My Writing

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kim Ki-duk

I have been watching movies by the South Korean director Kim Ki-duk. His movies are interesting, entertaining, and moving to me. His movies tend to have little dialogue, thus emphasizing the
actions of the characters. Oftentimes there is a female protagonist who is a prostitute or otherwise involved in dramatic situations involving sexuality. His movies seem designed to present people, emotions, ideas, and situations in a heightened, compelling fashion, inspiring questions without answering them.

I am interested in absence-of-dialogue as well as only-dialogue/lots-of-dialogue in literature and in other types of art. I like both The Catcher in the Rye and Molloy because of the voices I hear as I read. I don't know if there is a no-dialogue/little-dialogue novel I could read and/or write that would be appealing in the way Ki-duk's movies are to me.

Bad Guy (2001)

The first Ki-duk movie I watched was Bad Guy. A pimp sees a woman sitting on a bench with her boyfriend, goes up to her, and forces her to kiss him. Later he kidnaps her and forces her to be a prostitute in his brothel. The pimp is violent and doesn't talk much. He watches the woman through a one-way window that looks into her bedroom. She has trouble adjusting to being a prostitute and cries often. The other prostitutes are jealous of her because men prefer her due to her good looks. The pimp is nearly-fatally-assaulted several times during the movie and imprisoned after a fight with a john who is abusing the woman.

I liked Seo Won, the lead actress in Bad Guy. She is pretty and I liked looking at her face, and I felt emotional during some scenes of her crying.

Birdcage Inn (1998)

The second Ki-duk movie I watched was Birdcage Inn. I liked this one more than Bad Guy. It seems a little more playful and less melodramatic than Bad Guy, although there is similarly prostitution, emotional abuse, and violence in the movie.

In Birdcage Inn a 22-year-old girl, played by Lee Ji-eun, comes to a motel to work as a prostitute. A family lives there and runs the motel. The father is attracted to the girl and rapes her. The mother sees her as simply a source of income for the family. The brother is attracted to her and convinces her to let him take naked photographs of her and to have sex with him. The daughter is the same age as the girl and openly hates her, partly because the daughter is sexually repressed and facing pressure from her boyfriend to have sex.

I liked the lead actress in Birdcage Inn a lot too. She is pretty and I liked watching her. She seemed less anguished than the lead in Bad Guy. She seems mostly resilient or calm when dealing with the abuse/conflicts she faces, although she does cry sometimes.

The Isle (2000)

This one is about a woman, played by Seo Jeong, who runs a fishing resort. She is silent throughout the movie except for one significant, piercing scream. She is the strongest, most bad-ass of the female characters I've seen in his movies so far. She is passionate, even murderous.

The entire movie takes place on the water, as the woman rides her motorboat to and from the various rented houseboats providing services to guests, including prostitutes. The pace is steady and calm except for occasional violent scenes. I read in reviews that some people left the theater and vomited due to some graphic scenes in the movie, but I didn't have that reaction. The cinematography is beautiful, more striking than in the two previous Ki-duk films I watched.

The fishing resort woman becomes attracted to one of her guests, a man (played by Kim Yu-seok) who is wanted for a crime. She rebuffs his sexual advances initially, but she becomes jealous when one of the prostitutes shows interest in him.

The woman prevents him from committing suicide two times. The second time is probably my favorite scene in the movie. Authorities are coming to get the man, and he attempts to kill himself by swallowing a string of fishhooks. The woman finds the man, bleeding profusely, and hides him from authorities. Then she extracts the fishhooks from his mouth and, as he lies there gasping, she unzips his pants and rides his dick, finally consummating their attraction to each other.

I love the scene and the movie as a whole because I'm made to see the physicality of experience as opposed to the intellectualization of experience. Ki-duk emphasizes the human bodies of these characters doing things, existing, experiencing pain and pleasure. Words and ideas are secondary to experience.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)

From my reading on Ki-duk, it sounded like this was Ki-duk's "masterpiece" and also one of his most explicitly Buddhist-themed films. As a person interested in Buddhism, I was psyched to see it. But when I tried to watch it, I got impatient, started skipping around, and ended up not finishing it. Maybe I was not in the right mood.

The movie presents the metaphorical seasons of this guy's life in concert with the changing weather seasons. The boy is raised by his father(?)/some older guy in the middle of a lake in a floating house. The boy learns lessons, meets a girl, and other stuff happens of which I am unaware as I skipped around and didn't finish it.

The thought occurred to me that this movie was the first of his I'd seen that did not have a central female character and that it had the least amount of sex. I'm going to not watch Ki-duk movies for a while and then maybe watch more sometime later.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Red Lightbulbs published my poem, "I want to read that Juan Rulfo you love, The Burning Plain."

Juan Rulfo is the author of The Burning Plain and Other Stories as well as Pedro Páramo.

I went home to Milwaukee for Thanksgiving. Me and several of my family members caught a stomach flu. Saturday night I puked a lot. I've been feeling kind of weak and shitty since then. I said to my mom, "Now my body state is analogous to my mental/emotional state."

I am typing at my dad's desk. He has a framed drawing of Jesus laughing.

Keep feeling like I need to "get my ass in gear." Not sure what I mean exactly, but I need to "get my ass in gear."

I was explaining to my mom why I like this one comedian and I said it was not primarily because of his humor--although I appreciate that--but because he seemed present, in the moment, when interacting with people.

I am going to miss Steve Roggenbuck when he leaves Chicago.

Steve said recently that tickets to London are surprisingly cheap. I would like to visit all my UK friends. I was in London for a week once and had a great time. I drank cider and went to night clubs. I witnessed a clubwide singalong to "Wonderwall," which was played, conspicuously, in the midst of an otherwise all-rap-and-pop DJ mix.

I've been reading Nausea and I don't think I like the prose style or Sartre's editing decisions. There are a lot of to-me uninteresting details included, such as overheard conversations and seemingly unessential historical information, and the prose style seems neither pleasingly "clean" nor pleasingly "voice-y," i.e. a strong narrator voice. I think it could have been either of the aforementioned with revision.

