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I’m going to be reading, probably from my forthcoming collection of short fiction Everything Flows, at the Pygmalion Lit Fest in Champaign-Urbana, or Urbana-Champaign, or somewhere in Illinois, on September 27 or 28. I’ll also be playing in DTCV on one of those two days as well. The music line-up is here. There is a band called Major Lazer headlining which is probably the worst band name I’ve ever heard. I’m sure they’re awesome.

MARCH2013FLYER

If any of you folks happen to be in Boston for AWP in early March, I’ll be reading playing music, apparently, at Cantab Lounge with several other very excellent writers on March 7 sometime after 8PM. Please stop by and say hello if you get a chance.

Further details:

738 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Presented by Curbside Splendor, Other Voices Books, Artifice Books, Emergency Press, Counterpoint
Facebook invite page here.

 

 

 

 

I will have the great pleasure of reading with some of Los Angeles’ best writers, including Joe Donnelly and Antonia Crane, among several others, at Slake Magazine‘s Halloween  Reading at the coolest AND the hottest new LA-area bookstore, Pop-Hop Books & Print in Hancock Park. The address is on the poster above. The date is October 30. The time is 7PM.

Excuse me, have to go write something scary now. Or at least spooky.

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A collection of my “stories,” leaning hard on the figurative sense of story, will be published by Curbside Splendor in November of this year, with the usual caveat that the world may end right around that time in which case never mind. I do hope my forthcoming book will in no way contribute to the end of the world.

The title of the book is “Everything Flows,” after the Teenage Fanclub song of the same name, which is not only the best Teenage Fanclub song ever, but maybe the only Teenage Fanclub song ever. It’s the first song on A Catholic Education, which was their first album. Some might find it a little hyper-crticial that I would call the first song from the first album of a band their best and maybe even only song, in which case I have no really great defense except to say that’s my opinion on the matter, and I don’t really care to hear yours, even though I’m probably wrong (as usual).

I have been sorely lacking on the “post stuff at North of Onhava” front lately. I don’t even have a good excuse, like “I lost my left arm in an axe-throwing contest.” That would be a good excuse because I’m left-handed.

Anyway, here’s a couple of things. My friend Patrick Wensink has released or is about to release a brilliantly weird novel called Broken Piano For President through the brilliantly weird Lazy Fascist press. As part of the tiresome business of promotion, Patrick has created a website where you can find out lots more about his book. He’s also spent some time soliciting drinking stories from his friends because the protagonist of BPFP is apparently a black-out drunk. I’d just like to go on record that I am not and have only once in my life ever been a black-out drunk. But I do have my share of drinking stories, because I used to be a professional drinker. Patrick was kind of enough to post one of those stories on his site here.

Also, I received in the mail today several copies of the just-published Italian edition of my novel The Failure. A bad photograph of which you can find above. If you’re Italian, or from Italy, or just happen for some weird reason to be able to read Italian, by all means order directly from the publisher Quarup, or if you’re actually in Italy maybe you could go to a bookstore. Not the one in the Vatican. They probably don’t have this. Is there an Amazon Italy? I’m not sure I really want to know. In scouring the internet for the link to my Italian publisher, I also stumbled across what appears to be a review. You can read it, or maybe for fun run it through Google translate, here.

Or at least, he claims that his blog will do so. And today, he wrote some very kind words about my second novel The Failure, so I’m inclined to believe him. But you, having free will (or so you’ve been led to think), may choose to feel otherwise. In which case I will hunt you down and kill you. Just kidding. I’ll get Benicio del Toro to do it. God, I’m so tired.

This is a picture of Berlin. It is unrelated to the story below.

 

[Editor's note: a version of this story appeared in my friend Sébastien Doubinsky's excellent bi- or tri-lingual periodical Zaporogue, which you can find here. Seb has at least two books forthcoming from the excellent Black Coffee Press sometime in the next year or so (including his excellent Goodbye Babylon, which was published in the UK under the title The Babylonian Trilogy and in France under... you get the idea) and by the time I finish writing this sentence will have written and/or translated three or four more excellent books in three or four more languages. This story is notable for being one of the very few things I've written recently that will not eventually be fitted for use in my forthcoming novel. Probably.]

 

The Reluctant King

 

Alfred the Coward stepped carefully down the shoe-worn steps in front of the library. Shallow grooves in the stone from the treading of shoes, countless, over years and years of students walking to and fro. Even a stone can be worn down, he thought, even marble or in this case granite from a quarry in somewhere in. He carried two books under his arm and headed across the grass for the shade of an elm tree. Fraxinus Americana, Alfred read on the brass plate affixed to the tree’s broad trunk. American Elm. Not many of these left, I suppose, he thought. Wasted by disease, the beetle who carried the disease from tree to tree or anyway bug of some kind. Dutch elm the disease was called, but killed American elms with Dutch efficiency. The men from the city came and chopped down the whole row on our street. The noise from the chainsaws. Like shooting a horse, he thought. No use. Books I’m carrying might have been pulped from that dead wood. Still no use.

He sat down in the shade. The new day was warm and moist, and the morning sun had just risen above the slate rooftop of the library. The lowest branches of the elm filtered some of the sunlight through a network of summer leaves, and their complex shadow swayed in the light wind. Alfred opened one of the books and flipped through the first few chapters without interest. Wonder will the rain hold off until evening, he thought. Right now doesn’t look, but these storms move quickly. Two nights ago came out of nowhere, over the blue hills I can see from my north-facing window, so out of the north. Unusual because most weather travels west to east. Part of the trouble with the world, he thought. Underneath right now the root system absorbs groundwater from the soaked-in rain, dredges the water back up through the trunk to the branches. The leaves need rain for strength, but also sun for photosynthesis. Producing air. Birds sitting on the branches, fluttering, chirping. Never know the names of birds. These are sparrows maybe because most birds you see are sparrows. Sarah said.

She would not come tonight, again, he thought. Only when I don’t expect. Some trick to that. Some extra sense. Nothing happens except when I’m not looking. He picked a small stone out of the earth at the base of the tree. The stone was round and smooth, with an irregularity, a small dark spot, on the underside. The top of the stone was lighter than the bottom, bleached by the sun. Alfred fingered the stone. Cool to the touch and absurdly smooth, he thought. Worn by rain same as the steps were worn by human feet. He tossed the stone a little distance. A bird flew down from the tree to inspect the stone. Thinks it might be food, he thought. All day long look for food, then sleep. I have so much trouble sleeping. No need to look for food, just go the dining hall and heaps of food in steaming piles on my plate. Tonight maybe chicken and a bit of salad for balance. The bird looks for food and I eat the bird. Not this bird. Still, a hawk might, if hawks are here. Never seen one, floating in the currents like on television. Everyone is prey. I don’t remember a single prayer, thought Alfred. Haven’t been inside a church in years.

