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Joseph Brinson

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Member: Quixada

CollectionsYour library (2,339)

Reviews49 reviews

Tagsfiction (1,525), FirstEditionHB (482), philosophy (229), short stories (197), poetry (179), author suicide (100), drama (71), theology (39), various authors (37), signed (29) — see all tags

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About mePoet, writer, reader, pacifist.

About my library"My poetry is, or should be, useful to me for one reason. It is the record of my individual struggle from darkness toward some measure of light." - Dylan Thomas

"Poets are damned...but see with the eyes of angels". - Allen Ginsberg

“Conditioned to ecstasy, the poet is like a gorgeous unknown bird mired in the ashes of thought.” - Henry Miller

“Lonely people tend, rather, to be lonely because they decline to bear the psychic costs of being around other humans. They are allergic to people. People affect them too strongly.” – David Foster Wallace

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” - Franz Kafka

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When people read his books they have an uncontrollable desire to hang the author in the town square. I can’t think of a higher honor for a writer.” - Roberto Bolano on Horacio Castellanos Moya

"Fish, free, cut sharp corners in their tank." - D. Keith Mano

"I went nowhere, I knew no one, I did nothing." - S. Townsend Warner

"Don't run after poetry. It penetrates unaided through the cracks." -Robert Bresson

"Success, as in adulation, adoration, or the ole spondulix, is a pitcher of cold spit when it comes to poetry." - Richard Derus

"He told himself he was inching closer to the poem of no return." - Steve Erickson

"Nothing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market." - Ezra Pound

“The poet makes himself a seer by an immense, long, deliberate derangement of all the senses.” – Arthur Rimbaud

"I've always been drawn to tormented people full of contradictions." - Antonio Tabucchi

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GroupsI became a fabulous opera, The Gin & Tonics, Tropic of Ideas

Favorite authorsTheodor W. Adorno, Leonid Andreev, Antonin Artaud, Georges Bataille, Charles Baudelaire, Maurice Blanchot, Richard Brautigan, Albert Camus, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, E. M. Cioran, Gregory Corso, Rene Daumal, Osamu Dazai, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Shusaku Endo, William H. Gass, Madeline Gins, Juan Goytisolo, Pierre Guyotat, Oscar Hahn, Knut Hamsun, Hermann Hesse, Eugene Ionesco, Denis Johnson, Attila Jozsef, Ismail Kadare, Sarah Kane, A. L. Kennedy, Søren Kierkegaard, Pär Lagerkvist, W. Somerset Maugham, Michael McClure, Henry Miller, Friedrich Nietzsche, Wilhelm Reich, Arthur Rimbaud, Marquis de Sade, Jean-Paul Sartre, Arthur Schopenhauer, Hubert Selby, Jr., Anne Sexton, Leo Tolstoy, Roland Topor, Nick Tosches, Steve Weiner, Colin Wilson, Slavoj Žižek, Émile Zola (Shared favorites)

Real nameJoseph Brinson

LocationSt. Petersburg, FL

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Quixada (profile)
/catalog/Quixada (library)

Member sinceJun 18, 2006

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Thought you might appreciate that!
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Great shot!
Thank you for that. That is the best damn KISS essay EVER. Klosterman really loves KISS, as well he should, and loves them not just because his last name begins with a "K".
I sent him a note the day after Megan died that I'd need to wait until Feb. to get back to him, but Feb. came and went, and then March, and I've lost both momentum and interest in pursuing it. Maybe that'll change.
Thanks for the Bolano, man. I got it earlier this week. Short stories are right where I'm at these days. I'll give a story a go tomorrow at gymnastics.
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Be a good shot for the back cover of one of your forthcoming books of poetry, no?
Thanks Joseph! Looking forward to it.
Hey Joseph. Just a note letting you know that Baise Moi left the premises on Friday, Joseph; should arrive I'm betting by Thursday.

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Road rage? ;-)
In happy hopes that 2014 will bring ever greater pleasures to your reading world, Jo:

Celebrate the return of the light with feasts, merriment, and gratitude for all the wonders of this wide green earth.

Good stories in there. One of my favorites is Dolan's Cadillac cool!
Very belated thanks. He is that for me, too. What wonderful quotes you have!
Well, Jo, c'mon...poetry's pretty effin' pointless...don't front, poet-man, you know it in your heart of cat-lady hearts.

Hope you've been well this long, hot summer.

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Makes me think of Langston Hughes' poem, "Island".
That looks like just too much fun.
Niiiiice. Though I must confess I've never heard of Appendix A by A.M. Homes. So I'm off to look it up.
Hey Joe,

Have you ever bumped into Ken Lopez Bookseller in all your years of collecting? I've been exploring the site all weekend. I want his job!
Ha-ha! That's how I look the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

Hey Jo, here's the link I promised you. I haven't updated in a few years, but I have a buttload of bad sonnets to put up. Maybe I'll get some time later today.
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Now that is a beautiful photo. Did you take it?
Thanks Jo! It was last year, but I'd forgotten to post the review. It was in a thread of the moribund Steve Erickson group, that I happened upon the other day, looking for something else!

Oh I'm glad to see you got Solla's books. They're quite good.
Thanks! I see you've already read (and also found disappointing) The Golem. The translation of Man Who Was Born Again that I read was in a Dover twofer with The Golem. I thought it was much better, but it was also more straightforward than Golem so that may say more about me than the book.
She really nailed the essence of your first book didn't she. Much better than I was able to. Got something interesting to share on that Double or Nothing ....

Hope you're doing okay, man. So sorry for your friend.
Thank you : ). I laughed at your comment that The Shipping News was on your floor because you'd run out of shelf space ages ago! I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did.

