oh god im drunk as shit

I know I'm new here
but I gotta say
this community is bullshit

but before I rant about that
I need to thank every legitimate writer I've met so far
who writes because they need to
and every editor who actually reads
instead of just scanning publication credits
because you've taught me everything

but these fucking pretentious
circle jerking assholes, who are
more concerned with who to suck up to
and who will publish them because of it
than giving people credit for what they have to say
and loving what they do
you're shitting all over

and you writers
with your your cheesy bio's
laundry lists of every place you've ever been
self deprecating remarks
begging for compliments
internet personas
full of fake coffee shop sadness

it's not even your fault
you know that these snobby, elitist editors
won't even look at your work unless
you've already broken the barrier
with some other snobby elitists first

because if you're unpublished
you're just going to get formulaic rejection forms
in return for something
you poured your heart into

until you find some journals that don't even read your bio
or care about your reputation
until after they've read your work

I don't want you to think I'm writing this
because I think I don't get a fair shake
I'm actually pretty sure all the rejection letters I get
are because the submissions weren't all that good

I'm writing this because
I think some of these
writers, poets, humans
don't get any honest attention to their work
because of this schoolyard popularity contest mentality
and don't receive honest critiques
from their peers or people 'in the scene'

so I gotta tell you:

I don't read your bio
I don't care where you've been published
if you're good, I'll show off your work
I'll probably even read your blog
but don't publish me because
you want me to do the same for you

tell me my poem sucked
and if you got time, tell me why
even if you want in on amphibi.us

because I promise you
I find it more insulting
to publish me
just because I call myself an editor
and can get you a few more hits.



Actor Comics Presents #1 Variation A
Century, 1-Sep-2006

Fall 2006; Cover A by Joseph Michael Linser

The Day the Superheroes Quit; The Final Ka-Boom?; Dreamland Chronicles; The Mice Templar; Dirty, Pretty, Everlasting Things; I Know Everything; Hypothetical Cerebus and the Necronomicon Monks; The Sacrifice; My Hero; Puppets; The Wild One; Comes the Creaper!; For the Love of Barbara Allen; Mr. Oblivion; My Hand to God: True Tales of HORROR from the Convention Trail; No Rodeo Dough; Spot; My Favorite Super Hero

Writers: Jim McLauchlin, Stan Lee, C.B. Cebulski, Al Nickerson, Nicola Cuti, Scott Christian Sava, Bryan J.L. Glass, Danny Jalil, J.C. Vaughn, T. Casey Brennan, Ron Marz, Dick Ayers, William Messner-Loebs, Troy Hickman, Roy Thomas, Dan Wickline, Jerry Hinds, Mark Waid, Paul Dini, Tom Defalco, Frank Shaskus, John Gallagher, Scott Richard Kurtz, Charlie Novinskie

Artists: Joseph Michael Linsner, João Lemos, Joe Staton, Scott Christian Sava, Michael Avon Oeming, Bryan J.L. Glass, Jerry Hinds, Brendon Fraim, Brian Fraim, Dave Sim, Victor Santos, Dan Jurgens, Dave Simons, Dick Ayers, Dick Giordano, Rodolfo Migliari, Dave Alvarez, Julio Molina-Muscara, John Gallagher



(photo - Jacob Knabb)

Check out LINDSAY HUNTER's interview over at BIG OTHER. RYAN BRADLEY asks her some questions about her book DADDY. I'll give you a little something something here then just click anywhere on any of the words to read the interview in its entirety.

RWB: Obviously you don’t shy away from overt sexuality or bizarre sexuality in your stories, which would seem to purport a comfort level with things of a sexual nature (even if not to the degree your characters are). What do you think has shaped your openness to writing this sort of raw material that others might shy away from?

LH: I’m extremely comfortable talking about sex. I pretty much take for granted that everyone is just as comfortable reading/talking about it as I am. To me, sex is a core form of communication in literature. It’s a way of showing without telling (yep, I just said that). I almost can’t help writing about it sometimes. I think, though, that the reason I feel such permission to lay it all out like that is because I’ve had incredibly supportive audiences over the years—whether it be professors or peers or people I’m reading to at Quickies!—if all those people told me to take it somewhere else, I’d probably be writing technical manuals about C++ and frosting liquid cheese onto Velveeta cubes in an apartment with curtain walls.



This song is my Friday night mind whistle:



October Reading:
Sunday, October 24th, 2010, 5pm
The Neutral Zone
310 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor

Donald Ray Pollock
Donald Ray Pollock
grew up in southern Ohio, and worked in factories for thirty-two years. His first book, Knockemstiff, won the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Award.

Kim Chinquee
Kim Chinquee
is the author of Oh Baby and Pretty. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

Barry Graham
The National Virginity Pledge
Barry Graham teaches at rutgers university and he wrote the national virginity pledge.

