Aug 30, 2016

Albert Camus --- This is heaven --- teaser (10)


Context: John is called to the police station, where Ray is held as in connection with the mysterious death of Neill Palmer. Inspector LaStrada from the homicide unit wants to "chat." And, there's a new addition to the offices of the police department, a goldfish bowl.



The detective points at a transparent folio-sized zip bag on the counter, holds it up, and dangles it in front of my eyes. It contains a used sheet of paper, crumpled and refolded several times, letter size, written upon in what appears to be an approximately legible hand. LaStrada flips the bag, and the reverse side of the sheet appears to be written-upon as well, in Alex’s hand, to be precise. This was Alex’s suicide letter, the outdated letter I handed to Neill Palmer on Saturday night when the drunken rice queen had asked for a sheet of paper as I met in the street, me staggering home, defeated, while Alex, the survivor, was busy falling in love with Amy-Lou.

Let me interrupt myself and talk about James Bond again. It doesn’t matter which movie, so let’s talk about the last one, Skyfall. Daniel Craig introduces himself to Dr. No or one of No’s co-workers, like Bérénice Marlohe, say, and says “The name is Bond, James Bond.” And while any other person on the planet would now go, like, ‘Great,’ or ‘Can you give me an autograph,’ Bérénice has apparently never heard of the super-hero of popular culture, grimaces distantly, and shakes the stranger’s hand.

Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)

Analogies break down somewhere, and this one breaks down im-mediately, except that LaStrada has apparently no idea he’s dealing with one of the most outlandish documents ever featured in erotic writing. He flips the zip bag and reads: “‘Some people expend enormous energy merely to be normal’… Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it, Mr. Lee.”

Aug 28, 2016

Italian for beginners --- an Italian review of the Green Eyes

Cool folks, cool, we have an Italian review of the GREEN EYES in:




The downside of international fame is of course that---(terrible sentence)---that you don't understand what people are saying until you invoke Google translate---and even then. But the Italian sounds so much better.

Questa è la trama del romanzo di Michael Ampersant, ma se pensate che sia sufficiente per capire il valore, e la complessità del testo vi sbagliate. C’è molto altro in Green Eyes: c’è il sesso – esplicito e sconcio, ma no per questo volgare-, ci sono i riferimenti culturali, le citazioni, c’è ingiustizia che ancora oggi chi è gay subisce e c’è una scrittura, che nel suo stile sintetico che a me piace tanto, è in grado di suscitare nel lettore un miscuglio di emozioni e sensazioni pazzesche. 
Sono tanti, o forse è meglio dire diversi, i personaggi che John incontro lungo la sua ricerca di una vita diversa da quella attuale, ma Maurice, un turista inglese, è quello che più di tutto acquista importanza ai fini della storia. Infatti viene violentato da un poliziotto, in una scena vivida che sconcerta e fa incazzare.

Doesn't it?

Aug 23, 2016

We sat down with Queer Voices


Cool, folks, we have an interview with Queer Voices, a fairly large outlet by our modest standards. Have a look.

Okay, here's one question and one partial answer from the interview:


Q: Do you have a favorite author? Your writing is unique.


A: Mark Twain would be the most important author. I really aim to poke fun at the world the way he does (I must have read Tom Sawyer 20 times). My writing style reflects in some sense my difficulties with the English language; it’s not wholly intended, and it’s not Twain’s style, of course. I can construct long sentences since I’m German, but often do I stumble, and the process of getting back on my feet, that’s also reflected in my style.

Mark Twain

Aug 18, 2016

The semen stains of my husband on Monika Levinsky's dress...

We're keenly following the US election campaign, including Hillary Clinton's preparations for the televised debates between her and Donald Trump. The communis opinio appears to be that Trump will throw any conceivable dirt at her, including Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Levinsky. What should be her answer? 


Aug 15, 2016

The Hindu God --- This is heaven --- teaser (9)


Context:  (1) A new morning has arrived, heralding Day Two of the Vampire Festival week(2) Ben (whom we met first in Part I in a chapter titled "A hitchhiker's guide to gay sex") has returned from an "outcall" and is sleeping on John's bed.  (3) Since his failed suicide last week, Alex maintains he has arrived in heaven. He also labors under serious amnesia. (4) Maurice is staying with them, still reconvalescent from the bloody fuck last week that almost cost him his life. 


“Okay,” Alex says and hands me the coffee mug. He sits down on the bed and peers through the window. The Davis Canal runs right by the condo and there’s a water tower on the other side, a tripedal contraption expecting the sun to kiss it back to life each morning.

