Black bulbs the size of pin heads germinate below the translucent layer of skin. Like clockwork, they grow thick, sharp sprouts reaching toward the sun. This coarse overgrowth reminds me how long it’s been since I’ve wielded a razor. No skirt today. Covering the legs is easy. But out in the open, my face conceals nothing. If you stand far enough away–or don’t have your glasses on–my eyebrows resemble an elegant arch. Up close, you see the stragglers, hellbent little strands challenging the formation. Examine my mug for 30 seconds and you’ll find (in addition to the unsightly hairs) age spots, wrinkles, dry patches, melasma, scars. Trousers can’t disguise my face.
My failures also stack high. Issues pile up. The New Yorker. Nearly every flat surface in my home is a vertical calendar with months and weeks of other people’s writing to read. Maggotbrain. Alta. Piled up. The Sewanee Review. Piled on the coffee table. Outdoor. Piled next to the toilet. Vanity Fair.McSweeney’s Quarterly’s 58. The gangs all there. They are either towering mountain on the right half of my desk or they’re cozying up to the books beside my bed. Like too close talkers, the editions encroach on the Mary Gaitskill’s, Stephen King’s, Mary Karr’s, Chuck Palahniuk’s, Carl Jung’s, Zadie Smith’s, and a Dorothy Parker or a Harry Crews–who are patiently waiting for me too. On Saturday, the piling up breaks me down. I’m crying.
“A clean house is the sign of a poorly lived life.” Or so goes the cliché. In Shirly, the biodrama about Shirley Jackson, she tells Stanley Edgar Hyman, “a well-kept home is evidence of mental incompetence.” In my apartment, clean dishes overwhelm the metal drying rack. The dirty ones sprawl out like sunbathers in the ceramic sink beach. Laundry accumulates in two hampers. Broken down cardboard slumps in the corner, taunting, “You never take me outside on time!” The compost bin’s top looks like a funny hat set atop an unruly hairdo of kale stems. The shoots, stalks, and skins prevent the lid from fitting right and instead it’s like a floating beret.
Jackson might compliment my mental competencies. Still others might envy my well-lived life. From where I sit, I see my failures everywhere.
Getting things in order for what will be our final anthology before Dumpster Fire Press officially shuts down in February 2023…not that we won’t be back but for a plethora of reasons a one year sabbitical at the very least is needed…
Earlier this year we hit you with BEDROOM ANATOMY LESSONS focusing on a wide array of romantic and erotic experiences touching on the pure and toxic.
Then came along WORLD ON FIRE: PROPAGANDIE…pandemics, war, the erosion of civilization, and all sorts of apocalyptic variable fueled by you guessed it…political propaganda.
Now in the traditon of our third and final anthology akin to last year’s CHILDHOOD’S END which encompassed two themes…TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHUMANS and WAITING FOR LUCY…we present GODS, GUNS, GLORY & GREED
What brought that world on fire fueled by propagandie that teaches us bedroom anatomy lessons?
First off, I’ve always been a fan of comics and the foundations of pulp fiction which birthed them…an American invention and what is the most American genre that shined thorughout pulp and even cinema…the western!
Good old fashioned western pulpiness of rugged individualism full of greed, guns, glory with a touch of god via Amerikan Biblicism. The first half of the anthology will feature poetry, art and stories in homage to that bloody fisted and bullet drenched genre illuminating a whole slew of things. Organized like a silver age comic almost with satiric ads here and there as well.
Country western stuff with some cityfuck twist, I don’t know…if this press actually knew what it was doing would the logo really be a flaming dumpster? Hell let’s make it a cheeky homage to pulp and consider the Lizard King and his almost famous catch phrase “When the Music’s over”…possibly directed by Sergio Leone and starring John Wayne.
Now onto final half which gets to the cornerstone of most this shit derailing a progressive evolution…religion!
Cults, religion…what a way to control humanity. Going backward as we thrust into the future, have our beliefs really changed all that much. World on fire amid the inflictions of bedroom anatomy lessons…do you like Jung? What do you know about totems? WE ARE CULT! IT’S A CULT THEME! How about just doing something wickled, violent and depraved or even hopeful and redeeming in a primal idenity most complimentary or a dreamscape nightmare vision. Pick any side of the ever varying spectrum in the modern animal kingdom both hidden and blatant.
of course there’s poems, stories and art dealing wtih cult antics and mysticism but we alslo look at political animals via various covers of Time Magazine provided by DFP heavy hitter Paul Warren and various totem-esque tribes…did I mention the EIC of DFP will also be attempting to weave a frenetic unifying religious text around these words and images?
Shit is getting real and hard boiled as we head into the sixth extinction and head toward the twilight of DFP’s second phase.
DEADLINE OCTOBER 1st.
Head to the submissions page for guidelines and such.