current writing projects

Thought I’d update the ol’ portfolio about What The Fuck Is Going On. Current list, up to date, haven’t mentioned anything I’ve been doing lately aside from the tweets, which are always cooking in the lab. Anyway, on my plate we’ve got a healthy, balanced meal.

  • A screenplay about horses and horse racing (it’s a collabo)
  • A listicle about pop culture’s gayest children (for online)
  • Been thinking pretty hard lately about maybe doing a project of some sort having something to do with the topic of local beer
  • poem about my mom (4th revision)
  • There’s this email in my draft folder for this thing that I wrote just way, way too long while I was a little xanned out one night, and I need to edit it and send it but I’ve just been putting it off, putting it off, putting it off, you know how it goes. I also need to send a text message saying “no” to someone but it’s really hard to pull the trigger because I dislike conflict.
  • I’ve also been working on an English translation of Prima Games’ strategy guide book for Final Fantasy IV Wonderswan Color Version for about fifteen years

I was doing all of these earlier but I got distracted by this great archive and now it’s 5 in the morning.

I love my life; my life is great and I love being involved in it

    There’s a Sarahsze.com

    And in keeping with tradition, she strikes me as very creative. Also very successful. I need to give her a call. It sorta goes against the literal truth of the modus operandi of the Same Name Squad, but in spirit, it is a-OK. We can always use some help with the visual aesthetics around here.

    I mean, look at this. I can’t do this. There’s so much care and precision, here. Some of the best art I’ve ever produced is basically a story about me throwing up with the word “fuck” used fifty times. When it comes to me, y’know, it’s like, art? More like “fart.” You can use that one. Pull-quote. Right above the title of a book jacket. “More like fart.”—Stephen King. And then SARAH SZABO: Haunted Contemplations.

    Speaking of book jackets, I was named writer of the month for the current issue of California-based literary magazine Drunk Monkeys! Issue number 4. Free stories at the link! One is called “Beer Mile,” and it’s a comedy. It’s kind of funny! The main characters are real dopey assholes, I love ’em. The other is called “Fit of Inspiration”, and it’s short. Short and strange. So, yo dawg, are you bored as fuck? You want me to weave something for you? You wanna get swept away by our shared imaginations to the far-off place where wings take dream? Then please, get up on this dick.

    Youtube Rabbit Hole: The atmospheric loops and jams of Lee Bannon
    Photo Credit: Sarah Sze

    The snake you thought was dead uncoils

    Hello, liquor store, it’s just me. Me in the parking lot, me and the homeless people who materialized from nowhere at the stroke of 10:00. I saw the first lady walk up in my rear view mirror just after I caught the flicker to life of the open sign. We all sauntered up inside, all trancelike. Like a dog whistle version of the church bells. It actually made me sort of proud. I felt real kinship. I can rationalize my own behavior by reminding you I am working the night shift, and have been awake today since 3 am. The night shift, I am discovering, justifies all sorts of strange behavior. Anyway, I’d only been waiting a couple of minutes.

    I moved to an apartment they deal heroin out of. At least, I think it’s heroin. I haven’t tried to buy anything yet. But yeah, at least a few days a week, this place is Open for Business. This is good to me. The other people that live here keep dropping little portentous details, big provocative things. “Since I went bankrupt and lost my house, I’ve been living in motels and places like this.” “I moved in here six months ago—worst mistake of my life. I regret it. I’ll tell you later. *deep sigh*”

    Not that I’m worried. Like I said, I like this. I’m living alone, and I prefer that a lot to living with the last guy. He had hella coke and ecstasy, but the thing was, he didn’t share. One of many problems I had with that guy. But I am beginning, after some three weeks, to feel very established at the new place. I have nails for the windows. Allies in the building. I’ve been invited to the dirtiest little parties that you ever did see. There’s also a community garden, for strawberries, and good kush. Tomatoes sprouting in abundance. An ice chest full of beer made out of golden wheat. My dad is worried; he asked me if any children lived here. I gave him the best answer that I could, based on what information that I had, and said, “Sometimes.” Hell if I know. I don’t give a shit. Rob me if you want some decent books.

