Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The blog continues ...

To make a complicated story very simple, this blog was suddenly hijacked and knocked out of service on November 17, 2006 for the period of a week. For that reason and others -- upon returning, this blog has a number of strange bugs and problems -- my blog is being continued at a new location. Use the link to find it, or go to:

Friday, November 17, 2006

David Ehrenstein presents Lorenz Hart Day

“Behold the way our fine-feathered friend
His virtue doth parade
Thou knowest not, my dim-witted friend,
The picture thou hast made.
Thy vacant brow and thy tousled hair
Conceal thy good intent.
Thou noble, upright, truthful, sincere
And slightly dopey gent”

That’s the verse to the greatest song ever written. Among the greatest renditions; Lee Wiley, Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker,
Matt Damon, and Nico.

Written in 1937 for Babes in Arms (the all time “Hey gang, let’s put on a show!” show) and introduced by Mitzi Green, “My Funny Valentine” was an “up” tune. But not as sung by itself outside of the context of that show, and not by everyone else who has sung it since then. It reflects the sweet melancholy of its author.

According to his Wikipedia entry Lorenz Hart (1895-- 1943) “struggled with his own homosexuality in an era when such a lifestyle was socially unacceptable and with alcoholism, which eventually contributed to his death.” Nonsense of course. There were no “lifestyle’s” in Larry Hart’s era, and being in show business he was surrounded by fellow gays and fellow drinkers. But at five foot nothing, balding and with the face of a Frank Loesser bookie, Larry Hart’s “presentation of self in everyday life” didn’t evoke romance. As the song goes that he wrote in 1942 for By Jupiter --

“Nobody's heart belongs to me,
heigh-ho, who cares?

Nobody writes his songs to me,
no one belongs to me.
That's the least of my cares.

I may sad at times,
and disinclined to play,
but it's not bad at times,
to go your own sweet way.

Nobody's arms belongs to me,
no arms feel strong to me.
I admire the moonas a moon
just a moon

Nobody's heart belongs to me today.”

I say he wrote it, rather than composer Richard Rogers because Hart’s words were the key to their collaboration. And a curious collaboration it was -- Rogers having the soul (and keeping the hours) of a Connecticut banker, and Hart never being around him much -- given as he was to drinking, gambler, fucking and rushing in at the last minute with a completed verse.

They met in the early twenties, gaining success with tunes for The Garrick Gaieties. The first and most striking of these --

“Summer journeys to Niag’ra
And other places aggravate all our cares
We’ll save our fares!
I’ve a cozy litte flat in
What is known as old Manhattan
We’ll settle down
Right here in town.

We’ll have Manhattan
The Bronx and Staten Island too
It’s lovely going through
The zoo
It’s very fancy
On old Delancy street you know
The subway charms us so
When balmy breezes blow
To and fro
And tell me what street
Compares with Mott street in July?
Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by
The great big city’s a wondrous toy
Just made for a gril and boy
We’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy

We’ll go to Greenwich
Where modern men itch to be free,
And bowling green you’ll see with me
We’ll bather at Brighton
The fish you’ll frighten when you’re in
Your bathing suit so thin
Will make a shellfish grin
Fin to fin

I’d like to take a
Sail on Jamaica bay with you
And fair Caanarsie’s lakes we’ll view
The city’s bustle cannot destroy
The drams of a girl and boy
We’ll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy

We’ll go to Yonkers
Where true love conquers
In the wilds

And starve together, dear
In “Child’s”
We’ll go to Coney
And eat balony on a roll
In Central Park we’ll stroll
Where our first kiss we stole
Soul to soul
And “”
Is a terrific show they say
We both may see it close someday
The city’s clamor can never spoil
The dreams of a boy and goil
We’ll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy

We’ll have Manhattan
The Bronx and Staten Island too
We’ll try to cross fifth avenue
As black as onyx
We’ll find the Bronnix Park express
Our Flatbush flat, I guess
Will be a great success.
More or less
A short vacation
On inspiration point we’ll spend
And in the station house we’ll en
But Civic virtue cannot destroy

The dreams of a girl and boy
We’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy”

Sounds charming, doesn’t it? But charm wasn’t what Larry Hart was about, as is clear with this number from Peggy-Ann (1926)

“Troubles really are bubbles they say
And I'm bubbling over today
Spring brings roses to people you see
But it brings hay fever to me
My luck will vary surely
That's purely a curse
My luck has changed,
Yes, it's gotten from rotten to worse
Where's that rainbow they hear about?
Where's that lining they cheer about?
Where's that love nest,
Where love is king ever after?
Where's that blue room they sing about?
Where's that sunshine they fling about?
I know morning will come,
But pardon my laugher!
In each scenario
You can depend on the end
Where the lovers agree.
Where's that Lothario?
Where does he roam, with his dome
Vaselined as can be?
Oh, it is easy to see all right
Ev'rything's gonna be all right
Be just dandy for ev'rybody but me.
In each scenario
You can depend on the end
Where the lovers agree.
Where's that Lothario?
Where does he roam, with his dome
Vaselined as can be?
Oh, it is easy to see all right
Ev'rything's gonna be all right
Be just dandy for ev'rybody but me.
Oh, yeah, I see that rainbow
For everybody but me.”

And in Curtis Hanson's film Wonder Boys, lecherously intrepid agent Robert Downey Jr. tracks down the object of his affection, Toby Maguire, through the Rogers and Hart song 'Glad to Be Unhappy,' as sung by the great Lee Wiley.

In short Lorenz Hart sang about climbing out of the pit of hell and peering anxiously up into the light.

Stephen Sondheim, who certainly should know better, once said Hart “wrote an ironic love song. And then he’d write an ironic love song. And then he’d write an ironic love song.” Zip it, Miss Thing! It took you half a century to write a love song that meant anything -- “Where Have You Been All My Life?” for Bounce -- a show you’re currently re-writing. Let’s hope it stays in. What you’ll never be able to write is something like the following from Present Arms (1928)

“I'm a sentimental sap, that's all
What's the use of trying not to fall?
I have no will, you've made your kill
'Cause you took advantage of me!

I'm just like an apple on a bough

And you're gonna shake me down somehow
So, what's the use,
you've cooked my goose
'Cause you took advantage of me!

I'm so hot and bothered that I don't
know my elbow from my ear
I suffer something awful each time you go
And much worse when you're near

Here I am with all my bridges burned

Just a babe in arms where
you're concerned
So lock the doors and call me yours
'Cause you took advantage of me.”