Scott McClanahan
Scott McClanahan is the author of Stories and Stories II (published by Six Gallery Press). His other works include Hillbilly, Stories 5!, The Nightmares and Crapalachia (all forthcoming)



Winter 2010 Curbside Award Opportunity

We are happy to announce the first ever Curbside Splendor short story award opportunity. It’s limited to short stories of between 1,000 and 4,000 words. We want to see urban-themed stories, however interpreted. The top three (as judged by our editors) will receive the following awards:

1st - $250

2nd - $150

3rd - $100

The top three entries will be featured in our first print journal due out early 2011 and may also be published online. All entries received will be considered for general publication.

Submission deadline is November 30, 2010. Recepients will be announced in December. Please send to submit@curbsidesplendor.com and include “2010 Award Opportunity Submission” in the subject line. Include a short bio. All entries should be included as an attachment (word, rtf – no pdfs), and should be double-spaced. See the following link for our general submission guidelines.

We’ll also continue to consider general submissions of poetry and prose during this period. We’ll try to alternate our award opportunities between prose and poetry.

Sorry, but only submissions received between now and November 30 will be considered for the awards. If you’ve already submitted and are still waiting for a response, feel free to submit a new piece for the award.

Thanks for writing. Cheers to the small presses.



Today is 10.19.2010

Our own Barry Graham and Donora Hillard are celebrating birthdays.

They turned old (if you were wondering).

Here is a pic of young b putting the moves on an unsuspecting sugar bird:

& here is a pic of young d looking all alone and emotional:

Please thank them for existing. They are both worthwhile human beings and fucking rad writers.




With a piece of the sidewalk nailed behind my face, I'd still find a way to lift my face.

With a piece of the sidewalk nailed behind my face, nothing would change.

I'd still lift my face and keep it off the ground.

I'd still change nothing.

With two lives I would use the first to figure out how to make the next one even worse.

Do you believe me.

We can meet in the corner of space where people forget to check--where I do things I have to do with my eyes closed.

The fifth orgasm rips the groin the bestest and I am a beautiful human.

I eat jewelery and give nothing in return.

And youth is the thing that keeps ending.

Unlikely future.

No one has to protect the animal with the big jaw from the cross-eyed palsey holding a bb gun.

The cross-eyed palsey with the bb gun threatens nothing.

The ground will get cold soon and I'm waiting to be there, to freeze with it and be cold until the sun tries its best to get beneath and cook me.

I actually feel ill with how negative I have become. But I don't have any negative feelings about the carpet in my apartment.

And I don't have any positive feelings about cleaning it.

I only have interest in continuing to rub my feet on it then sending electricity through my nose to my roomate's cat's nose to give my roommate's cat braindamage (hopefully [wink wink]).

All things keep ending.

Do you believe me.

SP, Frowns Need Friends Too, 2009


The wonderful thing about Wojtek is that though he had the body of a bear, he had the heart of a man


PANK forced out a new baby. Tim Jones-Yelvington guest edits. He explains the issue here. Don't be like Brandi Wells, don't be a dick, don't ignore this issue. Please go read it.

In support, a picture:


This is literary:



Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer hits bookstores on November 1st here in the United States, and to celebrate, we’re having a contest!

First, what is Hint Fiction? Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story — “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” — Hint Fiction is a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story. The anthology features 125 stories by writers worldwide, including such luminaries as Joyce Carol Oates, James Frey, Peter Straub, and Ha Jin. Here is what people are saying already:

“The perfect story collection for all of us with too little time on our hands is a brilliant reminder of the magic that happens when you string the right words together. A must-read for anyone who is or wants to be a writer.” — Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of House Rules

“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

The anthology is currently available for pre-order at:

W. W. Norton
Amazon (USA)
Amazon (CA)

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

You can follow Hint Fiction on Twitter, “like” it on Facebook, and even add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

Now what’s the Ultimate Flash Fiction Package? These eight wonderful anthologies of course!

Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer
Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories
Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories
New Sudden Fiction: Short-Short Stories from America and Beyond
Sudden Fiction International: 60 Short Stories
Sudden Fiction (Continued): 60 New Short-Short Stories
Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America
Micro Fiction: An Anthology of Fifty Really Short Stories

The total cost for these eight books is $120.00, and it can all be yours.


By simply linking back to this contest. Put it on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Then paste the URL in the comments section of this post (if on Facebook or any other password-protected site, paste your profile URL). The contest runs until midnight, October 31st, EST. A winner will be picked by random and notified by e-mail and announced here November 1st. Five runners-up will receive a copy of Hint Fiction.

Have fun!



Another Chicago Magazine has a BLOG!

