Archive for the ‘Massive People’ Category

….Why Do You Treat Alt Lit (Steve Roggenbuck in particular) with such scorn?…(Ask The Oracle – Part I)….

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
jeremy oracle

“fire is the master young grasses appear” — Ikkyū


I tend to get lost in the trees so I like to check in with Jereme Dean because well I think of Jereme as a wise man, an oracle, a modern day version of Ikkyū the 15th century Zen Master:

they used sticks and yells and other tricks those fakes
Ikkyū reaches high low like sunlight

Jereme, furthermore, sits outside of writing movements, fashion, allegiances, etc, and there is an authority and a confidence to Jereme that I really respond to:

I live in a shack on the edge of whorehouse row
me autumn a single candle

And because Jereme will tell it you straight, a true oracle, I’ve decided to start up this new feature, “Ask the Oracle,” where, periodically, I’m going to put crucial questions to our modern-day Ikkyū.


and so, here then, now, is the first installment of “Ask the Oracle”:


Rauan: I’ve seen you poke fun at (or be scornful of, i guess) “Alt Lit” and, specifically, i think, Steve Roggenbuck. But are you really against these positive, energetic DIY youngsters? (& plz elaborate)

Jereme: Alt Lit has nothing to do with online writing, really. It’s a clique. Some have tried desperately to associate writing with the term, like people who feel their worthwhileness is minor and desire to be part of a movement–something remarkable!–or publishers looking to categorize their books for sale. But, don’t be fooled, alt lit is to writing like a cafeteria is to school education.

Internet literature isn’t new. There are plenty of people who’ve been around before the term was coined, and still are around, writing: Blake Butler, Sam Pink, Tao Lin, Daniel Bailey, Mike Young, Jimmy Chen, Brandon Scott Gorrell, etc.

True positivity is anchored and unafraid of negativity, it actually welcomes it. While asserting yourself as a Haitian mongoose, regardless of emphaticism, doesn’t negate being a human being who hates himself/herself.

jereme hearts

“it takes horseshit to grow bamboo” — Ikkyū

Unsure where the idea of ‘positivity’ comes from though. I don’t see it. Feel like most people online make great efforts creating a fictitious identity, one which counters their insecurities, and the only way to actually believe the fantasy is to be chill/stay positive/chant affirmations. Because of this, the dissenting voice seems to be enemy number one to alt lit. They react ferociously (more…)

Boost House

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Steve Roggenbuck is “launching a group project called Boost House” and needs “funding to get it started”

what in the frick is Boost House?

Boost House will be a publisher, and an actual house out of which that publisher is run.

we’ll make books, posters, shirts, stickers, and other goods that promote ways of living we believe in.

get all the information here at Kickstarter

………Alt Lit set for Huge International BOOST……..

Friday, November 15th, 2013
sachin little master

“ready to die a violent death”

1) When Sachin Tendulkar, famous cricketer, walked back off the Wankhede field in Mumbai after having accumulated nearly 16,000 Test Runs in exactly 24 years at the highest international level (a career surpassed in excellence only, perhaps, by Sir Donald Bradman) he proclaimed “I am ready to die a violent death.”

Yes, it seems the world’s most famous cricketer (a virtual God in India and the rest of the subcontinent) is headed for new glories, laurels and great, foaming spikes of URL fame in the crazy, wide-open world of Alt Lit.

2) “Yes,” Sachin continued, “I plan on running amuck in the woods muttering glorious Carpe Diem extravagances”— whereupon Steve Roggenbuck leaped out of the Wankhede stands and hoisted Sachin up on to his shoulders and started chanting “Boost! Boost! Boost!” and the whole crowd, 40,000 strong, joined in immediately, voraciously chanting “Boost, Sachin, Boost” and Eternal Lief seemed all-too possible. Beautiful. Exquisite. Here. Now. Now.

tendulkar boost best

an experienced “Booster,” Tendulkar (pictured left) is ready to Boost some more

3) “Will you be going to Brooklyn?” (more…)

