Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Biz (at total fabrication)

I got Katie's permission to use her novel, "Opening Rings" as an example of the power of words. Katie came to me just after she left grad school in Massachusetts. "How do I get my novels out of the middle class?," she wrote to me. Hundreds of writers write to me, most after reading one of my books. My home address is always on the inside cover. Nothing to hide. I got no aversion to strangers. The six dobermans cased in razor wire around my mobile home are there like a half dozen lawn jockeys. Katie is one of the people who make me proud to be an independent publisher.

I got right back to Katie, that time. "You write what you need to write," I told her, practically ordering her into the kind of action I want. And without that dumb bourgoisie hestiation a lot of women, and certain men, authors get a problem over. I have been publishing all kinds of lady's books through Brass Plane Publishing.

Katie didn't waste any time putting out exactly the kind of work she had inside. I told her, "You get fucked up over that MFA program, you could get a bad reputation with the agents. You get that, you won't have books like "Inferiostomy," or your book. The one I told you I like."

"Shit," she said. "My daddie tried to get me to give it all up for the law firm he owns." There you are. "Fuck no," I says. Brass Plane Publications puts your books out without you having to go that route. Fuck no.

The little lady who wrote "Done Ragging" is also one of my protoges'. She's a little firebrand, married to a guy who races stock cars. Somewhere in the Ozarks. I'm gonna be heading up that way on the Harley, so we can talk about a deal I'm working out for them. Lisa Smith told me that her MFA is as good as a visit from pest control as far as getting you published, and Lisa's on her second book, made here in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

Right here are two women who have done great for themselves by way of Brass Plane Publications. My wife's right here with me, and I wouldn't fuck any other broad with your dick. It's all business between those women authors and me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Following Uncle

We are/were close blood relatives, and there was a resemblence between us. We both have/had weak, timid chins, and we both have/had goatees that come/came and went with our chameleonic whims. He was a writer and critic, so the crap am I. Uncle passed at 55, I'm 53 and expect to reach at least 56. It would only be fair, considering that Uncle got famous while in his late 30s and I'm still treading the wet July air, as if the stuggle will lead to something. Uncle was best known for his work as a jazz critic, before bowling a strike with his book on the subject of graffiti. This is the reason I've turned to the subject of criticism. There are two movies that are for the most part long forgotten, and someone has to make the world know both were prescient.

I have in my private film collection a copy, on durable VHS format, of the low budget masterpiece, "Surf Nazis Must Die." On the surface, it's a schlock account of a cabal, eventually thwarted by honest American law enforcement. While the lead conspirator has black hair and post-Vietnam drooping mustache, how could anyone not be alarmed by the supporting cast of Nazis, most of whom were platinum blond. The flick could be clasified as mere cops and robbers, with neo-fascist theme, but the key word is 'surf.' Obviously, the West Coast has been spawning Nazis like violets in spring. And they can't all be just hanging ten and cursing minorities.

Not housed in my own collection, I had the good fortune of renting the B-classic, "They Saved Hitler's Brain." In this work, Der Fuehrer's scowling noggin is in a jar, kept alive with the same chemicals and electrodes that worked so well in, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die." Lucky for us all, those chemicals have been kept a secret, though I'll bet you a bowl of popcorn that Dick Cheney and half the CIA have it on paper, secured to their refrigerator doors with an ABCs magnet. It's just common sense. Why stay dead when you don't have to?

This movie also featured men and women with hair the color of Andy Warhol's wig. And wigging the late Hitler did. The only time he smiled was when the antagonist thugs were winning. Towards the end, as the virile fascist thugs fell into defeat, a look of abject horror came over the severed head in the inverted pickle jar. Knowing now that both great films were more than light entertainment, it's my duty to warn the public.

Of what should everyone be warned? Surf Nazis. Hitler's brain. Norway. No longer flexing oiled pecks on the beach, they have mobilized.