Already have it wish-listed. :) Thanks for the compliment on the user name. Came from a conversation with a long-past coworker, who was on the other end of a political spectrum from me.
Cannot wait to find a copy of _The Opera of Trees_. Sounds like a beautifully haunting book of poetry.
Great library! Will definitely keep up with your reviews. Frankl, especially, has intrigued me recently (and I have a quotation of his as my email signature).
Yes. Those are mine. I thought better of it after I'd begun because Dalkeys aren't your average paperbacks.
Damn, Jo, that's weird because as soon as I wrote that, I thought the very same thing! I would love to see what you come up with. Maybe I'll even have a go myself. I've been lamenting of late my lack of verse production. I used to churn it out--pure doggerel unfortunately, but I still enjoyed doing it (where poetry and golf meet for me.)
Thanks for your note. I saw that you had a lot of McClure's books too & thought I'd say hello. His work has meant a lot to me over the years.
Whoa! Natalie.
Hey Jo, saw your Larry Brown acquisition and the "Southern" tag made me think of a writer I've meant to ask you about: William Gay. You familiar with him? Raw & gritty & real, he sounds like. I'm enjoying Ballard's short stories. "Concentration City" is one of the more exceptional, early ones of his I've so far tackled. Hope you're good.

Thanks Jo! It is a little after the fact, but I had a good day anyway! I hope yours is a happy one :)

I'll be offline the next week or so, but will talk when I get back.
Holly Hippodays! Hope it's a good feast for all of your loved ones. Oh, and you too.


Right back atcha, Jo! Are you spending Christmas with your folks? Wherever you are, I hope you're having a good one!
Hey Jo, finished "Town Smokes" today. Loved it! Thanks so much for recommending it.
Fine review of Morrison's fully caparisoned life! Upgethumbed.
Cool. I will take it a look at it later when I'm not on hold here or running around like a crazy man. I've had reviews going forever for Swan Song and Battleborn, but my activity of late in the Infinite Jesters group has sucked up most of my free time otherwise spent on writing.
How weird. I'll go fix it and spend a little time there.
Those are fabulous! You should put the one of the scuba divers in the group as the primary pic.
Got it! Now I need to read it. Thanks again.
Remind me, then, to never read Affliction ;-) Glad you like the Erin Flanagan. The idea of basically a full body tattoo being removed -- the process seemed up yer alley. Hope you're having a nice time too down there in 'Bama. We didn't have a proper Thanksgiving meal (long story) but it was good. Just noticed your most recent addition. Sweet. I like that cover. Is it available to order?
The photo that says "Don't try walking home drunk if you live here" -- If you ever get as drunk as I used to get, the fall probably wouldn't hurt you.

Quixada, you wrote of Manzarek's novel: "I just really don’t get the reason for this novel."

Solomon sez: "You just haven't done enough of the right kind of dope!" No offense intended. 8-)
Heh. I do not know how the hoi polloi make their decisions, but clearly merit and quality enter not into the process of processing.

Happy Holocaust of the Turkeys!

Your review probably explains why I put the book down in the third chapter. Reread the title story from Usual Mistakes. That one, I promise, really is good.
Thanks for those pics. I like the bathtub the best. I'll get back to the Manzarek this week. I'm reading one right now that has your name written all over it: So Far Gone by...? author's name escapes me.
Better than "Devil all the Time?" Damn, that's saying something! My library happens to have a copy, and I just put it on reserve. Can't wait! Never heard of Breece D'J Pancake, but I shore do love that name.
I know, I'm a slacker! I hope you enjoy the Aira if you decide to pick it up!
...oh, meant to add, why not go to 6,666?
Cool. I'm glad you did. Just know its probably not as good as I've hyped it, but it is good. It's easily one of my most favorite book covers regardless. I don't know who the tatted lass is, though I've looked to find out. I should pull it out this long weekend and reread one or two.
Hope he warnt no crazed Alabama killer huntin' him some poet!

The stories in The Usual Mistakes are unusually good.
It's a beautiful shot. Someone may have been firing a laser beam at you! ;-)
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Ha! Gotta be your heart! Great effing pic! Where is that?
Italics. Whatever.
Hey, thanks, man! I felt like it was a bit of a dog's breakfast when I wrote it, but l went back and read it after I got your message and it hangs together better than I thought. Speaking of dogs, your review of Bukowski's Women is hilarious and I am resisting the urge to go buy it right now and read it with friends and box wine and laugh and laugh. We'd feel dirty in the morning.
I missed your last comment. I have that Pancake. Read a couple of them a long time ago. Need to go back and read the whole book.
You and slick seem to be all over this Pinckney Benedict. Another Appalachian writer no less, following Cormac & Pollock. His name is being added to my index card I keep in my car, just in case a bookshop materializes ...
Hey that's a really nice new porcelain statuette of that cool cat you've got. Looks real! ;-)

Thank you for your great words on the review. Had to be maximally maximal. I think IJ is just one of those one's whose depths few will ever fully fathom, but its pages are awesome, regardless, for multiple scuba dives. I'm going to jump back into it come New Years.

Have you begun that Manzarek?
Oh wow, Noodle is a ghost cat! How impressive (s)he is! Chizzy is entranced.
Dude, that sounds awesome. We do have one of those nearby. I missed the Led Zeppelin one, their last concert in London from a few years ago, that was shown on Oct. 17th, 18th. Thanks for the heads up. I'll try to sneak away to that.
Hey Bro! I noticed you are atop my weighted shared list. I thought it warranted remarking upon.
Hey, I like Saturday Sun. Thanks for posting.

