Do you ever think that universally all we have in common is our interest in food and sex?

Well in Japan they are over the sex, so check your hypothesis:

What I actually mean though is: can you think about materiality today? But in a good way: like touch, not like technology. I will!

Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 4 Comments
January 9th, 2014 / 12:32 pm

I Am Prepared to Read Many More Novels About People Fucking

I haven’t read Sheila Heti or Ben Lerner’s recent novels, the impetuses for Blake Butler’s recent, anti-realism-themed Vice article, but I’d like to respond to Blake’s finely-written itemized essay, because I, personally, continue to desire novels written by humans, which relate, slipperily or not, to human realitysubjective, strange and ephemeral as it is–novels which deal with such humdrums as sex, boredom, relationships, Gchat, longing, and, beneath all, death. I want a morbid realism.

I agree with Blake that a reality show like The Hills and social media such as Facebook create stories by virtue of humans doing simply anything. The documenting, sharing, and promoting of mundane everyday human life is more prevalent and relentless than ever before. In this environment, literature (and movies) about humans (most controversially, about privileged, white, hetero humans) that presents everyday drank-beers-at-my-friend’s-apartment life, wallows in self-pitying romantic angst, and doggy paddles po-faced through mighty rivers of deeply profound ennui can potentially seem annoying, or boring, or shittastical.


Craft Notes & I Like __ A Lot & Massive People & Random / 43 Comments
October 12th, 2012 / 12:49 am

Hanging Out vs. Being Hanged: An Interview with Jarett Kobek

Jarett Kobek is the author of ATTA, from Semiotext(e), and the forthcoming If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write? on Penny-Ante Editions.

If You Won’t Read…, often referred to by Kobek as “The Sex Tapes Book,” is a collection of the coincidental dialog from celebrity sex tapes (and some other hyper-media-based ‘tapes’) transcribed and presented as a text. Included alongside these transcriptions is the criminal records of the celebrity whose dialog is on display. Riding a fine line between conceptual writing, humor, gossip, and ‘alt-lit,’ the book ends up being hilariously funny while resonating with an intense cultural relevance.

I sat down with Jarett one afternoon at a café in San Francisco’s Mission District to talk about his new book. The hour-long conversation, covering everything from Normal Mailer to Jennifer Lopez to Miley Cyrus’s shamanic trip, is available to listen to below:

Interview with Jarett Kobek, Part 1

Interview with Jarett Kobek, Part 2

Pre-order If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write? at Penny-Ante Editions.

Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
August 27th, 2012 / 6:41 pm

Kama Sutra, Baby

Penguin Classics is releasing a new translation of the Kama Sutra, the ancient spiritual sex manual (yes, it’s much more than that, I know) that  people pretend to know all about when they want to impress a date. Or, maybe I saw that in a movie once. This new version, translated by A.N.D. Haksar,  has been adapted to modern lives. It’s the Kama Sutra, for the people, now featuring wit and charm.

Penguin has offered to give a copy to a lucky reader, so I’m having a contest! To enter, invent a new sexual position that belongs in the Kama Sutra. Leave your entries in the comment field. The best one wins and you have until Wednesday, the 25th. This will be fun, I hope. I’ll also throw in Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron, The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein, and also some galleys TBD.

Contests / 27 Comments
January 21st, 2012 / 7:06 pm

Midtown Skin Essay Series Part 3 of 5: Lunch Hour

3. Lunch Hour

Can we stop all this? Can we just stop for an hour?

The Indian buffet on 39th Street simmers as fat men in blue suits break their day into two unequal pieces. Neither piece seems palatable, at this juncture. The morning was dull and the afternoon will be a replete – so the whole day is a tangled mess, layers of nothing upon layers of too much. Clients have weighed in, money is on the line, and all of the executives are out of office (OOO) selecting window dressings for their new condos in MiMa.



Behind the Scenes / 11 Comments
December 11th, 2011 / 4:02 pm

Nick Antosca on reading Lolita at 12. What was the first book that you felt dirty reading? I’d say mine was either A Confederacy of Dunces around the same age, or maybe The Godfather. Hard question for me because I was watching stuff like Terminator & Skinemax from about 5 on. You?

Sex and Brevity, Fracture and Complexity

Photo by Gary Glass.

