Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Travel :: Forthcoming :: Look :: Read :::::::

Am alive. Am back. Was fun.

Drove many miles. Ohio. Kentucky. Tennessee. Alabama. Ate. Slept. Ate. Then to Florida. Sat on the beach. Fondled white sand. Watched waves move in the Gulf. Ate seafood. Ate. Bought gellato from swearing twenty-something veteran. Developed super powers while staying at Holiday Inn Express. Drove back to Alabama. Became ordinary again. Drove home. Listened to Seinfeld and Jim Gaffigan do standup on XM. Feel tired. Feel good.

Michigan and Ohio are relatively mean places.

[something else now]

Mike Young is writing cool blurb poetry on his blog: here's mine/hisn:

JOSH MADAY ON MIKE YOUNG: "Mike Young's words dig into the mind with their pointy-sharp chin. Bleeding becomes a matter of comic enjambment, and one's external uterus swells with milkweed and ragweed and fetusweed, swimming in the othernight, lying still at the bottom, encased in the swaggering current, hair floating, sliding back and forth. Mike Young's words ritualize and thrust violently, a wild chimp wielding dagger and penis and classic Darwinian phallic accuracy, impregnating, inseminating, joining elements together in a tissue of meaning, creating a sticky context embedded with tumors of absence, abstractions of life and death and the sex that brings them together. Obscene sanctity: an old woman with one saggy tit exposed as though to breastfeed the public. Her name: Joyce. Her other tit: missing in action. Nipple incarcerated in a glass jar filled with dish soap. Along with screws and tires and TV trays. And, finally, a praying mantis trying in vain to extract a drop of milk. Mike Young's words do this. Mike Young's words are hungry. Comic enjambment. Comic enjambment."

MIKE YOUNG ON JOSH MADAY: "Live from a dwarf's cabin in a forest of glass trees on Europa, NBC is proud to present the world's first human tortilla chip, the man who grafted Tom Brady's left testicle onto a hawk, the only respected Pynchon scholar sponsored by Tide, the two time winner of the CATULLUS AIR GUITAR 500, the uninstantiated swig siren, the oldest living toothbrush cobbler, the NHL record-holder for "most fingernail sculptures in March," the moral equivalent of a fake Ringpop, the first soldier ever to occupy six Middle-Eastern ice rinks at once, the standard by which all future coincidences will be measured, the father of all magnolia graves, the ant who wanted to be a crop circle, a root canal among fullers, a hinterfotzig among tourists, a shirtless linguist fresh from hiding in the sweatervest closets of Natalie Portman: JOSH MADAY!"


Good work, Mike Young. I enjoyed this an the rest.

FORTHCOMING WORK BY ME: in:

NANO Fiction 2.1

The Borrowed Premise

Phoebe (Fall '08)

Word Riot (interview with the brilliant Michael Kimball)

Very excited. Which is more than just plain excited. Thanks to all excellent editors and interviewees. Honor and thanks from me to you all.

Look at Publishing Genius. You will like it.

Look at Soft Targets. I like it.

Look at Blake Butler's new work in progress: WHERE AM I WHERE HAVE I BEEN WHERE ARE YOU.

Look at these words about Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot (and Samuel Beckett). You will see something. Someone will get upset because a degree of abstract thought will be involved. Abstract can be a healthy irritant.

Look at this search engine. Type some words into it and press enter. You will find words about things in return for hours of your life. Fun.

Michael Martone is Michael Martone.

Names are dropping like flies.

Dissemination is the glue of identity.

Repetition is the glue of identity.