A figure approached Alfred across the grass. Looks like Robert, tall and thin with shirttails flapping as he walks, he thought. Like the hanger’s still in his shirt, bony shoulders, narrow neck.

Aren’t you going for breakfast? asked Robert, stopping a few feet from where Alfred sat.

Alfred gestured to his books. Need to get some reading done. Class at eleven.

Nothing like leaving things to the last minute. Robert reached one bony hand to the back of his neck, scratched lightly.

Better late than never.

O that’s clever. I wish I’d thought of that, said Robert.

Alfred squinted up at Robert. Why doesn’t he sit down? Makes me nervous looming. Sit down or move on.
What kind of class?

English. We’re reading romantic poems, said Alfred. I mean from the period of the Romantics.

Keats died of tuberculosis. Consumption as it was called then. The wasting disease.

Yes that’s very helpful. I’ll be sure to mention that fact to the professor.

He was only twenty-five or something, said Robert. Not much older than us.

I suppose that’s true. Keats was a bell struck once, with a heavy hammer, in the distance, thought Alfred. You hear the fading of the sound rather than the sound itself. But the sound never fades completely. What does echolalia mean? I remember looking it up just the other day.

What does echolalia mean? asked Alfred.

Echolalia, repeated Robert. I don’t know. Did you read it somewhere? Echolalia.

No, it just popped into my head. I came across it a few days ago. I think maybe something Sarah said. Obviously it has something to do with echoes.

Obviously.

Robert stood for a moment, silent, in the gathering heat of the day. I’ll leave you to your reading, he said after a while.

Okay. You doing anything later?

Robert shrugged. He held his palms slightly outwards in a gesture of helplessness. No plans. Call me if you think of something.

Maybe, said Alfred. I’ll see you. When he held his hands like that he was the picture of Christ. Except for the lack of beard, and also now Jesus was said to be a black man. But pictures of Christ from paintings. Except for the beard. His hair’s not dissimilar, though, in length. Also lank and greasy, as you’d expect. A holy man would not take many baths, I think, he thought.

Alfred watched Robert walk towards the dining hall, which sat at a right angle to the library. The dining hall was made of red brick with white wooden columns. Those are Ionic capitals, he thought. Ionic, Doric, Corinthian. Everything I remember from Ancient Greece.

A gust of wind rustled the branches above his head. One or two of the birds flew off. Shading his eyes with his hand, Alfred peered in the direction of the sun. A few thin gray clouds scudded across the sky, moving fast. Down here the wind is calmer, thought Alfred. In the atmosphere things are more turbulent. The air is thinner and colder and changeable. When you fly in a plane you may encounter sudden pockets of rough air and the plane may drop, suddenly, in certain extreme cases hundreds of feet in a second.

He turned back to the book in his lap. The book had nothing to do with Romantic poetry. It was a novel by a French writer from the nineteenth century, translated into English by a fin-de-siècle British lady who had translated many books. Must have become easy after a while, he thought. Don’t see how you can produce things in that quantity without falling back on habit. With translation you’re always left to wonder if the book is a reflection more of the translator or of the original author.

You don’t seem yourself lately, said Alfred.

Sarah stretched across his bed, her hair wet from the shower, dressed in a light-blue blouse and gym shorts.

Who do I seem like, she asked. She was leaning on her elbows, watching the sunset fade outside his window.

I don’t know. Not yourself.

Don’t know what to say to that. I am myself. How can I not seem like myself? I don’t know any other way to be.

No, it’s just, you’re always sad and you don’t want to talk to me about things. You don’t get interested the way you used to.

Maybe I’ve told you everything I’m interested about. Maybe we’ve used up all possible topics of conversation. Anyway, I don’t feel particularly sad. You may be projecting.

Alfred sat at his desk and pretended to work on a paper for a class. He had a few sheets of paper covered in notes, and an open book on the desk in front of him. He held a pencil in his right hand. The pencil was covered in teeth marks.

I don’t think so. I mean, I don’t think I’m projecting. But it’s possible I’m wrong about your mood. I don’t have much experience with other people.

That’s not true, said Sarah, craning on the bed to face Alfred. You have more experience than you need. You have a surfeit of experience. You have me. You have yourself. By measuring one against the other you can draw any conclusion you need, and you have a fifty-fifty chance of being right. That’s better odds than with most things.

I’ve never had any luck with numbers, said Alfred, turning back to his work.

That was the last time, he thought, sitting under the elm, four days and counting. I try not to notice or let her absence bother me but what else? Alfred dug his fingers into the small hollow left by the stone he had picked out. He loosened clumps of black earth and flicked them with thumb and forefinger into the grass. The clumps disintegrated on impact. Earthworms churn the earth, building tunnels, an endless, unseen lattice. We need the earthworms because they till the soil, turning and turning the compact earth until it loosens and can absorb the rainwater on which all things depend. Once I bit into an apple I’d plucked from one of the trees in the faculty gardens. There was a worm in the apple and I bit it in half. I spit the worm and the piece of apple from my mouth and chucked the rest of the apple into a bush. Some worms can regenerate themselves from even half. Or maybe I killed the worm, I don’t know, he thought.

He inspected the nails on the hand that had rummaged in the dirt. There was a thin line of dirt under each nail. He tried to clean the nails with a pencil he had wedged in one of the books as a placeholder. Only makes things worse, he thought.

Alfred returned the pencil to its place in the book. Again he leafed through the book’s pages, without reading. This is not the book I wanted, he thought. Nunc ipsum, tamen. I will not knuckle under the weight of ideas. I will not say uncle.

A few items of interest to readers of North of Onhava, and possibly to normal people, too:

1. An excerpt from my novel-in-progress is available for your reading pleasure at Joyland NYC. As far as I can tell, it’s set in a kind of pre-apocalyptic Paris, and contains at least two characters who may not be human. It would mean a lot to me if you would pretend to read it, and even more if you would pretend to like it by clicking on the little “like” icon next to the story.