Savannah Scholl Gruz questions if the elements of fiction are obsolete in a really interesting post on her blog. She asks, “But why, too, are stories so often about empty sex and blow jobs? Why are so many of them full of violence and figurative blind corners.” Her discussion expresses a real concern over the highly sexualized, fragmented short story and she also notes that, “Maybe we are the decade of fractured, sexual narratives in the same way that we have, in many ways, become a fractured and highly sexualized culture.”

As a writer who often writes sexual narratives, sometimes fractured in nature, but often times, linear and complex, I’m pretty intrigued by her commentary.  Savannah asks if the proliferation of highly sexualized work is a deeper commentary on our culture, a reflection of this moment in time but I would say that literature has always been highly sexualized. It’s only the nature of highly sexualized work that continues to evolve. Similar concerns as the ones Savannah shares in her post were raised at the end of the 19th century, for example. Elaine Showalter’s Sexual Anarchy is a great book that looks at the evolving sexual culture of the fin de siecle and how those cultural changes manifested themselves in literature and popular culture.


Craft Notes / 73 Comments
May 4th, 2010 / 1:15 pm


I really don’t understand the hard sell approach used by certain authors/vendors in aggressively trying to push their goods. Though you may be able to cajole me into forking over $$ for your book at the bookfair (I am a pushover, often), you sweating and awkwarding me into doing so will only guarantee that though I have your book inside my house now, I will never read it, and will likely think of you only often thereafter in a gross light, thus netting you perhaps one book sold but a whole trajectory made mushy. Come on. Relax. Be cool. Things go around. Invest in yourself. Not all sales happen at the point of purchase, and better things are friends.

On a side note, in one instance this past weekend at the Denver book fair when I was shown a book and didn’t buy it, the presenter told his friend passive-aggressively toward me, “Oh, check out HTMLGIANT… it’s a great site, if you like sex and hyperbole and death.” I think he thought it was an insult. I got it tattooed on my thigh.

This one never gets old:

Behind the Scenes / 37 Comments
April 13th, 2010 / 3:04 pm

Sunday Service

Noah Cicero Form Letter

Valentine’s Day is coming again, so i’m going to write a love letter. Anyone can use this love letter for their lover.

Dear Lover,

There are a lot of butterflies on the planet. But none in the winter. You are my winter butterfly.

I want to lick the inside of your belly button. I want to lick the lint out of it and then kiss you. Then you have the lint in your mouth. We are naked and you laugh.

[If you are a straight man or lesbian] I want to grab your pussy. I want to cup your naked pussy in my hand. Your pussy is like a leaf with dew on it on a July Morning. That means I like when your pussy is wet. I like your pussy more when it is wet than when it is dry.

[If you a woman or a gay man] I want to hold your soft penis in my hand. Then I want to caress it until it becomes hard and then I’ll call it a cock. I want you to do things with your cock that will make me moan and make strange sounds.

I want to eat candy with you and check our facebooks sitting close.

We need each other like poor people need food and politicians need votes.

We need each other like cell phones need signals and books need readers.

Right now I’m yearning for your genitals to be near by, for your laugh, for your arms, and your legs to wrap around me and pull me deeper.

I can never get deep enough into you.

I want you have my babies. I want our babies to look like us.

We will raise our children to be nervous and strange and to love music like we do.

I keep seeing your belly in my mind, your belly flat, I rest my head on your belly, your belly is soft and we watch a movie. A movie staring Will Ferrell. Everything is right with the world. We have good credit and our grades are good.

I want to fuck until both of our genitals are chafed and sore.

There are a lot of butterflies on the planet. But none in the winter. You are my winter butterfly.

Your Lover

(Originally posted here.)

Noah Cicero has several books published on several small presses, The Human War, The Condemned, Treatise, Burning Babies and in a short while The Insurgent will be released. Noah Cicero is currently spending his days snowblowing his driveway. Noah Cicero stands in the snow, in the freezing cold weather, looking around, he likes at night in the winter, when it is quiet. There are no birds, sometimes the wind brushes over the snow, making that sweet sound that politely touches the soul of the kindest and even the meanest of souls. If you ever meet Noah Cicero you should first fist bump him, then give him a hug, he likes fist bumps and hugs. Noah Cicero voted for Barack Obama because he smokes.


not a writer

1. Writing is not mysterious to them, so they will not romanticize, mythologize, or idealize what you do.


Random / 231 Comments
January 7th, 2010 / 10:40 am