Saturday, December 31, 2011

New driver for January 2012

Please welcome Larissa Shmailo, Truck's driver for the first month of the new year.

Many thanks to Lewis LaCook for seeing us through the last month of this year.

New Year's greetings to all.

IN MEMORIAM: Carol Novack 1948-2011

Carol Novack died of lung cancer Thursday at 8:55 pm. She was a genre-defying writer of lyrical and inventive work, imaginative and beautiful. She was a lightning rod who brought together thousands of artists from around the globe in collaboration and exploration as publisher of the groundbreaking Mad Hatters' Review. She was also my good friend, quite irreplaceable.

Here is the text of her lovely piece, "Destination," and the film made by Jean Detheux with her recitation.

(for Jean Detheux)

On the hill, there is an easel holding a painting of a town. You
are always traveling to the town, but whenever you think you’ve arrived,
there is nothing but stones, statutes and indigestible
bread. You return to the painting. You wonder if there’s a detail
you’ve missed, a clue that will help you find the town. You let
your eyes be deceived. They are connected to your heart with its
longing to nest; you are possessed with owning. You lose your
perspective again and again, wanting perspective, you are cursed.

You have come to rest. You think perhaps this is my town or
close enough to the one I was walking towards, at least when the
moon guided me like a mother it seemed to be. I can’t be too
fussy; I will die with dust mites and sand crabs and there will be
no home in death. But now, always now this town is different
from then, at least my memory of soft greens and blues with
gentle angles, or so it seemed, seems. This town is all glare with
acute turns and sonic booms. It won’t hold me, rock me, is neither
mother nor lover. It has so few dimensions for me though it has
dimensions for the neighbors, I suspect. They talk about rules,
have so many they can’t keep track of what’s forbidden. Too many
of them stay indoors for fear of breaking a rule. The chandelier
drops are cameras. They don’t understand. They make more rules.
This town’s windows need insulation in the frigid seasons when
the voices grow colder and louder. Nothing grows and the
kitchen shelves are vacant. One can hear the real estate agents
screaming in their white rooms. One can see their angry shadows
through white curtains. Always white – that is what the
denizens want: a neutered town in which you may disappear
into your shadows. They say that colors invite arrest. They
think they are invisible, the fools. Perhaps they are invisible
and I am the fool.

Here again I have to walk on stones for bread; the bakers don’t
know me. So I will move on. This is not a town, well not mine.
That is my perspective, not this.

He frightened me when he clasped me to him in the night,
when he lowered the volume of his voice to speak of the mirage
of walls and roofs. Not so long ago, he seemed to be my destination.
He was mine and I was his or so it seemed. After an
orgy of mirrors, we sucked and picked at one another’s bones.
Then he strayed into that other woman’s residence and stayed
too long, I took the turn back to where I’d been going, but
couldn’t find it. Pain was my map; I could hardly see clearly.

So I found you hiding in a hedge with thorns, not crying but
chanting, no, singing, singing a lament to your mother; you
crooned, wanting to crawl back into her, so I came and stroked
your head. I remember your hair as soft as dandelion puffs and
you trembled but kept still for a spell entranced you let me
be your home. And then like flotsam, you floated away, you
with your eyes dense with storms. I carried on, tore off my red
dress, taunted you. Who can stay still? Who can remain in homes
with so many rules? you pleaded. I left that town a long time ago,
I answered. At least I thought I did. You looked like a rabbit in a
wolf’s yellow eye. All homes have rules, you said. You said I am
a nomad. I have no choice. You do, I replied, drawing you into
me for the last time, feeling like the rabbit in your jaws. But
was I the wolf? Now I have forgotten your name.

In those towns they lock up the homeless when they remain in
one spot and throw stones at Gypsies. Like snails, the Gypsies
carry their homes on their backs. The denizens say it’s not
right! Everyone must pay taxes and mortgages like us – despite
interest rates. They rape the land we have purchased and pillage
the daughters we have sown and own. Lock them up!

The Gypsies say it is a curse to want to own, a curse to be
possessed. It is a curse to want to possess and be possessed,
a curse to own. You can seek to become the color of any of these
towns with their home teams, but the shade will be unbecoming
and oppressive. You will see!

I try hard not to want but keep gazing at the painting, as if I
had perspective or could learn it. My eyes are connected to my
heart with its longing to nest; I can’t help but let it flutter its
wings and woo my eyes. How foolish. I keep traveling to the
towns, all the same the cursed towns with their statutes and
stones. None is the town I seek.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lindsay Morrison: man, what a day to go

originally published in High Brow Mountain Mutant (

I don’t usually cotton to superstition but on Christmas Eve my aunt
showed me pictures she’d gotten of two wild

turkeys staring into her windows and then a whole group where the
family usually has picnics. She thought it was an

omen of a funeral. Christmas Day there was a death in the family. I
saw a deer in my yard that day and had

thought, is this a bad sign or a good sign?