<3 Love & Lovers <3

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Whoa, hi, I’m still reeling from this reading I went to on Friday night, which was all about Perfect Lovers Press, which is run out of Cincinnati, which (PLP + Cinci) is run by Dana Ward and Paul Coors. It was held at The Poetry Project and it was something that went really, really late into the night and it was something that was just about perfect–with amazing readings from amazing people like Yvette Nepper (who just ruined everyone so here’s her chapbook) and Sue Landers (who has a chapbook called What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook, but I can’t find a link so yeah holler @ Dana & Paul) and Micah Freeman (who said “Hi” to everyone and read these amazing poems that are kind of about Amy Winehouse but also not really, it’s all about our peaks and valleys, the whole thing) and John Coletti (who just wow) and other people and especially Leopoldine Core, who I have really, really liked for a really, really long time so I took some video:



and I just thought everything she read was so full and so rough, especially when she’s all:

i’m ashamed
of how easy it is
to know me
i’m so familiar
naked all the time
my same legs
my ass
i am such a weird little girl
for wanting to live in your
picketing in the heat
like an ant

and I don’t know what else to say, besides energy, man–it’s kind of everywhere.


Tuesday, November 12th, 2013


CELEBRITIES ARE REPOSITORIES and filters for mass projection, sacrifice and god-form for the global majority who live for the most part vicarious — a responsibility not to be taken lightly.

Miley Cyrus is doing a good job.

I’ve never heard any of her songs, neither now or in her previous incarnation. But neither have I ever heard Sarah Palin’s voice. Those just aren’t the circles of media I move through. It was only yesterday that I learned, for example, that Taylor Swift is not a boy. Some may find this hard to believe. That’s good. I’m bragging and I earned the rights, having passed precariously through more than one minefield of shlock.

A few years ago, when everyone was losing their shit over Lady Gaga, I couldn’t have cared less. And yet, suddenly, I care deeply about what’s going on with Miley Cyrus. Why?

For starters, I grew up in Appalachia where Billy Ray was a household name. I imagine, if I heard the beginning of one of his songs, I would be able to sing along til its end in the same way people have the pledge of allegiance committed to memory. This is not to say I have any enthusiasm for the man’s work. Only that there’s a familiarity I can’t ignore.

As far as the Hannah Montana phenomenon is concerned, I wasn’t privy to any of that either, short of hearing the name amidst the rabble — the case, as stated before, with a great deal of other type pop culture whatever.

Coming back to the point, it takes a special individual to stand up to this much attention. It takes, as well, a lot of careful scheming to stage drama in a world where staged drama is all that happens. And while the publicists are the true unsung heros of anything that grabs our fought-for dismissal spans for the split-fucking-second it takes to click next, it takes no small amount of bravery to say, Sure I’ll be your avatar.

What with the perils of maintaining stature as a scapegoat straw-woman, absorbing and absolving the disgusting crud of our collective pathos and (ugh) zeitgeist.

What with the unsavory realities of child-stardom and being fingerblasted by media moguls since before her pupa stage.

Hannah my Cyrus
Miley mon Always

what your haters truly feel is the guilt of a sexualization that began long before you approached the blurred line of adulthood, and the subsequent resentment of a culture that refuses to own up to it.

Boldly you face forward, a full-fledged woman doing things that grown-ups do. Never apologize. You are not the victim that America in its grossness wants or expects. A triumph, as you are nonetheless our vessel.

Never stop.

Sounds of a Cowhide Drum // An Interview with Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

Monday, November 11th, 2013

sounds of a cowhide drum


Look upon me as a pullet crawling
from an eggshell
laid by a Zulu hen,
ready to fly in spirit
to all lands on earth.

A few months ago I posted up some thoughts on Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali’s wonderful book “Sounds of a Cowhide Drum” in which I indicated an interview with Mr. Mtshali would be forthcoming. And, well, it took a while longer than I’d wished but here it is:


Rauan: When we chatted you mentioned that the first poems you wrote were love poems, that you were writing to “impress girls”—-and besides the dark and serious subjects and moods of Sounds of a Cowhide Drum there is also a joie de vivre to it, a real sensuality.

I want to be adorned
by the silken suit so scintillating in sheen;
it pales even the peacock’s plumage,
and catches the enchanted eye
of a harlot hiding in the alley:
“Come my moulten bird,
I will not charge you a price!”

(from “The moulting country bird”)

And, so, can you talk a bit about the poet as peacock? as shiny bird?

