Saturday, December 15, 2007

Underground Literary Alliance

I've had a good time over the past seven years in the Underground Literary Alliance, a group of zine writers. I read at some of their readings; published in their zines; organized a blog, literary festival, and tour for them; and done many other cool activities with the group. They even published my first book, a fact for which I will be eternally grateful! But there's been some squabbling in the group recently over a proposed literary anthology, and I think it's rather silly, so rather than waste time in a literary feud, I've decided to quit to focus on my own writing. I wish the group well, and will remain a fan, but I'm no longer a member.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Visible Voice Books

The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus is now on sale at Visible Voice Books in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio USA. It has a red cover and makes for a great stocking stuffer. Please don't ask Funnybear to put anything else in your stocking though!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dig This Real Interview

There's a nice, long interview with me in the new Dig This Real magazine by Leopold McGinnis.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ULA Anthology

The long-awaited Underground Literary Alliance anthology is picking up speed again. It should include "A Sentence Of Grace", a short story of mine originally published in Slush Pile 2.

New Fright Sightings!

I wrote a guestblog for Karen Lillis on her MySpace blog. It's about indie lit touring and you can find it here. Also, my novel The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus gets mentioned along with Crazy Carl's novel and other Underground Literary Alliance literature in the new book: The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Emus Go On The Road For $3.95

My publisher is having a special sale on all the Underground Literary Alliance Press titles in ebook form, including my novel, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus. Until the end of the year, all the ebooks are $3.95 each. You can find the Emus ebook link on this catalog page. The price is the amount On The Road by Jack Kerouac cost in hardcover when it was released in 1957 and the sale is in honor of that landmark novel's 50th anniversary. My publisher argues that the Underground Literary Alliance and other indie lit authors are the heirs of the underground literary tradition Kerouac and the other Beats contributed to in the mid-20th century.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jack Saunders Jam!

Today is Jack Saunders Jam day! Jack Saunders is possibly the most prolific writer I've ever met. What's the jam you may ask? It's a literary one as far as I can tell, and you can join in by just making your way over to Jack's website and reading some of his writing. Jack probably writes more novels in a year than I'll write in a lifetime.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Zine Thug Roughs Up Emus

Not really, but Indy Ana Jones (a.k.a. Underground Literary Alliance member Owen Thomas) reviewed The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus in the latest ZineThug (#10 for those of you keeping score) and called it "a very entertaining novel," among other kind words.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Verbicide Indie Author

I am featured in Verbicide's indie author spotlight in their Fall 2007 issue. Though they like to kill verbs, they are very nice to me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bad Attitude!

Leopold McGinnis has just released his latest novel Bad Attitude! I've been bugging him about this one because I've wanted to read it ever since he described it to me. It's about a worker in an electronics store, who has--naturally enough given the title--a bad attitude. He even threw in a plug for The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus at the back of the book, which is quite nice. I've returned the favor by having a Bad Attitude ad on the Emus webpage. Leopold's so talented at design that I think it took him about fifteen minutes to whip up a great banner ad once I asked him to do so. He's just as talented at writing so check out Bad Attitude!

Review of Emus and Security

A review of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and Security by James Nowlan by Daniel Green of The Reading Experience notes that the novels, both published by Underground Literary Alliance Press, are "easily as good as what is published in many other small presses, and are in fact infinitely preferable to the eye-glazing 'literary fiction' shoveled out by the bigger publishers. They provide their share of readerly pleasures while also posing some welcome challenges to conventional expectations of 'good fiction.'"

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus Now Available As An Ebook!

I'm happy to announce that my novel The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus is now available as an ebook from the publisher. It's $10 USD anywhere in the world! And, someday, we'll get the audio version finished as well.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yip!: The Electric Church by Jeff Somers

Today, longtime zine publisher Jeff Somers released his latest novel, The Electric Church, and I was lucky enough to read it before it was published. It's a dystopian sci-fi thriller describing a world where the disparity between rich and poor has grown so wide that it's become all out war between everyone. Somers's antihero, gunner Avery Cates, navigates his way into even more trouble than he's typically used to when he's given a devil's bargain to investigate The Electric Church, a rapidly spreading religion that claims to offer the secret to eternal life. Longtime readers of Somers's zine, The Inner Swine, will rejoice that all the typical Somers wit still shines through in the action-centered narrative. Apparently a sequel, The Digital Plague, is already in the works. To sum it up, The Electric Church is a good novel from a good novelist, and I'm happy to see a longtime zine publisher being given wider distribution by Orbit Books, an imprint of Warner Books I believe.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Audiobooks and Post Office Boxes

Those of you who have enjoyed the audiobook version of the first chapter of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus currently on the Audio portion of the website may wonder when I'll finish recording the rest of the chapters and post them. Well, I kind of wonder that myself so it'll probably be a long while until that happens. In the meantime, to feed your underground literary audiobook appetite, find your ears and take a listen to fellow Underground Literary Alliance member Brady Russell's novel Casa del Queso!
P.S./ Yes, my little mailbox is now ULA World Headquarters. Remember those old Justice League comics where they took turns doing monitor duty? No? Well, I do and it's kind of like that. Just call me The Flash and send snail mail for the ULA c/o Wred Fright, P.O. Box 770984, Lakewood, OH 44107 USA and I'll make sure it gets to the appropriate party.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Another Nice Emus Review

Christopher Robin of The Guild of Outsider Writers reviewed The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and called it the "ultimate comedic rock ‘n’ roll novel", among many other kind comments in his review.

