A drone carrying crystal meth
crashed into the car park
of a supermarket in Pueblo Amigo
Cover design is really important, can make or break a manuscript. Here are some covers, along with statements from the authors on what inspired them, that make me really want to read:
1. Megaphone Heart, Manuel Arturo Abreu (2013)
“It’s an X files toy I cut up and photographed :P”
Read it here.
2. Baby Babe, Ana Carrete (2012, Civil Coping Mechanisms)
“it’s my hand and i’m wearing ring pops and we put slime on top and it made a chemical reaction/started melting so we had to take the pictures really fast”
Get it here.
3. Fantasy, Ben Fama (2015, Ugly Duckling Presse)
“It was created by an illustrator named John Lisle… What i told him is this ‘You should do something people aren’t expecting. Which is why I thought of the odd flower I saw on your website … the flower from the future, a flower that will exist … maybe when we don’t.'”
Pre-order it here.
4. Swan Feast, Natalie Eilbert (2015, Coconut Poetry)
“The book is in large part a question about the significance of the Venus of Willendorf, my fascination and later pop-sensationalizing of her, and some of the sensationalizing involves us obviously having tons of sex and getting married. So. I wanted a cover that somehow conveyed that… I thought [Jasmine Golestaneh] would be really good for this, as she generates a lot of collagework twisting women, animals, and rainbow glitz. I told her what I wanted, which is what I always want: Gritty, grotesque, sexual landscape.”
Order it here in March.
5. Asuras, Jayinee Basu (2015, Civil Coping Mechanisms)
“The drawing is by my friend Rachel Wolfson. Asuras refer to knowledge-seeking entities. I liked the field-biologist aspect of the drawing since observational illustrations are one of the most basic methods of recording reality.”
Pre-order it here.
** Bring me your tired, derivative, overwrought dead manuscripts, yearning to be erased from memory… This is the fifth in an ongoing series where authors get to share a piece of a novel/writing project that died long before it ever could have proven its worth to its parent, its master: the author. Instead of letting the maybe-horrible, maybe-unbearable Word doc remain untouched in some far off and forgotten file folder, why not let the readers at ENCLAVE have a look? Think of it as closure. They won’t laugh, I swear.
This time we have Bud Smith, author of Moondog Over the Mekong with an excerpt from a dead project called, “The Inside Juice.”
If you are interested in having an excerpt featured in the “From the Grave” series, be sure to email me at michael @ coping mechanisms dot net. **
So the Division Head sat him down and asked what he wanted. Not out of this company or this job or this quarter but what he wanted. Since what he wanted was nothing you could tell a DH he bumbled into a monosyllabic mutter that thoroughly demonstrated he was devoid of all reasonable ambition. The DH sat there tapping a gold pen against his teeth which was the kind of habit he himself was scared of because it’d be murder on your dental. Which was why he took this job in the first place. Because he was scared. Back in the lobby there were plastic plants and piped-in watersounds to replace the angel fountain and the 4 others he’d rode up with from the branch office were still upstairs. So he stayed in the lobby all morning and well into afternoon eating soggy pretzels from the basket at the Welcome Desk where the receptionists smiled brightly from inside their glass service cubicles and did not ask if he was headed back upstairs. He was afraid to try out the security guys and besides it was a heatwave out there. They were getting worse every year. Also outside even children turned bandit if you looked to be carrying anything worth anything and even though he wasn’t he probably looked like it. There were no benches or chairs because it wasn’t the kind of lobby you loitered in though it was the kind of lobby where everyone seemed to know what it meant when you went came back downstairs that fast.
