Friday, 31 October 2008

Heroin Love Songs

There is a nice warm cotton wool feeling surging through my veins right at this very moment. And that is because my beautifully benign piece – Fuck-Drops Make Entity – has just been accepted for Heroin Love Songs. I think this will be Volume Five – and probably out in the middle of November. But if you are desperate for a bit of brown (right here, right now (and I speculate that Brighton’s fat ‘slim’ boy would not have been so fat if…)) there are links (on the right) to the online (you have to scroll down a bit – but plenty of good stuff to scroll through anyway) and to the print version of Volume One.

One of the very pleasing things about Fuck-Drops is that it is exactly 666 words long – each of them filled to the brim with an almost Christian-style love of life.

Big cheers to Jack - the former owner of the most kinky afro ever – for ultra fast response time. I like editors who say yes, and say yes quickly. They make me happy. The others just make me make voodoo dolls.

And remember children: Heroin is good for you. Well, this kind anyway…

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Epic Rites

Exceptionally pleased that my piece - The Great Religion - will be appearing in the next issue of Epic Rites – Workers In Blood. And always most impressed at the lightening-fast response time.

Issue 2 is already looking pretty damned fine, and will include work by Rob Plath, Chris Madoch, Mark Walton, Zack Wilson, D.W. Rindahl, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Melissa Hansen, Karl Koweski, Michael Keenaghan and Wolfgang Carstens - as well as interviews with Andrew Taylor (Erbacce Press) and Jack Henry (d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t/ press).

There’s loads of exciting stuff happening over at Epic Rites – virtual office space now being occupied by Rob Plath, Wolfgang Carstons, Chris Madoch, and Karl Koweski – as well as a whole host of multimedia goings on – and links. I recommend paying a visit. There is a link to Epic Rites’ home page on the right, and a link to Issue 1. I will, of course, be saying more about Issue 2 when it goes live.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Review: Pushing Lemmings – David McLean

Pushing Lemmings – David McLean
erbacce-press (£6.95)

The lemmings did not jump, but were pushed instead by a rotating platform, and not into the Arctic Ocean, but the much less impressive Bow River. So, just as you cannot trust Disney, it is prudent to be sceptical about many ideas promoted by those who first decide what they want to believe, and then secondly construct a philosophy based on these faulty foundations.

Pushing Lemmings explodes many myths (mostly the spurious meanings and invalid associations that stupid, and unquestioning, people cling to and wear like a mangy old fleece (quite possibly in order to resemble sheep outwardly as well as inwardly)) with wonderful intolerance and delightfully disrespectful verve.

‘my blessed devils’ tells it like it is:

i hope the blessed devils
and accursed bacteria
that live in me scratch runes
on my hollow sounding bones
that the replete ghouls may read
a lesson of profoundest negativity
when they plow through the meat
machine me and see nothing
inside any of us, like life, just death
and insanity dressed in night

But, with 118 poems, in this collection, there is tremendous range of subject matter and style – astoundingly so – and I have a great fondness for those poems which majestically incorporate the profound and the profane, the poetic and the epistemic, and deviance with the downright piss-funny. ‘maybe creation’ is a good example – a poem which later goes on to suggest that god was heaven’s token nigger. It kicks off thus:

maybe creation was recursive
and circumstance were the demiurge
that put a cosmos in a plastic bag
whirled by the world-wind
that blew a million words
together to impersonate a holy
logos a minute

the cosmos stitched together
like a bag that held a horde
of innumerable universes
popping up like querulous
quarks, strange and charming
in the harmless void,
before light invented night
and black was an impotent

but questions of why have no home
in science, which is poncy ontology
not manly metaphysics that rips
gibberish like hair waxed from time’s
private tits

Elsewhere there are poems where ‘societies are clumps of cancerous tissue; open wounds full of gross necroses we call people’, and there are poems where one is just as likely to meet Butters Scotch as one is Wittgenstein as one is at danger of being ‘chased by a hateful winged clit’, and it is the genuinely unexpected twists and turns in this collection that make it inordinately pleasurable to read.

McLean can be undeniably elegant, as in ‘like illusion’:

as if words
bounded us
as if a subjectivity
lived this hollow “me”

or he can be irresistibly beguiling, as in ‘foeti and nipples’:

disgusting as any abortive
morphology words are foeti
are poems are miscarried
philosophy and worrying
about punctuation is saying
shit I hope this abortion
has nice nipples

And for someone who question words themselves (or describes poems as abortions in jars), he uses the fuckers in a most truly original and thought provoking way.

This, most assuredly, is a book you should buy. Do so - it is exceptional.

