Behind the Scenes
Some Thoughts Re Muumuu House
[Ed. note: A month or two ago, Jordan Castro wrote me an email containing a review he'd written for Matthew Savoca's long love poem with descriptive title. The review was less a review and more a personal reflection on Jordan's part, referring to things about the book pertaining to himself: what he did while reading it, how it made him feel, etc. In fact, the review ended: "I really only thought about myself. Again." I felt interested, or at least curious, as to why this kind of review, and really, this kind of relating to things by one's self rather than the thing itself, compelled not only Jordan, but also a kind of group with which Jordan has been grouped, i.e. Tao Lin and Muumuu House, writers of an often readily identifiable, and sometimes ire inducing, style, that pertains often mostly to feelings, incidental observations, and what might could be called "absurdist emo" (I just made that up). Instead of the book review, then, I asked Jordan to write about these associations; what fuels them, why the self-focus, maybe even what is kind of going on? Jordan's thoughtful, and I think generous, and probably in more than one way controversial, reply follows below. -BB]
Throughout the history of literature – or the history of anything, rather – people have found other people like them and they’ve “stuck with” those people for a period of time, supporting them, “hanging out” with them, etc.
This is what people do. They communicate. They form relationships. They do things to alleviate the monotony of their existences.
Muumuu House (est. 2009) [http://muumuuhouse.com], a publisher of poetry, fiction, Twitter selections and Gmail chats, seems, to me, to “simply” be those patterns of humanity “in action” – a group of socially alienated individuals who chose literature as their means of alleviating monotony and who, as a result of that and other things, inadvertently (invariably?) “united.”
In other words, I feel like Muumuu House – or “the Muumuu House group of writers” – are a group of people who like similar things, like any other group of people.
If this essay exists to “say anything,” it exists, I think, “simply” to explore my own thoughts about Muumuu House and a certain type of writer/person.
One thing that I feel “brought us all together,” to some degree, is a lack of rhetoric in our thoughts, worldviews and the way we interact with other humans.
In “mainstream culture” and in all “subcultures” that I know of, there exists a large degree of rhetoric and external, abstract “purpose” that drives the “core” of [said cultures’] existence. In “mainstream culture” it is usually something like money, God, family, society, success or [something else]. In other cultures it is usually something like [form of government or lack thereof], anti-[something], pro-[something] or [something else].
This rhetoric and “purpose,” in my view, “stems from” the belief that there is an inherent, universal “right,” “wrong,” “good” and “bad,” and invariably contains paradoxes and contradictions that are not addressed and/or are justified in some way within [said culture]. Things are assumed and rules are applied.
I honestly feel that this is not the case with Muumuu House. I think that once one decides – or “realizes,” rather, based on certain understandings of perception and concrete reality – that there isn’t an inherent, universal “right,” “wrong,” “good,” “bad” or [anything], and one focuses mainly on cause and effect in concrete reality while simultaneously “destroying” preconceptions s/he “learned” while growing up, s/he will think, speak, write and act in a manner that the majority of people will not understand and, due to the nature of the way that the majority of people think, will want to “strike down” or “lash out against.” This can be seen in the countless “shit storms” that have “rained down upon us.” This can be seen, maybe even epitomized, in my view, in Charles Bock’s review of Richard Yates by Tao Lin for The New York Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/books/review/Bock-t.html]. People – using literary devices, rhetoric, etc. – say we’re “bad,” for reasons usually based on the idea that literature or life “should” be a certain way. We, however, don’t say things like that, because we don’t believe in an inherent “good,” “bad,” “should” or [anything], I think, just a “different.”
DETACHED, DEPRESSED, ALONE, ALIENATED
DETACHMENT – Due to certain worldviews (or lack thereof) and [other things], our “emotional scope,” or range of emotions, while fundamentally similar to that of most people, I think, is significantly less extreme, “for the most part,” due to an almost constant state of detachment from external reality.
While most people, in my experience, seem to think with emotions, we, for the most part, I think, have chosen to think with thoughts, and I think that this is a major cause for our feeling detached from others and others feeling detached (or something else similar) from us.
DEPRESSION – I think my friends and I are depressed. I think that the way we “deal with” our depression has factored largely into our becoming/being friends.
