“Sparrow and Other Eulogies” by Megan Martin ended up being the beginning of my HTML Giant ustream experience. You see Blake Butler is an ustream rebel. He doesn’t care when you show up. No pre-announcement he does what he wants, when he wants. Perhaps said he started up earlier; I don’t have any evidence he did. The book happened to be experimental and punctuated with trains passing by. Megan wrote the words but she didn’t make the trains.
“The Book of Interfering Bodies” came up next. Daniel Borzutky wrote it. Besides writing this book, he’s also translates. “The Book of Holes” an excerpt from the book explained about what happens to writers once they burn every word they ever wrote. Writers who died by writing were the focus of the piece. According to the story writers need solitude to become great writers. Only one and a half pages got read at first. Blake stated that the entire book was ‘fucked’, as a tremendous compliment. Poets got mentioned later in the book as bitter members of a tenured class living in an insulated world of University life.
Blake Butler shocked the audience in the chat room: he mentioned he had a scene in “Richard Yates” Tao Lin’s book. According to the book he was the person from the internet. When Haley Joel Osment does a reading, he happens to meet a person from the internet. Once the two meet the conversation had between those two characters is remarkably similar to a conversation Blake and Tao had. So if you were wondering when Blake would begin appearing in other people’s work, never fear it has already begun.
One of the most perverted books was “Tongue Party”. I feel the book is disturbed, twisted and fairly indecent. Sarah Rose Etter certainly has a way with words. Blake read the story “Chicken Father” from the book. Rubber mouth language made up some of the story’s nonsense words. According to the narrator, her father wore a chicken mask. “It is like living without all limbs” ended the story on a bleak note.
Peter Richards book “Helsinki” described dark death. A lot of feathers appeared throughout the story or poem? I’m not sure where the division is anymore. My recent ingestion of online writing has blurred this only further. “Helsinki prepared for my boyhood drawing” was one of the later lines, describing the approach to preparing for art. Much of this felt strangely appealing to me; perhaps it is due to the fact that Peter Richards and I are roughly the same age.
Lyrically “The Cow” happened to be the most brutal of the night. The language was difficult, disturbing, and bloody awful. I mean that has the highest praise. A few times I sort of shuttered at hearing it. Still I kept on paying attention. Though the title warned me of the harshness “I want you to inject my face with botulism” I kept on watching, listening. Wondering how much more awful things could get. I didn’t have to wonder for long. One of the lines read “If I don’t fuck today I’ll die”. “This restaurant is filled with people who met online” stated another one which hit way too close to home for me. Finally when the reading from this book ended I had to wait an hour before eating again. Poet
Now I know why Blake drinks so much during these readings. Most of what he reads tends to be dark, bleak, or destructive. He writes. He reads massive amounts of books, stories, poetry. He runs HTML Giant. I’m a sloth and usually feel lazy but Blake Butler makes me feel even lazier. We can all learn from Blake’s enormous work ethic.