Behind the Scenes

WTF Is Happening In My Shower

Behind the Scenes / 13 Comments
March 26th, 2014 / 12:34 pm

WTF Is Happening in My Shower?

Inspired by the riveting journeys already undertaken by Adam R., Melissa, and Brooks, I thought I’d take you on a tour of my own humble shower …


OK so obviously I’ve got a lot of hygiene products; I’ll admit I’m a little obsessive. There’s a special story behind each and every one of them (à la Daniel Spoerri’s classic conceptual text An Anecdoted Topography of Chance), but I don’t know if you want to hear all of them. So I’ll stick to just the highlights …


Behind the Scenes / 14 Comments
March 18th, 2014 / 9:00 am

Spencer Madsen’s Publishing Genius

I’m really sorry house about this.

Behind the Scenes / 2 Comments
March 6th, 2014 / 5:58 pm

Managing Editor


Hey Everyone,

Blake and I have decided that I will be managing this site for a while.

If you’ve never heard of me, I started this site with Blake, I love the beach, own a high-end retail store, and have two wonderful children and a loving wife that refers to me as her “ladyman.”

Blake will continue to be the Executive Editor of Htmlgiant, and I will listen to him when he has something to say. He is my boss.

Up until this point, for the past 5-6 years, writers have published their own posts without having to get them approved. We changed this ten minutes ago.

This will allow us to address problems with content before it goes live, time posts appropriately, stop embedded video from looking all fucked-up, and generally make everything more cohesive.

What does this mean for you? Well, for one, you’ve got a new buddy! I’m your buddy! Other than that, it depends.

I will answer any and all questions below. You can also reach me at gene@htmlgiant.com if you’ve got a less-public concern.

I love you all, and thank you for visiting us at Htmlgiant,


Behind the Scenes / 235 Comments
February 24th, 2014 / 9:30 pm

Are you ready for #AWP14?

Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features


Poem A Day JW
Poem A Day JW date


Jessalyn Wakefield can literally teleport. You can literally find her work at amihuman.net. Farren Stanley lives in Santa Fe and is published or forthcoming in places like Handsome, Front Porch, RealPoetik, Caketrain, H_NGM_N, New Delta Review and Greying Ghost Press.


A Rabbit in Labor




Farren Stanley / Jessalyn Wakefield

Poem A Day TJ strip

The Rabbit Poems are a collaborative project between myself and Farren Stanley. We wrote A Rabbit in Labor while I was in Alabama, visiting Farren, who was working on her MFA in Tuscaloosa.poem a day alexandra X We spent a lot of time doing shots of Fireball and drinking Budweiser and watching Jeopardy at her bar, Egan’s. There were also late night topless pool crashings, sexy coeds, hot dance parties, and a fucking lot of writing. It was killer. I dropped out of my undergrad three semesters in, so I’m sure my two weeks in Tuscaloosa packed in all the grad school I might ever have needed.

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

Poem A Day TJ strip

1 Comment
February 20th, 2014 / 10:57 am

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features & Random


Poem A Day TJ
Poem A Day TJ date


TJ Lyons is in California doing things that dudes usually do. His first book, Things, will be out soon from somewhere awesome. Things are always what they seem. tjisadude.tumblr.com


I think I sleep in a peel that fits me better than a collar



                                      T.J. Lyons

Poem A Day TJ strip

This poem came from my experience living as a bananapoem a day TJ alt in a Safeway for nine days before the produce people noticed me, and then they marked me down. An old woman with a pegleg bought me. This will appear soon in the ebook, The Wind Cannot Remove the Stench in My Bones, with art by Andrew Jurado.

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

Poem A Day TJ strip

1 Comment
February 17th, 2014 / 11:26 pm


…but then got ran over by a bus and died. No im totally kidding! but you really did get the flu and couldn’t join me.

