Saturday 30 June 2018

New story published by "Ellipsis"

Ellipsis' collection, Three is available today from their website and will, eventually, be available to purchase from Amazon.  It features my story "Authorsoft tm".  This is another ooooolllllldddd story - maybe 15 - 20 years old - written in a period when I was still looking for my own voice but had been enormously influenced by Baudelaire's prose poems.  So I ended up writing a load of short-short stories (which I called prose-poems, like Baudelaire's, as at the time the flash form didn't really exist) which featured my usual vision and ideas albeit written in a tone of voice that was very heavily influenced - overly so, in fact - by Baudelaire.

I liked most of the ideas, however, even if at the time I recognised the writing style was derivative and not "honest."  Thus, most of the "prose-poems" that were written in this period  languished on floppy disks then memory sticks and then finally the cloud until recently.  Some ("The Chaotic Butterfly," "A Fresh Perspective," "The Friend We Made"), now that I have my own authorial voice and I feel (somewhat!) more in control of the form (which now has a name - flash fiction!) have been totally re-written and subsequently published, while others, like "HumourChip tm" and "Authorsoft tm" just needed a bit of tweaking, editing and polishing.

So anyway, enjoy "Authorsoft tm" (and other excellent flash pieces) in Ellipsis' new collection Three, available from here.

Also, on a somewhat related point, here is the companion piece to "Authorsoft tm", "Poetsoft tm".  Now bear in mind that I am not a poet when reading this although from a conceptual point of view I think that actually works better for this piece in terms of its subject matter.  I do think this was actually published in some poetry pamphlet at some point almost 20 years ago, but it was such a small scale photocopied thing, I really can't remember its name.

 PoetSoft tm


James Burr

"I really love you, and I think your body's great!"
 I type onto the screen.
 Artistic inspiration
 Direct from a machine.

 Alphabetical index and simple colour display,
 Place the cursor on the poet
 And Bingo!
 We're away.

 I've never heard of this guy,
 But let's look at his style,
 Put the cursor over "cummings"
 And access the algorithmic file.

 "i really love you and i think your bodys great".
 What?  Is that all?  Don't tell me that that's it.
 Oh no, I think I've been ripped off.
 Trust me to buy this shit.

 But hang on.  The sixth Lord Byron,
 There's a name I know.
 The manual says he's a romantic,
 So let's give him a go.

"O radiant love shining 'pon dusky flesh
 Of beauty that ne'er will fade."
 Yes, yes, this is what I want,
 This is bound to get me laid!

 But I'm a sensitive Millennial man,
 so let's try some Plath
(for a woman's point of view).
 After all, even if it's rubbish
 I can always make it new.

"In darkness blood milky-weeps from cracked and swollen breasts..."
 Ugh!  I've seen enough!!
 For what I want this is just too poor.
 I'll press delete and cancel.
 And try one poet more.

 So who the Hell is this one?
 His name rings a bell;
 I can't remember what he wrote,
 But apparently they did quite well.

"O radiant love shining
        the breasts of the dull secretary,

 Eh?  What's it say?
 I don't know what it means.
 But then judging from the looks of her,
 I'm sure neither will she.

 But now I think I'm finished,
 And that was a lot of fun.
 Because, like the advert says,
"Art at the touch of a button",
 But a readership of one.

Thursday 21 June 2018

New story published at "The Ginger Collect."

I've had a new story published today by The Ginger Collect'Humour-Chip tm' is actually quite an old story - possibly over 10 years!- but it's only taken so long to be published as I hadn't really tried getting it published anywhere.  Until my recent rash of flash fiction publications, I didn't really know what to do with it.  In many ways it was flash fiction before I knew what flash fiction was.  It was also a weird mix of slightly speculative and vaguely humorous but with a melancholy tone, which again made it a hard piece to put forth.  But in the last few months I edited it down slightly and I also performed it live (and it seemed to go down well) so I felt a lot more confident in finally trying to get it out in the world.

It can be found here.

Ginger Collect also have a nice feature where they interview their authors and ask them for a bit more detail on the stories and on their work in general.  That can be found here.


Wednesday 13 June 2018

Reading at Worcester Speakeasy Thursday 14th June.

I'll be reading at Worcester Speakeasy tomorrow, Thursday 14th June.  I'll be performing a new piece, "The Man on the Street" and an old favourite, "The Lexical Guide to the Bulldog Breed."  Come along if you can!

More details here and flyer, below.