On Tuesday September 27, 2005, I'll be reading with Bryan Price, Daryl “Duke” Henry and Vermin supervillian Scott O'Connor. Plus, music by Black Powder. The fun starts at 8 o'clock sharp at the Tribal Cafe, Echo Park's hottest new venue for literary shenanigans. I'm going to read a disgusting/erotic story about a man and his meat slicer.
Posts here are going to be a scantier than usual for the next month while I gear up for the official release of my short story collection, Big Lonesome. On October 15 there will be a huge party at the Mountain in Chinatown and you're all invited. Until then I'll be posting some sporadic thoughts about being a first-time author here. There will be some road reports, reader reactions, links to reviews (he said hopefully) and the inside dirt on some of the stories in the collection. Stop by, lurk or link as you please.
It was a schizophrenic night at Ye Old Mountain Bar in Chinatown. No, there weren’t any EDPs in evidence (Emotionally Disturbed People) but there sure was a lot going on. First there was the west coast release of OpiumMagazine.print #1. It was also the kick-off reading for Tod Goldberg’s debut short story collection, Simplify. Amidst all that, Verminista artist Nuvia Crisol Guerra, who holds a special place in this rodent’s heart, launched a new line of novelty products featuring her artwork. Amidst all these frenetic goings on, I handed the microphone off to Opium editor-in-cheese, Todd Zuniga, and he introduced the Opium Den West Coast All Stars, none of whom are from the west coast. Why “All Stars?” Because they traveled from New York, Ann Arbor and Toronto to be with us, that’s why.
Do you remember Melissa Bell? Angelenos were graced with a second visit from Melissa Bell, the second half of the tag team from T dot, and she treated us to a hilarious essay about her addiction to reality television show Big Brother. Yours truly was the last performer of the first half, and I read “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor” (with tin whistle accompaniment) a story that I co-wrote with the amazing Elizabeth Ellen. Here she is, appropriately enough, at the HMS Bounty with Hobart editor Aaron Burch.
After a brief intermission, Todd Zuniga read a short piece from the magazine about a man who comes back from the dead to confront his girlfriend only to find she has taken another lover. Here’s Todd, very much alive, during the intermission with Vermin supporters Edith and Adriana.
Next, Josh Bearman gave us a preview of a magazine he edited for the next McSweeney’s issue called Yeti Researcher, the Journal of the Society of Cryptic Hominid Investigation. It’s filled with all kinds of articles about Yetis and it’s all absolutely 100% legit. I was able to put my hands on a copy at 826 LA HQ in Venice on Sunday and it’s very cool. (Full disclosure: I contributed a review to YR.)
Last but not least, Tod Goldberg, outer of fucktards, took the stage and read the title story from Simplify.
Afterwards, many of us convened at the Full House across the street where we celebrated a successful weekend of readings and the joys of independent book and periodical publishing with fried oysters and spinach. And that, my friends, is what you do with a drunken sailor.
Ann Arbor literary magazine Hobart unveils its new Travel Issue in Echo Park on Friday, September 16 at 8 PM. Editor Aaron Burch welcomes Pasha Malla (McSweeney’s), Mike McGowan (Hobart), Salvador Plascencia (The People of Paper) and Jim Ruland (Big Lonesome).
I'll be reading from my travel essay, The Mysteries of Manchester, which is about my search for the meaning behind the naming of the street where I live. You can also check out this photo essay from the trip.
The reading will be held at the Tribal Cafe is at 1651 W. Temple St in the Echo Park Arts District. Call 213 483 4458 for details.