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Literature Party


Literature Party in Seattle tonight should be fun. If you’re at AWP, please come!

It’s a benefit party to support APRIL Festival, which is a big organization for making books awesome in Washington state. It’s at FRED Wildlife Refuge and doors open at 9. It’s not too far from the convention center. Tickets are $10 at the door.

It’s sponsored by FSG Originals and Submittable and yours truly, HTMLGiant. Vouched is putting in a pop up bookshop, and if you buy a book there, FSG Originals will give you a free one of their books.

Capacity at the venue is 450 souls, but I think you’ll be able to get in. However, I have overheard many people at the bookfair talking about how this is the one event they’re sure they’re going to.

Melissa Broder is reading. And Sommer Browning. And Amelia Gray. Those three people are three of my favorite, favorite people at AWP, a big thing filled with favorite people. Those three people are amazing performers of important writing.

Writing is a way to express ideas, and Melissa, Sommer and Amelia have the best ideas. Hearing them read inspires me, every time.

And after they read, there will be a big dance party featuring local Seattle DJs.

I’m in a big house where many of us HTMLGiant writers are staying. I think there are 12 of us staying here. John Dermot Woods just got out of the shower. He doesn’t write for HTMLGiant actually, neither does Spencer Madsen or Mira Gonzalez. Last night Mike Young came home from his reading and fell over a chair. There’s a hot tub at this house and I think there were 8 or so people in it last night at the same time. Downstairs Amy McDaniel is preparing a brunch for 50 people. I can hear Tim Sanders making Gene Morgan laugh loudly.

Come to Literature Party tonight?

Web Hype / 6 Comments
February 28th, 2014 / 12:58 pm

You know how to “apply for an nea grant,” but you’re totally over it.

wow

The new issue of Better is fresh off the CSS sheet.  I really wanna read the whole thing, but how am I supposed to not toy around with Glenn Shaheen’s text-based poetry game for the rest of my life?

You call out from your bed in the dark. But you are alone, so so alone. Mainly because your last roommate was such a pain, always complaining about you leaving your dishes around, but, like, you’re a poet! You don’t have time to carry your dishes to the sink like some businessman. Of course you were kicked out of that apartment.

Poor all of us.

 

Web Hype / 3 Comments
February 19th, 2014 / 1:58 pm

This Is REAL LIFE: Michael Hessel-Mial Reports on John Rogers’ New Book

real life by John Rogers, $13 via PayPal

Real Life by John Rogers

John Rogers is a writer living in Iceland. He also edits the new internet-borne art, music, literature & culture website Heartcloud. His image macros and written work have appeared in places like Metazen, Pop Serial, Alternative Literature, Microscenes, Gayng, Bad Robot, Have U Seen My Whale and Internet Poetry; hIs artwork has been shown/performed in places like Ikon Gallery, This Is A Magazine, The Centre of Attention, Fierce! Festival and D.U.M.B.O. Festival, supported by Arts Council England. John’s first book, Real Life, will be available on Habitat Books but you may pre-order it here.

Michael Hessel-Mial studies poetry and cybernetics at Emory University. He also edits Internet Poetry. His ebook, VITA NUOVA II, is forthcoming from klaus_ebooks, and his macro series ‘tweets like a lovebird,’ part of his longer project, ‘greatest poet alive,’ is forthcoming from Pop Serial.

Michael Hessel-Mial reports on John Rogers new book, Real Life:

1.

moss, moss, clambake, moss,

the above is a quote from Real Life by john rogers. i encountered these words as a macro submission to Internet Poetry. i experienced it with uncertainty, in the sense that it was beautiful but unclear as to what it meant. i have experienced john’s writing in two ways – as impossibly large beautiful ambitious incredible works (like his collab with ashley obscura, oh, inverted universe) and as slightly terse, cryptic statements like these. another is “keep yr heart in the cloud,” which i saw as an image macro featuring a heart emerging from a nebula.

