Happy Anniversary, ALWAYS APOCALYPSE

Always Apocalypse Cover 1 Rev

THIS HASN’T SOLD A SINGLE COPY. Which doesn’t make me sad, it just make me shake my head. I don’t think it’s a “brilliant” collection of poems, but it is my heart. Which Gojira, King Kong, and the world all appear intent on smashing.

But my heart is greater, and harder, than all three.

ALWAYS APOCALYPSE.

Ω

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Mighty Denis Johnson, My Hero and “Contemporary,” RIP, Part II

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THIS POST IS INEXCUSABLY LATE. IT WAS A ROUGH SUMMER. IT’S BEEN A ROUGHER FALL. ANYWAY, LET’S ROCK.

Hey, warning: copious name-dropping ensues in the following text. I can’t help it. This is my Denis Johnson story: fact, not fiction. Denis wrote about weirdos and losers burning at the edge of town, weirdos and losers burning at the edge of everything. I’m one of those weirdos and losers. Denis saw right through me. His sentences blasted my shadow on the concrete. Here we go.

IN THE FALL OF 1986 I was 21 years old and trying to write a dystopian novel called RUIN. (A dystopian novel! Jesus Christ, what a concept!) Anyway, my immediate readers—friends, slackers, poseurs, weirdos, losers—they all shook their heads and said, “Who the fuck is going to want to read this?”

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Well, my teachers read RUIN and liked it. My teachers at the time were Peggy Rambach, onetime wife of Andre Dubus, and Robert Waukenon of The Art Institute of Boston. And they both said to me, independent of each other, “Go read Denis Johnson.”

God, I wish Denis could read this. He’d be amused.

Let me clarify: when Peggy Rambach and Robert Waukenon told me to go read Denis Johnson, they were in NO WAY likening my sentences to Denis Johnson’s. BUT they recognized what I was aiming for—the darkness, the yearning, the passion.

Peggy recommended that I should read Denis’ first novel, ANGELS. I had to special-order it. The special order took months. It was worth the wait.

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“Dazzling and savage.” Indeed. Denis Johnson’s ANGELS ripped me to shreds. SHREDS. What a book. What words. Holy shit, Peggy Rambach had ushered me into an arena I wasn’t fit to enter.

Waukenon suggested I read Denis’ second novel, FISKADORO.

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Like the rest of the world, I didn’t like FISKADORO. “Curse of the second novel,” which is a myth I do not buy into, it’s nonsense. For example, Iian Banks’ second novel, Walking On Glass is infinitely superior to The Wasp Factory. But at the end of the day FISKADORO just didn’t work. As much as I wanted to like it, I didn’t.

But then…

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“Daring” is putting it mildly. I’ve never read a text written by a man more convincing in conjuring of the voice of a woman than The Stars at Noon. What… balls. no screwy pun intended. I wouldn’t have even tried such a feat.

BUT THEN—

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JESUS’ SON hit the reading/writing community like an ELE (Extinction Level Event) slamming the planet. Suddenly, everybody fucking loved Denis Johnson! Writers, readers, and editors whom I loved and respected were all over him like Uncle’s Day at a whorehouse, an indelicate but accurate comparison. It was sick. But no one made me sicker and madder than Gordon fucking Lish.

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For those not in the know, Gordon Lish’s chief claim to fame is to have “discovered” Raymond Carver— a claim Carver himself came to vehemently refute, going as far as commanding Random House to forbid Lish from editing his final books.

Lish was my editor, my publisher, and my “employer,” ha. I would show up at his office  early in the day and do all his slave work, and all the other editors in Random House (Knopf, baby) would walk by Lish’s office and shout, “GIVE BOUCHER SOME MONEY, GORDON.”

He never did.

Anyway, when Denis Johnson hit the planet like an ELE around 1991, 1992, 1993, Lish was THE BIGGEST poseur, like he was in on Denis from the start. He wasn’t. Not even close. Which really incredibly pissed me off—Lish was just following the fucking crowd, the same way way he did a year before when Cormac McCarthy made it really big with ALL THE PRETTY HORSES and Lish crowed and crowed that McCarthy made Faulkner look like “a punk.” (He didn’t. Not even close.)

Which led me to an important realization: despite Lish’s self-delusion that he was a trail-blazer, Gordon Lish revealed himself as a follower, a fucking privileged white boy coming from money and literary snobbery— a liar, a faker, a ghost.

Denis Johnson was a real man, man. He ate, bled, shat, fucked and wept like a real man.

These are all of his books:

https://www.amazon.com/Denis-Johnson/e/B000AQ3FL0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1508181439&sr=8-2-ent

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Crying as I finish this. Goddamn it. God fucking damn it.

Ω

 

 

Good Morning

 

We must resist despair.

Ω

Vinyl Nerds of the world, unite & take over!

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Shoplifters of the world, hand it over.

via Libby Cudmore w/ many thanks.

Ω

Return of The Creep

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Baxter and Brunner, The 10 Commandments, 1956

I’ve ignored my tumblr account, The Creep in the Art Department, for far too long. The posting and sharing of pretty, pretty pictures really does soothe a base neurological disorder in my wracked and troubled brain. It was dumb and lazy of me to wander away. Like Moses, wandering in the waste for Satan knows how many years. Now I have returned to demand, “Pharaoh, LET MY PICTURES GO.”