Everyone does things to alleviate boredom and depression. Some people play sports, some people watch T.V., some people talk to other people, etc. Depressed people, for the most part, do these things too, or have at some point, but they don’t feel as satisfied doing them as “normal” people do. So depressed people usually do one of three things:
- Take pills.
- “Be depressed.”
- Find another way to alleviate depression.
I think – aside from taking drugs, which many of us do – my friends and I have “figured out” that being “mad productive” helps us alleviate our depression. Tao Lin [http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/] has written 6 books. Noah Cicero [http://noah-cicero.blogspot.com] has written 6 books. Sam Pink [http://www.impersonalelectroniccommunication.com/] has written 4 books. Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://thoughtcatalog.com/author/brandon-scott-gorrell/] has written >100 Thought Catalog articles.
ALONE – Whether depression is the result of loneliness and one becomes “mad productive” due to that or whether the desire to be “mad productive” is one’s reason for being alone, another common thing is that we all tend to spend a lot of time alone.
This results in a certain manner of acting while around people that, while “extremely strange” to many, seems “very comforting and natural” to me.
Here is an article that Brandon wrote about the way he and Tao talk to one another [http://thoughtcatalog.com/2010/steak-ass-bitches-milking-titties-and-bleak-ass-hos/].
ALIENATED – Everything above has caused us to feel alienated from humanity, to a large degree, I think.
A “STREAM OF CONSCIOUS,” COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE PUBLICATIONS ON
THE MUUMUU HOUSE WEBSITE
“extremely high in dark ass room” by Jordan Castro [http://muumuuhouse.com/jc.poetry1.html] – Seems “incredibly funny and sweet,” to me, that Tao chose to publish this e-mail I sent to him. Seems to “convey” [certain emotions], “my brain on drugs” and a certain moment in my life, in a manner I can understand and remember, which excites me.
“Things I Remember My Great-Grandparents Doing” by Mallory Whitten [http://muumuuhouse.com/mw.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly funny, sweet and endearing,” to me. “Grinned uncontrollably” and repeatedly while reading this, due to certain images and scenarios portrayed. Enjoyed the manner in which the piece seemed to “deal with” concepts like time, death and “insanity.”
“unpublished tweets” by Megan Boyle [http://muumuuhouse.com/mb.poetry2.html] – Seems “incredibly funny, sweet and endearing,” to me. Experienced high levels of excitement, interest and intense, complex-seeming emotions while reading this. Feel a “lingering excitement” for life after reading.
“[excerpt of Person]” by Sam Pink [http://muumuuhouse.com/sp.fiction1.html]– Seems like a sweet ass excerpt from a sweet ass novel. Seems to portray a degree of “insanity,” awkwardness re social interactions and “bleakness of life,” in a relatable, readable and ultimately life-affirming, in my view, manner. My face honestly feels “sore” from grinning while reading this piece.
“knife girl” by Mallory Whitten [http://muumuuhouse.com/mw.poetry1.html]– Seems “incredibly funny and exciting,” to me, in the same manner a “well written, plot driven, thrilling movie” would excite me, I think. This was originally an e-mail, or a series of e-mails, I think, that Mallory sent to me over a period of time, about a girl who attends the same high school as us. Have read this ~15 times, and enjoyed listening to Mallory read it at this reading [http://smokingonanemptystomach.blogspot.com/2011/01/muumuu-house-dvd.html].
“All Of The Drugs I’ve Taken” [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.fiction6.html] by Brandon Scott Gorrell – Seems “incredibly sweet, well written and interesting,” to me, and to portray certain relatable attitudes, experiences and [other things] re certain drugs. Initially felt “shocked” upon reading this, I think, due to thinking, for some reason, that Brandon hadn’t done as many drugs as the piece seems to indicate. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“selections from Jordan Castro’s Twitter account” by Mallory Whitten (editor) [http://muumuuhouse.com/jc.twitter1.2009-10.html] – Seemed to feel a “wide range” of emotions while reading this, the most prominent of which being something like “are my Tweets worse now… how are my Tweets now compared to these tweets.” Mallory did a good job, in my view, of choosing which Tweets to include. Felt and feel “very happy” thinking about her and Tao “working together” to help me.
