Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Literature

So, I've been submitting my short fiction to a few places recently. It's truly shocking to me how many publishers in Canada have an absolute genre-fiction ban. Many others use language on their "wants" lists that indicate a preference for "literature", whatever the fuck that means. It's hard to believe how closed-minded these supposedly-educated people can be. Because what I write always has a tinge of the supernatural, 75% of publishers aren't interested. Oh well, here's some more public money to support your failing readership so pretentious assholes can bloat like ghastly ticks engorged on bleak semi-autobiographical tripe and hormonal poetry.

Yeah, I'm pissed-off. However, I'm not one to dwell on anger. Starting now, I'm going to be more literary. Here are some writing samples from my next collection of short fiction, entitled, "Look at Me. I'm being Literary.".


"The End of Waterlilies" by J. Adrian Cook

Heat and grass were all that was left of Anus, Saskatchewan. For seventy years the town's inhabitants had gathered at the crossroads to share sad news and attend funerals. The fire of '63 had gutted the train station, post office and general store. The owners were laid in the cemetery, their corpses blackened and crispy like burnt french-fries. After the railroad closed, the only marker of the town's existence was a stack of green post-boxes, but in 1991 these were overturned when a newlywed couple rolled their SUV. They died.

Now tall grass hid the rusty postboxes and the cemetery. It nuzzled the foundations of the town, buried it deep in warm earth. This is where I came-of-age, where I forever lost my innocence. The grass of Anus is watered with my tears.

Janie was in the backyard, skinning raccoons with her retarded brother, Bill. Her other retarded brother, Eddie, was buried nearby, killed after he rubbed a porcupine on his face. Janie's white dress was yellow with age and drenched in blood, but in that instant I knew that I loved her. As she scooped offal from a raccoon's belly, our eyes met.

"I am sexually aware," I said. "I am interested in an awkward, damaging relationship with you even though we have little in common."

"I am also discovering my sexuality," she said, "and will lovingly hold you after you have prematurely ejaculated. Also, my alcoholic father is sexually abusing me."



"When Fireflies Cry" by J. Adrian Cook
Elizabeth MacAdam holds her mirror and weeps. The last blow from William has shattered her incisors. They are white chips embedded in the dirt floor.

Quit yer complainin', says William, his hunting rifle on his shoulder. I'm goin' off tae join events vaguely related to the Upper-Canada rebellion. When I come back I'm really goin' tae lay a whackin' on ye. He kicks the cabin door ajar, and goose-steps out, pausing to throw a liquor bottle at her.

Her tears do not flow. They soak into her false eyes. After William knocked her real eyes out, she was forced to sew new ones out of yarn. When William saw her new eyes, he was so angry that he made her eat handfuls of nails. Now when she eats, flies crawl into the holes in her belly. Their wriggling keeps her awake at night after William has tied her up for bed.

There is a knock at the door. General Middleton marches inside, knocking some of her needlepoint off the wall. Hello, Elizabeth, he says. Just a quick reminder: you're not allowed to vote. Bye!

Truly, this time period was very difficult for women.

http://pharoahphobia.blogspot.com/

5 comments:

  1. Have I linked these to you before?

    http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=267
    and scroll down to the blog post for this one:
    http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=274

    A comic of The End of Waterlilies for sure.

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  2. First, you are hilarious.

    Second, I feel your pain. I have been ranting about exactly this--right down to the dusty depressed prairies--to anyone who will listen (including interviewers) for years. I have also said to my publisher, "I know you're worried about ghettoizing me by applying genre labels to my book. Please ghettoize me. There are people with money in genre ghettos and they buy books. It's okay if they call me a mystery author. It's okay if they call me a horror author. I call myself those things. I don't think they're bad words. Please, can't we just sell some books?"

    I will put up a blog post directing people to your awesome post.

    -Gayleen(http://www.gayleenfroese.com)

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  3. @Rilla: I'm actually a regular Hark! A Vagrant! reader, thanks to you. I'd be lying if Kate Beaton's work didn't influence The End of Waterlilies just a bit.

    @Gayleen: Thanks for your kind comment. It looks like my battle against litter-ature is going to be a recurring theme in my career as a writer of insipid genre-fiction. I'll have a look at your website!

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  4. If you get these published, they'd become the new "Painted Door", I just know it.

    ReplyDelete