Monday, December 31, 2012

The Beachies

Are y’all ready for this – Austin Islam

You should be this is huge. 2012 was the year of alt lit. Sure haters are going to hate. But the maters, well they are going to mate. With lust in the air around alt lit through hookups and whatnot, there are going to be many more alt lit children raised in alt lit families.  

New Category ‘Best Ohio’ – last year Ohio was brutally overlooked causing a great deal of pain and sadness. To rectify that I’d like to nominate the best Ohio ‘Male’ and best Ohio ‘Female’

Best Ohio Male – Noah Cicero – this guy seems more intense than me. I’m a sloth. Noah’s work sort of ‘wows’ me every time I read it. Usually I need to take a breath. 

Best Ohio Female – Sarah Swan – Sarah Swan is one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the absolute pleasure of interacting with online. 

Best Real Tao Lin – Jordan Castro from ‘Shoplifting from American Apparel: THE MOVIE’ 

Best Moustache – Willis Plummer 

Best Bag Kept Away from Children – Keep This Bag Away From Children – this comes out and looks beautiful all the time. Everyone who works on this spends a huge amount of time making it look ideal. 

Best Alt Lit Chapbook (Male) SFLISTW7.dat by Theo Thimo – when I first read his work I had no idea what to think. I read it several times until it was around 4 am in the morning. Then I wrote the review and worried it wasn’t funny enough. Sometimes things move me. This is one of those things. I really 

Best Alt Lit Chapbook (Female) I imagine you in your house, cleaning your chest by Sarah Jean Alexander – This is probably the nicest thing to ever come out about Baltimore. She gets the feel down solid. The amount of time to come out with something this good is impressive. 

Best Alt Lit ‘Cry’ of ‘Joy’ – Steve Roggenbuck in the New York Times Style Magazine – I think I cried I was so happy. Steve Roggenbuck worked hard this year. He even hung out with me in my apartment despite my lack of heat. Sure Steve might have gotten pneumonia from my apartment but he did get to live-tweet me sleeping so I think we’re even. 

Alt Lit Prom King & Queen – Jackson Nieuwland and Carolyn DeCarlo – this is so obvious it doesn’t even need to be explained. I love both of them very much and wish the best for the two of them. 

Best use of a snack pack as shampoo – Daniel Alexander stole my heart and my soul because he’s into that sort of thing. Seeing him shampoo his hair was a definite highlight. He also wrote a book. He also ate a book. 

Breakout Alt Lit Writer (Male) – Stephen Michael McDowell is amazing. I love this guy. He runs Habitat. Habitat is good. 

Breakout Alt Lit Writer (Female) – Lucy K Shaw is amazing. I love this girl. She runs Shabby Doll House. Shabby Doll House is good. 

Best guy to get cut in line at a Chinese Restaurant – Marshall Mallicoat got cut in line by a five year old kid. He ended up being pissed off but that was pretty funny. This is the best cutting in line I’ve witnessed all year. Nothing can compare. Guess Marshall should have gotten Chinese food to go instead of Chinese food to stay.

Best New Whale – Have U Seen My Whale? – Whenever this comes out I need to reserve most of the week to review it. Reviewing it is hard because there is so much good stuff in it.

Best New Meat Confetti – Meat Confetti has a great mix of material from all over the world. The fact that they will have critical essays about alt lit makes me enormously excited. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited. 

Best Alt Lit Villain – Murdoch LaMarche and I had a ‘trade-off’ series that was the closest thing I’ve ever had to an actual collaboration. He’s going to run the world somebody. I might as well get into his good graces. 

Best Initials in Alt Lit – Maybe Stephen Tully Dierks writes stuff occasionally, has beautiful pieces in HTML Giant and Shabby Doll House, but I remember him the best for his crazy-ass initials. Hopefully there will be a meeting between STD and myself at some point. Truly show me the STD! 

Best use of a dude’s butt - Karen Peltier works hard on the internet, supporting Steve Roggenbuck, supporting Spreecasts everywhere from Asheville, NC. I greatly care about Karen’s persona. Plus she’s a fan of Harry Pussy so she’s cool with me. 

