Ken Baumann is.
Ken Baumann is.
Michael Seidlinger is giving away 5 copies of MY PET SERIAL KILLER, which is out today. Comment to enter, check back in a week to see if you won, you know the drill:
If any serial killer could “be yours”, who would it be?
The Milan Review publishes pretty books.
Its newest pretty thing is a book by Clancy Martin.
It’s like this: you’re working for a potentially—fuck it, most likely—criminal enterprise, morally criminal if not legally, and details start to coalesce as a guide that saves you from the impending organizational explosion.
I began to feel the details swarm in my first official meeting as LPL’s VP of SEBA. We were in the offices of a major… bottled product conglomerate. The receiving executives were young, fresh faced, their dumb smiles free of the shitjargon that was to blast out of Pontius’s mouth when given some nod, the masochistic invitation to pitch. At this point, if you can’t tell, I’m starting to hate myself.
“The brandlandish—but true!—claims your previous executive product development team failed to recognize have come around—luckily for [COMPANY NAME REDACTED]— and I praise you infamous men for giving it a second look,” Pontius began, advancing past the slide with long-necked giraffe I’d come to loathe.
“The era of terroir tap water is about to begin. You can either claim to own their flavorful pipes, or lose out to your competitors. Who will bottle nether-regions of Brooklyn? Who the Western Addition of San Francisco, The Missionary District? Gentlemen. You already own the glass, you own the distribution… now own the tasting notes for America’s nuanced tap-water economy!”
He advanced the slide again, and the precious mock-ups (hand-drawn?) of “The Taste of America” bottles appeared on the flatscreen.
It is very hard not to palm one’s face in a meeting like this. And this was just one of many. READ MORE >
My wife and I flew into Atlanta.
We were told we had a driver waiting for us by Mackie Wallace who, no shit, signed out on the bottom of our travel itinerary email with Executive Chief of Staff, and so we entered the baggage claim expecting a dude in a white and black suit, holding a paper sign. Instead, we saw pink.
At first, it scared the shit out of me—is this the same guy from the premiere? I stared at him, saw his sign (Mr and Mrss Baumann, misspellings as is), and really tried to figure out if it was the same guy. No. They both had a rough air, kind of dirty. But this gentleman had recently shaven, was a bit shorter. And he looked four thousand times more nervous. He stuttered out a hello, and escorted us outside to the temporary parking. I noticed the guy was wearing leather loafers with a hole near his right big toe when Aviva said, “Whoa.” A white on white on white Bentley—white paint, white leather interior, white rims. I like cars, but I felt totally inadequate for this sort of coach, especially considering that I am not Prince. READ MORE >
I received a business card.
I was at the premiere for The Descendants and a man in a pink shirt bumped into me. Hard. Oh god I’m sorry, I said. He didn’t apologize, didn’t walk on—he was staring at me. Then I really looked at him; wrinkled pink dress shirt, beard, food in his teeth. In retrospect, I think he had food in his pockets. Movie premieres, and this one in particular, have pretty heavy security, so I thought at worst this guy was just pickled and made eccentric by enormous, casual wealth. Who knows anymore.
Are you Ken? READ MORE >
from da generous Shane Jones: I have a lot of author copies for Daniel Fights a Hurricane and I want to give a few away. I was thinking a contest at HTMLGIANT where people can win a copy by creating a new kind of weather in the comments section and say what its effects are. I’ll pick three “winners” and send the copies out this weekend.
I’m giving away two copies of THE SKY WENT RED WHILE HE WAS INSIDE, a small book produced by Kiddiepunk. The man behind Kiddiepunk and the cover artist/brilliant artist in general is Michael Salerno. This book is made of edited sections from CALL OUT, a novel I wrote. To enter: comment! I’ll randomly pick two people and hunt their e/meat addresses down. Thank you.
Over at BOMBLOG, a deep interview with one of the best & bravest: Jarret Kobek. Conversation includes: ATTA, Disneyland, fiction/fact, youngwriterfear, culture bends.
Derek White, publisher of Calamari Press, writes beautifully about the operations of the press in its eighth year.
The issue features writing from Iphgenia Baal, Amie Barrodale, Chiara Barzini, Blake Butler, Matthias “Wolfboy” Connor, Seth Fried, Amelia Gray, Shane Jones, Robert Lopez, Clancy Martin, Francesco Pacifico, and Lynne Tillman & art from Massimiliano Bomba, Carola Bonfili, Milano Chow, TJ Cowgill, Joe DeNardo, Francesco de Figueiredo, Roope Eronen, Frédéric Fleury, Christy Karacas, Taylor McKimens, Brenna Murphy, and Toony Navok.
In so much art, I can smell the author’s desire for me to be more interested in how they and/or their characters interpret and inhabit boredom than actually doing something. Simple action. Anybody involved doing anything. I’m thinking here of The Stranger, The Third Reich by Roberto Bolaño, The Immoralist. The strung along. The boredom of relative luxury. How this seems to at least temporarily obliterate any internal gyre of philosophy or gut thought that would lead to decisions being made and bodies being moved, followed then by trailing thought, fallen out words. Is there a novel out there concerned mostly with people moving and acting with little thought, but in which plot in its traditional patterns of building (attention, suspense, terror) does not build its usual cores but delves or unearths something deeper in its time: meaninglessness? Beckett, I guess, right? Of Molloy. And not yet just a list of actions but a trail of subsumed desire, of wiped want, or cleaned out intuition. Belief born without a tail. Who’s out there? And how are they speaking? And in that smell, be it a pleasant suprasense or the shit of deadening culture, you can either yes to it or no and walk away, close the book. Off the screen. Say hi to a realm of light and seeming chaos that somehow provides you wind.
But meaninglessness is tricky. Just as the word impossible is framed by a language that both codes it and decodes it simultaneously (it’s a combustive word; no wonder artists take it as such an engine), meaninglessness doesn’t truly touch through the black skein of a void, the void, void. We know it just gestures. (from Mark Leidner: poetry like the Midas of meaning; everything you reach for is dissolved in the spectacle of the gesture) So we’re left with a hologram of a projection of deeper sense or finality: we’re left just out of reach of the point of cataclysm, or at least where the earth can break through enough to swallow its container. It’s not geometrical at all, nor is it a sphere without a skin: in a way, culture in its progression, bacterial (maybe moreso than a viral way), keeps as its form the method by which we can get as close to a system of thought’s event horizon. A hollow zone where the force holding you in place is milliseconds away from its pull toward another place: lesser star, complete off.
I dreamed earlier today about writing I am paralyzed. In the near immediate wake of death. And how, seeming to me then in the open dream, that must necessarily precede a statement of numerical precision: how many times the page itself I had typed or tapped onto white had been deleted. And reformed, necessarily. All I’m thinking about now is how the Dionysian and the Apollonian were easy outs. It seems to me both of those frames of vision have a third hand somewhere: just out of frame, the marble grates against its mate. Touch.