In the offices upstairs after the DH was done with him he thought maybe he ought to hang around. Have some chitchat. Get some inside juice. But the offices weren’t any kind of place for loitering either. Everyone looked all harried with their scheming. Besides what good was inside juice going to do him now so he hit on the hope the driver would run him back to the branch office but that was crazytalk with gas high as it was. Everyone said it was good of the company to provide drivers and the streets were clogged with old schoolbuses and minivans ferrying around worker bees like himself to good companies. Sitting in traffic with a handkerchief over his mouth he was not always so sure it was such a good thing plus a schoolbus wasn’t much deterrence against bandits but the company couldn’t do everything. Yep he was into the company but good ever since he got married and scared and joined the workaday world because the future wasn’t going to stop its looming and he had nothing to confront it with. Certainly not any money. The company made you feel you were making positive progress on your family’s future whether you wanted to or not. Also he was a little ashamed at his wedding that he was 30 and his parents had to pay for their own hotel rooms and his younger brother gave them a His ’n Hers selection of handmade Thai silks from a business trip to the Far East. He got to thinking that if his brother got married he wouldn’t even be able to afford to go. Then he lucked into this job with its shot at the legit world and now after 4 years he guessed it was mostly luck he’d kept it this long.
Along about midmorning came a monsoon torrent of the kind it used to be you could only see in movies but now were practically normal. The street flooded with turds and candy wrappers that washed up against the glass lobby doors. Grayswirled water leaked in no matter how many towels the receptionists in rubber boots applied to the bottom of the doors. He stood on the ledge with the plastic plants and the driver where the fountain used to be until sewer-reeking brownwater had started shooting from the angel’s mouth. Out on the city dyke the deluge had probably stopped work again and the saltwaves kept on rising while upstairs the DH was probably talking about Visions of Market Excellence. No one at the company seemed to doubt the right combination of Core Proactive Strategies would carry them through so who was he to doubt it. Obviously no one. Seven hours he waited in the lobby until the last person turned up and they could head out to the minivan in the sunhaze which had already dried the muck to a glazed dust which would mingle with the fumes he’d breath in on the company bus tomorrow.
The minivan at least had windows that shut although no air conditioning. The driver turned off the engine at stoplights which he thought was bad fuel economy and what little circulation there was stopped altogether. The sweat dripping off his earlobes splotched his shoulders and who knew whether it was him or the damp-armed man next to him that reeked. Of course body odor was a Retroactive Issue. Any good company man and / or woman could tell you only a Proactive Strategy could get you out of the Problem Trap and into a Solution Mindset but he had no solution to the pretzels roiling in his stomach. Although possibly it wasn’t so much the pretzels as all the things he didn’t know about the future which never arrived but nevertheless went skidding past. The minivan swerved around a hunched-over junk vendor pushing a cart. He tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him to pull over. When the driver snarled What the hell we just got going he said For God’s sake pull over.
He nearly impaled himself on the gearshift when the minivan lurched to a stop. He scrambled over the woman who’d been the second one to come back downstairs but must have scented the pariah on him and didn’t stand near him in the lobby. There couldn’t have been more than half a dozen shadetrees left in all the city but he stepped right out into the shade of a big one which sheltered a fetid pool with a surface coagulated to goo. Under the expressway he leaned against a cracking pillar near a row of tin shacks. Rows of underaged eyes watched him dry heave till he thought his guts were ripped from intestines to anus. When his eyes cleared he saw the driver leaning out the window yelling something he couldn’t hear over the roar of the expressway. Then the minivan was gone and he was a very very long way from home or anywhere. Filthy half-clothed children crept out of the shacks and one squatted beside him and said Hello Mister. He said Hello yourself and the child said Where you going? and he said Nowhere I’m going to get.
The children gathered in with various sharp objects but that was alright. The future was all gone off his shoulders and he had nothing in the world to be scared of.
We are all witnessing the effects of capitalism over our present times in the forms of abstraction of work, the disembodiment of the conscience, and the dematerialization of the commodities. The Italian Marxist Franco “Bifo” Berardi attributes the origin of this great transformation through abstraction to the development of finance:
Finance is the most abstract level of economic symbolization. It is the culmination of a process of progressive abstraction that started with capitalist industrialization. Marx speaks of abstract labor in the sense of an increased distancing of human activity from its concrete usefulness. In his words, capitalism is the application of human skills as a means to obtain a more abstract goal: the accumulation of value[i].
On this particular situation he states that the most important changes in societies due to the dematerialization and the general abstraction of the economic rules and procedures are the disembodiment of the “general intelligence”, a concept he uses sometimes in terms of a representation of the cognitive group of workers whose labor is now exploited; the deterritorialization of labor and productivity, that ignited a process of pulverization and precarization of work and worker; the end of growth as a concept related to the “increase of social happiness and satisfaction of the basic needs of people”, but instead the expansion of financial profits and the expansion of the global volume of exchange value. He talks about “the new alienation” occurring in the cognitive worker by precarization and the acceleration of the information flow and productivity. All of these transformations are symptoms of the general intelligence as disembodied, taken away from its own social and erotic body.