Oswald: A peacock is considered to be the proudest and most colorful bird in the animal kingdom. In the poem “The moulting country bird” the bird symbolizes a transformation of a country boy from the village of KwaBhanya on banks of Blood River in Northern KwaZulu to the bright neon lights of Johannesburg, the Golden City. The bumpkin sheds his garish and comical garments of country life and assumes the mantle of sophistication and “civilization” in a cosmopolitan metropolis of EGoli.

Once he has embraced the city slickers’ fashionable attire he goes back during his village to show off and strut his stuff like a peacock to the envy of his coevals and contemporaries who are still clad in their shabby garments of most clodhoppers in the country. His mannerisms and speech patterns are dramatically changed and he follows the trends of city life and discards all those things that define and remind him of his “backward” people, especially those of his same age group. The whole process is marked by migration from rural areas and transformation by life in the urban areas where he falls under the spell of many influences. His experiences and interactions with a polyphonic of cultures and Babel of languages (more…)

Dreams of Amputation

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

doa jacket 2

Gary J. Shipley’s “Dreams of Amputation” is now available.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

The station is full of copies, thought-structures all breathing the same boxed air as him, screwed down into new estates, their borrowed movements vapour trails of the imperceptible multitudes that precede them, his forced embodiment a shriek he cannot hear, its explicit exclusion of human context conveyed in a series of smirks and titters causing him to wake repeatedly inside glimpses of himself, a reluctant conduit to spasms outside the insulation of a body, some dead agent without a face and him mad yellow escaping his dismembered endurance, expanding into nothing in the artificial disfigurement of their smiles until he finds an unsecured staircase, and unaware of any alien intent they carry it up after him, hands formed like mouths barking, their dreams of souls all shrunken cages in its swarm of dead beginnings, their every defect growing into holes, and up into the street and they disperse around him their brains once again made of the digitalised ooze of money and fucking and blood, his own voice coming back removed as if from a TV in another room, his limbs appendixes to an earthquake camouflaged by some Sadean baptism of puke and shit, and nothing and no sound, its hold fixed on the ends of unpronounced words, agitating images of string, an animated ossuary squeezed with rainless faces shining like simulated sick…


For a second or two there is the man, on his feet reaching for the back of his chair with his right hand, and then the dance of the vanishing begins: the flailing honeycombed limbs, naked bone (more…)

The Kill List’s A Litmus Test (Exposing & Embarrassing — “So Embarrassing”)

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Over at a mock Poetry Foundation Jim Behrle’s chimed in about the Kill List: his being upset about it, among other things, as well as his attempts to contact the publisher(s) to see if they’d “comment on any efforts they made to fact check the poem?

I mean, really? Really? And I’m with Mark Johnson 1000 literal (ha ha) % when he says that Behrle’s piece is “so embarrassing.”

And how embarrassing, also, the way in which so many others have reacted to this Kill List. And how embarrassing, also, that CAConrad’s heaped abuse on Mark for speaking up in the poem’s defense, comparing (after other insults) Mark’s “stupidity” to the “plaque on very filthy teeth.”

And how embarrassing (but not surprising) that Conrad’s little drones let him get away with shit like this.

This Kill List’s turned out to be a great litmus test, indeed. Blah, blah.

