Category Archives: Uncategorized

kind of rooting for the animals

from Canoe and Camp Life in British Guyana, 1870s, by Charles Barrington Brown.


“To divorce fact from fantasy simply by labeling the one as ‘history’ or ‘medicine,’ and the other as ‘fiction’ is merely to create a new myth about ourselves. Life is inextricably linked with literature, and that is why there are no passports to a myth-free future.” –Gill Speak, “An Odd Kind of Melancholy: Reflections on the Glass Delusion in Europe (1440-1680)

Sometimes Alternate History writes itself

Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

“There were other plots to rescue Napoleon from captivity including one from Texas, where exiled soldiers from the Grande Armée wanted a resurrection of the Napoleonic Empire in America. There was even a plan to rescue him with a primitive submarine.”

Message from Walt

The Stations now on Twitter

This should be an interesting experiment. I’ve just set up a Twitter feed for my 165 page speculative poem The Stations (which is free and available as a PDF download, and has a pretty open Creative Commons license).

It’s entirely possible that the poem might make more “sense” being tweeted, in passages, than a straight read. But I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Anyway, I’m taking out all the work for you to experience experimental, epic poetry, so take a gander at it!

The Ambitions

There is some good thinkings going on in these posts:

The issue isn’t with revolution or change itself. But moving beyond the “single angry male revolutionist” or the “small cadre of brave revolutionists” model — to realize that the whole field is always changing and swirling, inevitably by itself — that the field is itself responsible for it, power playing over the host of cultural actors who make up that field — and that attributing its causality and origin in a few people who are jumping up and down pretending to be those responsible for it and who wish to declare their group as the drivers of revolution or change that is multicausal — is kinda not productive.

My point is that it seems finally necessary perhaps to cease thinking via the nominally supplied terms that a whole tradition encourages — that of, in this case, the idea of the “first or fresh beginning,” a myth associated with some, usually male, “creator shaman badboy” [never much fun at cons –ed.] types. All of which is so very very high school.

And on a semi-related, personal note (though something of a disconjecture):

Most of us have bad days, and at times they can string together like black Christmas lights. At times we try to extricate the writerly persona from the daily ups and downs, though it’s difficult, because so much of the self-identity is tied to one’s life work. When is a lawyer not a lawyer? When is a mechanic not a mechanic? For the longest time, I was genuinely surprised when I would make a friend who wasn’t particularly interested one way or another that I wrote; that I had almost tricked him or her — what else was there for that person to go on? Didn’t he or she know the extent of the “vocation,” that it colored every aspect of my being?

That is a sad but true story! But, perhaps, understandable considering how much writing, in my adolescence, was both fortress from the “bad shit” and the open gates that allowed the world to flood through for me. And it’s still sometimes necessary in this fashion. But more and more, the disentangling of the self-identity from the writing, so that they can both live and breathe on their own terms, is one of my ongoing projects. One of the top 3 projects for sure. And it might have seemed paradoxical to my younger self, but I think it’s helped me become a better writer as well.

This is the frustration to guard against

“Those who treasure philosophical and literary works of a pessimistic, nihilistic, or defeatist nature as indispensable to their existence are hopelessly frustrated with living in a world on autopilot when they would like to switch it over to manual consciousness and nosedive humanity into a crash without survivors.” –Thomas Ligotti


So when I first started this blog more than 6 years ago, the idea of blogging seemed very strange, so I put the form through its paces with a kind of meta-blog sideshow with two fictional roomates, Evening and Quail. It was…rather strange. Oh, and there was an AI created from a VIC-20, I think (?!?) called Hypergolem. Good times. There was a running theme of government website “kids pages” and the strange, strange mascots therein. The pallette widened after a few months but I’ll always look on those first few months fondly, though upon further reflection, you might read those posts (categorized to the right) and think of it pure amateur hour. Which it was. Still is!

Anyway, I’ve started Twittering and I feel myself on much of that same precipice. I am just poking at it at this point. There are possibilities, there, but I don’t quite know what they are. I find the “What are you doing now?” above my little text-technology box immensely bewildering — although I’m not adverse to first person minutiae per se, it seems like it’s like putting a Mini Cooper on a go-cart track. Why? Why not crash through the gates? Which, it seems, plenty of people are doing anyway (if anyone comes across any second-person Twittering, please let me know!).

Anyway, amateur hour will be on tap there as well. It’s not exactly going to be a consistent array of factoids, by any means!

House Speaker Seeks Independent Bookstore Bailout Bill

WASHINGTON–House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for “emergency and limited financial assistance” for the battered U.S. independent bookstore industry today, and urged the outgoing Bush administration to join legislators in reaching a quick compromise.

Five days after dismal financial reports from pretty much everyone, Pelosi backed legislation to make independent bookstores eligible for help under the US$700 billion bailout measure that cleared the U.S. Congress in October.

In a written statement, the California Democrat said the aid was needed “in order to prevent the failure of one or more of the major American independent bookstores, which would have a devastating impact on our economy, particularly on the men and women who work in that industry.”

“Congress and the Bush administration must take immediate action,” she added. Administration officials have concluded that the bailout bill that passed earlier does not permit loans to the independent bookstore industry, but lawmakers are expected to return to the Capitol for a brief postelection session beginning next week.