Review of Women by Chloe Caldwell
I am a cisgendered white male with blue eyes writing a review about a woman in her late 20s who meets a woman around age 40 which leads to the younger woman having her first lesbian experience. I don’t know why I did this? Am I trying to prove something? Am I cool?
Why is this book called Women?
This book is about first lesbian experiences, I want to share mine: When I was 20 years old in the year 2001 I went to Eugene, Oregon to spend the summer with friends before I went back to college. I went to Eugene and found a room in the newspaper, it was with a 45-year-old lesbian named Laura, she owned her own house but was out of work and needed money. At that point in my life I had very few experiences with adult homosexuals, I had lesbian and gay friends in Ohio, but no adults. Laura was amazing to me, she was a total butch, she owned a green Chevy pick-up truck from the early 70s, did home construction, had a rock garden where she would tell you about each and every rock, what kind it was and where she got it. She walked around naked, never shaved any part of her body, would wipe her period blood on the plants in her garden, had copies of Nausea and Ram Dass on her book shelf, was very caring and forgiving and was totally different than the 45-year-old women living in Ohio. She was the first adult to ever take my thoughts and feelings seriously, she was one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met, and she has always stayed in my heart. That was my first lesbian experience.
The lead character in the novel moves to a city because she is a drug addict and wants a change, the lead character obviously suffers from addiction problems. She assumes that if she stops taking drugs the addiction will disappear, because it is a common belief that drugs are addictive but television and love and candy and shopping aren’t. But all these things are addictive, because we live in a culture where “cheering ourselves up” is a moral value, everyone has the duty to “cheer ourselves up.” We can’t just sit and breath and walk around looking at trees, we have to feel as if we are in a panic all the time, happiness is an emergency, that there is no time and we must resolve all the pressures surging in our bodies immediately.
The lead character gets a job at a library, she likes to read, she is intelligent and well spoken and bipolar. The lead character meets a lesbian named Finn, I have this theory that she named her Finn because the lead character is Jim, enslaved in her straight self, which Finn frees her from. (I could be wrong.)
Finn has a girlfriend, the girlfriend is never named or seen in the novel, this makes the novel so weird to me, you have one cheating person and a bird dog (If people don’t remember what a bird dog is, it is a person that romances other people’s girlfriends.) This makes the novel a lot better, because the premise of the two lead characters is that the lead character is a drug addict who romances other people’s lovers and Finn is a chronic cheater. The novel deals with the lives of extremely imperfect people. Seems odd how imperfect we all are, when I reflect upon my own life, I’ve never killed anyone but I have had some amazing imperfect moments. Everyone is so imperfect, thank god we have the ability for forgiveness.
I really liked on page 22 when the lead character says, “I want you so bad. Where did it come from? Since when I had wanted her so bad? Why had I not been conscious of it.” The lead character didn’t reason out here behavior toward Finn, it flowed from her, grew from her, the way a branch grows toward sunlight. I like that theory, it is more zen and human. I just remembered Cupid and Kamadeva though, Americans know Cupid from Valentines day, the little winged creature that shoots lovers with arrows, Indian mythology contains the same concept in Kamadeva, an invisible person that shoots lovers with arrows. I like this metaphor, a human walking around peacefully going abouttheir business, and a sniper shoots them from a distance unseen, the arrow hits them, they look down and say, “Oh shit, I’ve been shit, I didn’t expect this to happen today.”
After there is a short break up between Finn and the lead character, the lead character goes on dating sites and has a period of rampant dating to fill an emotional void. I’ve seen this several times in my life, I don’t have statistics only anecdotes but I’ve seen women after a break up have a three month period of promiscuity. I always kind of viewed at punishment toward the ex-partner, but I think now I was wrong, maybe it is freedom, filling a void, or maybe just distraction, or trying to replicate the old love. The song Habits by Tove Lo seems to be about this. I personally don’t know and accept there is no clarity to the answer. But I think as a male I will stop viewing it as punishment or spite, but just natural behavior.