“Four Times I’ve Interacted With Justin Taylor In Real Life” by Andrew James Weatherhead [http://muumuuhouse.com/ajw.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly funny and sweet,” to me, that Andrew wrote this and that Tao published it. Felt high levels of interest and excitement throughout. Remember initially thinking Andrew was “brave” for writing this. Remember a night in Kent, OH with Noah Cicero, Brittany Wallace and Mallory Whitten, when Andrew talked about how he had arranged an interview with Justin before the piece was published and how Justin declined to do it afterward. Just felt an “out-of-control” urge to type “GAHHHHHHH!!!!!!” then thought “YAHHHHHHHHHH!” while thinking a little about cigarettes and beer, I think.
“Embarrassing Moments” by Megan Boyle [http://muumuuhouse.com/mb.fiction3.html]– Seems “incredibly funny, exciting and endearing,” to me. Enjoy the style and format in which it’s written. Seems like, while most people would view the memories in this piece as “bad times” in their life, or feel sad while thinking about them, Megan detached herself from them to a degree that allowed her to use them for “art,” which I view as the opposite of sad, I think. “Grinned uncontrollably” while reading the last line of this piece while thinking “Jesus…” then “Jesus Jesus…”
“Three Poems” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry7.html]– Thought something like “these are the best poems ever” while reading these poems. They seem to portray “complex emotions,” with a degree of detachment, in a style that I feel “adds to” the emotions that are being expressed, to some degree, or something. Feel “calmly emotional” after reading these, while imagining myself in bed with a bowl of “snacks,” watching South Park on my laptop. Have read these ~15x.
Probably Going To Die Alone by Ellen Kennedy [http://muumuuhouse.com/ek.fiction3.html]– Seems “calmly emotional.” Seems written in a style I enjoy and can relate to, and that I’ve enjoyed reading on multiple occasions, usually while feeling depressed, then, after reading, feeling “depressed in a calmer, more accepting manner than before.” I think I first read this in sometimes my heart pushes my ribs, Ellen Kennedy’s book published by Muumuu House in 2009.
Eight Poems by Audun Mortensen [http://muumuuhouse.com/am.poetry1.html]– These poems seem “incredibly funny,” to me, in a vaguely emotional, sarcastic manner that I’ve enjoyed reading and thinking about on multiple occasions. Felt “strong affinity” for Audun while reading these poems. Repeatedly laughed “really hard” while reading these. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
[excerpt of The Insurgent] by Noah Cicero [http://muumuuhouse.com/nc.fiction3.html]– Reading this feels like something is being “released” from my soul in slow motion. I feel inspired to write “kick ass prose” and to hang out with Noah after reading this. Seemed to think something like “[Noah] deserves more, like, from literature, or something,” while reading. The piece seemed to “capture” a manner of thinking and living that, in my experience, seems “nearly impossible” to “capture” or relate clearly, due to the nature of [said manner of thinking and living], in a manner that seemed “natural” and “really sweet,” to me.
“selections from Megan Boyle’s Twitter account” by Tao Lin (editor)[ http://muumuuhouse.com/mb.twitter1.2009.html] – Seems “incredibly funny, sweet and endearing,” to me. Seems to portray “complex emotions” in a relatable, readable, detached and “really funny” manner, to me. While re-reading this, I seemed to remember a time when I read this, either before having a Twitter account or recently after making one, and thinking something like “I want my Twitter to be as sweet as this.”
“Gmail Chat” by Tao Lin & Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/tl.bsg.12.29.09.html]– Seems to “cover” a “wide range” of emotions, within the context of “calmly enjoying life, to varying degrees, a certain distance away from one another, each doing things separately, alone.” Upon re-reading, I seemed to feel “very happy” for periods of time, “focused on [certain sentences]” for periods of time and “amused” for periods of time. Seemed to feel “nostalgic” for Gmail chats similar to this that I’ve had with people in the past. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“I Woke Up In A Hostel Around 7 AM” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.fiction5.html]– Remember reading this in an e-mail, I think, while Brandon was “overseas,” after asking him if he had written anything recently that I could read. I remember feeling then as I feel now, after re-reading, which seems to be something like “aware of a vague sense of ‘not having “lived” a lot,’ while knowing that that doesn’t mean anything, but still feeling like “there is a future where ‘living’ will take place,” or something. The events in the piece seem funny and exciting, to me.
