Sunday, November 30, 2008

Check out my new piece at Abjective:

"A Mash-Up of Caribou and Faulkner"


Collage artist Eduardo Recife:


Caitlin has recently gotten into Emily Dickinson. Have you ever read Emily Dickinson? I ignored Emily Dickinson because I figured I would dislike her work because it is popular which typically means boring. At first I resisted - it's most certainly an acquired taste - but the work has grown on me. (And for the record, her work isn't boring.)

Here is one Caitlin read to me last night that I really liked:


In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm --
Pink, lank and warm --
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home --
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along.

A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I'd not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood --
A snake with mottles rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power --

The very string with which
I tied him -- too
When he was mean and new
That string was there --

I shrank -- "How fair you are"!
Propitiation's claw --
"Afraid," he hissed
"Of me"?
"No cordiality" --
He fathomed me --
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
Projected him.

That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream.


I just preordered Blake Butler's forthcoming novella Ever. You should also preorder it because if you do Blake will sign it and send along free stuff.

It is 104 pp with illustrations by Derek White, perfectbound.
Projected to ship by 01/01/09

The price is $12 plus $1.75 shipping.

Order from the official site.

Here are two (amazing) blurbs:

Within the psychic architecture that is EVER, Blake Butler explores the way
bodies swell and contract, going from skin to house and back again. And the
way houses too shrink to fit us first like clothing and then like skin and
then tighter still. The result is a strange, visionary ontological
dismemberment that takes you well beyond what you'd ever expect.
--Brian Evenson

Blake Butler is a daring invigorator of the literary sentence, and the room-ridden narrator of his debut novella, EVER, nerves her way into a hallucinative ruckus of rousing originality.
--Gary Lutz

Here is a sample of the artwork inside:

Here are two preview trailers:

I intend to do scholarship on Butler's work.


"Welcome to I Dose, the perfect Binaural Beats experience!

Binaural beats affect our brainwaves directly and can alter moods, behavior, even consciousness.

Sound crazy? We thought so too. But guess what? We tried it and it works!

You can now choose the state you want easily.

What should I do to try this out?

1. Sit or lay down in a comfortable place.
2. Wear your headphones.
3. Choose your desired state from the following list.
4. Close your eyes and enjoy the ride."

[yes, it is free]


Artist Samuel François "makes his first marks by intervening in a rough way on urban space":

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

California artist Graham Smith:

Kim Jong Il


Johnny Cash


"The Meaning of Life"


Tom Robbins


Welcome to the Criterion Collection online cinematheque
[offers streaming movies & online film festivals]


"Blonde Fur"

a short film


Abigail Child


James Kalm’s video of excerpts from the Poetry Project (St. Marks Church, NYC) celebration of the publication of Hannah Weiner’s Open House, ed. Patrick Durgin


Reading Trails
"offers a unique way to organize your reading, discover new books to read, and meet interesting people.

A reading trail is a set of books linked in an interesting way — it might be a journey through the underworld of modern crime thrillers, a tour of the books that influenced Milan Kundera, a professor's introduction to French existentialism, or ..."


Two music videos for a band called The Hours:

"See The Light"

Director: Tony Kaye
Art Director: Damien Hirst
Starring: Sienna Miller

"Ali in the Jungle"

Director: Jonas Odell

[ps - on hiatus until Sunday...]

Monday, November 24, 2008

OMG, this just came out:

"DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation is a film project based on a remix of D.W. Griffith's infamous 1915 film Birth of a Nation. The original film was based on a novel and theater play by Thomas Dixon entitled The Clansman - essentially what Dj Spooky is doing is applying dj technique to cinema in a way that parallels, deconstructs and remixes the original."


"You don’t have to die to shoot a death scene."

