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Photo by Bart Schaneman

I stuffed a few things into my beat-up backpack. Socks, t-shirts, my sleeping bag. I felt nervous to go, but I couldn’t articulate why, exactly. The trip was just a quick Labor Day Weekend jaunt to Taos, New Mexico, where I’d been dozens of times. I’d spent many nights in the Forest Service campground where my girlfriend and I were planning to stay. I knew where to find the strongest coffee in town, the best breakfast burritos. …


To the uninitiated, Chaos Magic can appear infinitely complicated. Thousand of books and websites outline a seemingly unending number of complex rituals that practitioners have used or philosophized over as a way to produce practical results. Wading through all of this, it can be easy to forget that the most important aspect of Chaos Magic is the result itself, not some dusty tome of dense, nerdy occult theory. And, as Peter J. Carroll asserts in Liber Null, “Altered states of consciousness are the key to magical powers.”

I recently used a sensory deprivation tank (also known as an isolation tank or a flotation tank) for the first time. I have to admit that at first I found myself feeling a bit like Homer in the episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa convinces him to take her to a sensory deprivation center. I was restless, bored, and I couldn’t quiet my mind. However, eventually I found the experience to be an excellent manner of achieving an altered state of consciousness in a comfortable and soothing way. …


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I woke at first light. It was cold as shit, and a thick gross layer of dew had collected on everything. At some point during the night, Danny had wrapped himself up like a taquito in his half of the tarp. I started stuffing my wet things into my wet backpack. The rustling of the tarp woke Danny. We peed onto baby corn plants, then walked back toward the buzzing truck-stop lights.

Carl’s Junior, despite the godawful early hour, was packed with locals; with hotel guests checking out; with people on their way to work. I saw a cute punk girl head out the front door. …


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It was only a matter of time until the graffiti artist Penis Man got some erotic fan fiction written about him. This particular brand of veneration, or mockery, tends to happen when a public figure reaches the climax of their celebrity. Erotic novels have been written about Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau (artfully disguised as “James Thoreau”), and Bigfoot.

Though I’m not sure you could call Xanderzex’s work a novel. Clocking in at just 13 pages, it’s not even a novella. Rather, it’s a short story with too much exposition, thin characters, and zero resolution, unless you count the multiple orgasms that happen in the homestretch. …


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Still from “Vulgar graffiti vandal targeting Tempe” (Crenshaw, 2019)

Tempe, AZ has been abuzz with talk of a new graffiti artist. The name on everyone’s lips? Penis Man. A New Year’s Eve newscast from Phoenix’s ABC15 states that the moniker started showing up on traffic poles, dumpsters, and electricity boxes in November 2019, drawing the attention and ire of city managers. …


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RIP

Word of Winning Coffee’s coolness reached me before I even got to New Mexico. This was years ago. I was at a warehouse show in Colorado, and the touring band, Rudest Priest, was from ABQ. They were fucking great. After the show, I introduced myself to the singer (who turned out to be Billy the Bunny, the prolific zinester) and said that’d I’d be moving to his part of the world within a month or so.

He congratulated me and said, “Just go to Winning Coffee, and you’ll hear about all the cool stuff going on.”

He was right, as it turned out. …


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The Way Cities Feel to Us Now (Maudlin House, 2019) by Nathaniel Kennon Perkins

I told Raven how excited I was that Ruby was moving to New Mexico. I thought it was fate maybe. At one time in the past, I felt like I was in love with Ruby, and I told Raven about how I might see Ruby again because she was going to move to Taos. I have a picture somewhere on my hard drive of Ruby standing in a river, bending over to look at a rock. She is wearing a light summer dress.

I even wrote a story about Ruby once. It was mostly about how my two friends were being competitive with each other in their separate attempts to fuck her one time on the Fourth of July a few years ago. …


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Photo by Patrick Welsh

Even though Big Bruiser Dope Boy went to college in the town where I live, knows people I know, has published work in cool websites, is a person who is generally around, somehow I’d never heard of him or read any of his work. …


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Your book just came out. Maybe you self-published it, or maybe a publishing house picked it up. Either way, congratulations are in order. It’s a big deal.

But the work’s not done yet.

Not even close.

It’s time to promote what you’ve made. This means sending emails, shipping off review copies, and maybe even booking a reading tour. No matter what, it means slinging copies of your book to bookstores. This is a daunting task, one that can be easy to mess up.

I’m an indie author, and I manage an independent bookstore, so I’ve been on either end of this exchange many, many times. I’ll list some of the major faux pas writers make when they approach me as a bookseller, and I’ll talk about some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. …


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Cicero’s new novel came out July 2019 from Philosophical Idiot.

I read Noah Cicero’s new novel, Give it to the Grand Canyon (Philosophical Idiot, 2019), in one sitting. Protagonist Billy Cox is back in the U.S. after a stint living in South Korea. He’s still bruised from the recent termination of a long-term romantic relationship, and he has no family relationships or other obligations to speak of. …

About

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins

Publisher, bookseller, & writer. Author of CACTUS & THE WAY CITIES FEEL TO US NOW. Order my new novel, WALLOP: https://houseofvlad.bigcartel.com/

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