If I could I would steal every pudding cup and give it to my friend Barry because I firmly believe he is the greatest human on earth and I like to see him happy.
Sorry but if you were like well then what the hell am I going to do when I want some pudding I would laugh a half inch from your face.
Hahahaha, like that.
Really you shouldn’t worry though because the kind of guy Barry is, he’d keep maybe a few cases for himself and then share the rest with everybody.
Maybe even you, even though there is a 99.9999 (sorry, no clue how many 9’s but you get the idea)% chance you don’t know him.
A little sad for you but I see you’re coping.
P.S. One time we were watching this amazing running back return the ball all the way from the 1 yard line and I made an okay joke about how that guy probably has that on TiVo and watches it all the time and Barry imitated the football player watching that footage in bed and he mimed jerking off and said loudly: “Niggaz can’t catch me!” and I laughed the hardest I’ve ever laughed and I still crack up inside every time I think of this and am very positive that I will for the rest of my life.
WHEN YOU FEEL INSECURE CALL IT SATAN THEN ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO LET HIM WIN.
WHEN YOU FEEL ANGRY CALL IT SATAN THEN ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO LET HIM WIN.
WHEN YOU FEEL FEAR CALL IT SATAN THEN ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO LET HIM WIN.
WHEN YOU FEEL DESPAIR CALL IT SATAN THEN ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO LET HIM WIN.
IF YOU EVER FEEL LIKE DYING CALL IT SATAN THEN ASK YOURSELF IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GIVE HIM YOUR SOUL.
LOS ANGELES, CA
Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Location: Skylight Books
Address: 1818 N. Vermont AVE Los Angeles, CA 90027
I’m always excited to return to Skylight Books, and they throw a damn good party, so if you’re in LA come down and say hello. SICK CITY is knee deep in the slime of LA’s underbelly, so this would certainly be an appropriate place to check out a reading from it. Hell, maybe some of the people I based characters on will be sitting next to you. (If you’re REALLY unlucky, that is…)
Blazing portrait of Brian Jones by Jack Shelley in Issue Eight of Paraphilia, "an unlicensed, underground enterprise that renounces established and arbitrary rules, regulations, guidelines, genres, categories, and all other manmade shackles." Yep.
With the Rolling Stones on Ed Sullivan in 1966:
With the Master Musicians of Jajouka in Morocco in 1969 (art by William S. Burroughs):
I have no novel in me.
I have no desire to write a novel.
I don't even like reading novels. (Yes! I said it! and I'll say it again!)
Is my resume going to continue to get longer with odd jobs that in no way prepare me for a future as anything other than the crazy aunt that lives in my nephew's basement and works at Cinnabon?
Am I, writer of short stories, destined to go the way of the Milkman?
as a survivor of more than I could
ever hope to explain, I understand
very little: pain, how little
our thresholds really mean
and loyalty (taught by omission)
so I have no real words for
saying I love you other than
to say if anyone ever hurts you
in my presence, though you
know these battered streets
at least as well as I, I will hurt
them worse, I’ll fight on
all fours and use my teeth
I’ll scar them inside and out
so the world will know
"The seductive, sly, smart fictions in Anne Germanacos’s debut display a remarkable range. These astute stories investigate matters personal and public, religious and political, physical and psychological—all in a language that’s forthright and clear, yet wonderfully allusive as well. Germanacos’s tales tackle big questions about the making, keeping, and risking of love. Ultimately, they interrogate selfhood: can it stand up to the questioning? We need this kind of rigor and playfulness—and candor."
--Martha Cooley, author of The Archivist and Thirty-Three Swoons
"Anne Germanacos takes us into a rich mythic and poetic world and crafts an astonishing array of characters in a dreamscape that ignites imagination and vision and compels us to see far beyond the ordinary and the mundane into an extraordinary range of human emotion. She is a gifted storyteller whose inventiveness with both language and form will transport and amaze."
--Michael Krasny, host of KQED's Forum, author of Off Mike, A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life
“In In the Time of the Girls, Anne Germanacos has hammered the solid of expected form to disclose the fine fracture lines that map how it really is—between men and women, women and women, myths and memories…The echoing narratives convey a rich, mysterious flow of possibility, and a sense of ancient energies pushing up into the ongoing present.“
--Sven Birkerts, author of My Sky Blue Trades: Growing up Counter in a Contrary Time
"Germanacos’ inquisitive eye scans the landscape from rural Greece to urban San Francisco. Her haunting, compressed narratives are as elegant and detailed as Persian miniatures. The gods live in these rich tales, and so do 21st century wives and husbands, sons and daughters, priests and artists."