I have already started reading another book, Almost Transparent Blue by Ryu Murakami. I like the prose style a lot so far, as well as the shaping of chapters. There's a lot of dialogue, a lot of subtle character insight, and the prose is spare in a way I like. I feel like Murakami has designed everything carefully, and I'm excited to keep reading.

I am going to do a video interview with Sam Pink this week. I feel positive about this week. Love to you all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Doors

That photo is of Clarice Lispector. I have moved the paragraphs about her to near the end of this blog post.

Steve Roggenbuck and I are going to start emailing daily writing to each other (him a poem, me prose stuff). This way we can help each other stay productive.

Friday was "Beer Friday" at work. The theme this week was German beer. I tried a Belgium white expecting to not like it and did not like it. Some people invited me to go with them to a bar. I like when people invite me to things, especially if I would want to go to a place with those people.

I bought a round of shots. I did karaoke: "99 Problems" Jay-Z. I felt very white during my performance. A black woman, I think the hostess, touched my arm as I walked by and complimented my performance.

I am going to try to buy my family Christmas presents this year. I am less broke this year. I like when I think of a nice present to give someone. So far I have thought of one present to give, but it is not for a family member.

Saturday during the day I felt as if I were rotting inside. I think it was on account of having little on the stomach and drinking a lot of coffee and also various disappointments and sadnesses and general confusion and angst and a lack of certain things and general shittiness. I went to a "Friendsgiving" dinner and drank a lot of wine. Later I went to a place and then another place and then went home.

I finished reading The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector. I liked it a lot. It's very philosophical. This woman goes into her maid's room and closes a door on a cockroach and then sort of meditates on the cockroach as a symbol/metaphor for various things.

Here is some from it:

"If my life is transformed into it-itself, what I now call sensibility will not exist--it will be called indifference. But I am still unable to learn that way of being. It is as if hundreds of thousands of years from now we finally won't be what we feel and think anymore: we shall have something that more closely resembles an 'attitude' than an idea. We shall be living matter manifesting itself directly, unmindful of words, going beyond always-grotesque thinking.

And I won't travel 'from thought to thought' but from attitude to attitude. We shall be inhuman--as humanity's greatest conquest. To be is to be beyond the human. To be a human being doesn't do it, to be a human has been a constraint. The unknown awaits us, but I sense that that unknown is a totalization and will be the true humanization we long for. Am I speaking of death? no, of life. It isn't a state of felicity, it is a state of contact."

It is about 170 pages of that sort of thing. I thought some of the best bits were toward the end and so I concluded satisfied and feeling positive about the book overall.

I recommend her. I have also read Near to the Wild Heart and The Hour of the Star. Both of those have more characterization and action than The Passion.

Today I purchased The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley at Myopic, along with Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami.

I started The Doors of Perception. It is about Aldous Huxley taking mescaline; he describes the effects it has on his consciousness and understanding.

Here is a part:

"That which, in the language of religion, is called 'this world' is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language. The various 'other worlds,' with which human beings erratically make contact are so many elements in the totality of the awareness belonging to Mind at Large. Most people, most of the time, know only what comes through the reducing valve and is consecrated as genuinely real by the local language. Certain persons, however, seem to be born with a kind of by-pass that circumvents the reducing valve. In others temporary by-passes may be acquired either spontaneously, or as the result of deliberate 'spiritual exercises,' or through hypnosis, or by means of drugs. Through these permanent or temporary by-passes there flows, not indeed the perception 'of everything that is happening everywhere in the universe' (for the by-pass does not abolish the reducing valve, which still excludes the total content of Mind at Large) but something more than, and above all something different from, the carefully selected utilitarian material which our narrowed, individual minds regard as a complete, or at least sufficient, picture of reality."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

a blog about what i listen to at work


this blog has a theme. the theme is: songs i listen to at work.

my job is to do data entry on a computer all day. thankfully my office is pretty laidback and my co-workers are all around my age + enjoy haveing fun, talkeing, laugheing, and generally liveing life to fullest.

what i do to pass the time is listen to interviews with actors or writers and listen to music on youtube. below are some songs i like to listen to, with commentary:

R. Kelly, "Screamer"

the beginning of this song reminds me of "sexual eruption" aka "sensual seduction" by snoop dogg (remember that one?). synths slowly wash over the listener like a dang wave on the sand, then the beat comes in. r (can i call him r?) has turned on a fun audio effect so his voice sounds kewl.

this song is about how r kelly is fucking a girl in his room during a party, and she is screaming a lot (hence, "shorty is a screamer") and thus potentially "letting the cat out of the bag" re they are fucking in his room during the party. the lyrics also mention that the girl is turned on by the fact that there are people on the other side of the door, so basically she wants them to hear. i have worked this song into my "addictive r kelly songs" rotation, which also includes "text me," "sex weed," and "hair braider." this song ends with someone wailing his/her ass off on guitar.

ASAP Rocky, "Bass"

I heard this song last week and have been playing it a lot at work and walking to and from work. I don't know, it just has an awesome beat, basically. The producer is Clams Casino, who also did the "Im God" beat for Lil B. i like atmospheric beats with cool samples that also knock.

I've watched some interviews and things with ASAP Rocky and downloaded his mixtape. So far I haven't heard any other songs by him that i like as much as "Bass." He seems interesting, though. i guess he's into high fashion and wearing rick owens and shit. that's cool. another interesting thing is he lives in harlem but his sound is heavily influenced by rap from other regions, like houston screwed-style shit, for example.