--Deborah Solomon interviews David Lynch


To better understand Deleuze & Guattari's concept of mapping vs. tracing, it is crucial to understand the concept of homeomorphism:

In the mathematical field of topology, a homeomorphism or topological isomorphism is a bicontinuous function between two topological spaces. Homeomorphisms are the isomorphisms in the category of topological spaces — that is, they are the mappings which preserve all the topological properties of a given space. Two spaces with a homeomorphism between them are called homeomorphic, and from a topological viewpoint they are the same.


"What Is Flash Fiction?"


Steve Smith and Kathy Kachelries


Bright Eyes - "At the Bottom of Everything"

Directed by Kat Solen


"Find Us With the Lemurs: Disability and the Språkgrotesk"

By Joyelle McSweeney and Johannes Göransson

[a manifesto on soft surrealism]


[the following short film is beautiful, but NSFW]


a short film

directed by Priya Sanghvi


is an amazing community building project that fosters a vital emerging movement in independent literature. If you are a writer doing work outside the mainstream, looking for a group of like-minded folks, here is your chance to get involved:

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to announce our First Annual Secret Santa Gift Exchange to support independent literature.

Here’s how it works:

1) If you want to participate, email your name and mailing address to with the subject line: SECRET SANTA. The due date for this is Midnight on Friday, December 5th.

2) As soon as possible, we email you the name and address of your assigned gift recipient.

3) We assign your name and address to another Secret Santa.

4) By Christmas, you purchase for your gift recipient a wonderful gift and email us to let us know what you got him or her.

5) You simultaneously enjoy the gift that you receive from your own Secret Santa.

[visit their site for more info.]


Fashion photography from Ruvan Afanador:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm putting together the syllabus for a writing course I'll be teaching next quarter on "The Possible Futures of America." One text I am certain I'll be using is Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's comic book (graphic novel, if you fancy the proper nomenclature) Y: The Last Man. I read the first trade paperback last night in one sitting. It's fantastic. Here's the premise:

"When a plague of unknown origin instantly kills every mammal with a Y chromosome, unemployed and unmotivated slacker Yorick Brown suddenly discovers that he is the only male left in a world inhabited solely by women."


Dutch artist Anya Janssen:

Sham Rage 5

Double Vision

Double Helix

Sham Rage 3


"Everything now is about swagger, there’s not art to swagger. Swag ain’t one of my words. Swag vs. art? Stick to the art."

-- Weiss interviews Raekwon the Chef.


I laughed heartily at portions of Sam Pink's (often times brutal) advice column in the literary journal Dogzplot.


Europa Film Treasures is an amazing online archive of the earliest motion pictures. You can watch loads of interesting things for free.


Žižek on Republicans and John Carpenter’s They Live


Thanks to Open Culture:

"Taken from a French television program, this vintage clip features Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) reading from Lolita and revealing his list of the most important novels of the 20th century, among other things. Nabokov speaks in English here. So don’t let the initial French throw you off."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, one of the finest in the world, is offering free downloads of 10 great symphonies to celebrate its 120th anniversary.

Registration is required, but I just plugged in a bunch of phony info & that worked fine.

The kicker is that the symphonies will only remain online until the 24th of November (this coming Monday) - so you gotta act quick!

The recordings feature world-class conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly and Mariss Janson - so these are top notch performances.

The symphonies available for download are:

Franz Schubert - Symphony no. 8 ‘Unfinished’
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony no. 2
Felix Mendelssohn - Symphony no. 4 ‘Italian’
César Franck - Symphony in D minor
Gustav Mahler - Symphony no. 1
Antonin Dvorák - Symphony no. 8
Camille Saint-Saëns - Symphony no. 3 ‘Organ’
Jean Sibelius - Symphony no. 2
Anton Bruckner - Symphony no. 8
Johannes Brahms - Symphony no. 2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Online literary journal Titular is in the process of creating something unique:

Our Collaboratives project publishes work from multiple writers in a conceptually cohesive manner. Each project will be published, and updated, as pieces are accepted. Writers may or may not wish to employ the exquisite corpse tactic by referencing the 'start/end-points' of preceeding/subsequent stories. Each piece should be between 100 - 400 words. In the subject heading of the submission, just write 'collaboratives.'