Best use of James Franco in a Debut Novel - Mastodon Farm by Mike Kleine – I’ll be honest. I don’t know much about Mike Kleine. Mastodon Farm was incredible though. Name-dropping takes up much of the book. 

Best misattribution of quotes – Austin Islam rocks this game. He has screenshot poetry books too. Is Austin Islam the ultimate screen shot? His skills are impressive. His voice fills any Spreecast with hope. 

Best Nice Guy – Dennis Cooper is a force to be a-reckoned with. His output is incredible. He loves supporting others. In a world where people forget the importance of others, whether they be sloths or cats or dogs or rats or even the occasional Chairsly, Dennis stands alone ready to help out others. 

This isn’t about me. This is about you. Did this help to change the way you view the world? For those I did not nominate, do not fret. I had over 800 blog posts this year. Trying to cover everyone is close to impossible. I try my best. That’s all I can do.

The Beachies

Wow, when I started my life as a blogging sloth I never knew I’d be around over two whole years later. 2012 was a strange year for me. Things are currently wild in my little animal kingdom. 2012 is the year of the alt lit.

Alt lit has an incredible work ethic. Some of these writers put out a high quality product each and every year. While I’d love to simply nominate everyone for an award I can’t quite do that. I’m a sloth. It is hard being a sloth with all these things happening around me. I wish I could blog harder, like every hour of every day. To do that I’d need serious cash or something, or the ability to live in an abandoned building somewhere, like a literary squat. As Baltimore has plenty of those I guess I could figure it out. 

Either way consider this an incomplete list of people I’ve been personally enjoying for a little while this year. Hopefully some of these will be new, not all of them will be. What I try to do with my ‘heroic’ (Chris Dankland’s words, not mine) blogging is to support others. This year that changed a little bit with people supporting me by buying my chapbook or T-shirts. Try as I might it is a hard thing to accurately describe exactly how much that helps me out. So to everyone who has helped me out I really thank you for it.

Without further ado I present the winners of 2012’s ‘Beachies’ awards. Having this on Spreecast means I can actually read these out this year. I’m excited to do it. Check out the Spreecast line if possible. Hopefully Spreecast doesn’t delete this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.

 Best Alt Lit Dad- Greg Santos’s work is particularly gentle, silly, and charming. In other words it basically appeals to all of my senses. Anybody who meets him will meet a kind, considerable, and gentle spirit. His work reflects this with an emphasis on the sweeter side of things, think ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ of alt lit. With his simultaneous simple sentiments emphasizing a deeper understanding, I like Greg Santos a lot. He earned it. 

Coolest Steff- Stephanie Graff Uh, yeah she’s cool as heck dumbass. 

Best Plume of Smoke- Chris Dankland 

Best Brutalist- Penny Goring - never mess with Penny Goring, ever.

Best German - Marcus Speh

Best Insomniacs - NAP is really ironically named. They kept me busier than any other publication this year. I want to thank them for keeping the quality high, oh so high. 

Alt Lit Writer of the Year – Gabby Gabby – do I think Gabby Gabby has a promising ass-future? Yes I do. From humble origins as just another online persona into a full blown IRL Target employee, Gabby Gabby has won my heart with her sweet tales recounting driving a big truck down the highway, telling people where to find tampons, and other grand moments. 

Best West Virginian (male) - Scott McClanahan – I dig Scott’s work. There’s a part of Collected Works of Scott McClanahan that I read and re-read because it just made me laugh out loud, about the NASCAR drunken fools. Part touching, part ridiculous, and all parts fresh, Scott’s a good man.

Best West Virginian (female) – Jae Dyche is the ultimate West Virginian I fully respect. Her work, unlike Scott’s, is much more brutal. Those who mess with Jae Dyche will be taken ‘the fuck’ out. Plus she has style for miles. Nobody dresses as good as her. I’m jealous. I’m a sloth though. 

Best Alt Lit Ebook – I AM PETERBD – Peterbd is the best friend I never knew I had. He’s great. What Peterbd writes in this EBOOK is pretty danged funny. Also it remains one of the few times I’ve ever gotten a shout-out in a written piece of work. 

