Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Splatterlands Print Version Now Available

I received my contributor copies of the Splatterlands anthology yesterday; they came out really nice. If anyone reading this blog has been waiting to purchase a print version, here's the link to pick one up:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Understanding the Undead: Tackling "The Other" in The Walking Dead

I wrote this for "Comic Book Wednesday" on the Caustic Soda blog. When Shane initially asked me to write this piece, I was unsure how to approach it. How could I attempt to say something new about such a wildly popular comic (and television) series? I decided to get a bit intellectual about it, and I think what I've come up with is probably worth considering. Check out my thoughts here:

(If, for whatever reason, you see this post long after its initial posting, just go into the archives for November to check it out)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing Lessons Piece Published on Ploughshares Literary Magazine Blog

I wrote a short piece that was just published on the Ploughshares Literary Magazine blog. Ploughshares has been including a weekly "Writing Lessons" series where "writers and writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing." Mine is on The Art of Discipline, and I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. You can read it here:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Reading at the Brewyard Saturday November 9th

I'll be doing a reading on November 9th with a few of my fellow MFA peeps (both from the fiction and poetry factions). Here's the address and time:

The Brewyard (this is actually a house)
5256 La Jolla Blvd.
La Jolla, CA 92037

Doors at 6:00 PM, first reader begins at 7:00. After the six featured readers are finished, there will be an Open Mic.

I'll be reading an excerpt from my novel-in-progress. Come check it out if you so desire.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fiction International #46: Real Time/Virtual Now Available

Fiction International #46: Real Time/Virtual is available for purchase. I edited and co-wrote a collaborative text that was published in this issue. The piece is titled "Art-Making in the Technosphere," and it has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Other writers featured in this text are Andy O'Clancy, Natalie Quave, Randall Lahrman (whose two sections are directly linked to mine), Ryan Forsythe, Jo Ellen Aragon, Carla Wilson, and Francois Bereaud. It's a really interesting and somehow cohesive text despite the small groups working somewhat independently before I dipped my editorial mind into the mix. Those of you already familiar with my writing will probably be able to tell which sections are mine, but just in case—my first section begins with "Dear Sirs..." and the second with "I wanted to rip my eyes out."
You can purchase the new issue at Amazon. Here is the link:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Splatterlands Kindle Version Now Available

Exciting news: the Splatterlands anthology featuring my story "Party Guests" is now available for those who have access to a Kindle. If you are waiting for the print version, it's coming very soon and I'll post an update when it's officially ready to rock. Otherwise, here's a link to purchase the Kindle version for only $4.99 if you so desire.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Presentation/Performance Piece on Harold Jaffe's Anti-Twitter

About or year or so, Dr. Harold Jaffe asked me to do a presentation about his collection of shorts Anti-Twitter. I was up for the challenge, and I think he probably expected that what I would come up with would not be a "normal" presentation by any means. I apologize to those of you that may not have read this book, as some portions of this text might be a little obscure (So, hey, why not check out the book sometime? It's easy to find on Amazon, etc.), but I think this will still be easy to follow overall. Also, this worked much better as a live performance piece, in which I had a board behind me to scribble some of my lunacy related to the second half of this text. Alas, there was no video taken of that, so you will just have to enjoy the text by itself.

Regarding the second half of this text: for many years, I have felt a huge influence from Bentley Little's short story "Llama," which I originally discovered in the great anthology Hottest Blood. The terror derived from numbers and their connections always intrigued me, so this approach occasionally creeps into my own writing. What's so upsetting about the second half of my text is that, unlike Little's story, none of what I have researched and related to my own life is fictional. Yikes!

So here is the text of my presentation...have fun and try to keep your brain sane.


Call me a Luddite, call me oblivious, just call me plain un-American, but I don't really have a damned clue as to what the hell Twitter even is. After a quick bit of research, I've come to understand that Twitter is meant to be a “service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? ... Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the Web.” Though it appears that “twittering” is technically the correct, authorized term to describe someone in the process of using Twitter, the more popularly used term is “tweeting.” Tweeting is also a lesser-known euphemism for performing fellatio on oneself.

In Harold Jaffe's book Anti-Twitter, the popular idea of “brevity as means to distribute information” is morphed into something perhaps more aptly described as “brevity as deconstructed reality,” the truncation of abnormalities and anomalies in our world that could be or are occurring this very second. Jaffe's approach is akin to Félix Fénéon operating in our modern techno-happy wasteland, where it is not merely an artistic choice, but almost essential to strip down the perils of this world into quick blurbs. Technology is a sacred cow and information as a potent entity has pervaded to the point where it is literally everywhere. One can not breathe in the morning's dust without being inundated with the white noise of cyberspace, the 11:00 news on high definition television, and the constant “hey, everyone check out what inane activity I'm partaking in this very second” approach to Twitter. Combine this with the short attention span of most individuals, especially the youth immersed in seemingly endless gadgets, and Jaffe's riffs on the equally absurd and poignant moments of life are especially effective. However, the simplicity of these 50-word stories is deceptive; sensitivity and observational tongue-lashings are of equal partnership in this book.

