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A Muffled Beep Beside Me

Is the title of a poem that debuted in print along with the editorial brilliance [compliment directed towards the team with whom I had the good fortune of working, BTW] in Giuseppina magazine 21 : The Acceptance Issue.

And not that you asked . . . but yes : In my continued assault against the expected, this piece was composed in a form not open but rather fixed, or — despite how deliciously perverse I consider usage of the term, a myriad of connotations attached to it as stead-fast as a spiked cilice to the inner thigh of an Opus Deistrict.

By no means is it my intention to imply that free verse is inferior, but rather familiar. Hence, exploring the paradoxical freedoms of composing within a limited; i.e., formal poetic structure . . . namely, one of my own creation? Oftentimes the experience is nothing short of numinous.

« © »

numinous (adj.) : describing an experience that makes one fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted — the powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired

Alive, Within The Spaces Amid Love

Nice to kick off the new year with a reminder that Cottonmouth Kisses hasn’t . . . well, you know : kicked it. In this case, thanks to the blog The Spaces Amid Love for posting an excerpt from the poem “Danielle, I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You.”

And since it’s been a while since this little bugger‘s inception, here are a few Cottonmouth Kisses reviews . . . “For Your Convenience.” : Via Marcus Pan of Legends MagazineKevin Killian of Small Press TrafficAra Taylor for The Bellingham HeraldCara Bruce of The San Francisco Bay GuardianRichard Davis for The Lambda Literary Review [ previously Lambda Book Report ] † Cathi Unsworth of Bizarre Magazine

Thanks, all!

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Elizabeth McGrath’s Incurable Disorder

I’m pleased to announce the release of Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp], the second full-length monograph of this visionary artist’s works, including dioramas, mixed media paintings and three-dimensional sculptures produced from 2005 to 2012.

In addition to over 200 color images, the book includes introductory essays by filmmaker/producer Morgan SpurlockMcGrath’s art dealer Alix Sloan, and the artist herself.

Regarding the creative process of the “damaged anthropomorphized animals who would rather bite than be healed,” McGrath explains “The conception of these brainchildren is hard to pinpoint. They stem from the emotional encounters I have with humans, landscapes and objects, and are further shaped by the constant stream of words and images that survive my mind’s filter. Once I have the skeleton of an idea, the rest comes automatically, but staying on task through the many hours it takes to complete one of these works requires a heavy dose of news radio, stories, and audio books. For instance, the chapter titled ‘Altarwise by Owl Light’ started with a Dylan Thomas poem but grew during The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley…”

She continues, “When I see the finished pieces it takes me back to the story or vice-versa, like memories from a vacation.”

As aforementioned, the tome is divided into sections — each paired with a passage from a poem or literary work that functions as a companion piece. The chapters are as follows :

Tears of The Crocodile
[ excerpt from the poem “What All The World Is Made Of” by Robert Southey ]

Altarwise by Owl-Light
[ with an excerpt from the Dylan Thomas poem of the same name ]

Incurable Disorder
[ accompanied by my poem Dead Letters : Twenty-Six Are in its entirety ]

American Animals
[ excerpt from Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson ]

Shadowless Summer
[ excerpt from Thomas Pynchon‘s novella The Crying of Lot 49 ]

With Tomorrow’s Scream
[ accompanied by a quote from Redmond King ]

Elizabeth — a.k.a. Liz, a.k.a. “Bloodbath” — McGrath is the only artist whose creations I collect, and without doubt, one of my favorite people on the planet. We met through a mutual friend in 2002, when I was asked to M.C. the Broken Dolls fashion show in January of the following year.

I’ve written about her numerous times between then and now : regarding the release of her first retrospective  Everything That Creeps in January of 2006, the premiere of Cecil B Feeder‘s documentary Bloodbath : The Movie, the main subject of which is — yep, you guessed it — in 2011.

I even modeled for CREEP Clothing, Miss McGrath’s collaboration with B.F.F. Winter Rosebudd : a feat which included strutting around Echo Park with an evil-horned creature [the duo’s slaughtered chupacabra stole] draped about my shoulders, the pièce de résistance complete with velvet cloven hooves and a poisoned arrow. And did I love it? Every fantastic click and tick of the clock.