The plight of independent bookstores has drawn attention from the White House and the incoming Obama administration in recent days, as well as among members of Congress.

Last week, President-elect Obama prodded the Bush administration to do more to help independent bookstores, and on Monday, aides said he raised the issue with President Bush in an Oval Office conversation meant to underscore a smooth transition of power.

Before adjourning for the elections, the U.S. Congress passed legislation providing for US$25 billion in government-backed loans to the independent bookstores to prod them to retool their stores to make them cozier and brighter and to provide living wages.

Since then, executives from Powells, Dreamhaven, Mac’s Backs, and Other Change of Hobbit have called for more than that to avert a possible collapse of one of the nation’s most basic industries.

In her statement, Pelosi said any assistance to the industry should include rigorous oversight on poor customer service and clumsily promoted author events.

(apologies to the Associated Press)

12 hours

May we all exorcise the Plumberomicon and its eldritch bloviating tomorrow.

The Palinomicon: Hockey Moms of Darfur

Spent. Almost devoid of speech. The “unbinding” itself must suffice.



Reaffirming, on the eve of Hockey Night in Darfur, the naming rights sold to the burning village

Welcoming the janjaweed shooting free Slayer t-shirts into the crowd

Commending genetically modified genocide

Remaining deeply concerned by Canadian imperialism and calling upon bipolar War of 1812 reenactors to desist in the importation of mountie hentai

Reiterating that Canadian predators infect jackal-swallowing horses

Expressing a tidal self when Moloch is only itself and stick

Taking note of the zambonis spliced into the All-Unseeing Eye

Recalling the use of extreme starvation as a form of worship by the captain against other captains

Determining a haircut is a human right for the ceremony cyborg


Decides the punch-card crack-of-ass strip mall is the mandate of motherhood and a swing state

Welcomes the fetal slot machine for its moonskin puck

Requests the rapid adoption of warlocks with seasonal affective disorder and urges Au Pairs Without Borders to cinch the primrose flak jackets

Decides the runaway asteroid laden with consciousness-feeling bacteria should crash the commonwealth of glass

Expresses its intention to disinvest castaways with bloodthirsty Dark Crystal cosplay on skates

Invokes claw o’clock until the bad bell rings

another section from the Palinomicon

The transcriptions continue apace. I have hunkered down, tried to steel myself, but the deceptively simple revelations of this list still draw consternation. Have any of these namings been enacted?

Meanwhile…I almsot hear the recitations of this wicked logos throughout the land now. The anger of the minions — the followers, if you will, of this infernal tome — are growing restless. They gather in unruly crowds, as if to open a portal to the Realms of Night by their very presence, a teeming mass of seething rancor, in a dark communion with their obstenible leaders. I wonder, however, if those leaders know what they have wrought, what they threaten to unleash.

I shudder to think of the Palinomicon’s words writ large with deeds upon the world.

Baby Names for Homunculi

Crystal Shadow
The Flaw
John Jackal
Prince Fuck
Jamboree X
Sinful Gemology
Icy Hot Narcotic Wax Fluid
Absence of Malice
Tiffany Stryker
Tendril Daffodil
Private Enemy
The Spider of Chemistry
Coin Thigh Cinder
Get Back Here
Make It Stop
There Is Nothing That Can Stop It From Inhabiting Basements for All The Years To Come
Van Hagar
Hydrox Pierce
Chelsea Cheney Dahmer

Olympics wrap up

This breaks down the Olympic results in an incisive way that I haven’t yet seen.

Just in case you don’t know

or are living under a rock in the Twin Cities–Dave Schwartz is reading tonight from his new novel, Superpowers at 7pm at Dreamhaven. The book is released–go forth and attend/purchase!

Total Oblivion, More or Less

All right, time for some bona fide big news. My novel, Total Oblivion, More or Less, is going to be published by Bantam! Juliet Ulman at Bantam Spectra has bought it, and I’m just really thrilled since a lot of my friends and colleagues have had great experiences with her editorial expertise. This is truly going to be a wonderful home for the book. Many kudos also go to my agent, Colleen Lindsay, who has been as trustworthy and helpful a guide as one could hope for in this realm. As well of course for everyone’s who taken a gander at critiquing the book, strengthening it with keen insights.

There’s a lot to do until publication, but I’m sure you’ll be hearing much more about this from me in the future, near and far.

not over!

Well, I think my frustration about the comment spam got the better of me (3700 comments in the queue now!) So I do think I want to blog again, at some point, but in a different venue. I would love to pull all of the poetics and philosophy and literary-advice-type posts into one wiki. But wait, wouldn’t that be a lot of work and defeat the purpose of a hiatus???

Okay, back to the regeneration tank.


The spam dam broke and the hordes set up residency (1400+ in comment spam). Can’t get into the comments–destroys my browser–so in the slim chance you were posting a comment, sorry I probably won’t get to it.

Anyway, that’s the spark but the fuel was there for awhile–I’m shutting the blog down. Trying to prune back on various Internet presences, and the tapiring of posting was probably a sign, too. I also need to put my money where my mouth is, dig in deep to my own writing. This is a presque isle from “me”, but it’s not the mainland. It’s not even an isthmus. So I’ll probably leave the posts up here since I’m paid up for awhile, but after that I’ll shut it down. No worries. It was a good run.