We at ACM are in the midst of several huge projects, one of which is radically enhancing our website, which means more online content! We'll be posting archives, online only poetry/fiction/cnf/reviews/photos, and other wonderful stuffs. And we wanted to post here at Thirdface to let ya'all know about it.

But, most importantly for now, what we want to tell you about is that we're blogging! That's right, blogging. You might ask yourself, what benefit would it be to me to go to that new ACM blog? Why would I consider it RSS-worthy? My feed is already so cluttered as it is!

Well, friend, I am here to tell you that you can find such splendorous things at our blog! Oh yes! And slanderous too! Why, just two days ago we composed a dirty limerick! And you know that you like dirty limericks. I'll even include it here so you can see the delights awaiting you when you click through and start following along with the continuing adventures of ACM!

ACM's Dirty Limerick:

There once was a bellhop named Royster

Who fancied his woman an oyster

With his cock he did swirl

To recover her pearl

In the end she could not have been moister


An Old Man Walks Away in Defeat

Why do I find myself sitting here at 3:30 in the afternoon, stinking and unshowered, yet tearing up over this photograph of Bobby Cox, 69-years of age, humbled one last time in the post-season, taking the long walk back to the locker room after his beloved Braves are eliminated by a vastly superior opponent? Is it because I know that he ended up moments later, standing in the home team’s locker room, weeping uncontrollably, incapable of delivering his final goodbyes to his players? Is it because I want to tell myself that time is impermanent and fickle and erodes all while at the same time actively believing that some things will not change, that the Atlanta Braves are Bobby's team, and always make the Playoffs, and always lose in some crucial way, that Bobby’s teams plow through the regular season on the backs of an unending series of Hall of Fame pitching staffs and line-ups filled with all-around athletes, and those games are called by Skip Carey, and Skip is half-cocked and cracking wise about the horrible movie slated to follow that night's game?

See I know that it's not possible, even in my most irrational moments such as now, weeping openly in a greasy pair of scrubs, for this to always be. Skip Carey died in 2008. His death was particularly moving in its own way: his wife, Paula, thought old Skip was napping, and she found herself looking out of a kitchen window to admire her yard, then noticing a bird feeder not hanging where it should have been. Paula decided to go outside to put the feeder back in the tree where it belonged, thinking it had been blown down by the wind. When she stood up, she noticed her husband lying there on the ground next to the fallen bird feeder. And that was the end for Skip Carey. He never could overcome his alcoholism, a family tradition for the Careys, and in the end he gave up the ghost like we all do ultimately, his heart stopped pumping, but he did leave his mark, and in my mind I can still hear his deadpan voice, articulating the movements of Ron Gant chasing a flyball across the outfield of old Fulton County Stadium, or Chipper Jones, blasting a rare home run while hitting righty, or teasing Don Sutton about something he'd said earlier in the telecast.

I'm certain that Skip's is but one voice that Bobby heard echoing in his mind as he wept in front of a room full of 20 and 30-something-year-old ballplayers, many of them also powerfully moved by the end of an era, by the team's elimination from the post-season, by what could have been if only certain things had broken their way. For Chipper Jones, one of the best third basemen to ever play Major League Baseball, a lifelong Brave who’d always played for Bobby Cox, it was just too much to take silently. Chipper's career is also likely over, ended by an unexpected injury. He too stood crying uncontrollably, and later said there hadn’t been a dry eye in the place. Others may have been mentally planning dinner that night or deciding if they should go on vacation as planned or perhaps to begin training earlier in order to win it all next year. There may even have been some who perhaps never cared much in the first place about Bobby Cox and who simply intended to remain quiet and wait the whole thing out due to a sense of propriety and politeness. In the end it is probably all of these things. In the end it is probably more mundane. But in the end, they all wept for Bobby.

In the end, baseball is not a poetic pursuit. It is not an artform, despite how we may choose to poeticize it with our words, articulating the ineffable characteristics that comprise a hero like Stan Musial, painting and sculpting our feelings about 'Stan the Man' as we come to terms with what his legend means. In the end, baseball is not an intellectual arena, despite how we may ponder and study the game and intellectualize it with our application of game theory to show what choices reveal the ideal strategy for victory or how statistics might afford us a glimpse into what truly makes a player like Stan Musial so impressive in the end. Baseball is neither of these things. It is a game, played with bats, balls, gloves and bases. It has complex written rules and a slew of unspoken ones as well, but the primary goal is to beat the opponent more often than not, the ultimate goal to crush the opponent, to step down on his throat and to never let up once you’ve found yourself in the position to win, to choke the life out of those that stand in the way of victory. It is stark and it is pitiless, but it can also be graceful and it can sometimes feel transcendent. There are moments of great power and breathtaking beauty, but there is always an end to every game, an end to every season, an end to every career.

