This collection began in a classroom where I was teaching Lee Thayer’s communication theory to high school students in Beijing. At the same time, I was steeping myself in fiction, eating up Robert Coover, Shakespeare, Eugene Marten, P.G. Wodehouse and more. And then the Players arrived, all of them, and you will meet them all. We spoke. They were rehearsing for a live show and I was privy to join them. I studied their ways and became one of them, was shown grand things that blended with my memory of this life and this world. Everything converged and these essays were born.
Or, perhaps I saw a call for a chapbook competition from an esteemed publishing house, but too shy for lack of talent, too word-beaten by failure, I kept these pieced hidden, never submitted them. Unwanted. Weary. Or, did I submit them to a world-class publishing house only to be rejected after an eight month period of waiting and wondering? Yes, I did. The Players forgive me, though, and they needed a home. The Web is their new home. Please enjoy their home.
If you are interested in the idea of performing a life, please sample a few of these pieces. They do not have to be read in any kind of order. Make them meaningful to you.
Writers/Mixers/Artists: If you wish to “remix” an ELECTRIC DELIRIUM essay, please get in touch with me to discuss possibilities or simply do so and send back to me. I’ll be in the vault with the tapes.
1.1 The Devil Line is a Violin
1.2 Sowers of Nothing
1.3 Lick the Empire
1.4 She’s Butoh
1.5 Electric Delirium
1.6 Circus-thrust the Night Copier
1.7 Blank Light, Wooded Light
1.8 Abject Horror of Objects
1.9 To the Bonfire Rhumba
10 Ruptured, Weeps the Hole (The End)
I wrote this piece while deep in a Stephen Graham Jones workshop, but kept this one private—wrote it on the side. Years ago, fresh out of high school, I delivered furniture, spent time (with permission) dropping things off at important people’s houses when they weren’t home and always wondered what if something was in there waiting for me … what if that innocent boss of mine was hiding something. The result of that paranoid delusion is this story. Thank you, Mustache Factor. I grow my mustache for you.
Bartleby Snopes picked this one up. Thank you, Nathaniel. I’m honored. A student of mine confessed to me that his worst fear was being attacked by a group of women and that’s exactly what goes down for poor Ben in the story. This one gets quite surreal. Also, I had a lot of Italian horror tropes floating around in my mind that needed release (cue the title). I hope this is a great read for you.
This one was a lot of fun to write and I’m proud that Untoward Magazine picked it up. Be prepared. It’s a bit over-the-top and absurd, but I think we’ve all had the experience of meeting that guy at the party, comes out of nowhere with some oddball story to tell and we just can’t get away. Well, maybe, but this is a bit different … and what does it have to do with giraffes?