Fair enough.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

PRETEND I AM THERE BUT VERY LITTLE by Blake Butler

I've been scarcely able to reach a keyboard hooked to the internet the past couple of days or I would have mentioned this sooner. Blake Butler's excellent e-book entitled PRETEND I AM THERE BUT VERY LITTLE is now live at Publishing Genius. I made some blurbs for it: some are here, and one is on PIATBVL itself. Blurbs are true and bullshitty and fun. I am honored that Blake liked and used my blurb on his work. Adam Robinson did and does a great job with Publishing Genius. Everything looks great, and plus it's all freely available online for your eyes to consume. Good job Blake and Adam. Good job.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dream - Galilee Kills You

Here is a dream I had this morning:

We were sentenced to death for reasons that were unclear. Four to six of us. We had been gathered on the gallows, which was more like a stage. I stood watching the magistrate/executioner and the first one to die. The crowd was behind me. I did not know the first man to be executed. The executioner said ceremonial words. The man sucked in air and pleaded with the crowd, the executioner. He began to cry and say he couldn't believe this was happening. The executioner placed a tongue depressor into the man's mouth and followed with a small green tablet. The man was forced to swallow the pill and the executioner said, "Galilee kills you." The man said, "Oh my god, I swallowed it, oh my god." He gagged at the thought and we all waited for signs that his body was beginning to die.


Then I woke up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stuff to Read

Prathna Lor has work at NANO Fiction.

Matthew Simmons has work at pineapplewar.

Ben Lerner has an excellent piece in issue v.2.1 of Soft Targets. I am enjoying the other work they have posted there, too. I really like what this magazine is up to.

Matt Bell has had his second short story translated into Italian. This time it is "The Raincheck" which originally appeared in Storyglossia. Congrats to Matt for becoming a regular Italian literary hero, and for exporting as much American domestic product as anyone, citizen or corporation.

Blake Butler's highly anticipated and rather excellent e-book PRETEND I AM THERE BUT VERY LITTLE is reportedly due out Friday from Publishing Genius, which is also excellent, publishing e-books/chapbooks by Andy Devine/Michael Kimball, Joseph Young, and more, all of which are available for free online, as you can see on the PG blog.

Today smells like worms. Like wet dirt. That is okay because pennies are made of sunsets.

Excited.

Monday, April 14, 2008

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT GOOGLE, NOT NIKOLAI GOGOL by Ryan Downey

Seriously, this poem/story/song by Ryan Downey in the new Lamination Colony is the greatest thing I have seen in a long time. Ryan Downey should feel like god when he thinks of the fact that he made this. Don't just read the poem, you have to listen to the song, too. I feel hilarious every time I hear it/read it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mental Fleas and Suburban Eyewash

[anterior]
Words are the sutures
with which I tie bind sew myself
back together with a million
little X's of irony

My organs can no longer contain me.

I cannot find
I am searching for
[breath]
in need of durable suture

[posterior]
The sound of the dog's breath on a continuous loop
Recorded on material that is both indestructable and immaterial
The sounds carry palpable images and the smell of hot unwashed breath

[external]
the man's breath exudes a radical understanding of reality.
his teeth are tiny computer screens.
i am watching a documentary on the revolutionary power of hair follicles.
the intrigue burns my tongue and gives pause to the plaster children behind my corneas.
or was it paws?
whatever it gave them, my children have burst from my aperture.

[compost]
The battle (for what and against whom no one remembers) has moved into the living room.
I am going to save my family.
I am calling the handyman.
We will unify and entertain ourselves with standing over him as he works.
We will question his decisions and offer advice with stern voices and knowing, disapproving tones we reserve for people who are not our children.
We will discuss our victimization at the hands of the handyman, who wants only to take advantage of us.
Then we will not pay the handyman.
We will say the work does not meet our quality standards.
We will choose which services we feel are important enough to pay for.
These will only be services we perform.
We will exchange money for one another's excrement and skin flakes and rave to our friends and competitors about the superb quality of our purchases.
We will produce and experience the feeling of catharsis and hold our heads high for at least one more week.
But the handymen are not answering their phones.
I do not understand.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This Post is Not Here Right Now, Leave Your Name and Number and It Will Get Back to You as Soon as Possible, Thanks, Have a Great Day, Thanks