Also your John Donne. No man is an Iland, indeed.
Fried oysters? Raw...only raw for me. With plenty of tabasco and horseradish. Raw meat, whiskey and sex: a poet's regimen.

Too bad about your trip. But like you said, there's always next time.
A breeze of voices, a polyphony of whisperings.

My orginal comment was going to be - "Pick one!" But, I've changed my mind. I think it is best deployed to describe what it feels like if you are drinking past a certain point in a crowd of people. I doubt that was how Sylvie used it.
I bet he will keep the community of Knockemstiff going in his work. Yeah, I found the prose bland at first, but like you with Bukowski's Women, I was reading it right after Outer Dark, so it really couldn't help but pale after that. But after awhile I was enrapt by how he wove everything together believably and how every thread was indeed The Devil all the time. His strength isn't writing insomuch as storytelling, which may be the "technical" aspects you're picking up on. I think he could have his own genre going, hard to peg him.
That was an identity shift! Glad to know you're okay. I saw "jodavid" vanish and thought, "huh! that's weird."

I'm glad you liked my review, and I'd strongly recommend the book to you, O Poet. It's wonderful.

Sending hugs
Well, how was your trip? Where'd y'all wind up eating? Hope it was productive.
Well, I would not totally condemn Bukowski's "Women" as you do, but I would agree with you that it is a much weaker book than "Post Office" or "Factotum". In my opinion, Bukowski is at his best when he describes the daily madness of the working man. "Women" is basically just about him drinking a lot, having sex, then drinking some more. If I had to choose a book by Bukowski to re-read, most likely it would not be this one.
Book recommendations, eh? Hmmm.

I wasn't kidding about that Ray Manzarek novel The Poet in Exile. It's fascinating. I mean, who hasn't dreamed that Morrison may have faked his own death? And how great to have one of the people closest to him speculate and make true so many of his fan's fantasy. Great read so far.

Have you ever tried Joseph McElroy? I don't know if the content necessarily would float your boat, but I'm sure the writing would, in Women and Men. As I think of more I'll send 'em over ....
Funny you'd mention that. I noticed the same thing when I began reading The Devil All the Time immediately after Outer Dark. The latter novel is excellent in what it aspires to, but McCarthy's writing is just on another plain. I could read nothing but his first five or six novels over and over again for the rest of my life and be satisfied with my reading.
Aw, man! That's too bad. Oh well, I hope you enjoy your quick trip, and at least enjoy some good Tex-Mex cuisine. Or BBQ. Or both!
Too cool, Jo!!! But you're coming too late. Check out what you're going to miss by just a few days!

I'll pm you later with my personal info, just in case you can scare up a few minutes, as well as a few choice bookstores.
Hey there! I just now saw your comment on my "Be Not Content" review, sorry for the delay! It's fiction, though I imagine it's very closely derived from the author's experiences. His widow called me a few months ago to tell me that she was close to getting "Be Not Content" republished as an e-book but I haven't heard anything else about that. I highly recommend reading it if you can find a copy!
Oh I'm totally with you on that. I've spent considerable time carefully removing stickers from books, especially from covers and spines, I don't mind on the inside so much (and besides, those are impossible to remove without removing much of the page along with it).

I'd rate The Royal Family, I meant to mention, in my top 25 all time, not sure where.
Wow, thanks for the recommendations, Jo! Not only hadn't I heard of these works, I hadn't even heard of the authors (except for Homes.) I'm really in a dark reading phase right now. Since I read "Devil All the Time," I can't seem to get enough of it. These should fit the bill quite nicely. Enjoy your trip!
Nah, that Royal Family was just a first printing that I'd forgotten to input. I'd of been more excited if it were a first printing w/out so many library stamps. I think the librarian who stamped it as being removed from circulation, really hated the idea of the book, probably based solely on the cover, because there were like 12-15 stamps on the inside cover and first couple pages. Made me crack up. And thanks on the review. Larson'd probably drop dead of a coronary he heard him some Pentagram.
May that be a long time coming! I think about the same thing now and again, without any wish to lose this skin that I am constituted in. Funkadelic's Maggot Brain is another good one. There is another I noticed recently that I can't remember right this second. I hope I remember it in time for my big day!
Hi Jo, thanks for the message. I'm wondering just how Australian the accent of your friend really is; I'd like to hear it! The Yarra Velley's a pretty enviable place to live - a valley of vineyards and the best of all four seasons.
I wholeheartedly agree, Jo! And thanks!
Thanks, Jo, it was awesome. Relaxing to the max. I'm definitely not all that glad to be back!

Yeah, Bubba sold me on The Devil All the Time. Knockemstiff sounds terrific too. How have I missed this gothic hillbilly all this time?!

You really can't go wrong with Didion. I could probably spend a ton of time dissecting her stuff piece by piece. Here's hoping The White Album hits you as bleakly hard as Play It As It Lays!
I'm back.
I suspect the Occupy movement is more successful than the PTB want anyone to know. I suspect its rhetoric will lodge in the hearts and minds of a substantial minority. And I suspect that the forces (literal forces) of reaction will bring it and stomp on any rebellion.

Since that's exactly what I want them to do to the white separatists, I have a hard time knowing what to think about that. "Don't hurt *my* revolutionaries! Just the jesus ones!"

Even I am not that big a hypocrite.

Change that I support can't happen from within any more. Change that *I* want, happening from without, isn't likely to succeed. Change that horrifies and repulses me is a shoo-in from within or without.

Now what?
I wish so hard that I was shocked. I'm not. I'm horrified, repulsed, and outraged, but not shocked.

There is no such thing as enough for these assholes, and there can never be a solution except the Russian Revolution one: Line 'em up and mow 'em down.

And that, as we've seen, doesn't work forever.