--Louise Steinman, author of The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War
"Anne Germanacos’ literary form defies traditional classification—bridging prose and poetry—it must be experienced. Each piece is a small gem. Her cavalcade of human beings—their emotions, their worlds—is arresting, haunting, memorable."
--Howard Gardner, author of CREATING MINDS
The Dutch newspaper BNDeStem and NOS TV have confirmed the passing of another major artist of the post-war generation – composer-improviser, saxophonist and band leader Willem Breuker – who died at his home in Amsterdam at 65 after a lengthy illness.
A pioneer of the European “free jazz” movement of the past four decades – first with the Instant Composers Pool, then more (in)famously with his long-running Kollektief – Breuker combined the compositional elegance and big-horn punch of the Duke Ellington Orchestra with a commitment to zany fun unmatched in the often sober jazz world. His rare homebrew of quick-shifting arrangements, world-class musicianship and wacky sense of humor echoed both vaudeville of the late 19th century and downtown NYC of the late 20th. We’re talking highbrow concept with lowbrow appeal, serious music that didn’t take itself too seriously, entertainment that twisted the Book of Jazz inside out.
Even among the anything-goes virtuosos of the Dutch avant-garde, Breuker stood out as a master musician with an insatiable appetite for a variety of idioms, from evocative film soundtracks (in the tradition of Rota or Morricone) to simple-seeming yet subversive classical harmonies (Satie, Chopin) to exuberant collective improvisation (from N’awlins jazz to klezmer). He distilled groundbreaking musical styles across genres and generations into a one-of-a-kind amalgam that made him a cult hero among free thinkers around the world.
So why am I yapping then. Big debate over who owns the e-book rights to publisher's backlist catalogues. Since e-books didn't exist when the contracts were negotiated, they should be fair game, right? That's not how this is gonna work though. Major publishers are playing harball. Refusing to work with anyone who doesn't forfeit e-book rights.
Whatever fuckers.. I have no opinion except all this shit makes me wonder why artists even create art and why publishers publish it if they're all gonna act like a bunch of assholes. I know the answer is money, but fuck.
Here's what they're saying over at The New York Times
“The stakes are very high for publishers because the business is migrating substantially to e-book format,” Mr. Gottlieb said. “Some publishers are expecting 50 percent of their total sales by 2015 to be in the e-book format. A good percentage of a publisher’s income comes from backlist titles. And if they don’t have the rights to digital rights to their backlist titles, that’s a very substantial financial hit.”
Winner of the Rose Metal Press Fourth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest,
Judged by Dinty W. Moore
In We Know What We Are, worlds are made, torn apart, drowned. The stories go small: a girl ties a ribbon on a present. The stories go big: a war is raged against the evening sky. The characters in these thirteen short short fictions find themselves in less-than-desirable circumstances. They know their plights. They acknowledge their situations. They give in. They overcome. They daydream a world where everything will be all right.
“The concise stories in this dynamic collection are bursting with moments of stark urgency and un- expected humor, with imagery that moves seamlessly from the bizarre to the oddly familiar, and situations that shift from the ludicrous to the undeniably sad.
Mary Hamilton’s fiction is dream-like, precise, fresh, unexpected, cumulative, delightful, and at times, incantatory. She is a tenacious writer, working each word, each sentence, each image, the way a carver works the stone. It is fun, and fascinating, to see where she goes next.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire
Mary Hamilton is a writer, teacher, and optician living in Chicago, where she is also the co-host and co-founder of the QUICKIES! Reading Series. Her work has been published by Smokelong Quarterly, Storyglossia, Pindeldyboz, Eclectica, Dogzplot, and Thieves Jargon, among others, and has been included in the Best of the Web anthology. She blogs about inspirational sports movies at inspirationalsportsmovies.blogspot.com.
Founded in January 2006 by Abigail Beckel and Kathleen Rooney, Rose Metal Press is an independent publisher of literary works in hybrid and hard-to-classify genres. Recent books include a book of linked prose poems Tinderbox Lawn by Carol Guess, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field, edited by Tara L. Masih, and The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice, edited by Gary L. McDowell and F. Daniel Rzicznek. Rose Metal Press runs an annual chapbook contest for manuscripts of short short stories.