2.

pretty sure that a lot of the content from heiko julien’s I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death originated on twitter, though catalog and facebook. i don’t mean in the sense that it is ‘just’ an amalgamation of pre-existing content, but that key lines/tropes were maybe ‘battle-tested’ there. i read that book ‘as a book,’ but i also think of words like ‘fractal’ / ‘modular’ when i think of its composition.

3.

Real Life was composed on a combination of iPad and laptop. it combines very terse, one-line or ‘single-utterance’ statements in poetry form, with long descriptive chapters comprised of detailed declarative sentences. when i read “moss / moss / clambake / moss” in this context i saw how these were functioning as ‘tokens’ of memory units, or ‘deep, underlying pathways’ of the inner logic of the book. i started getting excited when i realized this.

4.

After Icelanders successfully revolted against their government’s collusion with big banks and the IMF, John Rogers became King of Iceland.

i started interacting with john rogers near the end of 2012

i read oh, inverted universe and was thinking that it was hands down my favorite alt lit thing i’d read

i think one time steve roggenbuck and i were talking about “John Brnlv Rogers” and laughing a little bit because steve thought it meant “barnlove” at first, but it’s actually because john rogers runs Brainlove Records

john rogers is an indie music mogul

along with being active in internet literature circles, he is also a mogul, nice

john has listed himself as a ‘regular contributor’ to Internet Poetry

is Internet Poetry the Poetry Magazine of the internet????

john said some really nice things to me around christmas 2012 and i’ve been trying to live up to them ever since

5.

the time period that Real Life documents involves john rogers moving to iceland, and being in a relationship with somebody who i also know and feel a kinship with. both of these major life moments were documented on facebook. Real Life describes both but allows the structure of memory to scramble time – the poetry passages serve as a narrative glue that fuses emotion and memory in a kind of alternative space defined by emotions and memories. this space makes the intensely descriptive prose passages ‘saturated’ with light and intimacy. the move to iceland is described more explicitly, while the relationship is left deliberately unstated, assumed.

6.

iceland is a cold volcanic island, whose lava and moss become the physical links to the abstracted form they take in memory. iceland was the space for certain relationships, and also serves ‘in advance’ as a place where the pain of its transience can be accepted.

john makes me feel good about iceland, in spite of my understanding of it being confused by stories of ‘prankster’ vikings naming it wrong on purpose (i don’t think this is completely true)

7.

70% of john’s snapchats are of his cat

my cat, mia (longhair, black fur, ~6yo) is sitting in my lap as i write this, curled in a circular shape

8.

“I wonder what it says about me psychologically that I am squeezing myself into the smallest possible amount of space so as not to touch anyone around me despite being basically full to bursting with love and irritation re: every single person.”

john rogers wrote this, it’s in his book, Real Life

9.

Real Life is sensual and intimate in its descriptions of john’s activities. it is mostly in ‘non-sensational’ ways, like things john eats or drinks, or the small chance interactions he has with others, as a result of being alive in ‘real life.’ these interactions are with people on trains, or with parents, or with people in service industries, and john notices the small smiles or gestures we do everyday, simultaneously out of commitment to social routine but also as a simple affirmation of the other person’s existence. i’d say that john is attuned to those specific kernels that connect us with different people.

10.

as i write this, i want to conclude or explain different points by recourse to the title – “you know, real life?” “because its, like the title, real life” “real life, uh”

i think when i get the physical copy of this book i’m going to hold it, arms outstretched, and maybe say “real life” to myself several times.

11.

Stephen Michael McDowell is publisher at Habitat Books and unofficial Queen of Iceland.

Stephen Michael McDowell is publisher at Habitat Books and unofficial Queen of Iceland.

