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Posts Tagged ‘literary fiction’

I’ve okayed the proof and now one hundred copies of my short story collection Exceptions & Deceptions are jetting my way.

Should be able to start filling orders within a week—and I’ve already received numerous inquiries.

Click on the “Book Store” tab at the top of the page or go here for ordering details.

Support an indie publisher and get a head start on your summer reading.

And I promise: you’re going to love this book…

Exceptions:cover

(Click on image to enlarge)

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Iain Banks.

Iain M. Banks

Resquescat in pace.

The Guardian obituary.

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Looks like it’s still going to be 2-3 weeks before the physical copies of my new short story collection arrive.

Once again, it seems the geeks have an advantage over the rest of us.  If you don’t want to wait for the “dead tree edition”, you can buy either the Kindle or e-book version of Exceptions & Deceptions and fire it up on your tablet or gear of choice.  

Available today. Right now.  Just point your cursor and…click.

Amazon has their version up and running and another joint called Lybrary.com has an e-Pub version ready for downloading (which can be viewed on most reading devices). I imagine Powell’s Books and Barnes & Noble will both be selling e-versions of Exceptions & Deceptions very soon as well.

Those of you wanting to lay your hands on an actual book, alas, must wait a little longer.

Patience, my children.  As I type this a proof is winging its way to my mailbox and from there we go straight into production.

I’m as anxious as an expectant father with a pocketful of cigars…

"Blessed..."

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Kafka Fuck

 

Once back at my place she plays it coy scuttling under the couch until I menace her with a can of Raid using it to steer her toward the bedroom antennae twitching in excitement crawling up the edge of my bedspread chittering as I run my fingers along her polished carapace stroking her thorax her withered ornamental wings fluttering mandibles dug into my pillow in insectile ecstasy while I prepare to mount her probing for anything resembling a vagina wondering if she uses protection and if not if the pupa will look anything like me.

 

* * * * *

Greenhouse Effect

 

I’m not going back to you. I’m gone. I’m outta here. You won’t find me. It’ll be like we never met. Just another face in the crowd. On a forgotten street. In a strange country.  One of the disappeared. Yeah. Lost in time and space. I wasn’t born in the first place.  Back to the womb. Stillborn. No. Aborted. A puddle of pink flesh. Gristle and blood.  Dumped in an incinerator. Reduced to ash. Floating in the troposphere. Burned by the sun. Ultraviolet radiation. A cancer on your body.

 

* * * * *

These are two of my favorite short prose pieces, excerpted from my recently released volume Stromata: Prose Works (1992-2011).

For ordering information, please go here.

Photo credit:  Sherron Burns

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Every couple of months, Wendy at our local library organizes an “open mike” for any writers interested in sharing their work in a, gulp, public forum.

I’ve kind of lost my zest for performing my stuff live but I started going, hoping it would encourage my two sons, both talented writers, and their friends to contribute.  I love it when a visibly nervous teen author stands in front of us and, voice quaking, reads a poem or short story.  Takes me back to the days when I—

Well, never mind.

I always try to have new material for the “open mike” and this time premiered three pieces that even my wife hadn’t heard before.  Here are the four offerings I read last night, including “Accident”, which appeared on this blog a couple of years ago but, what the heck, thought I’d reprint it anyway (it read beautifully):

 

Accident


This is a car crash.  It’s happening right now.  A collision in progress.  Metal folding and bending, glass slow-motion bursting, bodies swaying in their seats.  And the thing is you see it with perfect clarity, high-def to the max.  You watch in fascination as the air bag blooms in front of you, a time-lapse explosion expanding toward your face as you lean forward to meet it.  Something else.  A heaviness.  In the region of your chest.  A tug in your neck that isn’t quite pain but soon will be.  A sound, a soft exhalation but really a scream in the midst of being born.  From the backseat.  Ten A.U.’s behind you.  Any moment now it will all come rushing in, a cacophony of distress, a wall of noise and sensations.  Someone, maybe even you, might be in the midst of dying.  On the threshold of an instant.  The law-defying lip of an event horizon. Falling…and forever suspended mere petaseconds away from nothing at all.

 

Reaper


November is bleeding,

leached of color, vitality,

the land losing its life’s blood

in dark, spreading gouts.

Anemic, cancerous, brittle,

tiny bones crackling underfoot:

this is the graveyard of summer.

Brightening it with festive lights,

disguising it with tinsel, false cheer

but unable to defeat the oppression,

looming like a storm front.

Hibernation is a state between life and death,

a sleep from which some animals never wake–

another hard winter descends from the mountains,

the sun creeping back to make way.

 

Bird

“When that love was done with, I was left like a bird on a branch.  I was no longer any use for anything.” Paul Eluard & Andre Breton, The Immaculate Conception (Translation by Jon Graham)

 

I am that bird/a useless, futile thing/purposeless and unblinking/stiffly clutched on my shivering perch

Denied foresight, stratagems/creature of instinct, heedless/as scattered petals or blown seed/no decisions, save alarm and flight

like the lilies of the field

like the trees and stones,

or a worm, turning in thick, black dirt

Free from striving and strife/charged only with existence/descended from dinosaurs/ small-brained and tuned to the stars

Waking you with piercing melodies/disdainful of the tardy dawn/spying with small, beady eyes/as you depart for work in a funk

Nestled against the weather/high up where the cats can’t reach/alert, yet lightly dozing/untroubled by what you call “dreams”

 

First Words

“My health was endangered.  Terror assailed me.”

Arthur Rimbaud, on the writing of Illuminations


Franz Kafka insisted we should only read books that “bite and sting us”.  Volumes, one presumes, capable of savaging unwary readers, leaving them spotted with blood.  Kafka, a gentle man, left strict instructions in his will that his writings be burned.  His executor, Max Brod, ignored his friend’s wishes and preserved his distinctive novels and stories; as a result, each year I risk serious injury plucking them from my shelves.

Words created us and words sustain us:

“The technical language of religion is

symbolism, with storytelling one of its

most important varieties.”

(so sayeth Huston Smith)

Ideas become words become action.  The correct conjunction of vowels and consonants will, according to some mythologies, lead to an unbinding.

A return to nullity.  From whence we came.

Be mindful and compassionate.  Practice right thought, right speech.  Do not call the worst into being.  Offer prayers to a Creator beyond faith.  Use the ancient words of praise.  The ones handed down through the ages.  Hallowed be thy name, o, God, thy will be done

 

*****************************************************************************

 

When I finished reading, Sherron was beaming.

Snuck in under the eight-minute time limit too.

Thanks to all the participants and audience members.  See you at my book launch on Wednesday!

 

(Photo by Zach Den Adel)

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