Some of these moments include, but are not limited to: the choice to face death rather than reality, chimps with metaphorical cojones, archaic pain up for sale, loss of self (found by someone else), the famous and their passions for self-medication, faux death that rapidly becomes true death, attention-seeking selfish suicide, mysterious chocolate drowning (there are certainly less palate-friendly ways to go), a vagina that only takes one hand (and no actual woman) to use correctly, sexy religion, the permanent regret of seeing more stars than promised, simulated coitus, a voyeur and accomplice in the same body, men who listen to God more than is naturally healthy, suffocation of freedom, exploding pigs, Republicans in bondage, nudity used to sell clothing, women replaced by men, the measuring of unimpressive members, hyper chili, safari parks at odds, beating a python at its own game, loud fucking, garlic for bovines, the logistics of having a post-mortem online presence, texting junkies, deceptive meat, kangaroos loose in the city, crocs wearing black and white striped pajamas, homosexual pachyderms and penguins, red wine enemas, shitting on almost-Gandhi, a mattress worth millions, outhouse regulations, forced tobacco intake, a Happy Meal where the prize is a prophylactic (and the prophylactic contains its own special prize), a severed tongue, children immersed in violence and sewage, burning mouse and house, all-female asexual ants, the harsh truth of the camera's “eye”, suicide sun, guns in church, mustard gas, cancerous blow-jobs, zombified paparazzi, the path of death.

This is our world. Take it all in.

And so, here are my own inevitable thoughts on some of the contents of Anti-Twitter that I somehow connected with on a bizarre level. When I first opened this book, I had no idea I would encounter stories that I would be able to tangentially relate to my life either through research or existing knowledge. Experiences can be so strangely intertwined in a variety of ways; you just need to know where to look. This is what I found:

Page 54—“April 4 in the Heartland”
April 4th: My birthday. In this text: a vicious death day for many unfortunate others. No celebration. Only despair. Interestingly, Martin Luther King, Jr. was also assassinated on April 4th, years before this day became my birthday.

Page 53—“Hitchcock”
Anthony Perkins was also born on April 4th. Perkins is arguably best known for portraying Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1960 film Psycho. The man who impersonates his mother in Jaffe's story has channeled the character of Bates. It is difficult to say whether or not this man was conscious of the comparison or not, but Jaffe has manipulated a clear, direct line between the two men.

Page 99—“Aldous Huxley”
In this text we learn that Aldous Huxley and John F. Kennedy perished on the same day in 1963. This was also the same year Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Huxley's novel Brave New World was published in 1932, the same year Anthony Perkins was born. I was 17-years-old when Perkins died. Huxley was 17 when he wrote his first unpublished novel. I was also 17 when I attempted the same thing (though I'm confident my results were considerably less successful than Huxley's). King's “I Have a Dream” speech lasted approximately 17 minutes.

Page 159—“Last Words, Death Row”
Douglas Alan Roberts spoke these memorable last words before his execution on April 20th, 2005. Adolf Hitler is referenced in Anti-Twitter on pages 22 and 23. Though completely unrelated to Roberts otherwise, Hitler was born on April 20th, 1889. Eva Braun, who later married Hitler, met him when she was 17. The amount of full days between and including April 4th to April 20th: 17.

Page 17—“Vincent”
Van Gogh died at age 37 and painted precisely 37 self-portraits. On April 4th, 1889 (the same year that Adolf Hitler was born), Van Gogh received a random letter from fellow painter Paul Signac. At the time of this letter, Van Gogh was 36-years-old. I am 36-years-old.

What does this mean? What's the significance? Well, much like Twitter, I don't have a damned clue about this either. But the numbers sure do creep me out...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Merlin, You Fucking Magician

Ah, crank of the more creative pastimes of the trouble maker. Along with a select few of my friends (you know who you are), I spent hours upon hours harassing poor innocent victims, trying to come up with new and innovative ways of wreaking this particular havoc. The three-way party line. Collect calls from pay phones. Reverse crank calls (where someone accidentally dialed my number and I played along with their situation). 

Once I heard Longmont Potion Castle, I pretty much gave up. I can't imagine ever living up to such genius (though, on occasion, the bug still bites and I have to try something just to see if I've still got it).