I wrote something that I was going to post here. But I am saving it. It is in a bank right now earning interest. It is doing this by working hard in a physical way, saving its earnings, and depositing them into an interest accruing account in hope of returning more impressive talents to me than those I gave it in the first place. It is trusting in the stock market to maintain long-term growth. This trust keeps it from freaking out when the quarterly report says that its portfolio shrunk by $1,000 since January 1. It sits at the table during its leisure time, drinks coffee, and thinks about the future while staring out the window. Because that's where the future is. That's where the future is.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Regarding My Run for Presidency of The United States of America [sic]

Re: the ice cream sandwiches

The order was placed over a month ago, but the word from the distribution office is that the delivery trucks were ambushed by a gang of fat kids. All of the ice cream sandwiches, enough for a lifetime supply of said sandwiches for every American, were eaten in one sitting by this ruthless gang.

As president of the world, I will not stand for this kind of incompetence in getting products delivered to consumers. I have already submitted another order for twice as many ice cream sandwiches in hope that this ravenous gang will get full and let the driver then deliver the remaining portion of the order.

Do not worry, my fellow Americans. Universal Ice Cream Sandwiches will be a reality if we can put aside our differences and work together. This is a grassroots effort that will change the lives of people around the world.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lamination Colony, Spring '08

New Lamination Colony has been born. It is screaming and pissing in the world right now.

This issue features fine fine work by Ian Davisson, I. Fontana, Johannes Goransson, Ken Baumann, Matthew Savoca, Chris Killen, Heather Anne Mullins, and more. I've read some of the issue already. Ian Davisson's "Achy Muscles" is killer. And Ryan Downey's "This is a Song about Google, Not Nikolai Gogol" is excellent.

I have a thing, along with Derek White, Heather Anne Mullins, Gene Morgan, Bradley Sands, and Go-Go Rasputin in the special feature entitled DICK PALACE, which is composed of six installments where Blake Butler ravaged and resurrected six pieces of writing submitted for just this act. It's a collaboration/willful transgression sort of engagement where Blake called for writing to be submitted with the writer fully knowing their words were subject to total rewriting/revision/editing/amputation/transplant by the editor.

And there is also a cd available for download with this issue, the LAMINATION COLONY AUDIO SUPPOSITORY. If you can't find something that makes you touch yourself mentally in this and every other issue of LC, then you should just quit reading all together. I'm just saying.

I'm proud to be part of another issue of Lamination Colony. Once again, Blake has done a great job putting together an issue the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the literary world. Good work everyone.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sinus Infection Beckett Theft Ice Cream President Butler Read PSA

Okay, sinus infection over. A nasty one it was. Haven't had a fun one yet. Maybe next time. Thanks for the tips and understanding everyone.

Worstward Ho.

That's a story by Samuel Beckett. I've been reading Beckett lately. And behold I am enjoying it. The bleakness gets me most times. Bleakness does not feel bleak to me, though. Feels like normal. I don't know what I'm saying. I know what I'm saying.

Fair enough. Fair enough.

I watched my dad on TV today. He was on the news telling the reporter about how the AC unit got ripped off at the office over the weekend and probably sold for scrap to support someone's crack or argyle sock habit. I think he did a good job talking and saying things and motioning with his hands in a way that said, What the hell! Ah, what can you do? I have a jar here for the testicles in case someone catches them. Seeing that made me proud of him.

Today I am declaring my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America, wherever that is. I am going to make everyone's dreams come true. My fellow Americans and inhabitants of the world, the other candidates are never going to satisfy you. But I will. I will begin by making sure that every person on earth has a lifetime supply of ice cream sandwiches. All you can eat. Universal ice cream sandwiches will create the common ground necessary to settle ancient political and religious conflicts and ease all forms of economic woe. I am not talking about Klondike bars. Klondike bars have a chocolate coating that is in conflict with the soft ice cream inside. The eating experience is confusing. Plus, with everyone outdoing each other for a Klondike bar, that particular ice cream treat turns people into college frat party whores. Join me on my platform of universal ice cream sandwiches and we will bring much needed change to the White House.

