Here is a bird that flies south while singing a serenade. It passes laundry hanging on the line, and though it may just be a big misunderstanding, decides that life is utterly unfair, and isn’t sure what do, as it imagines an asteroid flattening all it sees in front of him, the laundry hanging on the line, a cauterized and flexible landscape. Fairly, he is fair. Fairly he flies due west and then starts to laugh because life is limited and the landscape is limited and because fragmentation is inevitable, he flies into a turbine.
Horses grazing on a field. Ice cream melting in a hot mess on the field. Just a big mess. The horses eat what they are permitted and they eat more than what they are permitted. Laugh, just keep laughing, one horse thinks to himself as there is a clear sky above him and a hot mess of ice cream on the field nearby. He has been composing a speech all morning on fairness and is trying to think of the right prefix to affix to a certain word and then becomes distracted by the boy taking out the garbage and then a small and brief shadow above him and then from the nearby turbine blood and ahhhh and it is clear how his speech must end.
The sound of a passing train. It hardly shakes the floor but the concierge can still feel it, especially in the cellar and especially on the old wooden steps. He goes down the wooden steps and the way is obscured with boxes and then a mouse crossing by the boxes and then another mouse and then surprise at what he sees. A mouse screams, or the concierge screams, and he makes a quick exit. Why? As he runs up the wooden stairs he is stopped and asked, what are you doing?! And magnetized by the passing train and suddenly having been faced with infinity and simultaneously the finitude of all the galaxies he only thought, I can’t articulate that, I can’t articulate, I can’t
TEX is a bricolage novel using correspondence to construct its multi-level narrative. Collecting text messages, phone photos, emails, Craigslist responses and more, the book explores the various relationships formed and maintained by its author, Beau Rice, during the process of its making, with one relationship taking center stage: his evolving attachment to an Austin-based former fling, Matt G
Included by Rice in TEX are text-based “screenshots” of the author’s inbox: exchanges between he and his editor at Penny-Ante. Giving a nod to the book’s format, we asked the editor at Penny-Ante to form a collection of “Letters from Beau” that were sent during the editorial and now, ongoing post-book promotional process.
The below fragments were submitted with the author’s permission.
From Beau Rice (an inbox screenshot):
I just wanted to make sure you were still interested, because the text is growing and I’m thinking about it constantly, so I just wanted to make sure you were still interested.
Your help with this impasse would be much appreciated.
I’ve given [the work] a preliminary title, ~book: [corn] [alien head] [baby bottle] [showgirls]. Thoughts?
Pics attached (lol, I’m so not used to typing that phrase outside of, like, responding to sex ads on Craigslist).
I’m going to have to fight you about [possible book title] Untitled.
Noooooo — why??
I feel you on the reshuffling.
If you insist, I’ll need a week.
And I know you want to be a dominatrix about it because it’s urgent, but I’m ready to start looking at other stuff.
I’ll be shopping around for something perfect-er.
Let’s keep in touch about any other text message books we come across, I want to be as aware of them as I can.
Ooooooops — the draft I sent the other day was missing a few things and fucked up in a few ways, so please work with the one I’ve included here.
(“Forms of incoherence that are listenable to.”)
I smoked weed for the first time in a while earlier tonight.
Q3: Let me know about your trip to LA!
You’re surprisingly clever when you’ve just woken up.
It’s very preteen-y but surprisingly relevant.
(I hate the first email I sent to you today.)
Are you in LA?
I favorited it.
Give me a few minutes.
I have to warn you: the list of changes I’ve mentioned is not insignificant.
I also want to see it with our names in Calibri or whatever that chat one was.
I’d like to reemphasize the Matt thing (I just landed in Austin) and try to procure a photo of him in profile to stare impassively at me from the back of the book (?).
Actually this gets us closer to what my original intentions were.
Also/omg, including the drug dealers and online sex people: YES.
Here are those pixx of him + more to follow.
Sorry, that just does not work for me.
Let’s redact “Scissor Sisters” and “Le1f.”
Let me know if you want me to fictionalize any of the YOU IN THE BOOK shit.