“Bad Smelling Person In Nautica” by Miles Ross [http://muumuuhouse.com/mjr.fiction1.html] – Seems “really interesting,” to me. Feel increased levels of interest re “how Miles thinks about things” after reading this. Seems well written and enjoyable.
“[excerpt of Best Behavior] by Noah Cicero” [http://muumuuhouse.com/nc.fiction2.html] – Seems to “capture” a certain emotion that “arises” while attending a “shitty ass” event with people you kind of know and want to be around, but also with a mass amount of people you “hate” at that point and time. Seems like “anyone who has ever been involved in anything” could emotionally relate to this excerpt, or something, but maybe not… I don’t know. Felt “very interested” while re-reading this, while also feeling like I hadn’t read it before, I think, despite “knowing” that I’ve read it before.
“Clams” by Megan Boyle [http://muumuuhouse.com/mb.fiction2.html]– Seems “incredibly endearing and emotional,” to me. Enjoyed the style in which it was written. Seemed like “exactly what I’d want from a story ‘like this,’” or something. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“scoliosis poem” by Zachary German [http://muumuuhouse.com/zg.poetry5.html] – Seems emotional, to me, in an interesting, “very detached” manner, like a person watching a video of a person watching a video of a person watching a video of a person who seems like they might be crying, but could also not be crying, or something. I just put the cup of water I am drinking onto my desk and it moved on it’s own.
“from my chair i can see the street and it seems depressing” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry6.html]– Seems “incredibly funny,” to me, in a manner that caused me, upon re-reading, to “think further” about things like [scenario being described in the poem] and existence and “the brain” and [other things] for a period of time, until thinking something like “God damn it…” then stopping.
“Color of Darkness” by James Purdy [http://muumuuhouse.com/jp.fiction1.html]– Seems “innovative, or something,” to me, that Tao published this, or… [something]. I first read this story ~1.6 years ago, I think, while sitting in study hall, and “immediately afterward” began writing a story in a similar style, about a father and a son. Seems, based on this story and other things I’ve read by James Purdy, that I’d have “liked” James Purdy “as a person” but would “never have actually” pursued a relationship, or something. Really enjoyed this story.
“Today” by Victoria Trock [http://muumuuhouse.com/vt.fiction2.html]– While reading this, I seemed to imagine Victoria, after ingesting coffee, sitting alone in her bedroom at her parents house, feeling “mildly-very discontent with the prospects for the day,” or “simply” “mildly-very [something],” causing her to feel the desire to “do something besides ‘sit around,’” like she, based on the events portrayed in the piece, had been doing for the first half of the day, then looking at her laptop while feeling mildly “[something like ‘frustrated’]” re “what to write about,” then wrote this. Seems “really sweet,” to me. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“holding a tiny dixie cup in my hand makes me feel like a giant human being that can crush things” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry5.html]– Seems funny, emotional and mildly sarcastic, to some degree, in a manner that seems sweet and relatable, to me. Jeffery Brown drew something re this poem that I like [http://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiadavis/4030824623/]. Seems sweet ass, to me.
“i want to drive my car into the ocean really slowly, like a turtle” by Joseph Moore [http://muumuuhouse.com/jm.poetry1.html] – Seems emotional, to me. Felt interested in the things conveyed and the manner/order in which they were conveyed. Enjoyed the style in which it was written. Felt calm and interested throughout.
“A Gorgeous Hotel, In a Grand City” by Michael Earl Craig [http://muumuuhouse.com/mec.fiction1.html]– Seemed “incredibly emotional, relatable, sweet and well written,” to me. Have read this ~7x. Seems “well crafted.” Feel interested in reading more things by Michael Earl Craig after reading this.
“selections from Miles Ross’ Twitter account” by Tao Lin (editor) [http://muumuuhouse.com/mr.twitter1.2009.html]– Seems “incredibly relatable, funny and occasionally emotional,” to me. I think, before creating a Twitter account, I read these and felt “inspired” to create a Twitter account. Felt calm, grinning occasionally and laughing quietly, while re-reading these for the ~15th time, I think.