2. I am reading from The Speed Chronicles, an anthology of stories about guess what, edited by Joseph Mattson, who is the author of the acclaimed (by me, but not just by me) novel Empty The Sun. The event is at Book Soup on Wednesday November 16, 7PM. Joseph will read from The Speed Chronicles, too. Also reading will be the editors of The Cocaine Chronicles, an analogous collection of stories about guess what. Both books will be published by Akashic Books and should start filtering into bookstores and online retailers very, very soon.

3. Joseph and I will be embarking on a West Coast tour to promote The Speed Chronicles at the end of November into early December. Exact dates, times, and participants (all subject to change because humankind is fallible and I in particular am a whimsical guy) can be found, conveniently, to the right of this post. We’ll be reading and drinking in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Arcata, Portland, and Seattle. If you live in one of those cities, your attendance is mandatory.

4. I reviewed Kate Zambreno‘s wonderful new novel Green Girl for the forthcoming issue of Bookforum. Which should also be filtering into bookstores, newstands, and online entities very soon.

5. Dennis Cooper is reading from his (masterful, ground-breaking) new novel The Marbled Swarm at Skylight Books on Thursday November 17. If you are anywhere near Los Angeles and don’t come to hear Dennis read I will no have no choice but to conclude that you are a fool, or worse.

6. Finally, but not in any way less importantly, the LA-based literary magazine Slake has begun a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their fourth issue. I cannot stress how great this magazine is and will continue to be, with your help. I know times are tough, but if you could see your way to throwing a couple of units of currency their way, not just Slake, not just me, but the entire literary world except for that one really bitter guy will thank you.

 

Slow News Day is not a bad band name. It’s also not a good band name. It’s kind of a middling-to-fair band name. Glad we cleared that up. Here are some Slow News items, beginning with another band name:

First this. Which is particularly weird given this.

Then this, which is less weird than embarrassing.

Oh, and that big magazine cover above? You can pre-order the issue, which contains within in it not just that picture but a couple thousand words I wrote down that Bob Pollard said to me, here.

 

Apparently I wrote an article for the 1,225th Anniversary issue of Spin Magazine, which occurred in May of 2010. I mean, I did write an article, but I totally forgot. And I have never in my life paid for a copy of Spin, so. Luckily, an obscure internet startup called Google has taken it upon itself to scan everything ever written by me (and possibly other people) into its data-collector-device. I have embedded, or hope I have embedded, the article below for your reading pleasure in case you don’t have the twenty-five cents or whatever the going rate is nowadays to go buy your own copy.

The piece probably discusses the circumstances surrounding my leaving the magazine and joining the rock band Guided By Voices, but I can’t be entirely sure, because that would mean reading the whole article, and in addition to never having paid for an issue of Spin, I have never in my life read an issue of Spin, and I am if nothing else consistent. What I will say is this: man, did I used to be fat! (Related: why am I the only one drinking in this picture? Not realistic.) The title of the article and its sub-hed or “dek” were not of my own device. I mention that only because both are clumsy, misleading, and humiliating. Reminds me of the days I used to edit that magazine. Shudder.


 

Prologue

Low light slants through a bower of maple branches onto the roof and dirt-spattered windshield of a car parked on the red clay driveway. No wind stirs, and the mosaic of shadow slides by imperceptible degrees from the blue roof of the parked car to the tawny drive, crawling from there to the tips of the trees. Cinders of sunset spark on the windshield between buttons of grime. On the porch of the adjacent house, a large dog sleeps restlessly, its black ears twitching in the evening heat, next to a swing hung between white wooden columns. Through the grid of windows facing the porch, a woman stirring sauce in the kitchen presents an occasional profile, hair pulled back neatly and rubber-banded, brow flexed in thought. She stops stirring and lifts the spoon to her lips, one hand cupped beneath, bending her neck forward slightly to greet the upwards curve of the spoon-bearing hand.

My cigarette smoke rising from an empty chair on the porch mirrors the steam from the sauce, twining in the window, which reflects not only the warm light from the kitchen but the sun’s quiet death. The first few fireflies test their turn signals, harbingers of impending night. One buzzes too close to the sleeping dog, inducing a drastic shift in the stubborn flow of time and place: the dog yawns, and suddenly I’m in a dark room in a cold city with a streetlight blaring in my eyes. Impermanence, I have a feeling, is a self-inflicted wound.

1. Absence

It’s cold in here. The window is loose in its frame and rattles with every gust of wind. I can feel the wind through my sweater, slowly unraveling like the frayed edges of my personality, falling apart now that I’m alone, now that no one else is around to give me substance and meaning. Outside the glare of another’s perception, I’m afraid I have no real being. I’m an accretion of foreign fluid—the sweat and saliva I’ve sucked out of you and everyone else. That equals me. That’s my sum.

Without you I have no memory, and without memory people are little better than husks. I can no longer draw your face in my mind: I remember only plangent recombinations of light and shade, half-shimmers of reflected recollection, spangles of recognition—as if you were mirrored in a poorly-lit store window, at an oblique angle, on one of my memory’s byways or sidestreets. I’m starting to forget what everything looks like. My room is inhabited by phantoms of objects I’m sure I long ago lost, and the shapes of the few things that do remain seem to shift from moment to moment. I’m constantly bumping into my table and spilling books onto the floor, books I didn’t even know I had and certainly have never read, nor will.

Hunger and thirst are feminine. Ho fame, ho sete. Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness, or do you, as I do, simply hunger and thirst, in the most obvious and humiliating ways? A penny shines on my dresser, reflecting the tangerine streetlight outside the window. I want that coin’s brightness, its permanence, its lack of permanence. Everything.

Time’s been severed at the root, lopped, trimmed and sent spinning from space by a single brutal blow. Poor gap-toothed infinite, our silly sun, useless armies of stars in her fingerless hands. Garlands and garlands of two-lipped truths dangle from her neck. Who collects the residue of passion?

2. Presence

Liquid syllables spill down the phone lines, like wet diamonds, like a wild boar in a shadow forest. Message from a seasick heart. The sun in my blood goes supernova and gutters out. The moon, I’m beginning to think, has designs on me. The moon has a motive.

I’ve felt the lunar tug before, but never so strong, never so pure. Every atom in me vibrates with its light, and I lie unmoving, pinned to the bed, barely blinking. A jacaranda tree outside my window, spindly with age, bends in the moonlit wind, directing my eyes, my hands, my heart towards the image inhabiting the center of my mind.