It can, and should, be purchased here.


Very pleased that Umbrella are going to be using a couple of my images in their Winter 08 issue. One of which will be the cover. I like that a lot. There is a link to Umbrella on the right.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Eviscerator Heaven #4

Highly delighted that Eviscerator Heaven #4 is now up and available as a free pdf download. There is a link on the right. Two different downloads – part one and part two – and I have two different pieces in part one. The full list of contributors is:

Part One

Jaie Miller
Felino Soriano
Craig Podmore
Gail Gray
Karl Koweski
Pablo Vision
Jacqui Corcoran
Petra Whitely

Part Two

Duane Locke: Interview with a Legend
Isaac Seal
Melissa Hansen
Patricia Carragon
Christopher Nosnibor
Linda Washington
Alexandra Ryan
Misti Rainwater Lites
Brett Milstead
Gillian Prew
Bertrand Damien
Melanie Browne
Thomas L. Vaultonburg
Andrew Taylor
Brittony Fay-Johnson
Dan Miles

In heaven, everything is fine, [no doubt] you got your good thing, and I’ve got mine [well two actually – as stated above].

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Clockwise Cat 11

A once again excellent collection of poems, fiction, art, polemics, reviews, essays, and other stuff, including poems (prose that has been bravely, and adventurously, chopped up by people on commission to hit the enter button on their laptops) by David McLean, Amanda Boschetto, AJ Kaufmann, Felino Soriano, and loads others.

There are reviews of rob plath’s there’s a little hobo in my heart who forever gives the finger to humanity, and of Misti Rainwater-Lites’ Pretty Red Berries – both written by Mr McLean (but not, thankfully, that smoking apostate the Marlboro Man). Both these books sit on my bookshelf – so you can consider that a double endorsement.

Loads of other good stuff there, especially The Price of Pieces by Mark Mika. This is a story about me. And the colossus image above the story is highly appropriate and suitably respectful. Most of this piece is based on true facts (although it is an exaggeration to say that I write ten stories a day – doing so would encroach unacceptably on my porn-viewing time (however the description of my pants is 100% accurate – although a definite breach of confidence (which I am prepared to overlook on this occasion))). I do, of course, make an absolutely captivating muse. And I am glad to find that Mark is still happily frolicking in the Californian sea with his loving and lazy cat.

Clockwise Cat 12

Very pleased that Clockwise Cat 12 will not only include my slab of fiction – Damaged Girl – but will be running two of my reviews – Amanda Boschetto’s Angels in Hell and Christopher Nosnibor’s THE PLAGIARIST.

So three big cheers for Alison Ross for taking these – and for responding so very quickly. I will pay secret homage, tonight, by listening to the very best Cure album ever released – Curiosity (a cassette-only bonus that came with Concert) – and very atmospheric it is too.

Review: THE PLAGIARIST - Christopher Nosnibor (Clinicality Press)

THE PLAGIARIST is quite possibly the most extreme anti-novel in print, and as such definitely requires a different kind of reading, and certainly an abandonment of traditional expectation. For readers willing to embrace the chaos that is our reality, and for those emancipated and adventurous enough to adapt and evolve their manner of reading, it is also a very rewarding novel – anti, or otherwise.

The influence of William Burroughs, Kenji Siratori and Stewart Home are evident, but this is no mere homage: this raises the levels more than one beyond ten, stamps on all of the pedals, lets the feedback wail uncontrollably, and creates an almighty, and sometimes painful, assault on the reader.

The book does have a beginning, and it does have an ending, and there are characters – Ben (who struggles through the bombardment of information, disinformation, and the mutated and twisted maelstrom of words), and his ‘guide’ or ‘misguider’, THE PLAGIARIST – but beyond this, it is exceptionally uncompromising. Probably thinking in terms of Trout Mask Replica and Bitches Brew, being played simultaneously, may give some indication. It is also frighteningly similar to sitting at one’s desk, subjected to an irate telephone conversation in one ear, an impatient and demanding boss in the other, a background of random phrase from co-workers, a screen filled with urgent emails and bizarre pop-ups, the mobile vibrating incessantly in the pocket, pneumatic drills and fumes flooding through the open window, and the rising anxiety travelling up your spine like a tube train. It is like the onslaught of the 21st Century approaching complete meltdown and system overload, as experienced by apes that have had no time to evolve any kind of coping strategy.

