A literary eruption, is that a thing, if that’s a thing, it just happened over here, out comes a saddened–>tortured love cry, a near-epic struggle twisted forward and within and out of over a bitty 34 pages, the story of Poisonhorse shrieks, as the horse and the poison the narrator gives it and the bears and the rats and the lady in the cistern and etc. burrow their way into you, as you begin to see yourself as one of the severed heads in the bear’s belly, as what you thought to call love expands and then immediately bursts in your hands.
“My people were loggers and truck drivers–people who didn’t trust success as much as struggle. My father wore flannel and drank beer from tall, white cans. He spoke with a slowness that suggested hardship.”
* * *
“Young girls in young outfits. The curve of something I couldn’t know. I got off the bus and went to the basement and watched television. I watched the other kinds of people in the world until I forgot about myself.”
* * *
“Lily looked at you hard when she laughed. She came to the plains from an eastern city to see the size of the weather, the long breaths of wind, the way you could see the rain well before you rode into it. The place I was from was just as empty but not as flat. It took me years to get used to having nothing on the horizon, nothing farther in the distance to mark time.”
* * *
“The road back into town wound steeply through the woods. She drove the car too fast, gunning the accelerator, slamming the brakes. She had no understanding of the mechanics at play and I said nothing about the panic I felt. My father once told me that wet leaves can be like ice. Up ahead, a maple had shed its leaves thickly over a curve, and when her wheels hit, they kicked out. I hit my head, and the dash collapsed on my shin. She woke up to smoke that turned out to be her air bag’s dust. Mine didn’t go off.
She pulled at my shirt and screamed when the bloodied part of my face slumped toward her. I heard it from a great distance.”
I’ll smile carefully, just on the sociable side of strange, then lift my arm up above your head, extending its tentacles and allowing the web that joins them to blossom like a black orchid. I’ll silently nod up to it and eventually you’ll smile back and your shoulders will drop just a fraction.
Friend of Vouched, author of the story collection Naked Summer, and all around good dude, Andrew Scott, is embarking upon the launch of a new small press comic book endeavor, Sinkhole Press.
To me, this is really amazing, but I’ll fully admit I’m less than well-versed about the world of independent comics. When I really think about it, I imagine there’s probably just as thriving a culture of small press comics as there is in the fiction/poetry/etc. genre, if not probably more thriving, especially because there’s not the divide between webcomics and print comics (at least, not to my knowledge). I don’t know. Do print comic artists have a lingering feeling of disdain for webcomic publishing?
This post is real-time making me want to have a beer with Andrew and ask him all these questions. I think I’m going to do that and post it here as an interview for the launch of the press.
AT ANY RATE!
The Sinkhole Anthology brings together creators—from the United States and Norway—who treasure the tradition and spirit of creator-owned, independent comics.
This will be the first release from Sinkhole Press, a boutique comic book publisher. The anthology features work by former students and graduates of the Kubert School, the creature designer and storyboard artist of the Troll Hunter film, the author of a literary short story collection (prose), the artist of the bestselling The Stuff of Legend graphic novels, and more.
So yeah. That sounds pretty baller. I backed it. The project is already fully backed, but if it sounds like rad action to you, you can still get in on it until December 27th. You can back it for $10 for a high-res PDF version of the final product, or $20 for a print edition.
Back that thing up.
Blake Butler’s Sky Saw will be released tomorrow by New York Tyrant. Once again Butler delivers a stunning exploration of narrative. Over at Creative Loafing Atlanta you’ll find a field guide to the six books Butler has released since January 2009 including Sky Saw. Here’s a sampling:
SKY SAW [Fiction; Tyrant Books, 200pp]
Description: Humanity is numbered and contained in obscene rooms and landscapes, constantly observed and humiliated. Person 1180 — a woman — gives birth to innumerable wretched children. Person 2030 — a child — escapes from the only room he has known to spend 37 years wandering in darkness.
Recurring imagery/subjects: Darkness, years, white, foam
Quote: ”He pulled at the door and banged at the door and shook himself against the face of the door unchanging until there was nothing left about his finders or his hands. He turned around and found the world.”
Dimensions: 7.8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
Here we get forty full-blast voices from Chicago personalities and icons, spitting their perspectives on what made them part of Chicago history, revealing pieces to their puzzles in extraordinarily clever and insightful ways, as Czyzniejewski’s fiction takes us places we didn’t know we could go–Obama decades in the future telling us about his perfect bowling game, Dennis Rodman on the marks he’s left on himself and our culture, Pat Sajak digging deeper on what the spinning wheel really means–all these fabulous stories in that fine city’s celebrity landscape squeezed open, Czyzniejewski conjuring up fantastic possibilities beyond, further, because of.
Steve Himmer on Washington, Lincoln Michel on John Adams, Jac Jemc on Jefferson, Christopher Higgs on Madison, and Brian Oliu on Monroe. YEAH. And that’s just the beginning of this fantastic run of fantastic flash fiction on our forty-four presidents.
Those of you who know me know that I’m obsessed with three things: politics, history, and literature. So when I got the chance, with the spark of an idea lit by Brian Carr, to edit this series, I was ecstatic. I put out a general call, got together some truly fantastic writers who answered it, and now Kevin Murphy at Melville House Publishing will be publishing these stories in installments, starting with the first batch today! Seriously, do NOT NOT NOT miss these. They are fantastic pieces, each and every one. You’ll forget all about Mittens as you read some of the wittiest, loveliest, funniest, and yes, saddest pieces on our nation’s leaders – the good, the bad, and the very very ugly.
And by the way, a thank you to Matt Bell (and to Abe Lincoln) for the assist on the title of this collection!
Go read them all now:
Part 1: The Founding Fathers
This story is for anyone that has attempted to swim the moat separating hobbyists from artists.
By that fifth month his photographs were getting more adept technically, were looking more and more like magazine-cover fare. But the extra hour that he had to wake up every weekday morning, the extra hour he stayed on site at each day’s end, it started to eat at him, like termites in his frame.
Also be sure check out the One-Question Interview where Dan further discusses his view on the relationship between art and labor.
It is clear to me that this will be yet another skull slapping book from the MudLuscious Press/Blue Square Press mega-book creators. If you’re not paying attention to what shuffles out of their hands by now, then I just, I just don’t know.
The tape recorder hissed its cursed breath, elapsed time. We burgeon many more children. Found our way through the single door, opened the single window. Took the boys to the waves. Took the girls to the garden.
Read the whole issue here, including the whole sampling of Mr. Spivey’s Black God.
I don’t want to say too much about this gorgeous thing from Chad Redden before you read it, so please, go stare for several minutes and feel a choir of WOAH echo-swelling in you. Thank goodness to UP for sharing this magic.