“Do they have water towers in heaven?” I ask.
“Apparently,” Alex says.
“We’re still in heaven?”
“We’re still in heaven … a bit less though, this tower barely qualifies.”
“You knew about Ben,” I say, “before you…lost your memory.”
“Tell me anything.”




Ben moves in his sleep. Don’t ask how, but his unconscious hand is now in Alex’s lap. “Maurice knows about Ben,” I say. “Every-body knows about Ben, ask Maurice.”
“Ben was … is …”

Why the rich need more tax brakes




Aug 6, 2016

A box of sleepy kittens --- This is heaven --- Teaser (8)


Context: The first festival day is already over, John and Alex have returned home, lying on the bed. For more context, refer to the earlier teasers (link below), or this post.

He’s trying so hard to be sweet---licking my face now, more lover than alpha dog up here, this after having licked my dick, more alpha-dog down there, drawing a semi-semi erection that soon folded because I’m exhausted after seven breathless days. Plus, him just being nice is so much nicer than him just fucking me, especially after the two pissing-outside-the-tent events we (he) had today, with the flashes of his adult part inside Albert and Godehart still fresh on my mind. “Enough atonement for today,” he says and arranges himself with the back against the pillow against the bed head, pulls the blanket over my limbs, and reaches for his iPad. He’s caressing my hair now, absent-mindedly, his palm resting on my crane, two fingers fidgeting with my hairline.




This is the first time we’re chillin,’ just being there, just being a box of sleepy kittens. Maybe I should fill him in about his past a bit, some basic stuff he needs to know, things I know, but then I know very little and want to avoid talking about his mother, especially about her death at the age of ten (his) (age), the only thing I know about her, the catastrophe that triggered his depression.

Jul 30, 2016

Chamonix --- Mont Blanc


We're still in Switzerland, and so we go for another excursion, this time to Chamonix, the town that hosts the Mont Blanc, the Alps highest mountain at 4,870 meters. In our days, the Mont Blanc was Europe's highest mountain, but then this James Bond movie came out, where the spy identifies Mount Elbrus, in the Caucasus, as being photographed from the wrong (Russian) side, and Elbrus is 5,642 meters high, which is unfair, and then somebody else figured that the Caucasus is still Europe.





"Sorry, Blanc, way it is."

Jul 24, 2016

The white stud


We receive a letter from---hold on---his pseudonym is The White Stud---and he writes: 

"I am a sexologist with a Harley Street clinic in London, where I have developed a new, you-know-what therapy based on photography. I took the liberty to download one of your pictures for my highly medical purposes. I hope you agree with the result. Sincerely, your 'Stud'." 

There you have it folks, what can we say:







And here's the original, from a recent post:



Jul 23, 2016

What we like about Ted Cruz

Lets get this in briefly. We hated Ted Cruz, and still do. But now we've found something we like about him. His reasons for not endorsing Donald Trump. He's not going to endorse a person, he said, who's insulting his father, or his wife. I wouldn't do so either, by the way. And the Republican Party---the party of family values---is all aflutter. Of course.



Jul 19, 2016

Yesterday

We felt uninspired, and so Chang suggested we should make an excursion to Lake Geneva. We passed Montreux twice---coming and going---and so had a chance to contemplate on the life of Vladimir Nabokov, who lived his last sixteen years in Montreux Palace, the hotel.





Jul 15, 2016

"I love your soul, Alex!"


We're excited to be back to "This Is Heaven,"---which is, among other things, about terms like "excited," "awesome," "renowned," "inspired," "accomplished," "creative," "award-winning,"(not to forget "wonderful," basically the only word left in the language of contemporary literary criticism). Anyhow, we're re-posting teasers according to the plot line, but here's an in-between morsel written a few days ago. Context: the story is set in 2014. Alex and John have a quarrel, Alex has already decided to move back to his own place, and John fears being ditched for good by the love of his life, to whom he has just said: "You are beautiful."




Alex & John

We’re trudging through the evening crowd along Georgia Avenue, heading seaward. He grabs my arm, then lets go. “Okay, John, for the sake of argument…my physical appearance, or my perceived physical appearance---that’s the reason you want me back?”  
“Of course not.” 
“What is it then?”
“You soul, Alex, I love your soul.”

“Ha,” he snorts. “You nailed it.”

Jul 5, 2016

Good writing: About a dog --- James Joyce


We've started reading Ulysses, and we're not disappointed. Yes, sure, there's a problem with the tome in that there's a problem with literature anyhow, especially the literate sort: the writing coasts on the associative skills of the reader, and them skills tend to diminish with space-time. Hundred years later, us never having been to Ireland---or to Dublin, where the "plot" is set, mercilessly---not sharing much of Joyce's classical education, there's a lot of stuff we don't dig. Thousand years down the road, it'll be worse. But we are learning. We've begun to steal already ("in the shell of his hands" has made it into the penultimate chapter of This Is Heaven). And we feel assured; Joyce---hundred times better than us, of course---uses roughly the same observational distance to his characters that we keep when engaging them in a dialogue. 