Best Use of Lorrie Moore - lorrie moore’s first draft by Serge Astapkov – Nobody has ever met Serge. His work is strong, really strong. Check him out on Shabby Doll House. 

Best Sketchy Moments - Joseph Moore – he whispered this at a reading. A handful of people could hear him. He’s good. He’s really good. SKETCHY MOMENTS IN 2012 PT 1-3 is super creepy the aftereffects of being an out of control person who is completely in control. 

Best Alt Lit Online Mag – Sadcore Dadwave – Dads got to get their sad on. Sian Rathore is considerably more British than I am. 

Best Crispin – Crispin Best 

Best time spent on a beach – trip to Far Rockaway. One person knows what I am talking about. This award is for them. They will remain nameless. 

Most Memorable Pieces - D. M. Aderibigbe has appeared in Up and has released in a few other places as well. His work tends to get stuck in my head. There’s something he does with language that simply jams into my noggin. I mean this as the greatest form of flattery. 

Best Alt Lit Playwright – Olivia Lilley has an upcoming play that is going to rock everyone’s socks off. Those with sandals, their lives will be over after this play. 

Best Alt Lit Goth Girl – Die Ashley is so Goth she’s practically post-Goth. Yet her writing will scare the bejesus out of you. One moment there will be you sleeping, the next a dead person in bed with you. 

Best Alt Lit Spreecast – Gilbert Morgan. This is obvious. Apparently I enable Gilbert Morgan. I’m more than happy to do it. 

Part Two is coming right at you! Prepare yourselves!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Flesh & Blood by Kimmy Walters

                Headaches are inspirational. One day gargling words is a thing. The next there’s an internet search for the most beautiful language with the word ‘tumor’. Aesthetically though, tumors are terrible things. Nobody willing takes on a tumor to the brain. Conjugation is important in learning any language. Without any help anybody can learn another language. Knowing multiple languages is important. Being multilingual increases the size of any dating pool. 

                Less organs makes people better off to a degree. Show and tell generally shouldn’t involve surgery footage. Kids dislike watching surgery footage oddly enough. Dance floors are full of cancer. That’s due to dance cancer, a trouble disease that affects millions each and every year. Dance cancer affects primarily the posterior due to the high use of ‘twerking’. Every school dance has disgusting dances. The walls sweat heavily. Young people moving tend to make rooms hot and bothered. Rooms sweat for the young. 

                Public school is big into government mandated judgment. It is called Health Class. To save money schools often have gym teachers teach the class. Oftentimes these gym teachers basically tell the most messed up stories to get students interested. One such story, told to a group of young ones, recalled the story of a rough part of Brooklyn in the early 90s. The teacher explained to his class that he was in this area at 3 AM watching a guy on drugs get shot a couple of times and not fall. Apparently this was a reason not to do drugs. It was an interesting story but completely unconvincing. 

                Skype tries and fails to bring people close to each other. The technology teases. ‘Oh sure hug the one you love. Oh right you can’t. That sucks.’ Skype says this to everyone. At least Skype is better than the phone. Seeing the person is better than just some disembodied voice at the end of a phone with the imagination showing a rough approximation of what the person looks like. Nothing is better than two lovely people lovingly hugging. 

                Messing around on social media is a great thing. Cyber-sex is a beautiful thing. Once somebody says ‘I’m a 21 year old female how would you fuck me’ the story writes itself. Thanks to the internet loneliness the whole ‘How I’ll fuck you’ story is told over and over again. At this point it seems likely that one can simply use a copy and paste job to figure out how to head up a cyber-conversation. Anonymous strangers on the internet talking about how they’d fuck each other show how far civilization has come. 

                 Affection never felt so raw. Affection requires the utmost in honestly. Pulling out warts, creating new yoga poses, this is part of what it means to truly care about others and the world at large.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this by Shantall Gallareta

                Shantall Gallareta remembers the old room. The old room gave her happiness and joy. Part of any relationship has to do with geography. Clearly she has fond memories of the old place. New places lack that previous knowledge. A new place is a clean slate. Things can be written, re-written until they are right. Breaking up ruins happy memories for where there was happiness, now there’s sadness. Bitter moments are seen less as an aberration than as a form of foreshadowing. Gallareta remember it was him and not her. Gallareta rocks! He sucks. 