And he said "Yes."
So I call "Nick" that night. Shaking and nervous and all high school angsty. And I ask him to the dance and he says, "I have to say no."
That's what I think about the Paris Review kerfuffle. The Paris Review is "Nick" in case you didn't catch on.
Sometimes, hurting people's feelings should be called out. I'm glad people on the Internets got pissed about it and I'm glad they said it out loud. It's kind of like when "Lisa" and "I" "TP'd" "Nick's" house.
Written by a legitimate 6th grader on a Saturday afternoon, two days before it is due when he'd rather be playing Xbox Live with his friends.
Imagine a world where the measure of success is failure to disturb. Let’s curb our impulse to bother, to impact with our presence, everyone and everything. Let’s pretend we’re not here. Let’s disappear.
First, we’ll need to check out, lock our keys in the car, push the car off a cliff. Smell the burning down there? It’s the scent of our need to disengage. And we will: no more ignition, connection, innovation, invention. Let’s be done with all -tions. Verbs speak louder. Let us be.
Now: abandon, let go, leave behind the folly of four walls, electric lights, shit-swirling commodes. No soap, no clothes. The muck will shelter us with new skin as we worm into the earth, naked, not needy. In no way will we utilize any resource, so-called, for personal gain ever again. Using is wrong. There is no “I” anyway, and so nothing to have or to be had. We will not produce nor consume. As is. Ever was.
Now’s the time to act, but do not interfere. Now, let. Limit to this: Zero Emission. No, no -sions! Stop thinking. Listen: do not emit. Function protonaturally, as before the first sharpened stone. Rewind. Revise. Start over. This means end first, then not begin but be. Bisect the excess, reduce syllables, conserve breath. Start over.
The same as not being.
“There’s so little difference, in the end, between a bag of oranges and a body, when both are spoiled.”
Decay is our birthright. There is no time. Hunger dissipates. Teeth are an ornament. Are you listening? Let’s go all the way back. We don’t need tongues to hear. Understand? Then bury this book.
James Kaelan's We're Getting On is a dark comic story about scaling back one's carbon footprint to the extreme.
You may have seen the 26-year-old author's bare-chested cover shot for Poets & Writers, one of the only magazines 'for writers' that matters.
You may have heard about the brilliant promotional tie-in to this novella -- Zero Emission Book Project -- Kaelan's 1900-mile West Coast reading tour on a two-wheeler (with pedals) from L.A. to Vancouver. He's in Sacramento tonight.
You may want to order the book with its first-edition seed paper cover (bury it and see what happens) from Flatmancrooked.
Or you can read another boring review of it.
Sleepless. Dizzy. Driving too fast in twenty minute shifts, barely closing my eyes when it’s my turn to rest. Dirty Trouble, sitting shotgun, scribbling sonnets on the back of a Taco Bell wrapper, whispering hymns to a woman somewhere in Tupelo he’ll never meet. Philly Red, asleep in the back, drunk on stolen saki and ouzo, his head pressed hard against a stack of our books we'll peddle later at the book fair. There’s chewed up chicken in the puke on a sidewalk in Brooklyn below the passenger side door where we slept the night before and its baby back brown and no one lets him forget it. We make it to Buffalo an hour after we should but the city is hardened and forgiving. We eat soulless chicken wings and drink free Yuengling pint after pint and head back to Brooklyn, ninety dollars richer, but still unconvinced.
You accuse me of being incapable of wrapping my head around objective rubrics, I need this explained to me again. You want to make subjectivity objective?
I don’t want us to go down this way, but this is a fight worth making, this is a place where we are just gonna part ways, cupcake. I don’t want to go down this way, but this talk’s gotta die.
run, run from the toxic
she said as she nibbled her
celery and carrot sticks
looking at me with a kind
of kindness I’ve only
read about in books
martyrdom’s not on
the calendar anymore,
you’ll only poison
no one wanted it to be born, least of all it
it came out of her vagina, literally ripping
her poor sore walls the whole way out
it bit the doctor’s hand and infected him
with AIDS, it bit the nurses too but some-
how all they got were STDs
it gnawed at her nipples for blood and
curdled her milk with the power of its
mind, it shit everywhere no matter
how many diapers she strapped to its
ass, it turned angry purple all the time
and vomited even stranger colors
it ate that vomit, laughed at the horror
on her face, it fucked other babies in the
ass every time she made a play date
it grew faster than any baby in recorded
history (it had a cancer for a heart)
it ran off on all fours into the dark-
ness, surviving on bad thoughts and dirt
only to come back demanding malt liquor
and grain alcohol but that
was just the beginning, it broke into
random houses for crack, heroin, crystal
meth and angel dust, for gallons
of acid, then tripping harder than any
afterlife could ever even dream of it went
on a six day killing spree ending
hundreds of animal and human lives
and on the seventh day:
it asked for you.