Good writing. Here, from the first part, Episode III (Proteus), about a dog: 

A woman and a man. I see her skirties. Pinned up, I bet. 

Their dog ambled about a bank of dwindling sand, trotting, sniffing on all sides. Looking for something lost in a past life. Suddenly he made off like a bounding hare, ears flung back, chasing the shadow of a lowskimming gull. The man's shrieked whistle struck his limp ears. He turned, bounded back, came nearer, trotted on twinkling shanks. On a field tenney a buck, trippant, proper, unattired. At the lacefringe of the tide he halted with stiff forehoofs, seawardpointed ears. His snout lifted barked at the wavenoise, herds of seamorse. They serpented towards his feet, curling, unfurling many crests, every ninth, breaking, plashing, from far, from farther out, waves and waves.

Jul 4, 2016

She pulls on his shorts --- This is heaven --- Teaser (7)

Context, context: (1) The festival is about to begin. (2) Ben, the black guy whom we met first in the chapter "The hitchhiker's guide to gay sex" of the Green Eyes, will run the market stand of Luke's convenience store; Alex will sell Bavarian leather shorts for Godehart. (3) Barbette Bienpensant is an expert of rapture and related events, and also the sister of Juliette, whom we met earlier in the day when she (Juliette) told us she's still a virgin but would do anything for ice cream. (4) Alex, in his previous life, dropped out of computer science because he judged computational complexity theory "bad mathematics." (5) John and Barbette just met during the first meeting of the festival jury. 

The market stands (still being put together when we arrived) are ready, and it appears from a distance that two young men are busy at two neighboring stalls, Ben to the left, and Alex to the right, both unpacking merchandise. They are unaware of each other, ap-parently.

I just stand there and wonder: How is it possible that a person of recently professed sexual insouciance ignores another male person 20 feet away that sports the toned body of a basketball player, silky black skin, lips from Angelina Jolie, profile from Raphael, teeth from a dental catalog, and the kinetics of a Bolshoi dancer? Conversely, how is it possible that a person with a documented history of two homosexual encounters ((with me)) ignores another male person 20 feet away that sports the toned body of a hunk, silky brown skin, shiny black hair cut short on the sides, eyes as bright as a Caribbean lagoon, and the overall deportment of an alpha dog?




What happened to sexuality? People are not gay anymore, Alex is just playing nice until another angel needs his love, like Juliette Bienpensant, the morning vamp without piercings, who wears less mascara now as she ambles all the way across the Surfside Field to ask more questions about ice cream and virginity. Or Professor Barbette Bienpensant, the renowned metaphysicist and festival jury member, who accompanies her much younger sister, pushing forty already, but still hot enough to require Alex’s humongous dick be-tween her shapely thighs.

Jun 26, 2016

Q&A about our short story "The fountain of Geneva"



Cool, folks, we have a Q&A about our short story The Fountain of Geneva on Matthew Bright's site.




The main question...

Tell me about a piece of yours that you’re particularly proud of/didn’t get the attention you feel is deserved?

...and so we answer this question to the best of our abilities...ever wondered about the fountain of Geneva (jet d'eau de Genève), why its there? Does it mean anything? Is it a monument perhaps? What does it commemorate? All these questions are answered by our unreliable narrator John Lee, the first-person antihero of the GREEN EYES, and by his even less reliable interlocutor Richard Zugabe, librarian of Geneva's municipal archives. And the answers? Scandalous, of course, cum-drippin,' and unheard-of. Enjoy. Here's the link again.

Brexit no.2


French for beginners


Jun 20, 2016

Trump Trump

Here are a few lines from Frank Rich, our favorite we-told-you-so artiste, about Donald Trump, in a Q&A:



Donald Trump's renewed call for a ban on Muslim immigration after the Orlando shooting not only drew condemnation from President Obama and Hillary Clinton, but appears to have deepened the gap between Trump and Establishment Republicans: Paul Ryan responded with a statement of support for Muslims, while Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn have refused to talk about their party's candidate to the press. Will there be any fallout for Trump within the GOP?