That phone has been violated in a final manner, it is not to be turned on.
Tomorrow I’m taking Vyvanse and dealing with as much of this drudgery as I can.
I’m beyond tipsy and this is not a real message.
Here are more chats, mostly of the BDSM variety.
“But really it is I who have invaded my own privacy.” –Dodie Bellamy, Pink Steam
Apologies for the folder weirdness yesterday, I don’t know what was up with that.
For example, the one that references the galley copy of Knausgaard should appear in spring of this year (but I’m not worried about being totally accurate).
Oh my god, I cannot shut up.
But that is our secret.
I had a feeling.
SO BUMMED ABOUT THAT, but it’s fine.
Hahaha — “all these intense writer people.”
I agree with you totally on the “dildo in the corner” thing.
THANK YOU. I can only imagine what an incredible headache it is to format all of this.
We were only focusing on his missives.
Either pseudonym is fine with us.
I like “Tex” too!
I trust you.
We don’t need to change Alex’s name.
I am happy to lose most of the poetry, but NOT the ones I send to him in the first email sequence [p. 3-4].
Lol — I just said to my friends, “I think she [you] is pretty aware that I get fucked up at this time every night.”
We both want to tone down the meta-narrative.
I so relate, I ask everyone I’m around not to let me talk about it at all.
Seriously — I am 96% convinced of this.
Lol, I really did feel like a demon.
I understand and I wish to continue.
Feeling down with the cheap lazy vibe you describe.
Can you give me some other font options for the email essay?
I think I might reactivate my [Facebook] profile sometime around October to promote the book to my friends on there, but for the most part it’s important to me to stay off of it.
As much as I’d like for us to be in agreement, I’m still uncomfortable with my face being on [the cover] in such a big way.
I’m glad you’re doing that list thing — I worry I was overly delete-happy yesterday.
Let me know if I’m being too vocal and stressing you out.
The butt plug photo?
I’ve been drawing that icon a lot recently.
I like the fragmentary vibe of those inbox shots.
The version of this intertwined legs pic you’re using is slightly different, and not as good.
Since you mention “fixing the peach” [on the cover] I want to emphasize again the BUTT [Magazine] thing, and ask that we go peachy enough to not be pink.
It’s funny how unrealistic the prospect of fame makes us.
Could you try phrasing that differently?
No no no no no no no.
I totally lied to you.
I could get behind that.
It’s pretty unromantic in actuality.
Anything particular instructions for that?
I’m still not sure whether or not to say this [and I am saying it] but — I apologize if any of the stuff about our parents in that excerpt made you sad.
All I need to do is link my current checking account to my PayPal account, I guess.
Note: you aren’t as defined/personified by this as you probably imagine.
Ah dang, I’m glad it was meaningful to you.
Two word answers!
A nice texture!
I feel like a human makes it less sterile
I’m wondering (finally) what the money/royalty situation is.
Hmm… still UGH.
I think that’s my car insurance.
But now I’m done emailing you for the night.
Hahahahaha — that is precisely my feeling.
Which I’m all in for, in most cases.
At USPS now, about to mail this fucker to Hilton Als (bad idea?).
Just using you as a therapist slash neurosis hole.
I’m about to go to bed and listen to this song and cry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu8MqdC0Zms
Wow… Typos. Embarrassing.
WHY DO I KEEP FORGETTING TO DO THIS.
You just got engaged. Why are you emailing me? Shouldn’t you be having sex or something?
Lol — “I’jj.”
So how do you want to do this?
Here’s the thing on that: No, it doesn’t.
Really, I’m up to discuss this.
“IT” is the “proprietor” ? The proprietor is non-gendered?
This process is weird.
Redundancy, bad poetry, etc.
This book is not going to ruin my life.
“I’m not used to circumstances like this,” says Leopold Brant, observing the walls. He’s wearing a purple dress coat and a cravat maybe one size too large. His curls of dark hair have been artfully clustered towards the top of his head, with very little spilling over to the back or sides. His voice isn’t quite disdainful but only because the stronger impression it leaves is of carelessness, lassitude. He has come to the Lower East Side to read at the Poetry Project and it’s evident that his surroundings are beneath him.