The talk was at Housing Works, and it included two other speakers: David Gordon and Michael Kunichika.Your expectations were unclear: talk about Russian writers who, though they left us long ago, remain potent presences for readers and writers today. From Dostoevsky and Tolstoy to Vasily Grossman and Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, we’ll learn about obsession, madness, realism, fables, and more, in an event with all the drama and pathos (well, at least some of the drama and pathos) of the great Russian novels themselves.


Here are all the texts I would have sent you, in chronological order and without clarifying who said what, because color-coordinating via SMS goes a step too far:

truth-seeking urgency intrinsic in russian lit

antithesis to beckett & writers who focused extensively on beauty of language

falling in love w/ english language, less plot driven urgency

dostoevsky similar to conrad in terms of truth-seeking urgency

multivocality of dostoevsky

there is no right, just different truths

dostoevsky threw the best literary parties (metaphorically speaking, as a creator)

proust s parties were too long, and maybe the guests were wearing better clothes

abstract psychological curiosity in motives, including abnormalities–>russian approach

going in depth for big questions, characters not being introverted

serialization of lengthy works, such as ‘war & peace,’ adds towards creating a broader debate. they become part of the broader debates occurring during their time

some compare the creation of microcosms of russian lit to ‘the wire’

comparing to british office, where they look at the camera at moments of despair but the viewer cannot do anything to help // to embarrasing dostoevsky characters

nabokov disliked dostoevsky for his “bad writing”

dostoevsky had a v diff approach to writing from nabokov: almost got executed literally, then was told he had another five years

that is also why dostoevsky did not pursue inanimate writing, unlike tolstoy (?)

nabokov didn t like music!

neither did dostoevsky !! (probably diff reasons)

saul bellow s ‘dean of december’–>similar urgency in truth-seeking (someone from the audience)

can reading a book be so vivid it appears like a different life?

if yes, it depends on willingness of writers to go to great lengths in creating characters who go too far, embarrass themselves/ are visceral

perhaps a key element that helps bring about the urgent truth-seeking: religion s role for the writers

religion, like their fiction, was trying to explain what goes on beyond the physical

nabokov s direct ancestor was dostoevsky s jailor. weird how he was not willing to cut him any slack, considering

dostoevsky was crowd-pleasing oriented bc he lived off writing




Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes & Events & Haut or not & Random / 2 Comments
February 11th, 2014 / 5:20 pm

oops!…i did it again: i cant remember to forget you (FKA MEANINGFUL)

I. Two Days After Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear

 I was taking about sex with a new person when I said I was annoyed choking is not on the table as an option. Then I said my ex’s name and remembered how she loved it.

“Oh, I know,” came his Freudian drip. I then punched him pretty hard on his arm, but without being violent. I was kind of upset, but I also knew he didn’t mean to hurt me, his tongue just worked faster than his brain in that moment.

Picture 1

The weird thing is, Billy was probably the victim in all of this. During a time we were trying to be over I surrounded myself with friends who weren’t shared, friends who didn’t let me respond to her manic pleas for reciprocity. So I saw the blocks of texts arrive, and I ignored them, but not because I wanted to ignore them. I was still forcing myself to not respond. That’s when it happened. I know because we eventually got back together and she never told me. But one day I went through her phone and saw her bragging texts about Billy and how he fucks like a rabbit and how the best part of it was that Billy was my good friend. She was bragging about it, but how unfortunate was that? She, who I successfully ignored, intentionally turned to someone else to hurt me for ignoring her. “Positional play is the maneuvering of opponents into the forced clarification of their (but not your) tactical lines of action,” and that was what she was doing. But we all got played in the end, thankfully including her.

Sometimes we do things for unclear reasons. Maybe because they feel good. Is that a reason? I think so, especially when I do the things. Is it worse when the sex is perfect with an idiot or when the sex is boring with a genius? I dunno, but I hope to have less of it and try to make it meaningful.