“Ambien” by Abigail Lloyd [http://muumuuhouse.com/al.fiction2.html]– Seems interesting, to me. Enjoyed trying to “figure this piece out,” to some degree, via reading it 3x consecutively then trying to think “harder” about [various things]. Seems enjoyable, stylistically and emotionally, to me. Seems… enjoyable… stylistically and emotionally… to me…
“Three Poems” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry4.html]– Poems seem “incredibly funny, sweet and relatable,” to me. I like their titles, the style in which they’re written and the emotions they seem to convey. Felt high levels of interest and affinity the line “seems like cops shouldn’t ride around on bicycles.” and other lines. Felt inspired to write poetry after reading these.
“Everyone I’ve Had Sex With” by Megan Boyle [http://muumuuhouse.com/mb.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly funny, endearing and emotional,” to me. Enjoy the style in which it’s written. Seemed to feel “increased [something like “respect” or “admiration”] for Megan while re-reading this, due to her ability to “face” seemingly sad situations with a certain degree of detachment, allowing her to write about them and “reflect,” to some degree, on them, whereas most people, I think, would “completely ignore” or “try to suppress” them. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“elevated self esteem as a result of alcohol consumption” by Megan Boyle [http://muumuuhouse.com/mb.poetry1.html] – Seems “incredibly sweet and endearing,” to me. Have read this ~15x. Seems “beautiful,” to me. Seems like some beautiful ass poetry, to me.
“Gmail Chat” by Tao Lin & Carles [http://muumuuhouse.com/tl.c.4.19.09.html]– Seems “incredibly funny,” to me, imagining Tao ingesting “two eggs, cornbread, nachos, 1 pint blue moon, iced tea and guacomole” in the morning. Felt interested in Tao’s and Carles’ thoughts re “I Love College” by Asher Roth and [other things]. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“relationship poems” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry3.html] – I like that, in this poem and many of the other poems/pieces on the Muumuu House website, events seem, to me, to be portrayed in a manner that seems “really close to, if not an exact ‘transcript’ of” “real life,” which usually seems “funny” or “sweet” or “endearing” or “exciting,” to me. Seems like a solid ass poem. A solid ass poem ass bitch.
“fell asleep while watching ‘election’ last night” by Zachary German [http://muumuuhouse.com/zg.poetry4.html]– Seems “incredibly funny and endearing,” to me, in an interesting, “signature German” manner. Lines like “(strange thing to say, right? i mean she’s beautiful, but, seems strange)” seemed to cause me to “want to be hanging out with Zachary,” to some degree, I think, for some reason. Seems like this could have originally been an e-mail sent to Tao. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“selections from Chris Killen’s Twitter account” by Tao Lin (editor) [http://muumuuhouse.com/ck.twitter1.2009.html]– I remember showing this to Mallory Whitten and frequently laughing out loud while reading it with her. I’ve read this ~20x. I honestly feel like this might be “one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.”
“Florals” by Rebecca Curtis [http://muumuuhouse.com/rc.fiction1.html]– Felt “mildly aroused,” I think, while reading this for the first time, feeling, to some degree, like something sexual was “about to go down.” After re-reading, seems “really sweet,” to me, content-wise and stylistically. Feel inspired to write prose in a similar style. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“seeing a woman cough today made me sense a vague fear of death” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry2.html]– Seems funny, relatable and written in a style I enjoy. Seems to express a certain manner of thinking and feeling that feels familiar to me, in a style that “helps” the reader “understand” [said manner of thinking and feeling], I think.
“an uneventful story about a person and a dog in an apartment that the majority of the population would react to by saying ‘i don’t understand what the point of this is’” by Ellen Kennedy [http://muumuuhouse.com/ek.poetry1.html]– Seems like a “really sweet” title, to me. Seems like “the majority of the population” would react to most of the publications on the Muumuu House website, perhaps, “by saying ‘i don’t understand what the point of this is.’” The piece seems relatable, to me, and makes me feel – in the same manner “talking with someone about ‘how fun [one’s weekend] was’” would make a person feel – excited about life, to a large degree. Enjoy the style in which it’s written. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“La Pena” by Deb Olin Unferth [http://muumuuhouse.com/dou.fiction1.html]– Seems interesting and written in a unique style that I enjoyed reading and thinking about. I feel interested in reading more things by Deb Olin Unferth after reading this. Seems sweet.
