My breasts on your lathe

That’d be funny if the guy who said to you “that’d be funny if” in the cafe naked next to your workshirt in San Francisco, the dairy caffeine cafe with the watercolor timestamp art on sale for the wall next to the Green Giant, the jolly fellow near the bathrooms at Ritual Coffee Roasters had a handbill in his pocket that said Remember That Time? And his smile would resemble (in the poems by the coffeeshop poets of the neighborhood) a Trademark Symbol, and in his pocket a kangaroo-shaped playbill would reveal an idea like wouldn’t it be funny you know how when you work from home you invariably inhale sheets of graham crackers (apologies to Kevin Moffett, and or baby carrots,) over the sink, fuck it there’s nothing left in the fridge boiling veggie dogs just because you’re at home and the only stress outlet is to turn your face into a compostable sink disposal, well the funny wouldn’t it be if watch there’s a hip coffee shop like Roasters, but it’s got a fridge and a microwave and a bunch of free food that when you get stressed out you just go up and eat? Plus a separate normal pastry display with normal pastries for sale that all the people with dignity still pay money for and get on ceramic plates, but in a separate part of the cafe there’s a dirty fridge with leftover Thai food and frozen veggie pups and cantaloupe beans and whatever else that people who get a terrifying work-email at 4 p.m. just go hose-happy on blasting the babka till it’s gone.

Trundling up the path, snowy silence, bullshit poems alight on branches like proper ravens. Fatman lost in the zendo can’t even feel the stringcheese in his fleece’s breast pocket. An elipsis travels up and down the length of your cock, why the fuck are your daughters reating my erotc poetry blog… scratch that… nyc pastries + flowers

feeling free in the zendo a professional lifeguard reads the blurbs on the back of your self-published book at the self-funded book release party craftily, hilariously putting his empty plastic wine glass in his breast pocket. Mallarme reference TK, he reads aloud, having flipped to a page at random. “Oh fuck,” you say, “is that actually in there?” Taking the book to look, you see that your placeholder text has accidentally made it into print, you’d meant to insert a Mallarme reference here but I guess you never got around to it… “Fuck,” you say again, handing the book back to the guest, who wears an eyepatch and has a fake parrot sewn to his shoulder and teeters as if wearing a pegleg though looking down it’s true he has two sturdy legs overhung with slate chinos. “Pity the placeholder,” no-one says. The next song comes on shuffle and it begins with an accellerated secular church bell, the kind that bongs the time in stately patient bongs but the clever electronic musician has accellerated the bongs so it seems to be chiming 4,000 o’clock and it’s driving you wild with pleasure, to hear this now, and the embarrassing Mallarme TK gaffe feels decades old and already celebrated as a hilarious and ultimately instructive gaffe. A mewling toddler does not say, “Gaffe Giraffe,” but she does do something specific revealing that there are toddlers at the book event TK TK. A breast presses against the window, begging to be let inside the gallery. A red-breasted titmouse flutters its paws next to the tiny DVD console. A duste mote reveals itself to be hilariously in tune with the matter at hand, I mean with the Remains of the Day, I mean with the Remains of the DVD, I mean with the reina, the queen, my darling. Hate and hope in equal measure suffuse the air above the plate of sandwiches, sandwiches which have tried so hard to be here and succeed, mostly, except looking again at them they seem mostly gone, where do sandwiches go at parties like this? I saw people eating sandwiches but that seems unconnected to the absent, devastated, crumb-strewn plaza near the greasy checkboard mom flannel plane that is what some once called That Table. My nephew is here, his name is Aristotle said an obese cartoon calico cat. I got string cheese in my pockets, Aristotle said. He moved his elbows and knees like he was composing a filigree’d poem for his aunts. He had spent most of the party in the basement behind a piano participating in a jam session with Needles, the drummer, who performed using eggbeaters instead of drumsticks; Palimpsest, on bass, who didn’t know what any of the knobs on the amp were for beyond the main volume control, but still managed to fiddle with them between every song, giving him a different sound each time, playing literally hundreds of different notes throughout the course of the evening, but in which order he played the notes I’m sure you had to be there to know, and of course P. Raichport, tenure-track professor of fiction at Lathe University at Kansas City, who is so clearly based on a real person that even the dimples in her cellulite seem to spell a constellation of ciphers that you can rearrange and glyph and  wait what who is that based on no one actually OK nevermind