There is this mix I was listening to recently and it is very good, but I have a problem with it: it closes with a juxtaposition of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” and Britney Spears’ “Everytime.” Hopefully, I need not clarify why that poses a problem, but if I must let me say I have a problem with myself for feeling sorry for Britney, when she was the one doing things for unclear reasons because they felt good.  ”This song is my sorry,” is a fucked up lyric to be used in a pop song when it is truly personal, and in Spears’ case at that time it was. [1]

You might remember my friend “Billy?” You probably don’t, so here. We grabbed lunch together last week, it was pretty fun. We got Ramen and talked about stuff on a broad scale: the things we are doing for money, the people we have been getting naked with and, naturally, cultural ephemera. An ephemeron we addressed for example was the Grammys ceremony and how we felt about some of the performances and awards. Of course neither of us was able to watch past the first half, or perhaps nothing of note happened in that half. We shall never know!

What we do know: Billy is dating someone seriously, and she is taking him a lot more seriously than he is her. She is “intense” and “confrontational.” She senses what they both know. Basically what he is saying is that he is not up for it. He likes her, but she feels for him in ways he doesn’t. I tell Billy to tell her that he knows her intuition is right. To stop playing along and pretending he doesn’t see what she is right to notice their “thing” is missing.

Must we pass over in silence what we cannot speak about? 


II. Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear


I watched them with my friend who will not be told when she must cease thinking about Beyonce’s net shorts. (“i hate how everything moves so quickly. it’s like just because a few days have passed doesn’t mean i’m not still thinking about the grammys.  sure, not MOST of the grammys. but i’ll be thinking about her netted costume for a WHILE.  why does the internet want everyone’s brains on fast forward?”)

I could not believe how fortunate it was that I happened to be near a television! I was casually complaining about life to a dear friend on a Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear when all of a sudden… Beyonce! I never fully get how award shows work, their purpose and how the selection process works for who gets nominated for what. But if they start with Beyonce, I am totally mesmerized and willing to watch with full attention and the occasional loud “OH MY BEYONCEEE!” There were multiple of those, and people on the receiving end of Beyonce’s electric chair were electrified, as expected, jumping up and down their couches everywhere, unless they lived on the West Coast, and thus were penalized for their decision .

The *Real* Grammys seem to be organized by a panel of Ladies… who Love Cool J. Why is he the presenter? Why do they keep Doin’ It (feat Leshaun)? The sartorial negligence of the Cool James was apparent as he momentarily shared a stage with an immaculately dressed First Husband of America. Let’s just say there were no ZZZs in Jay-Z’s perfect outfit, and even less ZZZs were there to be found in the way the Presidential couple looked like while performing together during the *Real* Grammys, intoxicating everyone with their intoxication.

The deep blue sea of sartorial hmmms deepened further when our favorite Neptune decided to hide his crown under a hat, and all of humanity wondered: “Pharrell. Why!” He was still perfect, and at least wasn’t being ridiculous like those dudes who must have been sweating balls in their anonymity protecting helmets.

But looks and looking supa dupa fly are not all that matters in music these days. The young musicians have set up the bar mad high, where only Lordes can fly, and your prepackaged Dark Unicorn won’t fly you there despite its hypnotic beat (gah, this hasn’t happened to my brain (?) since when Gwen Stefani was cheerleading) that encourages obsessive repeat-play.

If the producers of your album aren’t Illuminati, you might have to join a circus. In the words of pop-princess (does she keep being princess until Madonna dies?) Britney Spears: “There’s only two types of people in the world: the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe.” Pink misunderstood the distinction and thought being observed was synonymous to entertaining, but acrobatics are all the ZZZs Jay-Z was missing that night. Except for her thigh strength, which so wow, very anti-ZZZ!

[*serious-y chunk*]

Anyway, time to get serious-y. Let’s address the thing that agitated most of us about the *Real* Grammys: Kendrick Lamar—who was, is and will always be objectively the best in everything for which he was nominated—didn’t win anything. Then the band (is Macklemore a band? or just that dude with the two-year old Freeman’s Alley barbershop hair a solo thing?) made the crass, gross error of trying to recognized their (his?) inferiority by sharing the thought with all their fans. This literally felt like a violent slap to everyone: (1) the people who might have thought Mackleduders deserved to win stuff, (2) the people who wanted Kendrick to win stuff and were frustrated he didn’t, and (3) let’s not even think about all the other very sensitive and insecure artists who were both nominated and lost and not even publicly recognized by the true winner of stuff they lost as the ones worthy of winning.