The-Dream, "Ghetto"

i am a big fan of The-Dream. his latest album has a lot of ballads and emoshunal songs on it, but this is like the banger.

sometimes i'm in the mood for some catchy-ass indie rock:

Islands, "Tender Torture"

yall remember the Unicorns?

my favorite lyric in this is "kicked open a coconut / could've shared it with anyone / but i wanted to share it with you."

of Montreal, "Beware Our Nubile Miscreants"

i am an of Montreal fan. this is off their Skeletal Lamping album, which i thought was underrated, at least by pitchfork.

i like the lyrics in this. "You only like him 'cause he's sexually appealing / But his psychic's prediction has him hanging from a ceiling fan / In eight months."

Kevin Barnes's main influences seem to be The Beatles and Prince. i like that.

Below is a final song that is kewl and has a kewl video. kewl~!

League, "How Do I Know"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



this is another blog post.

blog revival.

i am drinking wine.

maggie "margaux" lee has joined the movement by doing a blog.

who will be next? frankly, i don't know.

steve is playing birdman ft. a bunch of people in the next room. i hear jeezy currently.

tomorrow is our ustream. are you attending

i am currently reading the passion according to g.h. by clarice lispector. i like it. it is very philosophical. a woman enters her maid's quarters and partially squashes a cockroach and the cockroach becomes symbolic to her of many things. i like it so far.

i am watching a cat this weekend, steve's cat, bc he is going out of town. i think i will get it mad high on cat nip.

also this weekend is EAR EATER ft. sam pink, megan boyle, jordan castro, mallory whitten, miles ross. i suggest you tune in or attend if you live in chicago.

what else can i blog about.

steve claims we are going to make popcorn soon. i hope so.

we are now enjoying popcorn and listening to a dubstep remix of the theme from "requiem for a dream." sweet

now we're listening to justin bieber rapping over the "otis" beat. hehe

this is a blog, ttyl, <3

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Whatever" (Return of teh Blog)

hey everybody

as Ben Brooks and DJ Berndt have pointed out, and as other ppl have said, where have all the blogs gone away?

my blog hasn't been updated in something like a month.
here it is then

An Update.

i am now living with my good friend, Steve Roggenbuck. You may know him from the popular web blog tumblr Live My In our new life together Steve and i plan to bake vegan gluten-free pumpkin muffins, host small dinner parties, and raise a small family of 12.

hopefully Steve and i can help each other avoid crippling depression during these upcoming winter months.

if you would like to read Ms. Ani Smith's unedited thoughts re Steve and i's e-book, I LOVE MUSIC, you can do that here. i recently saw Vicki Tingle and Laurens Verdonkschot read from the e-book in a Ustream from Brighton and it made me blush and feel very happy to see them laugh and enjoy it. <3

Steve and i are going to be doing a Ustream this Thursday at 8 CST. if you tune in, you will surely see carousing, lolligagging, and tomfoolery the lieks of which [something something something]

there is also an Ear Eater reading/ustream this Saturday in Chicago/the internet. it will feature Cassandra Troyan (hostess/performance artiste); Sam Pink (sex symbol/author); Megan Boyle (writer, former Chicago resident, current Baltimore resident, via Skype); Jordan Castro (writer/penis-ripper, Ohioan); Mallory Whitten (artist, writer, also in from Ohio); and Miles Ross (funny person, writer, via Skype). i am attending. If you are in Chicago, the address is 5513 S. Cornell Ave. Apt. #2.

something i have tried recently (yesterday) is drinking a bottle of wine on a monday night. it dramatically improved my outlook and caused me by bottle's end to wander in an appreciative-of-all-things-under-the-son-and-moon daze from the dining table to the entrance to Steve's room where indeed Steve was at his computer and i said to him, likely interrupting a flurry of pokes, a Flarf harvest, and two Fbook chat convos: "Steve, you know what, I love everyone, Steve. To be quite honest Steve, everyone is beautiful." that is not a direct quote, hardly does justice. this after only a day prior saying to Steve, before bed, when already tucked in under my sheets like a little boy waiting for his bedtime story: "Steve.... [face of mock wimpering frowniness, truly silly and strange-sounding voice affectation] Steve... is it...can you tell it going to be oKAAyyy...really though like...just like...are things going to fucking work Ooouuuuut or WHAAAtt...(?!?)" not a direct quote, and he affected the look of a solemn, kindly dingbat and said that "Well yes...of course's going to be fucking okay okay" not a direct quote.

i have a Formspring if you want to ask me questions.

recently i read a book i enjoyed, Whatever by Michel Houellebecq.

Houellebecq is this controversial French guy and Whatever is his first novel. it made me laugh a lot and feel less lonely. his humor is kind of in poor taste at times and he might be offensive to some ppl, but he made me laugh. to me it was like a meaner, more crass Woody Allen-type feel. very bleak philosophy, lots of complaining and cynicism. it's about this man who works in an office and his co-worker is ugly and can't attract any women and the narrator cracks sardonic jokes about everyone in the office and everyone he meets and decides by the end of the book that he is very fucked and everything is fucked and it is especially fucked if you're ugly but it is fucked even if you are not so ugly.

in conclusion, i am going to try to blog more.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

E-Books / Pop Serial 3

Hi Everybody.

Last week Friday, the 16th, Pangur Ban Party published my debut solo e-book, Ganga Loners, and Steve Roggenbuck and I released a collaborative e-book, I LOVE MUSIC.

Thank you to DJ Berndt for publishing Ganga.

Last Friday into Saturday morning, Steve and I did a Ustream. Steve did 12 continuous hours and I joined him later in the night.

Pop Serial #3 is forthcoming and I have begun receiving contributions. Featured authors/artists will include Tao Lin, Luna Miguel, Blaise Larmee, John Campbell, Sam Pink, Megan Boyle, Steve Roggenbuck, Timothy Willis Sanders, Ana C., Richard Chiem, Cameron Pierce, Andrew James Weatherhead, Michael Inscoe, Poncho Peligroso, Cassandra Troyan, Shaun Gannon, Madison Langston, Zachary Whalen, Cassandra Nguyen, and more.

Also since I last blogged, HOUSEFIRE included a story by me in its print anthology of short fiction, Nouns of Assemblage, as well as published a story by me entitled "A Rag of Colts" at its site.