The lead character has a bipolar meltdown which leads to a lot of amazing chapters about the nuances of being a bipolar in a relationship, I am actually bipolar or whatever that means. Bipolar people can get really annoying in a relationship, because they get obsessed with a single idea and want to follow it to the end without regard for the consequences.
Bipolarism is great if you are in college, writing a novel, or trying to get a promotion, you set your mind on a goal and get manic and accomplish your goal. But when the manic sets their goal on a fellow human, then it gets annoying and even creepy, because humans aren’t like promotions you don’t win them, humans aren’t like writing novels because you can’t write another person’s novel, everyone has to write their own novel.
At the end there is no clarity, things did not turn out the way the bipolar person wanted. Life didn’t turn out at all, everyone was a woman at the beginning of the novel and they are still women when the novel fades out, they are emotionally altered a little, but the woman remains.
Who are you?
I am Nathan Baudy. I am a filmmaker, noise musician, poet, and writer.
What am I watching here?
You are watching a short film entitled “Ray’s Tattoo Party.” It is a film that depicts the conversations and events that took place during a tattoo party.
When + where was this filmed?
This was filmed in Pullman, WA in JAN 2015.
Can you describe the creative process?
The creative process was purely spontaneous. My friend Ray and I agreed to “get together and make art or something” so I went over to their place and they put an Olympus camera in my hand and I started filming. As I was filming I started doing in-camera cutting and thinking about what I was filming so that I could frame it around a central idea. The idea ended up becoming a film about millennial artists getting together and tattooing themselves and talking about america, pornography, art, and telling jokes.
Do you script in any form?
Sometimes. Not for this film.
Who directed this?
Is there a collaborative process involved?
Of course. Nearly everything I do is collaborative. The film is a collaboration between myself and all the performers in the film (who are just being themselves). Ray let me use their camera too. The film is kind of about artistic collaboration. It’s about sharing opinions, letting people tattoo you in your kitchen, and letting yourself be filmed and displayed for the world.
Describe your relationship with the internet and making stuff?
I mostly use it for marketing. In my past I almost exclusively created content for internet consumption, but I find it more rewarding to meet people in person and make intimate films like these. I don’t really care who sees my films. I put them online because I am saving them for myself and I make them public to attract more like-minded artists in attempts to continue making collaborative art with new people.
What other stuff have you been working on lately?
I’m writing an experimental novel. I’m curating noise/experimental music for a series I created called “Contemporary Experimental Music/Noise Anthology Series” where I release one album per month. Every track on it is by a different musician from across the United States. I’m making my own drone/noise compositions. I journal everyday.
You can submit noise/experimental tracks to me via facebook or here:
Inspirations / Influnences? It reminds me of ‘Wavelength’ by Michael Snow.
Warhol, obviously. Harmony Korine, Lars Von Trier, Hollis Frampton, Stan Brakhage, Michael Snow, Jonas Mekas, Richard Linklater. My friends inspire me. I film them because I am inspired by them. I want people to see them.
Why did you send it to me?
I thought you would like it.
The year was 2005. Michael stood in the doorway. It was after midday. Tammy told talking about doctor shopping. Tammy would go to different doctors and get numerous prescriptions for the same drug, so she’d eventually have 20 prescriptions for the same drug. Tammy said the police were making this difficult to do now. Tammy is enterprising enough. She’ll work it out. Her girlfriend is a beauty. Her name is Erin. They’re in the hospital together. They admit themselves regularly.
It was March. There was no meaning, nothing deciphered, only ill sense developing. It was late afternoon. Jumping around Tammy felt her hand go through the plate glass behind her. She’d been messing around, bouncing and speaking with her hands. The whole window crashed around Tammy and Michael. Erin wasn’t around. The smashing of the window was harshness. Chaos continued when a nurse ran in. An orderly pulled Tammy away from the glass on the floor. Tammy didn’t know why her hand had gone through the window. Tammy didn’t know what was wrong. Tammy didn’t know why she was upset.