In short, Liz is generous, genuine, a true talent, and a stead-fast friend. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and truly : I’m honored to be part of this chronicle of her creative outpourings.

Oh. And uh, in the event you might have been “skimming”? It’s as simple as this : Incurable Disorder = new book you need in your life. Me? New poem in book. Matter of fact, I’ll save you a click and leave a copy right here, even . . .

Cheers!

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Dead Letters ; Twenty-Six Are

A new poem, published in Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp] . . .

Composed in a strict poetic form I created, the details of which can be found HERE. ⟣ Thanks!

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Another Haiku

For National Poetry Month, 2013
[ via ] :

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As The End Draws Near

. . . of National Poetry Month this year, that is.
Grifted from my Tumblr, here’s :

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Rubaiyat For Rocky

Repeat of the screen grab, except with linkage in working order : “Rubaiyat For Rocky” is from the book Cottonmouth Kisses. Thanks to Beauty Nursed On Darkness for the spiffy lay-out / introduction to the Tumblrsphere.

Apologies for the didactic, but simply “For Those Whom” . . . [blah blah blah]

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My Contribution To Paleolithic Swishin’ and Dishin’

Details about the project/anthology in which it appears
And nerdy stuff about the form in which was written “beneath the cut”. . .

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Only Pictures

Mad gratitude to Beauty Nursed On Darkness for the post [ditto 115 Tumblrers, for the notes!] Much appreciated, indeed . . .

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Millennial Love Story

Thanks to Beauty Nursed On Darkness for the blog post, and to The Battered Suitcase, where the poem first appeared.

For information about the form in which this piece was written, please click HERE.
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For Kathy, Upon Reading The Village Voice [ February 23, 1976 ]

Performance. The performative.
I need more performance art in my life.

Reading this clipping sped my pulse, made me feel
both as if I were a spectator and a participant in the event.
[ Each is the other, ultimately. ]

A nod to your ghost, Kathy Acker…

I never told you that several lifetimes ago, back when I lived
in a dry county in Nowheresville, Arkansas —
so eager to claw out of that place
the tips of my fingers ached

I stole a San Francisco telephone book from the local library
[ planning, as it were, my ’ great escape ’ ] and
was so stunned to see your name / number listed, I
had to call and confirm you were you.

Sorry I hung up, but not-so-sorry
Caller I.D. didn’t exist yet in that
ancient history

What…I don’t know what else
I could or would’ve said

My favorite writers, artists :
I guess I view them the way most people do “rock stars.”

Even the term ‘rock and roll’ induces eye-rolling on this end, but
I’d stomp my feet and raise a lighter
for an encore

of your life, for
your life cut short —

This world is a cancer : it eats everything
precious, everything
every thing

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DRESSED TO THE TEETH

I have tired of my face pressed
to the windowpane staring watching
waiting gazing at this bloody month
of winter unwinding itself before me
pumping lost love letters and
lipstick stains on private parts
in its flow I
have tired
of it
I am tired
so I shamelessly step
from a life lived by
scrupulous selection into
the apocalyptic fury
outside inside: a
cinematic panshot
the remains of myself given over
to frosty pink lipglossed hookers skirting
about in see-through blouses and
micro spandex wrappers slit
to the curve of ass cheeks jiggling in
twenty-five dollar anticipation of
some john who’d like a snack to eat
I’m the only one who seems to
be paying either attention or them
and I want to brush my teeth
brushing off a Suzy Wrong with
a flyspecked complexion who
can barely speak English
pleading “you want sucky-
fucky?” and poking her
chopsticked fingers at me
my boots shuffle by
dry on chipped concrete the
sidewalk cracks resembling
veins lonely for someone’s teeth
I make it to my fluorescent-
lit mailbox and
laugh as if I’m mocking
the whole codependent
romantic notion, trying to
pretend I don’t know damn
well that yesterday’s date
was February thirteenth
Valentine’s Day licks its
vampire chops and
drools ropes of red tar like
severed arteries
my stomach churns with
nervousness as I stick
my mailbox with the stake-
shaped key and twist
and turn and
peek inside its
guts there’s
an offering of a single
crimson-colored
square piece of paper which
I yank out like an abortion
and head back across
the street toting
the casket of red death
beneath my arm and
grinning shit at the call girls’ hissing
“Here, kitty kitty” my
thoughts are frisky-frenzied and
distant my heart races with
all the possibilities of an empty-
cornered envelope
the intoxication of remembrances
an address to return to and
memories to address
with an abbreviated
version of a smirk curled
in the corners of my mouth
I shove my thumbnail unseal
pry but what I find
inside yanks my tongue
out and smashes
my ribcage from the
impact of that pot-bellied bastard
cupid sprawled out on
a generic greeting card
the message “I’ve got an eye
on your sweet tooth, Valentine”