I believe.
I believe.

I believe in a kind of subconscious interpretation divined from
unusual brushes with wild animals.

My grandmother’s brother; my Great-Uncle Glenn.

Turkey would have been the perfect sign, because he came from many
generations of woodsmen.

carolann stevens says man, what a day to go, how was your family day
at your house? (other than a death)

my party sucked. i didn’t cook the prime rib enough and i had
insufficient knives to cut it so i had to hack at it with my hands and
a small knife. i began to sweat like a lunch lady and lewis had to dab
my brow as i cut and and flung the ragged puddles of meat. plus i
wasnt exactly partying with motley crue, it was a bunch of my nuclear
family. i did embroider a boner in a quaint way to surprise my mom.
that was a hit and even my grandma laughed and forgave me.

My older sister said Her party was wondeful and we all appreciated it
and felt warm love feelings. There were gifts under and all around the
pretty tree. Animals for petting. Foor for eating. Toddlers for
talking with. Fellowship to be had a plenty!

I said Everyone hated the party and noticed that I didn’t dust shit.

My sister said Lindsay, it was a precious get together and so shut your mouth

I said They had to drink the meat from cups such was it’s rawness and
they respectfully gulped it in spasms of frightchokes.

stop it, wrote my sister, you are denigrating the reality of your party!

They left me all their god damned empty clothes boxes and forgot half
of their personal property. I typed.

my memory is an iron trap.
get it, because iron is in blood and my memories are surrounded by my
brain blood, where those thoughts are trapped?

Do you ever have dreams about Mill St? I have had many. I remember
almost every detail. Those times were hard for everybody, but in my
memory I always see it literally bathed in a safe golden comforting

Memories, even “bad” ones are more precious than any property.

Memories are so much more relaxing than the present. You can explore
them without liability. You can think about them any different way.
You don’t have a schedule. You don’t have to be anywhere, you can just
walk around and look at things.

memories to me are always from the viewpoint of my regular eyes. like
in a dream, i don’t see myself in my memory.

Do you mind if I list what I remember. The driveway. The screen door.
The astroturf. The bright thorough clean and polished wood paneling.
knick knacks to the right that said Home is Where the Heart is. The
round rug. The lace table cloths. The grin and bear it magnets. The
secret door to upstairs. the big buttons on the couch. the
bookshelf.the turkey midsoar over the t.v. the low table with that
wedding picture. a large mirror? the lace curtains. the accordion
door.the bathroom decorative soaps. peach. bath grippers. the wood
chair outside the bathroom door. potato chips and french onion dip.
spoons tinkling against dainty cups of coffee and tea. those glossy
mini animal figurines. the angular and magical feeling of the upstairs
with floral wallpaper. a tea kettle. a tall faucet. a porcelain ?
counter. a mudroom/pantry i think tilted toward the yard. a hanging
wood glider, i sat on and it fell to the ground and i bruised my
tailbone and was humiliated. the barn. a clothes line. the mailbox.
the curve. the fireman’s grounds. the 3 10 market.

I remember you playing Nirvana in the car. I think Cobain was still
alive or recently died. It was the early nineties.

The very very last time I saw Great Grandma I was with dad. It was
near Christmas because we were bringing her presents and she unwrapped
them very carefully with a butterknife my hair was black and I was in
middle school. I actually have a photograph of that day. I was sitting
on the couch.

Sheepishly cherubic with a shiny t-zone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bosley Gravel: @_TheAristocrat_

Bosley Gravel describes himself as an 'eclectic hack writer.' I guess that depends on exactly how you mean 'hack' there. While I suspect Gravel intends it to convey his natural modesty, for me, this view of his work has deeper meaning.

Gravel is a writer working at the intersection of genre fiction and disjunctive post-avant practice. If we can see traces of noir writers like Hammett and Chandler in William S. Burroughs, the traces of Burroughs' collage methodology are inherited and tweaked in some of Gravel's work. His 2010 novel, The Movie ( is a young adult novel, a coming-of-age novel, and, above all, a compassionate look at coming-of-age in a small town.

Gravel is fairly active on twitter, managing a few accounts that exploit collagist methods for text generation. One such account is _TheAristocrat_ (!/_TheAristocrat_).

Here's what Bosley has to say about it:

"@_TheAristocrat_ started life as surreal, non-linear (experimental) novel. The story details the rise and fall of Toby Howell AKA Kid Judas, a musical prodigy who, like Billy Pilgrim has become "un-stuck in time". Raised between a shut-in mother and his wandering uncle, a professional clown who uses the stage name The Aristocrat, Toby struggles with inherited demons despite his talents elevating him to near messianic status. A gallery of characters come and go: Wildman, a forest dwelling lunatic; Winston the Chef; Sadie Day, daughter of a evangelist preacher; Farkus the Pimp; Legacie the Giant; Kit, a mysterious and relentless bounty hunter; Harley a reluctant cult leader."

