Thursday, March 29, 2012

Protofuse – bits#10 7.0


                ‘Bits#10’ is minimal. You thought Basic Channel was minimal? Try Protofuse, who uses the barest of elements to construct of a groove. In some ways it reminds me of Wolfgang Voigt’s work as ‘Studio 1’. Yet I’d say for Protofuse’s work, there’s an even greater subtlety, afforded in the great spaciousness of these three tracks. Even while it appears to be a simple beat, a simple sound, there’s a great deal going on it terms of the low-end. Also delay is used rather heavily throughout much of the EP, which reminds me of some of a naked Basic Channel track. 

                The first track is perhaps the starkest one. It at first listen appears to be nearly blank. Yet upon closer listens one notices the slight pitch shifts, the changes in the beat. For me though the second track is my favorite. Nearly immediately it differentiates itself from the other tracks. It is nearly hyperactive in its many transformations. Small beats, little clicks, and barely there micro-melodies emerge out of the beats. As soon as one gets a hold of them, they submerge. It’s a flirty little track, constantly playing tricks on one’s mind and challenging the notion of what is a groove. ‘7B’ the closer, comes close to the sort of shuffle I’ve grown to love from Thomas Fehlmann. 

                Protofuse has created his own language with this short EP. Underneath the surface level beats, there’s quite a bit happening. This requires deep listening to notice every single nuanced sound Julien Bayle’s packed into such a small space.

List of Celebrities I’ve Seen at Comic-Con by Ana Carrete


                Everywhere I’ve ever lived Comic-Con was only a hop, skip, and jump away. I’ve never gone to a Comic-Con. Comic-Con follows me wherever I live sensing my inner nerd. Maybe I don’t want to admit I’m a nerd. Or maybe I’m just not that type of nerd, rather a nerd fortunate enough to fall into being cool. I am obsessed with music. Good thing music is generally considered cooler than comics or I’d be totally fucked. Random nerd not dancing at a concert will always outdo random nerd at Comic-Con. I didn’t make those rules. They simply exist. 

                I’m not surprised Ana went to Comic-Con. That seems appropriate given her enormous web-presence. She’s written some books. The photo shows her fitting into her natural habit. Just look at her, with that piece of garbage paper hat on her head. I bet she was the coolest person at that entire event. Ana probably went up to people at Comic-Con and said “Oh yeah I have a Tumblr.” When other people said they did too she added “And it’s not all re-blogs of random Anime shit/hentai/porn”. That’s probably why she feels like a winner whenever she goes there. It’s as if Captain Beefheart played at concert with the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Ambrosia. Of course Beefheart would be the best. He’s from a totally different universe. Beefheart wrote challenging music. The other two wrote supermarket rock. 

                The piece discusses all the people she has seen at Comic-Con. I don’t really know that much about actors. Movies generally disappoint me. I know Nicholas Cage and I’m happy to hear he’s boring. Nicholas Cage represents everything hilarious about movies, the ridiculous, almost unbelievable homogeneity of B-movies.  Megan Fox is mentioned, well, technically only her lips are mentioned. Tim Burton comes up. I used to work for Tim Burton a while ago. He is a deeply weird person. I feel he’s a bit burned out, that he expended all his creativity and should probably ‘take a break’ before he does anything else. Of course since Tim Burton is there so is Johnny Depp. Tim Burton probably carries Johnny Depp around in a suitcase or something. When Tim Burton worries that people find him unattractive he busts out the Johnny Depp, proclaiming ‘Here’s the sexy weird you’ve been waiting for!’

                Some other actors are mentioned. I’m interested in Cameron Diaz and Jeff Bridges. Wish I watched more movies so I’d get more of these references. I feel that I’m so busy reading and listening to music that I miss out on the most passive forms of entertainment, like movies. Maybe I should watch some movies, give my brain a rest. That way I can sit in an air-conditioned environment in the dark and watch random explosions. Though knowing me I’ll probably watch a Wes Anderson film still. I’m a sucker for Wes Anderson films. 

                I’m happy to see this piece from Ana Carrete on Bulk Culture. Sometimes I wish I got published on Bulk Culture. Bulk Culture won’t even publish my jams. Guess I should’ve sent them something besides a jar of pomegranate jam. I probably should’ve written something or sent a considerably less alt jam. Maybe next time I’ll be accepted. Who the fuck knows? Good job Ana!

THE LOST TAPES OF LIVE MY LIEF - VOL. 3 – By Steve Roggenbuck


                I wonder if the ‘Lost Tapes of Live My Lief’ are the alt lit equivalent of ‘Now that’s what I call music’. Lately Steve has been everywhere, traversing this great old country via bus, train and airplane. In fact, just yesterday Steve came out with his first song in years, entitled ‘Cornbrad Song’. Will Steve abandon his position in the alt lit world to become a singer/songwriter? Do singer/songwriters get more ‘sex’ than alt lit writers? I feel the answer to that question is ‘Yes’. 

