Everything Was Fine Until Whatever Chelsea Martin Future Tense Books $11.00, 120 pages ISBN-13: 978-1-892061-35-5
Anything is possible in Chelsea Martin's bizarre and endearingly honest collection of stories, lists, flash fictions, and revealing factoids. Everything Was Fine Until Whatever is a poker-faced and unpredictably comic tour de force. Festooned with artwork and hand-written notes, this is a grand debut by a magical new talent.
"Chelsea Martin offers a quirky blend of absurd erudition, hard-eyed candor, unexpected sentiment, tiny subliminal footnotes, and loopy artwork. The illustration alone for her "to do" list is worth the price of the book. Plus she's insane." -Mike Topp, author of Shorts Are Wrong
"Chelsea Martin's shapeshifting debut is not only wonderful and wacko, but, goddamn, something honest, something new." - Blake Butler, author of Ever.
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Thank you to PETE WILD over at BOOKMUNCH for reviewing SAM PINK's, I AM GOING TO CLONE MYSELF THEN KILL THE CLONE AND EAT IT.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
"If I were to attempt the impossible task of comparing Pink’s work to something that came before, I would say that he is a much smarter Jack Handy, but even that doesn’t quite explain it. Reading the book I tried to draw comparisons to Steve Martin’s Cruel Shoes and some of Woody Allen’s writing (both are much tamer than what Pink offers). At his best, Pink is insane...
Pink constantly juxtaposes the painfully strange with the painfully beautiful. He has drawn several perfect renditions of the existentialist view, that life is absurdly tragic. In one of the best pieces he insists that:
If I ever decide to shoot myself in the head I will make sure to stuff my mouth with confetti so that it looks pretty for no one.
That sentence alone would have given Camus a chuckle..."
That's all I got for now. I haven't had a chance to go through anything I picked up at AWP yet. I will get to it next week when both colleges I teach at are on Spring Break. I am most looking forward to MONKEYBICYCLE 5. Here's the contributor's list (how fucking ridiculus is this):
Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Myfanwy Collins, Johnny Ryan, Davy Rothbart, Wendy Molyneux, Aaron Burch, Bret Scott, Elizabeth Ellen, Matt Craig, Timothy Bennet, Pete Grosz, Liliana V. Blum, Katie Schwartz, Tyler Smith, Michael Frissore, Antonius Wiriadjaja, Amy Guth, J. Marcus Weekley, Matt Summers-Sparks, C. J. Kershner, Ben Tanzer, Jennifer Dziura, Peter Bognanni, Charlie Anders, David Hart, Noria Jablonski, Bob Fingerman, Vince LiCata, Jack Pendarvis, Christopher Monks, and an introduction by David Cross.
"It is evident that Brown cares deeply for each and every character he creates, and when these folks sprung forth from his heart and mind and found themselves implanted on the page, that a little bit of Randall Brown’s soul went with them...
Brown’s brand of humanity involves thinking and acting then contradicting those same thoughts and actions with the very next sentence, the very next word. His sentences are perfectly constructed, each word chosen carefully for its rhythm, the image it creates, the way it feels bumped up against the words beside it. Brown’s command of language seems natural, like he does very easily what other writers struggle with for hours..."
Thank you to TANIA HERSHMAN and RANDALL BROWN for the opportunity to review such an amazing collection.
Also, I just mailed out all ordered copies of CLONE. This shitz is sick. Each one of them was licked, signed in blood, and sprinkled with pubes. Only one of these things is true. Watch SAM PINK read from CLONE here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnUZSEi7oBo
Look for an interview soon with SAM PINK, conducted by ELIZABETH ELLEN for HOBART. She bought 5 copies for herself. What does that mean?
Also, TULIP, a literary journal edited by PETER CAVANAUGH, is now going to be a print journal. I look forward to this. I think Peter is someone who knows what the fuck he wants to do and how to do it. http://tulipweekly.wordpress.com/
I have no idea where to begin here, so I will randomly number list my most memorable things: (excluding, indecent, ridiculous, illegal, absurd shit that nobody needs to know if they werent there with me to experience it)
1. how much love and support i've received for dogzplot and paper hero press. thank you to everyone who visited me at the table and/or said what's up and/or bought our books and/or took our free condoms and/or entered our flash fiction contest. thanks again to sean lovelace for choosing the winner winner chicken dinner.