I'm in the middle of a sticky law suit over my publishing venture, Brass Plane Publications, but none the less I am willing to risk further persecution to squeeze off a more detailed account of what is happening. You too can see your manifestos and sagas looking more like a real book, and it won't cost you eternity in electrostatic brine. Just $5000 down and a modest editing fee, and you too can be an important author, like myself. Suffice, for now, to know that what you need to save the world is just a money order away. My new book, "They Killed Bruce's Novel" is available in hard cover, soft cover and astroprojection, $19.95, in the format that best saves you from advancing tyrany. Good day and good reading.

P.S. There is no such entity as 'Brass Plane Publishing.' It's purely fiction.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The apartment was a cavern in the basement of a huge Victorian rooming house. When the manager of the building decided to let me have it, I overheard him say to old Mrs. Sullivan, "Yeah, he belongs down there." And I did. It was a thin slice of concrete blocks making half the basement my hole, my tube, my damp cool burrow. It came with a floozy wood poster double bed, like a peon's cheap replica of Henry VIII's guest lodgings. The orange fabric couch smelled like someone's sweating ass, and there was a comfortable vinyl lounge chair in the living room, near a floor lamp with Mad Magazine plastic megaphone shades. I was a young bachelor as much as one might be ink-drawn in the same puerile mag. Anyway, that was how I saw myself, like the kind of young man who would look natural smoking a shiny new apple pipe, if it was the norm at the time, which it wasn't. I smoked Camel filters during that import year. Later on, as I grew and changed, I switched to Marlboros. Lately I've been smoking the gamy generic cigs called 'Raves.' Very hard on the throat and chest, I'm wondering if the nagging cough will ever clear up. Bronchitis, I'll bet ya.'

I grew in that cinderblock cave. It was my first time away from the town I grew up in, doesn't deserve a name, but there was some Rebecca From Sunnybrook Farm going on when I moved from jerkwater to urbanized. There was a small, prim, girlish shelf of books in the bedroom, beside the king size bed and cartoon floor lamp, and I took to reading most nights, after a nice day at the little mop job. There was a copy of Frank Conroy's "The Subject Was Roses," which featured a long preface explaining how the author grew the compulsion to write the book. There was a worthless second edition of 'Portnoy's Complaint,' a few experimental fiction works from New Directions, in that tentative composition book style cover, and some shitty potboilers by famous authors who got lazy. And then there was the subsidy published novel that changed my life. The only book I took with me when I 'closed the book' on my year in Rhode Island is titled, "Inferiostomy," by D. P. Reters. After reading it, I corresponded directly with Mr. Reters, as his home address was printed right under the date and copyright warnings. "No lawyers, pal," it read, "You plagiarize me, I pull up on the Harley and crush your head."

In the preface to 'Inferiostomy,' D.P. explains that when people read an important work of fiction, they, in the metaporical sense, grow their first short curly hairs all over again. It's not a 'rebirth,' as many Christians like to bruit, but rather a second, third and forth (et infinitum) puberty. He stoically assured his readership that once they read "Inferiostomy," they would be able to, on an emotional and spiritual plane, shave their bush and start from delta one each time they began one of Mr. Reters many self-publications. He further explained that this is not feasible with books published through Random House or Harper and Row, because they only print books made to lock people into a state of near-death adulthood. "I can't read any of that garbage without seeing this dim light at the end of the bogus cave," D had shared.

The premise of Inferiostomy is that people have to cut their dirty, hopeless negative senses of self out of their own little minds if they ever hope to have the the magnificent self-esteem they are entitled to. It begins with the antagonist, a mean, homely research scientist, designing an electronic device, to be planted in the brains of people like the one I used to be, which is why, from the git-go, the book had such a profound effect on me. Reters was way ahead of his time, as when the book first appeared, they were only doing this stuff to monkeys. "Sure,' the author had written me, on his lined pink stationery, 'it was monkeys first, people next. No fucking way I'm waiting for the creeps to get to this literary giant." They won't get to me, either.