“You know what the lit community needs more of? HYPE. I know, I know–but seriously, instead of another anticipated list, I figured it would be more befitting to share cover art, quotes, an assortment of content from eagerly anticipated titles forthcoming in 2015. These are the sorts of books the CCM/Entropy community swoons over and here’s the first in what I hope will be a recurring series.” –Michael J Seidlinger
A searing new collection from the inimitable Amelia Gray.
A woman creeps through the ductwork of a quiet home. A medical procedure reveals an object of worship. A carnivorous reptile divides and cauterizes a town. Amelia Gray’s curio cabinet expands in Gutshot, where isolation and coupling are pushed to their dark and outrageous edges. These singular stories live and breathe on their own, pulsating with energy and humanness and a glorious sense of humor. Hers are stories that you will read and reread—raw gems that burrow into your brain, reminders of just how strange and beautiful our world is. These collected stories come to us like a vivisected body, the whole that is all the more elegant and breathtaking for exploring its most grotesque and intimate lightless viscera.
Widen those eyes and have a look at some of my favorite lines from the book, some videos, and excerpts from interviews:
“In the back of the cabinet, over the plates, there was a portal through which I viewed a windowless void of a continuous ecosystem. I could almost hear it breathing.” — from “House Heart”
“It had been a memorable date after such a long line of failures. Turns out they had hidden the same punk tapes in the back of their closets as teenagers and had always secretly wanted to work as photographers for nature magazines.” — from “In the Moment”
“When he buys you a drink, plunge a penknife into his nose and carve out a piece.
“When he asks you to take it down a notch at the Christmas party, pour wine into his ear and drink what drains out.” — from “Fifty Ways to Eat Your Lover”
“We ended up in the Days Inn in Corpus. Kyle examined a road map in his underpants while I took the bucket to the ice machine. A crowd of tourists were standing in the laundry room. They were speaking languages.” — from “These Are the Fables”
“He rested his head against the billboard. He heard in the protests of the steel a message from the mechanized world. He thought it was a love song, but he was mistaken.” — from “How He Felt”
“The gods decided that, once a year, they would have a weeklong contest and allow the one person who felt the most grief over the loss of a loved one to have that loved one return.” — from “A Contest”
“There was a softness in him, a light that drew moths.” & “Because the baby is so peaceful, Gerard and his wife find that over time they develop a new habit of reading on the back patio, sometimes with iced tea or a bowl of mixed nuts, while the baby pokes around in the grass.”
** Bring me your tired, derivative, overwrought dead manuscripts, yearning to be erased from memory… This is the second in an ongoing series where authors get to share a piece of a novel/writing project that died long before it ever could have proven its worth to its parent, its master: the author. Instead of letting the maybe-horrible, maybe-unbearable Word doc remain untouched in some far off and forgotten file folder, why not let the readers at ENCLAVE have a look? Think of it as closure. They won’t laugh, I swear.
This time we have J David Osborne, author of Low Down Death Right Easy and Our Blood in its Blind Circuit sharing an excerpt from a dead novel entitled, “Toomoth.”
If you are interested in having an excerpt featured in the “From the Grave” series, be sure to email me at michael @ coping mechanisms dot net. **
Langley’s job options were limited. He trolled Monster. None of it seemed doable. Didn’t know what the fuck a Technical Adviser did. Craigslist was next. Those jobs seemed more realistic. He copied down phone numbers and thought about checking the For Sale section for couches, then thought better about it. He turned his computer off and sat on the floor where the couch used to be and tried to think of ways to get Carla back.
He purchased a Glock 19 from a handgun pawnshop on 19th and Lee. He’d been nervous, walking up to the frog-painted façade, intending to simply go in and get a few pointers on how he might end up with a permit and maybe, one day, eventually with a gun, but the alligator woman behind the counter had set her Beth Moore paperback to the side and coughed and told him, “Hell, son, you can take one of these bad boys home today, if your qualified.”
“How do I qualify?”
“You a felon?”
“Got any warrants?”
“I’ve had one, once.” He felt stupid even as he said it, like he was bragging. It was a nothing warrant, a clerical screw up on a speeding ticket.
“But do you have one now?”
The old woman waddled around the counter and flipped up the divider and came right up to him. She looked into his eyes and clawed around the pockets of her jeans. Lit a cigarette and blew smoke in his face. “So you qualify.”