His poems, as he reads them to an audience whose responses alternate between credulous, jaded, amused, and bemused, are not quite “beautiful” but also not quite not. For the most part they chronicle, wistfully, a intermittent series of gay affairs carried out amidst the costly art galleries and penthouses decked out in costly avant-garde art for which Brant’s attire serves as a kind of synecdoche, though frequent jolts of humor (one especially large laugh comes in response to an epigram that wonders why John Cage’s advocates can’t shut up and be silent about him) and occasional hints of family trauma (a younger brother in need of guidance, a father whose extreme wealth enables the poet’s luxurious existence even as his parental neglect cripples the poet’s emotions) leave little doubt that there’s a method and a mind behind Brant’s fatuous self-presentation. When he finishes, the audience applause is sincere and loud enough to indicate high levels of interest.
Vladimir Nabokov once said “…literature was born on the day a boy came crying wolf, wolf and there was no wolf behind him…Between the wolf in the tall grass and the wolf in the tall story there is a shimmering go-between. That go-between, that prism, is the art of literature.”
In their debut memoir, Drops on the Water (Apprentice House 2014), co-authors Eric G. Müller and Matthew Zanoni Müller conjure those dark, shimmering tales of childhood.
A collection billed as “stories about growing up from a father and son,” the book’s structure appears deceptively simple: a chronological staging of moments from each of these writers’ young lives. This, however, is where any pretense of simplicity ends. Not only do father and son appear as children in their own tales, they materialize in each other’s stories as shadowy influences hovering in the background, or at times, stepping forward and playing the roles of antagonist, shape-shifter, babe in the woods, savior. It is as though they have positioned themselves in a funhouse hall of mirrors, so that we get to see multiple sides of them, even as they––as narrators––attempt to contain our attention to the story at hand. This strategy allows the Müllers to take full advantage of the inherently unreliable nature of their first-person narratives and help the reader recognize the wolfish, the prismatic, aspects of their tales.
Eric Müller, the father, begins his story in rural Switzerland, where he rides crimson gondolas and tramps through wintry forests, before moving to South Africa where he encounters a phantom horse that forces him to consider his own mortality, hunts pheasants in Zululand, and befriends a thuggish young classmate whose mother feeds him a rich, oily soup that turns out to be swimming with chicken hearts. Yet despite the sly, fairytale quality of Müller’s prose, a ribbon of grim realism persists throughout. In one of the book’s most unsettling stories, he watches as two schoolmates torture squirrel-like dassies on the savannah by stabbing them and yanking the slick ropes of their intestines out and gleefully waving them in the air. Afraid of being shamed by his peers, the child pretends he isn’t troubled by this brutality, which we recognize as his own version of crying wolf. Even so, the wolf sinks its teeth in our narrator’s hide. “Two more suffered the same fate before we returned to the farmhouse. I felt guilty and sickened by the hunt…one thing I knew for sure, it would be a long time before wars would be eradicated on this earth.”
Live lousy fucking in the world.
My head hurts a hangover
And in a pocket nor spear, fucked,
Pass the bottle fucking empty
Only them, of course, is not enough.
I fucking, fucking, do not,
I would only hangover
And then all the shit, shit,
And on the wall, fucked, smudge …
This proverb – not a fairy tale,
Tale will be ahead fucking:
This is the beginning of the earliest extant post published in the “Creatives” section of the Russian website Udaff.com, the title translated by Google Translate as “Lewd tale about global catastrophe” (“Непристойная сказка про мировую катастрофу”). Udaff.com describes itself as a repository of counter culture literature. It’s named after the site’s administrator, Udav (Udaff being a faux anglicisation), who posts new works almost every day in categories including News, Creatives (fiction and poetry), Controversy, Book Reviews and many others. The Creatives section, with over 50,000 entries since the site launched in 2000, is the most popular, featuring poetry and fiction that ranges widely in length and content, but is generally short and often serialized.