The bulk of the book uses cut-ups of spam emails, written texts (some of which regarding the nature of narrative), advertising, news stories, and, what seem like, snippets of overheard conversation. There is great use of repetition, sometimes mutated slightly, or not so slightly, to propel meaning and chaos. Sentences, and even words, collapse and collide; the already abstracted becomes increasingly more so. Often there is a sense of great alienation from the words – the polar opposite of engaging – sometimes it is distinctly uncomfortable and unpleasant to read – there are times, when looking at the number of pages ahead, it may seem impossible to continue. But back to sitting at the desk – back to our own lives – back to our own personal hell (because although Ben is a character, he is everyman: he is me as I am you as you are me as we are all together): it is hell because there is no escape: there will be four more days to endure this week - there will be thirty more weeks to endure this year – there will be twenty more years to endure, etc – and even in the context of one day, the bombardment at the office will be replaced by the bombardment of conversations on the tube, advertisements, the leakage of music from headphones, etc – and, arriving at the ‘sanctuary’ of home, this will then be replaced by the bombardment of three kids – one screaming, the other asking perpetual questions, another bleeping away at a games consul, the TV blaring (the adverts louder and more obtrusive), etc, etc, etc. Lives and circumstance, of course, may be different, but the background of white noise is no background at all – it is ourselves who are the almost ephemeral background of our own existence; if we have identity or a ‘self’, then mostly we have no time and no peace, in which to discover it.

But although a lot of THE PLAGIARIST is far from an easy ride, there are many blissful moments, where lines from lyrics (some obscure, some not so) fall (pun intended) from the page – like tangents to segments of stored memory that are good (and in the context of the novel, as in the life it echoes, reassuring). There are also many sections where linear and conventional narrative and excerpts are used to great effect, particularly two variations of the same money and information scam, and an advertised vacancy for a Regional Sales Manager. In some ways these sections are like a welcome respite from the chaos and the madness, but also, a very effective reminder that madness is most prevalent in that which is often considered normal and acceptable.

It seems reasonable to me that an anti-novel may require an anti-reader, and there are many approaches that can be taken. One of the lyrics embedded is from Joy Division’s Atrocity Exhibition, and taking guidance from the preface of JG Ballard’s book of the same name – “…simply turn the pages until a paragraph catches your eye [and] if the ideas or images seem interesting scan the nearby paragraphs for anything that resonates in an intriguing way…” – could be one approach. Reading the start and the end in conventional manner, and then rapidly scanning the rest (but still in order – because there are definite patterns to the occasionally mutated repetition – and the subliminal effect will more resemble our real-time assimilation of information), is another.

Even with the most conventional of plot driven novels, each reader will have their own associations and reactions to what they have read, and they will have their own set of values, and understandings (and misunderstandings), which will inform the interpretation, so certainly with THE PLAGIARIST, the relentless bombardment and assault of the senses, and the extremely non-conventional nature, will render interpretations and reactions as varied and as chaotic as life, and the book, itself.

THE PLAGIARIST is not a book you would want to read in bed before sleeping. It is not a book you would want to read from cover to cover in one sitting. And it is not a book that will make Dan Brown revise his approach to writing. But it is a book that could change your approach to reading, and a book that should make you more aware of the world around you, and hopefully less tolerant and accepting of the hell imposed on us all.

Further information, including an excerpt and purchase details here

Monday, 13 October 2008

Bare Back Magazine

Very pleased and excited to have just had The Secrets of Women accepted for inclusion in the November issue of Bare Back Magazine (an online monthly erotic magazine dedicated to erotic news, stories, fantasies, poetry, reviews, art and much more). There is a link on the right.

The spreadsheet that keeps track of my submissions tells me that I have now had over 50 pieces published in the last year. So might celebrate both things with copious amounts of alcohol. And looks like I am going to be in cigarettes for at least another month – so will celebrate that by chain smoking.

Review: Angels in Hell – Amanda Boschetto

Angels in Hell – Amanda Boschetto

blackbook madness, vol. 3 (d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t press $7.50)

Probably the first poem by Amanda Boschetto that I read was ‘the sun and the night’, and that was enough to become hooked. Delighted, therefore, to find it included in this mightily fine collection. It starts

“the sun is gazing behind the trees,
licking their woody clits,
by day

by night the trees rape the roads
while the street shines black and dark,
oblivion is faith reversed
in god’s seedy eyes”

and it continues in genuinely astounding manner: naturally poetic, and, more importantly, free of the forced academic techniques and philosophical clichés that render most poetry as unexciting as a Sunday sermon. And like all good addictive stuff, it seems only right that you should get the first taste for free, and pay thereafter – $7.50 hardly being the sort of amount that necessitates the pawning (or porning) of one’s grandmother for this sort of fix.