Real Life was written by john rogers and edited by stephen michael mcdowell

the first time i tried an e-cig it was stephen’s

stephen is a writer that at least 2 people, including myself, have characterized as seeming ‘strongly influenced by tao lin’

this is largely false, in that i have increasingly come to see stephen’s writing as building on tao lin’s in exciting and important ways

tao lin’s influence is ‘heavy as fuck’

12.

way way long ago, back in the 20th century a lot of people thought about the linearity of literary writing, especially how prose is structured to the printing press format in ways that

i would say that this was influenced by marshall mcluhan’s description of the printing press as compressed/unidimensional compared to the appearance of radio and television, jean-paul sartre’s critique of serial forms of social organization, and the ways that post-structuralism [something about jacques derrida and roland barthes].

in the 70s and 80s fiction writers embraced complex recursive metanarrative forms and poets like ron silliman and lyn hejinian pushed serial structures to their limits by including features that resisted it – disconnected observations that interrupt the temporal sequence that linear writing imposes

13.

this is probably wrong, but i have intuited that the tao lin narrative style, which i have felt to be doing something unique and important as a development of prose writing, is building on a sense of the inadequacy of inherited forms of narrative presentation. there is something in minimal, declarative presentation that can capture the different descriptive and reflective levels at which we experience reality.

14.

in general the literary and theoretical avant-garde are good at imagining new ways of writing, even if the ways themselves haven’t always seemed successful (most of them are, but i think of how my teachers talked about hyperfiction)

i think the problem is that linear writing became, as in other marx-inflected readings of media, something to be dialectically resisted, which IMHFO is the worst way of doing things because it assumes in advance a system that cannot be escaped.

15.

Michael Hessel-Mial’s cock, which leans to the left, will be forthcoming on The Poetry Foundation’s website.

*bangs head against the wall*

*bangs head against the wall*

*bangs head against the wall*

 

*does cartwheel and turns into a butterfly*

16.

john rogers i feel is moving in a unique direction by taking honest/direct minimal prose writing and putting it into a different kind of narrative structure, where a lot of weight falls onto a poetic space, organizing the prose passages, even if most of what we remember from the book is from the more ‘episodic’ moments.

17.

i feel like, ideally, writing is organized like fractals, or ‘the cloud’ – in the ‘big data’ sense where meaningful objects are held in an idealized space of absolute potential for retrieval, where the immanent relations between the objects ‘as objects’ are probabilistic combinatoric potential, alongside a field of other potential relations generated by abstract programs

the cloud being our potential for love, through the lens of big data

the question being, how do we produce longer, more ambitious works, in ways that better approach how we experience writing

writing, especially when it is linear, is a program that generates the work from the cloud

the cloud being all of culture, including our social media presence

18.

we can write in a way that effectively presents ourselves in a way that is fractal, hypertextual, ‘born and raised’ in the cloud

the longer books we write, i predict, will have increasingly elliptical structures while getting increasingly accessible and enjoyable, like we’re finding ‘the narrative framework of the future’

19.

Real Life often feels like a very disciplined risk, in the sense that it exposes thought processes that could read poorly if not put in the right scope – john often takes risks in being direct or honest, and here it pays off, john ‘shoots straight’

1492882_10104059012782780_1509219743_n

To be honest, Icelanders have over 200 words for ice cream and yet ice cream does not appear in John Rogers’ new book, Real Life.

 20.

i’ve been deciding how much i want to compare this to tao lin, it feels sensitive because i want to suggest that john rogers is pushing the tao lin narrative style in a new and important direction without making tao lin seem bad or wrong

Real Life has the influence of tao lin’s prose narratives, and i think Real Life is ‘on the same team’ as I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death in that they are able to feel consistently edgy and exciting, current as well as adapted to their particular worldview

the difference, i think, is that john’s direct/declarative sentences are an altogether different phenomenology where human relationships are necessarily fraught/doomed, trapped within their view of the world

21.