                Adam Sandler comes up in the first few seconds. Steve’s in Atlanta I think. I’m a Steve Roggenbuck discographer. That’s how I know that. I get paid no money whatsoever for my curating efforts. I receive internet love because I’m an internet thug. Jewel, the famous singer/songwriter (and perhaps the inspiration for his song) comes up. Steve is a huge fan of her prolific output. Michael Hessel-Mial talks about his sexual relationship with former President Jimmy Carter (better known in alt lit circles as an anonymous blogging entity). 

                Steve spends a lot of time in the bathrooms of Texas. I wonder why. Are bathrooms in Texas considered holy places? I’ve never been to Texas. Not sure if I should go. Texas seems rather unusual. A larger period of time is dedicated to discussing shampoo brands. One shampoo style is mentioned, the alt lit habit of shampooing one’s dickhead. This is not always a good idea. People go through shampoo a little too quickly by doing this, wasting perfectly good shampoo. 

                Finally we see some ‘SXSW’ footage. About dang time Steve delivered the goods. Breathe Caroline plays. I want more SXSW footage though. Or maybe next year I’ll start a Kickstarter campaign to fly myself to Austin, Texas. In exchange for donations I’d write blog posts about people. My other offerings would be lockets of my hair, random stuff from my room, and handwritten notes from me. 

                Jovial Jellyfish hangs out with Steve for a while. They are in his car, alone with each other. Steve shows off yet another Texas bathroom. My favorite moment: Steve throws his Gatorade bottle into a bathroom stall. It is a harrowing moment. I think to myself: where did Steve get the money to buy a Gatorade? Steve is poor. Gatorade is expensive. Something is not quite right here. 

                Like all good things, it ends with Grape Nuts. Steve wants to eat popped popcorn in a ravine in hell. ‘Candyland’ is a very ‘Illuminati friendly’ board game. 

                The last scene shows where Steve Roggenbuck will end up next. His trip doesn’t stop. He moves from Los Angeles, to San Francisco, Portland (better known as a twenty-something retirement community) and ending up at Frasier’s place in Seattle. I’m rooting for Steve. Hope his next destination is paradise.  

Fall out of your skin by M.G Martin


                M.G.Martin writes about falling out of our skins. Yes human evolve into insects in this offering on Pangur Ban Party. It takes a while but it’s worth it. Look how much fun insects have. They fall out of exoskeletons all the time. Each time they look just a little bit sexier. Humans unfortunately are stuck being ugly or attractive. Imagine a world where we can simply change how we look by shedding our exteriors. Since beauty is in the inside anyway, perhaps a few permutations can make that beauty a little more apparent.         

                The design for this is funny. It reminds me of an alt Goth tea house. Every little title appears to be cut out of a larger paper. Who knows where these titles came from, some newspaper meticulously cut out. Really enjoy the design as it complements the subject material quite well. Actually, this creative approach to the design foreshadows the rather curious, inquisitive approach M.G. takes in the chapbook. 

                ‘Depth Perception Oven’ talks about growing up. Or rather, the perception we have as kids before we grow up. Everything is huge. We are small. We think we’ll never get big. Then, when we are big, we don’t appreciate the joys of being small. M.G. is right. Looking like a bedazzled hurricane is pretty alt. I think people work hard at looking like chaotic messes, with un-brushed hair. I was born with it. I am proud to come from a long line of disheveled messes. 

                Yeah, we can’t all be Richard Brautigan. Who can grow a moustache that excellent? I think Richard actually used his moustache to write most of his work. This is a little known fact. M.G. says Richard would never buy us, that we are dented cans. I don’t believe this for a moment. Richard Brautigan probably bought dented cans all the time if they were on sale. 

                ‘O Grandma You Cigarette’ begins what I call the ‘marathon runner’ part of the chapbook. In this half of the chapbook things fly by. I read about honey between a grandma’s eyes. I see a fruit fly selling his regrets for less than $1 (regrets sell for $2 on average at Target). ‘If a shark has ears’ takes this run even further, creating a bizarre ‘let Google finish that phrase for you’ aspect. He curses for a while, probably from running through those poems so quickly. Pancakes are not motherfuckers. And M.G I’ll spray paint you gold when you die. I promise. 

                This chapbook continues M.G’s increasing ‘domination’ of the internet. He has a book. He’s been published on many alt lit sites, such as my favorites NAP (love you NAP), housefire, red lightbulbs, shampoo (thought I washed my hair with that) and finally, elimae. Elimae is no joke. Elimae is serious ‘I’ve made it’ kind of stuff. Wish I was named after a British sports car. Wish I was M.G Martin.

'Fall Out of Your Skin' is part of a larger collection of poems called 'Touching Exhibition'. It needs a home. Give it one. Help a British sports car out.