And that’s not to mention this one from Simple Simon (1930):

“He was too good to me how can I get along now
So close he stood to me
Everything is all messed up and wrong now
My baby would have brought me the sun
Cos making me smile that was his fun

When I was mean to him he didn't say go away now

You see I was his queen to him
Who's gonna make me gay now
It's only natural that I'm blue
He was too good to be true

I said he was too good to me how am I ever get along now

So close he stood to me
Everything's all messed up and wrong now
He would have brought me the sun and the moon
Cos anytime I left him it was too soon

When I was mean to him he didn't say go away now

I was his queen to him who's gonna make me gay now
It's only natural said it's only natural that I'm so blue
He was too good to be true”

Besides the stage Rogers and Hart wrote for the movies -- most spectacularly in Love Me Tonight, which you can sample here, and which produced this gem

“I've never met you, yet never doubt, dear;
I can't forget you, I've thought you out, dear
I know your profile and I know the way you kiss,
just the things I miss on a night like this
If dreams are made of imagination
I'm not afraid of my own creation
With all my heart, my heart is here for you to take
Why should I quake? I'm not awake
Isn't it romantic?
Music in the night, a dream that can be heard
Isn't it romantic?
Moving shadows write the oldest magic word
I hear the breezes playing in the trees above
while all the world is saying you were meant for love
Isn't it romantic?
merely to be young on such a night as this?
Isn't it romantic?
Every note that's sung is like a lover's kiss
Sweet symbols in the moonlight,
do you mean that I will fall in love per chance?
Isn't it romance?

My face is glowing, I'm energetic
The art of sewing I found poetic
My needle punctuates the rhythm of romance
I don't give a stitch if I don't get rich
A custom tailor who has no custom
is like a sailor, no one will trust 'em
But there is magic in the music of my shears
I shed no tears, lend me your ears
Isn't it romantic?
Soon I will have found some girl that I adore
Isn't it romantic?
While I sit around my love can scrub the floor
She'll kiss me every hour or she'll get the sack
and when I take a shower she can scrub my back
Isn't it romantic?
On a moonlight night she'll cook me onion soup
Kiddies are romantic
and if we don't fight we soon will have a troupe
We'll help the population,
it's a duty that we owe to La Belle France
Isn't it romance?”

And then there was Hallelujah I’m a Bum in which the great Al Jolson relaxed on screen for the first time to intone the lovely --

You are too beautiful
my dear, to be true
and I am a fool for beauty
fooled by a feeling
that because I had found you
I could have bound you to me.
You are too beautiful
for one man alone
one lucky fool to be with
when there are other men
with eyes of their own
to see with.
Love does not stand sharing
not if one cares
have you been comparing
my every kiss with theirs?
If on the other hand
I'm faithful to you
it's not from a sense of duty
you are too beautiful
and I am a fool
for beauty.”

Similar incisive simplicity can be found in this number from Jumbo (1935)

“My romance
doesn't have to have a moon in the sky
My romance
doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by
No month of May
No twinkling stars
No hideaway
No soft guitar

My romance
doesn't need a castle rising in Spain
Nor a dance
to a constantly surprising refrain
Wide awake
I can make my most fantastic dreams come true
My romance
doesn't need a thing but you.”

Hart found even jauntier notes in this number from The Boys From Syracuse (1940) , a vaudeville-inspired rendition of A Comedy of Errors that in turn inspired A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, by a jealous queen whose name escapes me at the moment.

“This can't be love, because I feel so well,
No sobs, no sorrows, no sighs.
This can't be love; I get no dizzy spells,
My head is not in the skies.

My heart does not stand still, just hear it beat.
This is too sweet to be love.

This can't be love, because I feel so well,
But still I love to look in your eyes.

My heart does not stand still, just hear it beat.
This is too sweet to be love.

This can't be love, because I feel so well,
But still I love to look in your eyes.
Still I love to look in your eyes”

But he returned to bittersweet form in 1940 with this number from Higher and Higher :

“Once I laughed when I heard you saying
That I'd be playing solitaire
Uneasy in my easy chair
It never entered my mind
And once you told me I was mistaken
That I'd awaken with the sun
And ordered orange juice for one
It never entered my mind
You had what I lack, myself
Now I even have to scratch my back myself
Once you warned me that if you scorned me
I'd say a lonely prayer again
And wish that you were there again
To get into my hair again
It never entered my mind
Once you warned me that if you scorned me
I'd say a lonely prayer again
And wish that you were there again
To get into my hair again
It never entered my mind

And that same year produced Pal Joey, the first (and possibly last) truly adult musical and arguably Hart’s masterpiece. It was about a gigolo. Among its great songs, this one recently done to great effect in The History Boys.

“After one whole quart of brandy
Like a daisy, I'm awake
With no Bromo-Seltzer handy
I don't even shake
Men are not a new sensation
I've done pretty well I think
But this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink
I'm wild again, beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I
Couldn't sleep and wouldn't sleep
When love came and told me, I shouldn't sleep
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I
Lost my heart, but what of it
He is cold I agree
He can laugh, but I love it
Although the laugh's on me
I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And long, for the day when I'll cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I
He's a fool and don't I know it
But a fool can have his charms
I'm in love and don't I show it
Like a babe in arms
Love's the same old sad sensation
Lately I've not slept a wink
Since this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink
I've sinned a lot, I'm mean a lot
But I'm like sweet seventeen a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I
I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I
When he talks, he is seeking
Words to get off his chest
Horizontally speaking, he's at his very best
Vexed again, perplexed again
Thank God, I can be oversexed again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I
Wise at last, my eyes at last,
Are cutting you down to your size at last
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more
Burned a lot, but learned a lot
And now you are broke, so you earned a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more
Couldn't eat, was dispeptic
Life was so hard to bear
Now my heart's antiseptic
Since you moved out of there
Romance, finis.
Your chance, finis.
Those ants that invaded my pants, finis.
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more.”

(Harold Lang, star of the 1952 revival of "Pal Joey" with boyfriend du jour Gore Vidal.)

It was no more Larry for Richard Rogers by the mid-forties when he broke with his unreliable and increasingly dead-drunk lyricist and joined forces with Oscar Hammerstein to write a series of hit shows that while far from negligible are the polar opposite of the ones he wrote with Hart. Yet after Hammerstein’s death Rogers on his own wrote the music AND lyrics to No Strings -- a brilliant show about a white American novelist’s affair with a black American fashion model in a racially liberated Europe. In every way it was a séance in which Rogers was evoking (with striking success) the spirit of Larry Hart.

But that spirit hasn't died. Robert Altman, for one, built a major dance sequence around Hart's arguably most famous song in his 2003 film The Company. And that spirit will never die as long as we all can sing --

“My Funny Valentine
Sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart.
Your looks are laughable,
Yet you’re my fav’rite work of art.
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak,
Are you smart?
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day.”

I’d like to end the proceedings on an up note with a number from The Boys From Syracuse -- that I find myself singing every time I think of the state of American politics.