i think a lot about edmund husserl and the ‘life world,’ which i understand as the intuitive/physical sense of existing in a shared social space, that living with others gives off as a kind of ‘atmosphere’

tao lin’s characters are sympathetic, rich, meaningful, relatable, but they are also always isolated, have relationships only as a kind of mirroring of one another

john’s characters are not simple, but they also have the added benefit of existing in this space, which makes what they do have a kind of light surrounding them

they are saturated with the atmosphere of shared space, and it allows for stories to surface in Real Life without ever being told

22.

both john and i have a way of approaching the internet and social media as having a utopian character – the internet brings out a side of our relationships with others and our understanding of the world that can influence writing. part of the excitement of this writing is being able to declare it. even though Real Life is much more a personal statement than john’s other larger ‘vision statements,’ it teaches a lot in this capacity. john rogers is ~12 years older than me and has a capacity for wonder that gets me excited.

23.

i wonder about john’s ‘choice’ not to call it In Real Life

i think maybe it’s because ‘in real life’ implies that real life is something you go ‘in’ after being ‘out’ of on a computer

that the book is meant to ~*be*` real life, present it, give it, etc …

but real life is also plugged in, and maybe being internet structures how you see real life in ways that allow something as beautiful as Real Life

john’s so fucking internet i love it :) :) :) :)

24.

sign my petition to end the use of the phrase ‘in real life’ and all of its related names (IRL, and, uh…)

25.

Michael Hessel-Mial was made to love you.

Janey Smith is @janeysmithkills

Michael Hessel-Mial is @mikehesselmial

John Rogers is @brainlove

 

Web Hype / 6 Comments
January 24th, 2014 / 1:00 pm

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

mellowpages

(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.

READ MORE >

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

Help APRIL out with Reverse Fan Mail!

670px-Perform-a-Reverse-180-in-a-Car-Step-3One trick I do to coax up sleep is I let my mind do whatever. Like I figure that’s what it does when I sleep anyway, so why not let it out early? A porch-like transition into the backyard of dreaming. Sometimes what it does is a picture of someone carrying a pie tin to the river. Kneeling in the shallows. Other times—last night specifically—it did a succession of closer and closer zooms onto a very elaborate game of bowling. Specifically the windup was elaborate, and the ball was small. Also the pins seemed irrelevant. In 2014, I encourage you to let your mind do whatever you want. I mean whatever it wants. Shit. Not off to a good start.

So I will reverse course entirely and find something else to talk about: Reverse Fan Mail from APRIL. APRIL of course is a crafty bunch of Seattle folk who are dancing the good dance for Authors, Publishers, and Readers of Independent Literature. I’m pretty sure that’s what APRIL means without even looking it up. They’re that good! They do stuff like host book clubs, festivals, expos, reading bar crawls, and generally make Seattle seem fun and utopian to those of us in New England surrounded by leftover-mashed-potato-looking snow.

To do all that fun stuff, they need a little help. Yes, it’s that kind of post! But they give you stuff if you send them skrill. They have people write poems for you. They have people draw things for you. That’s Reverse Fan Mail. Hell, I’ll write you a poem. It says so right on the page. So will Stacey Levine, Ed Skoog, Joshua Beckman, Matthew Rohrer, Mark Leidner, Ryan Boudinot, Rebecca Bridge, Jac Jemc, Wendy Xu, Jane Wong, Rich Smith, Ted Powers, Peter Mountford, Drew Swenhaugen, Amber Nelson, Megan Kaminski, Richard Chiem, Matthew Simmons, and Doug Nufer.

What I’m saying is you should click here and give some $$$ and get lazy-ass Leidner to write you a poem about dreaming and bowling. Originally this whole post was going to be about how one time Leidner texted me “patient B43 tested positive for PVTA,” which is a Western Massachusetts themed joke that I decided would alienate people and lead to less money for APRIL. So I thought: what’s less alienating than Western Massachusetts? Dreams. Futures. Elaboration.  Click here to donate to APRIL, get a Reverse Fan Mail, it’s for a good cause, they’ve got a great 2014 Festival planned. Help ‘em out. Get a poem. Get a drawing. Give your slippy mind a new year present.