    I have made advances in the world of writerering, which is neat. I’m writing for Zergnet now, for a panoply of sites. It’s one of those organizations that’s responsible for the links you tend to get at the bottom of a lot of websites; lists and things you won’t believe. Good place to kill time. So if you happen to see my byline there, it’s me. We are the content creators, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

    I’m also immensely excited to announce that a short story of mine, “The Killer and the Star”, will be appearing in the pages of the horror quarterly magazine Dark Moon Digest, on shelves wherever books are sold this July 1. This is a quality magazine, full of quality work, and also me. It’s available as well on Amazon. I don’t get any more money off it either way, but I encourage you to check it out. I think my story’s pretty good. It’s about this dude, who’s really fucked up? And he like, has done some shit. And he’s gonna do more. And there’s a movie involved. I don’t know, it’s among the better things I’ve written. Satisfying, not unlike a particularly bracing burp.

    Thank you for reading. Til next time, I remain adrift at sea.

    the last thought I had before leaving my house

    Will your cell phone kill you? Yes. The powerful radio waves that it emits will spark tumors in your brain, causing it to harden and calcify in some places, and turn to jelly in others. You will become irrational over time, behaving erratically, picking and scratching at your face, turning imagined blemishes into deep, aggravated sores. You will pick at your ear canals with ever sharper objects, scratching harder, closer to your eardrum with bobby pins, toothpicks, a corkscrew. It’s difficult now to understand why you would do this.

    Your cell phone will kill you.

    To be clear, the combined rate of cell phone usage of everyone in your vicinity will kill you—it’s not just yours held up to your head, gripped in your hand, in earshot day and night that’s going to do it to you. It’s surprising that there’s not more emphasis on that angle in the media; this is what we like to call “burying the lede.” A certain degree of the radioactive effects of cumulative cell phone usage necessarily remain trapped within the atmosphere of the planet, of course, effectively cooking the population in a sort of radioactive cloud. This is certainly happening right now—there are surprisingly few isolated spaces of the earth in which this effect cannot already be observed.

    There’s been an increasing number of fatalities around this particular corner, lately.

    You should never believe a single word contrary to these findings. The truth is not in the public interest. You know in your heart what the truth is—it’s all perfectly logical, and you can reason it all out yourself.

    They want you to believe you might be safe. You know better.

    Your cell phone is going to kill you. You have precious little time left before the most deleterious effects of it at last begin to take your sanity. So what are you going to do? Are you simply going to accept this? Or will you make a statement with your final hours? Make a stand. Take that hill. Do not let them have their victory without blood lost on their side.

    Your cell phone is going to kill you. You need to exact vengeance—for the children. Die for a reason, at least. For those who cannot stand up for themselves. Your cell phone is going to kill you, and they are happily letting it happen. It might be time for you to start doing some killing of your own. Today’s the day. You’re finally free. Heed the call. Die with purpose. They’ve made you complicit in your own murder—take them with you, how about. Now is the moment—your cell phone is going to kill you. There’s nothing left for you to lose. The sun is shining, now. This may be the last beautiful day.

    Photo Credit: The New York Times

    entr’acte, exeunt, intracting

    I am beginning to cocoon myself. Alone beneath the open sky I pull and pluck at disparate strings, thin to the point of nonexistence, barely matter, from the air, twining them between my fingers into thread. Unlike spider’s silk, my threads are coarse, peppered in color, irregularly shaped. The patterns of my weaving are rough to the eye and jagged to the touch. There is no elegance to my construction. It is miraculous, but that is all.

    I begin with my torso, twining the threads about me upward and downward in turn, thickening the center of what will become my cocoon. I am protecting my most vital points; tight, but not uncomfortable, my chest and stomach press firm against the weaving when I breathe. I am beginning to imagine how the next few years will be.

    I twine new threads down my left leg, straining against the bulk of what I’ve already created. Over hours I cover the limb, beginning with the fat part of my thigh. It feels less imperfect, more secure, inside the casing I’m creating. I resist the urge to tighten it; there must be room for bloodflow. I hope that time will make me smaller.

