October 2008

Black Kids in Lemon Trees

I will write something about the other two ML Press books soon. I received them yesterday—simple design, simply made, good job J.A.—and enjoyed all three.

I’ll start with Black Kids in Lemon Trees by HTMLGiant’s Shane Jones.  I’m a big fan of Shane’s writing. I am happy to cop to that. Shane is one of only two people I have let take over The Man Who Couldn’t Blog when I asked him if I could put an excerpt from his book Light Boxes on the site. So there’s that.

This almost seems unfair. It’s apparently already sold out. So you, dear reader, can’t go get a copy for yourself. But I want you to. That’s what I am here to say. It’s very, very good.

In 25 little sections, BKILT follows this wonderful thread of dream logic. Shane does surrealism about as well as one can and still make a readable story on a page. Police in the clouds, cop eyes, shooting at the sun, kids in dayglo shorts throwing lemons at the clouds—the images are so strong, so neatly and quickly rendered. And they all gather together well like cogs in a watch. Or, not a watch. Some sort of mechanism. The function of the mechanism may not make perfect sense, but the gears fit against one another, and the machine has an internal integrity.

There was a nice Believer article about how to read a Russell Edson poem. You can read it all here. That article has been very helpful for me when approaching work like Shane’s.

Nice job, Shane. Sorry, people who don’t have a copy on the way or in their hands.

Author Spotlight & Presses / 9 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 8:43 pm

BOOBS FRIDAY; Kendra is going as full erections across America



Uncategorized / 7 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 5:45 pm

Boob Friday Halloween Special Haiku Contest

Get published instantly at HTMLGIANT. In the comment section, contribute a haiku. Guidelines: it must involve halloween and boobs, and conform to 5-7-5 syllable count, to deter you asswipes from ‘going off.’

For example(s):

i suck, and i wish

i sucked more often–that is

tits painted orange

every woman has

two soft moons under her shirt

me: pagan spaceboy

Note, no doing this: ( . ) ( . )

I will judge the comment haikus. Winner will receive ‘hidden’ url link, specially designed for them, to my website that he/she can link to.

Uncategorized / 81 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 2:25 pm

elimae’s Reading List in Archives

Randomly stumbled on an old list of Recommended Reading from the elimae archives, including lists of recommendation by Deron Bauman, Brian Evenson, Michael Kimball, Norman Lock, Dawn Raffel, B. Renner, M Sarki, and several excellent others. The lists form a pretty wonderful net of texts many of which I have loved, and many others I’ve never heard of or have meant to read. I added I think 5 things to my Amazon wishlist off of it. Worth exploring.

A preponderance of Cormac McCarthy reemphasizes the fact that if you haven’t read BLOOD MERIDIAN and SUTTREE by now, well, fuck, get to work.

Deron Baumann, oddly, refers to BLOOD MERIDIAN though specifically only wants pages 5-165, which is about as far as I got the first time I tried to read it. It’s a dense mother. But now that I’ve read it twice and change, and still not quite having absorbed a lot, I have to say, the images near the end with the child in the desert hiding from the Judge as he passes back and forth into the sand are one of the images that has haunted me most in all my reading ever.

Other names that appear on the lists rather frequently: Gordon Lish, Samuel Beckett, Amos Tutuola, Italo Calvino, Diane Williams. Though there is also a lot of hidden nuggetry and apocrypha.

This is a good puzzle, in a way, I love these kinds of lists. I want more.

So, not sure what to read next? You probably can’t go wrong with most of what’s on here.

Old elimae is like scrolls: if you’ve never dug from the early years, jeez. Go.

Random / 10 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 2:00 pm

Caketrain 6 for presale

Anytime there’s a new issue of Caketrain, I immediately place an order. If you ask me, Caketrain has taken up the space left by the void of 3rd BED, as each issue is packed with new words, weird words, innovation of form and content and etc. They take care to make the words look their best on clean, nice heavy paper with lots of white space and good images. You know when you buy Caketrain you will be able to read it pretty much from cover to cover. That’s often a rare find.

CAKETRAIN 6 is now available for preorder, to be shipped in December. It’s only $8 including shipping, which, shit, how can you beat that.

There’s a full list of the site of who’s got what inside but this issue seems to contain a bunch, including Michael Kimball, Norman Lock, Kim Chinquee, Shane Jones, Ryan Call, Brian Foley, Joshua Ware, Sara Levine, Jac Jemc, Forrest Roth, Kate Hill Cantrill, and etc.

Get this. Get the back issues if you don’t have them. They are all issues I go back and read over and over again, and that’s not a stretch.

Uncategorized / 8 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 11:15 am

Bottomless Belly Button

I was going to fold my laundry, but my cat is sitting in the basket on top of it. I think it’s warm still, and he seems to like that. Instead, I’ll post something about Bottomless Belly Button, a graphic novel from Fantagraphics that I read a few days ago.