To think this band (or dude? I really have to find out at this point!) would even consider considering publicly sharing a private message he sent which should have been private, because eww band or dude, get a publicist! The negative criticism they (or “he,” whichever is correct!) have received is totally deserved. Bad apologies are in poorer taste than not apologizing at all, and this one was a very selfish and self-aggrandizing one. The reason this “apology” really sucked was the way it was portrayed and whored out via social media. There is a Kendrick song called “Real.” It is greatly introspective and reflective, further showing where in the “real nigga” doctrine Kendrick falls: he is not obsessed with appearances in a way consuming his music’s production.

The song stresses the importance of showing up, of being “real” in a way that is vulnerable:

The reason why I know you very well/ cause we have the same eyes can’t you tell?/ the days I tried to cover up and conceal/ my pride, it only made it harder for me to deal

[*end of serious-y chunk*] 

Speaking of #Unapologetic, sources close to the Barbadian queen of pop Rihanna have revealed to TMZ the star watched the show at the comfort of a new planet she recently purchased. While she is considering Stay-ing there a while, TMZ has learned that Rihanna used telepathy to support her bestie (hmm. Cara?) close friend Katy Perry during her Grammys performance. “Where have you been?” thought Katy in the secret illuminati witchlanguage she shared with Rih, and then she felt the transcendental high-five from afar.

Then everyone bought things and companies were so, so happy! Well, almost everyone bought things. Mostly women who wanted to wear all the beauty products that made their stars look like stars. Men would have to wait for a sports event, like last year’s Beyonce performance at the sports thing which made Janet Jackson a star.

In conclusion, the *Real* Grammys didn’t really change anything, but that’s okay. Because the Grammys rarely do that. It is mostly public opinion that shapes who the big figures are in culture, and all the individuals who are nominated for these awards have acquired a level of respect as artists significant enough to see Taylor Swift going hard to Kendrick live, which is fine and great and super, but remains besides the point. When our cultural curators shift our attention to something silly, even if this silly something is endearing and well-intentioned, they (the curators) have taken our attention away from something else.

Who chose the direction to focus on Swift—and more extensively—before showing us an enthusiastic Hova? Probably the same exact person who gave Macklemore the award. It wasn’t me. But if it were me directing, I would have focused on the performance exclusively, out of respect to the person on stage. If a majority of the population only likes stuff because other people like it, then please save the stuff I like from getting Grammys! 

Picture 2

III Nine Days After Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear

He felt sad, he said. It was the morning after he stopped hating himself for being kinda in the gray area for so long in private. The night before he had send me a text: “It’s over. A little back and forth but we both agreed it was checkmate. Broke up in Central Park, lol. It went so well/ was our first real convo. Probably the best convo we ve ever had. I feel surprisingly sad.”

I was really proud of him. And of me, for challenging him to be upfront about his lack of genuine want in his relationship. But I also felt meaningless. I wasn’t even able to arise in my person the decency Billy was finally able to come up with for his new ex.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent, I guess.




[1]  I know this with certainty, because this was the first song Spears wrote. She wrote it with a woman named Artani, who then went on a Greek reality-talent show, called “Fame Story,” which everyone in Greece watched at the time because we were trying to not focus on our faltering institutions as a nation.

Artani was dealing with a breakup while Britney was trying to face the new Justin Timberlake as an ex, who had released “Cry Me A River.” The song was personal, and “Everytime” was a vulnerable response to it, but how vulnerable was it really, when it was a pop song and it was created for everyone? Doesn’t that take away from it in serving a purpose as being a meaningful apology? I think it did/ does/ forever will. 

Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes & Haut or not & Random / 4 Comments
February 4th, 2014 / 2:32 pm

Peacetime Nap

I can remember this thing happening before on HTML Giant, at least twice. There was a comment-less winter, recently. I also remember summer 2012 being pretty mellow and quiet. I remember posting about trains and like… annual reports.

Commenters and contributors get periodically underwealmed by the quality of what’s being written. Everyone checks out for a few months.

OK. Great. Rather than try to break this up and inject/ejaculate/energize the comments sections (something I don’t have the ability to do anyways), I’d like to lull HTML Giant into a deep and productive slumber: a lengthy hibernation induced by a lack of engaging or enraging content.

A bit about my week.

For readers who don’t know, which I hope is most, I live in Brooklyn and work in Midtown Manhattan. Sometimes this can be really pleasant and even convenient, but this week the Superbowl is being held in New Jersey and New York City is attempting to ensnare peripheral tourists as well as  thick swarm of media that constantly moves through the veins of the city.

I think it’s called “Super Bowl Avenue” or something but is really just this lengthy stretch of Broadway (the lurid and fun diagonal street Dickens called the best in the world, at one point), including all of Times Square,  that has been packed with a circus of giant logo-filled screens, satellite trucks, giant foam photo opportunities, military police patty wagons, children’s play areas, and maybe 50% more advertising than would be usual.

I get to walk through it on the way to and from my office, which is a lot like dropping acid for breakfast and dinner 5-days in a row. At this point, I’m able walk in the fetal position.

This morning we awoke to unforgiving gray everything. It was a little warmer, in the 30s, we hoped.

Been taking it easy at work. I might have stomach flu or something. Been feeling like shit, body-wise.

Last night, I watched The Hunger Games and cried. Never cried about anything written on this website.

So, I hope you like the Super Bowl, if you plan to watch.

It’s a lot like a Hunger Games, except that everyone dies at like… 50 instead of like.. 17. Oh and I guess it’s all-volunteer, instead of just one person volunteering. I wonder if the world would be more or less violent without the institutional application and transmission of national blood sports?

Today, I’m sort of feeling like blood sports are releasing more tension than causing… who knows.

Heard somebody say, in the last few days, that football is like a war that is possible to win: a grand national delusion of a win-able war. I keep turning that one over again on the room-tempurature BBQ of my mind. I was never personally aware of a war that was won.

At least literature is like… a war that everyone knows they will lose. That’s good.

I’ve been afternoon-dreaming about beaches and swimming pools.

I’ve been trying to remember the center of sleep.


Behind the Scenes / 1 Comment
January 31st, 2014 / 11:56 am

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features


poem a day alexandra
poem a day alexandra about

tsaritsa with rose

Alexandra Naughton does a lot of things and her name is very search engine friendly. Her first book, I Will Always Be Your Whore, was published by Punk Hostage Press in January, 2014.


     Love Song #1

      [Ava Adore]



                                                                    Alexandra Naughton

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)
poem a day alexandra X
Someone: “HTML Giant is so sexist…”

Nigel Tufnel: “What’s wrong with bein sexy?”
poem a day Jan 7th - copia

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

1 Comment
January 28th, 2014 / 9:41 pm


Breakup Time: Proposal For Alternative Metric Systems That Objectively Reflect Human Pain
1. Liters of Visine produced, organically
2. Years spent on bathtub, monthly
3. Number of “Ace of Base” songs that sound like “just like Nirvana” (*ATTENTION: if said number >=5, please revert to the bathtub immediately.)
4. Weeks spent during which The Most Delicious Thing You Always Crave But Never Have Because “Too Many Calories” tastes like a shoe you would not even wear
5. Months spent during which The Most Delicious Thing You Always Crave But Never Have Because “Too Many Calories” is all that you have, all the time
Universally Shared Symptoms Across All Metric Systems
*When in a different continent, the following inquiry recurs: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN NYQUIL IS UNDER THE COUNTER?”
In your heart, Destiny’s Child is still a group. Sometimes, Oprah is the lead singer.
Stay strong! Start smoking, avoid leaving your house and spend more days, one after another, eating The Most Delicious Thing You Always Crave But Never Have Because “Too Many Calories.” It is all about finding the balance between 4 and 5, where “weeks” and “months” transform into days.
Video-games might also help.
Behind the Scenes & Haut or not / No Comments
January 27th, 2014 / 8:13 pm

Advice on How to Deliver a Kick Ass Poetry Reading


Rauan — boils it down


[ ...people keep coming up to me and saying things like "Rauan, I'm a brilliant writer but I don't do well in front of an audience. Help me, Please..."

