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Monday 7/4/22

Get yourself a box seat. Lance Olsen, Bradford Morrow, Anitra Budd and Lizzie Davis of Coffee House Press, Sarah Gorham of Sarabande Books, and Jennifer Anker-Edelstein of Delphinium Books will be appearing in the Everything Wrong with Publishing series this week. Gong to be a big week. Already did Kara Rota of Chicago Review Press. Hey, bigots: You are not getting away with it. Not a single one of you. This stops when you want it to stop, and that means when the discrimination ceases. It's your call. Until then, you will be revealed for exactly what you are. I was not the one who took this here, but I am the one who is not going to take it.

I worked for thirty-six hours straight, then slept for twelve, popped back up and ran 3000 stairs and did fifty push-ups, and then wrote an entire new story, called "I Don't Think We Should Be Doing This," which is entirely about someone trying to get themselves to do something. It's the right thing, but a very hard thing. There can be retribution, consequences, blowback. This is an age where saying the truth is hard. People admire the hell out of someone who does, but they won't necessarily let that be known, because of their own fear. People need a group. Then they can wave the flag or let the lamp be lit. I know this one person who spends so much time lying about people, just so, I guess, they'll think well of them? They just lie and try to please. I honestly wonder sometimes if they've ever thought about asking an earthworm for the loan of a spine, because an earthworm is more likely to have one. Not a bad person. But weak and a coward. People can be so hesitant to link themselves with someone doing the right thing, if there's no one else with them. If there's no crowd. So the person in this story is weighing all of this. It's a dialogue almost, but it's not. It's a poem, almost, but it's not. There are different sizes to certain words at certain times. And it becomes this intense, rising, surging argument, as well as philosophical treatise, and internal MMA bout. We see the progress, we see how the conversion happens, from no to yes, for this character, but also for ourselves. It's a story that by the end you, the reader, want someone to line up six steel doors so you can run through them, but it's also logical, it's not over-heated. Some great lines in it, too. Like, "Don't go to bed with someone you can't sleep with." And:

It is so hard to follow


But it takes but one person

To lead.

Yesterday marked 2191 days, or 313 weeks, without a drink of alcohol.

I worked on "What Do You Want Me To Say Here?", "The Spot," "The Giant Seahorse," and "Caves and Waterfalls." The first three are now completely done. I sent the middle two to a bigot who hooks up John Freeman, who, more than any one person, perhaps, encapsulates everything wrong with publishing. If Freeman--who is a thief, among many other things--is around, you can be sure cronyism and discrimination are present in abundance. The entry on here on Freeman is going to be long, among other things. The person I sent the stories to is doing a theme issue on the Ecology of Fairytales. If one has seen the excerpts on here of "The Spot" and "The Giant Seahorse," it is undeniable that both stories are perfect for that. Why did I send them, knowing what I do, and how they've treated me over the years? Call it the last chance to dance. I reach a point where I am done, and it's now time to do what must be done. I give one last chance, with something that has stretched and stretched over years. Then it's on. And once it is on, it stays on. So that's where that is at. I give you the rope--you hang yourself. Then everyone sees it, and you can't deny that's what happened. You can't say the writing was lacking, or not better than what you run or put out, because people know and see the writing. Plus, I do that Pepsi Challenge thing where I put an example of the work they ran by someone else next to the work by me, and we all laugh over the comical gap in quality. You're simply caught, and there isn't any excuse, any out, any reason that you are comfortable with people knowing about. You want this to happen in the dark, behind closed doors. I open the door and say, "hey, look what's going on in here." Then you can't point to my work, my expertise, my conduct towards you, as a reason to justify any of that wrongdoing. And so that leaves what? Ah. It leaves that.

I sent four essays to someone. There is this place I write for where I am treated well and the work is highly regarded, save when one of the people I work for there goes away, and my work ends up in the hands of someone else who inevitably kills it. They give me no reason for killing it, because they don't have one. I learned yesterday that that happened again, and with a subject I've written and talked about dozens and dozens of times, which is a financial hit and then I have to find a place for the piece. I recently gave a half hour radio interview on this subject. Sent Just Like Them: A Piece By Piece Guide to Becoming the Ultimate Thinking Person's Beatles Fan to someone else. I will discuss more Brackets stories on the radio again tomorrow. My publisher who puts up everything by every other author with the press, will do what they always do and not share this on the Twitter after seeing it appear in the profile of this blue checkmark Twitter person. These fascinating discussions about a book for the ages, which is going to total three full hours of conversation about that book. If it's by anyone else, no matter how inconsequential that thing is--we're talking some random post on a blog from some guy in a basement, billed as an interview or some such--it will go up, but when I do what I do, in highly public ways, in front of millions of readers, nope. Never do they share it, post it, say anything about it. And this is routing me down a road that is going to culminate in something very ugly, public, and permanent. Again, as always: it's real. Not making it up. You could look it up, as they say. I have taken this. I have taken it and taken it and taken it and taken it and taken it. I've said some things, very politely, like, ummm, maybe could you share my things on Twitter? Taken it and taken it and taken it. Been nothing but supremely polite. But it is what it is, as they also say. And the things that have been expressed to me in emails, which I have rounded up and ready to go on here. Never want it to come to that. I just want to do more books, frankly. That is everything right now: get books out. Books books books. So there is that to weigh, as well, which truthfully is all that has stopped me from pulling out the torch and starting the blaze. Just want to do books. And also not have you treat me like shit in a way that you treat no one else, because it's me and I can do what I do. This has been so soul-sucking, that it's why I haven't even done a post on here saying, hey, there's this new book out. I will, because I have to. But good God, man.

Someone wrote me yesterday on the Twitter asking if they could send me a copy of the Sam Cooke 33 1/3 book and would I inscribe it because they were giving it to someone as a gift? I said okay, but to be honest, I'm only fractionally joking when I say I wondered if it was to get my DNA for some three wicked sisters type of concoction, or a foray into the voodoo arts. She was very adamant about me not inscribing it. Just sign it. Okay, I said again.

NB: I feel like I have a lousy signature. I'm not sure it's that consistent, either. I think it's probably pretty terrible.

I also discovered yesterday that I never should have never agreed to be interviewed about the Beatles by that fuck bag from the Grammys. I can post more about it later, or that can be enough. But right now I'm heading out to walk and go to Trader Joe's, if it's open.

I must have listened to this thirty times yesterday. I changed again yesterday. I always feel it. My strength became greater again. Sound the mantra: Total focus, matchless art, no mercy when we get there. Do you know what I mean by the last part? When I get where I am going, when everything is all as it should be, how I want it to be, how the work deserves it to be, there are not going to be bygones. There are not going to be people who are not held accountable because I'm happy and living it up. I am going to be happy, and I am going to be living it up. But I will still be coming for every single person who was a part of what has happened here. That's why I remind myself. To never forget. And never fail to do what is right. And you know what's as right as right can be? The truth and accountability. Zero motherfucking bygones. Plus, I remember more than time itself.

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