It’s pretty darn good.

(Hey, why haven’t we been writing about graphic novels more? I mean, as we have established, I am the member of the group who’s a little longer in the tooth than the rest of you, but aren’t people in our “age category” still supposed to read lots of graphic novels?)

Here’s the thing I hate about graphic novels. I hate graphic novelists. That’s what I hate about graphic novelists.


Uncategorized / 8 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 1:32 am

Thus spoke Pink, a review

When first encountering Sam Pink’s writing, one may be tempted to dismiss it, as I did, as adolescent misanthropy seasoned with Asperger’s syndrome. It’s hard to get past the graphic violence and misogyny. Though, if there is such a thing as an open mind, on a good day I think I have one, so I asked Sam to send me Yum Yum I Can’t Wait to Die, which he did.

I was immediately struck by how such dense ideas could be evoked/initiated by such simple and direct language. His writing is quite philosophical, yet not in some alienating solipsist way. I found myself re-reading sentences, trying to get my head around certain turns of phrases or concepts. He has a riddle-like way of saying things. Around the seventh page, I said to myself, “This is guy is fucking Nietzsche.” Both of them are able to get to truth while sounding like an asshole.

Yum Yum I Can’t Wait to Die is comprised of little aphorisms and modern pedestrian allegories, of a guy who is, well, completely fucked in the head. This may not be the most original motif, but Pink is less interested in his narrator, and more so on ideas. It’s a mixed bag of philosophy, hilarity, and rare moments of genuine sadness—made striking by Pink’s unlikely empathy. He speaks of a timeless omnipresent wind outlasting all of us; his dog protecting unbaptized babies in purgatory; leaves and twigs distorting the surface of a puddle, spraying the moon with blood, and so on. Each part is a violent haiku. And there are moments of stunning loneliness, marked by self-effacing irony:

Today a telemarketer called and I said, “Please don’t hang up on me. Please.”

Of course, before we start thinking this guy is Basho or Issa, he offers this:

I want to blow my head off with a shotgun, into the open birth canal of whatever pop star is currently cool, so she has to menstruate my splattered skull and brains.

Such hyperbolic violence is either rhetorical device, or Pink is truly a little insane. I doubt Sam Pink is actually his name. I imagine a guy whose snorted his own semen for material (pun intended). The object of his ‘ambivalent’ (to put it lightly) affection is an unnamed and vaguely implied girl, and one forgets the philosophy and realizes that this is just some lonely loser. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to jump into the narrator’s shoes. We’ve all been lonely, some of us still are. Pink’s words have a way to jumping inside you and moving organs around. To read him is to see things from a new inverted angle. He says, in my favorite line:

And when your mind is a field your tongue is a cloud.

Now my thoughts grow up-side-down towards a voiceless mouth. Thank you Sam Pink, you sick fuck.

Author Spotlight / 18 Comments
October 30th, 2008 / 4:37 pm

Sorry, Nick

Apparently, Impetus Press, home of Nick Antosca’s novel Fires and Dave Housely’s Ryan Seacrest is Famous, is going away.

Sad. From their letter:

We are terribly sorry that things worked out this way. As much as it hurts to lose our business, the feeling of letting down our authors is even worse. We have always loved the close relationship we share with our authors and have prided ourselves on having them much more involved throughout the publication process than they would be at many other presses. We are doing our best to make sure that they come out of this as unscathed as possible. For those authors whose books have not yet been published, we are working on placing their titles with other houses.

Presses / 4 Comments
October 30th, 2008 / 2:43 pm

I Posted a New Bear Parade Book

I posted a new Bear Parade book today. It’s the thirteenth book for the site, and it has thirteen chapters. My thirteenth birthday was on Friday the thirteenth, so get freaked-out or something. The world is going to end, and it’s my fault.

The book is by Noah Cicero, and is about vampires, existence, and how awesome Elvis and lemon-shakes are. I’m excited. Also, I designed it, so I probably should be.

I’m a shitty editor, so if you see any typos or grammatical mistakes, email me so I can fix them. I love you.

Happy Halloween.

Uncategorized / 20 Comments
October 30th, 2008 / 1:48 pm

New FRiGG is live

FRiGG is a nice looking magazine. They make pages that look nice. I like to look at the nice magazine. You should look at the new magazine and look.

A lot of new names here, that makes me say Hi to America while I am sleeping.

God, they do a job making look.

My tired is making me sound disingenuous maybe. But FRiGG is really good lookin’.

I particularly like Fortunato Salazar’s excellently titled: The 15 Elevator Rides from Hell, Composing the Three Days of June Spent in Hearing the Narrations of Doctor Sikorsky; Interspersed Amongst Which Are the Scandalous Doings at the Sheraton Hotel During That Month; All Being Set Down in the Form of a Journal

Long titles are the shit. Let’s go.

Uncategorized / 8 Comments
October 30th, 2008 / 1:17 am