And Zachary Whalen published a poem by me called "Life is a dehydrated gazelle slowly expiring in bed" at his new literary site, shallow.

Next I will write a novel or work on a collection of short stories.

How is everyone feeling? I have a Formspring if you want to ask me a question.

Last Saturday I had dinner at this quirky lil natural foods restaurant they recently opened in Wicker Park with my old buddies Peter and Mike and Nick and I felt a feeling of gratitude for living in Chicago, my friends, and everything I have in life.

Last night I took a ride on the Navy Pier ferris wheel with Steve and we ran down the street and went to Dominick's. He made a lovely video out of it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

i went to see Ana in Tijuana

We formed a band, Screamo Rap. We made a video:

We listened to music.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blaise Barnes E-Books

Last night I met Blaise Larmee. He's going to do the cover for Pop Serial #3 (coming this fall) and contribute a comic. I like Blaise's work a lot.

I am planning to release three e-books before my birthday, September 17th. One will be a solo e-book of short prose for Pangur Ban Party.

The second e-book will be a collaborative one with Steve Roggenbuck called I LOVE MUSIC. Excerpts from I LOVE MUSIC can be read at unsure if i will allow my beard to grow for much longer, New Wave Vomit, Let People Poems, and All Write Then (you can vote for our All Write Then poem to be included in a print anthology--it only has 6 votes presently, despite it being, objectively, incredible and groundbreaking).

The third e-book will be a collaborative one with Ana C.

All three e-books will reportedly make you feel more excited about being alive and really jazzed about talking to your friends and getting your freak on.

To help inspire myself to reshape the literary imagination as we now know it as I delve into the hidden recesses of my inner being, I've been rereading some of my favorite short stories. For example, "A Night Among the Horses" by Djuna Barnes, which you can read here. My stories or whatever they are will not be like "A Night Among the Horses," but I like how it opens and other things about it.

Djuna seems like she was a cool person. There's an anecdote that she lived across the street from E.E. Cummings in her later years, and she was a recluse, and Cummings would call to her across the street, "Are you still alive, Djuna?" There's another anecdote that Carson McCullers, author of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (great title), was a huge Djuna Barnes fan and camped out on Djuna's doorstep wanting to meet her, and finally Djuna called down, "Whoever is ringing this bell, please go the hell away." My final Djuna Barnes anecdote is that her most famous novel, Nightwood, was based on her relationship with Thelma Wood, and she was regarded as an important lesbian writer, but she said in later years, "I am not a lesbian, I just loved Thelma."

Saturday, July 9, 2011


At HTMLGIANT, I was included on the list "Top Ten Indie-Lit Dicks We'd Rather See Than Jordan Castro's," as selected by M. Kitchell, Casey Hannan, and Tim Jones-Yelvington (with support from xTx). Little Rock's finest, Michael Inscoe, is also on the list.

Also at HTMLGIANT, a discussion of "concrete emo" or "Muumuu [House]-style" writing by Kitchell originally included "some of [my] short fiction" as an example of same (before Kitchell changed his mind), and the "polemic" referenced my magazine, Pop Serial, with its title, "POP."

In the comments section of the post, I engaged extensively with various commenters re "honesty" vs. "intellectualism" and other things.

Pictures for Sad Tweens

Last Sunday I went to a Greyson Chance concert in Grant Park with John Campbell, Steve Roggenbuck, Brett Gallagher, and Rachel Hyman. Our plan was to Ustream live from the concert and to interview some of Greyson Chance's tween fans. [Greyson Chance is a 13-year-old famous for his talent-show cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," which went viral on YouTube and launched his career.]

I started a Ustream on my iPhone once John arrived, and we walked toward Grant Park. We didn't know what stage Greyson Chance was performing at but figured we would follow the tweens to its location.

There were a lot of people in Grant Park. I said several times that I was looking for "human memes and tweens." I spotted a rotund adult male with a sparkly top hat and purple and green ballon animals wrapped around his legs and arms giving out balloons to children but failed to document his existence on Ustream. Steve noted a large number of people enthusiastically consuming corn on the cob and suggested I document this phenomenon.

We heard high-pitched screaming emanating from behind some bleachers to our left and assumed it was Greyson Chance's fans. There was a security check on the way in and a sign said no audio or visual equipment so I put my iPhone in my pocket without stopping the Ustream.

We seemed to be the oldest non-parent people at the concert. There were screaming, arms-waving, sign-brandishing tweens and teens and, further back from the stage, parent-looking adults.

A fresh-faced twentysomething singer who we learned was Shane Harper (via several signs in the crowd) was opening for Greyson Chance. To me he sounded like Jason Mraz but shittier and, indeed, he closed with a Jason Mraz cover.

Numerous attempts to get closer to the stage in order to get a clearer visual of the performance were unsuccessful due to repeated instructions from sweaty, vaguely exasperated event staff members to "move back and find a seat."

We were determined to find and interview a tween. After several field expeditions produced meager, disappointing interviews ("You here to see Greyson Chance?" "No, Shane Harper."), John suggested that we approach three disgruntled-seeming tweens sitting far back from the stage who were holding their heads in hands while frowning and staring into the middle distance. The consensus was that it would seem less creepy if Rachel participated in the interviewing process, adding a non-threatening female presence. I said that Steve and I interviewing a tween girl together might be perceived as "double-teaming" or "cornering," comments which I vaguely regretted immediately due to their unseemliness. John said that Rachel could maybe pass for a tween (she's ~21). Rachel and I were chosen for the mission and dispatched. We approached the disgruntled tweens and achieved what was for me the most awkward interview yet. I recall shifting from one leg to the other while looking past their disinterested, idly weirded out faces at the bald spot on a nearby seated parent's head as unfamiliarly strong feelings of sheepishness stimulated rapid blood flow to my cheeks.

