Death surrounds Sarah and Daulton. While grieving for their loved ones, they each must navigate a universe where time isn’t linear, where memories and fantasies collide, merging with reality. The dead haunt them, the world shifts and changes, and time disintegrates. Slipping in and out of the present, they relive moments from their past—and they never know when they’re in the present. As the shifts increasingly dominate their lives, as their grips on reality loosen, Sarah and Daulton struggle to find a way to orient themselves in the present, to escape the infinite loop of pain, suffering, and confusion. If they can’t find a way out, then will they be trapped in a kaleidoscope of torment and grief? An experimental novel about death, the nature of memories, and reality, Flesh Made World thrusts readers into a hallucinogenic universe where space and time constantly unravel.
Cracking an egg always produces something worth sharing. Sometimes it’s worth eating, sometimes it’s worth serving to others, and sometimes it produces a decayed and grotesque mess of rotten flesh and meat not meant to survive for long.
Eggs sustain life. To Salvador Dali, they signified imagery he saw in the womb, a symbol of desire to return to what he called the “intrauterine paradise.” You can fertilize an egg to create life or you can dwell on eggs plucked from chickens pumped with chemicals—or, if you’re Milo Moiré, you can push paint-filled eggs from your vagina and create a painting as they explode on a canvas beneath you.
In the ancient world, eggs symbolized the potential for life, life itself, fertility, rebirth. Some ancient cultures believed the world itself hatched from an egg. Christians use the egg to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus—rebirth. Some cultures believed breaking an egg could destroy demons while others believed they possessed magical properties that could cure people. In American idiom, ‘to lay an egg’ is to fail while having ‘eggs on your face’ means you’ve in some way made a fool of yourself. (more…)
Some say Swiss-born performance artist Milo Moiré is a provocateur without a point, a nudist more suitable for Instagram than the art world. Her critics have denounced her work as vacuous, devoid of meaning. As with much performance art, people ask if her work even qualifies as art. Is it pointless exhibitionism or is she trying to convey something meaningful?
Of course, we could ask that question about many performance artists, but in Milo Moiré’s case, it’s relevant. Another relevant question: how do her performances, and reactions to them, reflect the world in the second decade of the 21st century? (more…)
Encountering lobster- or lizard-human hybrids occurs frequently when you’re an imagination masquerading as meat. I bumped into one or the other at least once a day; and whenever I do, they say, “Daulton, why do you insist on writing easy-to-read bestsellers?” To which I reply, “I am a professional. I go where the people lead me. If they want action, I give them action. If they want spiders hatching in their ears, I cultivate brown recluses on their behalf. If they want corpses to replace rain and blanket the city in a violent storm, then so be it.”
I wrote my latest soon-to-be blockbuster, Flesh Made World, in the midst of a psychic and nervous breakdown. I admitted myself into the psych ward on suicide watch the day after I completed the novel. While I was writing it—experiencing suicidal depression, coming to terms with the sudden death of my father, and in the grip of a months’ long anxiety attack—people and creatures kept saying, “Yo, D, why don’t you write a non-linear, hard-to-read novel crammed with surreal and disturbing imagery, and ambiguous as hell?” I said, “All right, all right. If that’s what you want. I’m already on it.” (more…)
Empty and broken, the city streets evacuated with a sense of calm. Everything shattered. Glass lay like snowflakes, in piles tall as people. The sky cracked. A bubble, dark as night, bloomed in the center of the crack. No good fucking reptiles swallowed everything. Traces blasted through the sky: clouds, maybe. Or veins. Blood spurted from them, rained down, and covered the city. Definitely veins. Where was the man who played the violin? He stood in the street in a minute earlier. Then he vanished. Did he vanish? Where had everyone gone? (more…)
I was working the counter when some old knucklehead sashayed through the doors and wanted a thermostat for his car. His complexion told you he had money: he was in his 60s and his face was smooth and more or less wrinkle free. Meat on people who don’t worry year in and year out about food and housing tend to maintain a youthful elegance. His face wasn’t taut or shiny, which ruled out plastic surgery. He was simply a man whose concerned lay outside the sphere of struggling to make ends meet.
Like most people with money who found their way into the part store, he was clueless. He knew the year and the model but not the make or the engine size or the OE thermostat temperature. He somehow knew he needed a thermostat and expected me to procure it for him. (more…)
Ryder Collins’s novel, Homegirl!, (click here to read an excerpt) is one of the best books you’ve never read. It’s intimate and obscene, profound and profane. The style mesmerizes. She writes in a voice solely hers. Living Wisconsin, she’s currently working on a follow-up to Homegirl! As a fan, I decided to ask her about writing, life, and her influences.
Tell us about yourself: what drew you to writing and when did you start?
I started writing in grade school; I’d always been an avid reader. I started out writing really maudlin poetry about unrequited love and death. You could say I was a very sunny child… (more…)
“There is a place of fertile tension between desire and consciousness, between looking out at the world and looking back in to the self,” artist Heather Sheehan writes on her website. “I go to this place to gather and form images, objects, actions and words.”
Few artists strike a chord like Heather Sheehan. Her works incorporate performance, sculpture, photography, conceptual art, and, above all, an awareness of subjective reality. By exposing voices and situations of the past and present, she creates gaps in time, moments in which time itself appears multi-dimensional. Crafting more than a “happening” or even art, Sheehan merges past, present, and future, allowing the observer to perceive time, if only for a moment. She transports us into a timeless void, where only our subjective awareness moves and guides us. (more…)
Since their inception as on-screen personas, the Marx Brothers appealed to surrealists. Antonin Artaud hailed “the powerful, total, definitive and absolute originality” of Marx Brothers films. Ionesco, the French avant-garde playwright, equally admired them. In addition to winning over audiences worldwide, the brothers found themselves as strange icons for artists on the fringes of polite society.
The Marx Brothers—Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo—shared absurdist sensibilities with the Dadaists and Surrealists. Their plays and movies contained absurd or nonsensical, surreal or anarchic themes or moments. From Groucho’s absurd songs and speeches to Harpo’s clownish antics, their films contained one strange or absurd bit after the other: real dogs popping out of chest tattoos, bizarre contract negotiations, and constant challenges to authority and social norms. Avant-garde artists sensed a kinship with the Brothers’ sense of anarchy, rebellion, and, at times, anti-art. (more…)
It confused her whenever it happened. And it was at least partly confusing because she couldn’t always anticipate when it would happen.
Sometimes a chill curled her spine, sometimes her temples throbbed, sometimes her knees ached—and then sometimes the world blinked off and on without warning or the slightest provocation, at least as far as she could tell. (more…)