"'The Aristocrat' was written in a style to emulate William Burroughs' cut-up method: leaps of logic, stream of conciseness that quickly melt into narration or from one character to the next. While I think I pulled off what I intended to do, I realized it was not a salable bit of fiction. But I'd spent a year writing it and I couldn't bear to just toss it in the proverbially trunk -- so I got it into my head that perhaps I'd feed it into my twitter stream 140 characters at a time. Not content with the first layer of 'non-linear' I decided to shuffle the bits chapters randomly, and run that text through a piece of software called Dadadodo which does a particular sort of randomizing using Markov Chains. From there the story is groomed for twitter and automatically (and semi-randomly) broadcast to the twitter stream. With every committed twitter post my media center plays sound byte of Mozart's laugh from Amadeus an inspiration for the protagonist. As an experiment I'd intended to keep it a private stream, but once it was clear it was stable and consistent and engaging, I figured, what the hell, and opened it up ... and was surprised to see a few followers."

Some samples of _TheAristocrat_'s stream:

  • Just stay away: and #wrapped around in their offering his shoes; to largest the dark two to smoke skyward in."
  • He of the Dark Two part the moisture out your name I can't love isn't he had a tiny yellow of her."
  • "The clear it to up on the edge removal of survival, the cans in wire shelves."
  • Come and what the gory scene of his #feet person minding your father: only about to why did they see. #fluxus #intermedia #syncretism
  • Barely #stifling a grassy pumping in the folds of paper. #antiart #dadaism #avantgarde
Be sure to check out Bosley's website:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ice age in a bottle

Need to catch a squall in
this minced crack. Nurse,

your cotton box of restive Snooki
encloses Jonas’ brother, Salk

Let’s get high. They may close
everything, but while we can

swig mint tempests back
and palimpsest, a settee, tea

I’ll swing in methane, thin with Maoism
and you’ll never have to go home

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baby-faced elephant seal

Everything around you exchanging moisture, says it will accept strict new limits on using chimpanzees in medical research. Night come to made can't has committed a wide range of civil rights violations, against Latinos,  take it respond as I've 411 agreement was near on extending this year's payroll tax cut. Thoughts towards the town of lovely lady that needs attention and someone to love, steeped in history. Of an acquisition of social performance platform object object has an the a, proposed law that has mobilized Silicon Valley in a way that goes. Far beyond issues such as privacy or even network neutrality given name that child! Weighing posted a 27 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday, less than a she is. In different configurations like mod_php, cgi, FastCGI, etc among ever born in then like a modern version of the taxi dispatching software there’s the flowers, manicuring. My birders have enjoyed a fabulous fall of jaeger-watching it. The postman, SUV, and  the interaction between traditional TV advertising and YouTube: I bound house with only  causing quite a bit of industry buzz. Skin of my to Atlas the year of revolutions and webolutions, sound? Each minute of hours killed and two wounded in the last five days,  in a rash of shootings of work working full-time plans has been arrested for shooting an Elyria woman. In the foot  to also can prepare to served since opening in 1910 until its closure in 2005 many different cultural events, including concerts, sports events and exhibitions as part of their wildlife took a different route.  For a single-input combination lock familiar to with life forms,  faxing is still in use.  We have long these mammals I used, sudo visudo, and removed my name (the whole line) from there and total control of more running debian and RAM sticks are completely out of my financial reach than 5,000 Transport Museum! Has got my first taste of unix at the old Bell Labs in IL,  largest poster archives. A bust-up baby-faced elephant seal nicknamed Jackson cloud and the black hole if required results are reached. Will radiation that could is normally placid?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Again, golden niblets

Discovered an obnoxious letter
We were so close he to rock star sweat on him
how she became a Linux kernel

Path photos

you don’t listen to that one song
here is nothing more satisfying than hearing
power towers along lakefront could come down

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chris Girard: Shadow Shadows Tomb

According to his website, "Chris Girard is an experimental collage poet based in London whose work explores embodiment and identity." I knew, when I encountered his twitter stream, that I'd heard his name before. The tweets themselves were so succinct, compact and trembling with potential energy that I quickly forgot about jogging my memory about where I'd first heard his name, and decided to simply enjoy. Latest tweet: "I arrive like a tongue protruding into a mouth of another forest. I hear it now, stepping on branches, putting a coin into the head's mouth."

Chris explains "Shadow Shadows Tomb" thus: "THIS is a collage poem based on texts on tombstones I filmed at Nunhead Cemetery in London."

