Lots of new stories. I’ve been away writing intense things. I want to update more. I’m sorry followers.
Gotta live by that CREAM;
Gestures No.1: Ephemeral, by Matthew Erman & Lisa Sterle.
So this is the start of something big for me! Weekly comics, I’m thinking that I’ll try and upload every Thursday. They won’t be related at all in any way probably, and the content may end up being bizarrely different from one week to the next. I might actually be making some big stylistic changes for the next comic, so we’ll see how that goes.
So yeah, I hope you enjoy! More to come so check back soon!
Here is the cartoon I wrote for Rad Fortress. New series, Crust Bangers 5. This is obviously the first episode and it is very awesome.
The show is about five sentient pieces of pizza in a world full of trouble. Check it out, reblog it, like it, love it.
I do the voice of Hanful.
I. The Sphere
On a porch is a 400lb. sphere.
The sphere dips
on the right side
where three teenagers took
a Louisville Slugger
and tried to crack it open.
II. The Clerical
A homeless man sits across the street
from the sphere. He sits
in a wicker chair, the fray
on the arms is noticeable
and sometimes his legs bleed
because stray pieces stick into him.
He is missing his left eye.
No one asks him what happened.
He was in the war.
No one knows which war,
because no one asks him.
He watches the sphere every day at three.
Sometimes he watches it because he is bored
and other times because he is drunk,
but most times it is
It doesn’t roll though,
it moves as if it were on a conveyor belt.
The dent in the side
where the teenagers hit it,
and sometimes the dent isn’t there.
The homeless man
sticks his finger
into the sphere.
He sees the hole
and put his index
and middle finger inside,
and he feels around,
searching for something familiar
and sharply he pulls it out
and there is nothing there
but he feels something cold
and it doesn’t move
but he moves back to his porch
and falls asleep.
V. The Dead Kingdom
When he wakes up
he is in a black forest
and he is reminded of something
he’d read once
and he isn’t sure what it was
but he is reminded.
The forest growshorrible splinters;
Fox gullys and astral trees, long oak stranded
pointed upwards vying for sunlight
these gorgeous birds, forcing down
dead prey, bloated, territorial.
and the grass is bleeting blue
and wet yet it is familiar.
Across the valley there is snow,
on a dead hill
and beyond that it is red
and that sphere sat in the distance
on a house in a deep holler,
past the splinters.
Near a rookery, where several animals
gather in ceremony.
VI. The Grand Marquis
As he walks forward
and his feet hurt
and he washes them
in water flowing from a cracked well
near the base of the hill,
a house sits above him now
and the sphere as well.
He sits down and he moves
like on a conveyor belt,
he moves and falls
into a depression in the ground.
He feels himself moving down
and somethingbecomes steeper
and the hill is further away
and the sphere is red
and the hole is gone.
When he stops moving
in front of him
isa female nude, wearing her
hair like the armor of a Myrmidon.
Standing in front of an impossibly
large gate, blacked by the light
coming from behind.
She is holding a sphere like
this terrorfying lance
like a bloody spear.
He goes to touch her,
elegant as her body spits tanged
whips of tension, watching her muscles
move underneath her skin
like fish beneath the surface
of a murky brook.
The sphere, she holds in her
left hand, and on her right
she points upwards to the
She is warm to the touch
& his hands knew only love for a brief,
Her eyes are coral,
they meet and he knows
her deepness, her infinite mass,
pushing in and out unable to contain
whatever it is that rests
beneath her eyes.
Rock, cut oceanic gorgeous
Lips, long hair
Roads, open mouth. A sign, minor;
In an instance she; thewoman
takes his throat, gripping it with her right
hand, no longer pointing at the star
and inside the homeless man’s throat
Myrmidons.”:She has no tail he thinks.
VIII. The City of Dis
With his throat dripping
She let him go
past the gate she stoodbefore.
and the gate had words on it
that felt familiar. Words he’d seen
before or again, heard lost in some
Has a Devil
So two weeks ago, I was in the middle of getting my ass handed to me by the one of the best writing workshops in the world. The Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop, a week long “bootcamp” that focuses on production as opposed to revision.
Not only did come away with eight starts to promising stories, but I came away with a knowledge that I’d never have, accumulate, or acquire from any other source.
It left me feeling entirely aware of my presence in the writing world, minuscule, infinitesimal to the grand scheme of things. I realized I had no business offering advice to writers, struggling or not. My ideas of success, and learning have been so skewed that until I actually participated in something that wasn’t alternative education, I had no idea.
My advice to everyone, seek out some form of formal education, if not college do some workshops, if not workshops take some online courses, if not that then read some books. You need, desperately to stimulate yourself with someone who knows more, and Kenyon Review left me revitalized but ultimately aware of how little I actually know.
For these reasons, I won’t be doing formal critique, or serving as an “advise” columnist. I’ll be happy to talk individually about things, but I don’t won’t be offering up some inflated sense of knowledge.
I’ve been outrageously busy, hopefully will be giving a big update over the weekend, as well as responding to all the back-log of questions I’ve received. I haven’t forgotten and if you sent something and haven’t gotten a reply, you will.
In hether holly groves, a purpose
means holding out trembling
hands, readings grown like Hemlock.
Morning in fashions fitting of Green
perfume, that like grass or hay,
or the telling scent of dead leafs.
The cough of the soil here
is contagious, as is an itch
left by a million starving bugs.
Although I am technically here for “FICTION” I do intend to sketch some poems here and there. I did two today. Here’s the first one I wrote as I sat on a bench in front of Finn House looking out across the Gothic campus.
Ward st. He, terrace green
oh, potted flowers, quarterly waiting
It is summer in Gambier dreaming
dreaming dreaming of violent snow
of peculiar rainfall in absence of lovlier
Well, I’m here in Gambier, at Kenyon University, as a writer and officially I am the least qualified person here. Everyone has a college degree, an MFA or is a professor.
and then just lil’ old me with a highschool degree :(
My Instructor for the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop is Geeta Kothari, just got an e-mail for some of the stories we’ll be reading. They all look interesting, and there’s a Hemingway in there as well as a Tim O’Leery, so who knows. Those writers are definitely outside my usual box surrealism, and magic realism, and southern gothic.
Super excited, I haven’t written in like a month because I’m justifying saving my stuff for the workshop. #kenyonreview
So, I did a big submission frenzy the other day and this was a submission to one journal, that opted to give me something far more valuable than a publication, a professional critique. I’m doing an edit throughout the week, if none of the other publications take the piece, I’ll be posting it online for free. So, enjoy this slice of delicious critique pie, and pray more journals adopt this method of rejecting pieces.
First off, we want to thank you for sending us “The Caves That We Dig.” We really enjoyed reading it and thought there were a lot of great aspects to this story.
Here are some of the things that we thought were working really well in your story:
-The circular nature- We like beginnings with meaning. We like when these beginnings are so meaningful that they are brought back in and made relevant not only throughout but also at the end. You certainly delivered in this aspect. The symbol of the W on the apartment door is great and helps to tie your entire story together. It is a place for the reader to always come back to in order to make meaning of what you are writing.
-Characterization- Everything you show or reveal about your main character has weight in the story and allows us to put together a cohesive idea of who he is. The details also relate directly to the action or plot that is going on in the story. The details, such as watching youtube and masturbating, are all important. While you speak in a stream of consciousness style, what is said is always helping us to understand more and doesn’t bog us down as we read the story.
Here are some of the things that didn’t suit our editorial style quite as well. Keep in mind that everything said relates only to what we find works or doesn’t work for us as readers and is not necessarily a universal critique.
-Pacing- The story seemed to move a bit too quickly for us towards the end. You spent a lot of time building up your main character in the beginning and setting up the conflict, but, for us, things seemed to all come together and resolve (or not resolve, as the case may be) a little too quickly. The scene where he meets with the woman from work to get drinks felt rushed and a little hectic. A lot of things are happening- the erection, the conversation that is going down hill, the reveal of her having kids and him just wanting to hook up with her. One question would be, what does this add the story? Is it revealing more about his character in his inability to interact with women that are more his age and/or face to face?
-While reading, we were so excited (and also a little scared) to find out what would happen with or to the young girl posting on youtube. You have a great build up to him finding out her number and e-mail address, but the quick texts and calls and then the changing of his phone number seemed to fall a little flat for us after so much anticipation. For us, we would like to see this part slowed down a little bit or stretched out more.
We hope you will consider submitting to us again in the future. We’re so glad we got a chance to read “The Caves That We Dig.”
Matt & Jess
Fevered in the sun;
her skin is left
and torn open
from a blowing wind.
Real quick, lots of news.
I will be at Wizard World Philadelphia representing Red Stylo Media starting Tomorrow through Sunday at Booth 650. My girlfriend will be joining me, selling prints and signing work. Come hang out, say hi, mention you’re from tumblr and I’ll write you a haiku on the spot.
My poetry book has hit a few hiccups, lots of papers to sign and fax and email, and due to my schedule I’ve been so busy with everything that it’s just taken way longer than it should have (this thing could have been at the end of April so I apologize.) It will be finished by the end of the summer though, I absolutely promise.
But! Before that, I’ve procured a domain name and will be releasing Apeyard Holler my first novel for free, a chapter at a time every week. So there’s that and that will be up and ready after I get back from The Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop. So yeah! Huzzah!
Here’s Lisa’s book cover for my poetry book, for good measure.