“Did you bring it?”
The alligator woman smoked thoughtfully. She looked him over, turning him over in her mind. Trying to figure out if he was playing her or just stupid.
“Your permission slip.”
Langley had the feeling when he walked into the shop, that you’re-in-the-grocery-store-and-that-weird-looking-guy-is-really-happy-to-have-his-bag-of-chicken-nuggets-could-he-be-retarded? feeling. Something about the shopkeeper’s underbite, and the way she ground it and muttered to himself tipped him off, but, like with most people with the feeling, the realization that this person was, in fact, not all there, he suddenly felt the urge to play along, to patronize, but for the love of God, not to look in the eyes.
Joseph D. Haske’s North Dixie Highway was released in late 2013 by Texas Review Press. It’s a grimy, tight gem of a read. Highly autobiographical, the novel flitters non-chronologically across a life of war, chicken butchering and hard drinking. But it’s poetic the way the blues is poetic, charming the way town-drunks can be.
I thought we’d ask Joe some questions.
Enclave: Let’s start small; what is the North Dixie Highway, and why write about it now?
Joseph D. Haske: It’s a road I’ve been traveling down for quite a while now, deep into the fictional world that’s consumed me for the better part of five years. It actually is a real highway, though, or at least a series of connected roads that bring north and south together in most of the eastern U.S. It was an ambitious project in the early 20th century at a time when motor vehicles were still relatively new. There are sections of the Dixie Highway all over the eastern U.S. The north most tract actually ends in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where much of the book is set.
The Dixie Highway was always sort of fragmented, and it’s even more fragmented these days. Still, as I’d travel around the country, Dixie Highway signs would pop up everywhere: south of Chicago, in central Georgia, around northern Ohio, in various parts of Florida–all over the place. Then there’s that strange tract of Dixie Highway in the eastern U.P., where I grew up. As I mention in the Prologue, the E.U.P. section wasn’t actually connected to any other land mass, at least until the Mackinac Bridge came along, which makes it a particularly lonely stretch of highway.
The construction of the highway is a really interesting story in itself, but the concept of the highway alone spoke to me on a deeper, literary level. I realized early on in writing the book that the Dixie Highway worked well as a sort of unifying/disunifying metaphor, given the travel motif, the temporal and geographical shifts in the novel, and, in general, the sort of schizophrenic nature of the protagonist.
** Bring me your tired, derivative, overwrought dead manuscripts, yearning to be erased from memory… This is the first in what I intend on becoming an ongoing series where authors get to share a piece of a novel/writing project that died long before it ever could have proven its worth to its parent, its master: the author. Instead of letting the maybe-horrible, maybe-unbearable Word doc remain untouched in some far off and forgotten file folder, why not let the readers at ENCLAVE have a look? Think of it as closure. They won’t laugh, I swear. Starting things off, here’s an excerpt from my SimCity novelization attempt-gone-awry. If you are interested in having an excerpt featured in the “From the Grave” series, be sure to email me at michael @ coping mechanisms dot net. **
It’s not just a game. It’s an escape, a diversion, an exercise in principle. As in, you want something to do that doesn’t involve the same run-around, the same workday, the same frustrations. The frustrations are neck-deep. These days you can’t seem to sit still. Anxious all hours of the day and night, you are one clock tick away from giving into the frustration. Every single decision is momentous, no matter how insignificant they really are. What to eat for dinner? What brand of shampoo? A,B,C,or D? Should you call the parents or should you call in sick? Will she be voted off the show or not? Why can’t you sleep? Should you take sleeping pills? Aren’t they addictive? Do you smoke too much? Do you drink too much? Did you really buy those pills from that one dealer-guy at that party the other weekend? Where are they? You can’t find them. Did you really take them? Did you really say those things to that one colleague? Will you be fired? Why haven’t you had a date in months? Are you getting fat? Are you a couple blinks away from getting eye cancer from staring at screens all day?
Tune it out. You walk the streets back to the apartment. You can’t face the smoldering body heat, the crammed spaces of a subway train. You’ll take the long walk. You tell yourself that you could use a long walk. You hit every green light, forcing you to wait until it’s safe to cross the street.