My College Radio Application

Dear mom and dad,

I went to college from 1999-2003, where I lived, ate, breathed, and smoked college radio (WOBC-FM) all day every day. Then, with a year left, I dropped out to move to CA to work for a magazine. I worked there for the next eight years. Then I fell in love with a beautiful woman and she got a job in town, so I decided to follow her here and finish my B.A. To my intense delight and surprise, this makes me eligible for a show on [yr station]. When I dropped out of college, I cryogenically froze my radio show and now, eight years later, [cue music bed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_tVZFZ5PR4] my beloved show is going into the industrial microwave on MEDIUM for 6-8 minutes and dragging itself through the halls of the academy once again!

My show (TITLE TK: “WEIRD OLD GUY?”) will be freeform radio at its finest, pushing into the red w/r/t innovation and FUN. Fun must never be sacrificed to innovation. And vice versa.

Music is the bedrock of the show, and I plan to make the most of [yr station]’s rock library, in addition to my extensive personal vinyl/CD/MPEG collection. The best rock — from oddities, novelties, classics, forgotten b-sides, to brand-new singles and previews of bands coming through town. But sprinkled throughout the music will be the true jewels of the show, the multiple talk-based segments. Possibilities include:

• “Walking the Line”
Each week, a different writer (from creative writing profs, to visiting poets, to MU poetry/fiction PhDs and even undergrads) brings in one line — a line of their own poetry, or their favorite poet’s, or a sentence from a novel, or from a piece of journalism, anything — just has to be one line of “literature” for us to discuss.

(Each of these segments will have its own musical intro. Maybe Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” for this first one? Or Johnny Cash, sure)

• “Comics Digest”

A weekly verbal recap of what happened this week in the comics page of the Missourian

ex: “It’s been a tough week for Lois of ‘Hi & Lois’; she’s been home with the measles and her little brother won’t leave her alone!” etc etc

• “Vibin’ with the City Council”

Each week I get a Columbia city councilperson on the phone (pre-recorded, most likely; I have a ZOOM H4N I can produce several of these segs in advance, but I’ll always cue and introduce them live) and ask: what’s the vibe of the city council like this week?

• deranged/brief Self-interviews; fake interviews with pre-recorded interlocutors

• I might try a recurring feature about being a 30 year old dude taking computer science with freshman; I will probably rip lots of samples from my DVD of Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School for this (maybe rent Happy Madison, too…). Find other old undergrads and ask them about their lives, what it’s like here for them

• I have an MU football-related idea that I’ll only tell you if you give me a show with a legit timeslot

• Reviews (with field recordings) of frat party bands (!!!!!)

• as many opportunities for live call-in segments as possible (TBD)

• Guest singles (a guest — anyone from the dean of grad studies to that girl who works at Sparky’s brings in 5 singles and we play them and talk about them)

• tiny, hilarious 5-minute radio dramas

• even tinier, even more hilarious 2-minute radio dramas in foreign languages feat. students in various MU language departments

• Much, much more

• Seriously, so much more you have no idea

• And, as I mentioned above, all of these segs, some of which may happen every week, some once a month or so, will all be sprinkled like cherries and chopped nuts over the wide swath of whipped-creamy dark-chocolate sets of top-shelf weird/funky/great music. Wire, the Fall, Olivia Tremor Control, Pixies b-sides, Unrest, Big Dipper, Deerhoof, Beefheart, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Truman the Tiger’s Drug-Hell Singers, Is That a Real Band?, That Would Be Amazing If So, Go Betweens, Soft Boys, Soft Machine, Soft Cell, Soft Bulletin, Don Cherry, Destroyer, Cluster, Tyvek, Essential Logic, Glasser, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, Sparks, Magazine, Melvins, Cardigans, Acrylics, Pterodactl, Fela Kuti, R. Stevie Moore, et al!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I love you.

MFA-Themed Amusement Park Ride

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I’m going to eat your fucking novel for breakfast.
Can we fix this?
Can you slow down, please?
There isn’t a home for you here.
There isn’t a candy-cane village for you here.
There is nothing aesthetic here.
There’s nothing generous here.
There’s literally nothing here.
There is no excess of anything here.
Which would you rather eat? A pot brownie, or some steamed broccoli? If you answered “both,” you’ve come to the right place. The “neuter zone.”