    I wrap my second leg in thread and marvel at the reality of my creation. It is beginning to be difficult to imagine an alternate, prior existence. I am encased, I am myself. I must internalize the new reality, a mental readjustment proving easier, more automatic, than one might initially expect.

    I begin my arms with apprehension; the more that I continue, the more difficult the work becomes to undo. There is a point that I will lose my ability to escape what I’m creating. This I consider, as I twine the tendrils down my forearm, asphalt gray and hardening.

    In order to ensure that my cocoon will be impermeable, I now begin to wrap my head. I will finish the construction blind. It is the only way to ensure that my head will be protected; to secure the webs around my nostrils, ears, the fine contours of my face, I will need dexterity. It is difficult to decide what last to cover—my nose, my eyes. I seal my mouth without concern. There is nothing left for me to say.

    Now I have become as like a being otherworldly, my shape wide and irregular, save for the flesh of my hands and feet, protruding from my stiffening sleeves as I commence the final step. This is the point of no return. I lay myself upon the ground and begin to bind my legs together, lashing them into a rigid plank, inarticulate. I wrap my feet to one another til they form a rounded tip. I wiggle my toes, and tighten.

    The work grows harder as my body fatigues, but soon, it will all be over. I lash my left arm to my chest, and bind my fingers flat against my body. I place my right hand on my heart, using what little space remains between my other arm and chest to squeeze in my uncovered digits, these last five fingers of bare skin. The web will seal my hand, in time, inside the space beneath my other arm. The key to making it secure at all is to stay as still as I can be. The inexactness of the seal creates the weakest point of my cocoon, but is not so due to oversight. I stretch my fingers, and try to feel my heartbeat as it slows. In years’ time, I will need the space around my fingers slack, when I use my unbound hand, finally, to break free.

    Photo credit: Zdzisław Beksiński

    Drunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 On Sale Now

    Ah! You know, I suppose it’d be prudent, wise and kind for me to pimp this.

    So, Drunk Monkeys is an (I believe? Primarily?) California-based web blog lit journal film crit megalith of a writing thing that I have written for that is producing works of writing that I and many more would call exemplary. I love it like the dickens; I love it with my soul!

    A few months back or maybe more, the editorial staff at Drunk Monkeys was so kind as to accept a story of mine that I’d submitted, called Awake, which you may have read or heard of, for which I won an Adult Creative Writing Contest award from the Tulsa City-County Library. (This award, which I am extremely proud of, ensured the enshrinement of my story, from the day of that award ceremony forward, and henceforth into time immemorial, into their tucked-away archives, paper-clipped together, typos and all, clapped up inside a very specific and—y’know, one would hope—bulletproof binder.) This was the story about the guy that cannot sleep to death. It’s very Stephen King-y, which should surprise not many—King’s a major inspiration. The way he welds Americana with its sick, tormented underworlds, and makes it look so effortless. Who cares if his endings suck? Even if they always suck? Except for, maybe, Hearts in Atlantis, if that counts, which it should, because that book is great. Stephen King wrote a story about the American dream blooming in the Vietnam season; I wrote a sad, sad one-off about a guy that fuckin’ died.

    Anyway, that insomnia story’s in this book.

    And so are a lot of other things, actually. Better things—the sort of thing you maybe haven’t read before. Like Christopher James’ sexotron story; that was pretty fuckin’ funny.  And a poem by Michael Passafiume that made me sorta wanna cry, that’s in there too.

    Anyway, I got the thing for free. I read it in an afternoon. A cooler me would leak it, but, y’know, well, idk. A saner me prevails.

    That said, the Drunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 paperback (which I would happily arrange to sign and slobber on for you, should that be your bag) is available here.

    And the Kindle edition of the Anthology, which costs $2.99, is available here! Shit! I bet some of you fools can even figure out how to get that for free!

    All jokes aside, thank you sincerely for supporting me in what I try and like to do. And thank you, incidentally, to the editorial staff of Drunk Monkeys for supporting it. If you all didn’t seem to like it, I wouldn’t be here. So all my best to you, friends, always. Selah.

    Drunk Monkeys header courtesy drunkmonkeys.us