Gene Morgan

New New Site

This is the third version of the site in as many years.

We did some basic formatting to the posts.

We added TypeKit fonts to the site, because we were tired of looking at web-safe fonts. TypeKit is shitty on the iPad, so everyone there and the people on shitty and weird browsers will get to look at Impact and Gill Sans. Everyone else gets Chunk and Ratio.

We made the site “tighter” with less empty space. It’ll look good on your phones and fit on whatever screen you’re using, hopefully.

We added a Disqus commenting system, because the comments are a little out-of-hand. It is more complicated than the previous system, but has the potential to make things less anonymous, which I like. You can seem more like an actual person to me.

The ads at the top are for independent publishers only. The ad slots are $30 each, and there are two in each of the five spaces. We wanted to keep this cheap, for the people we love.

There are a few other things, but I’m tired.

There are a few more changes in progress, so if you notice irregularities, that’s probably why.

I hope you enjoy the site. It should be nice for a little while.

Special shout-out to Jereme Dean, Blake Butler, Jimmy Chen, Ryan Call, and my wife for help with the redesign.

If you have any questions, please email me at I’m here for you.

*Update* Disabled TypeKit on Windows machines until I can make it look nice. For now, only Mac users have pretty fonts.

Behind the Scenes / 79 Comments
September 17th, 2010 / 2:37 am

We’ll Be Back Soon! Drink Pepsi Products!

Hi everyone, we’re about to go dark for the night. We’ll be a whole new HTMLGIANT (with new sponsors!) when we come back. In the meantime, why don’t you enjoy a refreshing Pepsi product?!

Random / 26 Comments
September 16th, 2010 / 9:16 pm

Sunday Service

Terese Svoboda Excerpt

Excerpt from Pirate Talk or Mermalade, a novel in voices to be published this fall by Dzanc Press.

1718 – Nantucket Beach


I’ve seen boats as big as this whale. I’ve seen gryphons the same size, with teeth growing in even as they were taking their last breath.

You have not. And not a live one.

I’ve been to sea, I’ve seen all you’re supposed to, being at sea. I am sixteen, after all.

If you’d stayed at home, you would’ve seen to Ma. I’d be a pirate twice, with two voyages under me, if I didn’t have that.

Quit your carping. Go stand on its middle. Maybe it will release its wind if you jump on it.

For sure it will stink to heaven if I jump on it.

Let’s poke out its eye.

It’s a wonder you’re not tired of poking whales, a-roving on the ocean like you do, with all the new sail.

Here’s the stick–let’s do the eye.

Cap’n Peters says there’s luck in a whale’s eye. And money. Some men use saws on such as the eye, to examine the socket and take away the skull too.

You told this Cap’n Peters about this whale?

Cap’n Peters can see it himself. He’s anchored out beyond the neck, nearly done scouring the fresh-wrecked Abingdon. He’ll come.

Our greasy luck! Then the sooner it dies the better, and not for anyone else but us to collect it.

It’s alive all right. Look at the eye.

Help me with the stick. A donkey could haul it out, where could we get a donkey?

If we had a donkey I wouldn’t be walking the beach looking for rope to catch the mussels on, would I? If we had a donkey, you wouldn’t be shipping out every time the wind blew and leaving me here with Ma, myself only in short pants still and no cutlass.

We need a donkey. The smell alone will bring Peters.

Do you believe in whales? I mean, that they talk?

Two fiddles can talk. One calls, the other says Yes and then some.

Whales dance when there’s boats coming with harpoon.

The way pirates do on the gallows.

Not all of them.

They’re crying whales, not singing. Poke here.

They swallow the pennywhistle and dance on the tips of their tails on top of the water. And sing.

Whales cry about their future like all creatures worth killing. There’s a tear now, with Peters coming. Look–I can make it dance without singing.

Let it be, it’s starting to bleed.

I’ll let it be with a cut of the knife. If only I had a good one, if only Ma hadn’t sold that bit of a blade while I was gone.

She’s sold all her brooches, down to the tin-and-garnets.

She sold the true baubles after you were born—or gave them up, cleaned out by whoever she had after you had a father, cleaned out clean as a pike in a trough.

They use beetles to clean the skulls when they’re empty. Cap’n Peters says so.

Peters, Cap’n Peters–would he be the one seeing Ma now?

He’s seen all of her, if that’s your actual meaning. How huge those skull-cleaning beetles must be, so big they can’t walk after all that eating, beetles that could eat all of every one of the colonies.

Slippery here, whoa.

Cap’n Peters’ has got his glass on us now. There, over the wave.


Tease me like you don’t know he’s watching. Play foot-in-the-water. He’ll think we are but boys and won’t beat us then when he sees us.