I know what the moon wants. I know and resist with an automatic strength. I know because I can see her: sometimes she lies breathing quietly in the next room, her long and lovely fingers clutching the edges of a borrowed blanket. I envy that blanket’s easy embrace, and resent the rasp of sheets against my flushed skin. Lead-limbed on my glimmering bed, I smoke a stale cigarette, exhaling with effort, and imagine the shadows falling across her face. Shadow fingers, shadow lips, shadow kisses. I’m no stranger to the rapture of attraction, but this is different. This is a matter of tides, of gravity. Of ineluctable force.

What is love? Movement of the soul towards its essential nature. All words become one word. When you say the word your life begins.

If. L’if. Life. In the strange geometry of ardor, words are never proof enough.

Epilogue

Today and tomorrow, no more. Whatever pain you have caused in the past: redacted. Nothing ensues, transpires: happens. Sadness: no more. In the sky, drifting ashes mix with snow and become snow, and fall, in wet flakes, on the international date line. Let’s get out of the house. Let’s open the high oak doors and walk outside, breathing new air. The ice ages but we do not: no more. A blue jay carries an almond in its beak, hopping along the crooked fence. The warped and rotting boards of the fence bear the weight of the bird, and the falling snow, without complaint.

 

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Rufous Knicks, rampant in blue serge suit and hairs-cut, stepped down the wobbly back shell of Forever Corner like a king descending to court. That or another like sentence would mark well to begin this history in old days whereof I have understood some, having lived for petty times in that epoch. I do not possess any old days books, but have had opportunity to peruse precisely two at cabinet of Mme. Pi and on one occasion had extinct pleasure to listen Super My Love read the first chapter of a leafy tome encased in papery sleeving, color pale green, entitled Lol. In which I comprehend was a lacrosstick of some nature in which I cannot decipher. A lacrosstick occurs when letters stand around for longer words in which the writer does not wish to unveil for private reasons.

The reading of the old days book Lol was a magic. It is different to hear words in the head of you than bespoke by another. O man I have found. I retain no or less memories in which I was young, in which without doubt my mother or some person would have read at high voice from old days books, once I have been told in which were plenty abundant.

I return to Rufous Knicks putting the feet forward and again forward in back of Forever Corner until he had reached the door to the fence at the limit of the garden. I find tiresome to describe every action of Rufous Knicks when I already know where he is going and when and many details concerning his destination. Nor would it be just as interesting to arrive properly without malingering on the travel? Then. I will omit from here to there.

Rufous Knicks entered the building through blown-apart front. Had arrived by straightforward route. Rufous was not the kind to take laborious mappy when the straight line could be put in place end over end in which you can finish by arrival. Inside the building birds bunched on attic rubble at the far end waiting for something. These birds did have bad blood in them, or appeared. But Rufous unslung his rifle and made as if to shoot at them, but the birds did not wow or flutter, but continued to wait only for the something. Black eyes followed Rufous as he forwarded through the main hall and up the stony staircase, mightily damaged but not fallen, into the upstairs room where Madame Salamander Pi held her cabinet on most mornings and some of the afternoons.

Madame Salamander Pi was a gross person. In this way she demonstrated her superior skill-set in the department of living, and was awed by others who had no comparables towards acquiring sustenance and in which consequence were meager in size. Certain, Rufous was twangy in which comparison to Mme. Pi. But he had a compensating vigor but an excellent aim with respect to his rifling but a speed and range of motion but was difficult to tackle. Had he the knowledge of keeping things for long times no one doubts whereby he would on the other hand challenge Mme. Pi for the charge in which she held.

He had no complaint or intent to challenge in mind today’s morning, but Madame Salamander Pi could never know this advanced of the moment, and so her aides dispatched themselves to greet Rufous Knicks before he could attain the threshold of her cabinet. These were two name of Sham and Polish but, in no which gross, still you could say largely in frames.

“What is your business with Madame Salamander Pi?” asked Sham.

“I wish to ask her advice on a project of mutual beneficence,” said Rufous Knicks.

He struggled in the grasp of meaty claws but not too much.

“I do not understand these words,” said Polish, or Sham.

“I have a desire to confer with Mme. Pi. It is a matter she will understand but I do not think that you will, judging from the lack in which you have lately demonstrated ensuing from my prior words.”

“We will have to ask Mme. Pi, or the patron, as we call her, if she wants to conference with you,” said Sham, or Polish.

Rufous Knicks indicated that he understood this act as a necessary, and would wait in the grip of only Sham or Polish while Polish or Sham performed a liaison with Mme. Pi.

While Polish or Sham was gone Sham or Polish said to Rufous “I hope you do not understand our actions to be a counter-temps. It is a duty that we must convey as part of our boss.”

“I confess a petty perturbation, in which is not your fault, and do not blame you,” said Rufous. “My argument is with the order of things. As much with the crows and this exploded wreck as with any person.”

“What you say to me is not meant for me, in which it is okay for me to hear, but your talk is one-sided and does not require a response,” said Polish. Or Sham. “Here is Sham or Polish, come from Mme. Pi, the patron, with informations.”

Sham or Polish rejoined his colleague and said to Rufous Knicks, “Mme. Pi has interest in listening to you, Rufous Knicks, if it is not a trouble to come with us to her cabinet.”

“It is not a trouble,” said Rufous Knicks. “Let’s go.”

I need not add that I have only imaginaried the talk between Rufous, Sham, and Polish, as I was not present and did not have afterwards a chance in which to unpack the exact wording of the exchange from Rufous, as he lay dying.

I will now indicate the camber of time by use of an eclipse.

….

Rufous though mortal of wounds made strong effort to retrieve his corpse to backyard of Forever Corner, at which one saw each other as I marched my circle of deliverance the daily pain. I found him slouched against the wall at step bottom.

“What has passed?” I asked Rufous, who though smeary with blood and shallow respired, had no look of great trouble on his visage.

“Your head,” joked Rufous.

“I mean in really,” I said.

“There was disaccord between me and Salamander Pi,” he said after a while and with some difficulty.

“Of what nature?”

“Of a nature in which she had a mistake of my intent, in which I finished on the wrong side.”

“Well obvious,” I said.

“I have a secret I would like to tell you, now that I am dying,” said Rufous Knicks.

“Tell me your secret, Rufous,” I said.

He made a clan of eye and motioned by which I should come closer.

“A knowing hole of great significance has been opened. I think that Salamander Pi has recognition of this hole, and will take steps to control the results. You must fill your lack, in which you have no fault, to the best delay. Salamander Pi cannot take consequence of the fruits of the secret.”

“I wonder myself that I have in no sense understood your import,” I said.

“I will ask a small favor of you.”

“It does not matter what.”