“There was an old zany who lived in a tub;
He had so many fleabites
He didn't know where to rub.
He kept looking for an honest man
Said "I'm gonna find him if I can"
If i could meet Diogenes today,
This is what I'd say:

Oh, Diogenes!
Find a man who's honest!
Oh, Diogenes!
Wrap him up for me
Oh, Diogenes!
Find a man who's stolid-solid
Hook that fish if he's in the sea
Hunt him! Trail him!
Catch him! Nail him!
If he is free
Have you got your stick?
Have you got your lantern?
Can you do the trick
And produce him, please!
Catch that fellow!
Ring that bell,
Oh, Diogenes!
p.s. The mighty david ehrenstein has pulled through big time today, as I'm sure you'll agree. Do give him your response. I sure learned some stuff from this. At the risk of possible own horn horn tooting, I'd like anyone to name another blog that pays tribute to Slayer and Lorenz Hart in the same week. Bizarre. I don't really have anything of note to report on my end, so I'll just move to your, end, so to speak. ** Jw veldhoen, Interesting. Well, hm, I read what you wrote a few times, and looked at your blog, and my potentially faulty conclusion is that your post is dense with irony. If I'm wrong, and you're being serious, you seem fully intelligent enough to imagine the unsatisfying response I'd give you. So I guess I'll leave it at that. I will say you have an interesting blog, though that might not be much of a compliment coming the likes of me. ** Joe mills, If you do, tell Suspect Thoughts I sent you. Hm, I guess I should quit smoking, huh? I won't cut down, though. Nobody I know who's ever tried that has been successful. It's all or nothing for me. On Alyson, well, at least two people who post here have published books with Alyson, but I don't know if they'll feel comfortable in-putting on that subject. I only know Alyson as a reader. They've done some excellent stuff as well as a lot of what I consider junk. David Gest has to be about as low as it gets on the celebrity scale, and of course he's on a reality show. Good God. ** Bacteriaburger, I read two of your porn stories -- the Burger King one and the 69/rimming one -- and liked them a lot. It's not very often at all that I'm reading porn and getting happily distracted by how good the sentences are and how economical the prose is. I also read 'The Bee Is Me,' which I like a whole lot. Beautiful. Consider me a fan, and I look forward to reading more. Oh, if you don't mind me asking, when you write for places like Handjobs, what kind of edit do you get? If you are edited, is it at all a literary kind of edit? How free do they let you be? I mean, is there a formula they expect porn stories to follow -- A+B=C -- or is it looser than that? A lot of questions, sorry. I'm just curious. ** Photi, Hey. Yours a great list too. I didn't know Night Boat or Factory School, so big thanks for those turn ons. I love all those presses you mention too. Have you published with any of them? How's your Paris trip planning going? Etc. ** Perspects, Oh gosh, I can see how my sentence/tone read as teenage-level bait. If so, it was unconscious. I was just spinning off tosh's post without calculation. If I did bait, I'm sorry because, really, no one is going to hear that tape. I don't even know where it is. In some box. On your novel/blog question ... I don't think the blog has affected the novel problem. If anything, I think math is probably right that it'll only help when or if I find another novel to write. Like I've said, I'm seeing this blog as my big project. It's my new novel in the sense that I'm trying to make it my own, something original and valuable, and think of it as an artistic form that I'm working in, and so far it's still a really interesting process to me. And of course this unexpected community has formed here, and that's really something because a novel doesn't do that. Yeah, sure, sometimes it's a chore, but so's writing a novel. An obligation? Once in a while when I'm feeling really burnt out on ideas, it sort of feels that way, but not entirely, and it's more that when I'm not in the mood I think of it as a form of discipline. A vacation: it's inevitable. I won't always have the time or handy internet, but I think the vacation time will find me not the other way. I think it's okay. I might go down to only posting five days a week at some point. We'll see. Thanks, I. ** David ehrenstein, Thank you thank you for today. And, on Shadow Morton, did he do other really top work aside from The Shangri-Las? The only other work by him that I can think of is his production on the second New York Dolls album, but I'm assuming he must have done a lot of work in the 60s, no? ** Tosh, Oh, thank you for the support, sir. ** 5stringaphasia, Yury speaks Russian, English, and French. ** Mark, Interesting question about Redonnet. People here often ask me what contemporary French fiction writers I like, and I always have to say that not many get translated, but among the ones I like a lot are Marie Redonnet. And the response has been a kind of thoughtful pause and then an, 'Oh, yes, she's very good,' which I have interpreted as indicating that she's not a big deal here, not a writer on the tips of literary people's tongues, but that she is respected. The only other thing people have said is that they think her earlier work is better, but then I tend to interpret that kind of response as meaning, 'I haven't read her recent work, but I'd rather not say that I haven't.' So that's all I know so far. But I like her work a lot, like you. ** Tony o'neill, I'll be very interested to hear your take on Amsterdam, my former home, yet a place I haven't been in a decade. Have an amazing time. ** Misanthrope, That's very nice of you to say, my friend. Funny, on your latest job guess. Yury really laughed when I told him what you'd guessed, and he's not a big laughter person, but rather a bit of a hardnosed young Russian cynic. I fear you'll be sorely disappointed by the blandness and obviousness of the answer. I love your guesses, though. ** Matthew, Thank you. That's incredibly nice. I read that piece of yours, 'Flashbacks,' on your webpage and liked it a lot. Very sharp. So thanks for it too. ** T.pkendall, Hey, there. Thanks for the project report. Very curious sounding. I'll try to get over to your blog and read the new writing asap. ** Katsim, Hey! I was wondering where you were. Nashville, huh. I've never been there, but I always imagine a super country music influenced place, meaning .... I don't know, cowboy hats galore and lots of steel guitar sounds floating on the wind? Thanks for the project. I'll put it on the permanent page. You sound good. ** Sypha_69, Sounds like we're in pretty much the same writer stage allright. I like your HP Lovecraft book idea. If you're not in a fiction state, why not? It definitely sounds very worth doing. ** Eddie b, You still at the writer's residency? Comedy's good. I thought there were things in your novels that were really funny, showed your touch for it. ** Brooklynserpico, Pollard's injury surely just means he's gonna go back to Dayton and record five new albums while he's limping around. Not a bad thing. ** Antonio, Am I surprised your course load is heavy on the female? No, I expect no less of you. What interested me in your list of classes, not surprisingly, is a little old class called 'Composition II Eng.' Please tell me this is a fancy name for a writing workshop, and that you've bitten the bullet and decided to flex your mindbogglingly great literary talent. Or don't tell me that if you don't want to. Anyway, you say all your classes suck, which would include that one, which is not a good sign, I guess. Tons of fake jewelry for you, dude. ** Math t, as I said to perspects above, yeah, I think the blog will only help lead me to whatever novel I write next, if I write another novel. I.e., i think you're right. ** Lost child, Thank you, pal. You don't have to be articulate about your projects, and your inarticulation is beauty. ** Blake, That's crazy you saw the films of those pieces. I'd love to watch those again. It's been forever. You know, since you offered, you could actually really help me out if you took any camera phone shots of 'Them' because I'm putting together a blog entry on that piece, and I don't have any pix from the piece itself. If you have any and could send them to me, that would be really great. If it's a hassle, don't worry about it. Thanks, man, and for the good words about the text. Speaking of Kevin Cridon -- it's actually spelled Creedon: I wish you could have seen him or I had a picture. Wow, pretty. ** Maria mcgregor, Thanks! ** Matt, Okay, I'll think up some questions and email them to you soon. I'm pretty easy to talk to, you wouldn't really have to sweat it. But, cool, Matt Day is now officially in the works. Projects can be anything, so your band is definitely a project, yeah. Good, more Matt-related stuff for your Day. Take care. ** Winter rates, Yeah, I know some of the work of Sun City Girls and definitely like it. Your curated Day would be most, most welcome. Anytime, whatever you want to do. Great. ** Nicehex, Excellent news about the meeting. Sure, send a still or two. You know, if you're game, I'd be totally into devoting a blog day/post to your film: stills, script piece, notes, whatever you wanted to share. Anyway, I just throw that out there, if the idea appeals. My address: ** Jheorgge, So now you've got me and probably others wondering what happened today post-big meeting. Can the opinions of the bright and few have had a real impact? Fingers crossed. ** David c, 'Frisk' might sorely test your love. We'll see. Gulp. Yury would love to model for D&G, but no. Apparently there's an unofficial but generally agreed upon height requirement for male models and Yury's height doesn't make the cut. That's what Yury says. ** Hedi, I would so welcome and value anything you have to say about Guyotat's 'Coma,' which isn't available in English, I don't think, and/or Lynch's 'Inland Empire.' ** Atheist, Please nick away at my blog. Pretty please. Trust me, it's a big compliment and honor from one so ultra-talented and wonderful as you. Anyway, anything you nick becomes yours. Your voice is only yours, a transformative force. ** Jax, Fuck, I really apologize for the boyfriend name mix-up. And please tell Tom I'm sorry as well that I hope he feels better. The name Circlet Press sounds very familiar. I'll have a hunt. You're so generous and helpful to the blog people with your suggestions and tips. It's really good of you. Best of luck on the weekend of treatment writing. I'll burn a imaginary candle -- that sounds really lame, wow -- and avoid walking on cracks and so on for you. ** Simon, Okay, will do. I was really sorry to read about Grizzly Bear's robbery and the other troubles. I hope you and they are okay. ** Dandysweets, Russia used to be included in the green card lottery, but no more, grr. But you should try it. Hopefully, if you win one, by the time you get over there, its evil empire phase will be on the way out. Have a good one. ** Geez, I'm posting this so late. It's been one of those days of endless phone calls and other interruptions. Late or not, I hope you enjoy david e's glorious fruit. See you.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My top ten American independent presses of 2007 (in no order) *