We are but boys. If I only had a knife—

If you grouse and slaughter the whale before him and he balks and whines, Ma will tie herself to the rafters and I will have to cut her down. It’s a poor revenge for her living from one man to the next, though she swears Cap’n Peters is her utter last.

I told you to get her set right, to take Ma to someone while I was off at sea, a woman with a cure.

She wouldn’t go, she said she’d have no business with someone like that, she didn’t need no one other than Father. She talks to Father from the rafters where you can see the sea out the little window, she talks to you out that window too.

She doesn’t know who Father is.

This be true, but still she talks.

This fish is leaking like a ship come ashore.

Whale, it’s a whale, not a fish. And if you would quit your poking at the eye, it wouldn’t leak so much. Poking it like that makes the sound it makes worse.

You talk like a sea captain with your Don’t this and Fish that, a bloody captain, the kind I don’t take to.

It’s the life of the sea, you said. Yo, ho, ho, you said. You toe the line, you said.

I will give you another punch to match the first.

It breathes–hear it? Cap’n Peters says they are cousin to us.

I can’t hear anything while you blather on about Cap’n Peters.

I say we leave it alone because Cap’n Peters will pay us to chop it up. They’re bound to want the steaks and oil even if it be old, and some of the bone to hang hats on,
and bone for those who truss up the women.

That’s real work, all that chopping.


The bone is all I want–I can carve “The Apostle on the Desert” into the bone.

I can carve that–one cut meeting another.

You are a stupid boy. Look–it thinks it is a creature of the land now, it wriggles so, it wants to walk about on its tail. With the next big wave, let’s push it in with our backs.

Let’s kill it.

Die, die.

What’re you whispering?

Nothing. Die, die, or they’ll get you, you whale of us all, you fool whale.

You are whispering.

I’ll whisper if I want to.

The whale’s dead anyway. Why else is it up on the beach?

Not breathing like this it isn’t dead. Not yet.

Look, Peters is bringing hooks and axes. And a cutlass! There’s a knife.

It’s so soapy-feeling on the outside.

Pitchforks and pries. Let’s poke it through to the brain before they get here, let’s poke it to make it dead before they poke it, so we can claim it and get the bone. I am grown, after all.

Die, die.

Why do you cry like a girl?

I’m not a girl.

Whale-lover, then. Crybaby.

Listen to it breathe.

I can’t hear anything but Cap’n Peters and his men beaching loud like six blacks banging dishpans.

It’s breathing big.

There–I’ve got the stick through, no thanks to you.

It still breathes.

If I hang on it here and pull down, the whole side will rip and they’ll know it’s ours. Give me a hand–

Pirate Talk or Mermalade is Terese Svoboda’s fifth novel. Publisher’s Weekly called it a “jeu d’esprit of the privateer life.” It comes out on “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

I tried to respond to Mather Schneider’s cool post about me, but the comment system was broken. GIRLS WITH INSURANCE HAS BANNED EVERYONE FROM COMMENTING. I HATE THEM.

Houston Indie Book Festival

For the good folks of Texas and Louisiana, if you’re looking for a good time that involves books, the Houston Indie Book Festival this weekend is very much that good time. Readings, books, writers walking around in hip clothes with sunglasses on.

It’s at the Menil Park, which means you’ll also be just steps away from the Maurizio Cattelan exhibition, which is just as free and awesome.

From 10am-5pm Blake and I will be near a table with the HTMLGIANT name all over it. We have copies of some small press books to sell (credit cards accepted, even Discover!), and I’ll likely have my son with me, who will sign all of your chests with cookies and boogers.

Stop by and hang out. I’d like to shake your hand.

UPDATE: Ryan Call is going to be there!

Random / 14 Comments
April 2nd, 2010 / 1:46 pm


Love the way lamb tastes.

Not exactly sure what fucked our server, but it got fucked.

The site went down late last night/early this morning, and a couple of hours ago, after my wife threatened to stab me in my peepee if I didn’t get off of the computer (sorry honey, I love you!), things came back.

I don’t often freak out, but I did today.

I’d like to thank Server Jesus for restoring our lamb. It’s time to drink heavily.

Behind the Scenes / 12 Comments
March 29th, 2010 / 11:12 pm

*BSG Warning*

Brandon Scott Gorrell offers a Wikipedia-style article on our recent flare-up.

Due to the present risk of bringing Shitstorm Alberto back from the brink of death, I’m turning off the comment section.

Comments Off on Shitstorm Alberto

Melissa Broder asks poets for their thoughts on Twitter.

I read my selected tweets at a reading a few months ago, because Twitter is the only place I write anymore.

You can now submit to HTMLGIANT. Sorry.