Saturday, 29 November 2008
ich empfing gerade eine Beweiskopie des deutschen Vogel-Raumes. er ist kleiner. ich mag es viel. it' s merkwürdig, die Wörter betrachtend und ein bisschen nicht wissen, was sie bedeuten, aber verstehen sie, weil ich weiß, was in diesem Teil, in etc., in etc. geschehen sollte.
i' m, das im Augenblick zum Okkervil Fluss hört. ich sah Wolf-Parade gestern Abend am karminroten Aufenthaltsraum, ' Manchester' s shittest, das meiste schwierig-zu-sein-fähig-zu-sehen-alles venue.'
die deutsche Version des Vogel-Raumes ist heraus im Februar, ich denken. it' s veröffentlichte durch Kiepenheuer & Witsch. hooray.
[translated using this website.]
Thursday, 27 November 2008
i just changed the song on my myspace profile. i am planning to leave the new song on there for somewhere between 24 and 48hrs; until i stop being amused by having on my profile, i guess. i am thinking about making a 'bird room promo video' using this song in the back ground, maybe, too. i don't know. about a week ago i kept thinking about the part at the start for some reason, as we were doing the last No Point in Not Being Friends night, in the breaks, i kept saying, "Simon says get the fuck up" to people for some reason.
the night went really well, by the way. i didn't take any photos or video or anything, but there was lots of good stuff and people came and listened and seemed to have a nice time.
we have the December and January nights booked, too. December is on the 23rd (Christmas Eve Eve), and there's going to be a 'surprise present' for people that come to that one.
January is booked for Tuesday, the 27th. (from Jan onwards, the nights will always be on the last Tuesday of the month.) we have some good people confirmed for January: it's going to also double as the 'Bird Room launch party', kind of, and Steven Hall, Richard Milward and M.J. Hyland are already confirmed to read. more 'TBA'.
there is something written about the Crossing Border festival on this website now. i get a mention, and there's a photo of me reading, too. there is also another photo (by the same photographer) of one of my red socks here. i don't know why i am so proud of these socks, why i keep mentioning them on here, and displaying them for photos, etc. i feel like i am going to be known as the 'red sock guy' now. they were expensive. i don't think i can buy any more of them. they will only come round in the 'sock cycle' like once every week and a half, do not expect red socks if you meet me ever.
also, The Bird Room now has that 'search inside' function thing on UK amazon. they have missed out the epigraph and the picture of a bird, though.
Monday, 24 November 2008
i got back from the Crossing Border festival yesterday afternoon. i was there for six days. i was involved in a project called 'The Chronicles' where a group of writers and translators were paired up and we had to write our impressions of the festival, etc, which went up on the website and were then translated into or from Dutch, and other languages, etc., etc. here are the columns i wrote while i was there:
Introduction - 'On Being Translated'
Thursday Column - 'Missing: One Piece of Paper'
Friday Column - 'Thank you, Thank You, Thank you'
Saturday Column - 'Oh Well'
the 'epilogue' is still forthcoming. i think i have until Friday.
i read the first chapter of The Bird Room, too, on the 'big stage' just before Liam Finn played. it went down okay, i think. here is a picture of me reading, taken by Hester Tollenaar, one of the translators:
i wore my 'lucky red socks' for the reading. there is nothing really 'lucky' about them, except that they are new-ish still, and were kind of expensive for socks:
[i think i developed a 'paunch' from the free food and beer.]
the hotel room was very nice:
[i'm reading Excitability by Diane Williams at the moment.]
there was a little fridge in the room:
[the sandwich didn't 'come' with the fridge. i made it at breakfast.]
the shower was very good. it was like a 'massage-strength' shower:
here's a comparative picture of the shower in my flat. it is more of a 'senile dribble-of-piss strength' one:
[don't worry. i've since cleaned off the mould. i used dettox 'mould and mildew' spray.]
when i got back to my flat, there was a parcel of two 'real', final-version The Bird Rooms waiting for me:
i like the design a lot now. it looks kind of the same as the proof version, but there's 'spot varnish' in places and the paper is nicer and thicker and yellower. also, it has 'french flaps':
(i'm very excited about the 'french flaps'.)
the magazine GREAT, edited by Brandon Scott Gorrell and Chelsea Martin, is now available for preorder. i have a small thing in it (chapter 5 of 'Paul Simon'). there are lots of good, interesting writers in this issue. i'm sure they will post copies to the UK.