But even if there seems nothing more to be said, isn’t perhaps the individuality of the writer important?
Very important to himself. Everybody else should be too busy with the work to care about the individuality.
I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.
Is there any possible formula to follow in order to be a good novelist?
Ninety-nine percent talent . . . ninety-nine percent discipline . . . ninety-nine percent work. He must never be satisfied with what he does. It never is as good as it can be done. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
Do you mean the writer should be completely ruthless?
The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.
Then what would be the best environment for a writer?
Art is not concerned with environment either; it doesn’t care where it is. If you mean me, the best job that was ever offered to me was to become a landlord in a brothel. In my opinion it’s the perfect milieu for an artist to work in. It gives him perfect economic freedom; he’s free of fear and hunger; he has a roof over his head and nothing whatever to do except keep a few simple accounts and to go once every month and pay off the local police...all the inmates of the house are females and would defer to him and call him “sir.” All the bootleggers in the neighborhood would call him “sir.” And he could call the police by their first names... My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.
What technique do you use to arrive at your standard?
Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.
If you think America has cornered the market on Joke Rap featuring Puppets, then you've got another thing coming...
Poland had made itself heard! In related news, PIEROGI!
Four minutes before the start of his gig this man received a phone call telling him that they found his dog Sam that he is not getting laid off from his nine to five that the bank isn’t taking his house after all that his son’s eyesight is coming back in his one remaining eye that his dad’s heart surgery was successful that the second set of tests all came in negative that his daughter has been found safe, three states away, scared, shaken up, slightly damaged but alive and that his wife’s cancer has gone into remission. It was the best gig he ever had and all you could think of was how crazy stupid this old man DJ acted while playing music for your dumb wedding reception.
a piss, I noticed that, well,
in the world of aviation, men
must be fighter jets & women
are the bombers. Men strafe
guns & dog fight, crash at all
cost--sincere protector. We’re
bawdybrawn as the poetry of
postwar Homers; they are our
Polybius, our Herodotus, they
are the beginning & the end of
all that’s to come & the few
that won’t ever be because we
are nothing more than a flying
bag of tracer bullets awaiting
bombardiers to grow their pair
& drop those last-laughs snug-
gly beside schools & hospitals.
These were just confirmed today, so I haven’t yet had a chance to contact the contributors who expressed interest in attending the events, but I’m pleased to announce that two locations have been secured for this November’s release of the Hint Fiction anthology. These were my first choices, and I’m very happy that everything worked out.
November 3rd Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, and November 10th McNally Jackson in New York City. Much fun will be had at both locations, so make sure to get your travel arrangements in order now.
Also, here are two more blurbs for the anthology:
“Some of these stories suggest entire novels in just few words. So, in this small book, you have a whole library. It’s reading at the speed of light.” — Robert Shapard, editor of Sudden Fiction and Flash Fiction
“The stories in Robert Swartwood’s Hint Fiction have some serious velocity. Some explode, some needle, some bleed, and some give the reader room to dream. They’re fun and addictive, like puzzles or haiku or candy. I’ve finished mine but I want more.” — Stewart O’Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster and Songs for the Missing
Melanie was a folk singer who pulled a fast one on the stupid idiots who lived in the seventies by releasing a one-hit wonder called, “Brand New Key”. It came to be known as, “The Rollerskate Song” but it should’ve been known as the “Melanie is a big fat stalker whore song.”
“Oh, isn’t that precious! She’s singing about rollerskating! Listen to the happy ass piano and the jaunty guitar riffs and her sing-songy voice!”
Let’s not look at the obvious; this song is about an obsessive slut whore.
Let me break it down for you.
I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I rollerskated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone, but you got something I need
Okay, first of all, can you say, STALKER?!!! She takes her bike, not her car BECAUSE CARS ARE LOUDER THAN BIKES! (This bitch is SMART!) AND she bikes past his WINDOW! Not just his house, but his friggin’ window! I mean, who does that?