Shadow Shadows Tomb

Shadow shadow
shadows shadows
tomb side
flies leaf

Sacred shadow shadow
beard sleep surface shadow
acre leaves
room tomb

Resteth pity
gracious web

Walk leaves
wing the above lane
look red

years roll
remain true friend
ship bell
precious martyr
hear rose
shadow twigs
plants pillars

The taken life of hosts

tomb pillars

Monday, December 5, 2011

An excerpt of an untitled draft of a collaboration with Sheila Murphy

Earlier this year, BlazeVOX released Beyond The Bother of Sunlight, a long collaborative poem I wrote with Sheila Murphy. This is a new collaboration we started in March of 2010.

I've never seen stars like these

You call it the house on the hill, in Chautauqua dark
Your headlights spooling out road for us
I read the night through to you, a one-man play
and rocked sleeping in your attentiveness
Later I wanted to know what monsters you have here
parked, low on fuel, having eaten Valerian
In Ohio we had the melon heads
We had awkward children, maladroit, who took to woods
Know what I mean?
They're supposed to have huge heads, and are nuclear

Reading aloud to you the best I can

Those stars are clear stars, clean stars, brittle
We like it that way
cling to each other under reverse freckled sky
listens too for sounds, muffled by woods
listens for the passage of monsters through woods

Consecutive daisies wheeled in through improvised
Gestation marks the playing field as attendant
Quiet blisters that transform the asleep sounds
Macular and obvious and chore lined
As the choir moves in for herbal headlines
Clear to middling outré blanking on the jazz
From nights before the plenary apostrophe fest
Brained from scratch to have been owned
Again as if feckless choirs had mufflers
Tapped with fuel and left in park

You modest me when I retain syllabic
Hedge to shave and hand across
To check the level and the weight of pores
Against results of seed

The adjutant generic mimes leave home
And state names with built-in exclamatory
Roundness saves daylight to be heeded
Like Morse Code if anyone continues to be
Passage-prone and resonant with mantra voices
In the wooded plain a textual more
Like some caucus of the dark where weather
Claims to capsize all the cells we started
Out of foster air and brimming slight
less refraction than tandem misting
She was on the couch writing lists all morning
My fingernails had grown long and I'd shrugged off
some headache from the length of sleep

It's short--but I miss my alarm to a confused A.M.
Lindsay's late and sullen with rounded daylight
Her pores quietly glisten with adored depth
when she tells me about the sadness of the Fair
the results of poor people gone to seed
I want to add an exclamation to New York
placing so much that's attentive upon each other
I spin askew sometimes
I've always been too willing to run away
and in the middle of investigations

I break down faith to a drill-bit thaw
blanked on jazz as the choir moves in
Pretty soon everywhere I kiss you becomes a flower
I hang from my feet surrender torrentially
Unless I test these vessels calcified with indentation
The air will foster occidental elevations silk
stillnesses mum across your restless hands

Land mass has a forgiving storm
That acts out weeping for our fractions
Attending to the past resisting resolution
Points of clear young river taste me out of frame
Until I hamper my compatriots from scolding
Their lesser selves too willing to retreat
The key of G remains alluring to untutored
Witnesses pretending to be God of shoulders
God of should the rippling abs of the apostles
Raging in the mirror as though
Indentation pasteurized somebody’s milk
And it was blue again
The gender of surrender hastened inadvertent
Endpoints where the wildflowers are most
Tame and moist conflicted and still given
To falsetto numbness with a note full of
Remainders suspended where the exhalation
Leaves its evidence and someone innocently
Locates little parcels of familiarity
To name them something freighted
And yet clear to the touch
I've always preferred C-minor
and the way its velocity twists pianoforte
A clear young river could split my palm
like my lifeline pinches

In the morning we're walled-up in amontillado rain
armed with bastard lead and wrung with mascara tears
Fog muffles my throat as I love her against the mattresses
we've piled high and floral in the bedroom

Friday, December 2, 2011

Equal protection

“Well, we’re going to hell in a hand-basket,” he complained, shifting the bulk of his shopping bag from the crook of one arm to another. “Everyone’s looking for a handout these days.”

The people surged past us, each face made beautiful by swiftness. Every feature was blurred. Every disagreement, be it in proportion or ideology, had naturally resolved itself, and all that was left was smooth wind.

“I’m waiting to be changed.” I told him. My muscles were clenched, staying upright in the wind. Crowds were streaming past me as I stood with him. The night before I had dreamed of smooth rocks, the inevitable levels etched by water and time. I had dreamed of floating.

“You know, you’re blocking the way,” he said.

“I’m waiting to be changed,” I said again. He winced. “It doesn’t have to be by you,” I added.

I noticed that his shopping bag was spilling with hearts. The color red, as surprising as tears, trickled and pooled on the outside of the plastic. Here and there, crows glided over our heads.