Ω

Wind & Stone, Fire & Bone: A New Mix by GhoulNextDoor

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Weird Lore, Pysch Folk, Feral Folk, and more. Tonight’s sonics are going to be spellbinding and sublime.

Wind & Stone, Fire & Bone

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Ω

GFstudio / Carisa Swenson at THE ZEALOT’S ELIXIR

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Carisa says,

Now showing through March 7 at Modern Eden Gallery, “The Zealot’s Elixir”….a show focusing on snake oil salesmen, false prophets and hope for the lost. My piece, “Shining Apples” (inspired by the song of the same name on the “Tales from the Black Meadow” album by The Soulless Party) is on display with a collection of amazing works. To view the exhibition online check it out here!

A few photos of my contribution to the show.

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Visit Carisa at goblinfruitstudio and on twitter.

Ω

VideoScope #93 Is In The House!

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YET ANOTHER AMAZING ISSUE! How does The Phantom do it?!

Well, the source material does inspire.

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Spoiler: After being in a film w/ fucking ELVIS, Laurel Goodwin was hired for Star Trek’s THE CAGE because, get this, she had great legs. So in a fit of cinematic genius the wardrobe manager decided to shroud her in one of the bulkiest, grossest costumes ever designed for any woman, ever.

Yes, I am a pig. My Male Gaze is firmly cemented in my cranium. I’m turning 50 in a few weeks, and I doubt I’ll ever change. But it was Gene Roddenberry who would insist on “revenge,” dressing first Nichole Nichols in a “dress uniform” that barely covered her ass AND THEN insisting Marina Sirtis wear something similar an astonishing 20 years later.

Yeah, THE FUTURE LOOKS GREAT FOR WOMEN.

Kidding.

Anyway, the new ‘SCOPE is so chock full of great shit it’s sick. Available at better bookstores everywhere, or visit The Phantom online at videoscopemag.com.

Ω

Andromeda Dreaming

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The Andromeda Galaxy

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Andromeda, flagship of United Earth Forces, War w/ The White Comet, Yamato

Andromeda_Pencil_Poynter, Edward John

Andromeda, study by Poynter

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Andromeda, finished, by Poynter

Was Eddie Poynter into it or what?

Anyway—

THE ANDROMEDA 3

excerpt

by simon drax

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They arrive at the tall guy’s secret house. It’s a secluded cottage in the woods. He carries each tied up girl inside, placing them gently on the floor in front of a roaring fire, a massive stone fireplace.

 The Tall Guy takes a seat. Lights a cigarette, pours himself a drink.

“I’m going to untie you both in a minute,” he says, “and let you bathe and relax. But then—we must talk. And then I must bind you, again.”

Romana and Ali swap a desperate glance. Romana nods yes. Ali shakes her head no. Then they both tilt toward each other, friends, eyes searching. And then they slowly nod.

Bound hand and foot on the floor, they turn to their captor. “Yes.”

“Good.” The Tall Guy leans forward. “The two of you are essential to all future life in the Milky Way Galaxy. There is a super massive Black Hole in the center of our galaxy that will wreak untold havoc unless you two (and an undiscovered third) unite and use your power to subdue the black hole. Alas, this gravitational shift will cause massive grief to neighboring galaxies—especially Andromeda.”

Ali bares her teeth, her arms and feet aching from the rope. She turns to her captor. “We’re supposed to believe this shit?!”

“Yes,” he says, nonplussed. He leans forward. “I am from the future. This is recorded history. It must not go wrong at any cost. But our enemies—“

“Those soldiers?” Ramona says.

“Yes. They are soldiers from the future, from Andromeda. They’ve come here to change history, they want to kill you, stop you.”

Their captor leans back in his chair. “And then there is the matter of the third.”

On their stomachs, bound hand and foot, Ali and Romana exchange a glance. “Third?”

“Yes, the third. The lost sister, the final segment of the triad. The missing element of the Triple Goddess that will seal the Black Hole and ensure continued life in the Milky Way Galaxy.”

“Who is she? Where is she?”

Their captor sits back in his chair and draws on his cigarette. The two girls bound hand and foot under punishing coils of rope can only twist on the floor and await his answer.

Finally he says, “We don’t know where she is, but we will find her. Your lost sister is vital.”

Ali and Romana exchange a baffled glance, share a quick kiss, then both turn with venom to their captor. “WE’RE NOT SISTERS.”

“Ah, but you are. We shall find her.”

He unsheathes his knife. “I will untie you now. I will draw a bath for the both of you. But I expect you to behave.”

“Maybe,” Ali says as her wrists are freed.

“The Black Hole MUST be sealed. The strange weather, the storms you’re experiencing? It’s not what you call ‘climate change,’ it’s the Black Hole. It’s decimating the galaxy at an astonishing rate. Earth will be utterly destroyed in 2 of your years.”

“But NASA—the government—they would know!”

The Tall Guy draws a sad drag from his smoke as he cuts the rope binding the girls. “They do know.”

He stands as the girls wriggle free from the ropes. “They’re just not telling you.”

† † †

ANDROMEDA 3

coming from a major publisher

new cover design soon

Ω

BISMARCK: An Expedition Led by JAMES CAMERON and Narrated by LANCE HENRIKSEN

Who loves ya, baby?*

*Satan

Ω

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