The Poet Laureate of Alt-Lit Releases His Ars Poetica

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


John Cheever fiction published in The New Yorker

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
“Brooklyn Rooming House” – May 25, 1935 (pp. 93-96)
“Buffalo” – June 22, 1935 (pp. 66-68)
“Play A March” – June 20, 1936 (pp. 20-21)
“A Picture for the Home” – Nov. 28, 1936 (pp. 80-83)
“In the Beginning” – Nov. 6, 1937 (pp. 77-80)
“Treat” – Jan. 21, 1939 (pp. 50-51)
“The Happiest Days” – Nov. 4, 1939 (pp. 15-16)
“It’s Hot in Egypt” – Jan. 6, 1940 (pp. 20-21)
“North of Portland” – Feb. 24, 1940 (pp. 20-21)
“Survivor” – Mar. 9, 1940 (pp. 54-56)
“Washington Boarding House” – Mar. 23, 1940 (pp. 23-24)
“Riding Stable” – Apr. 27, 1940 (pp. 20-21)
“Happy Birthday, Enid” – July 13, 1940 (pp. 15-16)
“Tomorrow Is a Beautiful Day” – Aug. 3, 1940 (pp. 15-16)
“Summer Theatre” – Aug. 24, 1940 (pp. 45-48)
“The New World” – Nov. 9, 1940 (pp. 17-19)
“Forever Hold Your Peace” – Nov. 23, 1940 (pp. 16-18)
“When Grandmother Goes” – Dec. 14, 1940 (pp. 68-75)
“Hello, Dear” – Feb. 15, 1941 (pp. 20-21)
“The Law of the Jungle” – Mar. 22, 1941 (pp. 16-18)
“There They Go” – July 19, 1941 (pp. 17-18)
“Run, Sheep, Run” – Aug. 2, 1941 (pp. 50-52)
“Publick House” – Aug. 16, 1941 (pp. 45-49)
“These Tragic Years” – Sept. 27, 1941 (pp. 15-17)
“In the Eyes of God” – Oct. 11, 1941 (pp. 20-22)
“The Pleasures of Solitude” – Jan. 24, 1942 (pp. 19-21)
“A Place of Great Historical Interest” – Feb. 21, 1942 (pp. 17-19)
“The Shape of a Night” – Apr. 18, 1942 (pp. 14-16)
“Goodbye, Broadway—Hello, Hello” – June 6, 1942 (pp. 19-20)
“Problem No. 4” – Oct. 17, 1942 (pp. 23-24)
“The Man Who Was Very Homesick for New York” – Nov. 21, 1942 (pp. 19-22)
“Sergeant Limeburner” – Mar. 13, 1943 (pp. 19-25)
“They Shall Inherit the Earth” – Apr. 10, 1943 (pp. 17-18)
“A Tale of Old Pennsylvania” – May 29, 1943 (pp. 20-23)
“The Invisible Ship” – Aug. 7, 1943 (pp. 17-21)
“My Friends and Neighbors All, Farewell” – Oct. 2, 1943 (pp. 23-26)
“Dear Lord, We Thank Thee for Thy Bounty” – Nov. 27, 1943 (pp. 30-31)
“Somebody Has to Die” – June 24, 1944 (pp. 27-28)
“The Single Purpose of Leon Burrows” – Oct. 7, 1944 (pp. 18-22)
“The Mouth of the Turtle” – Nov. 11, 1944 (pp. 27-28)
“Town House” – Apr. 21, 1945 (pp. 23-26)
“Manila” – July 28, 1945 (pp. 20-23)
“Town House—II” – Aug. 11, 1945 (pp. 20-25)
“Town House—III” – Nov. 10, 1945 (pp. 27-32)
“Town House—IV” – Jan. 5, 1946 (pp. 23-28)
“Town House—V” – Mar. 16, 1946 (pp. 26-30)
“Town House—VI” – May 4, 1946 (pp. 22-27)
“The Sutton Place Story” – June 29, 1946 (pp. 19-26)
“Love in the Islands” – Dec. 7, 1946 (pp. 42-44)
“The Beautiful Mountains” – Feb. 8, 1947 (pp. 26-30)
“The Enormous Radio” – May 17, 1947 (pp. 28-33)
“The Common Day” – Aug. 2, 1947 (pp. 19-24)
“Roseheath” – Aug. 16, 1947 (pp. 29-31)
“Torch Song” – Oct. 4, 1947 (pp. 31-39)
“O City of Broken Dreams” – Jan. 24, 1948 (pp. 22-31)
“Keep the Ball Rolling” – May 29, 1948 (pp. 21-26)
“The Summer Farmer” – Aug. 7, 1948 (pp. 18-22)
“The Hartleys” – Jan. 22, 1949 (pp. 26-29)
“The Temptations of Emma Boynton” – Nov. 26, 1949 (pp. 29-31)
“Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor” – Dec. 24, 1949 (pp. 19-22)
“The Season of Divorce” – Mar. 4, 1950 (pp. 22-27)
“The Pot of Gold” – Oct. 14, 1950 (pp. 30-38)
“The People You Meet” – Dec. 2, 1950 (pp. 44-49)
“Clancy in the Tower of Babel” – Mar. 24, 1951 (pp. 24-28)
“Goodbye, My Brother” – Aug. 25, 1951 (pp. 22-31)
“The Superintendent” – Mar. 29, 1952 (pp. 28-34)
“The Chaste Clarissa” – June 14, 1952 (pp. 29-33)
“The Cure” – July 5, 1952 (pp. 18-22)
“The Children” – Sept. 6, 1952 (pp. 34-45)
“O Youth and Beauty!” – Aug. 22, 1953 (pp. 20-25)
“The National Pastime” – Sept. 26, 1953 (pp. 29-35)
“The Sorrows of Gin” – Dec. 12, 1953 (pp. 42-48)
“The Five-Forty-Eight” – April 10, 1954 (pp. 28-34)
“Independence Day at St. Botolph’s” – July 3, 1954 (pp. 18-23)
“The Day the Pig Fell into the Well” – Oct. 23, 1954 (pp. 32-40)
“The Country Husband” – Nov. 20, 1954 (pp. 38-48)
“Just Tell Me Who It Was” – Apr. 16, 1955 (pp. 38-46)
“Just One More Time” – Oct. 8, 1955 (pp. 40-42)
“The Bus to St. James’s” – Jan. 14, 1956 (pp. 24-31)
“The Journal of an Old Gent” – Feb. 18, 1956 (pp. 32-59)
“The Housebreaker of Shady Hill” – Apr. 14, 1956 (pp. 42-71)
“Miss Wapshot” – Sept. 22, 1956 (pp. 40-43)
“Clear Haven” – Dec. 1, 1956 (pp. 50-111)
“The Trouble of Marcy Flint” – Nov. 9, 1957 (pp. 40-46)
“The Bella Lingua” – Mar. 1, 1958 (pp. 34-55)
“Paola” – July 26, 1958 (pp. 22-29)
“The Wrysons” – Sept. 13, 1958 (pp. 38-41)
“The Duchess” – Dec. 13, 1958 (pp. 42-48)
“The Scarlet Moving Van” – Mar. 21, 1959 (pp. 44-50)
“The Events of That Easter” – May 16, 1959 (pp. 40-48)
“The Golden Age” – Sept. 26, 1959 (pp. 46-50)
“The Lowboy” – Oct. 10, 1959 (pp. 38-42)
“The Music Teacher” – Nov. 21, 1959 (pp. 50-56)
“A Woman Without a Country” – Dec. 12, 1959 (pp. 48-50)
“Clementina” – May 7, 1960 (pp. 40-48)
“Some People, Places, and Things That Will Not Appear in My Novel” – Nov. 12, 1960 (pp. 54-58)
“The Chimera” – July 1, 1961 (pp. 30-36)
“Seaside Houses” – July 29, 1961 (pp. 19-23)
“The Angel of the Bridge” – Oct. 21, 1961 (pp. 49-52)
“The Brigadier and the Golf Widow” – Nov. 11, 1961 (pp. 53-60)
“The Traveller” – Dec. 9, 1961 (pp. 50-58)
“Christmas Eve in St. Botolph’s” – Dec. 23, 1961 (pp. 26-31)
“A Vision of the World” – Sept. 29, 1962 (pp. 42-46)
“Reunion” – Oct. 27, 1962 (p. 45)
“The Embarkment for Cythera” – Nov. 3, 1962 (pp. 59-106)
 “Metamorphoses” – Mar. 2, 1963 (pp. 32-39)
“The International Wilderness” – Apr. 6, 1963 (pp. 43-47)
“Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” – Apr. 27, 1963 (pp. 38-41)
“An Educated American Woman” – Nov. 2, 1963 (pp. 46-54)
“The Habit” – Mar. 7, 1964 (pp. 45-47)
“Montraldo” – June 6, 1964 (pp. 37-39)
“Marito in Città” – July 4, 1964 (pp. 26-31)
“The Swimmer” – July 18, 1964 (pp. 28-34)
“The Ocean” – Aug. 1, 1964 (pp. 30-40)
“Another Story” – Feb. 25, 1967 (pp. 42-48)
“Bullet Park” – Nov. 25, 1967 (pp. 56-59)
“Percy” – Sept. 21, 1968 (pp. 45-50)
“The Folding-Chair Set” – Oct. 13, 1975 (pp. 36-38)
“The Night Mummy Got the Wrong Mink Coat” – Apr. 21, 1980 (p. 35)
“The Island” – Apr. 27, 1981 (p. 41)