Above you hear the rumble of thunder. It’s one of those days, weeks, months, years…
You keep your gaze trained to the dirty sidewalk.
There is nothing to see that you haven’t already seen. You don’t hate the city. It’s more like you’ve never enjoyed living anywhere. You have no “home” and yet you don’t believe there is a town, a city, that’ll fit your personality.
Ill-fitting, you occasionally glance around at the street signs, making sure you’re going the right direction.
When it starts to drizzle, you duck into the nearest store.
It’s one of those videogame stores. What’s with videogame stores and smelling like a mixture of potato chips, grease, and body odor? You avoid eye contact with the store clerks, walking the aisles, looking at the overwhelming wall of game cases, cover art all trying to grab your attention.
You almost didn’t go with a game because there were so many to choose and yet none of them stood out. You looked up and down the aisle but really –
Here are some books that I am excited about in 2015. This list is partial and was done without very much thought or research, so feel free to tell me if I forgot any (including your own book).
NOAH CICERO – Bipolar Cowboy (Lazy Fascist)
I read this over two nights in the dark before bed on my Kindle, with Scott (McClanahan) reading over my shoulder. He kept on saying to me as we read, “Promise you won’t leave me for Noah. This is a book you could fall in love over.” It’s that good. (I am also super jealous of the title.)
xTx – Today I Am a Book (CCM)
xTx is one of the writers whose work I most admire on the indie lit scene. She’s completely unafraid to be nasty and ugly and ballsy as hell.
MIRA GONZALEZ AND TAO LIN – Untitled Project (SF/LD)
I asked publisher Elizabeth Ellen what this book was about and she said she didn’t know yet. She said it would involve illustrations done by both Mira and Tao and that it might resemble a flip book. This seems awesome.
this inaugural post is dedicated to
Sara Uribe and Kim Schreiber,
both generous and kind
I left my country on the 204th anniversary of its independence. I took a plane. I wasn’t really thinking too much. I wasn’t really paying attention. I just thought it was the best day to leave given the circumstances. As a very dear friend would tell me later, mocking me: “only the unpatriotic and the stateless leave their homeland right on its Independence Day celebrations.” I felt unpatriotic. I was rendered stateless. I sensed I was leaving a lot behind. Also I suddenly realized there were a whole lot of events coming right in front of me. Perhaps more than I could actually foresee. More than I can imagine. I left Mexico on September 15, 2014 in order to start a new adventure in life. I had chosen to keep my academic career going. I’d decided I wanted to recover my writing career as well, after four years in public service. The opportunity was before me when I sent my application so stand for the Master in Fine Arts degree in Writing at the University of California, San Diego. I got accepted. A whole new ground of possibilities was suddenly open before me. But at the moment, as I was crossing the U.S. border, I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t know a thing.
Besides acquiring formal education in writing for the first time, I now have the chance to explore the recent writing techniques and theories, and put them in practice in my own writing. I’m attracted to the experimental approach on writing of the MFA program. One of my main goals is to address current Western Culture societies in conflict based upon evidence found through language. My interest is chiefly aimed at language as a community builder. On exploring how language binds us together as a community. Which could be the principles that make us hold together even though it may seem societies are falling apart? (There are many making that statement nowadays.) Upon the rise of Internet as the almighty machine that has radically affected the concept of writing; I’m particularly interested in working with virtual communities. Language shown in the user comments of sites around the World Wide Web is of a very different kind than any other used in any other support. Nonetheless it works as adhesive when establishing relationships, encouraging dialogue, and building communities. But it is also a language based more frequently upon anonymity/identity, context[s], shared or unshared. What do user comments across the Internet stand for when referring to commonality?
I’m infatuated with Western Culture. How does the West talk about love in the twenty-first century? I’m interested in researching and updating through writing experimentation what Freud theorized about the Eros & Thanatos duality. Is Western Culture closer to death, aggression, and destruction in the twenty-first century? If this is considered true, then: In what ways is Eros defined by Western Culture in the now? How can our present be defined based upon the relationship established between eroticism and destruction, particularly one that is perceived through public language across the Internet and other ‘new’ media? How do these relationships define our global communities therefore? What does all of this say about human condition?