After Shane Harper's set ended, while we waited for Greyson Chance to perform, employees of Radio Disney took the stage to blast various Disney-affiliated pop singles while performing choreographed dance numbers and exhorting the crowd to "give it up" and at one point to say "Bieber" whenever the employees said "Justin." There was one male Radio Disney employee onstage. He was very vocal and danced enthusiastically despite looking out of shape and possessing "man titties."

We noticed a teenaged(?) bro in a muscles shirt with a beach towel around his neck and a sign that read "free hugs." We moved closer to interact with "the free hugs guy," and he warmly hugged Steve with no discernible hesitation or self-consciousness.

In between sets, John told us he had to dogsit for a friend, shook our hands, said goodbye, and departed.

Steve had brought along a stack of small pieces of paper each reading either "I'm rob schneider" or "I'm eminem's wife" in Helvetica font. These were tweets from his @biebercrazie4u Justin Bieber fan Twitter, but there was no other text on the pieces of paper to explain the messages. Steve began handing them out to tweens and adults, saying, "This is free." The tweens consistently took the piece of paper, walked away, looked at the piece of paper, and then looked back at us while laughing and/or looking bemused. One girl walked back to Steve and said, "Can I have one for my friend?" One group of girls read their pieces of paper and then used them as makeshift fans. Steve gave a copy of "I'm eminem's wife" to a man in army fatigues and boots and he read it, paused, looked at Steve, and said, "You can be my wife" in a suggestive and vaguely eerie tone.

A band came onstage and rocked out in a technically proficient but generic fashion for about five minutes, and then Greyson Chance strolled onstage in a remarkably chill-ass manner. He proceeded to belt the fuck out of several of his songs while pacing the stage and gesticulating at his screaming, bouncing, flailing fans, all while somehow maintaining an aura of cool and nonchalance. He sat at the piano to perform a ballad. Steve, Brett, and I said things about him being a good singer and expressed our disbelief at his utter chillness. My iPhone ran out of battery. We decided to leave so we could watch the upcoming British Ustream at Steve's apartment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper—who William S. Burroughs called "a born writer"—has said nice things about me and Pop Serial at his blog in response to me commenting on an earlier post re Julio Cortázar:

"Stephen Tully Dierks, Greetings, salutations, and thanks for being here, Stephen. Can I tell you while you’re in eyeshot how much I like Pop Serial and the writing of yours that I’ve read — ‘Serious European Art Film’ rules, for instance — and, belatedly, that HTMLG post you did on Steve Roggenbuck, for instance? Let me … Everyone, we were visited over the weekend by the very fine writer and editor Stephen Tully Dierks. I recommend you check out his writerly goods — find some links to prose, poetry, and articles/posts by him here— and his really terrific art/lit online magazine Pop Serial, whose newest issue has lots of really good stuff by really top notch scribes like Heather Christie, Tao Lin, Ryan Manning, Richard Chiem, Ben Brooks, and on and on. Riches galore, and don’t hesitate. Thanks again. Be here anytime please."

Thank you very much to Dennis for his kind words.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Selected Work

I am in the process of writing an ebook for Pangur Ban Party (sup Deej) and other projects are forthcoming, such as the collaborative ebook I LOVE MUSIC with Steve Roggenbuck (excerpts can be seen here, here, and here). Below, I have selected some of my favorites of my writing so far, and they can also be accessed via the sidebar to the right. The full list of things I've published can be found at the "Work" page, also linked above.


"Serious European Art Film" Everyday Genius


"What the Fuck Does 'In Real Life' Mean If You Live In Front of Your Computer?" unsure if i will allow my beard to grow for much longer

"Four Stories" Metazen

"The Death Section"


[Poem from I LOVE MUSIC] (w/ Steve Roggenbuck) unsure if i will allow my beard to grow for much longer

"I fell asleep during Winter's Bone" Let People Poems

"This Pretentious Twaddle Sure Sets A New Standard For Sentence-Driven Fiction" Negative Suck

[Five poems] New Wave Vomit

"I'm not sure what we were ever doing" The Scrambler


[Review of I Don't Respect Female Expression by Frank Hinton] HTMLGIANT

"The Poetry of Steve Roggenbuck" HTMLGIANT

[Review of Richard Yates by Tao Lin] Southeast Review

[Review of Orange Juice by Timothy Willis Sanders] HTMLGIANT

no photos plz

Ana C. and I at the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing, June 16th, 2011.

Music: Shabazz Palaces, "Are You...Were You...Can You? (Felt)"

Friday, June 24, 2011

NYLON / Fashion

Hi everyone.

NYLON covered Pop Serial on its blog. They said, "this limited edition literary and art magazine is our new favorite go-to for poems, images, and stories from well-known and new artists alike." Thank you to Mallory Rice for being interested in my magazine.

I like NYLON. I like glossy magazines with nice layout and photographs. I like fashion. I like when I see a girl and I like what she's wearing. I try to dress cool but I don't know.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

i'm an old man

Pop Serial 2 is now online. The web design is by Steve Roggenbuck.

The web version includes 4 poems not in the print version: "hoarders" by Shannon Peil and 3 by Audun Mortensen: "billy crystal meth," "die hard," and "suddenly susan laugh track."

Banango, a new literary blog run by Justin Carter and Rachel Hyman, has started a review series reviewing the magazine's writing piece by piece.

There has also been coverage at HTMLGIANT, We Who Are About To Die, and Impose.

I'm glad more people can read the magazine now. There have been ~1,230 unique visitors so far.


Ana C. visited Chicago last week. It was great to finally meet her IRL.

We co-hosted the first-ever New Wave Vomit/Pop Serial reading at Innertown Pub last Thursday. M. Kitchell, Andrew James Weatherhead, Leif Haven, Brett Gallagher, Steve, Ana, and I all read.

Some very #rare video footage from before and during the reading can be viewed at my Ustream.

I'm glad my friends exist.


I saw the movie Beginners starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Mélanie Laurent and almost cried several times.


Steve Roggenbuck and I are planning a collaborative ebook called I LOVE MUSIC.