Wastelanders - Cosmic Despair 7.3


                Wastelanders have a clear vision. Over the course of the five sprawling song they make their point clear. Each sound washes over the other to create a near-religious experience. In mood it reminds me of the Zomes project. By specifically using a limited sonic palette Wastelanders manage to create a cohesive, unified sound. It can be considered ‘drone’ but a few moments do rise above away from the drone moniker. 

                The first three tracks present a unified front. Each one hovers around wistfully. It is the last two tracks that dramatically change this template. ‘Expanding Mental Universe’ get extremely aggressive. Beginning with a quiet whimper it increases in volume. Actually it gets up to ‘Fuck Buttons’ levels of distortion, without the beats. On top of this field of distortion is a simple melody which almost seems opposed to such loudness. 

                For the finale ‘The Crossing’ Wastelanders channels the present-day band ‘Earth’. The slowness is noticeable. So is its optimistic spirit. I find this piece to be my favorite on the whole album. While it does take a while to get started the payoff is huge. You begin to recognize instruments from all the distorted drones. Guitars are slowly plucked until they emit a noticeable twang. It ends with a large move towards higher and higher pitches in its infinity coda before ending. 

                ‘Cosmic Despair’ requires deep listening. They evolve slowly. What appear to be small changes grow larger and larger. Long track lengths help keep everything in perspective. It stays put, committed to doing the most with only a few sounds. Wastelanders create an oddly comforting sonic environment with their album.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mostly Font Size 48 by Ana Carrete



                 Glad to see fonts are getting their own genre. I thought Steve Roggenbuck was the only guy doing this, dedicating chapbooks to fonts with his now-famous book ‘Download Helvetica for Free’. Ana doesn’t mess around. Much of the chapbook is indeed in font size 48. And the book feels somewhat similar to ‘Pinky Promise Me This’ only more internets focused.

                The first line proclaims Ana’s addicted to the internet. Good job Ana, acceptance is the first step. I don’t think I’m addicted to the internet though. No I only have my entire life on it. Plus I occasionally sleep. I also can’t check the internet while I shower, so that’s already a third of my day away from the internet. Feel I’m pretty ‘free’ of the internet’s siren call. Or maybe I am the siren. 

                I do get upset being away from the internet for so long. I remember January. January was a ‘rough time’ without the internet. I couldn’t even tweet for days. I had some really good tweets too, tweets gone forever, out of mind. So when Ana says she acts like an asshole when away from the internet I believe her. She seems really nice but then I only know her from the internet. Offline Ana Carrete may be an ‘out-of-control’ asshole. Hope that’s not the case but I can neither confirm nor deny her self-imposed accusation.

                She wants to visit people. She wants to visit you. You probably lack money. Actually, if you’re interested in alt lit you definitely lack money. Any wealthy alt lit writers please send me large sums of money. I need money. But I agree with Ana. It isn’t the first thing I check in the morning. If I checked my money in the morning that would be a bleak wake-up call so I avoid it. It only declines anyway. Normally I check if anybody re-tweeted me, followed me on twitter, and did something ‘Facebook-ish’ on my Facebook or re-blogged me. These are things likely to happen. 

                Nobody is standing or sitting behind me. Yet Ana flirts with them. Can’t believe Ana does that, flirts with ghosts. Ana is the ghost-winker. I generally don’t flirt with ghosts because they generally lack the ability to buy me food/drinks. Also they are dead. Dead people suck. Ana states she’s not a playa, but I don’t know. Ghost flirting generally means you are a playa. 

                Peeing doesn’t have to be better than the internet. You can bring your laptop to the bathroom. I don’t understand this part. Why does Ana need to leave her computer behind when she pees? Ana needs a laptop.  When you have the internet on a laptop you can have the internet anytime. The internet is a cult that requires large amounts of time in exchange for little to no money. 

                I am happy Ana Carrete internet high-fived me. All the smiley faces embedded in the poetry is wonderful. It makes me smile and I’m not an easy smile. At the very end Ana states ‘Thanks for reading’. To which my reply is: ‘Thanks for creating this chapbook Ana!’

Walter Mackey: A Brief History


                Walter Mackey shares himself on the internet for our viewing pleasure. Boy has he been working. I’m not sure if alt lit is technically ‘work’, as it doesn’t pay anything. Nope, people are alt lit out of the goodness (or rottenness) of their hearts. I think Walter has a good heart and for a while I worried about Walter.

                I think Walter is enormously busy. I’m prolific. I admit that much. But Walter, he puts out stuff once an hour or even more frequently. He’s not simply a writer. He’s a Canadian. Being a Canadian takes skill especially when you’re from Newfoundland. I don’t know much about Newfoundland. It seems to be a place unambitious elderly people go to on their completely unimaginative vacations. Maybe Puffins live there? Maybe Walter is a Puffin?