In better news, Blake Butler has a new story now living at the New Ohio Review website. I reviewed the first issue of /nor for NewPages, and you'll see I was excited about the work they published then. This issue makes me even more excited about /nor. Also read Blake's story "Exponential" at Willow Springs. And everything everywhere else on that staggering column of publications on his blog. Blake Butler is a force of nature.

And if you're in New York City, CM Evans's art is on display at apexart, where an amazing collection of art is on display in an exhibition entitled "Lots of Things Like This." The event, open now through May 10, was put together by Dave Eggers and has apparently been a huge success. Hard to believe, I know. If you can't make it to NYC, then make it to CM Evans's site and consume a couple hundred cartoons. Be sure to finish your coffee and maybe visit the water closet beforehand, though.

Something something something something something something something.

Something something believe something something something this.

Something can't believe something something something this.

I can't believe something still something this.

I can't believe you're still something this.

reading

Stealing is bad.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reviews of Everyday Life: Sinus Infection

Having a raging sinus infection is not exactly everyday life. But after a week of uncertainty about whether the substance I feel trailing down my nasal cavity to escape the nostrils is snot or more blood, the sinus infection develops a certain sense of everydayness, that it is indeed here to stay.

My sinuses, for whatever reason, become inflamed and infected about two times a year. This is a joyous occasion every time. One particular infection kept me awake for three days straight. I tried sleeping the first night, but gave up the idea of sleep for the second night. So, tired and increasingly delirious, I watched Apocalypse Now. That made for a memorable sinus infection. I wish I'd had something by David Lynch on hand. There's always next time.

Given enough time, minor illnesses become strange memories that often blunt the misery that prompted prayers composed of cursing and begging and mock crying out of frustration. For me, this makes every sinus infection the worst one ever.

This particular sinus infection was the worst one ever. Even though my nose was never really plugged up.

It was a Tuesday night when the flesh between my sinuses and throat swelled and became very tender. But not very loving. I snored that night like I had never snored before.

I awoke each morning with sinuses full of discharge. The mucus and blood took at least a half hour to clear out. I did not care for that.

Soon, in addition to that routine, I could feel that a coagulated mass of phlegm and mucus had settled into the top floor of my lungs. Working this material out added another fifteen to twenty minutes to the morning discharge routine.

When I felt the sinus infection coming on, I started popping Zicam like candy. After two days of citrus tablets every three hours, I felt that I was winning the battle against the infection. Two days later I learned that I was wrong. Having consumed nearly two bottles of Zicam, I realized that I might as well have been eating candy. This sinus infection was something different, something special. I conceded victory. I am now convinced that this was all the sinus infection wanted, because it broke.

I believe that sinus infections are night owls. Up all night, sleep all day, as the 80's metal lyrics go. During the day I hardly felt like I had this invasive mucus factory working overtime in my sinus cavities. But when the whistle blew and the sun went down, hell did indeed break loose and begin running out of my nose. Only one more click toward paranoid and I could be convinced that sinus infections were developed by the government as a method of sleep depriviation and waterless waterboarding, producing compound fatigue and the perpetual sense of drowning. I'll tell you anything you want. I confess, I am Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and Jimmy Hoffa. I confess, it's true, just please make it stop.

Overall, this sinus infection could have been worse. My nasal passages could have been sealed off completely, making it impossible to sleep at all. My lungs could have filled up with more phlegm and developed into one of those rattling coughs that involve so much hacking that there is gagging and vomiting, too. My throat did not get raw and cause pain by merely existing. And, I only had one nosebleed. Plus, I feel like I've learned a lot about keeping my sinuses and lungs cleaned out. So bring on the next sinus infection. Maybe not.

Two closing thoughts:

I am seriously considering naming my sinus infections (e.g. Steven, Meatloaf, Apocalypse Now, Zicam-Shmicam, Katrina, etc). These little nasal hurricanes have earned a place in my memory.

I have just written at length about my sinus infections. I don't know how to feel about that.