When the species dies out, I for one will go smiling to my grave.
Hey J. - first of all, belated welcome to the group. I think I was saying Lowry's was one of those novels (along with the Hemingway novel I mentioned) that poetically offered alcoholism as a sort of horrifyingly abject - and sloppy - means of temporarily purging consciousness of the furious knowledge that one isn't dead yet - in short - not a fun and/or reasonable way to reconcile one's sensibilities with the demands of existence. It actually created a sort of nausea in me, if that makes sense.

There are plenty of fun and upbeat alcoholic novels out there (and enumerating them might keep me dry for a few hours ;). This gets me off my tangent and to your question: I had heard of neither the book nor the author - but it sounds interesting, perhaps even wise. I think there's a zen parable somewhere to the effect "Master, how do I achieve enlightenment?", to which the sage replies, "have you eaten your rice? Then go and wash your bowl." Perhaps the analogy betrays my broad liberalism, but I am at one with those drunks. I will look into this one.
I remember that review well! All I can say is, yes...and no!
Coin Locker Babies!
How can you pass up what one user called: "Quite possibly the most fucked up book I've ever read." It's certainly up there for me . . . in a good way!
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one uninfluenced by the opinions of the majority. When Lolita received such high praises, I figured that it must be a great book. I don't think I'll ever understand why people believe it to be so great. But it is nice to know that others out there share my point of view.
Some of the best memories of my life are going to shows with my brother.
No haven't seen the movie, although keep meaning to view it.

Nice review of The High Life, which of course I'd never heard of. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I think stories can be as good as novels if they're done right.

Thanks for adding me to your interesting libraries list earlier. Most people don't and I think (or like to believe) it's because I don't have enough books. So I appreciate it.

I haven't read Delany's HOGG, and it won't be the next book I tackle. I read your review of it, which was quite interesting, and informative.

Hi & thanks for the kind words :) "Restraint of beasts" got me started on Mills, such a great book with a very nice twist. Its a bit different to "All Quiet On The Orient Express" but I hope you do enjoy it :) I have "Three to see the king" to read next & I am looking forward it there is no one quite like him.
In the event I am, the world will be ending, but yes indeed let's do! Likewise should you make the trip to civilization, you're on for a meet-up.
You're very sweet to say so. I do what I can....
I enjoyed your poem in review of Play It As It Lays!
LOL. That's news to me. I have no idea why a review, more than three years old, would show up on HR. Weird!
Good one, Jo! That quote on freedom is truly fascinating.
Since you are interested, I will look at it for my next book after Sot-weed!
Hello, pleased to meet you! :)
Jo, we must seriously be on the same wavelength or something, because I was just at a friend's blog who'd linked an NPR article on Didion's latest memoir, and was about to go post the link elsewhere....

In Play It As It Lays, you will see very clearly where Bret Ellis received much of his stylistic inspiration. I'd say it's a good place to start!
I'm an absurdeist. But I'll read anything that existentialist! Revisiting Suttree at the moment, along with my long, plodding way through Didion's complete non-fiction.
The Bartis sounds excellent, especially after the opening line of this review:

oh? ...probably no big surprise, there are clearly lots of awesome people here.

thanks. it seems we share a fairly similar interest.
The Sea Came in at Midnight was my favorite of his until Rubicon Beach. Now tell me, how do you follow up Hogg? What are you reading now?
Well who knows, maybe I will cross that emotional border with that book sometime. Have you ever read Ballard's Crash? The descriptions you touched on reminded me of the graphic nature of that difficult-to-stomach novel.
Never thought I'd encounter a book more disgusting than Vollmann's The Royal Family, but your review of Hogg makes Vollmann's sound like a hymnal by comparison. I think I'll let your fine review suffice. Has Delany ever been interviewed, to your knowledge, about that book? Maybe why he wrote it, what his motivation was? Doesn't sound like he was looking to shock you just to shock you.
I've been following your reviews with pleasure. Three star books are worth my time, so long as they are certain flavors or genres. I will still be reading Going Native!
Love your quotes! I added some to my Facebook.
I look at terms like "act of God" in contracts as terms of art. The term has been given a specific meaning in contract law that doesn't indicate anything to do with the supernatural, so I just take it as an anachronistic term with a particular legal meaning.
Thank you for your comment & the thumbs up! Although you imply that other Saramago novels are worthwhile, I will probably give them a pass--just too many books, too little time.
I note Colin Wilson is listed as a favorite author of yours--I have never met anyone else who has even heard of him. My opinion of his work has changed over the years (and the quality of his work is very uneven), but the causal connection he made between habit/boredom and depression/criminality, is brilliant.
It was all so meaningless, wasn't it, those elaborate descriptions of irrelevant characters and settings. I thought the raving nihilism of the novel precluded the possibility of any deeper philosophical introspections, and that the novel was as much of a success as it could be, given the "shallower" limits in analysis and content he imposed on himself. All in all, we're only off in our rating evaluations by half a star. I'm glad you gave him a chance. Thumbed.
Mailer was always so willing to stick his neck out there against the grain wasn't he? He was the only one, originally, to say something positive about American Psycho.

Larry McAffery, btw, ranks Hogg in the 100 slot on his greatest English language novels of the 20th century, saying only about it that it was "The most shocking novel published in the 20th century".

Thank you for your invaluable contributions to the fledgling "Clocks" group!

