Jamie Grefe

Grind, Dear Friend, Grind MONDO FATALES ACTION


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reading log


abattoir incident

junk art

angelo pulp

berg's matter

birds rest

bitter fake

brain room

brown poems

caldwell's enemy


cannibal priestess

corridor one

corridor three

deerhead puppets

doom horizon

drops shots

drowned girl

dusk lung

early death

electric delirium

evil woman

feigned nights

feral doom

fire scars

flamboozled beak

flower stitches

future wounds

giraffe party

girl four


horizon regained

interior sloth

jones's girl

livid men

love clutch

lovecraftian krall

lucy lip

map routes


muck child

mondo ben

nip down

orange shinjuku

over thirteen

palm desert

pierce's doughnut

pigs gather

polluted interiors

possession notes

rain blood

raw gums

risen stay

scanlon's border


sour pinch

spring breakers

tanzer's mouth

the end


threaten me


ugly mouth


venom mouth

vinegar cutlery

wet spot

wilson's diegeses

worm holes

your hand








  1. Into the Weather

    I stand by a tree, watch Palace play. The stage is too big: bare black, just boards and empty lights and Will Oldham is a white t-shirt and jeans. He’s skinny, slowly entrancing and I can’t move away from the tree in this heat. I hear Hope to remember the face of the singer or the way people lie down on the lawn as if music is sun. That same man is driving a car through hoops of flame. I ride horses like an electric fence that hums teeth and gums. I remember my grandfather being kicked purple by a horse. There is no music. I run away. There is a photograph and it is a shipyard made of wood and rust. It doesn’t look like a palace. It feels the way the north side of town smells: cement, paper, dirt. I am the only one who hears, and the horses are soft to teenage ears, just a drip of Agnes. I conjure the voice of a singer who sings so well he doesn’t sing at all. I am no longer in Michigan, all smog-lungs. I do not hear his voice anymore over the language and the din of tones. Hear my own voice. I am standing by a tree. I cannot speak well. The palace stage is set anew by a band I don’t see, because we are walking through the crowd trying to find a hill to sit and dream music and be silent horses of death.

  2. Peckinpah: Narrative as the Ember of the Nightmare of Life


    Thoughts on D. Harlan Wilson’s Peckinpath: An Ultraviolent Romance entitled (as taken from Wilson’s text) “Narrative as the Ember of Nightmare of Life.

    Thank you for reading.

    J. Grefe - Facebook

  3. Scanned Nightmares

  4. Drum Skin: Fragments on R.A. Harris///All Art is Junk

    I wrote about the experience of reading R.A. Harris’ book, “All Art is Junk.” The review has a lot to do with skin and eggs, but trust me, the book is well worth your time, especially if you are a fan of bizarro and science fiction. Thank you, Rob, for the book. 

  5. Blood Mask: On Room 237 or, Bonny Billy vs. Wendy Carlos

    This is our mother-brain: a synth, raga, and a donkey. It shed hair, hard pressed by the question that doppelgangers are hawks carving chairs to disappear. And this beard is how I growl, see nothing but “impossible windows” in the goat-light of a film clip.


    Here is the hotel where we strip rooms, luggage-stuffed organs, gutted screeches and a wave. This is not a lunar mission. These are not notes about shapeshifting. This is about wolves, eagles, and the subtext of a frozen frame.


    We are a hedge maze: a duck is Jack, a boy’s sweater, beastman, finality, cacophonic pastness, gold rushes like “all the best people.” I’ve left you a key.


    Unmask me in blood, mother-brain. Flood the shaft with royalty. Men in robes clink glasses when music blues the light. Unravel. This carpet is a diamond pattern of brothers, a family escaping these “pictures in a book.” All is not yet.


    Not real. I’ll bring that ball and gown to the hospital as an alternate ending. It’s fit to shine. Show me the prince who looks like a Minotaur for this tale, our lost soundtrack of revelation, is the final interpretation on how to maunder.


    Keep to a whisper. The dead do not whisper, they sing master

  6. Goblins: an Essay


    I am at the house—again—to ignore a bag of bread, shell casings; guests stare, gnaw the perimeter like trees that get tangled in your hair when I bring you cake. You are hungry, tossing potato sacks down stairs. Let us sit at the table and wonder, we can conjure how to stop time. Rum raisin is not my prayer. You would know this if you didn’t fall asleep on street corners or use your belt and stave hunger, stay the father. I once saw my grandfather come out of the mirror. We built molotov cocktails in the bedroom and set priests on fire—the driveway is where goblins burn. Humans burn. Priests burn. We know how young men run through forests and drink milk, become branches or paste for maidens to eat. We hobble around the camper. I’ve brought popcorn and corn cobs for us to suck until we explode in gorilla suits with pink star-trails and organ flare. It’s not enough—melt. It’s not enough—save my mother from eating an apple. I’ve taken showers in green, hid under covers and shoo away teen boys who feign love for girls who take trips in vans to Nilbog. My grandfather is an angel. Goblins don’t exist. Repeat. This is not your kingdom of shadows. This is Provost in hell. We are a modern family: the van, sunlight, clover leaves and pianos lure mouths open—this is about not eating food. And if we speak, we shut our eyes to hear. And if we scream hard enough, our family just might sprout magic windows and stones of love. Press your hand against the stone. Press your hand against my heart of ham. Feel blood run. I’m made of sap, leaking son. 


  7. THINGS: AN ESSAY (via Eyeslit-Crypt)

    A new essay(istic) piece influenced by John Carpenter’s THE THING is up at my other home, The Eyeslit-Crypt. Read on, readers: THINGS: AN ESSAY

  8. The Maze

    It wasn’t that I was a writer and you a wife or a good place for our son to play. It was none of this. I don’t speak of dark kitchens at night when you are asleep and I am at the edge of the window looking at windows upon windows—how hot night becomes when soaked in drinks from a locked cupboard or freezer. I should have spoken of axes and typewriters. Typing is not just the clack of the keys or the insertion of paper into the machine, it is a ghost of hate that I will turn novel. I will complete this ghost even if it means I should reach a baseball bat or you walking up the stairs backwards, you dragging me to the freezer, but I’ve slashed all engines, dismantled the transmission and stolen the family key. I have the key. Here is where love lives unchangeable in the glow of soft light. It’s 1920 and I’m wearing a tux. You will notice my tux, because there was a photograph taken of so many people and you were not among them. We were not yet married. You have never stood in the kitchen at night or used an ax to chop down a door. There is more light where you are. The chef comes. I am redder after dark. But I’ve learned. I’ve learned how to follow your little steps around corners. You move quicker than the father. It’s my burden to be a father. I will make things right. Fathers make things right. It snowed on my birthday. My fingers can no longer type like the way snow falls on a maze at night. And it is night when we step into the maze. It is all I can do to give you something to remember me by—in the kitchen, the bright kitchen where you eat ice cream and drive trucks into hotel rooms. There is a room in the maze and I have the key. I’ve seen they way the other women smile. I have seen the father of the girls and I have to keep walking this maze so someday you’ll know what it means to be a father. I won’t carry you far. I won’t carry you at all.


  9. Battle Lion

    Glossi.com - Battle Lion: Jamie Grefe

    Click to view Battle Lion: Jamie Grefe on GLOSSI.COM

    This short magazine showcases six previously unpublished pieces and features original photographs from Michigan, Tokyo, and Hainan. The following pieces appear in this issue: “Sitting Fire,” “Fifth Folio: Production Notes,” “Knuckling Water,” “Apple Tongue,” “Battle Lion,” and “For Nick Cave.” I hope to make more of these Glossi’s in the future. Thank you for reading. 

  10. Deerhead Puppets in the Forest

    What began as a lyric essay on purpose, lifemaking, communication, mindfulness and more, headed south, came unhinged and ended up in a moat with a damp man in the rubble. I consider this one of best, most personal, things I have written. Thank you for reading. 

  11. Possession (Notes for Zulawski)

    Zulawski’s film POSSESSION has been an obsession of mine for the last few years. About a year ago, enamored by lyric essays (esp. those of Lia Purpura and Brian Oliu), I set out to pay homage to an art experience that has given me so much return on my attention. This lyric essay is that payback. Does it do justice to the film? No. However, does it give us a fresh perspective on the film? Probably, not. What it does do is show my love for this brilliant masterpiece in the only way I can, by being as obscure as possible and hoping for a reader who “gets it.”

  12. Cutlery. Ecstasy. Vinegar. Broken China

    I have a lyric essay in the new issue of Rufous City Review (Issue Seven). This essay is about the Vienna “aktionist” Rudolf Eb.er and the short time I spent with him in Osaka, Japan and the collaborative project that ensued.