                Every day Walter gets on his Tumblr and out tumbles his heart. It comes in the form of small poems, pictures, macros, found objects, random weirdness, and occasional ‘Peaches’ songs. Those are all wonderful things. His pictures are legendary. One of them (a picture of a PBS character’s cock) is famous all across the internet-meme spectrum.

                For a while it looked dark for Walter. Nobody accepted his work. Alt lit is already a dark enough place even with acceptance. Without acceptance from the already tiny ass alt lit community many alt lit writers have turned to the bottle, or worse, real life as a sandwich artist. This could have happened to Walter Mackey. One particular ‘Plain Wrap’ publisher reached out, not to crush, but to help. Walter Mackey’s optimistically titled chapbook ‘i want to die’ is coming out. Are y’all ready, ready for this?

                I like Walter’s new voice. He’s been experimenting with new styles. My favorite is the one he’s employed for the ‘Blair Bitch Project’. It is funny. Walter takes the voice of a rather bored, somewhat stupid internet idiot and creates humor through the audience’s expectation versus the familiarity of internet slang. It’s really, amazingly stupid. Walter stays true to the entire story as well, never breaking character.

                ‘Mysapcedotcom’ is the finishing touch on Walter’s exploration of our language. He has a degree in folklore. What better way to utilize it than telling the tale of the greatest, deadest social networking site Myspace? Myspace is unique in its position in the world. It created a whole new way of speaking. It was beyond anything any misspelled AIM conversation, Gchat, or anything before or since has been able to capture. Comments on Myspace profiles were beyond stupid. They were a ‘post-stupid’ where the language becomes so positively inane it’s almost spiritual in its ability to transcend point, coherence or meaning. Reading through the chapbook makes me long for that earlier, more innocent time. 

                I’m glad others see Walter’s work the way I do. Happy he’s been able to ‘rise above’ his humble roots as some Canadian bro. Glad he has a Tao Lin tattoo. Hope to see more from him. I’m excited about his physical release, his debut into ‘real life’.

Yu Miyashita – An Arc 8.4


                ‘An Arc’ is a beautifully violent work. Listening to its passionate, oftentimes explosive behavior bring to mind some of my favorite glitch albums. Pita’s ‘Get Out’ album appears to be one influence, particularly ‘track 3’ off that album. Much like that track, classical samples and elements in the album try earnestly to break free of the oppressive nature of the static and noise. Oval’s ‘Dok’ is heavily referenced during mellower parts of the album, reminding me of the shoegaze-like textures of that warm yet loud album.

                Yu Miyashita starts off with the extremely unstable ‘Aan’. Shards of classical music pass through the hiss. Eventually the classical pieces manage to break free of the oppressive sonic heat halfway through the track. Other songs possess this same penchant for sudden outbursts. ‘Aathr’ is one of the quieter (and I use that term loosely) tracks on here. Slowly it cycles through countless sonic loops, aural debris, and growing lower register drones. The low end may be one of the best aspects of the album, as it perfectly complements and oftentimes molds the classical structures found on the majority of these tracks.

                Throughout the entire album Yu Miyashita maintains a uniformly beautiful sound. He sticks with various themes, repeated on and on in these nine tracks. Despite the short length, it is easy to get lost with all the twists and turns. At times ‘An Arc’ appears ready and willing to destroy itself. Yet it somehow manages to keep it all together. Yu Miyashita keeps a steady balance between the classical and the chaos on this album. It’s simply gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

25. by Gabby Gabby


                Gabby Gabby’s work is full of life, of college campus dormitory life. Ah, I long for the days of being carefree on ye olde college campus, frolicking around the green like a well-educated in-debt doofus. Now I’m still in debt only this time I’m having considerably less fun. My days roll by as I stare out the window wondering ‘Why’ and ‘Hope I have enough Lemonade to last me the rest of the week’.

                ’25.’ Deals with Gabby’s existential angst. Gabby is worried. Nothing happened to her today. But that’s enough of a reason to worry. A murderous moth sits on her bed, covered in the blood of its countless victims. Gabby doesn’t worry about that. At least the moth isn’t eating her clothes. That’d be a real problem. Death by Moth seems like an alt way to die. Hope the United States becomes an accordion. I feel the left and right coast need to hug more often. 

                The internet isn’t working. That’s a reason to worry. YouTube needs to work. Without the internet I am nothing. Gabby is nothing. We are all nothing without the internet. People don’t say ‘I like that’ in real life anymore. That’s what the internet is for: to receive feedback on our creativity. IRL is considerably less creative and fun than the internet. Wish that wasn’t true. But I know it is. 

                ‘My laptop is so hot against my thigh’ Gabby writes. She states it is the only hot thing against her thigh in two months. I think this alludes to the end of her beloved pair of heated pants. I miss my pair of heated pants too. Or it could be symbolic of sex. Really I’m not sure. I also sleep on radiators whenever I get the chance to compensate for my loss. 

