images (1)imagesdownload (1)download

I Swear to Satan…

… I can’t watch or listen to Stuart Adamson and Big Country performing The Storm without shedding blood-red tears. The loss, the waste. God, I wish I could have been there in that stupid hotel in Hawaii 2001 and talked him out of the closet and the rope.

Stay alive.

Ω

HELLO, BEAUTIFUL (Repost)

ilcato_0098_alt_w_Moon

endymion4

 
ilcato_0090

moon-lunar-landscape-surface

ilcato_0091

Moon Map (big)

ilcato_0094

Original Photos by Ilcato

All Moon Photos: NASA

Ω

New Poem, “DEATH IS COMING”

170410_r29691

Photograph by Alex Majoli / Magnum for The New Yorker

Death Is Coming

Death is coming, and I can’t stop it,

even if I were an Angel with a flaming sword

I can’t halt Death’s advance

—fuck—

I can’t afford bus fare to the funeral.

So many words left unsaid,

Not in anger, but in love.

Words unspeakable on the phone,

Because I need to see their faces,

I need to see their eyes,

And I want them to see me.

Death is no conscious entity—

No Seventh Seal, no Sandman

But a very big can of insect repellent

Wiping us out, indiscriminate,

(This is not news.)

I love cemeteries, I love the sleepers in the ground,

With their tombstones, their names,

Their stop and start dates.

And I know—more to come.

Not strangers. The ones I love.

And I still won’t have bus fare.

November 3, 2017

Ω

VIDEOSCOPE #104 IS IN THE HOUSE!

IMG_3635

AS USUAL, chock-full of great shit. But I was so dismayed that The Phantom didn’t like Kong / Skull Island! (Although I’m still laughing over “Viet Kong.”) But for fuck’s sake, MIGHTY JOE OLD! Finally, an American kaiju movie that got it right! So much better than Peter Jackson’s dizzy, sloppy, head-scratching remake in 2005—even if it did feature my beloved Naomi Watts barefoot and in bondage…

King-Kong-2005-Movie-Scene-king-kong-2702841-500-375

… and ten zillion times better than 2014’s Godzilla

download

… I mean, LOOK at this. LOOK AT THIS SHIT. Mighty Kong smacking down choppers in vengeance against those pesky bi-planes of 1933!

The Phantom’s lack of appreciating Kong-sized entertainment notwithstanding, VideoScope #104 is outta sight. Visit The Phantom here.

Ω

 

The Rope Slave Rises Against the Darkness

DIgO3mrXcAAUsWM

Ω

“What Am I Going To Be For Halloween?!”

Photo on 9-7-17 at 4.33 PM

For fuck’s sake, I AM Halloween! I’m Halloween 365, 24/7! I’m on Darth Vader’s security detail, I wrote the program for The Terminator T-800 Model 101! People fucking FLY out of my way on the sidewalk!

But really I’m just a big black cat, looking for love. Why, WHY don’t they love me? (Ha ha.)

Ω

 

Happy Anniversary, ALWAYS APOCALYPSE

Always Apocalypse Cover 1 Rev

THIS HASN’T SOLD A SINGLE COPY. Which doesn’t make me sad, it just make me shake my head. I don’t think it’s a “brilliant” collection of poems, but it is my heart. Which Gojira, King Kong, and the world all appear intent on smashing.

But my heart is greater, and harder, than all three.

ALWAYS APOCALYPSE.

Ω

Mighty Denis Johnson, My Hero and “Contemporary,” RIP, Part II

denis-johnson

THIS POST IS INEXCUSABLY LATE. IT WAS A ROUGH SUMMER. IT’S BEEN A ROUGHER FALL. ANYWAY, LET’S ROCK.

Hey, warning: copious name-dropping ensues in the following text. I can’t help it. This is my Denis Johnson story: fact, not fiction. Denis wrote about weirdos and losers burning at the edge of town, weirdos and losers burning at the edge of everything. I’m one of those weirdos and losers. Denis saw right through me. His sentences blasted my shadow on the concrete. Here we go.