....and so, because, well, I just can't not help people (it's my calling, god damnit) I've spent weeks in my lab cooking up some wisdom for all you brilliant fucking writers...  so, here, enjoy ]


1) Less is more

2) Just be yourself. Especially if you’re an asshole, then totally be yourself because audiences love assholes.  But if you’re boring then do not be yourself. Absolutely, do not be yourself. (remember, it’s a show, man. yeah, it’s a  show). (sigh).

3) Be in love with the sound of your voice. Fuck #1 (“More is more.” … “and more…and more…and more…”).. Really, just read and read and just keep on reading. If you see people yawning, don’t worry, people are like dogs, they yawn when they’re learning something new and incredible. Just read. And read. And read.

yawning dog

learning from yr brilliant poetry

4) Grab your dick or cunt a lot, point at it a lot, dance around the stage, hopping up and down, howling and moaning like a monkey– but remember, the whole time, to keep your dick or cunt dead center in the audience’s eye. This works great in Brooklyn. And by extension then (of course) everywhere else.

5) After every 3rd or 4th poem pause for a few moments (I mean drag it out…milk the moment) and then confide, to the dying audience, off-hand and smug as you can, that “yes, indeed, that was a nod to Charles Simic.” (Also, bring a bottle with you and in the middle of yr reading sit down and command the audience (yes, they love taking orders) to sit in a circle around you…

…And then everyone should just make out because, making out is the only reason anyone shows up at little shindig Poetry Readings anyways. Blah, blah…) …stare into poetry’s soul… blah, blah


nod to this guy over and over and over and over …. (blah, blah, ….) …..

6) Sail mumbling autistic through the reading portion of the evening (no biggie, really) and on, gloriously, into the Q & A where you can then triumphantly and whiningly bitch about any negative reviews you’ve received. Don’t answer their questions of course. Just bitch.

7) Drink lots of water beforehand and then sail out over the audience like a God and piss on them. (for added effect eat lots of asparagus). (…huh? … I used the word “sail” twice here?? Well, sue me god damn it).


ideal poetry reading

an ideal poetry reading


and, as always, glad I could help


Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 2 Comments
January 25th, 2014 / 4:42 pm

Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features


poem a day Jaffe
poem a day Russell date about

russell jaffe die an american

Russell Jaffe runs the Strange Cage reading series in Iowa City and his website is russelljaffeusa.com





               Russell Jaffe

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

I wrote the untitled poems in STUMBLE X THE AIRpoem a day penny jan 16 STASIS BREATH in winter. I tried hard to do a minimalist take on poetry as a lifelong proud maximalist. Now that chap-sized collection is a part of a bigger as-yet-unpublished manuscript called LOVER TO and is retitled INTROVERT TO. Everything you know is wrong.

poem a day Jan 7th - copia

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

No Comments
January 25th, 2014 / 3:36 pm

…..AWP’s Coming Soon!!…..

Artists Attend The Fancy Rat Convention In New York

Behind the Scenes & Events / 7 Comments
January 22nd, 2014 / 12:06 pm

Introducing Barrelhouse, a poetry press


Great news! Barrelhouse is putting out its first book of poetry. It’s by Justin Marks and it’s called You’re Going to Miss Me When You’re BoredI asked Barrelhouse editor Dan Brady some questions.

Has Barrelhouse published books before, aside from the journal?