Michael Inscoe published one of the poems from it at unsure if i will allow my beard to grow for much longer.

At HTMLGIANT, Christopher Higgs posted a link to the poem, saying we had initiated a new poetic movement he called Bromanticism.

In the comments, MFBomb said, "I'm honesty baffled that someone other than a 15 year old emo kid would write and publish this." Frank Hinton said, "doesn't seem like it's dealing with reason or logic but instead love, so. love isn't really ambitious because ambition always seeks an end and love doesn't seek anything but itself."

Another excerpt appeared earlier this year at Let People Poems.

There will likely be more published excerpts before the ebook is published.


A story by me entitled "A Smack of Jellyfish" will appear in the forthcoming Housefire print anthology Nouns of Assemblage. The title was given to me by the editor, Riley Michael Parker.


Google Talk has funny emoticons.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Pretty Freakin Long Post with My Thoughts on All of the Contributors to Pop Serial #2

Pop Serial #2 will be online in its entirety this Thursday, June 16th via a new website by Steve Roggenbuck.

Below are the contributors in order of their appearance in the magazine with some information/thoughts about each person:

Eliza Weber
Eliza is a student at NYU, I believe. Andrew James Weatherhead and David Fishkind recommended her poetry to me. I picked my favorites of the poems I saw by her ("Flickering candelabra") and, having already finalized most of the order of the magazine, decided to put the poem before the table of contents, sort of in the manner of a frontispiece.

Aidan Koch
I don't remember how I found Aidan's site originally, but I immediately liked her drawing style and how she approached comics, in maybe a more impressionistic style, sometimes with very little text and an above-average emphasis on the visual. Morgan Myers, in his review of the print magazine, singled out her "Windswept" for praise and I'm glad, as I like it a lot.

Aidan lives in Washington and her book The Whale was published by Gaze Books, which is run by Blaise Larmee. I hope to have work by Blaise in Pop Serial #3.

Miles Ross
The first thing I read by Miles was "Rum and Coke," a long, understated short story concerning a relationship. Miles contributed a story I like called "Lake Placid" to Pop Serial #1, and in #2 there is his story "Cuba Light." I intentionally chose this story to open the magazine (Eliza's poem is like a prologue or something, to me).

Ana C.
Ana is one of my best friends, one of my favorite poets, and one of the main reasons I'm glad I ever got involved with the online literary scene. I love her and her work. She is the first person to ever publish me, at New Wave Vomit. 3 poems and 3 drawings by her appear in Pop Serial #2. If you haven't checked out make-believe love-making, This is Controversial, or her ebook with Richard Chiem, oh no everything is wet now, I recommend all 3.

Frank Hinton
I don't remember how I first came across Frank. I remember I read an interview with her and noted the mystery of her identity, her interest in Zen, and the striking photograph of her. My interest in her work has grown and grown as time goes on. She has been very supportive of me and others, and I like her combination of ambition and sense of humor. She has published me twice at Metazen, which I appreciate. She seems to be a leader in our little online lit community. I'm excited about some Frank-related things on the horizon. My very positive review of her chapbook, I Don't Respect Female Expression, can be read at HTMLGIANT.

Erik Stinson
I think I came across Erik's poetry via Brandon Scott Gorrell, but I don't remember the specifics. I asked him if he wanted to contribute to the "Ohio Special" insert in Ohio editions of Pop Serial #1 and he said yes. Poems by him are in Pop Serial #2. He seems very funny to me.

Ryan Manning
Ryan is an enigma. He is known for creating and quickly deleting many blogs and for a period before I was in the scene when he would regularly comment "the Asian [celebrity or author's name]" on people's blogs. I somehow came across his photography and liked it a lot. I'm happy a photograph by him is in this issue. I think the photo is no longer on his Flickr account. I have also enjoyed some poems by Ryan at Let People Poems and elsewhere.

Steve Roggenbuck
I think I came across Steve's blog via him posting something related to Tao Lin. My reaction to his blog and poems was something like "this guy could be another person for the magazine." I emailed him about that, and he told me he was moving to Chicago. We met up by Wrigley Field and went for a walk and talked and talked, went to Myopic Books I believe, and got food at Pick Me Up Cafe. I love and admire and respect Steve, and now count him among my very best friends. I feel like we look at writing in similar ways and value and don't value a lot of the same things. I feel happier and calmer and more alive when I am around him. I don't know what my presence in his life does for him, but I know he inspires me in his actions and in his thinking and his way of being in the world. I am very proud of how hard he has been working and what he is trying to achieve. I hope I know him 'til one of us is dead.

I wrote an overview of Steve's work that was published by HTMLGIANT.

Tao Lin
Tao is my favorite living literary artist. I find him very inspiring, and he influences me a lot. I have obsessively followed his activities for over a year now. He has been kind and supportive toward me, for which I am grateful. I met him once last year, which I wrote about here. I think of Tao as like the "flagship artist" for Pop Serial. A piece by him called "we will drink our coffee and complete our novels and lay in sunlight and sit in darkness" appears in this issue.

Mrinalini Kannan
I found Mrinalini's art via Shivani Gakhar, an artist who contributed to the first issue. I like her use of color and I feel like her art makes me feel some kind of personality.

Heather Christle
Heather is very talented, in my opinion. I don't know her as a person, but her work makes me think "poetry," "smart," "emotional." She recently had a poem in The New Yorker.

Brandon Scott Gorrell
I came in contact with Brandon due to Shitstorm Alberto, which "launched" me into the online literary world and led to the creation of Pop Serial the magazine (I had previously named a music blog Pop Serial). I like Brandon's poetry book a lot, during my nervous breakdown i want to have a biographer present. Brandon has been nice to me and invited me to contribute to Thought Catalog, which I did for a few posts. An excerpt of his novel My Hair Will Defeat You appears in this issue.

Lyra Hill
I met Lyra at the first EAR EATER reading, I believe. She seemed nice and so I checked out her blog and liked her art. 2 notebook pages by her are in the issue, as is a drawing which I deliberately picked to accompany Sam Pink's pieces.

