My Writing

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 Cort├ízar:

"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.