You've got that cool DFW quote above. Are you familiar with the Infinite Jesters group? I'll send you an invite in case you're not.
I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Hogg. I heard it is one of the most disturbing books ever written. Took Delany a long time to find a publisher for it.
So why Arctic-Stranger. Well, first, I live in the sub-arctic (Fairbanks, Alaska, although I am now in Juneau where I work three months of the year.)So that is the Arctic part. As to the Stranger, when I first started going on-line I used the name Icebiter which I got from a group JRR Tolkien belonged at Oxford, the Coalbiters. (They would sit around a coal stove and talk about Northern Things, the Finnish Language--a prototype of his Elvish in LotR, and Norse mythology.)

My Ex hated that name, and at the time I was reading a series of graphic novels called "Strangers in Paradise." To me, Alaska is a paradise, so I merged my love of Alaska with my love of those novels, and became Arctic-Stranger.

now a question for you. Whose tattoo is that in your profile pic? My daughter has one that looks very much like it, and in the same place.
Thanks for adding me to your interesting libraries Joseph. Always an honour!

You sound like you're in a really nice groove with your work. I think Ginsberg went over 36 hours straight when he wrote Howl. There've been a couple occasions in my life when I was in that nonstop creative zone, and it's a rush. Do keep me posted on your progress.

I've heard Meditations in Green mentioned a lot in the same breath with Dog Soldiers, which besides Tim O'Brien's stuff, is probably the best and most visceral of Vietnam material I've read. Though I've yet gotten to Tree of Smoke or William Eastlake's book on the war (forget the title), that I hear are both outstanding.

Thanks for the encouragement (as always) on the reviews!
I'm good, Jo, how you doin' man? Hope you're good. How's the writing/poetry going? Do know I'm always interested (even if it seems like I've slunk off somewhere underground!) in seeing anything new or hearing about anything you've got going on with your work. I saw you picked up another owner of The Opera of Trees recently. Hopefully they'll have something good to say about it in time.

I have been on a Steve Erickson kick. Still am. Well into his second novel, and then plan on reading his third and fourth one right after the other, all the way up through These Dreams of You, just released this month. His third, Tours of the Black Clock will be a reread for me, but since the book pretty much stumped me the first time around, my second time with it might as well be my first go round. I've learned more about him and what makes him tick since first attempting his novels several years ago, his tweaked (and that's "tweaked" in a good way!) perception of reality and time, particularly light and sound (thanks to Alex Austin's input and several old interviews) so interpreting him and navigating the labyrinths of his parallel, Los Angeles-on-the-cusp-of-collapse, universes, are much more manageable and enjoyable to read. Have you read any Erickson? I bet you'd like him, being somewhat of that dark romantic you seem to be yourself at times in your poems.

Here's a piece I just revised on the blog you might like, on Stephen Wright:

nice tatt! That's what I call total commitment to an artistic cause!
Quote freely.
Okay, if you want me to read your poetry, I will. If I like it, I will say so, and explain why; if I don't like it, I will say so and explain why.

Read some of my one-star and two-star reviews, and if you still feel like running the risk of being told your business after that, send away. I have a Kindle account if that's easier for you.
Three Month Fever was deeply disturbing. Indiana is capable of messing with my sleep cycles. Plus that "LOVE" painting of his makes me itch.

I'm fat and stuffed and boozed up. What a way to spend a snowy night!
I'm heading downstairs to drink 'tinis and eat crab puffs for real. Then it's time to make the recipe for liver, bacon, onions was requested for this dark and snowy night's dinner.

That frozen waterfall pic made me swoon, and the quote just popped back into my head. They match well!

Go read "The God Engines."
Take a look at the photo and quote in my new thread.
Not terribly often. I'm married to a poet, and I was on the PEN Prison Writing Poetry Committee for several years. These things have conspired to keep my enthusiasm for Calliope's art suppressed like a compromised immune system.
I don't do drunken very much any more, being old and fearful of hangovers...literary conversations are my sine qua non for living, so that's why I belong to the same book circle I started in 1994 and why I belong to LT and to (don't tell anyone) GoodReads. It does, however, militate against picking up boys in bars. They tend to look at books as decorative objects.

Which is why I sit at home and read! Oh, poor me.

We share quite a lot of books, 141 of your 2145 and my ~3500 (can't count the wishlist of 1050+). Bound to be one you're eager to discuss. Lay it on me.
I will love you forever simply for having this quote on your profile:

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” - Franz Kafka
Tunner and Kit. Tunner and Port. Port and Kit. Find me some sexual heat in any of these variations. G'wan g'wan double-dog dare ya.

Arab as Wily Native. Murrikin as Rich Rube. Okay, been there done that in 1949...sixty-three years ago this wasn't an under-used trope, and by now it's a dreary cliche when used without irony or other meta-element to waft away its corpse-like odor.

Books told in dialogue. Really now. Robert Pinget did it better.

So "tedious twaddle" remains my judgment unless you can smudge the ennui from my spirit and convince me otherwise. But hey! You're a grown man, you decide what you like and why, no input from me.

I can live with having feet of clay.
That little phrase has earned me one new fan, then...also a raft of critics. I thought about suggesting they join a group called the Longface Puritans League, but I'd have to start it and I've spent enough time thinking about their grumpy butts.

Really glad I brought you a smile! Come by my thread sometime, lots of chatty funny folks there.

Thanks J! It's getting a bit out of hand and I've run out of shelf space! Time for more shelves or a bigger house!
"Superstition is the poetry of life, and so it does not hurt the poet to be superstitious."

Something to spray on your quotations wall. Thanks for the IL nod.

The pink hair says it all. Glad you liked them.
Thanks for your not Joseph. Happy New Year to you too!

Thanks for that, Jo. That's truly awesome to hear. Didion's one of my favorite authors ever. Her powers of observation are matched by few of her peers, if any.