Brandon is also doing a 'video reading' as part of the fifth 'there's no point in not being friends with someone if you want to be friends with them' night, which is tonight.
i'm excited about showing Brandon's film. there's lots of other good stuff lined up, too.
please come along if you live in Manchester and have nothing better to do this evening. it starts at 8pm, it's free to get in, and should be fun. click here for more information.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Cass McCombs is playing tonight at the Deaf Institute. i'm excited. the gig is put on by these people. click here for other times i've mentioned Cass McCombs on my blog.
i am going to the Crossing Border festival tomorrow. i will be part of the Chronicles project, where i think i have to write a short article once a day for 4 or 5 days. the first introductory article -- on the theme of 'translation' -- is already up in English and Dutch.
the next No Point in Not Being Friends night is booked for next monday, the 24th, at the Deaf Institute again. please check the myspace page, blog, or facebook event for more info.
Friday, 14 November 2008
It is about two weeks after Halloween. Paul Simon has moved into a smaller apartment. The apartment is on the top floor. Paul Simon is suddenly able to stand at his window and look directly into another top floor apartment. There is a woman in the apartment. The woman is younger than Paul Simon. She is not sixty-six. She is wearing a purple cardigan. 'When’s Halloween?' Paul Simon thinks, peering through the blinds. 'Make the cardigan disappear,' Paul Simon thinks. Paul Simon squints at the cardigan and makes a small noise in his head. He tries to make the cardigan disappear. The cardigan stays on. The woman draws the curtains.
'Halloween,' Paul Simon thinks.
Paul Simon has not left the apartment now in about two weeks, since he first moved in. He’s been busy moving boxes around and plugging things in, and trying to get an internet account sorted out over the phone. 'The internet,' Paul Simon thinks, as he walks down the stairs towards the communal door area where all the mail is delivered. It is about twelve in the afternoon. There is a big parcel in the communal door area. 'The internet,' Paul Simon thinks. The parcel is made out to 'Paul Simon'.
It is mostly silent in the new, smaller apartment that Paul Simon is renting. Paul Simon has been trying to put the song 'When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)' by Percy Sledge on repeat, but the song is on an LP and for it to be on repeat, Paul Simon would need to just stand by the record player all the time, lifting the needle and putting it down again.
Paul Simon sits down on a salmon-coloured leather armchair and opens the parcel. The internet -- a modem and a CD rom and some leaflets and something else -- is in the parcel. 'Hooray,' Paul Simon thinks. Paul Simon does a small moving around dance with his arms and hips, whilst staying seated in the salmon-pink armchair.
The first thing Paul Simon does on the internet is to type 'what day is halloween?' into Google.
'Fuck's sake,' Paul Simon says, out loud, once the results are displayed.
The second thing Paul Simon does is to log into Facebook. Paul Simon squeezes his knees a bit as the page loads. Paul Simon has one new message. 'Three weeks,' Paul Simon thinks. 'I haven't been on Facebook for three weeks. One lousy, new, piece-of-shit, you-haven’t-written-a-good-song-in-over-twenty-years, message.' Paul Simon opens the new message, hoping it’s maybe from an attractive twenty-year-old fan of his music. The message is a group newsletter from a small literary magazine. 'Fuck's sake,' Paul Simon thinks.
The song 'When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)' by Percy Sledge is playing a tiny bit in Paul Simon's head, kind of looping around on the chorus part.
'I can't even remember what the old Facebook looked like,' Paul Simon thinks.
A moth flutters against the windowpane. Paul Simon has bought a new electric guitar. It has a small picture of Jane Fonda sellotaped onto the back.
'Percy Sledge sounds a tiny bit like Randy Newman,' Paul Simon thinks. 'Just a tiny bit. Occasionally. Not the voice, just the melodies.'
Paul Simon takes out his mobile phone and searches through the contacts until he finds Randy Newman. He presses 'call'. The phone rings. It eventually goes to answerphone. Randy Newman just has the official computer-voice answerphone. Paul Simon feels panicked. 'Oh, hi, Randy,' Paul Simon says. He leaves a pause. The moth is going crazy over by the window. 'It's nothing,' Paul Simon says.
