Countdown to Weirdness

By way of counting-down, I’m going to post a different image of weirdness every few days until blast off. Here cover art from Der Orchideengarten, arguably the world first fantasy mag launched in 1919, and which ran for 51 issues until 1921.
01-Der-Orchideengarten--1919--German-magazine-cover_900

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0s&1s Press

In other news American Monster is now available in ebook format from 0s&1s Press. $6. Thanks to Cameron Pierce and the smart people at Lazy Fascist Press.

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LitReactor Class Filling Fast

Over half full. Getting pumped for this. Looking forward to meeting my students.

writing-the-weird-a

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Creative Writing Essentials Wraps.

Eight weeks ago I was thrown into the deep end of a course I’d never taught before (not exactly) in a community college I’d never been to, with seven students I didn’t know. We met every Wednesday night between 6 and 8 pm, after work, hungry and tired, in an empty boardroom somewhere in the city. After the last class we all went out for farewell drinks. How many writers does it take to find a quiet bar on game night? State of Origin. North against South. Us v Them. Blue v Maroon.

Pale blue jerseys and surly barkeeps everywhere. The game projected on the sides of buildings, on high-def screens large and small. No cabs in sight. The restaurants empty. Everyone at home or at the pub, and no talking unless you’re screaming or buying a drink, or you want a punch to the throat. Except there we are in our sweaty power-suits and teacher’s drag, stories in our heads and words the only game in town.State of Origin 2014

There were five of us left. Two drop-outs (my lost American went back to LA; my Indian dreamer caught up in home and work duties), and the scruffy poet a no show. We missed him. His absurdist ramblings with a healthy disrespect for tense and time and which left an indelible image burned on the soul (a vast vaporous train station where the train never comes, a bus bisecting a desert path to nowhere). So it was just us. We found an upstairs room in a big noisy bar and got to know each other a little better. All but one of us comes from somewhere else.

Between them one publishable story, the beginning chapters of a novel and a travel memoir, and from the Ukrainian auto-didact, a vivid take on a mother-son encounter. Each with a new path carved from their hearts to their eyes and their ears and their tongues. Their fingertips telling them that the world is now a different place.

And the school offered me two more classes. Go the Blues!

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So-and-so

The most important life skill is to learn to be loved. If, like me, life has taught you otherwise, and that you are unlovable, you had better unlearn in three, two, one. We’ll do it together. Now. Today is the day. Whatever it takes. I am with you. Fight Club, Glee Club. I’ll be over your shoulder for that awkward coffee with your daughter or your mom. I’ll be beside you at the bar for office drinks or watching the game with your dad or your room mate or playing Orphan Black with some chick in China or letting your new brother-in-law into your studio. I’ll be with you on that blind date or Facebooking her afterwards, or holding your newborn for the first time or taking your grandson to Mickey D’s or wondering if your ex will get the kids back by dinner time Sunday or typing ‘The End’ all alone, because you aren’t. I am with you in Rockland. Allen, how are you, you old so-and-so? You are loved. Love is the crumbs you’ve left in the forest (eyed by wrens atop the Golden Arches, fuck-you, this is my grandson). There are some crumbs left and it isn’t quite dark yet (pick up the phone). There’s still time to get out (the leaves are golden, the Aspens call). Still time to get home (the wolves are a dream). Where he waits.

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Wait for me.

A friend told me the other day that the novel she just finished was not the one she wanted to write. Isn’t that the point? Isn’t that the sound we hear as we tap, or type, or scribble? The sound of our own heartbeat, and maybe we’re panting a little, maybe even sobbing, as the words get away from us yet again, and the story runs away with our soul?

A crappy deal, whichever way you look at it.

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Shitty Vampire

Shitty VAmpire by JS Breukelaar.

I came across this the other day. My poem Shitty Vampire in Trunk Books Vol II: Blood. This is a cool little book, full of great art and text. The beautiful image next to my poem is by senVoodoo. The launch was awesome. Very shmancy, the shmanciest I’ve been to. But strange, too. A huge buffet and lots of press. And all the food was bloody. Serious. Great Medieval sides of rare mammal, and tamarillos and cranberries. Bloody Marys. Really random.

Anyway, the poem was first published at Opium. It’s about a vampire who hates the sight of blood, so that makes him pretty shitty. Best read out in an Irish accent. I don’t know why.

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Tweet f*%@king tweet.

I woke up late this morning. To bird song. And if you’ve ever woken up to birdsong in Australia, you know that it never fucking stops. It’s not like birdsong in America, which politely diminishes by mid-morning, and by noon is just a distant memory. No, over here, it’s a constant, euphoric shake rattle and squeak and tweet and screech, which by lunchtime is barely superseded by the grind of traffic on the arterial snarl and low-flying planes taking off for quieter climes. I love it. But just fucking shut up already and let me go back to sleep. It’s been a huge week. A never ending Sisyphean ass-haul up that hill, and now I’m there and it’s Friday and I’m in bed trying to working my way back into the manuscript and all I want to do is sleep and sleep and, you know what. Fuck you birds. You win. My eyes are dry and my back is broke and I can still hear the echo of that deceitful bolder, smashing itself into pieces, and over it all, your non-stop yammering, birds. You win.
I’m up. I’m writing. Tweet that.

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Allen Ginsberg throwing his voice into the Futurama

Is is just me or does Allen Ginsberg sound suspiciously like Dr Zoidberg? Oh nevermind.

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What a beautiful buzz.

Because Charlie Watts. And because it’s Friday, and I crushed, like six deadlines. And because it’s wine time.

And because the bodies of those deadlines are a bridge back to the manuscript. What a beautiful buzz to be out of that rut.

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