Last year we published an anthology of pop culture non-fiction called Bring the Noise, which was kind of a greatest hits anthology from the magazine, but it had some new stuff too. That served as a nice transition from working exclusively on the magazine to doing books as well. We wanted to learn how book production would be different from a print mag and work with people we trusted and who trusted us to do a good job.


Behind the Scenes & Presses / 4 Comments
January 20th, 2014 / 1:25 pm

Give & Take: A Conversation with Exxon Mobile/Mellow Pages


(photo credit: JoAnna DeLuna of Bushwick Daily)

When news broke about the Mellow Pages “hoax,” I wasn’t laughing. Actually, I was downright pissed. After a few days, though, I realized that my anger didn’t lie with Matt and Jacob—or Mellow Pages or Exxon Mobile or Kanye West—but with myself. I reacted in a very solipsistic way: I had contributed to their Indiegogo campaign; I am a member of the library; I’ve donated (and will continue to donate) a copy of a Big Lucks book to the library; I’ve recommended that people check out the library and contribute to their campaign and visit the space and get to know those cool bros. I wanted them to stay open. But why hadn’t I done more? Do I even have a stake in Mellow Pages? Would things have changed if I suggested something besides “take the (fake) money and run?” And why does my opinion matter in the first place?

I mentioned to Matt and Jacob that I planned on writing about my reactions to their project. After a few emails, we decided it might be more valuable to just talk. The conversation is messy, disjointed, long, and probably very rudderless. But I still think it’s important. Because if there’s one thing this project has taught me it’s that there’s no cut-and-dry formula to support our community.

Of course, we’re all contributing something here. I am but one minuscule cog in the refurbished turbine engine that powers this rinky-dink dirt bike. Whether it’s money or time or love or futons, we all give something. But we can’t say that we all expect the same thing in return for our support. Maybe that’s not good. Maybe that’s a problem.

So maybe it is worth keeping this conversation alive.

Mark: When did you guys decide to go ahead with “#Mellowghazi?” Was it a spur-of-the-moment decision, or had you been plotting/planning for a while?

Matt: First off my man, Mellowghazi, the term, is not our doing. And isn’t in line with what we were thinking. We weren’t doing it to be funny. We took what we did very seriously. People feel quickly. Especially on the internet. Mellowghazi is a reappropriation due to that quickness, a way to divert direct contact with what was happening through a comedic cloud. People need time to think. I mean, I hate to start this way, but reflection eternal, like Talib says. You got to keep slowing down and think about the water, whatever the fuck that means.


Behind the Scenes & Web Hype / 9 Comments
January 17th, 2014 / 3:22 pm

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features


poem a day Penny 2 adjusted
poem a day penny jan 16 - copia


Penny Goring lives in London. She makes things, and collaborates with Hella Trol Buzy to make other things.


please make me love you


              by Penny Goring


poem a day Penny strip
i wrote it on new years day. i used that can be my next tweet, getting computer generated mashups of my recent tweets, then reshuffling, discarding, and adding words.poem a day penny jan 16 when a line is done i tweet it. because: it’s faster than opening another tab, it makes writing less lonely, it’s interesting to see what lines get favd/retweeted/ignored, and seeing my lines in the twit stream helps me get distance. when i felt like i’d made enough, i copy/pasted each tweet into openoffice and did edits. i like repetition, variations. i feel self-indulgent when i write lists – it is a falling. on new years day i wanted to fall in love.
poem a day Jan 7th - copia

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

poem a day Penny strip

January 15th, 2014 / 8:39 pm

……All Day I Will Fuck Poetry like Hiromi’s Tongue– Ito, Ito, Ito, Ito, Ito……

pug in dress


today is National Dress up Your Pet Day (ok, sure, come here, doggie)

today is also National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day (yeah, I’m hungry. sure, why not)

and (sigh) today is National Poetry at Work Day (knife in stomach)


hot pastrami


Behind the Scenes & Events / No Comments
January 14th, 2014 / 5:45 pm

FUCK YER BRAND, IMMA DO ME (/help me figure out my brand?)