I received your letters, and I read them. They weren’t for me. They were addressed to me, sure, but going through them, I didn’t find anything that felt like it was speaking to me. It was all you. And it wasn’t you telling me about you. It was just you, trapped inside you, running a stick across the corrugated walls of your interior. And then you slapped “Dear Andrew” at the top. I’ll write back when I have more time.

More grievances: I’m tired. I’m Mary Robison. I’m a rock journalist. I have certain catchphrases — “peel the labia back and peer into your destiny” — “Destiny is density minus the equilibrium” — “A childhood philosophy grows into an adult personality disorder” — “The child is father to the man” — “Punk rock has as many generic conventions as the novel, and affords the same pleasures” — “you have just as much a chance of getting food poisoning from vegetables or meat as you do from fish, so stop wondering aloud if it’s OK to order the fish” — “poverty is the enemy of entertainment” — “laziness and fear are seasoned with the same dessicated, juicy crystals” — “a yawn is a titty twice removed” — “shame is another word for Karen” — “people who live for the cinema are not enemies, but it’s comforting for some reason for me to feel alienated or distant from them” — “if you’re going blind, don’t learn the drums” — “an animal has human characteristics” — “spare the child, spare the rod, lash the masts to the sirens, women are great” — “shame, shame, shame” — “a workshop is the devil’s playground” — — “England is always best” — “beer in green bottles, I fell in love” — catchphrases that I use in day-to-day conversation and business correspondence. I find them all useful; I hope you do, too.

An Interview with Fleshspotte

A national magazine flew me to Florence to interview this Welsh bubblegum noise band called Fleshspotte. The magazine took care of all my expenses. I had sex with each band member (there are four), then flew home and wrote this profile. The national magazine (glossy, renowned) killed the piece. I was going to try to sell it to the Utne Reader, or PawHunkies, or Mother Jones, or MeatSpace, or the Labia Quarterly, or AngerBlog Monthly, or ShameSpiralz, or Cat Fancy, or the New York Times Magazine, or Labial Frottage Nudity dot com, or Andrew, Stop It! (UK), or Sassy, or Andrew, You’re Hurting My Feelings, or Crude Futures, or George, or Salon, or the Atlantic, or the Daily Beast, but then I figured: Hey! Why not give it to Good Jobbbbbb: The Online Journal of Success?

psychedelichorseshit-0803061

Fleshspotte knows noise. These four gay Danish guys all went to Harvard and Juliard and the Welsh School of Fashion and the Fashion Institute of Technology and the London School for Economists (where, famously, Mick Jagger and Muriel Spark both lost their virginity– to each other), and Wheaton, and Wharton, and Whimpleton, and Skronksville Community College, and Labial Stop It Andrew I Feel Like This Is Directed Toward Me, Even Though I Can Already Hear You Assuring Me It’s Not, and Yale (actually, only the drummer, Bløckfro, went to Yale, and he dropped…in! For a cuppa. He wrote a tiny, fake thesis on Magnus Mills.)

I caught up with the group for grouper and coffee-toffee BlandishMints® (to clear the grouper aftertaste from our young and pouting moufs) at a Danish or Welsh–style tavern on the outskirts of town. There was a really groovy decor in the cafe, and all the waitresses and baristas looked like Jon Kricfalusi’s “Sody Pop.”

sody06

After we had eaten, I had the great opportunity to ask these shredly tuna-poppers some questions.

GOODJOBBBB: So, how’s your new record

DOWAJJAHH: it’s cool, i’m proud of it

GJ: What else

MOUTHRAH: i like it too

GJ: Cool, you play guitar?