* I'm excluding Akashic Press and Void Books because I have working relationships with them, but they deserve to be here.

1. Dalkey Archive (Normal, Ill.)

Their thing:
Modern and post-modern literature

In the spotlight: Louis-Ferdinand Céline Conversations with Professor Y

"Here’s the truth, simply stated . . . bookstores are suffering from a serious crisis of falling sales.” So begins the imaginary interview that comprises this novel. Professor Y, the interviewing academic, asks questions that allow Céline, a character in his own book, the chance to rail against convention and defend his idiosyncratic methods. In the course of their outrageous interplay, Céline comes closer to defining and justifying his poetics than in any of his other novels. But this is more than just an interview. As the book moves forward, Professor Y reveals his real identity and the characters travel through the streets of Paris toward a bizarre climax that parodies the author, the critic, and, most of all, the establishment.

A few greatest hits:
Countless important books, but, to pick three, Ishmael Reed The Freelance Pallbearers, Robert Pinget The Inquisatory, Djuna Barnes Nightwood, ...
3. Fence Books (NYC)

Their thing: Experimental poetry and prose

In the spotlight
: Ariana Reines The Cow

To call Ariana Reines' poetry scatological doesn't even scratch the surface. "I COULD BE A DIAPER FOR THE DAY'S RESIDUALS," she writes, and, "She clasped the event to her and proceeded. Fucked her steaming/ eyehole and ended it." The Cow is a body in the way that texts are bodied—"Are you so intelligent your body doesn't have you in it."—but not in the way that allows the text to become desensitized, depersonalized, sterilized. Instead this text is filthy and fertilized, filling and emptying, filling and emptying, atrocious and politic with meaning. The Cow is a mother, a lover, and a murdered lump of meat, rendered in the strongest of languages. "I cannot count the altering that happens in the very large rooms that are the guts of her."

A few greatest hits:
Fence Magazine, David Brenner The Stupefying Flashbulbs, Michael Earl Craig Yes Master.
4. Semiotexte (NYC)

Their thing:
Fiction, theory, philosophy, poetry, visual art

In the spotlight: David Wojnarowicz A Definitive History of Five or Six Years on the Lower East Side

In the wake of David Wojnarowicz’s death, critic and cultural theorist Sylvère Lotringer undertook to track down all of Wojnarowicz's friends and former collaborators, such as Bill Rice, and Kiki Smith and Marguerite Van Cook, amongst others. Lotringer wanted to talk not just about David, but about the East Village cultural scene they'd created. Through their detailed and candid, sometimes lurid, often hilarious and profoundly moving accounts, the protagonists of the East Village art scene reclaim their history, on their own terms. Profusely illustrated with photographs and artworks by Gary Azon, Nan Goldin, James Romberger, Peter Hujar, Richard Kern, Marion Scemama, Andreas Sterzing, Tommy Turner and David Wojanrowicz, Five or Six Years tears open art history’s myth of the single Great Artist to reveal Wojnarowicz’s real life, and the real lives surrounding him.


A few greatest hits: Tony Duvert Good Sex Illustrated, Julia Kristeva Revolt She Said, Cookie Mueller Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, ...
6. Soft Skull (Brooklyn)

Their thing: Edgy fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic novels.

In the Spotlight: Alain Mabanckou African Psycho

African Psycho concerns a would-be serial killer, Gregoire Nakobomayo, and the spiritual relationship he has developed with his phantom mentor, a far more accomplished serial killer, Angoualima. The title recalls Bret Easton Ellis' infamous book but while Ellis' narrator was blank, and the book eschewed any kind of psychological exposition, accepting pure psychosis as the bottomline, Mabanckou's protagonist is all psychology and relentless internal chatter and prevarication. Although the gruesome descriptions that characterize crime fiction are many, it is Mabanckou's inventive use of language that surprises and relieves the reader by injecting humor into this disturbing subject.

