Brown and the Farrier — A Vignette from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

Working on my PhD thesis, a chapter on Ian Bogost’s ideas of ‘Latour litanies’ and ‘ontography’ in his book Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing. I’m trying to show that R. A. Lafferty and Cormac McCarthy do this kind of ontographical work in their descriptions of nonhuman object’s in their fiction. The long, loving, detailed description of this beautiful gun in McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is a perfect example:



A self-contained episode from late in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian; this little vignette captures the book’s strange mix of menace and humor:

Noon he was red-eyed and reeking before the alcalde’s door demanding the release of his companions. The alcalde vacated out the back of the premises and shortly there arrived an American corporal and two soldiers who warned him away. An hour later he was at the farriery. Standing warily in the doorway peering into the gloom until he could make out the shape of things within.

The farrier was at his bench and Brown entered and laid before him a polished mahogany case with a brass nameplatebradded to the lid. He unsnapped the catches and opened the case and raised from their recess within a pair of shotgun barrels and he took up the stock with the other hand. He hooked the barrels into the patent breech…

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Coming late to Charles L. Grant

I still need to check out Grant. This post inspires me to get on it.

Nathan Ballingrud

grant(Neil Snowdon is curating a series of blog posts celebrating the work of the late Charles L. Grant, one of the premier writers and editors of horror fiction. The parent post, with links to other posts, can be found here.)

I didn’t learn to appreciate Charles L. Grant until later in life. I think I first heard of him when my mom bought me a copy of Dark Forces, that foundational anthology of horror fiction edited by Kirby McCauley. Like most folks who read that book, I was excited by a big new story from Stephen King, and I confess to an almost criminal lack of curiosity about the other writers included. Once I was finished with King, though, I  alighted on more stories, here and there. I remember being delighted by Edward Gorey (cartoon images in a fiction anthology: I thought that was revolutionary!), I remember enjoying the…

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Hybrid Moments: A Literary Tribute to the Misfits (including my own story!)

I’ve been publishing stories over the past few  years in some pretty well-made publications, but they’ve all been edited by friends and acquaintances for indie press books (i.e. self-published by a group rather than an individual). Though I’m super grateful, I’ve also had a hard time not feeling like these weren’t ‘real’ acceptances of my stories since I got little to no editorial feedback and kind of feel like they would’ve accepted more or less whatever I gave them, the editors usually being friends of mine who were looking for contributions from me. Now I’ve at last had some strangers accept my work for publication on merit alone. And I get paid! (Small amount, but it’s my first ‘sale’!) They don’t know me from Adam and I don’t know them from Eve, but I really like the vibe of their burgeoning press (Weirdpunk Books) and I’m super happy to be included in a project dedicated to one of my all time favourite bands, the Misfits. My story’s based on the song ‘Demonomania’ from their album Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (1983). I blog a tiny bit more about how I wrote it and felt about it here.  There’s still a few days left to pre-order the book with a few bonuses from their Kickstarter.



Nomas*Projects invited me to help reflect on the Incarnation with a joint exhibition with conceptual artist David McCulloch.  The exhibition is entitled:  PROMISES PROMISES.
It is exhibited at 9a Ward Road, Dundee, Scotland from December 1st-31st.
My contribution was an experimentation with writing a ‘concrete’ poem, which is displayed between David’s contribution:  two marble squares inscribed (one forward and one reversed) with the legend:  ‘WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS ELSEWHERE’.
Here’s the poem:

won’t claim it.
The Stab won’t touch it.
They can’t see it and refuse other-
wise to feel it. Yet it burns like stars on the whorls of their fingers and lingers like a burnt offering in their no-
strils and like ash-into-beauty on the
-ir tongues. Dig ears to see.
Dig eyes to h
e s-
d l-


©DOJP 2015

2014 in review (according to those beloved Cyborgs of the Internet)

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Protest # 1,003,989 (Decal Burninator)

Spiritus sanctus
licked me,
holy phantom-fire fingertap
ice hot, not
ethereal but
sidereal, solid, starlong,

the burning one
burning through my skin’s mind,
curling it lathe-like and lithe,
flesh folding up like
paper blackened, flame-eaten,

all your animals blazing through me,
fiery doves
and serpents and

roaring gouts of flame,
bellow and shriek of praise,
butt and clack of rams ramming
inside my ribcage,
a red-dyed ache of ages,

it’s your world-dissolving chuckle,
your flesh-shucking footstep!
horns of light gore every pore,
stabbing from your flashing hand—

that I might learn, poor student,
that I might love, poor suitor,
that truth may track me down a little,
trap me, truss me up, skin me alive
and hold my bloody meat in searing

compassion, reclothe
me in death-redemptive hides,
hide me inside his side so capacious,
eat me alive with love
hallowed and rapacious.


Bark of The Manatee Man-Tree

growbend sidewise
for a long age,
grace hewn sideways,
yawing growth-esque;

brother tree told me
to go and gnarl likewise;
the sun is the ocean,
my body elegant horror;

it bulks up brindled, brined,
gruesome and hilarious
in corpu-sleek passage,
deadly of force, meek;

this is the way the world bends
elongate and foamgrown,
mer-weirded, floranthropic;

heart-palp beneath barkbeat;
my coarse brown wood skin;
the boat that I’m within;
the sound when I ‘Speak!’

colour for printing-20