                I adore the ending. I used to be a lifeguard. I remember watching the kiddie pool. I remember being a kiddie too. I don’t remember Apple laptops swimming in the pool though I guess I’m a little old for that now. Gabby says her laptop is peeing on her, making her feel so useless. Is the internet just a big ‘taking the piss’ contest? Sometimes it is. Sometimes the internet can be sincere. 

                Feel happy to see new Gabby Gabby stuff coming out. I am happy she’s running the ‘Illuminati Girl Gang’ poetry blog. Lately there seems to be a greater amount of Illuminati involvement in alt lit. This can only be a good thing.Save us Illuminati and join our club.

Matt Margo’s ‘On the Death of Love in Contemporary Short Fiction’


                Matt Margo shares a piece of himself in Bulk Culture. I feel Matt can be a bit mysterious at times, writing under his birth name, studying literature. Who does that in alt lit anyway? Matt’s credentials in writing (and asemic writing) are impressive. The work Matt creates is wholly unique, hard to grasp or even define. Sure I see his face but do I really understand what goes on behind those thick, black glasses. 

                I figure that’s why I am surprised by this piece. Matt writes about love. Love is one of the best known of human emotions, right after ‘Gas’. There’s a lot in this short piece. Weirdly the piece appears to be more a series of questions than any actual question. And there are no easy answers in the game of love. Shit, there are barely any answers in the game of love either. It’s all random, purposeless, and chaotic. Yet it can be wonderful.

                The main question of the article seems to be ‘how come nothing seems to begin with a healthy romance and end with a healthy romance’? I read it first and thought ‘of course there are examples’. But I couldn’t think of anything in literature. ‘Fargo’ came closest to what Matt was describing. The two characters in that movie start out with a healthy love and end with a healthy love. What the interest moves to is her investigation. By the end of the movie you get the sense of their love for one another, in a surprisingly non-cliche way.

                Alt lit is depressed. We know that. ‘Seems bleak’ is written all over the place. And Matt is right. A story without any sort of development, emotional or otherwise, would be boring. Why not write about boring? Why not slow down a book to the level of real life? Every time I read a book I rarely experience anything in real time. Of course a book that does this would be rather uninteresting. Or maybe it would be a microscopic view of every little thing we do. Forget symbolism, everything would represent itself. How could love get involved? Would a purely objective, non-fictionalized, minute-by- minute account of what is going on around the characters be the only way to possibly create what Matt suggests?

                I can’t tell. It may be possible. I agree with Matt though that the destruction of love seems to be an overriding theme lately. I’m not saying that sort of writing is bad. But it leads to the same place. We’re introduced to happy, in-love people. They fall out of love. That’s what happens. I’d be more interested in some sort of stand against this, ability for characters to retain their relationships. I find that idea more interesting than ‘slowly winning over the other’ or ‘watching love die’ that seem to be so prevalent. 

                Can stasis be a plot line? Can we simply enjoy the boredom and even embrace it? Sorry if I didn’t answer your question Matt.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Olan Mill – Paths 8.3


                Olan Mill’s ‘Paths’ is a contemplative album. With treated classical instruments and a slow pace, it is elegant in its movement from a sad (in the beginning) to an ultimately calm conclusion. Parts of this album remind me of Stars of the Lid’s album ‘The Tired Sounds of the Stars of the Lid’. Here though the classical instruments are at full volume. Drones between the instruments only increase the emotional impact of these pieces. And the slow development of these pieces only reinforces the tender mood of the album. 

                ‘Bleu Polar’ begins in a large, sweeping drone. Violins emerge out of the sonic ether. Slowly they begin to grow larger and larger. Eventually they overtake the entire piece. The drones seem to support this, to offer a low end to support their higher pitched-pleas. By the very end the violins have taken control of the entire piece. ‘Springs’ is my personal favorite. It begins with a crystal clear piano, no effects whatsoever. The nakedness of the piano is gradually eliminated with a (very) quiet low-register bass. Eventually violins come in to merge with the piano and drone. ‘On Waiting’ is the most intense piece on the entire album. It is sheer volume and hovering menace all around. But this is resolved with the hopeful closer ‘On Leaving’. 

                ‘Paths’ keeps on dragging me into its world. Maybe it is the short length of the entire album (the whole thing clocks in at about half an hour). Or perhaps it is the amount of pure love infused into these tracks. Either way, ‘Paths’ is a lovely album that truly gives a good name to the genre ‘ambient’.

Pinky Promise Me This by Ana Carrete


                Ana Carrete, one of the anchors of the alt-lit, boykitten, call it whatever you want movement. I’ve explored her site ‘NewWaveVomit’ quite a bit, but this is the first time I’ve read one of her full chapbooks. Of course I keep bumping into her poems, but if I am going to cover her, I want a great big thing to write about. 