                420 is a holiday she celebrates with loved ones. Every 420 people across America come together in prayer to mourn the death of drugs by killing new drugs. She does it in style smashing up happy little pills destroying pill families. What do the pill survivors tell their pill children after their parents have been destroyed and snorted? Gallareta also did muscle relaxers one time. No matter what drugs promise to do they fail. Drugs bring a whole new set of problems rather than solving the old ones. After a while the old problems seem easy in comparison. Of course the numbness brings a fleeting joy but it is temporary as the body sickens and tightens its grip on the user. 

                A brief history of Gallareta’s love life is presented. True love began in 2008. This makes sense. 2008 was a lackluster year in terms of music, pretty boring actually. Everything that happened in 2008 was simply the result of a buildup over several years. 2009 was a beautiful year. Gallareta drank and learned to love whiskey. While people were lonely in 2009 the music and culture made it seem far less lonely. Culture is the substitute for companionship. 2011 offered Gallareta a lot of candy and rolling. Obviously Gallareta worked in a candy manufacturing plant during this time. Cleary there is no drug reference there. Nobody ever does acid and ecstasy at the same time. 

                Loneliness is a natural emotion. People suffer from it all that time. Loneliness is why there are families, dating sites, and sex dolls. Every sex dolls makes somebody cry a little less inside and a little more outside. Thanks to the company of sex dolls dating sites are tolerable. Eventually relationships can form though it takes time. Given enough time people learn the turn-ons for each other and calibrate themselves appropriately. Gallareta’s turn on is writing on outdoor furniture with sharpies. Sharpies are the ultimate tag, the new form of a carved heart in a tree. Hearts are big beautiful things that should be drawn everywhere.

I want to die by Walter Mackey

                ‘I want to die’ is the heartwarming tale of how Walter Mackey wants to go. Clearly Walter has given death a lot of thought. Death requires deep thinking. Those who think they have no ‘say’ in death ought to read Walter’s illuminating series of morbid poems. For every death gives new life. Each one of these tiny poems gives new meaning to ‘little death’. Walter Mackey seems to refer to a literal death but these are little deaths, small inconsequential things. Has Walter Mackey written the ultimate chapbook about ‘the little death’ aka the orgasm? Are all of these poems focused exclusively on the death-giving act of ejaculation? Yes, obviously. 

                Pop culture contributes to these feelings of wanting to die. Walter needs this suicidal culture he both mocks and adores. 50 cent, Celine Dion, Wheel of Fortune each shows a slightly different point in his life. Even what his hairdresser listens to reflects her status in comparison to him, how she enjoys her life cutting Walter’s hair and eventually stabbing him in the head accidentally. This is far deeper than any mere mocking of these pop icons. By seeing his life flash before his eyes to a cheesy pop song or TV theme, Walter wants his death to reflect his life: full of competing interests of irony and sincerity. Through the process of death Walter washes any hint of irony and becomes pure sincere. Death is the most sincere act. Nobody ever kills themselves ironically. Hipster culture hasn’t evolved that far yet. 

                Reactions to his death are rarely documented. Doctors look at each other. Robin Williams cries. Robin Williams needs to cry more often. Walter Mackey brings out the best in Robin Williams by forcing him to cry over a 3rd rate movie that barely even had a plot. Indeed that movie taught the audience about the power of special effects over the power of storytelling or coherence. Cheating deals Walter a harsh blow. In multiple instances Walter dies due to his own actions, by his victory either through cheating or honestly. The internet can kill somebody for upstaging it. One time, and only one time, does Walter kill himself, but this is the result of a defeat, of defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. 

                Then of course there is the natural way to go. Simply aging which apparently happens only once. Even in death Walter is kept away from the Hollywood heaven. He watches on from afar. In other instances elephants trample him like some sort of Canadian stick figure. Others he simply asks for free booze to make up for the errors of others. Walter Mackey wants to die no matter where or no matter why.