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December 30th, 2013 / 12:46 pm

Some books I read this yr.

The other day I was eating from a large tin of popcorn. Someone asked which is your favorite. Thru chews I said I like them all / for different reasons. That’s how I feel about these books.

the law of genre

“the law of genre”

READ MORE >

Web Hype / 3 Comments
December 28th, 2013 / 10:05 pm

20.5 “Books” I Found Especially Beautiful in 2013

Johannes Göransson said on Facebook that one thing he doesn’t like about the “list”-based idea of criticism is: “that you can’t challenge it. You’re not allowed to say: No this list is mediocre or whatever. Then you’re not a nice person.”

Here’s a list of books I’ve only read four of but find especially aesthetically pleasing. Be a nice person.

***

Brandon Brown – Flowering Mall – Roof Books

Dana Ward – This Can’t Be Life – Edge Books

Graham Foust - To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems – Flood Editions

Roger Luckhurst – The Shining – BFI Publishing

Vladimir Nabokov – The Eye – Vintage

READ MORE >

Haut or not & Web Hype / 4 Comments
December 22nd, 2013 / 8:42 pm

“It must be good to run / the show like that.”

If this relationship is going to work—and no one really cares if it does; I mean, ships have jobs; relations are just the second attempt at lations—you’re going to have to accept the fact I’m going to post about some new issue of an online magazine when it rains.

This time around it’s Wag’s Revue, and specifically in Wag’s Revue the rompy and potluck-ish poems of Rachael Katz and the Grace-Paleyish-wise-laughing-at-how-many-generic-varieties-of-Lemon-Pledge-exist-in-our-hearts story called “Palmistry for the Modern Age” by Hannah Pass.

Though I’m not normally a fan of faking book technology online, I think I like the navigation of Wag’s Revue—though I wish the fake-page-box were a little bigger and the font weight wasn’t so extreme. But the editors say they are working on a site redesign, and I am really interested in how declarative the reading experience is. Like it’s very “hark! this is how you shall read.” Which seems against the stream in a way I respect, like when you touch your friend’s antique record player and they snap at you “that’s not for touching!” And you’re like, damn, I respect that.

Respect for yourself by reading Rachael Katz’s “You Girls Are,” which I’m going to go ahead and call the best new ode I’ve read in months of leaves.

Web Hype / 1 Comment
November 22nd, 2013 / 11:58 am

“Really expressing my innermost feelings and desires, all of which are unique and special and totally worth experiencing”

Funny-and-Lazy-Animals-7You know that crazy old internet will quickly become a substitute for that lumbering old sun, and I is in the reeds of readyhood. First I will read Drew Kalbach’s spot-the-freak-on essay “Information grab, or what the internet is doing to my poems” over at Actuary Lit, which says which poems are lazy (more lazy poems, please!):

“He’s not being, he’s just nudging and winking. That’s how your poems are lazy. I mean, that’s how my poems are lazy, while they comb through, collect, materialize, and instantiate themselves. These poems are block quotes without the HTML tags. Even when I’m expressing myself, really expressing my innermost feelings and desires, all of which are unique and special and totally worth experiencing, even when I’m doing that I’m stealing from someone else: their form, their words, maybe just some cadence that I heard. Is this just a restatement of intertextuality? Maybe, but intertextuality doesn’t pay enough attention to ctrl+c and ctrl+v. Three finger movements are enough to steal anything. Is that how lazy your poems are? I mean, my poems aren’t lazy so much as they point their fingers at anything but themselves.”

No points for harrumphing about “lazy” poetry until you read the entirety of Drew’s essay and the stuff he links to (I mean c’mon, think how hard your thermostat would work before it would make a comment).

And then shifting gears: great poems and stories in the well-designed new Beetroot (are circles the new white space in web design?), which I dunno if my favorites in there are lazy or not, even this new positively connotated idea of “lazy,” but they are full of travel and danger and white particle that part like Jello and adzuki beans and bird riding and pee filtering and nobody’s body doing the body things your body does.