A few greatest hits:
Lynne Tillman American Genius: A Comedy, David Ohle Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs Jr., Derek McCormack The Haunted Hillbilly, ...

7. Clear Cut Press (Portland)

Their thing:
Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art

In the spotlight: Robert Gluck Denny Smith

The stories in Denny Smith use events in the life of Robert Glück as a ground for the expansion of empathy and intellect. These events include burglary, sex, conversation, reading, humiliation, child raising, and porn. A teenage girl runs away from home and takes up with a pair of Bible-reading boys named after the Beatles; the theft of a shovel from a postal truck brings our narrator to an epiphany about his relationship with his father; the pleasures and sorrows of intimacy and betrayal are analyzed, obscured, abstracted, and reveled in. Self-absorbed, the stories are nevertheless profoundly communal. As William Burroughs said of Glück's earlier novel, Jack the Modernist, "in this book self-exploration is so precise it becomes impersonal."

A few greatest hits: Stacey Levine Frances Johnson, Matt Briggs Shoot the Buffalo, The Clear Cut Future, ...
8. Coffee House Press (Minneapolis)

Their thing: Fiction, poetry

In the spotlight: Paul Metcalf The Collected Works of Paul Metcalf

"Metcalf is an American original whose books are certainly not of the mainstream nor can they properly be called avant-garde. He has not written novels nor has he obeyed the distinction between fiction and non-fiction. His work might be termed poetry, but that, too, is inadequate. What we have here is a writer beyone category, and thanks to Coffee House we have him in abundance." --William Corbett, artsMEDIA

"Whatever history 'was' is made available through a tapestry of narratives collected from multiple sources and arranged in such a way that they cohere in the present day. The publication of Metcalf's Collected nothing less than an event one hopes library selectors will not be the only ones to notice." --Library Journal

A few greatest hits: Elaine Equi Decoy, Alice Notley Margaret & Dusty, Cris Mazza Dog People, ...
9. Roof Books (NYC)

Their thing: poetry, criticism, fiction

In the spotlight: Hannah Weiner Page

Hannah Weiner’s Page is the final, major, unpublished work of the notorious, clairvoyant poet who died in New York 1997. Completed in 1990, Page uses Weiner’s combination of family, TV cartoon, and high-art diction to weave a unique view of the individual interacting with society. The reader gets the sense that the poet is just barely hanging on, tenaciously, tenuously, and touchingly. Hannah has the ability to make you sympathetic and needy, exposing your humanity to you in every phrase. Hannah Weiner was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1928 and died in Manhattan in 1997. Page, completed in 1990, is the first posthumous publication of her work. Weiner's books include The Clairvoyant Journal, Little Books/Indians, Spoke, Silent Teachers/ Remembered Sequel,>/i> and We Speak Silent Her papers are housed at the Archive for New Poetry, Mandeville Special Collections Library, at the University of California, San Diego. Weiner's home page is located at the Electronic Poetry Center.

A few greatest hits:
Arakawa & Madeline Gins Making Dying Illegal, Ron Silliman The New Sentence, Kim Rosenfield Good Morning-Midnight-, ...

10. Seven Stories (NYC)

Their thing: Popular Culture, Human Rights and Politics, Media Studies, American History, etc.

In the spotlight: Dennis D. Loo & Peter Phillips Impeach the President

"An eye-opening, multi-layered indictment of the lawless rule of the Bush White House reactionaries. A well-edited, well-substantiated, an dwell-argued offering of hard-hitting truths that can serve as a manual for political action." -Michael Parenti, author of The Culture Struggle and Superpatriotism

“A looming, new totalitarianism--that is the warning here. Citizens who feel uneasy owe it to themselves to read this important book and think about how to exercise their responsibilities. Citizenship, truth be told, isn't easy, nor free.” -George Kenney, former State Department Official

"This important volume, contributing powerfully to the campaign for impeachment, must be welcomed by anyone concerned for peace, justice, and a truly democratic nation." -Howard Zinn, from the introduction