This is a strange poem a wrote a while back in honor of my most prolific crank call era (circa '92 to '97, give or take). Most are from my own calls, but a few select ones were borrowed from others' calls. Hopefully those who will recognize these snippets will read this...if not, you'd better sleep with one eye open, 'cause I know where you live!


a telephonic assault of vocal terrorism on
unsuspecting, yet not always innocent, victims

mom! pick up the phone!
oh god, where are you?
at the bus stop,

not sure which one
beat me up and
took my shoes

i'm the guy
with the smurf doll
and a carrot

dangling from my head
bisexual--you didn't know?
let's meet at blockbuster

i'm outside in the
big red truck with the
no fear sticker

un burrito de cabeza,
ochenta tacos con crema,
y dos choco tacos

we're coming by to
exterminate the rabbits
i don't wanna kill the wabbit

poison me, i kill you!
sir, we cannot serve
poison noodles

kinko's on h street
out of transparencies
can you hold please?

no, I called you
who called me?
how the hell are we here?

this is a cambodian
refugee contest, you win
first prize--a new child!

i don't understand--
you're saying my son
ordered a boy?

to claim your prize
come to our office
dance naked with skeleton

meet me at balboa park
the big fucking tree
bring the diamonds

it's christmas,
call me monday
when i'm sober

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Short Published on Mad Swirl

Just had a new flash fiction piece called "A Random Hardworking Man" published by the online zine Mad Swirl. Go check that out here:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Does This Make Me a Modern Man Now?

So I decided it was finally time to venture into the world of Facebook and created an author page which, of course, doesn't have much content on it yet. So if anyone is reading this and wants to "Like" me (unless, of course, you don't actually like me), that would be awesome.
I might just do all of my publishing updates on that page and just keep the blog for actual writing, but I haven't completely decided yet. Probably wouldn't hurt to keep that stuff here as well, though, for those who may not do the Facebook thing (i.e. me until yesterday).

Here is my page:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Press Release and Author List for Splatterlands Anthology

Splatterlands is a new anthology set to be released sometime this Fall by Grey Matter Press. I've been very excited for this, not only because Grey Matter is self-proclaiming this as "Reawakening the Splatterpunk Revolution," but also because one of my favorite stories I've written (called "Party Guests") is set to be included within its pages! Anyone who knows me is likely aware that many of the first wave Splatterpunk authors are some of my hugest influences, so it's an honor to be carrying on the torch of such a subversive genre of horror.

Here's a link to the official website for Splatterlands, as well as the press release:

More info to come on this collection once it has been officially released.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Short Published on The Newer York

Just had a little piece published on a cool site called The Newer York, in their Electric Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature. This one is a personal favorite of mine, an excerpt that is a bit of a pastiche of the J. Peterman catalog. It's called "Steel-Toe Workboots for the Fashion-Conscious Neo-Nazi." 

You can check it out here:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hall of Records

Been a while since I just straight up posted some of my writing here, so here is a little haiku sequence. This one is certainly nowhere near the realm of horror or dark fiction, but instead is about my obsession with record collecting. Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that music and its physical forms are important to my existence. Additionally, anyone else who happens to be a record collector is well aware of how this obsession can become a dark road to tread down. So perhaps it still fits within my general themes? Hmm...


I. list has been compiled
    covers, colors, versions rare
    must obtain them all

II. hunt through dusty bins
    obsession quest for bonzers
    musical treasures

III. alphabetize them
      inspect each and every groove
      file in expedit
IV. needle into wax
      now i bask in aural sex
      religion is sound

V. vinyl vertigo
     three chords that dwell within me
     earaches bring sweet pangs

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Short Published on Coffin Catalogs

Another one of my oddball flash fiction pieces has reared its head on the internet today. This one is called "The Gift That Creeps On, Living," and it was posted on a cool site called Coffin Catalogs. I'm glad this one found a home; it's a bit different from some of my other work, but I'm fond of it just like all of my other deformed children.

Go check it out here:

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Poem Published in San Diego Poetry Annual 2012-2013 Edition

The latest edition of the San Diego Poetry Annual is available for sale. I have a poem titled "Eye Floaters" appearing in it. You can purchase this book at,, and

This Sunday, I'll also be appearing for a reading sponsored by this publication. It's at the Escondido Municipal Arts Gallery from 1PM-4PM. Be there. Or don't.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Randall Lahrman–"Numb"

      So it's been quite a while since I've posted another short written by one of my, ahem, esteemed colleagues. I will place all of the blame on this particular author, just because I can. "Oh, I had to spend time with my wife and baby. Gotta work and catch up on my homework." Cry me a river. None of that is as important as my world-famous blog. Priorities, priorities.
     Seriously, though. Randall's a good dude and I think he's starting to hit his stride as a writer so I wanted to give him some space here. We've talked a lot about horror and I wanted to make sure he at least gave me a piece that was on the darker edge, since that would fit well with the general vibe of this blog. This one definitely deals with more of a "real life" horror than anything involving monsters or the supernatural. Enjoy.