Paul Simon sits for a long moment on the armchair. He feels very small on the armchair. He searches for Randy Newman's phone number in his contacts again and selects 'delete'. The phone says 'are you sure you want to delete this contact?' Paul Simon presses 'yes'.
'Halloween,' Paul Simon thinks.
Paul Simon goes into the center of
'A cat face,' Paul Simon thinks. 'With whiskers and everything.'
Thursday, 13 November 2008
[this Cat Boat story was submitted by Pete Sach last week. sorry it's taken me so long to post it. i'm rubbish. i just realised that the cat boat is over a year old now.]
everyone you have ever known all in a room together having a really nice time stared at her claws.
"Look what the fuck you've done to me!" She screeched at them, scraping the cracked shards across the deck one last time.
She went to scream again, but sick filled her mouth. She spat it out
and went to cry, but her tears weren't tears. Dried crystals, saltier
than the sea.
(Now I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my homeNow I was young and pretty on the mean streets of the cityAnd I fought to make 'em my home)
everyone you have ever known all in a room together having a really nice time had been hearing the beginning of the second chorus to track 11 for far too long. The words, they filled her, like a black tapeworm lining every.last.fucking.inch of her insides. There was no tunnel of love.
Frisky approached with the pudding, holding a fixed stare on everyone you have ever known all in a room together having a really nice time's sunken shoulders. Those shoulders had always been low, but when she was on the street, when she was on terra firma, those shoulders were full. sleek. seductive. Now they were no more but bagpipes breaking through the sack.
"Come to have a look have you?" everyone you have ever known all in a room together having a really nice time moaned, "Don't want a piece?!" She cackled as she spread her legs in front of Frisky, bearing her gnatted, salt drenched dreadlock of a pisshole. "Don't you want some of this anymore?! Huh?!"
Frisky went to put the pudding down, but realising he couldn't, just held it in two paws instead.
"Y'know, you used to be something girl. Now look atcha. You're nuttin but a dried up floozy, a bitch of a mog. You ain't nobody's kitten no more. N'ya never will be, crying out all the time, scratching the deck like it's a ball of wool. Fuck balls of wool, fuck the deck, and you know what? fuck you" Frisky turned and left, holding the pudding much higher than he had when he came.
everyone you have ever known all in a room together having a really nice time closed her eyes, those glitter balls from months ago were now just shiny black pennies, shiny black pennies with no story worth telling. She picked at the double knot laid across the opening of her pisshole, it didn't feel like a pisshole, it felt like a softly worn, barbed cat penis. She picked at her barbed cat penis and sunk back into her head, back into 25th and Broadway, back behind the taxidermists in front of the pet shop. She stood at the pet shop window in her mind's eye. She stood and growled at the budgies. She thought of how she used to plot with Frisky on catching those little rays of sunshine in that pet shop window. Those cocky little punks arm in arm on their perches, whistling the National Anthem as if nothing was ever gonna happen.
Nothing ever did.
She thought about her thick fur coat, the whistles from the fellas and the growls from the kittens. She thought about when she was the life and soul, her and Frisky, the ones to be with, with everyone you have ever known all in a room together having a really nice time . She thought about the boat, why she'd turned out like a raggedy-ann.
Nothing had changed, it was just an allergy.
Things had changed, why did Frisky leave her?
Why can't he just put that fucking pudding down?
"Put it down and pick me up" she groaned
"Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me up.Put it down and pick me upPut it down and pick me up." she sobbed.
Frisky rolled by, he stopped, and stared at her, her with her claws in her pisshole.
Friday, 7 November 2008
Socrates got interviewed here and here.
new cat boat story by Pete Sach forthcoming. please check back tomorrow. i would've posted it today, but i only have about 5mins left on the library computer.
US edition of The Bird Room now forthcoming -- Harper Perennial (2010). hooray.
i had cheese on toast for lunch.
my new novel is 'coming along' well. i've had lots of new ideas. i think there's going to be a bit in it where an old man climbs out through a boy's mouth.
Shane Jones' LIGHT BOXES can now be pre-ordered.