A few greatest hits: Ewen & Ewen Typecasting: On the Arts & Sciences of Human Inequality, Kurt Vonnegut Man Without a Country, Noam Chomsky 911, ...
p.s. I don't know if you guys think in terms of the publishing houses you like or are interested in, but I'd love hear your tips and faves inside or outside the United States. I think the rise of indie publishers is going to save a lot of great artists. Well, it already has. Maybe this post is a good one to follow up the projects report day since a number of you are working rather extraordinary sounding writing projects, and a safety net is always nice. Now, need I even say the projects that people are working on are so fantastic and impressive across the board? Back me up here: there wasn't one project that wasn't exciting and in serious need of existing in the world. You people never cease to astonish and inspire me. Those of you I know, and those of you who keep arriving. Incredible. There's no way I can give each project or progress report any kind of worthy response in the situation that this p.s. format and my life's time frame can allow, so just know I'm blown away. What I will do is set up a new link/page where the the progress reports and new projects will be permanently on display in the next couple of days. Thank you, guys. If you posted something that asked for a response from me, I'll do my best, but I'll have to be brief all the way around because I need to scurry through the Monday comments and answer any direct queries there as well. I'll do another progress report and call for new projects by the new people in a few months. Yeah, I just don't what to say. The hugest respect and supportiveness from me that you can imagine. ** (Monday) Atheist, There is suddenly some hope that my brother might have come to a few of his senses and will sign the agreement on my mom's will. But I'll believe it when I see it. He's talking the talk of someone who's realized he's acting irrational at least. My mom is not doing well at all. Pancreatic cancer doesn't give its victims a pleasant ending in any way. So she's still mostly lucid but is in ever-increasing pain and on ever stronger pain killers, and, well, I'm sorry to pass on such a downer, but it's just not an easy thing for her and consequently for us. It's all about just trying to make her as comfortable as possible and not knowing how long things will continue. Sorry, but since you asked, that's the story. I appreciate your asking. ** Tony o'neill, Just let me know, re. the publishers. The very, very best of luck at your event in Holland, not that you need it, duh. ** Misanthrope, You're getting warmer on the Yury job guess, though not yet hot. Which is not to say you're not hot personally. I bet you are. ** Tosh, 'My Mind's Eye,' fuck yeah. The band I had in high school did a cover of that song in our live shows, sung by yours truly. There's a tape somewhere, but nobody is going to hear it. Nope. ** Jheorgge, I must say your studies are hugely disaapointing based on your report. 'The Full Monty?!" And if I'd been there to see the derision of 'L'Argent,' there would have been a school shooting for sure. Well, just be a great enemy, I guess. Oh, the Dave Lombardo non-appearance was a complete mind slip and fatal error. I don't know what I was thinking. He's likely the greatest rock drummer alive, for anti-Christ's sake. Forgive me, jhoerggey, for I knew not what I did. ** Nick, Well, howdy. Excellent to see you. ** 5stringaphasia, Yury said to tell you he thinks the Mother Russia monument is 'impressive,' and to add that he was raised in the newly post-Soviet Russia where everyone was pressured/taught to hate everything to do with Communism, so it's hard for him to have a clear opinion. ** Richard eichmann, You need to listen to 'Reign in Blood' asap. Oh, there's an email from you, yes, but I haven't opened it yet. Soon. ** Jose, Actually, 'Lain' is one of Yury's all time favorite animes, so nice call. ** Alice in chains, Even though most of my friends hate Atari Teenage Riot, I think because what's-his-name is supposedly is such an arrogant prick, I like 'em. Well, the older stuff. They're not still around, are they? ** Blake, Hey. The end of the month is looking like maybe I'll be here, maybe I'll have flown back to LA at a day's notice. I can't tell. Things are rough with my mom, and I can't make concrete plans. So I don't know. I'm really sorry. We'll figure something out because I really want to meet up and talk about your project. The timing just couldn't be worse. ** David ehrenstein, I've made a note to ask Catherine R-G your question the next time I see her. ** Alistairmc, Hey, man. It's so nice to see you. Great that your book's turned in. Norman Frisch sent me some strange link to some news story that a performance of yours got banned or ... ? I couldn't figure it out. Anyway, I hope it's all either notoreity under the bridge or fun for you if it isn't. Cool. I hope I'll get to see you and Tim soon. ** Vomitingghosts, Your piece was beautiful, yeah, kind of like 'The Beloveds' (a compliment to me not you), and thanks a lot. ** Winter rates, I have emails out to two eczema-haunted friend, and I'll let you know if they have any advice. ** Garrison, Oh, on 'The Queen,' I thought it was real good, don't get me wrong. But I guess I didn't fall in love with it, no. Not that I really think it had problems or anything. But I felt more than like for it. I think I was just so into her performance that I was mostly watching her work and not the film itself so much. ** (Tuesday-Wednesday) Brooklyn serpico, Dude, I'm so envious of you that I could get drunk, I mean about Pollard, duh, and about the wrecked stage diving boy too. Cool you dove. Cool you didn't die. I guess you probably heard that Pollard tore his calf muscle right after the NYC show and had to cancel the rest of his tour, so you got especially lucky. Anyway, feel my drool. ** Nicehex, Hey, I really appreciate you sharing your project. Christ, that's great. The film sounds amazing. If I'm in LA, and you ever have screenings, I'd love to see it, naturally. Anyway, just big congrats and a lot of anticipation from me. ** Antonio, Based on your project, I see a MacArthur Grant in your future. ** Tony o'neill, Congrats on selling the footballer book. What a curious project. And of course your fiction project sounds excellent. ** Math t, Complacency is definitely worse than anything. I can't think of a more horrible state. The new drawings rock. You're great with sex. ** Maria mcgregor, I'd love copies of your zines when they're finished, if you could spare them. I'll reimburse the postage if it helps. ** James, Hey, you're back, at least fort a second. As you can imagine, I love the name of your club, being that it is presumably named after one of my all-time favorite songs. Cool. ** Link raygun, It's not going to be anything like 'Lolita,' don't worry. It's like me having worried that I'd just replicate Sade. It doesn't happen. Your film sounds quite amazing. The story, whoa, gets a deep bow from me. Let us/me know how it goes, okay? ** Doug wasted, Excellent to see you. Your novel sounds incredibly promising. I'd forgotten you write as well as make films. Thanks, man. ** Matt, I'd love to do a signing in Houston. I've never done a reading or anything in the Southor Southwest. My publishers always assume no one down there reads me or something. On Matt Day, great. Let's see ... well, pix, obviously. Things you really like: life stuff, music, books, people, whatever. I could do a short interview with you to include in your Day. That might be interesting. By phone or email, I guess. What do you think? That might be just the thing, if you agree. ** Bacteriaburger, Welcome. Thanks for passing on your project. I really like your ideas, and you know I'm into porn, so I'm definitely intrigued. Where could I read some? Is any of your work online? Thanks again. ** Jack, Oh, my God. ** Misanthrope, You really need to finish that novel, right? You know that, right? Don't worry about whether it's great or shit. That's for the world to know and for you to find out, as they say. ** D., No new novel in sight for me. I'm in a two year fiction bad patch. Ever since I finished the cycle, every time I write a novel, I lose my voice afterwards. It's just gone. Then I have to find it again. And sometimes it's hard. It's never been harder than recently. I could be done with novels, or one could start tomorrow. I'd like to write two more and stop. That's my ideal. But right now two more seems impossible. Otherwise, my projects are the theater piece 'Kindertotenlieder' and the radio play 'Jerk,' both in progress. New book of poems, but that's done. Little House on the Bowery. Maybe a book of short fiction. I think that's all. Thanks, man. ** Dickson edwards, You know I'm really getting to like Fosca a lot. I always did, but it keeps growing in my head and revealing new imprsssive aspects. Chuck Pallahniuk: Yeah, I like his work. I haven't read the last two. His prose is often really good, chewy, aware of what sentences can do. I like the first few the best for some reason. I'd like to see him really throw himself a loop in the next one. That would be good, I think. But yeah, I do, and I think his big success, in the States at least, is a real positive thing. The Shangri-Las are absolutely sublime. Shadow Morton was kind of a weird, unsung genius. I named one of my books -- 'He Cried' -- after their song. Big fan. ** Mark, You know I'm really into Marie Redonnet too. I wonder what her recent work is like. They haven't been translating her newer books into English, have they? ** Dandysweets, Very cool about your film projects. Weird, I just saw a preview for 'C.R.A.Z.Y' in a movie theater here a few days ago, and I thought, What's that? It looks way up my alley and sexy. ** Laney, Hey. I hear you about the problem of finding porn where young cute slender guys get fisted. It's not easy to find at all, though there are scenes here and there of varying quality and power. But anyway, you and ignacio have together inspired me to do either a fistfucking day or an assplay day here, so I'll try to hunt some stuff/info down that could be helpful. ** Young and stupid, School sucks that much? Because the schooling itself sucks or because you hate the time it's taking or ...? I hope you can find a way to make it work for you. ** Postitbreakup, Sure, you can send me those questions. And I'll even try incredibly hard to answer the questions/email right away. I'm trying out a new system to get myself to answer emails like I used to. We'll see. ** Christopher michael stamm, Singing in a band? I'll check it out. You got my email about writing the letters for the schools? ** Lux, Hey. Mm, about Slayer members' possible homophobia? I guess I'd expect that. They hate all kinds of shit, being nihilists and anti-sensual and so on. I guess I don't think about it when I listen to them. I listen to them for a hit of their particular genius, and to feel their particular hatred of the world, and if I'm part of what they hate, no surprise. It just doesn't bother me, but I haven't read these comments you're talking about. And about the humor at gays' expense in teen movies ... if I let that bother me, I'd be angry all the time, and that's no fun. It depends on the joke and context to me. If it's ugly, it's ugly. If it seems more about the characters' fear of unconventional sex, then I just see it as character flaw, and I don't care. Obviously, I wish everybody thought gays were just cool, no big deal, but teens are always going to go through huge anxiety and fear about sex at some stage, and gays of course will get some of that, being easy to joke about, and movies are going to reflect that. It depends on the context and the joke for me. I don't know that I can explain the impact of 'Thin Red Line.' I completely love Malick's work. In that case, I couldn't figure out how to write 'My Loose Thread,' and I was going crazy trying to figure out a way, and I saw 'TRL' and I knew, That's it. That film just told me how to write it. Not that 'MLT' copied 'TRL' at all. It just taught me. Not a great answer, sorry. On ATP, as I said above, my life is on hold right now with my mom's dying. It would be great to see you and it, though. We'll see. Thanks a lot, lux. ** Antler, Hey. Thanks for joining in. You sent me a version of your novel? Wow, I'm a blank, but then I get a ton of stuff. Anyway, whatever, it's great your novel's being published. I'd love to know more about how I could pick up a copy. It's funny you chose the screenmame antler. At first I thought you might be that poet Antler that Allen Ginsberg was so crazy about. So hey, and come back, and, again, congrats on your book being published. Don't be so down on it, though. If a couple of your heroes have given you blurbs, how bad can it be, right? ** Jax, First I'm so sorry about what happened with nick, and I'm so glad he's okay. Pass along my very best wishes to him please. My trip was nice. I went to a 2000 year old French city named Besancon. Very beautiful. I did a talk at the art school and a reading at the local university. Everybody was really friendly and great. Mm, you're pretty damned close on Yury's job. I'll be able to talk about it more after the weekend. Like I said, it's not some big mysterious whoop. He just doesn't want me to talk about it much until he's sure it's a secure situation. ** Okay, great. I'll be putting up the permanent new projects page over the weekend, so anyone hasn't piped in yet and wants to, please do. Thanks again, everybody. I should be back in my regular, more responsive state tomorrow. See you then.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