I noticed you had Sheeper ( in your library. Its come up in a thread and I was curious if you've read it and would recommend it?
hi!I see u have the Baudelaire: The Paradox of Redemptive Satanism... awesome :)
I study french and maybe u know can i find this book online?Because i can t find it in Serbia :/
No problem. I've already posted this (in an eclectic thread that features poetry prominently):

I'll get the frontispiece scanned with the autograph this week on that other thread I mentioned, along with some preliminary thoughts that I'll flesh out later for a "real" review, and post another poem along with the autograph and cover image, if that's okay. If there's a particular poem you'd prefer seeing spotlighted, let me know, and I'll feature it.
Thank you for your kind words!
Thank you for your comment regarding my review. If you read it and end up hating me, I hope that you do not hold me too accountable. ;-)
Hi Jo!

Your book arrived today. I flipped it open, and happened upon "Affliction" and roared. My wife, sitting next to me, wanted to know what was so funny, so I read it aloud to her, and she roared. I'm going to stop flipping through it now, though, and begin at the beginning, though how I will not jump ahead to "My Plant Has a Venereal Disease" I'm just not sure. "Beauty" was terse yet deep. You're obviously gifted. I've got a few things in front of you, but I'm hoping by New Year's to have it finished and something up on the blog and a review here in LT.

In the meantime ... I've got an old "Stuff you Find inside Books" thread in the salon, that I use to show off my author autographs ... would you mind if I scanned your autograph and an image of the cover and included "Affliction" as an excerpt from the book, to get the early word out how good it is?

Thanks for sending it and for making my evening. Really good stuff, Jo!
I like parts of it, but some of the historical stuff is a bit dry. I found the nun stuff interesting, but a lot of the war stuff... not so much. I really enjoy the main story with Javert and Valjean though. I'm just now getting to the part where they are introducing Marius.

Hey Joseph—

Thanks for checking out my library.

I enjoyed looking at yours as well and scanning your reviews.

I've never read Denis Johnson although Jesus' Son is in my save for later shopping cart at Amazon. After reading your reviews, I may have to move it up.

Quite good, Jo!

The word play and near-rhyme of "bench" & "broken fish" is striking and nice on the ears.

Proverbial, Emily Dickinson feel toward the end. Very evocative. More, please. (Or must I order the book?)
Hey, Published Poet Man! Right you are.

Congrats on the book! Are there excerpts of your poetry available for perusal online anywhere?
Hello Joseph, thanks for stopping by my profile!

I thought Scottsboro was okay, not great. Here's my review:

I think I would have enjoyed a good non-fiction account more. But that's just me :)
Thanks for your comment, I look forward to checking out your reviews! I haven't been on LibraryThing in a loooong time. I'll get back to you re: your request.

Thanks! I read through your reviews and enjoyed them as well. I agree with your meh-ing of "A Long Way Down" (it's very artificial), but have to recommend "High Fidelity" and "About a Boy". Hornby's best when he sticks to what he knows, which is middle-aged burnouts. Again, thanks for the props!
Hi - just wanted to compliment you on your reviews - particulalry of Weiner and Artaud.

Hiya! I'm one of the advance subscribers! my name is in the book and I've even got a numbered copy. You should check out the And Other Stories website. They're publishing fine literature in translation in particular, as well as some particularly fine writing in English:

Antonio Lobo Antunes. It has recently been re-translated.
take care
It's my third time through the Vollmann. I love that book!
Ditto slick, man!
You've got me really interested in Steve Weiner. Thanks for the reviews.
The picture in my avatar is the Tacoma Narrows Bridge a.k.a galloping gertie.
Thank you for another author to explore. Will look into Hubert Selby. The Demon is not available in any library near me (other than in Vancouver BC and I'm not sure if they lend books over the border. The others that you mentioned are available out at the local college (which I use as much as I can). I'm heading to Portland, OR in a matter of minutes and will try to get to Powell's tonight to check for his books. He wrote mostly in the 70s from the looks of what I've found.

Hi Joseph, Just wanted to let you know that I read Bonsai and loved it. Thanks for the recommendation. This weekend I'm picking up my forgotten issue of Granta (forgotten at my daughter's house) which showcases a number of new young Spanish language writers. I see that Alejandro has something in this, too!

Joseph - I just saw your message from August of 2010. . . . If you'd still like to submit some of your work to MPP, please send to: monkeypuzzlepress.poetry@gmail or monkeypuzzlepress.prose@gmail. - Thanks, Nate
And I take a deep breath and exhale (too many yoga classes, it becomes automatic, you write breathe, I breathe). Thanks for directing me to your poem. I read it outloud (that's how I best hear poetry). I liked it.

Next year they're planning to have U.S. Poets in Mexico in Puebla. I would love to attend, it's such a great combination, both Mexico and poetry in the same place at the same time. I would only be there by chance, though.

Oh, and I reserved Bonsai (not Banzai) at my library. Thanks for the recommendation. I am always looking for new Latin American literature and that one looks right for me.

Thanks for the recommendation (Banzai), I will look for it. I've read 3 by Castellanos Moya but Senselessness is by far the best.

I will look for your poetry online. I just returned from a poetry workshop in Mexico (U.S. Poets in Mexico). I DON'T write and didn't participate but went to the readings every night. I silently (or not so silently) appreciate poetry.

Thank you for sending me a comment on my review of Butterfly stories. I think his writing is a work of art. I realize that I read what some people would consider edgier fiction (Vollmann, Castellanos Moya, Cormac McCarthy) because I love what the author does with it. Or maybe it's my version of a scary story, I'm being led wide-eyed into some place I'd never go alone, approaching an abyss of terribleness or some kind of human ugliness but it's like the author can see the beauty in it and express it, and I can see it.