M: Yeah, bass

GJ: Cool, what are your influences lol

M: I like sock-monkeys

D: Yeah, we all listen to a lot of grant green, esp. the best-of

GJ: That’s interesting, bc I don’t hear a lot of jazz in your sound

D: Yeah

M: yeah, i can see that

G: so, is tour really hard

M: we haven’t been touring, but we’re looking fwd to it, I love it, sleeping in the road, sometimes I think that’s what the beatles meant “why don’t we do it in the road,” are they talking about touring

g: i never thought of that

m: neither did i

g: ummmmmmmm so this is going to sound weird but where do women fit into your songs

m: the back door! lol

l: dude no let me answer that we actually do consider ourselves feminists coming out of a strong tradition of welsh punk and jazz having solidarity with the feminist movements both in denmark and stretching all the way to the far east of wales — if you look at the early early jazz/punk records from danish or welsh groups like sister axe, beat nappsty, titty and the napsters, and chewy chewstonia, all those guys, whether it’s there in the lyrics, in the modalities, or even a shout-out in the liner notes, there’s a really rich tradition of feminist and post-feminist ideology in their work

g: i always read that engagement as being ironic and sort of satirical

l: that’s certainly an element, that’s certainly present in that work, but that’s not what we’ve taken from it. we love da ladies ruff ruff lol

g: this has been so much fun, can I come back and interview you again?

d: no lol

Introducing… Rufus

CAROL: [Batting her eyelashes] Oh, hi, Alonzo.

ALONZO: Hey Carol.

CAROL: Well? [Slaps a hand on her hip, “I’m a Little Teapot”–style]

ALONZO: What?

CAROL: Hmmmm? [Sticks her tongue in her cheek; waggles eyebrows.]

ALONZO: Yes? [Feels waves of self-loathing wash over him. Imagines himself a tiny, wheelchair-bound, world-champion-level handicapped surfer, riding his custom longboard across a tsunami of self-indulgence and self-loathing and apathy and stress. A throng of family and friends stands on the beach, roaring their approval. Alonzo the tiny handicap surfer does not acknowledge their presence. His custom Speedos, emblazoned with the logo of his sponsor, the US Postal Service, bulge with authority. Alonzo has no genitals; his speedos are stuffed with USPS-issue beanbags.]

CAROL: Have you eaten?

ALONZO: All I do is eat. I have never not eaten. Hunger is as foreign to me as…. actual problems. I want to help you.

CAROL: You can help me by just relaxing, Alonzo! Nothing is that bad — not even this perceived lack of bad things that you feel is bad. You’re fine! Buy me a chicken Caesar salad, and FedEx your neuroses to Krakatoa

ALONZO: This is nice. Us. This. The breeze.

CAROL: Alonzo, the breeze died forty years ago. Is this some kind of sick joke????

ALONZO: Oh, my god, then that little girl we picked up at the bus depot…

ALONZO AND CAROL: [in unison]: … was a ghost!!!!!

[Enter RUFUS, MY NEW DOG. He wears an adorable little Bolo tie, and farts without shame. Finds half a roast-beef sandwich in the trash (CAROL couldn’t finish it; ALONZO pretending to be vegetarian) and swallows it in three bites, without chewing.]

RUFUS, MY NEW DOG: Hey what are you guys doing [farts]

CAROL: We’re going to go get lunch, and then see The Knickerbocker’s Robes

RUFUS: Is that a play or what

CAROL: Yes. It’s at the Mechanical Institute. It’s about shame, and agribusiness. It’s loosely based on one of these recent books about politics and food

RUFUS: [Drenched in sarcasm] Hey, that sounds fantastic. I wish one of you was legally blind, so I would be allowed into the theater as a seeing-eye dog. Shame that you’re both still sighted, and that I’ll have to stay home, downloading dog-porn on your laptop

CAROL: Rooooo-fuss, you know I don’t like you using my laptop!!!

ALONZO: Rufus, just use my laptop.

RUFUS: Your laptop bums me out. Whenever I open it, there’s always a craigslist ad on there, something you’ve posted, it makes me too sorry for you, I can’t handle it

ALONZO: Surely I don’t know what you’re–

CAROL: What did it say?

ALONZO: [To Carol] You’re listening to the dog now? It doesn’t say anything. He’s clearly going on craigslist trolling for lonely bitches in Dublin or Pleasanton, and he’s just saying this to get a rise–

RUFUS: Really? I don’t think I’d be that interested in “young multiethnic gay pioneers interested in smearing gooseberry jam across the pages of a high-school civics textbook while we flog each other with whole, deboned flounder…”

[The band, who have been standing in darkness until now stage left, begin jamming quietly. Throughout the entire preceding scene, however, their mics and guitars have been live — so occasionally, as the players naturally shift, cough softly, etc, there are little skronks and muffled amplified sounds. This first instrumental should be played softly — I’m thinking the earlier, mellower Yo La Tengo stuff?]