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I ID as queer even if I haven't put it into practice recently.

I love animals enough that I haven't eaten them in decades and I used to petsit a lot, like respected and trusted as a responsible petsitter.

And poetry means so much to me that it has ruined my life several times in ways that most people could never even imagine.

I'm a poster child for making the world safer for queer animal-loving poetry, I really am.

I'm even in favor of anthologies that only allow GLBT writers on themes that don't necessarily mandate only GLBT writers.  (Because I'm heterophobic or at least frustrated by how quietly the majority can think it's whispering while it's drowning out minority voices.)

But this is confusing:



It's an anthology of verse about dogs by such noted authors as Gertrude Stein and W. H. Auden!

I even saw it for sale on a British pet supply website!

And, yes, if I were teaching a course on gender identity and dog poetry, I would use this text, but...

dear self

Jun. 19th, 2008 08:32 pm
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Just because Scalzi had a picture of the book doesn't mean that you have to have it this second or you're going to perish.

The book not officially coming out for two weeks doesn't mean that you should buy it on eBay for twice as much from a place that got their shipment early.

Asking the author to email it to you might work but it's rude and obnoxious.  Even if they like you, it's still rude and obnoxious.

You work for a giant bookstore and get a discount and most publishers will give you books for free if you bother to ask because you're also a journalist.

Frantically trying to get your greedy paws on too many books is why your entire life and every thought is buried in tomes and you have multiple copies of your favorites, sometimes three copies of the exact same edition.

Someday, I hope I won't need to buy several books a week to feel whole.


(In truth, I've toned down a bunch in the last six months and this little note is to remind me to keep on the path of recovery from book-hoardingism.  Buying books is fine if I'll have the time to actually read them but my obsessive bookaholism has turned into a progressively dangerous illness.  I also collect rare books, but I'd rather get an expensive one I really want than fritter it away on whatever looks shiny at the moment.)
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Just so you know, Marcel Marceau really did put out a record.

I'd always heard that he had -- which confused me because he was, you know, a mime -- but I finally bothered to look it up and it's a spoken word album where he talks about the history of mime in an interview.

It originally came out in 1971 and was reissued in 2000.





As an inveterately geeky collector and occasional dealer, I was hoping it sounded like John Cage's "4'33" or, even better, was vinyl without grooves on it, unpressed with just a sticker added.


And, of course, there's always this, an originally self-published book that is completely blank on the inside:




readingthedark: (Default)


Happpy Birthday to a living legend of poetry, bookselling, publishing and more.

(I normally don't know birthdays without checking, but this was in Publisher's Weekly and it jumped out. I've seen him read twice and I'd love to see him read again.)
readingthedark: (Default)
Two classic customer requests:

"Do you have any Large Print Audio Books?"

"Do you have books on DVD?"


On the first one, I think they were just a synesthete and they, therefore, couldn't differentiate between reading an angry book and being yelled at. If the volume was too soft it was because the font was too small, which makes perfect sense.

*clears throat, then closes eyes to dodge the noise*

The second, I presumed they meant what most of us would, um, call "movies" -- but it turned out, not kidding, that they wanted words that would scroll across the TV screen at the reader's reading speed, because turning a book's pages was too much work.

(Methinks the follow-up to that one would've been that the titles in mind were for a child's assignment...but I didn't sig deep enough to clarify.)
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"I'm sorry I can't bleed for you the way you want me too.
Throw myself against the rocks the way I used to do."

(from "Sorry," by Assemblage 23, a nifty counterpoint to his classic, "Disappoint.)

We'll start with an untitled prosepoem by me, that reminds me of D. F. Lewis at his least coherent:

1) And the ceiling was as terrible a place as the floor. No usage of eyes, or reaching of outstretching fingers, or letting his consciousness pour about in rivulets, sloshing real and imagined walls, could place anything or hold it to a geographic or even representational space.

We were left humbled by him, knowing that, sooner rather than later, he’d melt to nothing - hydrogen burning fast and becoming water.

But we’d miss his flapjacks.

---------------------------------

2) I'm listening to Assemblage 23's new album, "Meta." It's so cool (for those unusual people who have musical taste as poor and weak and huddled as mine) that I'm on track three ("Sorry") and I already know that I'll play this album for months. He's so cool, so powerful and so observant. Like a wizard.

"You wear your misery like a crown.
You're only happy when you're down.
It satisfies and you don't even know why.
What are you lacking deep inside?
Depression as a point of pride...
If you're not careful, the world is going to pass you by..."

---------------------------------

3) Somewhere I have an advance burning of The Hounds of Hasselvander and I'm wondering what on earth that'll sound like. (I'm not really a doom, sludge or dare I say retro metal person -- because there aren't enough keyboards and you can't dance to it -- but a bootleg of the other member of the band playing bass blew my mind, so I'm psyched.)

---------------------------------

4) Recent purchases of words:

T. E. D. Klein's The Ceremonies -- quite impressive so far

Some Charles Baudelaire -- yay! spleen and decadence
("How could you not care / that I was reading Baudelaire?" is a couplet that I'll eventually use, along with "No regrets / nor egrets.")

Rue Morgue with Grindhouse on the cover -- Liisa Ladouceur's interview with Ogre from Skinny Puppy reminded me of how brilliant, talented and lovely she is. (http://www.therss.com/liisa/) It was a spectacular, yet short, look into one of the most interesting wordsmiths. Both are among the rockingest.

Gothic by Fred Botting -- a British textbook, introductory but well-steeped in French Marxist Lit Theory. Almost done with it and it's full of ideas and leads for further study. (I love that I get to read things like this as research for the novel, but I'd hate to try to teach them. My thoughts are too incoherent, enmeshed and complicated. I'm so opinionated on the subject that I'd have trouble brooking another point of view.)

Paul MacAuley had an interview in a vaguely recent Locus where he mocked (slightly) writers in a scene adjacent to his who wanted to throw the whole world out except for a few rock bands they liked. I felt indicted. (Not that he would ever know who I am, just that the finger was pointed generally and that I was in that direction, hiding in the bushes.)

--------------------------------

5) Sometimes staying up late and not sleeping is still fun. I just wish I was working on the novel instead of typing silly little thoughts.
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This happened quite some time ago at the bookstore:

"I'm looking for the Lance Armstrong biography."

"It's not about the bike," I said.
(Which for you homegamers is the title of his most popular book.)

"No, it's about the cancer," said the customer, thinking they were bright.
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For about seven reasons, a little over seven years ago I think, a turning point in my life happened to happen at Dangerous Visions. I was wandering the streets, on a bad day with vomiting, and saw the sign and thought of Harlan Ellison and walked in.

I was being interviewed by a high-paying (by my simple standards) job in "corporate entertainment sales" and I went through every book in the store before "discovering" Poppy Z. Brite's "Exquisite Corpse" spine out.

I didn't follow the field obsessively (or work in books) like I do now, so I hadn't heard of him; the trade paperback merely looked like the right book for the plane ride home.

Reading really good horror for the first time in years was enough to get me to leave my personal careerism behind and shift the focus back to writing my own fiction, rekindling the Barker, Lovecraft and Gaiman pilot lights that had gone out while I'd been studying literary theory at college.

A week later, when they offered the job (and the company car and the tickets to cool things that I'd never get to go to otherwise), it was easy to say no.

Sink or swim, thanks to Dangerous Visions, my path was clear. And, of course, it still is.

Hating myself for what I've become,
G.

(posted on Shocklines two years ago but it seemed relevant to my state of systematic decline)

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