Current Projects (and call for submissions):

I. IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME [Titles of pieces]: Swann's Way, Within a Budding Grove, The Guermantes Way, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Captive, The Fugitive, and Time Regained.

II. NINE STORIES [Titles of pieces]: A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, Just Before the War with the Eskimos, The Laughing Man, Down at the Dinghy, For Esme - with Love and Squalor, Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes, De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period, and Teddy.

III. SEINFELD [Titles of pieces]: Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, and Hello Newman.

IV. THE PASSION OF MEL GIBSON [Titles of pieces]: Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Tequila Sunrise, Hamlet, Bird on a Wire, Braveheart, What Women Want, Chicken Run, Signs, The Passion of the Christ, and Apocalypto.

I have contributed a short piece to the Nine Stories project, alongside Jimmy Chen and Ben Spivey. They still need to fill out that section before officially launching, so you should submit something. Then we could appear together.


Dutch artist Kimberly Clark:

Swansong (give her enough to shake your world)

5.00 Still Bored






Last month Ben Marcus guest edited the fiction section of Guernica. He selected a few of his friends and few of his students.


The Non Porn Zone is a project by an anonymous French archivist/artist who poses the question, "When is porn not porn—and vice versa?"

The methodology is simple: compile images from pornographic movies that are not themselves explicitly pornographic.

It is a provocative project: directing our attention away from the obvious and asking us to consider things we might otherwise overlook:


Kurt Vonnegut

"Eight Rules For Writing Fiction"

-from Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things

happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak,

your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Publishing Genius Press (who will be publishing my chapbook, Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously, in March 2009) has just released a beautiful new chapbook called Pocket Finger by Ryan Call and Christy Call:

It's a sinister sort of family drama. A sad tale. Haunting. Macabre.

For those of you who like Hollywood pitchline comparisons, think Peter Markus meets Brian Evenson meets post-apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy.


Since the Spring 2009 Prêt-à-Porter collections have all shown, the Couture lines are soon to follow. (Something I look forward to every year!)

Here are a few of my favorites from last year's Spring Couture shows:


What with the recent Wells Tower story and now this, The New Yorker seems to be on a roll: publishing things that aren't their typical sucky yawnfests:

by Jonathan Lethem


Squarepusher - "Planet Gear"

Directed by Tom Jenkinson:

"The overall concept of this video revolves around images of imaginary astronomical phenomena. I selected a method which I anticipated would be appropriate to the construction of "scaleless" objects, such that one could imagine them occupying planetary sized volumes of space."


Streetsy does "40+ Street artists You Should Know Besides Banksy"


From: Larval Subjects -- "Ethical Principles for the Intellectually Honest Critical Thinker"


A 15th century Ottoman scroll of the Koran on display at the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore.

Photo taken by Rachel Leow, a self-described fledgling historian who curates Bookporn.


"I didn't want to do it in the first place, I wanted to read books, but I knew I was good at it. But don't consume crap, make a choice."

--Vivienne Westwood


Paul McCartney says it's time to release Carnival of Light - a Beatles album from 1967 that George Harrison said was too avant-garde.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Michael Berryhill is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University:

Shortest Mustache Between Two Points



William Faulkner

Speech Accepting the Nobel Prize in Literature

originally delivered December 10, 1950 in Stockholm Sweden

...Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed -- love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands....


"Homegrown in Baltimore, Whartscape is a touring music festival featuring nearly one hundred bands, thousands of attendees and a lot of sweat...."

[via cool hunting]


Žižek on Obama’s Victory and the Financial Meltdown


Adam has a post on Zadie Smith's New York Review of Books article about the future of the novel.


Click here to watch the uber titillating trailer for the forthcoming Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams.


Texas artist Joseph Santandrea: