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)
This last summer, I worked on a short series of “Corridor” pieces and am happy to announce this new addition to the series in the latest issue of The Fiddleback. It is a piece at once inspired by Brian Evenson and Steve Erickson, but that might not come through. It’s David Lynch and video games and as romantic as a Harlequin masterpiece. Without further ado, please enjoy this short, but potent piece, “Corridor Three: the Loon Calls at Dusk.”
One year in the making, I present to you “Obscurities of the Doom Horizon,” a romantic, post-apocalyptic sci-fi slasher novelette for your reading pleasure. It is built as a novel idea of forty eight interconnected stories. There are creatures dripping goo, brainwashing, crime, paranoia, hallucinations, true love, and much more. If this was a film, I would suspect a hybrid of Lynch and Raimi would have to get on board, would certainly be welcomed. Or, whoever just directed Life of Pi. Perhaps this, this obscurity of the doom horizon, is my Life of Pi. Thank you for reading.
It takes me 1.5 hours to get to work—bus, train, bus—and usually I’m engrossed in some book or another, but at the same time, it’s hard not to simply look around at the distractions: television monitor, fellow passengers, flickering advertisements. The people around me most certainly look at me. I stick out, even blending in. This piece is not necessarily about this commute, but it’s for the commute. It’s for those mornings when the train empties or buses of silence. It’s for someone at the top of the escalator looking down, looking down, looking too far down.
My short piece, “Dear Misery,” AKA “Michigone” appears in this special epistolary issue from Short, Fast, and Deadly. The issue features six new works by Parker Tettleton who has some excellent new pieces up at elimae, Untoward Magazine, and elsewhere.
This piece appears in A-Minor Magazine’s Flash Fiction/Prose Special Issue alongside pieces by Tawnysha Greene, Charles Rafferty, J. Bradley, Tantra Bensko, and Rebecca King. I’m thrilled to be a part of this issue and hope you find the piece as satisfying as you need it to be. This particular one creeps low, as they say, and I hope a part of me finds its way under your skin. Thank you for reading.
This is a piece that grew out of a workshop exercise assigned by writer and teacher, Peter Markus. It is at once “surreal” and “grotesque,” hence my decision to submit it to the relatively new magazine, Surreal Grotesque. This particular issue features many writers, whose work I am not yet familiar with, and features an interview with the great editor, Ellen Datlow. Overall, it is an intense issue and one not for the mild-mannered or weak-of-stomach. However, with that said, I hope you can read and prosper from the tale of “Drowned in Girl.”
Thank you, Dogzplot editors for publishing this piece. This story is the result of an afternoon in Michigan observing how we shift roles depending on who we are speaking with. Thank you, again for reading. I have one other piece, “My Feigned Nights,” that went up at Dogzplot in August 2011, if you are interested in more.
A pulpy night of revenge and celebration: This story was originally workshopped in a class with Dr. Stephen Graham Jones, so hopefully it has some essential elements of what makes a good story: an ease of knowing who is doing what and where, hook lines, effective dialogue, etc. As per the assignment, the content was inspired by a list of questions posed by writer/reviewer/columnist, Richard Thomas. That list fell to me to craft into a story and this piece, “A Cauldron for Angelo,” is the result. Thank you to Pulp Metal Magazine. This is my second story with them and it’s always a pleasure to see my work in the context of other contemporary pulp stories. To the reader: thank you for your attention. Also, of course, Dr. Jones and Mr. Thomas, thanks for your support and advice.
365 Tomorrows, the science fiction site, is hosting this odd story of an alternate reality consisting of a messy room made of brains where horrific things happen or seemed to have happened. The “red curtain” scenes from Twin Peaks kept crossing my mind as I was writing this one and, perhaps, there is some David Lynch influence that leaked into it. Otherwise, again, this one came out of the Stephen Graham Jones workshop I did and want to thank him again for his teachings.
I have to dedicate this one to Rudolph of Runzelstirn and Gurgelstock, whose inspiration has been with me since day one—walking around the house and dropping things at just the right height, shoving the recorder in mouth and so on. Years later, sitting with Rudolph at his home listening to some Live “Aktion” in Taiwan. Priceless, that memory. I hope you like this story. Long live The Carnage Conservatory.
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.
A post-apocalyptic piece about a city in flames, a city of scars. It is difficult to sustain a relationship in a city of wrecked dreams and burnt fantasies. Thanks to Kendley at DM for his continued support.
A two hundred word flash piece edited by Dogzplot editor, Barry Graham. This short piece is actually more memoir than fiction. If you end up in a small town in Ibaraki prefecture by the name of “Bando,” seek out an establishment called “Pure Heart,” if it still exists. I hope it does. Somehow, I know it does.