Your profile is interesting, liked your "About me". Do you write poetry? I'd like to add you as a "friend".

Thank you, Joseph. That's encouraging to hear, especially re. the excerpt! Love the DFW quote. Too true.
Extraordinary review of The Things They Carried. Long on my TBR list...time to move it up to the present.
Just stopping by to say add my verbal thumb to your outstanding review of Tim O'Brien's book...
Anytime. You've got yourself a Hot Review, if you check the LT home page. Congrats!
I'm glad you took it! Excellent treatment of a difficult topic. I pimped your review right here:
O'Brien is a revelation isn't he? He's in my top 10 all time, and I really can't think of a more precise, powerful writer alive today.

It means a lot to me to hear your praise of the review. I'm glad it inspired you to read the book. Don't sell yourself short writing your own, though, there's lots of different angles to cover with that book. I latched on to "coward" and just ran with it.
Thanks for adding me. Pleased to meet you.
Hi Joseph,

I have not heard of Cole Coonce or Braindead Sound Machine (great band name!) I'll YouTube them this weekend. The books sounds great; your offer's great; though I've got way too much reading material at the moment. I'd hate for you to send it and then me not even get to it....

I've only read The Complete Butcher's Tales by Ducornet. Short stories. She's definitely "out there". Just got a bunch of her stuff through the Dalkey Archive summer sale. Her first novel, The Stain, from what I've sampled, reads a lot better than the Butcher's Tales. I think you'd probably like her. Very edgy, provocative material she deals in.
I think I've got a Harry Crews on my wishlist. Sounds very familiar. I'd probably take Faulkner-lite over Faulkner any day, truth be told.

I hadn't heard about David Markson. Damn.
oh, and uh, nice pic! ;-)
Thanks for the great words, Joseph! That was a hard one to write because the melancholic themes and some of the content mirrored so much of my own earlier experiences. I'm proud, though, of what I was finally able to output a good month after having read it, after several false starts. Hope you have a chance to read Don Carpenter someday; he's ridiculously off the American literary radar, it's a real shame. Hopefully NYRB will keep in print and perhaps publish more of his work.

AVA, btw, is AWESOME!

And look who's got a new one out:
Can't wait!

Not sure if I'd call it "prostituting myself." I spent two years writing this book, and it wouldn't make much sense to just sit back and wait for people to find it.
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Howdy Joseph ~ Yowza & thanks for the nod.
Joseph --

Thanks for the good words. Please tell me how you like the book: it was really fun to write, and thrilling to get to spend that time with DFW.

All best,

I play bass and breath fire and spit blood for KISS...that's how.
I agree completely Jo! I was deeply moved by that ending. And emotion of that sort is generally not something BEE elicits in his books. He dug deep for that, probably out of his own disconnect w/his father who, I believe, died quite awhile ago actually (early 90s?) He was definitely paying homage to Stephen King; parts of the book are quite legitimately scary and creepy in the way that the best horror creeps you out, w/out a doubt. I think you nailed it man. Good one.
Nice one Jo. I thought the analogy you made with "Kafkaesque" was right on the money. Have you read Lunar Park. I'd be curious your take on that.
Well if Ellis says he's the Devil, I guess he is, and I guess he, uh, still hasn't found what he's looking for...hahahahahahaha
Hallelujah! Keep reading, Patrick Bateman is about to do even worse....
Of course you've been reading a GQ essay from Hell - that's Ellis in a nutshell. Now, be patient, be patient, there will be plenty of blooshed and gore very soon, very soon, plus lots of Huey Lewis and the News references too! Keep reading, and report back.

And if slick said nice job on the DJ review, then I believe I'll mosey on over to that.....
Nice job on the Denis Johnson review.
Here you go -
Well thanks! You buyin'?

I'm in a group that will be reading Par Lagerkvist's, The Dwarf, I believe in March or April, can't remember which. Be great to have you there, if you're interested. If you are, let me know, and I'll send you a link.

Wow, that was quick.

And I miss the poetry group, too.
Great - I hope that you enjoy it!
Oh do definitely read some of his poetry. He's got a collected poems with Bloodaxe called The Puberty Tree, though I think that was published a good ten years ago, or more. He's got recent collections out dealing with his second wife, Denise, and his family. The first is called Not Saying Everything, with Bluechrome, and the other is Dear Shadows, brought out by Fal Books (or maybe Fal Press, can't remember offhand).

If I were you I'd read some of his poetry and then feel free to write to him. He's also got a blog ... here's the link: (He hasn't updated it for a few months though!)

I write poetry too. Most of it is rubbish.
No, I haven't read any Alexander Theroux. Let me know what you think of Darconville's Cat.

I too love D M Thomas ... and I'm proud to say we're friends, too. He's a brilliant poet as well as a novelist.

I also find the high coincidence of books in our collections amazing - that's half the fun of LibraryThing. Well, maybe not half, but a significant proportion. I also enjoy tagging my books, shopping by browsing other people's libraries and doing the 50-book etc challenges. And more. What a wonderful and bizarre site.
Hi, Your books are amazng
Thank you so much for being my friend..
Thanks for the friendship!
Yeah I can understand that. DFW might be a love him or hate him kinda guy (I think I love him or have loved his short stories and journalism at least... jury's still out on uber longform fiction though). In any event, I'll let you know what I think of Last Opium...

: )
Infinite Jest. About 400 pages in. Any advice? Of course I've never read anything quite like it. Paragraph-long sentences, clauses within clauses within clauses, you swear he's lost but he finds his way out. It's beautiful and cool-headed and I don't give a rat's ass about any of the characters really but I don't think he did either. That's my 400-pages-in impression.
Nothing like hanging out on LT to make you realize how much you haven't read. I looked up Nick Tosches' Last Opium Den. Never heard of it or him but I added it to my wish list.