Cassandra Troyan
Cassandra is my friend and a talented poet and (performance) artist. She also runs the EAR EATER reading series. She has been very nice to me and she lives in Chicago, so we've hung out IRL. I think she submitted out of the blue a little after her brother Cody did and I was like, "they're both good, I'll just have 2 family members in the magazine, that's kind of funny" and then I put on "Family Affair."

Leif Haven
I've known Leif since freshman year of college at University of Wisconsin at Madison, when we were in the same dorm. I hung out with his group for a while and then we drifted apart, although I still was in contact and asked him to contribute to this music magazine I edited. So now we're both in Chicago and actually hang out sometimes again, which is great, and I included poems by him in both issues of Pop Serial. M. Kitchell recently published Leif's first book, Translator's Note, via Solar Luxuriance.

Michael Inscoe
Michael is a very friendly, talented dude. I think he contacted me unsolicited and I checked out his blog and thought he seemed like a good fit for the magazine. He has since met me in Chicago with Meggie Green and other friends and we've gotten friendlier and friendlier via online talking and stuff. He and his friend, Phillip Rex Huddleston, make good videos, in my opinion, and I want to see more of them in the future.

Brandi Wells
Brandi is a talented writer, in my opinion. I don't remember where I first read her, but I checked out a bunch of stories on her blog's sidebar and was impressed. She seems friendly and nice.

Elizabeth Arnold
Elizabeth contacted me, I think, and I was impressed by her art. She seems very energetic and passionate and devoted to her art. I think she will be productive and successful.

Matthew Savoca
I don't remember how I came across Matthew, but I think I solicited him. He contributed a story and poem to this issue. He said he hasn't published as much of his prose as his poetry, so I'm glad this story is in the issue. I told him it felt archetypal to me--it "definitively" captures a certain type of experience--in the way "The Depressed Person" by David Foster Wallace feels archetypal to me.

Megan Boyle
I think maybe Tao suggested I look at Megan's work. I solicited her, and she contributed a very fine story called "Little Rock," which has also been published by Muumuu House. Since then she's gotten married to Tao and published a lot of pieces at Thought Catalog that I like a lot, and she has a book coming out this fall through Muumuu House. She seems very smart and nice to me. I have never met her, but I think it would be wonderful to do so.

Ben Brooks
Ben is a very friendly, talented, and sexually attractive young man living in England. He is very young and has several books out already and I want to swap lives with him. He has been kind to me, and I enjoy gchatting with him on occasion. I am glad he wants to be involved with Pop Serial. I hope his latest, Grow Up, sells a bunch of copies and that he tours America and it's made into a film.

Brett Gallagher
I met Brett because he wrote a very kind blog post about issue 1. We started corresponding, and since he lived nearby in Wheaton, IL, he eventually came to visit me in Chicago. He has since become a good friend to me and to Steve, and now he is my roommate in Logan Square. He has been very supportive of me and very nice to me. I hope he continues to write and explore his aesthetic. I think his work is striking and very sensitive to language.

Noah Cicero
Noah is a passionate and productive author and has influenced a lot of people, including Ben. He contributed an epic poem to this issue and I put it in the middle of the magazine as like a centerpiece. The title is "It is Okay to Feel Catastrophic." Noah has been very supportive of some of my friends, like Ana and Steve, and I am grateful that he is aware of and generous towards the next wave of writers.

Brittany Wallace
Brittany is a talented poet and has been friendly to me, although we haven't communicated in quite a while. I like her personality, such as I sense it in her poems. I intentionally placed her poems after Noah's in the magazine, as some sort of I don't know, not as a response really, but...something.

Jordan Castro and Mallory Whitten
Jordan is a productive young bro and he seems determined to have a literary and music and maybe even film career. I don't doubt he'll have all 3. He is in both issues of the magazine. He came to Chicago for the first Pop Serial reading with Mallory Whitten and he was very nice to me. I think I saw his name in the comments section of Shitstorm Alberto and checked out his blog. My original idea for the cover of Pop Serial #2 was a Tiger Beat-style cover featuring Jordan, as like a joke given Jordan's at-that-time newly launched LOOKBOOK "modeling" gimmick. Mallory ended up taking a more moody, existential photo of Jordan that I like a lot, so I used it. Mallory seems very nice and has gotten very productive since the first issue, getting into writing and producing lots of visual art. She seems talented. She has also kissed Lil B on the neck, which is impressive to me.

Audun Mortensen
Audun seems very funny to me, and is possibly the most ironic and/or post-ironic person in the scene, which would be an impressive distinction. His work seems to often feature recontextualization, the use of new and surprising contexts and combinations to create humor and defamiliarization. He contributed 3 poems and 2 jpgs for the print edition of #2, and he has sent me 3 new poems that he requested I put in the online edition.

Andrew James Weatherhead
Andrew is a nice, talented, and funny guy. He contributed a story called "Bret Easton Ellis' First Novel," which Muumuu House also published. I like his poetry and I like seeing him read live. I've met him a couple of times, and he will be reading this Thursday at the first-ever New Wave Vomit/Pop Serial reading.

Kendra Grant Malone
I don't remember how I came across Kendra's work, but she is one of my favorite poets. Her poems are very emotional and striking to me. I'm glad she has contributed to both issues, and I'm excited for her upcoming collaborative poetry book with Matthew Savoca, Morocco. I reviewed Kendra's poetry book, Everything is Quiet, here.

David Fishkind
David is a NYU student and author. I don't remember how I came across his writing. I think through Tao. He seems ambitious. I'll be interested to see what he does next.

Rebecca Olson
Rebecca, or Becky as I know her, went to school with me at Wisconsin. She is a talented poet and a cool, fun person. We had some nice talks when we were both in a Virginia Woolf seminar.