                ‘Pinky Promise Me This’ is a great big thing. It is a lot of fun. The cover is beautifully designed. Looking at the cover, I wonder if she later ate that food. Or did the food get too full of pride and rendered itself inedible. This is only one of many questions I have about Ana Carrete’s stream-of-conscious chapbook.

                You next see instructions informing you to read this aloud if you can. That way you can perhaps understand the flow of the work a little better. She thanks you for reading in general, for taking the time to absorb her book through your busy eye sockets. 

                The chapbook suggests we live in the same house. We make money through porn. Then we die. Or we die at some unknown point in the yet-to-happen future. I enjoy the space between lines. It gives the impression of a conversation happening outside of our scope, or a pause. With each additional space, she builds off of this idea, expressing an interest in being rich, before she realizes we’re all poor. Probably if you’re reading this you are a candidate for this porn house. However, I like the end of this section, where we pinky promise her not to tell anyone what she’s about to say. She isn’t writing she’s talking to us. She wants us to think about this not just for her, but for us. Where are we going?

                For part two (if there are parts) Ana goes into pop culture. Sublime, the Cardigans, Mariah Carey, and Dolphins all get a little attention. This represents a lack of focus before Ana goes to final part of the chapbook, perhaps the ‘heart’ of the book. In this final section she discusses her inability to talk to girls, of being the kind of girl that can’t talk to girls. She then asks if anyone knows how to deal with anxiety on a regular basis, without drugs or anything. Just a way of how to survive on a regular basis, of being calm, she wants to know how to reduce anxiety. I relate a lot to her plea. Every day I suffer from anxiety, I do not know if I am ‘good enough’ for this ultra-competitive life path I chose. Can I do this? Is it possible? Or will I collapse under the pressure? 

                I commend Ana for writing ‘Pinky Promise Me This’. It made me feel a bit less lonely. I am happy other people are searching for less anxiety, of trying to interact. The ending is wonderful. Sometimes I’m not good at endings. I just don’t know how to end things.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Steve Roggenbuck joins the Illuminati


                Steve Roggenbuck is going all ‘retro’ on us lately. Over the past week Steve has leaked countless ‘portrait of a young man’ photos on us. To top it off, he’s been joining old-ass organizations. The Illuminati have accepted Steve as one of their own. Good thing the Illuminati are located right in Austin, Texas. Everyone knows the Illuminati brought Texas into the union back in the 19th century. Steve is truly participating in history. 

                No ustream this time. ‘Spreecast’ got its trial run. This is the first Spreecast recording. In fact Steve prepared for it through his face paint. A few people thought Steve’s face paint was inspired by the hit alt lit movie ‘Avatar’ and the prince of darkness ‘Satan’. 

                I don’t think I’ve ever seen pure anarchy delivered to my computer screen. Multiple people were in attendance via the internet. Jack Gooding made his ‘online’ appearance after so many ustreams of asking ‘Take off your top Roggenbuck’. So did Jean Manuel. I’m not sure if they have the internet in Canada. They probably don’t. I feel Walter’s internet connection might have been destroyed by a ‘rampaging moose’. 

                ‘Add more boost juice to your computer’ Steve told Jean Manuel. Lars won the dance contest. Jack Gooding came in second place. It was the first ‘Spreecast alt lit contest’. The contest consisted of writing the best sonnet. Just kidding, it was a dance-off to Skrillex. We really had no idea what was going on. All I knew was Jack Gooding took off his shirt. I felt happy about this development. For so long Jack Gooding had watched Steve via the internet he wanted to see Steve take off his shirt.

Carnivorous Judy read from his most recent poetry chapbook. Walter Mackey’s chapbook deals with Myspace comments. I miss Myspace. I miss getting creepy-as-heck comments from random people. Also, Walter’s face had melted due to the extreme relevancy from the reading. I feel bad for Walter’s face. Walter has a ‘Tao Lin’ tattoo so he’s pretty darn valuable. Glad he has made it into the alt lit community. I virtually hug Walter on a fairly regular basis. 

Steve called Moths ‘rare’. I call them ‘destroyers of my limited amount of clothes’. Fuck moths. Those things can burn in hell. I can’t think of anything more Satanic than eating my clothes. It’s even more evil since I am poor. I’m living the ‘recycle aluminum can’ lifestyle.

The love in the room was amazing. Steve had so many new friends around him. Only a few days ago had they met. Yes, Steve’s presence is so welcoming everyone wants to be a part of the ‘live your lief’ lifestyle. A few people played Kazoos throughout the entire recording. For $100 Steve would not lick your balls. That would last him only two weeks or so according to his accountants. Glad that Steve spends his money so wisely. 