Rufous Knicks smiled in which his teeth were not seen. He spit on the ground and there followed either a laugh or a cough or a laugh in which became a cough.

“You have ever been a good friend,” he said. “Truth, I crawled back here and waited in hope of your arrival. I had a luck.”

It was a trouble to put my attention in the direction of Rufous Knicks’ purpose, because I was rapt by the seeing of cracked skin around his sharp knuckles. The skin itself looked a separate organ to the underlying bone and filament, undulant independent of hand movement, as if possessed of intelligence its own.

Having essayed some further paroles, Rufous Knicks ceased to inspire. In agreement with his ask, I did not attend to dispose of his corpse but passed to the voluntary in which he had given to me instructions very specific.

I will now indicate the camber of time by use of an eclipse.

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I could break the shell of myself, if you want, or you could try to fail. Here’s how the thing works: some injustice must be left un-righted. Some tumescent flaw must be kept in the perfectly silvered surface of your Venetian mirror, set in the bark of a living tree.

In a stand of reflected catalpas, on each broad leaf, a poem appears in dendriform. In the grass we sit broadside down, and read the fallen leaves, turning pages and colors and sheaves of wheat-seeded idea. From this time to that time is the distance of dewdrop from its source.

Outside the shell, a sinewy thread connects consciousness to individual spirit. The desultations of philosophy, according to some lispy Latin (twining his elder Pliny with De Rerum), are essentially binding, essentially religious. The trinity is one God, four Gospels, and a multitude of loafs. A Character-Not-Yet-Invented hovers over mother-father earth, investing via uncreated breath each holy relic, each storm-born hiccup, with a sailing grace. In order to grit out the truth you have to tell stories that are not stories.

Frank the letters I gift you. Resist upon the justness of my claws. Have prayings for the marks and stick-matter of poor Mary’s rosy crux. Did she treat you well, muttering?

Sing to me now of infinity. Sing infinitely well, and finish with a flourish. Whose fingers now are stained with what type of sin? The devil you say. Named after light but hiding in the dark. In the beginning was the bird. The bird was made fish. Everybody, hellbound pelican or lofty perch, must eat. Must take part or partake, body and blood of Jack Christmas. Each act of kindness is a hopeful mistake.

The old man slumped at the table in a suit spun of flax. “I offer my heart to anyone in need of a muscle to move the lever that moves the world.”

Gemmules of inspiration pop like dolorous spit bubbles. Everything proceeds. Momentum of the moment, refracted in the prison of sight. Uncountable fragments that, together, unreveal a pattern no one stoops to admire.

The shell of the constructed self cracks like brittle candy on the rocks that shift, with predatory intent, from ship to shore. I think, therefore I’m not who you think I am.

Without his coat he believes himself naked, and that unreal nakedness drives him nuts.

Which is the true grammar? Break me if you will. Will me to break myself, to hoist surrender to an army that seeks to conquer itself. O Lord of guests, bid me to build myself a lighter limb, and chatter like a bird. I know, now, I cannot fly. I can only fall.

 

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As many of you know the trivium derives from the introductory curriculum in many medieval universities, where it involved the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The word is Latin in derivation, perhaps obviously, and literally means the place where three (tri-) roads (via) meet. Our modern word trivia is loosely, and I think unfairly, connected by blood relation to trivium, by way of the altogether vulgar (in its literal sense) trivialis. Compare this with the quadrivium, similarly medieval, and comprising the four “mathematical” arts: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. An example of someone who would have excelled at the quadrivium is Brian May, the guitarist from Queen.

By way of illustration, I present the following story, or proselet, which is not a word I expect to catch on. It incorporates two quotations that one might find in any trivium worthy of the name, but places them in a setting of cheap jewelry that I hope makes some kind of emotional sense.

The Man Called Marriage

Two bursts of light, in rapid succession, woke him from a dreadful dream. A car turning around in the driveway, most likely. He shifted from his side onto his back, flinging a sleep-deadened arm across his chest. He enjoyed the way feeling would slowly creep back into the lifeless arm and hand.

He raised his head and looked at the pillow next to his on the bed. He knew she wasn’t there, knew that she had not been there for months, knew that barring some unforeseeable fold in the fabric of time she would never be there again. But he couldn’t help checking.

No sound but a few weary crickets, whether inside or out he could not tell. Dark of night had swallowed the room. Only blurred and mobile shapes. Shadows and deeper shadows.

Darkness has no lines, only depth, he thought. His eyes, adjusting to the murk, recovered what might be a chair, what might be a lamp, what might be a network of twigs on the ash tree outside his window, laying odds on how long till the sun comes up.

The sun is impossible to catch, he thought. Many things are thought impossible, but later turn out possible all along. It’s possible, he thought, that all things are possible, or will turn out to be possible. Two robins settled on the hickory tree outside his kitchen window. He was standing in the kitchen making coffee. Light from the morning sun, filtered by the greasy dirt on his unwashed windows, lay wan and shapeless on the counter and the dull tiles of the floor.

“Our separated dust, after so many pilgrimages and transformations into the parts of minerals, plants, animals, elements, shall at the voice of God return into their primitive shapes, and join again to make up their primary and predestinate forms.” He remembered the quote clearly but could not remember who said or wrote these words that he once believed.

He stood in the room where his books were lined against the wall. He held a long, serrated kitchen knife in his right hand, methodically scarring the spines of his books. He slashed diagonally, from top to bottom, left to right, in the same direction in which he used to read, it occurred to him, as he slashed the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet, without understanding why, without self-examination or emotion.

In the zoo, sidling up to the aviary, he saw parakeets varicolored like the desert sun setting on a cloudless night. A small snow-owl, half-blind from daylight, peered through slitted eyes at the end of all diseases of the flesh. The snow-owl, he thought, is a curious bird. He keeps most of what he knows to himself. But not all, he thought, and chuckled.

You could set the snow-owl free right now, but the snow owl would always be in prison. Once you injure something it stays injured. Fetters cannot be removed by any human hand.

One time he dreamed that he was walking along the red clay bank of a warbling creek, and saw an injured sparrow. He was overwhelmed with pity at the sight of the poor bird, and fell to his knees, cupping the sparrow in his hands and blowing gently on its feathers, thinking that somehow the blowing would reassure the tiny creature. The next part of the dream he couldn’t remember exactly, whether the bird simply died or immediately healed and flew away. Either way, he knew he had lost the sparrow for good, and knew, too, as one knows things in dreams that one could never guess in waking life, that the bird was her, and that she was gone.