1a. not realizing that one of the people who wrote a flash was standing right in front of the table when we threw his submission on the floor beside the garbage can.
1b. realizing how easy it is to begin discussing anal and oral with random strangers when you put free condoms out on the table.
1c. giving our dirtiest, sexiest chapbooks away to old women when they walked by.
1d. selling/distributing over 500 books.
1e. watching people steal sam pink's clone book off the chair beside the table when they didn't think i was watching. 24 total. so i am guessing that makes sam pink's clone the most stolen book at awp 09.
1f. how cool it was when a 60-70 year old man bought clone, then came back saturday and said he read it and it meant more to his soul than bukowski. can i get an amen?
1g. finding out who wrote all the anonymous submissions.
2. sharing a table with rachel and her husband matt from cella's round trip. easily the coolest people i met all week.
3. buddy guy's.
4. visiting all the friends i only get to see when something literary happens.
5. meeting all the people i've only known online and meeting everyone who introduced themselves that i did not know previously. im not gonna name drop but everyone knows who they are. i will only mention blake butler because he was the only man to give me a hug. a great hug. blake is a great hugger. and sam pink because i got to meet him and bullshit and hang out for a few. oh wait. stefan hugged me too.
5a. listening to woman after woman ask for sam after he left.
6. watching peter schwartz read his poetry and then throw his shirt off and tell everyone he's losing his self control then he broke out in a song, a spiritual. that was at the orange alert reading. thanks again jason.
7. not being allowed into the place across the street from the orange alert reading because i left my id back at the hotel.
8. not being allowed in the south loop.
9. drinking some old man's beer that he left on the table.
10. meeting liz and jillian, the creative writing folks at rosemont, in philly.
11. flying/crashing the magic helicopter.
12. being too pussy to drink a full shot of bourbon so elizabeth had to pour me a half shot but she still let me keep the shot glass.
13. licking mike alber's face.
14. stopping to piss on some building on michigan ave and the people i were walking with left me and kept walking like i was some piece of trash.
15. americana submarine. only place open 24 hours.
16. the crazy fucking cab driver from chicago who took his hands off the wheel and rolled the windows down and gave the finger to some building in the city and started screaming fuck you donald trump, we dont need your fucking money in our city. then he started driving faster and yelling about other stupider shit.
17. judging the flash fiction slam for wilkes university. thanks jim warner. you're the man.
18. dozing off for ten minutes or so in the second row of the only panel i attended. (sorry juked, hobart, ninth letter, mississippi review, and two others i dont remember, except the indian guy who was funny and said a lot of things that made sense to me). good panel, but my eyes were itchy and heavy.
19. trading sam pink's book for a pack of gum.
20. watching bill barr win the awp 2009 flash fiction slam.
21. that sam dude in the 3 piece suit who was getting hit on by all these women but he blew them all off to chase some scrawny 18 yr old. sam's dance moves were killer.
22. the cigar i got from jereme. thanks bro.
23. driving around in circles lost and on wild fucking goose chases for the first three hours i was in chicago. fuck your road system chicago. fuck you.
24. having the hotel hot tub all to myself every morning at 5 am.
25. all the sweat pouring off my face at the quickies reading.
26. the table that gave away the free mini hand cuffs.
27. 116 dollars for parking.... really, fuck off chicago.
28. devising the most clever system ever to maximize the amount of free beers one can recieve during the free beer hour at the reception. seriously. my technique is legendary.
29. eating bill's pizza that he was saving for the train because i accidentally thought he said i could have it.
30. watching pimps do their pimp thangz. (those who have ears let them hear)
31. losing my voice because i never once shut the fuck up the entire week. not once.
32. watching erin and lauren man (woman?) the taco table and everyone kept looking in their trash can thinking it was some sort of abstract art piece.
SAM PINK's collection, I AM GOING TO CLONE MYSELF THEN KILL THE CLONE AND EAT IT just came back from the printer and is ready to devour. If you have already ordered a copy it should be there early next week, so keep checking your mailbox, if you leave it in there too long it will eat the other mail, then the mailbox, then your house, your neighborhood, and eventually your soul, and only the man, SAM PINK himself is capable of saving souls, lest it be gone forever.