So those are some things you can read, and how you should look when you read them is like the squirrel that I found doing a Google image search for “lazy winter animal poetry.”

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November 13th, 2013 / 3:15 pm

“It’s the hour between dogpark / and field full of shit”

Your windy mountain, my windy Monday: either way is a perfect place to catch up with Catch Up‘s new fourth issue, which features poets I already knew I liked writing poems that make me continue to like them (like Sandra Simonds and Catherine Wagner and Anne Barngrover) and poets I’d never heard of but now like based at least on their poems in this magazine (like Josh English, hat tip for the post title, and Gary L. McDowell).

There is fried chicken in one bed and sleeping in the bathroom. Comics! Acid mantles and blackwhite sermon flashes, for sure. But also nectarines and shy watchdogs, so yeah.

It seems like this magazine has been around for a little bit already publishing huge issues full of interesting stuff. I wish they had a terrible gimmick where they called themselves Ketchup every other issue, but that is just because I haven’t eaten lunch yet!

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November 4th, 2013 / 2:21 pm

COLLECTED ALEX

“Always keep your dead body close, my parents told me.”

A.T. Grant wrote a novella called Collected Alex. Caketrain [a journal and press] put it in a dark boat. Now you can tie it to your dock using some rope and an animal bone of a kind. A.T. Grant is a thick bag of fire, a cake you should feed to the zombie geese.

[Film vignette by Katy Mongeau]

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October 15th, 2013 / 10:08 am

BTW (BOOK TRAILER)

Starring Dorothy Tunnell (our starlette) & Janey Smith (the man in the hallway)
Shot at 851: The Squat

Shot for the book BTW by Jarett Kobek, available from Penny-Ante Press (or from Amazon)

Web Hype / 2 Comments
October 9th, 2013 / 11:00 am

Lovely first part of a conversation for your crisp Saturday between Peter Gizzi and Clark Coolidge, hosted by Flying Object on March 29th, 2013.

Highlights include:

prodigal geology; Aram Saroyan getting stoned and staring at the word “oxygen”; being hungry and new; getting to Heaven and everyone saying “Hey, not bad, kid”; the only composer who was at his centennial concert; writing sonnets without thinking about it; the imprints of giant poems; musical lifts; Robert Lowell stopping in the middle of a poem and going “And this is the important line”; losing words to your handwriting; riding signals; improvisational notebook sizes.

“All duty is dream all you are is wildfires”

skinteam_mediumwebHi, y’all. In June, I and my helicopter friends in our helicopter hats released a lovely weird novel called The Skin Team by a Canadian gentleman named Jordaan Mason. I haven’t told you about it yet, but now I am telling you about it. There’s a way you can get it for free at the end of this post. First read the post to see if you’d like it, right?

The novel is about three people, two boys and a girl, turning into each other and out of each other. Also touching. There are sick horses and a Power Company on fire. Sad dads and gone moms. Also some rivers and games of tag and lightbulb vomit.

What I’ve been telling people is that it’s like if Dennis Cooper re-wrote The Virgin Suicides, and Dennis himself was all “Reading The Skin Team, you would never suspect how difficult it is to write even fairly about such things, much less with Jordaan Mason’s radiant emotional grace and super-deft detailing and flawless style.”

So far it’s been called “a psychedelic, haunting, genuinely queer experience of adolescence” (Xtra!and an “incendiary novel, impressive in both style and its poetic language” (Largehearted Boy) and that it’s “carried in sentences that together feel close to the same long slow gravity you might have felt exploring a strange relative’s house as a child” (our own Ryan Gosling at VICE). My favorite new lit blog Actuary Lit says “The Skin Team brims with flesh made electricity, of sick bodies warped by technology into health.” And Vol. 1 Brooklyn says that it reminds them of a guy the FBI thought was the Unabomber: “Like William T. Vollmann, Mason tears apart familiar relationships and conflicts to illuminate them in some newfound fashion.”