Inner duration, perceived by consciousness, is nothing else but the melting of states of consciousness into one another, and the gradual growth of ego. Another useless quote, but why, he wondered, did this fragment of knowledge reduce him to helpless tears?

Wind snapped a branch outside and he woke. Tears streamed down his cheeks; his pillowcase was soaked.

“I am unbelievably happy,” he whispered to the empty room. And thought: I am unbelievably happy.

I posted this a while back, around the time the novel was published, but I thought I’d re-post it here today because a) I’m really busy and don’t have time to find anything more interesting to post, much less actually write about something, and b) upon re-watching it, I remembered that it’s really good, due mostly to the inclusion of a sonic death ray from Robert Pollard’s solo album We All Got Out of The Army that used to be called “Knapsack Buying Blues” but I can’t remember what it eventually ended up being called.

Anyway, this is the trailer. I hope you like it. It was not easy to make. (Yes it was.) If you want to buy the book associated with the trailer, please go here. If not, please go here.

 

You’ll note that the website address to which the video directs you at the end is out of date and no longer in operation (my website address, that is; Akashic Books is still there and doing just fine.) But if you are watching the trailer then you already know the correct address, so there’s no point in me going all the way back into Final Cut Pro just to change some stupid text. Right?

I wrote this story long before the movie franchise of the same title appeared. I’m not saying the movie people stole the idea from me, even though I’m pretty sure I invented hangovers, but if Zach Galliafinakopolisopoulous wants to kick a couple of euros my way for, you know, “thanks, man” or whatever, I would not complain.

In fact, I wrote this story a long, long time ago, when I (briefly) attended college in Charlottesville, Virginia, a town and a state I had never visited before enrolling there, and which I have not visited since dropping out, which was either the best decision I’ve ever made or the worst, or both, or neither.

The story when I first wrote it was close to 15,000 words. In its current form it is less than 900. People should not subject other people to their prolix juvenilia, is my point.

Though the conceit of the story suggests that it takes place during the time it takes to listen to both sides of R.E.M.’s Murmur, I do not advise taking that conceit as veridical, though if someone wants to test the proposition, please do not let me stop you.

Two further notes: 1) this story originally appeared in the fine literary/music journal Yeti (issue 6), which can be found here; 2) the character Violet McKnight, keen-eyed observers may note, has the same name as the character Violet McKnight in my most recent novel The Failure. The two girls are not related and in fact remain unaware of each other’s existence. I’d prefer to keep it that way, if it’s okay with you. Thanks.

The Hangover

SIDE ONE

 1. Calling out in transit (4:05)

Sam Anonymous had a drinking problem.

*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *

Brown vinyl of the sofa peeled with sticking sound from humid flesh of back and legs as he sat up. Pattern of raised swirls on the vinyl were reproduced on skin: corresponding incarnadine impressions.

2. Your hate: clipped and distant (4:30)

Low whistle of kettle rose in pitch and volume to climax in piercing shriek that unmoored the murmur of Sam’s thoughts. From tin of instant coffee he spooned quantity of dark powder. Hands shook slightly as he struggled to fill the cup with sour-smelling coffee. Scratched idly at the corner of one sleep-swollen eye: steadied himself against the counter. A ribbon of water lined the front edge of sink where he had sloppily rinsed the mug. When he pressed against the counter water seeped into the waistband of his boxers.

3. Martyred: misconstrued (3:58)

Her name was Violet McKnight. Five foot two in bare feet. Short hair dyed unnatural red swept back from lunar face: cranberry strands fell in her eyes when she made an emphatic gesture. Nose small, well-formed, eyes the color of root beer, narrowed to skeptical slits when challenged.

*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *

Spitting toothpaste into sink Sam noticed with equanimity that the spent paste was streaked with blood from his gums.

4. Not everyone can carry the weight of the world (3:24)

He was twenty-nine years old. In February he would be thirty.

5. Inside the moral kiosk (3:32)

A wave of nausea broke and receded. Sam hunched forward on the couch. Palpating his cheeks: annoyed by growth of stubble. Counting backwards could only manage four days before the fog of elapsed time refused to lift.

6. Shoulders high in the room (3:30)

Weaving unsteadily down the street, he saw her outlined against the black glass of her bedroom window, body limned by a nimbus of yellow streetlight.

SIDE TWO

1. Did we miss anything? (3:55)

Sam yawned, stretched his arms, stood and heavily walked across the room to turn over record. Returning to couch: revisited by a coil of his earlier nausea unwinding in his gut and feathering upwards through his chest. Unsnapped the cap from a plastic bottle on the table next to alarm clock, shook two aspirin into his hand, placed them with thumb and forefinger carefully in back of mouth, and swallowed with effortful gulp.

*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *

What use is experience without memory?

2. We could gather: throw a fit (3:18)

One thing at a time: watching Violet bend towards him by light of a guttering candle.

3. All nine yards (3:05)

Scratched his hair in imitation of thought. Hoisted himself off the couch and began sorting through pile of clothes on ugly square of brown-and-white carpet.

Love is a crazy and unkempt thing that grows like a wild weed in the heart. It will suffer the cruelest attempts at eradication with quiet strength, and will take root and prosper in even the stoniest soil. True love, like true art, admits no moral influence. Had he read that or was it original?

4. Shaking through: opportune (4:30)

In frustration he ripped the front buttons and stripped off the shirt: left hand got tangled in the cuff: which he had abstractly buttoned moments earlier: and pull as he would: flap as he might: the shirt refused to let go. Sat down on the couch: head in hands, the tattered shirt trailing to the floor like captured flag of some defeated army.

5. Up the stairs to the landing (3:01)

World adheres to stringent rules of form and content: these rules, Sam knew from prolonged contact with books, were not frangible. Just as a story must have beginning, middle, end, so a soul must have one body to inhabit. Proliferation of the soul’s forms would mean rewriting rules of human contact.

6. Long gone (3:17)

The wind picked up and there was a smell of rain. Sam buttoned his overcoat with reddened fingers. The tips of a succession of telephone poles flecked the sky on the far side of the broad avenue: up one of these scrambled two squirrels.

Dark tracery of oak limbs: russet and orange and mustardy leaves: cold rain-scented air: combined to form an impression of remote beauty that reinforced and focused his sense of longing.

Continued past a brick house, windows ardent with citrine light. Fragrant gray smoke curled from its chimney: leaves of a silver poplar fluttered in the wind, undersides flashing white like a flock of luminous moths: from thick tangle of azalea bushes came sounds of a small animal scrabbling for food or shelter.