The handsome, young protagonist, Little Brucie, takes interest, at first, in the mad scientist's research. He's been going to the library every day after he gets home from his little mop job, trying to figure out how to resolve his feelings of innadequacy, which, of course, was the very thing the antagonist was trying to capitalize on. Little Brucie found a series of articles in the Providence Eagle about the research. "What if some type of brain implant is just the ticket?" he wondered, as he paged through a stack of local weeklies. I won't ruin the whole experience for you, since you can still get a copy, reprint I should say (the author passed, after a heroic battle with lung cancer), of "Inferiostomy" through my new publishing house, Brass Plane Publications. You'll find a lot of my novels, as well, and should you see fit to do your own thinking and writing, I can help you get your opus between glossy covers for a low fixed rate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Solitaire (cool your jets, it's fiction)

An eccentric person has no right to balk at some teasing, maybe some outright ridicule. They said the guy who designed the steam engine was nuts, and I hear tell his wardrobe was even more conservative than mine. Mrs. Henry next door says I look like I'm dressed for a flood. They're capri pants. Men in Italy wear capri pants, I think. I know the ladies do, at least, and this is supposed to be a genderless society. But lately Mr. Paul has been ragging about the motorcycle I bought. He calls it a 'rice rocket,' and he's at least half right, I should have bought either American, or anyplace other then my bikes birthplace. It's like the child of Rube Goldberg and Aileen Wuornos. A real piece of shit. This is another bad year for appliances and transportation. I think I'm getting arthritis.

Then, last year, it was the chain saw. Like usual, and I know I'm a bit of a schmuck, I got one out of a discount warehouse online, which made me wonder if it employed bald headed Jews with a short temper, like the places I used to shop in when I was kid. Society is changing much too fast for the average guy to get a grip on. Same as the goddam bike, there's something fishy with the idle screw, you can't adjust the thing properly, so there's problems with the chain saw. Either I burned out the engine, or else it needs a new spark plug. Doesn't matter at this point, because I lost interest in the project I had in mind.

There's a sweet old couple in the shanty in back of my hovel, and they keep rubbing it in about how reliable their chain saw is. All their appliances work like gems. And then they have to lay it on about the weeds I have growing. I asked if I could borrow their weed whacker. "Ain't sure I trust a man like you with a gas engine, Little Brucie." Imagine that, a 92 year old bag calling me 'Little Brucie.' I'm average height! And the name is Bruce, not 'Little Brucie."

"Them weeds is grown too thick to cut down with a weed whacker. I'd go at them oaks and maples with a chain saw, if you ever get one that works." Even her husband thinks he's a comedian. There aren't any trees. They are weeds with thick trunks, and I think their weed whacker would handle them just fine. Not really sure, though. It isn't my province.

People in this borough are clannish. That's why I don't seem to connect to well with people here. I moved here a long time ago, been waiting for my life to fill in and get more sympatico. It never does. I just live alone like a washed up hermit. Watching the afternoon movie, cashing my disability checks, saving a few pennies a month for a new saw. Once you go off your schedule too long, it gets hard pick up where you left off. Living in the boonies, like this, can have a bad effect on your outlook.

I was planning to perform a massacre with that chain saw, and now I'm just tired. Arthritis gets much worse, and it will all have been an idle dream.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pet Theory

This post is posted in case anyone claims credit for my pet theory:

It's called Big Bruce's Pet Theory of Organized Religion. It states that some people have a genetic predisposition for pontificating, and this trait accounts for the popularity of religion, and for the direction religeon takes.

Absent of this gene for Baptist style hard ball preaching, people might find other explanations for life on Earth and for outer space, as well as other views on after-life. Or there could be no religion at all.

More pet theories are in the works.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little Black Hearts

the real one went to vinegar
mishandled young wine disolving the blob
now it's a chicken giblet
so I read dense books
then write electric replies
they write back with little black hearts
no such thing on my keyboard
just one year out of date
the organs change that much