streamlined in the shape of
an arrow and “Best Wishes
from Dr. Stepka, d.d.”
some-
thing-or-other down
at the bottom the
sweet slogan in script letters
words that
curl and close themselves
around me:
all my living breathing something
turning nothing, empty-
gutted like last year’s
heart-shaped cardboard box,
a shell that once housed
chocolate treats now
graveyard of past lovers and friends
packed to the hilt
I stiffen with the ghostlike
reminder that love
is a noose
dimly or definitely or
disguised like
those letters of “Best
Wishes…”
are lies
in peppermint-colored curlicued drag
to drag a sucker in but
then again I’ve
never even cared about
the trumped-up sweetheart
scene, have always known that
bit is
no disease for me
I head towards my
place, cut out
scissor-stepping hard and
brisk and cold
a rapid streak so
quick I can’t unveil or even see
the emptiness of dark mascara-
clustered eyes surrounding couldn’t
can’t be anything
like me
I step
feel the whirring of flared nostrils
step and
force a smile
I step
sway my arms as if I’ve got snake-
eyes beneath my sleeves
because being sincere
solves nothing
I step and
step and make
it to my stoop and
solve my problem of the moment
by leaving it behind:
Valentine’s Day a past
now passed
shot down like
this gunpowder night that
sighs with its
softbound sounds from the gutter
wheezes coughs and
spits out a slit-
stained backdrop for
a crumbling city
St. Valentine’s a
myth forgotten a
false belief outgrown
like training bras or hopes
for true love treadmarked
by the sole of my shoes
that step
I step and
for a second before I kiss
the delusion smack-dab on the lips,
I am afoot with
reaching my remembrances
dressed to the teeth
in fabulous

vacancy

Clint Catalyst, from the book Cottonmouth Kisses

Thanks to Beauty Nursed on Darkness for the post!
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From The Vaults : Spectre Magazine, Issue Six

with Tina Root
[ vocalist : Switchblade Symphony, Tre Lux, Small Halo ]

a tear sheet from Spectre,
one of the underworld’s most exquisite publications

[ founded/produced by Jennifer Chen ]

«©»

Switchblade Symphony, Clint Catalyst, Spectre magazine, goth, gothic

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In Circulation: Two New Stories

&
nope, of clicky-links to URLs with disappearing ink I do not speak. Au contraire, I’m talkin’ bout publications— the tactile experience of fingertips brushing against pressed paper.  The tender crease of a spine. The stink of ink spiraling up one’s nostrillus maximus & connecting with receptors in the limbic area, stimulating electrochemical signals.

My favorite words come bearing risk of paper cuts


Vorsicht! Consider yourself hereby forewarned:
it seems I’m particularly fond of italics this fine day…

All/Same

Royal Proclamation Number One:
(a fanfare is appropriate)

The latest issue of the rad-ass, bad-ass literary journal Gertrude

is OUT—&
includes my short story “Sugar Rush”: a tribute to
C U L I N A R Y . P E R V E R Y

That’s right, baby—we’re gonna get baked, & then you get  C a k e d…

 


A H E M !
So anyway

[from the publishers]:

“To commemorate this milestone release [issue 15 of Gertrude],we put out a call for writing & visual art
that explores, celebrates or subverts queer stereotypes. ‘The Gay Issue’ represents the diversity & talent
of the LGBTQA community.”