And you know it’s real, because some people have said negative things too! They think it has too many metaphors or the prose purples or it gets too confusing (“when every sentence strives for preciousness, they risk monotony” from the Heavy Feather Review), which could also be true, who knows! Let it not be said that our helicopter isn’t into dodging rockets. Evasive maneuvers are fun! Criticism is good. Hype is soda.

I tried to explain in a sincere and full disclosure way about why I love this book over at The Lit Pub in an interview with Jordaan. During his answers, he gives a great primer about the three characters, talks about bipolar disorder, destroying the logic of science through unnaming, and “trying to describe this complete separation of my body from everything around it and from itself. ”

The reason I’m telling you about The Skin Team now is because you can get it for free if you want to play a little game where you get a map in the mail and you draw on it. Otherwise, you can get it the normal way, which would also be awesome. If you feel like it’s weird we have bodies, especially when they’re in the woods and inside other bodies, and you want to read about bodies in a book that makes their weirdness feel like it kind of works (like how a singing saw sounds), I’m guessing you’ll like The Skin Team. Thanks!

Contests & Web Hype / 2 Comments
August 26th, 2013 / 12:03 pm

“I’m not sorry, it was the kind of year I would have raised all of hell to keep him around.” — raging hard as a hungry stomach noise on “How We Killed Whitney Houston” by Eric Tran at Hobart

HE STANDS IN THE DESERT COUNTING THE SECONDS OF HIS LIFE

FLYER

Rising from the ashes of the horror issue, published in December of 2011, LIES/ISLE has returned like the tide–inevitably, without fail–a year and a half later to bring YOU the DESERT. Please enjoy the new issue.

Web Hype / 2 Comments
July 8th, 2013 / 11:01 am

Comment on This Post: Giant Triple Threat Giveaway (Ken Baumann, Marie Calloway, Tao Lin)

I know there was a Tao Lin post x hours ago, but I don’t care. I have books to give away. Want to win free books? Want to grumble? Comment on this post to get one of these:

triple 3

FIRST PRIZE goes to the commenter with the best* comment

SECOND PRIZE goes to the commenter with the worst* comment

THIRD PRIZE goes to the commenter who makes the MOST* comments (bonus for over 100)
each prize will be selected randomly from the (pictured) prize pool of:

Solip by Ken Baumann
what purpose did i serve in your life by Marie Calloway
Taipei by Tao Lin

*as calculated by me

(for the curious, the reason I have these books is that I pre-ordered two out of the three, then received ARCs. i bought two copies of Ken’s because I knew it would be badass)

Web Hype / 157 Comments
June 18th, 2013 / 11:00 pm

“…I am from here / and in these very same places / I now leave my balance.”

Over at Typo, Guillermo Parra has put together (with the help of many scholarly friends/friendly scholars) a collection of Venezuelan poetry (1921-2001) nuzzled-into-English. It really makes your hair feel softer, these poems. There are trails that crawl both uphill and downhill. There are fugitive instants that barely contain your breathing. There is the spooky insistence of overwhelming presence when you think you want to be alone. Like José Antonio Ramos Sucre explains: “I would like to stay between the empty dark, cruelty on earth hurts my senses, life an affliction.” But “They followed me on horseback with their black dogs.” Almond trees and leopards. Owls putting shirts on their fathers. Pistol vapors vs. peaceful sleep. Cañabrava wood and mangrove beams. Boats with chimneys, ham wrapped in aluminum foil. Selfhood as a long dark hike both inside and out. Or on its stomach to watch TV, or facing the ceiling to be loved. Patricia Guzmán, for example, has always wanted to learn how to sing, and she says so to her sisters:

I’ve told them to listen to me
I’ve told them to let me know I sing
I’ve told them not to kiss me on the mouth while I sing
Not to invite anyone to hear me

Web Hype / 5 Comments
May 24th, 2013 / 10:27 am