IN THE FALL OF 1986 I was 21 years old and trying to write a dystopian novel called RUIN. (A dystopian novel! Jesus Christ, what a concept!) Anyway, my immediate readers—friends, slackers, poseurs, weirdos, losers—they all shook their heads and said, “Who the fuck is going to want to read this?”

Ruin p1005

Well, my teachers read RUIN and liked it. My teachers at the time were Peggy Rambach, onetime wife of Andre Dubus, and Robert Waukenon of The Art Institute of Boston. And they both said to me, independent of each other, “Go read Denis Johnson.”

God, I wish Denis could read this. He’d be amused.

Let me clarify: when Peggy Rambach and Robert Waukenon told me to go read Denis Johnson, they were in NO WAY likening my sentences to Denis Johnson’s. BUT they recognized what I was aiming for—the darkness, the yearning, the passion.

Peggy recommended that I should read Denis’ first novel, ANGELS. I had to special-order it. The special order took months. It was worth the wait.

1-short-novel-johnson

“Dazzling and savage.” Indeed. Denis Johnson’s ANGELS ripped me to shreds. SHREDS. What a book. What words. Holy shit, Peggy Rambach had ushered me into an arena I wasn’t fit to enter.

Waukenon suggested I read Denis’ second novel, FISKADORO.

10508

Like the rest of the world, I didn’t like FISKADORO. “Curse of the second novel,” which is a myth I do not buy into, it’s nonsense. For example, Iian Banks’ second novel, Walking On Glass is infinitely superior to The Wasp Factory. But at the end of the day FISKADORO just didn’t work. As much as I wanted to like it, I didn’t.

But then…

70623

“Daring” is putting it mildly. I’ve never read a text written by a man more convincing in conjuring of the voice of a woman than The Stars at Noon. What… balls. no screwy pun intended. I wouldn’t have even tried such a feat.

BUT THEN—

608287._UY630_SR1200,630_

JESUS’ SON hit the reading/writing community like an ELE (Extinction Level Event) slamming the planet. Suddenly, everybody fucking loved Denis Johnson! Writers, readers, and editors whom I loved and respected were all over him like Uncle’s Day at a whorehouse, an indelicate but accurate comparison. It was sick. But no one made me sicker and madder than Gordon fucking Lish.

6.20dt0125gordonlish01

For those not in the know, Gordon Lish’s chief claim to fame is to have “discovered” Raymond Carver— a claim Carver himself came to vehemently refute, going as far as commanding Random House to forbid Lish from editing his final books.

Lish was my editor, my publisher, and my “employer,” ha. I would show up at his office  early in the day and do all his slave work, and all the other editors in Random House (Knopf, baby) would walk by Lish’s office and shout, “GIVE BOUCHER SOME MONEY, GORDON.”

He never did.

Anyway, when Denis Johnson hit the planet like an ELE around 1991, 1992, 1993, Lish was THE BIGGEST poseur, like he was in on Denis from the start. He wasn’t. Not even close. Which really incredibly pissed me off—Lish was just following the fucking crowd, the same way way he did a year before when Cormac McCarthy made it really big with ALL THE PRETTY HORSES and Lish crowed and crowed that McCarthy made Faulkner look like “a punk.” (He didn’t. Not even close.)

Which led me to an important realization: despite Lish’s self-delusion that he was a trail-blazer, Gordon Lish revealed himself as a follower, a fucking privileged white boy coming from money and literary snobbery— a liar, a faker, a ghost.

Denis Johnson was a real man, man. He ate, bled, shat, fucked and wept like a real man.

These are all of his books:

https://www.amazon.com/Denis-Johnson/e/B000AQ3FL0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1508181439&sr=8-2-ent

TNY-Remembering-Denis-Johnson-2

Crying as I finish this. Goddamn it. God fucking damn it.

Ω

 

 

  • Calendar

    November 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Oct    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Avail @ Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, Everywhere

  • COMING SOON