Fine rain needled his face but he did not mind the wet because in his heart he carried a word —finally! — that was the word he needed. He held the word before him like a lighted candle to ward off the rain, and the cold, and the black despair of night as he walked towards Violet’s house.

The excellent online litmag Metazen has seen fit to post on its site a story that I wrote. The story is actually part of a chapter from my next novel, which has a title, but the title is a secret. If you have any interest in the shape or tenor of my next novel, you can go read the story here.

If you don’t have any interest, then I suggest you do something useful, like the dishes. They’re not going to wash themselves, you know.

Recently, rooting through my garage, I came across an old Polaroid JoyCam which must have been given to me sometime in the early- to mid-90s. I also found several cartridges of very old and poorly stored Polaroid film. So I figured I’d see what would happen if I tried to use the old camera with the old film. Here are some of the results:

The Dirty Poet, Emergency Room Wrestling, Words Like Kudzu Press

Jesús Ángel Garcia, badbadbad, New Pulp Press

Ben Tanzer, You Can Make Him Like You, Artistically Declined Press

Tom Williams, The Mimic’s Own Voice, Main Street Rag

Patrick Wensink, Black Hole Blues, Lazy Fascist

First, I have to apologize. I’m not in the habit of reviewing books, and I’ve long since grown out of the bad habit of reviewing music, because it’s not one of my strong points. I’m a very bad critic. I’m likely to resort to shop-worn formulations and insights that would make a ten year old cringe and whisper “The banality! The banality!” in a strangled voice to her slightly older brother as they sit quietly reading their Kindles on a rainy day, slumped against couch cushions on the floor of the living room in their parents’ summer house in Kennebunkport, Maine (I figure the kids must be rich if they both have Kindles.)

Second, I have to apologize. Each of the books I’m going to briefly mention deserves a much longer review than I have time to write. While it’s true that I’m a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and further true that I might one day write a longer review of one or more of these books for that newly-launched and well-regarded endeavor, the backlog of reviews over at LARB central is such that anything I have written for them and might write in the future will necessarily appear many months from now. That’s not a bad thing, and in fact one of the operating principles of LARB is that it revels in sometimes reviewing books that are not exactly current, but in the meantime, I thought a few short lines of praise about a few books I read recently couldn’t hurt.

Third, I have to apologize. Readers of North of Onhava should be aware that I know most of these authors, with one exception, and that I am on friendly terms with all, excepting that same one person. I haven’t met all of the people I know in person, yet, but these days that’s less and less necessary. While I make every effort to maintain a costume of objectivity, occasionally the mask will slip, because I don’t look in the mirror when I write. Probably nobody looks in the mirror when he or she writes, except Tao Lin, and even then he looks in a mirror that’s not a mirror but approximately a mirror, and no one else should try to write in an approximate mirror, in my opinion. He’s got that covered.

On to the books, in alphabetical more or less alphabetical (except apparently I can’t spell) order:

Emergency Room Wrestling is a short book of poems by someone who calls himself The Dirty Poet. His poems are not dirty in an obscene way, unless you consider death obscene, or gallows humor in the face of death, or the grim truth of human suffering, or laughing about the grim truth of human suffering. In that sense, Emergency Room Wrestling could be called obscene and The Dirty Poet an obscene poet, but that would be misleading. In fact these poems are documentary in nature, and I suspect cathartic (I hope cathartic) for The Dirty Poet. A graphic description of flesh-eating bacteria devouring the scrotum of a 400 pound patient opens the book, as the narrator of the poem helps three nurses insert something called a “rectal trumpet” whose purpose I would rather not consider just now into the struggling and howling overweight patient. It’s a shocking image. I think it’s meant to shock, but also to draw you in, to see what other horrors await. The poem is called “you think you need a beer” which is a good example of the way The Dirty Poet uses humor to offset the brutal truth of his poetry. But there’s tenderness, too—depthless, unrelenting—as in “dead end,” where a father struggles to come to terms with his son’s near-fatal car accident. He tries to thumb wrestle with the kid’s “large, limp hand,” his thumb “hopeful in a hopeless world.” And on and on, alternating by turns in short, sharp poems that are sometimes cynical, sometimes forlorn, sometimes despairing, sometimes numb, sometimes funny, and always arresting. The Dirty Poet stands at the gate between life and death and watches. I don’t know how he does it. The book is not long, but its power far exceeds its modest presentation.

I cannot do justice to a work as ambitious and multifarious as Jesús Ángel Garcia‘s badbadbad in one paragraph. I can’t even accurately summarize the plot without taking a cleaver to at least one or two of the novel’s limbs. On one level, it’s about a guy named Jesús Ángel Garcia who works by day as webmaster for the First Church of Church Before Church, and by night as a kind of online sexual healer. In less accomplished hands, even that level of quirk could curdle, but Garcia is a vigorous and hugely talented writer, so when he goes off on even more far-out tangents (one could make the argument that the whole book is a series of tangents, and I’d maybe agree, and say that’s not a bad thing), you follow. You don’t have much choice. It’s a little like this: you’re walking along a deserted desert road, and a beat-up old Ford pulls up next to you. The driver offers you a lift. You accept. It’s both the best and the worst decision you ever made in your life. At the end of the ride, you realize the driver is you. A soundtrack and a series of short films accompany badbadbad, and the experience of reading the book is not complete unless and until you listen to/watch the bonus material. Garcia aims, if I interpret his intentions rightly, to unsettle your assumptions about class, about gender, about sex, about religion, about identity: in short, about yourself, and what it means to be human in an inhuman world.

Ben Tanzer‘s ambitions are less lofty. He just wants to make you cry. In You Can Make Him Like You, which unfortunately is a song by The Hold Steady, from an album called Boys And Girls In America, released in 2006. It’s a not-great album by a fitfully competent band, but I’m not going to judge Ben’s book by his taste in music, however much he wants me to. Tanzer writes with endearing frankness about the kind of postponed adolescence that most Judd Apatow characters go through in Judd Apatow movies, except Ben is more honest, and his dissection of his character Keith’s emotional oscillations is both more precise and funnier than anything in Knocked Up, for instance. (I really hope Knocked Up is a Judd Apatow movie, or this review is screwed.) Ben’s also wiser about the different ways people deal with the maturation process. His characters can be self-centered and dense to the point of unlikability, and yet you still like them, because (perhaps most importantly) you recognize them, or yourself in them. I think the magic trick Tanzer pulls off here has something to do with unsentimentality. His prose is clear-eyed and dead pan, even if his characters are more dead pan than clear-eyed, and the trip from confused-scared-selfish but basically large-hearted guy to confused-scared-selfish but basically large-hearted dad will plaster a goofy grin on your face by the time you finish the book. Those are not tears, that’s just something in my eye, but thanks for asking.

