Mixed bag at Headlock Press

A couple pieces I wrote went up at Headlock Press this week.

You can take a look at a story/prose poem thing I wrote around five million years ago. I had originally called it “Detective Story” but then a (now-defunct) online mag published it with the new title of “A Metaphor.” Fast-forward a few years, I show it to Paul Agostino, editor at HP, and he rechristens it “Creating Conflict.” I’m eager to see who renames it next.

That one’s followed by “Must be nice,” a poem from a while back.

The whole thing starts off with an excerpt from an email I sent to Paul recently. It includes my response to his new book, Appalachian Calculations. I see now how what I wrote reads almost like a book review, and you can take it as such. The book is non-fiction, a collection of short essays and anecdotes about Paul’s travels through small-town mountain country in North Carolina. Spoiler alert: It’s a good book, and worth the fifteen bucks it’ll cost you to get a copy.

You Won’t Believe What Helen Keller And The 52-Hz Whale Do In This Video

whaleGonna try doing misleading Buzzfeed-style headlines like the above from now on. Enjoy that.

Anyway, I have a short story titled “Helen Keller in Reverse” in The Lonely Whale Memoir: An Anthology, which just came out from Chatsworth Press. My story is not about whales. Most of the book isn’t about whales. Instead, here’s what the jacket copy says:

Since 1989, the world has been following the heartbreaking journey of the Lonely Whale. For reasons unknown, he or she cannot speak the same language as other whales. Referred to by some as the 52-Hz Whale—because of its unique frequency of whale song—the Lonely Whale has been tracked roaming the oceans alone, listening in vain for a song that will never be returned.

The Lonely Whale Memoir gives voice to the unheard song within all of us, capturing themes and feelings sparked by the actual Lonely Whale. Through compelling stories and passionate poetry we will swim past the isolation that normally separates us and, for a moment, truly connect.

I just finished reading my copy of the book last night, and I highly recommend it. A lot of great stories and poems in there; among them, there’s one called “Neighborhood Watch” by a Courtney Bird that’s worth the price of admission alone, I think.

Looks like you can purchase a copy from Amazon, or straight from the publisher. Get your whale on.

Punk chapbooks

dreamsThis past summer, I mentioned something about the Punk Chapbook Subscription series being released by Epic Rites Press/Tree Killer Ink. The set of 14 no-frills, no-bullshit chapbooks has started arriving on doorsteps around the world–did you get yours?

My entry in the series is a creepy short fiction piece called The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of. It involves car accidents, transcription services, and The Maltese Falcon. As most stories do.

I’ve been tearing through my set of the chapbooks, and it’s a great collection. In particular, I thought Lawrence Gladeview’s Praying for a Spare and Janne Karlsson’s Street Life were fantastic, as were two other short fiction pieces, RD Armstrong’s Magic Fingers and Zarina Zabrisky’s The Beast Generation.

The full set of chapbooks is selling for $40 plus shipping, and is worth every penny. If your allowance won’t cover that, though, I’m offering a few copies of just my title here.

Punk Chapbook Series

dreamsA short story of mine is coming at you soon from Epic Rites Press: I’m included in the upcoming Punk Chapbook Series, a collection of short works by fourteen authors, available only by subscription.

I think this is going to be a great series. These are going to be black-and-white, old-school chapbooks offering, as editor Wolfgang Carstens put it, “No bells and fucking whistles.”

For your subscription money, you get a chapbook each from favorites of mine like Lawrence Gladeview, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Rob Plath…actually, you should just go check the page to see the whole list of writers. They’re all excellent. Plus, each chapbook features cover art by the talented/demented Janne Karlsson. See the cover for mine to the right.

My entry in the series is a single short story called “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of” that’s a bit…different.

You can read more about the series and subscribe at the Epic Rites/Tree Killer Ink site. I might add, ahem, that Epic Rites is the same publisher that will soon be putting out that poetry collection of mine I might have mentioned a few too many times already. Why not order both?

Paper Tape Magazine

papertapelogoA story of mine went up a couple days ago at Paper Tape Magazine. This one is called “Flooding,” and it features high school kids, excessive hand washing, and the phrase “corpse-water.” What more could you ask for?

This is actually the second time I’ve mentioned Paper Tape here. Just about a year ago, editor Kristy Harding was kind enough to run “Still Warm from Satan,” a short fiction piece which, if nothing else, has one of my favorite titles I’ve come up with to date. What’s more, I may manage to get in PT again sometime soon, if I ever get my act together and send Kristy what I promised I’d send her. We shall see. For now, let’s just read this one.

Your Impossible Voice

A fiction piece of mine was included in the latest issue of Your Impossible Voice.

Your Impossible Voice is a fairly new magazine (this is only issue three) that has already been putting out some great stuff. This issue is no exception–my story is in great company. You can order a print copy here, and it’s also available in a whole slew of different e-reader versions for those of you with fancy tablet-type things.

My piece in there is called “The Doppler,” and it’s kinda weird. The folks there asked me to record myself reading it for the website, and I learned one important lesson from my attempt at this: Good lord, I’m glad I don’t actually have to hear myself talk on a regular basis. They almost had to rename the magazine Your Annoying Voice. Yeesh.

Jessica Christ

A short fiction piece called “Jessica Christ” is up today at Thickjam, a home for stories that are “substantial, sticky, and hard to rub off.” *

This one’s got stigmata, the second coming, a couple jokes, and the potential to either offend or entertain. Or maybe both. That would be cool.

Anyway, give it a try.

* (That’s what she said.)

EDIT: Looks like Thickjam is no longer a site. I’ll check in about this sometime…

Broken windows at Headlock Press

brickThe hits keep coming over at Headlock Press, as I have a new story up there this week. Well, “The Window” isn’t actually new–I think I wrote it a couple years ago–but it’s new to you! Or something like that!

This one features teenagers throwing bricks, some misogyny, and a trip to a 7-11 convenience store: the three key ingredients to any good story, don’t you think?

Anyway, take a look. While you’re at it, check out some of the other stuff being published over at Headlock Press too, and leave a comment if the mood strikes you.

EDIT: I realized a while after posting this that the kid in the story doesn’t throw a brick, she throws a rock. Whoops. It may have been a brick in an earlier draft, who knows. But please ignore the picture of the brick to the right. Or pretend it’s a rock.

First Time anthology

You can find a very short story of mine in a recently released anthology called First Time, published by the Unknown Press. As the back cover tells it, “Four dozen writers explain the intimate details of how they lost their virginity in this stunning, funny, and shocking collection.”

A lot of good writing in this one, from folks like Frank Reardon and Allie Marini Batts and two of my favorite Canadians, Wolf Carstens and RL Raymond. I was also happy to see a poem in there from fellow Albany writer R.M. Engelhardt.

Overall, as you’d imagine, this is pretty NSFW (in the parlance of our times). My piece is one of the least graphic ones in there, I’ll say that.

Pick up a copy and blush a little.

[On a side note, while getting Audrey to pose with this book, she asked what it was about. “Um…bunnies, sweetie. It’s about bunnies.”]