'Current projects of some distinguished locals:' a late-year progress report

Back in June, I asked the people who were reading and posting on this blog to describe their current project(s). There was a great response, and the answers were posted on this blog at the end of a link that's over to your right: 'Current projects of some distinguished locals.' Well, I've been wanting to do an update and see where people are in relation to the projects they described back then. Are the projects finished, ongoing, dead, replaced with (an)other project(s), or what? If you don't remember what your project was, you can use the aforementioned link to see how you characterized it at that time. So, I'd like a progress report, please? For those of you weren't around back then, I'd like to ask you the same questions I asked those readers and commenters in June. The original post is below. It's talking to you. Read it and respond here, if you don't mind. Understand? Thanks a lot.

The original post:
'Mid-year progress report: 5 questions'

We discuss all sorts of crazy and serious matter on this blog, but there hasn't been a deliberate focus on what you people are thinking about and working on individually for a while. Some of you are artists, some of you aren't. It doesn't matter. I want to know what you're into and up to creatively right now. So here are some prying questions for you, meaning you who've posted here and you who've only read so far but might be tempted to join in under the right circumstances. 1. What is your main project at the current time? When I say project, I mean anything in-progress that's important to you. It can be an artistic endeavour -- writing, visual art, music, film, theater, journalistic, a thesis, etc. It can be something you're investigating -- an idea, philosophy, TV series, scientific info, a book or writer, a band, an esoteric practice, something practical, etc. It can be a love affair or a sexual obsession. It can be redecorating your bedroom. It can be anything preoccupying you and activating your imagination that you see as central and (potentially) productive in some key way. It could be something as seemingly prosaic as a diet or going to the gym or whatever just so long as it's a creative endeavour to which you're giving a significant degree of thought. If you're into more than one thing right now, name more than one. 2. Where do you think you are in this project -- at the beginning, the middle, or the end? What makes you believe you're at that point? 3. At this moment, do you consider the project a success, a failure, or something inbetween? Why? 4. Do you think this project is fairly characteristic of your established interests, behavior, and patterns in the past? Or does the project surprise you and seem to be something new or more new than not? 5. What would be the ideal result or conclusion of this project to your mind? What would be the most disastrous? Realistically, what do you think will come of and from this project in the long run?


p.s. I spaced until last night on the fact that I have to catch an early train to a small French town today where I'm doing a reading and book signing and some other stuff. That's why this post is appearing so bizarrely early by my standards, and why I can't interract with you today. I'll be away sans internet until tomorrow afternoon, so there won't be a new post on Wednesday, for which I apologize. But I'll be back again full time the day after. Coincidentally, this is probably a good post to leave up for a couple days as, hopefully, it'll give you guys plenty of time to report on your projects and/or progress. Do share. Okay, I'm going to miss my train if I don't zoom, so take care, and I'll see you on Thursday.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A pause to feel the massive impact of Slayer

Tom Araya

Full name: Thomas Araya

Instrument: Bass, Vocals

Birthday: 6th June 1962.

