Sunday, July 24, 2011

SHOE SHINE BOYS - Cinequest Film Festival 2001

Originally published in the Cinequest Film Festival 2001 program for Cinequest Film Festival 11, San Jose's annual maverick film festival.

It was just supposed to be a harmless prank: Steal the Olympic Torch from local sports celebrity Sue Sue Robinson before she is able to make the relay. Then Eddie and Matt, a. k. a. Johnny Murder, can hold it for ransom under the coverage of the entire world's media. A sure shot at instant fame. Only one problem – Mrs. Robinson won't let go, and Eddie and Matt end up with a hostage in one of the worst comical foul-ups ever. First-time director Mikki Allen Willis wrote, produced, and directed this incredibly hip and stylish comedy of errors. Described as "a black comedy by white trash for all colors," Shoe Shine Boys explores the American desire for fame and the lengths to which people will go to finally be recognized. Featuring Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf (of The Howard Stern Show fame) as a registered sex offender, and weaving the story through a series of flashbacks, Willis delightfully directs this dysfunctional film as it builds to a momentous ending. –Ian Caton. "Absolutely brilliant! ... I love it. This is one of the most unique American films I've ever seen!" –Martin Landau. "Hilarious and disturbing!" –Daily Variety.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Will Not Pay $$$ to be Considered for Publication in your Journal

I see this time and again, and I don’t know what the answer is. It’s a little disheartening if you ask me. To have to pay a submission fee to be considered for publication in some journal. To pay a group of editors a reading fee. To be part of that Ponzi scheme, that you might consider putting my work in print. I just won’t do it.

I don’t have the money, there’s a recession going on, I am not one of the top 2%-ers that gets to skip out on paying taxes, and I’ve got children to feed, my wife is going to school, we are a 1-income family, and it’s getting time to start thinking about new school clothes for the kids next fall, plus with the price of gas nowadays, I just refuse to pay to have you consider if my work is suitable for publication.

I’m not even tithing at my church right now, and you want me to pay to have you read my stuff.

I see it all the time, a Call for Submissions, please include SASE plus $12 reading fee. Or in lieu of paying the fee you can purchase a half dozen of our issues on back order. Please make checks payable to Scheme, Ponzi – C/O: your work is not good enough to read without being paid to do it.

But there’s still no guarantee we will publish your last short story. Please remember, we always take extra consideration for alumni submissions. The Legacy Author is one we hold in high esteem. Or if you’ve ever been on the New York Times Sunday Book Review, or had a reality show on FOX, or been fired by Donald Trump, or slept with John Edwards, or had any sort of brush with fame which might increase our annual subscription rate – have you ever danced with any stars? – we just might be able to improve your chances of seeing your work in print.

But I make it a point, that I will not pay to have you consider my work for publication in your journal.

I know we all have to make a living and that money does not grow on trees and that just because you are a non-profit organization, it does not mean your CEO should not have a take-home pay of something in the 6 figures. Everybody’s got to eat! And my baby needs new shoes. But I just won’t pay your reading fees to have you consider my work for publication.

Call it chutzpah, or pride, if you will. Maybe it’s my false sense if integrity. Maybe its my strong moral fiber reinforced by years in the Boy Scouts, the Small Catechism, confirmation at 15, years at Private School, and my Judeo-Christian upbringing. Or perhaps its just pure arrogance, but I refuse to pay you anything to have you judge whether my work is suitable for publication in your journal. Plus I just haven’t got the $$$.

And so that’s why I continue to write here on this blog.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Originally published in Reed Magazine 2002, A Journal of Poetry & Prose, Vol. 55. Copyright © 2002 – San Jose State University

and the drip, drip, drop
of the drops from the sky
so grey and so clean
sends shivers, my spine
(and) i’m with you in this dream
as together we lie
bearing our souls so naked
and imperfect
how i feel so warm
so pure and so blue
as i breathe it in deep
your red and your pink
the scent of the salt in your ocean so wide
take me out to sea
with the tide, won’t you take me out to sea?

and the drops, still they fall
gently tapping on my brow
dripping now this moisture, sweat
as damp turns to wet, so profound
these feelings that i have for you
how can i begin to explain this kind of love?
the ocean’s deep
and so it’s wide
the ocean’s deep and so it’s wide
you can not ever stop the tide
and my love is like that ocean

Friday, July 15, 2011


This is the setlist of a Placentapede show at the Know, in Portland OR, from November 2009.

Guitar, with amp
Bass, with amp
Drum kit with cymbals
PA with speakers, microphones
Tape deck with found recordings
Various percussion instruments

The set will be 20 to 30 minutes in length.

It begins with a recording of scary movie sounds playing on the tapedeck through the PA. Adjusting tone for optimal sound. Extreme volumes are not needed.

The sampler is capturing ambient sounds and running them through the PA.

A microphone from the club’s PA is placed infront of one of our speakers.

The synthesizer is programmed to create some arpeggiator.

The bass guitar is turned on for low frequency. Feedback ensues.

The guitar is turned on for feedback leads.

Volume levels are very measured.

The tape is flipped, a new tape put on.

The musicians meditate on the drone produced, keeping it simple, minimal, expressive.

Aural conversation takes place.

Random musical energy is created.

Excitement crescendos.

The set ends; the tape plays through.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Exhausted, or ... Why I Was Absent from Class, Sick Like a Dog & Was Even Forced to Quit Smoking, Sleeping 36 Hours in 2 Days, the Week of 9/11/01

Originally published in Reed Magazine 2002, A Journal of Poetry & Prose, Vol. 55. Copyright © 2002 – San Jose State University

timeless sleep, with rash
and fever, too much smoking
New York toppled me