     He was laughing.
     I remember pain,” she absently said to the motel ceiling.
     You don’t remember pain,” he said. “Time has erased and numbed the sensation, the need, of pain.” She closed her eyes and her skin swallowed the needle.
     I remember pain,” she whispered. “I remember the hot skin around swollen scars. I remember your lips pressed against wounds needing relief.”
     You don’t remember pain. Vials and syringes made it unnecessary for aid providing kisses. Pain is a thing of the past to be forgotten and abandoned. All we have left is sensation, pleasure.” He pushed the plunger. Her back arched and he clawed at her thighs.
     I remember when it used to hurt, when you used to hurt.” She exhaled and ran her fingers up her forearm. “When I used to hurt you. I remember weakness and loss and aching muscles beneath bruised skin.”
     You never hurt me and I’ve never hurt you.” He pressed his body closer to her, flesh to sticky flesh, dragging the tip of his nose up her arm.
     I remember feeling you hurt. I could feel the hurt from our friends and family. I remember the pain of the entire world imprisoning me in their sorrow.” She wrapped her arms around her ribs. “All of it at once cocooned me, relentless and cold.”
     You don’t suffer the world’s pain. The world hurts because it’s alone. The world only hurts for itself.” His hand slipped between her thighs. “Not for you.”
     She clasped her legs and turned to him. “If you let the world suffer where does that leave us in the end?” She stroked his cheek with the back of her fingers. He pulled her hand away and fingers disappeared into his mouth, one by one.
     It leaves us here to worry about each other. Let the world suffer their actions. Leave the world to face the consequences of that pain you remember. Here, we have our own world.” He smiled and kissed her fingertips; her identity moistened by his lust.
     Our world is numbed by invaded veins and cloudy minds. We can’t see past each other and into the foggy reality outside.” He laughed and clasped her hips. He rolled onto her, over her, and pulled her on top of him.
     But here, you can be on top of the world,” he rolled once more, “or beneath it. At your own will.” He laughed and held her wrists to the mattress. “At your own demand you can dominate or submit without fearing the pain you so longingly desire.” His smile filled his face. All that was left of him was that smile.
     She crawled off of him and faced away. He pierced another vial, tilted the syringe, and filled himself. “Is it weird to say I want the pain back?” She slapped her thigh, gripped her stomach and pulled. Skin tore beneath her fingernails. “I can’t feel anything with this frozen body,” she shouted over his laughter.
     Why is it so important to feel? Haven’t we led ourselves down this path wading in chemicals and manmade pleasures?” He stood and extended his arms out with his head tilted back. “We are all the result of our own abandonment.” He walked in front of her and lifted her chin. “We gave up everything while absorbing nothing. But we don’t strain or suffer.” His voice was soft beside her face. “We don’t have to hurt.”
     She continued to claw and pinch and slap. Bruises took color. Welts rose and hardened. Pinstripes of blood decorated her legs. Tears puddled her eyes, but never escaped to caress her cheeks. He, smile glaring, rubbed her shoulders and leaned into her, behind her, and caressed her back. His hands, his lips, his tongue touched her every bruise, cut, and scar.
     He was laughing.

BIO: Randall Lahrman is a San Diego native and is an MFA student at San Diego State University. He has some publications strewn across in the internet and one or two in print. -Literature Journal. Contributing Editor - Video Game News/Reviews/Commentary. Contributing Writer

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Short Published on Daily Love

Here's another little piece of flash fiction, this time published by the website Daily Love. This one's a bit different from what I'm "known" for, though I think it still retains a bit of darkness and my signature style. It's called "Ashes/Dust," and you can check it out right here:

Let me know what you think...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Last Sane Man Alive

Here's one that was originally published in the San Diego Poetry Annual. I'm pretty fond of this piece, and I like that it kind of blurs the line between prose poem and flash fiction.


     Winter arrived in July this year, a cloud of ruin brought gorgeous ashen snow. The deadly flakes danced through the florid sky, clinging loosely to his balding hair, a doomsday toupee. The fluorescent fungus in the horizon was a perfectly framed photograph. The end looked so lovely he could hardly pull himself away to hide. Miles away, the city wailed its last gasps.
     An underground bunker in the country, fully stocked. An ocean's worth of bottled water towering to the ceiling. An antique solid oak shelf overstuffed with his most prized canned goods. Boston baked beans, cream of broccoli soup, hominy grits, mandarin oranges. A framed black and white photo of his wife in a summer dress, taken in 1965 on their honeymoon, twenty years before she passed. A well-taped cardboard box containing his most favorite dusty literature, an extra pair of reading glasses, for he's no Burgess Meredith. Tiny vanilla candles to dull the scent of the latrine. A brand new generator, tested once for proper operation, once again for security. A small color television and VCR to watch home movies of his grandchildren back in Arkansas. A radio for hopeful news.
     He waited for days for help to come, he waited for weeks receiving none, he waited for months, never again to view the radiant sun.