Archive for the ‘Books’ category

In your ears

Oh look, he’s back.

It’s been a few months, for those of you who didn’t realize I was gone.

You’re probably thinking I ran out of things to say, but that’s not it. I have a few posts here that I’ve written but haven’t published. So my absence wasn’t due to a lack of ideas.


No, what’s been occupying my time is I’ve been planning a podcast!

The Tragic Flogging of a Dead Rape Horse, A.K.A. Locking the Door on Bukowski’s Ghost and Throwing Away the Key

I have another long post here that I have been waiting to publish. It’s called, The Senseless, Tragic Rape of Charles Bukowski’s Ghost: John Martin Speaks. It was meant to be the final part of the series (which was never meant to be a series in the first place) but I can’t bring myself to post it, so I think I’m going to mothball the thing.

The Senseless, Tragic Rape of Charles Bukowski’s Ghost (the Prequel)

The article, The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski’s ghost by John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press tells the story (read that first if you haven’t already), but for the curious there is an interesting bit of back-story.

In the 1990s I ran an artists/writers/photography site called, and it had a Bukowski section. The primary tool on the site was a works database. A pretty comprehensive resource (for its time), and a valuable tool for anyone who was researching – or simply curious about – Bukowski’s mountain of work.

The Senseless, Tragic Rape of Charles Bukowski’s Ghost by John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press

If you’ve ever read anything by Charles Bukowski, you no doubt remember the feeling you had the first time you came across his work. For better or worse, Bukowski is one of those authors who you don’t easily forget or ignore. Very few people are ambivalent about him.

Writing the world’s greatest novel

004I am writing a book. I’ve written a few books, but this one is different. It’s really long.

It started as a short story about being on the road in a punk band, Sonny Vincent and The Extreme, back in 1980 and 81. One day I looked at it and thought, “I wonder what it would be like if I expanded this thing to cover my entire music career?” and now here I am, 106,000 words later, trying to beat the thing into submission.

Hooray! It’s the mailman!

mailman1I’ve been considering running a month-long promotion to give away electronic versions of my books. I figure the typical person who would dig what I’m doing here might also be a book collector, so giving away the Kindle or iPad versions could spur some sales of the real things. You know, the ink on paper ones.

Offering the freebies is easy enough, but how to do it? I’m posting here, but since the blog has only recently been reanimated, readership is still pretty low. I could post on Google+, my favorite online doohickey (and I will), but what if I want to know more about the people who take me up on the offer (and be able to offer them stuff again, later)?

My baby, she wrote me a letter

CarolTyping337x262Carol is working on a new book, and in an effort to make it as labor-intensive as possible, she is actually typing out the text on each finished page (hundreds of them) by hand on an old Underwood typewriter.

This makes a clack clack clacking sound throughout the house, that was probably a very familiar sound years ago, but it pretty unusual these days.

Everyone’s a critic

dogeatsbook380x265To celebrate Thanksgiving my dog Buddy took one of the hardcover copies of Riding Out the Dumb Silence out into the yard and ate it.

Well, he tried to eat it all, but he choked on some of the words, came back into the house and told me that I really needed to work on my similes and metaphors.

Shakespeare never did this

bookdisplaysmall2Stopped by the Los Angeles Antiquarian Book Fair at the Century Plaza on Friday. Well, “stopped by” isn’t exactly accurate, as you can’t just “stop by” either the hotel or the book fair, since both are kind of a pain in the ass to visit, but you get the point.

Carol’s artist’s book was there, being shown by two booksellers (a book that is in the permanent collection at UCLA, and was just purchased this week by the friggin’ Getty Museum, I might add!). One of them was displaying it in a case with a giant Marc Chagall book containing original paintings…but I digress.

Scuttlebutt and innuendo

buktyperNow that the Bukowski material is all gone from smog there’s probably no one here to read this. Ah, well. Maybe you’ll all show up on the groovy new Bukowski forum and we’ll get to know each other better.

Forums are tricky business. I ran one on smog for a while – actually I tried one here a couple of times, but it never panned out. I think there were too many artists on the site and the thing never had a focus. I have learned over the years that for every few hundred visitors you have, only one will leave a comment, send an email, make a forum post, etc.

Shake a leg

legInstalled three glass door bookshelves – 45 feet of shelf space – and moving the books from our existing cases and the built-ins in the house, we filled up the new cases as soon as they went up. And that’s even after getting rid of a lot of books.

Well, I’ve always wanted bookshelves with glass doors, and now we’ve got them. It’s very swanky in here now, like a five-grand-a-month Manhattan apartment right in San Pedro.

We are simplifying. Getting rid of clutter and old crap, but simplifying is a lot of work. You would think the opposite would be true, but no, sadly it is not.

San Pedro Anarchy Press, Inc.

Welp, the letterpress poem project is finally finished.

It kind of dragged out over a long time, but things tend to do that when you are a lazy procrastinator. If you’re a patron of the weird arts, you can buy one here.


Hunter Thompson’s death never really registered with me until I read this dry, dispassionate police report, which includes:

On the typewriter in front of Thompson was a page bearing letterhead reading “Fourth Amendment Foundation”. Upon this page, centered near the top was typed “Feb 22 ’05”, and the page contained only one word, “counselor”.

There is no point in further eulogizing HST – you were either on that bus or you weren’t.

‘Nuff said.

Come back, bastard!

Well, this is the funniest damn thing I’ve seen today (well, the serious news department caption is what’s really funny):

Author Hunter S. Thompson stands in a pile of popcorn after hurling a bag of it at Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro, co-stars of the movie based on his book, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," at the movie's premier Tuesday, May 19, 1998 in New York.

Author Hunter S. Thompson stands in a pile of popcorn after hurling a bag of it at Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro, co-stars of the movie based on his book, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” at the movie’s premier Tuesday, May 19, 1998 in New York.

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

Hunter S. Thompson is dead, and while that news shouldn’t really surprise anyone, it is disturbing. Not because I’ll miss what he’s written lately (admittedly I did not keep up with the good doctor’s more recent work), but because we need people like Thompson to maintain balance in the universe.

If you’ve heard of him at all, it’s probably Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that you’re familiar with, and probably the movie rather than the book. Well, that’s your fault, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Not because the Fear and Loathing book is bad, on the contrary, it’s a modern masterpiece of freak-out prose. But he wrote about politics and culture with the same pedal-to-the-metal approach that he brought to everything he did. Pick up some of his other books and you’ll see what I mean.