The LA Zine Fest Reading

la_zine_fest_reading_posterI’ll be one of the readers at the official LA Zine Fest Reading this year. Click the image or here for more info.

 

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The Nasty Oh-Dear (Prologue to A Masque of Infamy)

This is the prologue to the novel A Masque of Infamy. It has also appeared in different form in the zine Piltdownlad #4. The artwork is by Walt Hall.

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The ladies called it the Jackson Home.

“Nobody will be able to find y’all there,” they said as we drove through the black part of town. “So you’ll be safe.”

The silver minivan pulled up to a run-down two-story house on a treeless street among dwellings of similar vintage. We stepped out of the air conditioning and the heat pushed against us like an unruly mob. The sun, directly above in a cloudless sky, beat down without restraint.

At the door, an elderly woman with kind eyes behind a sea of wrinkles greeted us.

“Boys, this is Mrs. Gertie,” said Clorise, the one who had done most of the talking so far.

Joey and I mumbled a feeble hello and followed the ladies up a staircase.

“This here’s the bedroom,” Mrs. Gertie said. “And over yonder, the bathroom.” She gestured at the obvious.

Joey and I walked into the bedroom but the ladies stopped short of the doorway.

“We’ll check on y’all in a few days,” Clorise announced. “So just sit tight and don’t make no trouble for Mrs. Gertie, y’hear?”

“Don’t worry, guys,” the other lady said. Her name was Sandra. She was young and, compared to Clorise, a glamor queen. In the van, I’d watched her apply mascara in the visor mirror and longed to go home with her and watch her put on makeup for the rest of my life. “Everything’s going to be alright. You’ll look after your brother, won’t you, Louis?”

I swore to do my best, though I would have promised her anything so she’d see me as a big man and not some stupid kid.

“Supper’s at seven,” Mrs. Gertie said. “You’ll hear me holler when it’s ready.”

Joey and I listened to their voices fade down the stairs. Clorise and Sandra thanked the old woman for taking us in on such short notice. Read more »

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Piltdownlad #8.5 – The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin

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THE MACHINE

CW_article_machine_UAArticle from the Crimson White on the Machine and their reaction to Cleo Thomas winning the election for SGA president.

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A Masque of Infamy Goodreads Book Giveaway

So I’m giving away 15 copies of my novel, but with a major caveat: the version I am giving away is rife with typos and mistakes (it has since been copyedited), has a unresolved ending that you will most likely hate and/or feel cheated by, the font size of the text is one point too large, the cover features a self portrait that makes me look like a Bon Jovi chick (which may further confuse people about whether I am a boy or a girl), the back copy seems like it was written by a copywriter on a cigarette break, and the subject matter is dark and generally referred to as “not for everybody” and led one reviewer to proclaim, “HUH?” Not to mention the pompous title that doesn’t make any sense. But hey… what the fuck, it’s FREE. And it comes with a money-back guarantee: After reading it, if you still feel like you’ve had a fucked up childhood, you get a full refund. HOW CAN YOU LOSE?!? Enter now:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Masque of Infamy by Kelly Dessaint

A Masque of Infamy

by Kelly Dessaint

Giveaway ends October 27, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

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Piltdownlad #8 – The Olympic Spirit

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Piltdownlad #8:

The Olympic Spirit and Other Stories

Stories from the San Gabriel Valley

“The Baudrey Boys”
At the house there were five of us. We were a pack a marauding pre-teens, wandering the streets of the neighborhood, always on the prowl for trouble. Or candy. Whichever came first.

“The Olympic Spirit”
The Olympics were in town. We were just as excited as everybody else. But not about the sporting events. No, we were psyched about the McDonald’s promotional game called, “If The US Wins You Win.” The prizes were McDonald’s food, which was the holy grail of all fast food. It was the best summer of our lives.

“Emmaus”
Emmaus sucked hardcore. It was better than public school, but we had the stink of poverty and ridicule on us. And the upper class kids had their own methods for keeping the weak ones down.

“A Totally Different Head”
We all had our own theories on how to blow thirty million in thirty days. Mine was foolproof. I’d start a band. Hire all the best musicians and stage benefit concerts that rivaled anything by KISS or the Rolling Stones.

“Ditch Em”
As far as any of the adults could tell, Rick was a good influence. Around adults he was careful to find his manners. But out of view, he was a ceaseless provocateur. A Peter Pan to our Lost Boys.

“The Joyride”
“So here’s the deal: I work your stick and then you work my stick. A joyride for a joyride. Deal?”

The Summer of The Stalker
That summer, there was a killer on the loose. And high school was right around the corner.

“Marlboro Country”
Across from Mark Keppel High, between a dead end road and the faculty parking lot, there was a small patch of scrub with a few palm trees. This was Marlboro Country. Where the cool kids went to smoke. I lit a Benson & Hedges and tried to fit in.

“Parents without Partners”
For years, the old man sat there, taking the brunt of these dinner-time gripe sessions. Until one night, he set his fork down, calmly pushed back his chair, lifted up his plate and dropped it onto the table. Crockery and tuna casserole went everywhere. “Enough,” he said and walked out the door. Never set foot in the house again.

“The Bachelor Pad”
It was hard to believe that my own father lived in an apartment complex. I’d always thought of people who lived in apartments as different from us. Apartment people. Not Baudreys. We lived in run down houses that smelled like cat piss with old furniture covered in crayon graffiti and food stains. When the old man asked if I wanted to spend the night, I said, “Does the pope shit in the woods?”

typewritten | 52 pages | half-size | staple bound | color cover | illustrated

etsy

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Piltdownlad #6: INSTITUTIONALIZED

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Piltdownlad #6

This issue features the “Institutionalized” story cycle, which is an exploration of one event told from the individual perspectives of four participants. Picks up where The Nasty Dear (Piltdownlad #4) left off: from the Jackson group home in Anniston, Alabama, to Hill Crest Hospital, a mental hospital in Birmingham, where my brother Joey is put in the Youth Ward and I end up in the Adolescent Ward. Meanwhile, our father and Rick come home to discover their fate: a potential life sentence for child sexual abuse. Interspersed among the narrative are actual court records from the trial, newspaper clippings, song lyrics, photos and other miscellany. As with all issues of Piltdownlad, not for the fainthearted or the hardhearted.

CONTENTS:

INTRO
LETTERS AND COMMENT
The “INSTITUTIONALIZED” story cycle:
1. The Adolescent Ward
2. Shit on A Shingle
3. POW
4. Group
5. The Hanged Man
6. Mister Nice Guy
7. Reckoning
8. Feeling Blocks
THE ZINES I READ
APPENDIX

100 pages
wraparound cover
perfect bound

Available through Amazon.com

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MORE INFO

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VIDEO: The Clash Live in Tokyo 1982

Watch if on YouTube for the song selection. Version of “Police on My Back” is stellar.

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Postcard from Ian MacKaye

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VIDEO: Butthole Surfers Live on TV

Absolutely bizarre performance by the Butthole Surfers for a local TV station. An amazing spectacle of a band disintegrating while playing music without losing focus.

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