Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hate Mail to Someone Who Isn't Me

Just spent an hour looking for this. It's hate mail to my friend's zine. It was accompanied by a few poetry submissions. Here it is:

Editors, Chiaroscuro:

I'm stymied as to how you could even name a magazine a word you doubtless can't pronounce, and it's a miracle you spell it right, since you're all obviously demented and ignoramic orangutans.

It's beyond my ken that grown American men, ostensibly holding the high-school diploma or beyond, could found a magazine so blatantly and unabashedly vile and rotten and illiterate as this Chiaroscuro debacle, which if I had founded or put out monthly wouldn't have the nerve or the gall to show my face outside a black paper bag.

How is it possible for grown American men to be so downright and outright stupid as to produce this thing--without being so ashamed as to want to kill yourselves?

You make an apology for typos! Hell, typos are the least of your worries. You can't even pick the right words you mean from the English language! You're masters of malopropism. It isn't even that, it's outright ignorance! Done with pride, yet!

When I saw "uncomprehendable" I thought, is that misspelled? Hell, misspelled? It isn't even the word. The word you want is incomprehensible. In the adjacent column you've got "compliments," meaning "complements." In the swatch above that (they're not really columns--your format stinks) you've got "temporally," meaning "temporarily." Do you engage your brains at all before you start writing? On p. 7 of August issue you've got "who's" meaning "whose," "tradition" meaning "traditional," and you think it's spelled "cubical." Could you have less gray matter? I think not.

The verb is "outdid," one word, not "out did"--what puerility!

Last page: only an ass thinks the word is "alright." "Others opinions" is senseless--do you think you want to make it possessive somehow instead of plural? Would you even know how to begin? You don't use "etc." in formal prose. You say "and so on." "Was is possible"? Could it be "it"? Do you use your eyes there, or are they on vacation along with your brains?

Whom do you think you're kidding with this whole vile, rotten, putrid, disgusting piece of dried-up, stinking, caked-white little dog turd each month? Do you have some notion you're "literary," or have the vaguest inkling about English or how to write? What a crock if you do! You're frauds! I wouldn't want a butterfingers doing either my piano-concertizing or my neurosurgery, and that's how you equate, you complete charlatans and stupid asses, having no shame about it!

Whom do you think you're kidding tossing around extreme vulgarities totally extraneously and gratuitously with no meaning to them but to display that you think you're smart? You don't approach the ability to apply to be smart. The f-word as you pepper it is not smart, not funny, not cute, not interesting, and a crashing bore. If you think you're coming off smart by "insulting" readers with it, calling them by it every few lines, you're mistaken. All you're doing is displaying your idiocy and the nearly complete absence of any kind of heart, brain, or soul--as writers. You're not writers, you're frauds, and stupid frauds, at that!

If you think that boring, asinine, monotonous and illiterate elephant diarrhea you print each month and call "fiction" is fiction, you need brain burial. Nothing could be a bigger bore than these maggotty slices of tripe you serve up as "literature." You're the laughing stock of the nation, and all you're doing with Chiaroscuro is blatantly and shamelessly advertising ignorance. Why do you wish to do that? I can't predict anything but failure for all of you if you continue to support this vile, deteriorating form of social anarchy and chaos--failure as writers, but most of all, failure as souls. Right now, you're asses--and I'm flummoxed that you could even come up with the word "chiaroscuro." Is there one staff member who can pronounce or spell it or know what it means? If you want a chiaroscuronic magazine, then learn to write chiaroscuronically. Judging from the last two issues, you're writing with your anuses--and the earth would be better off you were on Uranus.

A Real Winner / Salt Lake City

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Feeling kind of depressed. Trying to write a shitty story for class that's keeping me from writing a novella that I actually want to work on. So I thought, Hell, I should write a blog entry instead even though I don't have the goddam internet at my house. Blog entries don't matter, unless they do and I am unaware. I am not obsessing over every little keystroke. It does not take me ten minutes to compose a sentence. I am typing without thinking about what I am typing. It is like someone saying, "Think before you speak." "Think before you type." I am not thinking before I type. I think if I put much thought into my words before I speak, it would take a very long time to have a conversation with me. I think I can be pretty awkward to have a conversation with. Sometimes I say things that don't make sense and use awkward phrases. When I am responding to someone's email, my answers are succulent, well thought out. Two things are bothering me but I will not discuss them because this is blogspot not livejournal.

I've been reading a lot of Stephen Dixon lately. I just finished Frog and it was fantastic. Probably one of my favorite books now. I've always been obsessed with writing and reading about a character's entire life and the novel satisfied me in this aspect. It was super-long.

Listening Nick Cave's soundtrack to The Assassination of Jesse James. Really like it. Didn't start listening to it until recently because I had previously tried doing it on my laptop and it sounded like shit on the speakers, so I had assumed the audio quality was bad. But I tried it on my desktop a few days ago and I was wrong.

When I visited my parents in NY before moving to Colorado, I had a lot of free time and nothing to read. So I looked in my brother's bookcase. Found an uncorrected proof of Stephen Dixon's Old Friends. I must have been really desperate to have read it considering how dull the title was, but it was really great. Especially liked the narrator talking about all the horrible things that happened to his family, and then matter of factly mentioning it was just him worrying + his imagination. It tricked me every time. My brother probably got the book from the newspaper that he edits.

Then I spent must of the summer reading Dixon. I realize the summer is a memorable time when it comes to reading. I will look back at this summer as the summer of Dixon. Last summer, I read The Dark Tower series. The summer of 2000 was Infinite Jest.

I can't understand why I like Dixon so much. His is the sort of writing that I should hate. Mundane, dull. But he's not dull for some inexplicable reason. His books excite me. I think he's sort of like a minimalist in form and a maximalist in content and I found that pretty intriguing.

I just ordered a big book of his short stories. They have it at the library, but it's too long to read before the due date and the stories are too same-y to plow through. I've probably read a tenth of it.

The impression I get from Dixon's protagonists is that he always uses himself as a template and the characters are different variations of himself. And different books tell the same stories in various ways. The man seems to be extremely obsessed with certain events in his life, as I suppose we all are.

I think I want to read his book, Gould, too. I've read maybe six of his books since the summer. He has so many I feel like I'll be reading him for the rest of my life and this excites me. I usually find an author that I like a lot and read everything they have written and have to wait five years for another book and it is never worth the wait. I wonder if I will get burnt out on Dixon.

I've noticed picking up some writing habits from him lately. Like putting exchanges of dialogue in one paragraph rather than many. Gonna make it harder to get to desired page lengths this way.

I saw Christian Bok perform on Saturday. There's two dots over the o in his last name, but I don't know how to type that. His last name is pronounced "book." I do not know why. He was entertaining. I've never heard anyone do sound poetry before. I only went to meet Daniel Bailey. We went to a bar afterward where they try to trick you into going into the wrong gendered bathroom. I ate a peanut butter burger. That's the second peanut butter burger I've had there. They are good.

Going to Portland tomorrow to attend Bizarro Con. Doing a reading and a panel on humor writing. Participating in a workshop. Also did it last year. The exercise this time and last time was to come up with a conceptual book: title, pitch line, back cover synopsis. I like this exercise, which is the reason why I'm doing the workshop again. Forces me to come up with a great concept for a book, and I need to be forced.

Started working with recovering drug addicts and alcoholics Went great. Doing a writing workshop. In class exercises.