People told me about the show “The Bachelor”. They told me about all the money I could make. I know a lot of sloths end up on “The Bachelor”. Sloths aren’t known for ‘getting some’. No, sloths are usually known for ‘sleeping’. Most sloths don’t go on social networking sites. We’re underrepresented on dating sites. We rarely go to bars. I wonder about my species sometimes. Are we slutty enough to evolve? 

Jean Manuel did an unusual thing: he read a poem. Before he did, he explained how he was ‘born into’ the Illuminati. The triangle on his forehead showed us everything. The poem was brilliant. Jean wrote it while on a mystical substance. While he might have lost the ‘dance-off’ he gained something greater. He gained my love. I adored the ‘heart-fist’ metaphor. It was excellent. I wanted to hug Jean after it was finished. The poem was called ‘Third Eye for Lars’. 

Random questions were asked of Steve Roggenbuck. It felt like watching a ‘wise man’. All the questions were asked by insane crazy people. Slater proved that much. Nobody had ever seen Slater before. Nobody will ever see Slater again. Slater boosted himself off of the planet using a flame. 

I was told how to appear on the Bachelor. I am happy about appearing. You’ll see me there in May. I’ll send a tweet to let everybody know. A few people explained to me how to truly rock my world. Poor sloths we don’t stand a chance. Not compared to all those Casanova animals like snails or turtles. Snails and turtles are ‘fuck monsters’.

Steve showed off his new clothes, or rather, new to him. Other people were brought into the chaos of the Spreecast. It was madness. If ‘Lord of the Flies’ was brought online it would’ve looked like this, if ‘Lord of the Flies’ had a bit more nerdiness. More and more people kept on talking to Steve via the internet. It was like ‘Facebook Roulette’ only with considerably less peens. Or maybe there were the same amount of peens. 

Loved ‘Slater’ part II. I love Slater. He avoids technology. I don’t think I’ve seen anything that insane. Can I understand what Slater was doing? No, I will never understand. When I understand what Slater does with his life, that’s when I know I must start doing public readings. Yep, I adored whatever the heck Slater was talking about. 

Beauty was all around me. I didn’t know how to handle it. Some Jesus bro came on cam to talk about helping people about. Will Eyers asked for bandwidth. Check out Will’s website right here. He’s the one who accepted Steve as a member of the Illuminati. Every time I see the website I cry a little bit, on the inside but mostly on the outside. 

Creamed Corn stood between us and Steve. Something had to be done. The only thing that made sense was drinking a can of creamed corn. We didn’t want to see the creamed corn take over the Spreecast. We had pointless things to do online. A great man had to drink the entire can of creamed corn. Who had the guts to drink Creamed Corn? Steve Roggenbuck had the ‘testicular fortitude’ to drink a can of creamed corn.  To fully feel the corn flowing through his body he put on ‘Korn’ a hit alt metal jazz nu-fusion band. 

People hitchhiked topless to get to the reading IRL. It blew my mind. How could people put their physical safety in danger for Steve? But then I do somewhat understand. It’s beautiful what Steve does, telling people how to tap into their inner bro. Like one ‘Ian Dick Jones’ who lived in an empty room with a piece of luggage, Hello Kitty merchandise, and a poncho. It looked beautiful/home of an alt lit person. 

666 texts were sent to Steve’s phone. Apparently he gets free text messaging. This helps him since he’d have to pay some ‘extreme amount’ to get text messages otherwise. Steve probably made it. I’m not sure. I feel most people usually follow his instructions for ‘massive work’. See the Bebe Zeva Facebook thread for further evidence of his genius. 

“People don’t read literary journals” Steve proclaimed. Steve is in the news feed of my heart. Every day he’s out there giving the internet his best. I feel happy knowing people don’t read literary journals. I’ve never been accepted to one. I like to think it’s because they have so many submissions. But it may be because I’m just not good enough for the alt lit world. Someday I hope to be a member of alt lit. 

Eventually it ended. It had to. This may have been one of the best broadcasts Steve has done. Feel the positivity Steve radiates. Steve Roggenbuck is the internet’s ray of sunshine.

Cassandra Nguyen


A portrait of the young artist as SATAN
                Cassandra Nguyen is the cinematographer of alt lit. Years from now, when children are studying about alt lit in their history textbooks, after alt lit has become the dominant force in the United States, Europe, and Kazakhstan, children will ask “Why was it called alt lit?” And the answer will be “Everybody was into the whole brevity thing back then”. Their next question will probably be “Who took all these bangin’ photos? They look sweet.” And their teacher will say “Cassandra Nguyen, she’s a relevant tattoo artist’. And with that the teacher, Michael Inscoe will show the class his arm. 

                At ‘AWP’ she documented a great many things. She got Crispin Best on camera. She took pictures of Stephen Tully Dierk’s big belly and ‘happy trail’. For those unaware, the ‘happy trail’ is the happy path going down to one’s crotch. To male alt lit writers, it grows after they’ve released their first chapbook and/or has their first poem show up on NewWaveVomit/MetaZen. Plus, we got to see all the wonderful people partying. At times I feel like alt lit is an extension of college parties, only this time there’s a couple poems read in between drinking. 

