a honky tonk, watched a band play Johnny Cash and repeat between every song "this is real country music, can't hear this on the radio," tried to go to a live nude karaoke event, failed, 3 hrs of sleep, threw up on side of road on way out of town

In Austin

ate crazy good BBQ served by a guy who grunted like Sling Blade and wouldnt talk, went to best truck stop ever in the spirit of Willie Nelson, ate breakfast tacos in a full meal for $2.50, Texas wins in the food world, had a standing room only reading, saw some old friends, 2 day taco count = 9, 2 day beer count = ?

In Houston

Gene Morgan Ryan Call party, more tacos, another great reading freakshow crowd outside of the best artbook boutique I've ever seen, Gene read a prayer that has henceforth protected our barky asses, got crunk and screamed "Bicycle Birthday!" at girls in the bar carrying bikes, drank abstinthe, wished I had not drank absinthe, laughed a lot, debate over whether its Kool Aid Man or Kool Aid Guy, slept in a small room with 8 people

In New Orleans

best food of whole trip soul food yumm, great reading for smaller crowd but good one, listened to rap made by 11 year olds, switched to liquor over beer for feeling fatboy, went into French quarter late in the evening, drank quite a bit too much, screamed about eating babies next to a table of scared locals who transcribed, big red drinks, ended in assdancing club till 3 am, some male dude rubbed his dick on me in an attempted courting ritual, watched assshaking and weird dj woman, shitty thugrap makes the good dance

more on these things later, now we're here back in my hometown with the van's AC half out and enjoying it that way, tonight is Atlanta, if you are here please come, Atlanta Scorch Atlas release party n whatnot!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dollar Store Tour + Ever 2.0

I am leaving town on Friday for the Featherproof Dollar Store Show, so probably won't be blogging much.

I will likely be drunkenly tweeting here slightly more often to keep the bug in my eyes, unless I decide to bring my laptop, which I am kind of scared to. Is bringing yr laptop on the road to bars a good idea? I can't decide.

Either way, we will have Scorch Atlases, which the best way to get one before Sept, if you'd like.

Here are dates I will be where, would be really great to meet see talk confabulate with some heads.

Friday JULY 3 : Nashville
Sunday JULY 5 : Austin
Monday JULY 6 : Houston
Tuesday JULY 7 : New Orleans
Thursday JULY 9 : Atlanta
Saturday JULY 11 : Baltimore
Sunday JULY 12 : NYC
Monday JULY 13 : Philadelphia
Tuesday JULY 14 : Boston

If you are those spots, please come out! For full info on where/when/with who, check the Dollar Store Show site.

The first printing of EVER is now sold out, except for I think some copies at Powells and SPD.

The second printing is already underway, so don't go paying $60.49 for it used on Amazon just yet.

Thanks again to everyone who has bought / talked about / supported the book, it is beyond appreciated, as always.

Ok, hope to see you.