THEN, if night-biking wasn’t enough, in the morning, she ROLLERSKATES to his house; let’s get Seth and Amy here for a second: “Really? You roller skate to his house when it’s daylight? Really? How early are we talking? Crack o’ dawn? Did you run into the paperboy? Did your bike get a flat because you ran over something IN THE DARK last night? Walking too bourgeois? Really?" Wow. Your enthusiasm is impressive, I must say.
“It almost seems like you’re avoiding me…” PAHAHAHAHA! No. Why would he be avoiding you? He loves when chicks use their younger sibling’s modes of transportation to stalk him. Your restraining order is in the mail.
You don’t sound like you are okay alone. If you were okay alone you would be roller skating in your driveway or riding your bike to 7-11 to get a Slurpee or an Its-It or something. You wouldn’t be BOTHERING THE FUCK OUT OF THE DUDE IN THE HOUSE.
Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think the dude made a mistake in telling you about his new key. Although, he was probably just being polite and trying to curtail your crazy because you probably jumped out from behind a bush like the nutty chick fan on Flight of the Conchords and he was like, “Oh fuck, not this crazy bitch again.” And you were rambling about your new roller skates and how you guys should go break them in and what not and he was like, no sudden movements and he probably even promised you he’d bring his key so you could try out your skates and crap just so you’d leave him alone.
But really, all of this brand new roller skates and key business is just a metaphor for sex. Her roller skates being ‘brand new’ means that she is a virgin. His brand new key means he is a virgin too. Getting together and trying them out is code for the verb version of the eff word. She’s been looking around awhile means she’s been honing in on the dude she wants to take her cherry.
It’s all so obvious.
I ride my bike, I roller skate, don't drive no car
Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far
For somebody who don't drive
I been all around the world
Some people say, I done all right for a girl
This entire verse is really the whore cornerstone of the song, the “whorenerstone” if you will. What she is trying to tell you in her ‘save the earth, screw toxic emissions’ way, is that she is a virgin. She is so proud of not driving (screwing) yet she’s, “been all around the world”. Um. This means she gives every input BUT the babymaker. She “doesn’t go too fast, but goes pretty far”. Do you hear me now? The ‘some people’ that say she ‘done all right for a girl’ are all the dudes that took turns on her. She’s proud of her virginity (and I use the term loosely) but now she’s ready to give it to the key guy. SHE WANTS HIS KEY IN HER ROLLER SKATE!
I asked your mother if you were at home
She said, yes. but you weren't alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone, but you've got something I need
It’s obvious by this verse that his mom is not very fond of the rollerskating stalker and is helping out her son by inferring he is with another chick. The mom probably answered the door while holding a can of mace behind her back. Yes, you can safely assume he is avoiding you. Don’t just think this ‘sometimes’ just know this all of the time.
“I’m okay alone” probably is an allusion to masturbation.
Chorus, repeats. Add some la la la’s. etc.
I’m sorry. I just needed to get that out of my system. I felt I had to pull the curtain back. I feel better now.
And yes, I spend way too much time thinking about useless shizz like this.
Now, excuse me while I go rollerskating in my very old pair of skates that aren't brand new at all.
“Words like ‘tough’ and ‘honest’ don’t quite do justice to the fiction of Paula Bomer. These stories bleed, yes, but that’s because they brawl. The real housewives of Bomerworld break themselves and break your heart and yet never completely lose their soulful dignity.”
–Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask
“I love that Paula Bomer writes her characters into difficult situations and does terrible things to them. These stories contain a rare emotional honesty and brutality.”
–Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody
“I know I’m reading something really great when I have to stop and put the book down and think for a while before I can pick it up again. This is rare. It also happened at least twice per story in Paula Bomer’s excellent collection, Baby. Buy it, read it, put it down while you admire her skill and charm and honesty, and then pick it back up and continue reading. You might want to leave a page unread, just so it won’t be completely over, at least until she publishes her next collection.”
–Mary Miller, author of Big World
I’m not alive in the sense that a dog or lion (even in a zoo) is alive.
I’m not sure how to explain the mechanics of why I am not alive.
This could be a problem.
Here are some guesses:
I’m not alive in that every morning I take the whole world
and bash it against my skin until I’m purple, or even worse
I just wake up that way, and have nothing to say that day.
I’m not alive in that most of who and what I am is already
safely buried under an abandoned candle factory.
I’m not alive in that I never taste my soup.
I’m not alive in that, ah forget it.