[u shd probably read the NOTE(S) as they come up for cohesion, but do as u wish, obvi]

so there s a lot of things that have been going on here, on our dearly beloved htmlg. there seems to be an even bigger emphasis than ever before on attn. and i won t lie, it is nice to feel that w/e it is i might have written here might have been read or provoked a thought to someone—ANYONE—outside of me. but the reason i am writing this, right now is to set up a personal statement of sorts for how i want to use this site, as someone who regularly (?) tries to put stuff up…


I will refuse to care about being “cool.” I reject the notion of a grotesquely narcissistic coolness in an alt lit universe, where we are all nerds, when viewed through the larger lens of people who are not only unaware of this lit stuff, but also actively ignore its existence.

Perhaps I am just the biggest loser in the universe, but I like to care. If I did not, maybe I would not want to write. The reason I started writing was to figure out things I was genuinely curious about, not always in a healthy fashion. It was not to one-up anyone, not to be smarter in a gimmicky sort of way that will fade and might feel cheap in a couple of years.

HTMLG was one of the places online I constantly returned to when I was in a cubicle day after day doing shit I hated, trying to find a way out. To me, it used to be a liberating space, a meaningful forum that introduced me to writing I care for, and still value. Now, it is confusing. I have the hardest time figuring out the intentions behind what is being written. Sometimes I wonder if pressing “publish” was the entire goal of some contributor; I do not think it should be. [1]

Picture 1

An amazing book of poetry was loaned to me, to remind me of my incentives and goals. Ann Lauterbach is brilliant, even though she cares. Or maybe because of it. I do not write poems, but her intentions—as presented in the middle section of “Under The Sign” are ones I would like to have as ideals.

The experience of art

So perhaps caring is not so bad. I will not actively try to not care about writing; writing by those who don’t care does not interest me.

But to care, one needs to put something at risk. One must “open,” perhaps even lose a part of their “security”—usually stemming from exercising a controlled performance of confidence—by showing insecurity. Being clevererererer just shouldn’t cut it if one wants to be true to oneself. [2]

I like the way Lauterbach understands writing. I wish we all agreed on that a little more, but I won’t force it upon you, because that would go against my principles.



[1] It is entirely possible that the reason I feel this way about putting words together in a creative way is because I did not study it. Maybe the excessive studying of something leads some of my fellow HTMLG contributors to an insipid cynicism that is often reduced to “being smarter.” Maybe it has to do with the frustrations of a young writer—or new, actually— as an immaterial existence in a material universe: the rewards of writing are rarely fiscal.

money seemed
So yes, there is a relationship to be noted here that births frustration. But I do not think it should be our driving force. I will not let it be mine. In the Greek language there is no word that accurately translates to “writer.” The options for the translator are either “journalist” or “novelist.” Language depicts “realities,” to a degree. In the English language it might still be possible to be a writer at large. Someone who tackles fiction and/ or nonfiction. But rather than appreciate it, we are all beating this possibility; rejecting it, killing it.

The fixation on rapid success that is intrinsic in late-capitalism has infected our immaterial universe, stigmatizing creative intentions. And I am aware money is—and probably will be—an issue for a lot of us/ you/ whatever you want me to say. But to let it dictate creative intentions would be embracing defeat.

The rewards I value, thus far, are the kind and generous exchanges of ideas I have with individuals I admire and respect. I don’t know if they count as material or immaterial, but I do know that money cannot buy them. An email from Blake casually saying “hey man, i liked that thing you wrote” means more to me than a paycheck. Perhaps I am just the biggest loser in the universe.
Or perhaps I just prefer losing with integrity over winning without it.
[2] Or if it does, I don’t understand why such a person would turn to writing. Is writing not a resort away from “the real world?” The material world is the one I am willing to fail in with less hesitation; the immaterial one I have “chosen” out of no other choice: because I care.

Am I living in the past? Is anyone even reading this. Is “reciprocity” the recognition of who the smartererererer one is?

then fuck “you,” imma do it 4 me

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 14 Comments
January 14th, 2014 / 1:30 am