No. We’ve just passed the first anniversary of Trump’s declaration of his presidential campaign, and the dynamic within the GOP has never changed. We know the drill: Trump says something outrageous or hateful. A few GOP leaders timidly say that what he’s said is racist, misogynistic, “not what the Party of Lincoln stands for,” whatever. Then those leaders fall back in line. The dynamic will not change now, and for a simple reason. The GOP elites are frightened of Trump and frightened of their own party’s voters, who overwhelmingly supported Trump in the GOP primary.

What Trump has been saying post-Orlando, it should be added, is not inconsistent with what many other Republican politicians have been saying for years. When he claims that Obama is secretly allied with terrorists, he is echoing Sarah Palin’s charge that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” when she was on the GOP ticket in 2008. When Trump purports that failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” is tantamount to surrender, he is following a time-honored Republican script. (I would hope that when he trots it out in a debate Clinton will ask him whether “radical Christian terrorism” should be applied to the fringe Christians who have, among other acts of terrorism, murdered abortion doctors or bombed abortion clinics.) Trump’s hate campaign against all Muslims, smearing an entire religion for its fanatics, is also nothing new in the GOP. It’s of a piece with the 2010 Rudy Giuliani–Fox News–led campaign against the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” (which was, in fact,a proposed cultural center, and not at Ground Zero).

Even so, Trump doesn’t care that his Muslim ban wouldn’t have stopped Omar Mateen, an American citizen born in New York. Nor did it matter to him that his Mexican wall would not have thwarted the Indiana-born federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. Spewing bigotry is its own reward for Trump. We have to hope that the American electorate will end his political career in November. But surely, a year in, there’s no point in hoping that feckless Republican elites can or will do anything to stop him.


Continues here: Frank Rich

Jun 16, 2016

Back in Switzerland


(These are Chang's pictures, of course, all taken yesterday:)








Fragment, fragment: Well, we used it before, but here we go again; it's from our as yet unpublished short story Rilke's Ghost:

Years later. We’re now summering in Bürchen, Valais, Switzerland, in the chalet of a friend, our own house is rented to holiday makers. The village of Bürchen is wonderful, 1,600 meters up on the Alp, and so much cooler than the muggy summer-Riviera (the road up to Bürchen was finished in 1934—the preceding thousand years the villagers were left to their own devices). There is only one problem: Rainer Maria is buried nearby, yes, Rilke, in Raron, a small, historic town right beneath Bürchen down in the valley, three klicks as the crow flies. We’ve given Raron a wide berth so far, but Chang is playing the social networks and has to feed the hungry Facebook beast. His Korean followers can’t get enough of snow-topped mountains and Geranium-studded chalets, and the 24 hour cycle dictates daily posting. We’ve ravaged the entire region already—natives of many cultures believe that you steal their image when you take their picture—along those lines we’ve grabbed photons until nothing seems to be left of the Valais—from the Matterhorn via the James-Bond-historic-marker up on the Furka pass to the longest glaciers and highest vineyards of Europe—save Raron. 

Jun 13, 2016

Lets get into the act


Donald Trump claiming today that President Obama should resign because he failed to use the words "Radical Islam."





If you are listening, Donald: How about using the words "fraudulent bankruptcy."

NYC (4) --- Modern times




Jun 6, 2016

NYC (2)



(A walk through downtown, pictures by Chang:)


The 9/11 monument, partial view

Statue of Liberty, seen from the Battery Park

Cell phone use, skyline of Newark

The new World Trade Center 1

Jun 5, 2016

Great fun and well-writen --- New praise for the Green Eyes



Bycharleson May 28, 2016
I too was given a book by the author and thoroughly enjoyed this publication.. It is erotic with a twist, it's chocked full of wonderful gay fantasies well and uniquely written by a master story teller! His style of writing is short, to the point and I found truly refreshing and unusual in style. Its a welcome bit of 'froth'---although Im not saying the content is light but its great fun, never misses a trick, and is a real delight. A good read with an creative twist. Its shaken and not stirred and good for a most amusing time! Buy it.



Now a Lambda Literary Award finalist: 


Green Eyes
"Click"

Jun 4, 2016

NYC (1) --- The Martian



Chang took this picture from the v. Wyck express way

So we fly to NY, NY for the Lammies, nominated as we are in the category Gay Erotic Fiction, and watch The Martian with Matt Damon directed by Ridley Scott (international flights are practically the only effective opportunity for us to watch movies). We’ve read a few rave reviews when the film came out last year, among others by Manohla Dargis, the NYT chief celluloid critic.


Well…(you don’t have to read further).

Damon is stuck on Mars but will be rescued, but not before an avalanche of complications has caused much nail biting hither and thither.

What we liked best were the potatoes---Damon cultivates potatoes in martian soil (he needs food)---although---although at one point his tarp-sheated indoor potato farm blows up (of course) (one of the complications).