“Minimizing and Maximizing Mozilla Firefox Repeatedly” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.fiction4.html]– Seems “incredibly relatable, interesting and funny,” to me. I enjoy the style in which it’s written and think it “complements” the content of the story. I think this was the first prose I read where the protagonist’s name wasn’t “simply” “Bill” or “Jane,” or something, and was something else – in this case, Godzilla – which seemed interesting and funny to me the first time I read it and which still seems interesting and funny to me now. Seems “incredibly relatable,” to me. Felt inspired to write after reading this, and to communicate something to Brandon like “I really enjoyed reading this piece… Seems like I can remember reading this when it was first posted and feeling like you ‘got me’ when no one else did… [other “gay/sappy-seeming” sentiment].”
“McDonald’s” by Abigail Lloyd [http://muumuuhouse.com/al.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly exciting and endearing,” to me. Seems to “explain,” to some degree, “Jason’s” actions re “Ambien” by Abigail Lloyd, via saying “Jason is retarded.” Felt increasingly excited about the idea of living, of “getting out and doing fun things,” or something, while reading this. Feel interested in reading more things by Abigail Lloyd. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“Gmail Chat” by Victoria Trock & Tao Lin [http://muumuuhouse.com/vt.tl.1.13.09.html]– Seems “incredibly funny,” to me. Seems “crazy,” to me, imagining Victoria “that drunk.” Seems… “incredibly funny.” Laughed “really hard” ~6x while reading.
“Synchronized Swimming” by Mazie Louise Montgomery [http://muumuuhouse.com/mlm.fiction1.html]– Felt “incredibly interested” while reading this. Seems “incredibly well written and sweet,” to me. Laughed quietly ~3x, calmly trying to “analyze” certain sentences that, upon “further investigation,” seemed “really funny in a complex, intelligent manner,” to me.
“i want to call you a bitch” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.poetry1.html] – Seems sweet. Seems to articulate something re “productivity” and using it to make oneself feel less depressed, maybe. Seems sweet ass. Enjoy reading and thinking about this poem.
“Shoplifting from Urban Outfitters” by Victoria Trock [http://muumuuhouse.com/vt.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly exciting, sweet and endearing,” to me. Stopped reading to think about lines like “She supports being homeless and asking people for money so you can shoot heroin or drink alcohol or something” at various points throughout the story. Felt excited to “get out and do things” during and after reading this piece. Laughed out loud ~3x. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“something bad happened today” by Zachary German [http://muumuuhouse.com/zg.poetry3.html]– Seems “incredibly funny,” to me, imagining Zachary in that situation and thinking about the situation “in general.” Seems like this could have originally been an e-mail sent to Tao. Felt high levels of interest, excitement and “jesus christ…” throughout.
“Nervous Assface” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.fiction3.html]– Seems “incredibly sweet, funny, emotional and relatable,” to me. Have clear memories of myself showing this poem, via during my nervous breakdown i want to have a biographer present, Brandon’s poetry book published by Muumuu House in 2009, to a friend at school who “doesn’t read” but likes doing drugs, and him responding by saying “Damn, man,” in a manner I perceived as “like he didn’t want to say he felt weird, even though he felt wierd.” Seem to often times feel “surprised” every time I read Brandon’s poetry, re “how well I feel able to relate to it,” I think.
“qim drunk” by Victoria Trock [http://muumuuhouse.com/vt.poetry2.html]– Distinctly remember showing this to Mallory at school, and us reading it together, laughing quietly, then both saying we liked it. Seems “incredibly endearing, funny, relatable and emotional,” to me. Seems like it could have originally been an e-mail to Tao. Seems sweet. Seems sweet ass.
“Gmail Chat” by Tao Lin & Zachary German [http://muumuuhouse.com/tl.zg.9.30.08.html]– Seemed “emotional,” to me, reading this now, due to Zachary and Tao’s “not being friends anymore.” Seems funny and relatable. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“Gmail Chat” by P.H. Madore & Tao Lin [http://muumuuhouse.com/pm.tl.10.18.06.html]– Seems “incredibly funny,” to me, that this conversation happened and that Tao chose to publish it. Seems… “incredibly funny,” to me…
“Three Stories” by Matthew Rohrer [http://muumuuhouse.com/mr.fiction1.html]– Seems… interesting. Feels hard to think anything besides “Seems… interesting.” Seems sweet. Enjoyed reading it. Seems… interesting ass.