¤ THE PARTICULARS ¤
80 perfect-bound pages of flamboyant wit, 19 verse-slingers serving noteworthy lit, &
seven shades of wickedawesome visual artistry on eight full-color inserts that
one prancy fagocytosist went way gay over, on the tip of the APA
that’d be numbers & statistics; thank.you.ever.so

featuring

Michelle Auerbach, David Brennan, Wayne Bund, Clint Catalyst, Nicole J. Georges,
Jeremy Halinen
, Daniel W.K. Lee, Kirsty Logan along with nine other lesbi-luminaries &
rump-wranglin’ Cult Icons-In-The-Makin’ that any cool-enough-to-singe-flesh-upon-contact
member of the cognoscenti c/should expect to find included among the impeccably-edited
roster of a journal esteemed as such/such as this…

Nonetheless, not unlike the dry ice to which I alluded a mere skip backwards o’er single perioddical: that’s a
scavenger hunt I’ll leave for you & your ducats to embark upon, darlin’

G E T ± S O M E

 

[though as an ápertif, an excerpt of my story]:

As the adage goes, ‘A Don’t Is A Delicious Invitation To Do.’  In the sexual practice known as “caking,” it’s particularly true.

I can’t take credit for coming up with this deviation of the old in and out, though unlike the lot of other subversive acts referred to as the stuff of urban legend—the Dirty Sanchez, Blumpkin, Cleveland Steamer, Chili Dog, et al—I’m honored to say I can vouch for its point of origin, and am a mere one degree of separation from its source.

“Caking” came about during the darkest days of that carb-counting craze when solo patties of beef were the new burger, and a demeanor bitter as Susan Atkins was the new black. It was socially acceptable to have breath that smelled like a fresh slaughter, so long as we weren’t seen consuming anything in a public setting that bore even the faintest traces of Evil Incarnate: refined sugar.

 

:: yes bitches, shit gets good up in thurr ::

However!
THIS IS NOT OVER YET

Royal Proclamation Number Two:
(not only/but also)

Baby, I’ve Got Some More Good Word For You…

From the publishing house, social network & international non-profit, Little Episodes—an organization that “promotes the arts as a therapeutic tool & platform to incite empathy and understanding”—comes the anthology Brainstorms


© Little Episodes Publishing, 2010 • ISBN 978-0-9565003-1-1 • Edited by Fawn Neün

“featuring work by Melvin BurgessTodd SwiftSadie Frost, Nina Antonia & Clint Catalyst, Brainstorms is the second volume in the ‘Expression of Depression’ series, a collection of poetry & short fiction from established & emerging talent.”

[from Little Episodes founder Lucie Barât]:

“The launch of our second anthology is a statement of intent. We aim to de-stigmatise depression and promote compassion & understanding rather than fear and embarrassment. The opportunity to create and subsequently publish art will give people a sense of well-being which could aid in their recovery.”

&
[from the printed matter]
an excerpt from my short story “Breaking Up With Tina”:

Whenever I hear recovery folks recite the slogan that their ‘worst day sober is still better than [their] best day using, ‘ I can’t help but feel my eyes rolling.  For that I have four words: They Needed Another Dealer.

Oh!  & H-e-ey Old-Schoolers, spot check how that paragraph comes to a Grinding Halt:

…And in the words of The Cure’s vocalist, Robert Smith, the further I got from the things I care about, the less I cared about how much further away I got.

MMM-HMMM,
G E T ± YOURS

order now

H E R E :: via ::  H E R E

&
peek at the back flap*
down…

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“IDK IDGAF”: Editorial for Auxiliary Magazine

August/September 2010

No, Dr. Hines: I have not forgotten how to utilize a semicolon.
On the contrary, the omission is a result of Auxiliary Magazine‘s style guide.

Otherwise,
† PLEASE  CLICK  IMAGE  TO ENLARGE  †

Clint Catalyst, Auxiliary Mag, text lingo, acronyms, texting

[ …and Thank You! ]