Writer who stumbled into typesetting and the occasional cover wrap. Founder of King Shot Press, a micropublisher of radical literature. Currently in Portland, but also sometimes Athens and elsewhere.

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MAY 24 2021: Living Constellation

Debating with myself about whether not rap's real
‘Cause broke motherfuckers are the only ones that have skill.


Below is the original introduction to Gravity, titled “Living Constellation: An Introduction,” from when it was called something else. I cut it from the final 2017 incarnation and replaced it with a short paragraph because I felt self-conscious. Who’d care? Turns out I would, seven years later. I sometimes miss the person who wrote this. I was ashamed of the struggles that made me special. I didn't even have my own working computer. I’d type up work at Internet Cafes and email it to myself. I think all of it made me a stronger writer.

“I wrote my first novel at eighteen years old, and after a process of about seven or eight further attempts, I finally released my first book shortly before my thirtieth birthday. In those twelve years between, I lost almost all of the hundreds of thousands of words I wrote, to hard-drive crashes and weather, and occasional anger. Between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-nine, I moved five times: four cities on two continents. For a while I worked as a night manager at a hostel, reading and working out sentences until dawn, drinking instant coffee I’d spoon into water bottles and shake. I used to sit at the beach or the marina some mornings and dream of leaving—but I’d already left somewhere else and I was in Athens and five years had already passed. What’s strange is I didn’t miss anyone, or if I did miss the people I’d known, there was an understanding that we could live without each other. I was certain then I could survive alone. I felt poor there, not so poor that I was homeless or starving (that would come later, in Paris), but it was poor enough I couldn’t afford to go out except to go to work. Just enough money for a kind of limbo. My desk was a battered old card table and a padded chair I’d repaired with packing tape. There’s an entire year of this time I don’t recall what I was doing, I was drunk all the time and more than okay with that. On a morning I felt spontaneously helpless enough I couldn’t stand it anymore, I bought a ticket and departed a few weeks later, for France. There I sometimes lived between couches, on the kindness of friends I’d made working at the hostel.  I spent most of my time in the Pompidou Centre, people watching, studying (I’m an autodidact, if that matters) and working on another doomed novel. Often, I drank wine and contemplated drowning myself in a canal. I used to fantasize about where someone might find me floating. It wasn’t until I returned to the States that things started feeling lighter for the first time in years. I started taking walks. These days I’m more at ease, I live in Oregon, I write slower, I met a good woman . . . you could call it ‘being happier.’ For income, I stock shelves at a hardware store and help people find the tools they need—hey, it’s work. I’m still young and none of this feels as far of a distance as it was. Most of my life’s been improvised. What’s presented here are a handful of the stories that managed to survive. Portland, 2014.”