Tom Williams’ novella The Mimic’s Own Voice is an act of mimicry itself. It purports to be a semi-scholarly monograph about a talented and hugely popular mimic named Douglas Myles, whose meteoric ascent—at the height of his popularity Myles “plays” to football-stadium-sized audiences—and subsequent disappearance from public life parody the similar trajectories of (to name just a few) J.D. Salinger, Andy Kaufmann, Scott Walker and so on. And so on. Williams himself never breaks character, and the result is an absorbing meditation on fame, race, show business, the mystery of inspiration, the absurdity of life, and a bunch of other stuff, too, but you get the idea. That Williams is able to cover so much ground so deftly within the confines of a novella is a testament both to his own tremendous talent and to the underrated possibilities presented by the form itself. (Though Melville House has taken an admirable step in the direction of rectifying that situation with its relatively budget-priced novella series.) The Mimic’s Own Voice is as close to a perfect book—meaning perfect on its own terms, with respect to intent, execution, textual integrality—as I have read in many moons. Or however you count time.

Patrick Wensink is not a weird guy, at least I don’t think he is, in my limited experience, but he has a decidedly twisted imagination. His second book (second that I know about, anyway) and first novel (his collection of short stories Sex Dungeon For Sale I can also recommend without reservation) is about an aging country music star named J. Claude Caruthers and his twin brother, Lloyd, a physicist. When I say “about” I mean that those are two characters in the book, which is told variously from the point of view of both Caruthers, J. Claude’s guitar, a tour bus, a particle of energy, a sandwich, and on and on, all of whom are given distinctive voices and personalities over the course of a novel wherein Lloyd accidentally creates a black hole that threatens to destroy the universe, while J. Claude struggles to write the last in his alphabetically comprehensive series of songs about women, “Zygmut,” who turns out—and really, who didn’t see this coming?—to be J. Claude’s and Lloyd’s long-lost sister. I would tell you more, but I don’t want to, and I don’t think I need to. Black Hole Blues is a trip, and one I think the reader is better off taking without particular guidance. At least from me. Bring your spirit animal, if you want. We are all lucky that Wensink decided to turn his talents for good. As an evil mastermind he could wreak some serious havoc.

“Photography is unclassifiable because there is no reason to mark  this or that of its occurrences; it aspires, perhaps, to become as crude, as certain, as noble as a sign…. Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.”

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Sometime last winter while I was driving at 140 km/ hour from Point A to Point B there occurred a sunset I couldn’t resist, and I took a silly risk to shoot these pictures.

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Everything that was invented has to be reinvented, for instance: the sound of waves slapping wet rocks in the dark. We once called this night rote. We also used the phrase heart murmurs. If you look carefully you’ll see that this isn’t appropriate or necessary. You’ll see instead track marks, not on your arm but in the damp sand or [other] — a piper birdly walking the sine wave’s edge; a squirrel rattling down tremulous branches in the hot wind.

I have an urban confession: cars make me proud because I don’t understand them. I’m proud of everything that runs when you want, stops when you can; mechanical reactions to a muscular prompt. Because it proves that Fielding was right, and Burton, too: right. There’s a line in the song that goes “Bumps a lot, bumps a lot,” crushed now to cinders, heaped in ashy piles, a volcano of mistakes. “Wrong again, wrong again, come along home.” How we count the days, how we tear back pin-holed roof and radiate the sky. The slick approaching your shore is a hit-and-run kiss, and don’t say you had no idea, because we’re fraught with ideas. Cop-killer bullets: your idea. Crib death: idea. Why insist on throwing rotten apples at the apple tree? You’ll only make the squirrel happy, and the piper tramping through the muck has nothing to do with your lousy aim.

An empty house, close to the ocean, windows open to admit the breeze. From everything I’ve confessed there’s no reason it should not be clear that we are summer. There’s a book, and in the book there’s a set of rules, and these rules have a purpose. To ease you down the hill. To show the best route to the worst driver.

Thomas Quin doesn’t care how you arrive, only that you arrive, and he doesn’t care how you’re dressed, you can dress like a fruit tree, a dandelion, a Ford Fusion, the angel of history. Tel que tu es, in better words. He’s flush with ammo, and the minute you reach the barbed wire, he’ll butcher your best ideas. Bits of your body will be strung along the line, lifeless. Like pulpy diamonds, like organic melons eaten inside out by maggots. What remains of what was you he will scoop and use to fertilize his land.

On that land grows nothing like an idea, and there is peace, and fields of rape-seed.

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Because it’s his birthday. Although I don’t really need an excuse to post this video. It is eloquence its own self.

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Just out, and free for download (though if you want to pop for the printed version at $45 I’m sure no one will complain), Zaporogue #10, a wonderful anthology edited by the formidable tri-lingual (at least) writer Sébastien Doubinsky. This 261 page edition contains work in English and French by luminaries like Vanessa Veselka, me, Anne-Sylvie Homasse, me, Lisa Thatcher, me, Matt Bialer, me, and many more, including me.

You can download it for free in the popular PDF format by clicking here. You will not regret doing so. Or your money back (see, that’s funny because it’s free so I don’t have to give you any money back).

The Los Angeles based creators of  a weekly podcast called Hugs & Disses, which is a name I am informed they made up all by themselves, were kind enough to ask me on their program this week.  I traveled to their sumptuous headquarters in Echo Park where they somehow managed to cajole me into talking about myself for almost two hours. Can’t think of a single reason anyone wouldn’t want to hear that.

Apart from me, that is. On the list of things I don’t like to do, “listen to the sound of my own voice” is very high, somewhere near “look at pictures of myself” and “eat glass.”

But if you’re interested in hearing me talk about whatever we ended up talking about, including but not limited to my novels, Guided By Voices, films that I have written, and enema porn, you can go here and satisfy your curiosity. While there, you should be sure to subscribe to the podcast, because it’s a weekly deal, and I’m sure all of the other episodes in the series thus far are more interesting than the one featuring me. Many thanks to the H&D crew for extending the invitation.

Our essay writer provide university students with interesting academic papers in a short time | Professional essay writers provides university students with informative academic papers | Spero Thero

More press about me talking about myself can be found here.

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