Prathna Lor
I first encountered Lor's work via his bearcreekfeed ebook. His writing seems elusive in a way that kind of tickles my brain or something. I used to think he was intentionally mysterious via there didn't seem to be any photos of him or any information, but I have since seen a photo of him on Facebook, I believe. I reviewed his book, Ventriloquism.

Carrie Lorig
Carrie is a very nice person and a talented poet. I vaguely knew her in college through mutual friends and have properly met her more recently at the Pop Serial reading in December. She has been very supportive and friendly and I hope she stays productive and inspired.

Feng Sun Chen
Feng, or Mary as she's known by friends, is a very talented poet and nice person. She submitted to me unsolicited, I believe, and I think I included some superlatives when I wrote her back. Her works seems forceful to me and has more memorable lines than a lot of other poetry I read. I am very happy that she has multiple books coming out. As an added bonus, she's great to hang with IRL.

Philip Tseng
I think I encountered Philip's work through my friend--and Pop Serial #1 cover artist--Julia Sonmi Heglund. I think he is talented and I thought his "AlphaDeath" series was funny, so I included it in this issue.

Tracy Brannstrom
I found Tracy's funny, striking MS Paint drawings through Tao. I think her "MS Paint Shower Sex" drawing is very memorable and sweet, so I included it in this issue.

Richard Chiem
Richard, or Ricky as I call him, is my friend and a very talented writer. He has been super supportive and nice to me. I think he has a distinctive, memorable prose style. I hope he gets very famous and popular or at least continues to write beautiful things.

Cody Troyan
Cody is Cassandra's younger brother and a very talented and smart writer, in my opinion. He submitted to me unsolicited and I was impressed. I have been consistently impressed with his writing and intelligence.

Shannon Peil
Shannon is a talented poet and seems like a nice guy. I fucked up and forgot to include his poem "hoarders" in the print edition of this issue. I have sent it to Steve, the designer of the web edition, and I hope it appears this time or I will be embarrassed again.

Ben Rosamond
Ben is a bro who lives in New Zealand. He submitted a number of things to me, and I chose a poem that I found touching and a story I found intriguing in part for its honesty about the anxiety of influence. Ben contributes to the group blog antipobros.

Sam Pink
I heard of Sam through HTMLGIANT. I read his stuff, and initially I thought it was sort of consistently negative in a way I wasn't sure if I liked. I read more of his stuff and I realized I hadn't been "getting" it, that there were many different moods and emotions in Sam's work. Now I consider him one of my favorite living writers. I have hung out with him a few times IRL and he is hilarious and very nice. His spirit, as I interpret it through his writing, his way of being in the world, is very moving to me.

I reviewed his novel, Person, at HTMLGIANT.

Daniel Bailey
I found out about Daniel through HTMLGIANT. I was impressed with some of the poems from his book, The Drunk Sonnets. I solicited him and he eventually sent me a poem, "tonight, i mean." I found it very impressive and moving and placed it at the end of the magazine because I didn't know what could follow it.

Sara Drake
Sara is a visual artist and a friend through Cassandra Troyan. She also hosts the EAR EATER reading series. I checked out her blog after meeting her and was impressed. I thought a piece by her fit with Daniel's poem, so I put it on the same page in the print edition.

Van Jazmin
Van is another visual artist I found through Julia Sonmi Heglund. Van's work is sometimes psychedelic and often striking. I picked the piece "sleep" to close the magazine visually. The images and the text in the piece felt right.

Pop Serial #2 is coming to the internet this Thursday, June 16th, via a new website by Steve Roggenbuck. I hope you like it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

With us in the studio today, the London Bach Choir. Now, the latest on Omar De Col:

Omar De Col has been spotted at Dunster Beach. Reports are coming in he is wearing extremely tight, hot pink swim trunks. Sources claim he is “double-fisting” and appears to be “completely arseholed.” Eyewitnesses have noted increased staggering in his locomotion and increased levels of speech slurring and eye gleamage. Omar De Col’s increased eye-gleam quotient has caused him to seem even more charming than usual, the most charmingest amount of charm ever contained in a living male or female, an international record says the Daily Mail. Three rotund semi-nude ex-priests sunbathing on an adjacent towel have collectively unhinged their mandibles.

It appears Omar De Col has dropped something. The sun is very bright, potentially blinding. We’re certain he has dropped something, but what exactly it is, we can’t yet confirm. More news forthcoming.

We can now report it is an iPhone 3GS. Omar De Col is flailing around looking forward it in a manner reminiscent of Snuffleupagus with his long trunk.

Sources now tell us Omar De Col has regained possession of his iPhone 3GS, which was dropped. He appears to be grinning uncontrollably. He is now sauntering down the beach in defiance of his diminished locomotive skills.

Omar De Col appears to have halted and appears to be conferring with an elderly gentleman. The elderly gentleman is wearing grey slacks and rather ragged-looking shoes. He is also shirtless and appears to be quite inebriated as well.

We have dispatched our junior reporter Lacy Maxwell to the scene, and she is now reporting live via satellite.

“Hi, James Farnon. Yes, Omar De Col has attempted to engage the drunk, shirtless, homeless (we can now confirm homeless) elderly gentleman in conversation.”

What did he say to the man?

“Omar De Col said, ‘What time is it, mate?’”

And what did the man say?

“He said, simply, ‘Dead.’”

I see. And what did Omar De Col say back?

"He flopped to the ground. It was rather surprising. Flopped right over. Then he rolled in the sand a bit, popped back up and started singing a song.”

What song was it?

“I hadn’t heard it before, but it sounded very familiar.”

I see.

“Then Omar De Col started spinning around slowly, prancing a bit and spinning slowly and saying these words. He said, ‘What you have to do is just think really hard. So hard that your eyes squint and your brow is furrowed. About one little part of sunlight.’”

I see.

“Yes. Then he appeared to pass out. And now he’s sat over there under an umbrella having a smoke.”

Well. Thank you for your reportage, Lacy Maxwell. Looking forward to having you in the back of the studio. Now once again, the London Bach Choir.