36 poems in total, and all of them very worthy of inclusion – this is a collection not cut with crap, but instead, is the finest high-grade, with a rather nice tingly buzz.

‘twat-mothers’ and ‘fucked stars’, like many of the poems in this collection, manage to make many seemingly contradictory things coexist – the unbearably uncomfortable with the disrespectfully humorous, the vividly horrific with cold desolate beauty, and the intensely intimate with the kind of philosophy that is brutal, honest, and - above all else - real.

You get to be an old bastard like me, and a certain fatigue starts to set in – poetry, like music, suffering mostly - not from that which is truly awful - but that which is good, but not great; that which sounds or reads like so much before it. And this is why Angels in Hell is such a refreshing kick, with ‘tacky trees’, ‘god’s amnesia’, ‘fleshy bones’, ‘cynical ghosts who jump between tattered tea-bags and drink beer from rusty old cans’, ‘feckless unloving trees’, ‘smelly darkness’, and tramps fighting futilely ‘over god’s last blow job’, demonstrating that in order to write, one needs to see the world with clear and original vision - one needs to have something to actually say.

These poems are filled with cancer and anxiety, death and the void, and drunken love with pizza for breakfast; poems where nights, days, trees, and the moon are painted without romantically nostalgic deception; poems where the beauty is in seeing things as they are, not as they are not, and never were; poems that express and question, in equal measure, life – the living and the dying. But, of course, much more besides.

Sometimes they end like ‘mirrors and the evil that surrounds them’

“but mostly, i try not to
stare into that mirror for too long,
memory is enough
and memories i have,
too much”

and when they do they resonate very deeply.

Some say that the angels in hell were thrown there because they got bored shitless in heaven, and rather sensibly wanted to have sex with women on earth, others say they were cast out with that other fallen angel, but such debate is like adults talking rather seriously about the tooth-fairy. But I do suspect that those who do not buy this book will be forever tormented in a lake of fire.

Angels in Hell can be purchased at lulu or, probably, at d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t press , and more information about Amanda Boschetto can be found here.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Shine Journal

Very please that The Shine Journal are going to be using one of my things. Should go up in January, I think. More later when it goes live. And really very pleased with the ultra fast response time from them. That sort of thing always makes me happy.

Monday, 6 October 2008

MungBeing 22

Always very excited when a new edition of MungBeing goes live. Issue 22 is up now, and there is a link on the right. Featuring prose, poetry, essays, music, and some very excellent artwork, it is well worth checking out.

My piece is called Things Behind The Sun – and I am quite pleased with it (mostly because it uses the ‘u’ word (twice)). There is also some excellent art by Kim Richardson and Anne van der Linden that I really like for different reasons. But, really, plenty of good stuff throughout.

Nostradamus started churning out the Almanacs around about 1550. Stupid people like to cream themselves over taking these vague and bolloxsome prophecies and applying them to any number of events that have happened since. Stupid people also like the bible. I, however, made a very specific prophesy, here on this page, dated September the 15th 2008, in which I stated that Jennifer Chesler’s piece – A Letter I Got in Prison – would be the absolute highlight of the issue. And so it has come to pass – exactly and precisely like I said it would. You can read that piece here – and you should – it is exceptional.

I have recall of seeing The Mars Volta play at The Academy, in Manchester, just after they released De-Loused in the Comatorium. It was gloriously chaotic – perhaps like what Syd’s band would have been like live – and exciting enough for me not to get too sad about the demise of At the Drive-In. You can hear The Mars Volta’s version of Nick Drake’s Things Behind The Sun here.
There seem to be a number of interesting covers by The Mars Volta to check out elsewhere – Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Pulled to Bits, and the Sugarcubes’ Birthday. Apparently the ‘Volta’ bit of the name comes from Frederico Fellini’s description of a changing of scene, or a turnaround, in his films.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Epic Rites – Workers in Blood

Very pleased that Epic Rites (Issue 1) is now up and ready to read. There is a link on the right. Featuring five poems by Rob Plath, and work by Chris Madoch, Wolfgang Carstons, Zack Wilson, Samantha Ledger, Mark Walton, M.C., D.W. Rindahl, Craig Podmore, and JCM. My own piece was written in thirty minutes of anger unleashed – during a period of great mental instability – there are a couple of dodgy lines in it – but, possibly, and hopefully, the intent still shines through.

All in all, it is a most excellent, and uncompromising, collection, and well worth checking out.

On a completely unrelated matter, I find it necessary to put, unequivocally, on record, that Portishead and The Pop Group represent the finest music to have come out of Bristol.