So now it seems that the end has come for Bobby Cox. And now the time has come for an old man who must walk down a mud-dappled hallway, who must take off his uniform -- the poly-blend jersey and leggings, the stirrups and cleats -- who must hang them up one last time. He must give his postgame talk to his team and then he must field questions from the press. He must address his feelings about this season and he must talk of his plans going forward. And then he must go about the rest of his life. Ultimately, he must go about dying. I have no idea what thoughts really lingered in the minds of those left in the room after the manager had composed himself and said his piece. I have no idea how those who watched him leave the building and vanish into the October gloaming will remember what they've seen.

I wasn’t even there so I will never know, and even had I been my understanding would have been far from complete, but it strikes me at this moment of writing down my thoughts that the thing about this photograph of Bobby Cox that is so emotionally stirring to me is the aptness of how it captures time. Memory always turns away from us, always walks away from us, with head-bowed. Despite how we might follow along behind, convinced that we can capture that memory, that we can own that moment, that it will always be there in our minds, it still flickers, still tumbles from our grasp, still trudges off into the unknown. And this is why we cry when we see beauty. And this is why we laugh when we see pain. We know on some level that we will remember what we are seeing inaccurately if at all and our bodies are revolting from our intellects, are throttling our better selves with emotions too powerful for us to contain. They leap out of us despite what we may wish for them to do and they overwhelm our rationality. And so in this way we experience the world and we store sensations both powerful and mundane and perhaps one day they all come screaming back to us, perhaps one day the levee breaks and we are flooded. Perhaps one day we feel that we are done with time, but we are foolish if we neglect to realize the ultimate fact for us all, the fact that time is never done with us until we too fade into the dusk.



A metaphor:

In other news, Donora Hillard used the word CUNT on Chicago public access radio. I am very proud of her.


Thing Language

This ocean, humiliating in its disguises
Tougher than anything
No one listens to poetry. The ocean
Does not mean to be listened to. A drop
Or crash of water. It means
Is bread and butter
Pepper and salt. The death
That young men hope for. Aimlessly
It pounds the shore. White and aimless signals. No
One listens to poetry.

-Jack Spicer


If you're in Philly on October 16th come to the BODHI CAFE at 7pm for a kick ass reading with Philadelphia legends, Randall Brown, Matt Blasi, and Chris Bullard. And hosted by Daniel Wallace. Afterwards, it's my birthday party bitches, so follow us across the bridge for some birthdayness.

All info should be in the flier up above, but if you want / need / crave more info, send me an email.




The palm creases on a human hand are always just wide enough to hold in the air of a tightly surprised mouth.

And you don't have to do anything but have nothing to do.

And every place is a place to be a flesh-colored outline.

The trick is to leave the flesh-colored outline every place the people look for you.

The trick is to smell like everyone else.

It makes me happy to look at myself in a car window when I walk by and say, "Hey bigshot."

And I guess explaining something to someone else is the worst.

Being in a well-lit room is never comfortable do you agree.

Ok so start enjoying the fevers rather than changing them.

Sometimes I confuse myself for a discoloration on the ground.

And I have never told anyone the truth about anything.

I am peaceful in-vitro.

I am starting to think this laughing is too big for the mouth.

Too wonderful to be an individual human body weighing just enough to never unfasten from the ground.

But me is ok with using my mouth like a fan to push away the smell of a dead idiot.

Good luck to everyone alive right now.

I mean that.

And all parents are criminals and all parents are inside me.

I drop dead as a greeting.

The willingness to be good increases in me as I get more and more tired and then gone when I wake up in the same mood but a person completely different.

The people you never meet, they are unpolished trophies um.

I don't really believe that.

But it hurts to have a face that can show other people how much it hurts to have feelings.

Crouch down and cover your face and you still waste everyone's time.

I crouch down and cover my face but the laundry is still not done.

I need to settle down.

I wear a bathing suit for underwear and celebrate having a head that holds a face that hurts to have when it has feelings that something else is always eating and wearing the same clothes is the only thing that makes me happy.

The problem with accomplishments is that it takes at least you or maybe someone else to keep calling it an accomplishment.

I don't mean to interrupt but I like how my face looks in the scope of your rifle or through the peephole of your place when you're acting like you're not at your place.

SP, Frowns Need Friends Too, 2009



not literary related, no. but! fucking awesome related, yes.


He's On His Way!

A few days ago I placed an order with a website that sells books.
This was my first order with this site.

Today I received probably the cutest shipping notice that I’ve ever received from an online retailer EVER.

Here it is:

Hello xTx,

(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)

Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

But hey, enough about me, I've been asked to brief you on a few things:


Eagerly awaiting our meeting,
(name of book I ordered)

So charming!

BetterWorld Books says they “collect and sell books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than six million new and used titles in stock, we’re a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for all our stakeholders. “

Maybe check them out.


I need a full-length feature film of # 3. Please.