                There’s more to Cassandra than impeccable timing with a camera. She has her own Tumblr right over here keeping in tune with her ‘Goosefriends’ theme. I miss her ‘Clinically Depressed Unicorns’ but it is gone forever unfortunately. The Goosefriends Tumblr looks pretty artsy, with all those ‘classy’ re-blogged photos that the art school kids digs. Not sure if I count as an art school kid. It has been a while since I’ve been in school. Plus, now I have my own kids, who I hope, grow up into successful, impoverished alt lit writers. 

                Of course she’s a writer. Holy heck, what a silly question! She shows the sensitive side of Jeffrey Dahmer. From my last overview of her work, she’s been prolific. She digs the ‘sensitive male murdering type’ of guy. Maybe those are the most interesting men in the world since they are total d-bags. Perhaps in their mind we’re the d-bags since we’re so hard to kill or something. I don’t know. I don’t murder people. Murdering people seems unchill. 

                Her poems are personal, weird things. One of them deals with a bleeding nose (it bleeds for two hours. Sorry BB). Another one reminds us of our mortality through Old Navy commercials. She talks to crows. Crows apparently seem to be her friends too. She feeds those wretched, vile creatures with pieces of gourmet French bread. ‘Wednesday morning fun w/ Ari’ is one of the sweeter pieces. Still it ends with the encouraging line ‘shrivel up and die’. ‘Monotone Phone Notes’ is one of her larger collection on Zachary Whalen’s relevant alt lit blog ‘Shallow’. There’s even a sequel of it, right here that goes over her desires, wishes, and hopes. Cassandra Nguyen enjoys rotting bananas. In fact, there is a part three to it, Lord of the Rings style, very rare. 

                I remember saying she could easily be the 2016 Poet Laureate. I stand by that claim. I think she really ‘has got it’. I also think her work continues to progress, to follow a very ‘metal’ and ‘satanic’ path towards truly evil enlightenment. Hail Satan!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marshall Mallicoat: Man, Myth, Legend


                Marshall Mallicoat wears many hats. I know. He writes. He investigates. From his Tumblr ‘youtubedotcom’ (itself a brilliant piece of work), he manages an online presence empire. Everything Marshall Mallicoat does has an enormous amount or no thought behind it. What does Marshall do best? He cares. 

                When I first heard about Marshall Mallicoat, I had some disbelief. How could this person exist? I mean he lived in his car for a while because he was homeless. Yet he still managed to vlog about the harrowing experience. His Facebook picture was one of the most bizarre things I’ve witnessed in my entire web-based life. Steve Roggenbuck and Stephen Tully Dierks gave a shout out to his book in their hit collaboration ‘I love music’. Part of me felt this was a great myth. Was Marshall Mallicoat the weirdest, most thoroughly indifferent person to grace God’s green Earth? In a word, yes. In two words, oh yes. 

                I believe Marshall Mallicoat exists. I watch him on YouTube or on his infrequently scheduled ustreams. His posts on Tumblr are odd. They mash up words, offer commentary on our bleak political existence, and generally reflect an utter lack of editing or filter, which I strongly support. Reading the Tumblr, which is conveniently linked here, gives one the sense of time passing slowly, of one’s ideas morphing, like an optical illusion.

                One of Marshall’s greatest skills is web detective. I do not think I have seen anyone pursue online identities with such vigor. Tao Lin’s ‘lost book’ is talked about on his Tumblr, complete with citations from previous interviews with Tao. Marshall is the gumshoe of the online lit world. Besides Tao, he focuses on Zachary German’s dwindling online presence. Other writers, no longer online, receive some attention, such as Hank Barstow/Cory Stephens, who has gone on to live a life non-virtually, the here and now. I guess Hank Barstow happy wherever he is, where the memories are never cached since reality tends not to do that. 

                Documentaries are another part of his online persona. He investigates a great many things. Horse_ebooks, one of the best twitter feeds out there, gets a whole half an hour with commercials about its web presence. Tumblr gets a full hour. Marshall adores Tumblr quite a bit I think. Tao Lin gets his own documentary. Just kidding, it is Marshall Mallicoat showing Tao Lin things he bought. That is not the only product placement on his blog. He advertises for ‘Milwaukee’s Best’. In that advertise he drinks a can of Milwaukee’s Best for ten whole minutes. I figure if Andy Warhol was alive he would probably loop this movie for about six hours. 

                Marshall Mallicoat is the Sherlock Holmes of the online lit generation. His work moves me. His work doesn’t move me. His work is everywhere yet nowhere. Marshall Mallicoat is everything and nothing at the same time.