I have a portly cat myself - 18 lbs. Our vet keeps suggesting hiding his food, a bit here and there, to get him to work/exercise. We haven't tried it. He's cute fat but I know I shouldn't think so.
Why do I suddenly feel as if I've dropped down a rabbit hole? Okay, got it. Note to self: write and publish invisible book; gain access to special place.

I've done some thinking about saliva. I like mine tinged with a little ocean water. But that's way too prosaic compared to the taste of dead geniuses so maybe I'll keep thinking.

What are you reading, you with 63 of my books? I'm reading Infinite Jest. Though "reading" doesn't quite get at it. I'm... "re-inventing the way I think about syntax"ing Infinite Jest. And how fat is your cat?
Aha! The guy with the wonderful 'about me.' I read that when I found your library a few days ago. I'm pretty sure I've never really thought about what might constitute my favorite all-time saliva. So who do I have to suck up to to get into the invisible library group? Sounds intriguing. FYI, I can write invisible words. See below for a great example.


Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but I thought you might like to know that my new novel, Dirty Little Angels, is now available. Thought you might be interested since people have compared it to Flanney O'Connor, who I noticed was on your shelf. By the way, if you'd be willing to read the book and post your comments here (and on possibly), I'd be glad to send you an e-book version of the book by e-mail. Let me know. Here's a summary in case you're interested:

Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses's lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses's twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.

If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can read it here:

Take care,



Slow slithers like a snake off the tip of the tongue.

Another Kadare fan. And the other 41 books we share.
How did you find Peter Handke?
109 books in common -- not bad!
I'll make a copy for you then. Do you want to e-mail me your address and then I could mail it to you? It shouldn't take long to get to you since you live quite close to me.
Thanks so much for the suggestions! I was able to find several of Madeline Gins' works online, and it looks like amazon has a couple copies of "Word Rain." Clarice Lispector sounds fascinating--I just ordered a couple of her books, so am quite appreciative of the recommendations.
Actually, Wilson planned to write a book called "The Female Outsider" at one point as the second half of "The Outsider"; he seemed to be taking an angle based on Maslow's theories of dominance and self-actualization. I have a copy of his outline for it--it's just a small pamphlet that is probably difficult to find for sale, but I'd be happy to photocopy it for you if you're interested.
Hmmm ... the notion of women outsiders being more rare than men is interesting. I suppose that matches my observations, though I keep coming across more historical women that fit the description.
Great collection--It's interesting to see someone who likes both Henry Miller and Colin Wilson. I'm doing reseach on "female Ousiders" for a book--if you have any suggestions along those lines, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Recommendations? Hmmmm....I'm likely to get long-winded, so forgive me in advance. =)

Anything by Kurt Vonnegut, fiction or non-fiction, is golden.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova sorta has a similar feel to it as In the Hand of Dante, except without mobsters, but with Dracula and Dracula-lore as opposed to Dante-lore. You would probably like this even if you like neither Buffy nor Anne Rice.
The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The main character has come unstuck in time, kind of like Billy Pilgrim, but not really. I loved this book so much that I made my dad read it; he would recommend it too.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke is about magic in 19th century Britain. Trust me, it doesn't have the feel of a fantasy novel, it feels more literary than that (if that makes any sense).
Christopher Moore writes some of the funniest books I have ever read. My favorites are Practical Demonkeeping, A Dirty Job, and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.
Based on your recommendation, I picked up In the Hand of Dante. I'm about half-way through it now and totally enjoying it. It certainly has me pulling on the history and Latin classes I took in college. Sometimes, I think it might be wise to find my Latin dictionary and have it handy when reading this book. =) Thanks for putting me in the way of this book.
Brothers Karamazov is also my favorite; how can you not immediately fall in love with Alyosha, y'know?
I haven't read Don Quixote yet. I picked it up a few weeks ago when my library was disposing of duplicate copies of titles. (This was part of a major weeding project we just finished in fiction.)
I was inspired to pick it up, not only because I've never read it and I'd like to, but because I recently saw "Lost in La Mancha" which is the documentary of the non-making of a film. Terry Gilliam was trying to make a film based on Don Quixote but almost everything imaginable went wrong. I really hope he's able to make the film one day, because from what little I've seen in this documentary, it'll be golden.
Thanks. Have you read Streets that Smell of Dying Roses yet? I picked it up at a used bookstore a few months ago, but have not yet had the opportunity to sit down with it. You also seem to be a Dostoevsky fan--fabulous. =)
I notice that one book we have in common is A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Gilles Deleuze. With the intention of reading it one day, I picked it up at a University book store; While "stuffing" my book inventory into Libray Thing, I opened it and started reading. This caused a great "pause" in my "cataloguing"; now I am thoroughly engrossed in it and quite regretting the failure to read earlier as it certainly changes the present direction of my own "existential probing". Have you read it yet?
Hi! We share 66 books. As one of those who list A Book of Contemplation by Dagobert D. Runes in their library, I dropped by to visit your collection
What a great library - glad to see it is not just me that appreciates Bataille!! x
It has been several years since I read Dombrovsky and I do not recall being impressed, but that sometimes happens on a first read. I'm currently submerged in victorian fiction (Dickens and Hardy) and have begun yet another traversal of The Brothers Karamazov (truly one of the heights of literature). Another of my true favorites is Musil, whose Man Without Qualities I regard the best twentieth century novel.
I'm intrigued by your library! We share an common interest in Lagerkvist and other European literature and philosophy.
Great bookshelves you've got there! :)
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