Birthplace: Santiago, Chile

Kerry King

Full name: Kerry King

Instrument: Guitar
Birthday: 3rd June 1964.
Birthplace: Los Angeles

Jeff Hanneman

Full name: Jeff Hanneman

Instrument: Guitar
Birthday: 19th August 1964.
Birthplace: Oakland

Paul Bostaph

Full name: Paul Bostaph

Instrument: Drums
Birthday: 26th March 1964.
Birthplace: San Francisco

p.s. Hey. I hope your weekends were up to par. Mine mostly consisted of collateral damage from (and ill-received attempts at peacemaking re.) my family's ever-escalating war of words and deeds, so I'm kind of a mental and nervous wreck today. I think I'll just leave it at that and take a deep breath. Oh, I saw 'The Queen.' I thought it was good not great, but I thought Helen Mirren was great not good. ** Link raygrun, I did indeed check out your suggested link and it was mesmerizing. That kid's song has got to be played over the opening or closing credits of the 'Try' movie if one ever gets made. Wow, thanks for the tip. ** Swann811, Leora! What an amazing and wonderful surprise. Well, now that you've cracked the cyber-door, don't be shy. I think I've owed you an email for months, haven't I? I'm so discombobulated these days. But it's cool to see you and to hear your tale of Bowie. Thank you thank you and much love. ** Math t, Yeah, there is something appealing about that ... boy in the post Saturday. If nothing else, he's got the market cornered on strange glam/alien-looking gay porn models. I've never seen anyone quite like him before. I think he could use a different hairstyle though. My family's mostly Scottish with some Czech way back. I'm not sure what generation American I am. My family's been here a long time, fought in the Civil War and the whole shebang. ** Joe mills, Hm, maybe the stud is paralyzed. In all the shots I found from that session, he doesn't budge an inch. But maybe he's just in shock. I don't like Hilary Clinton because she's a two-faced, mega-careerist who kissed Bush's ass tenderly and publically over and over as recently as earlier this year, and that is completely inexcusable. But she won't be the Democratic Presidential candidate. No way. She's dreaming. ** Thomas, Hey. Thanks for the linx. I've actually got 'The Nomi Song' DVD sitting on my 'desk' right now, but it belongs to my friend and occasional blog community member chris, so I almost own it. Almost. ** Dandysweets, Yeah, Matt kind of is this blog's Bunnyboy, isn't he? Definitely a good thing. Get this: I saw Eno live when he was in Roxy Music on their American first tour playing at the Whisky A-Go-Go, a club that holds about 500 people. You talk about feeling lucky? Whoa, I do. ** Antonio, Bowie's cock, gross, I agree. Iggy's cock, now gross, but in the early 70s, way not gross. The Knife album was good. I ain't no ghey icon, motherfucka. Well, it's not for me say, I suppose. Thanks for including me in your pantheon, in any case. Just to be in the same breath (or ten) with Varg Vikernes is a dream come true. I don't know your serial killer relative, but I'll have a look, and it's cool in any case. Or weird me thinks so. ** Tosh, That is an excellent book of R-G interviews, and it is super super rare, so you're a lucky dog. I like the psychedelic Small Faces but not the r&b/soul Small Faces. They were a weirdly schizophrenic band, style-wise. But Steve Marriott's voice ... wow. When he sings it always sort of sounds like he's vomitting, in a good way, I mean. Plus he was teeniest weeniest little guy, which is cool too. I never saw the Small Faces, but I saw him live when he was in Humble Pie, who weren't so great. He had, like, two foot high platform shoes on, and he still looked like a biological anomaly. Great singer. ** Andrew Gallix, I wrote Vim. We're figuring out how to work it. Thanks. ** Misanthrope, (sound of buzzer) Nope, Yury's not a dish washer in a French bath house, but good guess. I don't know about back in the States, but over here at least, I feel like if I hear the name Borat one time I'm going to go deaf or something. It's like the birds are chirping 'Borat, Borat ...' That movie better be damned funny. Was it? ** Statictick, You're welcome. Deep bow. ** Vomitingghosts, Hm, 'Red Sails,' 'Ashes to Ashes,' 'Always Crashing in the Same Car' (or whatever it's called), 'Rebel Rebel,' 'John I'm Only Dancing,' 'TVC15,' 'Panic in Detroit,' 'Hang On to Yourself,' 'The Width of a Circle,' 'Changes.' I think that's ten. 'Harold and Maude' is my mom's favorite movie. ** Garrison, Separating the twins, yeah. I've done that too. That can really do the trick, though one might not survive or turn into a poem. Not so bad. Excellent news. ** Michael karo, 'New gentleman friend:' That sounds really hopeful and upbeat. Good for you. Hooray. ** Dickon edwards, Well, hey there. It's really good to see you in these woods again. I guess I'll have to read that anthology -- congrats, by way -- to learn the poop, but a trip with Shane MacGowan! That's both incredibly impressive and impossible to imagine and kind of scary sounding. I would be very happy to do something with Cam Archer, naturally. He's got my email address, so ... you never know. I dig the Scarlett/Lukas comparison except she's so ... voluptuous, big bodied and his body's a rail. A very, very nice rail, no doubt. Anyway, good to see you. Don't be a stranger. ** Atheist, Welcome back to full time. Cool. Yeah, if you have a serious problem with poo representation, you're going to have skip around in '120 Days of Sodom,' and you shouldn't even think about reading Samuel Delaney's 'Hogg,' which is full of it. ** 5stringaphasia, Dude, you impress me mightily everyday. That's no hill to climb. You're already up there looking down. ** David ehrenstein, I never dance, with the boys or otherwise -- unless bouncing up and down on one's heels when I watch bands play counts -- but if I did dance with the boys, hm, I might even pick the stars of today, Slayer. See, that's why I'm not a dancer. Oh, New Pornographers actually. Whenever I listen to them I dance all over our little apartment here, scaring Yury in the process. ** Mike, Hey, man. Yeah, awesome news about the Robbe-Grllet films. I don't know about English subtitles or not. Fingers crossed. I'll need to talk to Catherine Robbe-Grillet to get all the release info, but I will, and I'll pass along what I learn. But I think end of the year is pretty firm on the release date. Take care. ** Rigby101, I'll do that index finger flick as soon as Yury gets home from school. He doesn't drink alchohol and I drink so rarely that I practically don't. Yury's originally from a city in the south-ish part of Russia called Voronezh. ** Maria McGregor, Hello, welcome to here. A Charles Ray show in Oslo? Cool. He's a god in my book. Was it a survey show or something new or ... ? Thanks for joining in. I'll hope to see you here more. ** D., It is sadly true that short fiction collections are hard to get published. Even when you're semi-established, publishers usually seem to publish them as a favor to the writer to keep him or her happy. But there are always glaring exceptions, so don't feel doomy about it. It can happen. It should happen for you. Proceed apace, and who knows? I've got your back, for what that's worth. ** Robert-nyc, Hm, I know Christian too well to see his resemblance to the stud, but I think I get it. ** Sypha_69, I like the cover. It looks very pro, like you said, and catchy, yeah. Good one. Don't forget that when your novel's coming out I want to do a Day here to celebrate, hype, and preview it. So when the time's right, let's confer and figure out the best way to do that, okay? ** Okay, until tomorrow then. Heil Slayer, and have a good day.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scrapbook Three, p. 2: 'Old Fashioned,' part two

Stud: Thanks again, buddy. I know doing this job for me wasn't quite your thing. But to watch myself suck David Bowie's cock in 1972 ... shit, that's been my life's dream.
Photographer: True, I'd rather have spent the last few months whittling thirty-plus years of sag, droop, and wrinkles off the Thin White Duke himself, but he declined my request to pose with you, as you might remember. Still, restoring boys of the 70s is my specialty, and I think you'll agree that ... oh, I've forgotten the name of that young model who stood in for Bowie. What was your nickname for him again?
Stud: Don of the Dead.
Photographer: Don, that's right. Well, I think you'll agree that while Don wasn't the hottest street prostitute you've ever sucked off, he made for a very fine canvas.
Stud: I do look excited in this shot, don't I? Well, I think I'm ready. Show me my dream come true.
Photographer: Okay, but understand, what you'll see is not a perfect Bowie replicant. Technology has yet to catch up with my genius, I'm afraid. But I think you'll be more than satisfied.