“Flatbed, Seabed” by Tara Wray [http://muumuuhouse.com/tw.fiction1.html]– Seems “melancholic, metaphorical and maudlin,” to some degree, in a maybe detached manner, throughout the story, until the end, I think. Enjoyed the style and content of the story. Seems “really interesting,” to me. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“Norm Macdonald” by Ellen Kennedy [http://muumuuhouse.com/ek.fiction2.html]– Seems funny and interesting, to me. Seems… funny and interesting, to me. Feel unable to think anything besides “Seems funny and interesting, to me.” Seems sweet.
“lemmings paintball” by Zachary German [http://muumuuhouse.com/zg.poetry2.html]– Seems “really sweet,” to me. Have read this ~7x. Really enjoy looking at and thinking about this poem. Seems funny. Seems to portray [something] re “focusing on things” vs. “not focusing on things,” or “the nature of focusing on something,” or something.
“A Pale White Hamster Yawns in Bed” by Ellen Kennedy [http://muumuuhouse.com/ek.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly endearing, exciting and emotional,” to me. Seems “cute” and “sweet,” to me. Felt excited about my relationships with people – one relationship specifically, to a large degree – while reading this. Felt excited to “get out and do things.” Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“Gmail Chat” by Jamie Sterns & Tao Lin [http://muumuuhouse.com/js.tl.10.03.08.html]– Remember reading this in “study hall” during my sophomore year in high school, I think, and feeling confused. Seems “really funny” to me now.
“tonic has a lot of calories, interestingly” by Zachary German [http://muumuuhouse.com/zg.poetry1.html]– “Actually” seems interesting to me that tonic, according to the title of this poem, has a lot of calories. Feel a little confused by this poem, in a manner that feels less like confusion and more like I’m “on painkillers,” or something… or… something… Seems interesting.
“Butt Teen” by R.B. Glaser [http://muumuuhouse.com/rbg.fiction1.html]– Seems “incredibly well written, emotional and interesting,” to me. Seems written in an interesting, unique style that caused me to feel emotional. Feel interested in reading more things by R.B. Glaser after reading this. Anticipate reading this ~10-300x in the next ~1-20 years. Felt high, intense levels of emotional interest throughout.
“Godzilla” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.fiction2.html]– Seems “incredibly emotional, relatable and funny,” to me. Really enjoyed re-reading this. Felt inspired to write prose after reading this. Enjoyed the style in which it’s written. Felt high, intense levels of emotional interest throughout.
“Gmail Chat” by Noah Cicero & Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/nc.bsg.8.12.07.html]– Seemed “incredibly funny and interesting,” to me. Seems possibly “like one of Noah and Brandon’s first Gmail chats.” Enjoyed the content of the chat. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
“the world would be happier with me dead in it” by Victoria Trock [http://muumuuhouse.com/vt.poetry1.html]– Title seems “really sweet,” to me. The emotions expressed in the poem seem to be expressed in a manner that I can relate to, understand and enjoy. Seems like this could have originally been an e-mail sent to Tao. Seems sweet.
“Cliches Vs. Concrete Words” by Brandon Scott Gorrell [http://muumuuhouse.com/bsg.fiction1.html]– Remember reading this in the Solon High School library during my sophomore year in high school, I think, and “not really feeling like I understood it at all.” Seems like I feel like I “understand it” now, and enjoyed reading it. Seems to articulate, to some degree, “what the Muumuu House aesthetic” is “all about.”
“A Cold Wind Blows Tonight” by Noah Cicero [http://muumuuhouse.com/nc.fiction1.html]– Seems like maybe an excerpt of an original draft of The Insurgent. Felt interested and excited while reading this. Had “vivid images” throughout reading, of Noah “as” Vasily, the protagonist, doing/saying the things being described. Felt high levels of interest throughout.
This essay is not meant to be definitive, nor is it supposed to be “the truth,” to any degree, or [anything]. I think it’s “simply” an assortment of thoughts I had re Muumuu House, and something that I had fun writing.
Thank you for your time.
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[Jordan Castro (b. 1992) is the author of if i really wanted to feel happy, i'd feel happy already (Black Coffee Press, 2013). He is the author of Supercomputer (Deckfight Press, 2011) and 2 other e-books. He is the co-author of Cute (Thumbscrews Press, 2011) and 2 other chapbooks. He maintains a blog and a Twitter account.]