but if i keep writing reviews

I’ll never get anything else done. Actually, I owe three more that I need to get done soon. Anycase, two went up at Word Riot the other day. Also, finally got back into the novel. 5,000 words today. Meant to get 10,000 but this is a good start and I’ll probably get another thousand or two down tonight, hopefully, and make up the rest over the next couple days.

But, yes, the reviews.

Monogamy Songs by Gregory Sherl:

Gregory Sherl’s Monogamy Songs is a memoir masquerading as novel masquerading as collection of prosepoems or perhaps it is none of those things or perhaps all of them but in reverse. Perhaps it is the first mixtape in his soon to be announced rap career or a mixtape he made from the collected scribblings of a lonely and broken heart meant for friends or new lovers about former lovers. It is a constantly surprising and confounding read, so distinct, even from itself, that there is really no proper way to categorise what it does or what Sherl attempts to do here.

My Pet Serial Killer by Michael J Seidlinger:

I am not a fan of serial killer fiction or even, really, transgressive literature. I find that they tend to be done more for shock and the grotesque than for any larger purpose, be it critical or satirical or academic. And so, though I was excited for Seidlinger’s new novel, I had serious reservations, reservations that he quickly shattered by subverting all expectations and invigorating a topic I thought best left to documentarians and forensic psychologists.

And then a few new reviews of my novel Ash Cinema have gone up at goodreads:

DB Cox

I’ve already remarked on this book elsewhere, so I’m not going into the story proper.

Once upon a time, writers were described in terms of their “vision.” “Vision” implied overtones more of purpose and truth, than technique or style. A writer with “vision” could sometimes break through the noise of the crowd—someone who knew why he or she wrote a particular story. I believe Ash Cinema fits this description.

The prose in this book is as beautiful as anything I’ve ever read (including Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeard Angel” and “Of Time and the River”). I believe Mr. Rathke is destined to be someone special—what some would call a writer’s writer. So he probably can’t look forward to making a lot of money in the “real world.” But maybe he’ll have a passionate cult following.

Here’s to old Edward J.

Pete Anderson

Ash Cinema tangentially addresses the life of the fictional avant-garde filmmaker Sebastian Falke, from three very different perspectives: an old man who once collaborated on Falke’s films; a woman who was formerly the platonic lover (lover, that is, in everything but the physical sense) of a writer who was obsessed with finding Falke and his long-lost films; and the teenage girl who was Falke’s lover at the very end of his life. Though (tangentially) about Falke, the book is really about grief, longing and trying to bring lost loves back across decades through writing about them. The book is haunting, obsessive, mournful and yet somehow triumphant, and eloquently and passionately written. A thoroughly impressive debut novel from a very talented young writer.

So, yes, very kind things being said about my little novel. Go pick it up at KUBOA Press or for free right here.

Also, music:

ash cinema today

Ash Cinema is out today! Super excited about that. Click the link on the cover art [which is super awesome, yeah?] or on the title.

Leaving for home tonight, a long drive with plenty to read and millions of distractions, and a beautiful girl who just won’t leave my head.

I hope you pick up a copy and enjoy it. If you enjoy it, share with a friend. If you enjoy it, write a review on goodreads. If you hate it, write a review on goodreads and tell your friends never to bother with such filth.


ash cinema tomorrow

But what is Ash Cinema?

All information is here, a new page I made under the Publications portion of this site.

It comes out tomorrow. Unfortunately, I likely won’t have internet access tomorrow because I’ll be driving the long road back to Minnesota. But if I get a chance, I’ll post the appropriate links and so on.

It’s sort of nervewracking to have this novel come out, as it’ll really be the world’s first impression of what I can write. And by world I mean the twenty or so people who will read it. But still!

It’s my love letter to film and so I invented all the films I want to exist that don’t yet. And maybe one day I’ll be able to make them real, because, really, my whole life is the movies and it’s all I want to do. All I’ve ever wanted to do.

Anycase, I’ll let everyone know more on Sunday or Monday.

Till then, StarChild.

ash cinema

Listening to that all morning will maybe lead into an odd day, but that feeling of otherness, it’s something that never leaves a child, no matter how old he becomes.

Birthdays make me think of mortality, which always leads me to suicide, and that rendition is so heartbreaking. I’m sure most people who visit this page have already seen that video, but that crack in his voice at creep fractures so much inside me. And there are days I no longer desire to live, but today is not one of those days.

I feel alive, though sad. Sad for I don’t know why. It’s something one never grows out of, I suppose, and it may be the peculiarity and impossibility of other humans. Every day gets odder and nothing makes sense and there are all these people who want so much to be a part of my life and I can never imagine or understand why.

I appreciate it and I thank them in my own way, which is to say, Silently and internally. The kindness I receive from people is so profound and ever present that I will never be able to repay it, not in a year or a life or a thousand lives. And so I do what I can and try to make those I meet a little happier, though I likely am always failing. But it’s true, how kind everyone is to me. It sometimes fills me up to the point of explosion and it could break my heart, leave me a weeping mess, just wanting to thank you all so much for smiling and not frowning, for laughing and not crying, for showing me the way, leading me by the hand, not pushing me away.

And how could I kill myself today believing that? I don’t know if my life is special or unique or significantly different from anyone else’s but it’s the one I have and choose to have and for people to at least feign the illusion that it matters means it’s probably worth it, that every breath should just keep coming.

Maybe some of these people will remember me the way I remember them. Maybe some will love me the way I love them.

I have a novel coming out, which I should probably say more about. It’s coming out through Pablo D’Stair’s KUBOA, which is very cool. Designed for availability, not profit, which is the way art should be: free and accessible. Economics should have no play here, and so I’m actually quite glad I’ll be having my first novel come out through Mr D’Stair’s arthouse press. Of course, technically, it’s the third novel I finished, and I’m still counting on a slightly higher goal for my first and fourth novels. The second novel might be a hidden little thing forever, maybe.

The novel is about memory and death and love. What else could it possibly be about? If you come here often [which is likely no one], that shouldn’t surprise you. Truthfully, everything I’ve ever written is about these three aspects of life.

I love you across time and space but this won’t last.

One day I’ll burn away, my ashes washed away, my words all lost and forgotten.