Emus At Square Records

Akron rockers rejoice! To take the sting out of the closing of your esteemed rock and roll venue the Lime Spider, I have stocked your Square Records with copies of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus. It's not a new Devo record, but it will have to do Rubber City Rebels!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Latest Emu In The News

Occasionally, an emu makes the news. This latest emu news alert was brought to my attention by Pat Simonelli. Thanks Pat!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Home Again!

The Underground Literary America tour was a blast but I'm happy to be home again. The tour ended on a high note in Pittsburgh at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Lots of family and friends joined us there, and the store even had a nice poster about the event made up for us. It was great to read with Karen Lillis, and, of course, with Crazy Carl. In fact, since Carl and I spent a week driving from tourstop to tourstop, I had the pleasure of getting a Crazy Carl show everyday in the car as well. He's a great guy and a fantastic writer. Read Fat On The Vine. It'll knock you out! So thanks to everybody who helped with the tour and everyone who attended a reading!
P.S./ We kept seeing stuff about this Harry Potter guy in every city we went to . . . anybody know who he is?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Underground Literary America Tour Update

Crazy Carl and I are back in Ohio tonight. Last night we read at Quimby's in Chicago. It's a great bookstore but the neighborhood it's in has become significantly yuppied out since the last time I read there four years ago (I almost had to drive to Gary, Indiana just to find a parking space). It was great to read with Grant Schreiber of Judas Goat Quarterly, and to see some friendly faces in the audience including fellow Underground Literary Alliance member Adam Hardin. Carl was convinced a character from his novel had sent her aunt to spy on him, and I think a gang of suspected hecklers slipped out the back once Crazy Carl offered them beer and I put on the Mexican wrestling mask and passed out Emus postcards (Indiana apparently makes us paranoid). We had a great time reading and then shopping, and hit the road, stopping in at the Horseshoe casino for dinner. The blackjack table wouldn't let us bet books so we hit the road again. We originally wanted to stay in Iowa, but someone put a spell on us and we ended up driving up I-94 into Michigan fruitlessly looking for a hotel room. We finally found one just as dawn broke over Lansing. We enjoyed watching profanity and profundity on the end of Text Me TV and were first in line for the continental breakfast, but we probably would have gotten more sleep had we just continued on to our publisher's house and slept in the front yard until they came out to fetch us along with the morning newspaper. When we did arrive at Jeff's, we had a delightful visit exploring the woods, swimming, and meeting his family and friends. We even chucked spears for fun. Possibly the coolest house I've ever been in. After a spot of afternoon tea, we drove back to Ohio, the state so friendly it says "Hi" in the middle (Michigan also says "Hi" in the middle if you're keeping track at home). Once home we were greeted by my wonderful wife and we enjoyed the rest of our day off. Tomorrow we finish the tour in Pittsburgh at Joseph-Beth Books!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Crazy Carl Dispatch From Cleveland!

And now, an Underground Literary America reading tour report from Crazy Carl, author of Fat On The Vine:
"reflections by crazycarl: BALMERE: anarchists/feminists won't trade panties for books, PHILLY: 'germ' bathroom: etiquette meets the devil, NYC: big handsome says to get a 'smoothie' at 'juice generation', CLEVELAND: 117th street is the place to be...."
Off to Chicago!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tour Update From Philadelphia

Hello from the City of Brotherly Love!
The Underground Literary America Tour is going well. Last night, Crazy Carl Robinson and I read with Sean Stewart at Red Emma's in Baltimore. It was a lot of fun! We also snuck in a visit to Atomic Books, and overall enjoyed our visit to "Balmer".
We're currently in Philadelphia. We had a great reading at GERM Books with fellow Underground Literary Alliance members Eric "Jellyboy the Clown" Broomfield, Frank Walsh, and King Wenclas. All of the readers were accompanied musically by the very talented David Talento, and David Williams was a very gracious host for the event. We've also had some nice press and audience responses so far so thanks to all the journalists and reading attendees!
Tomorrow we head to New York City and Freebird Books. More info on the tour can be found at
Wred Fright

Monday, July 16, 2007

Underground Literary America Reading Tour!

I will be reading from The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus ( ), and Crazy Carl Robinson will be reading from his great novel Fat On The Vine on the Underground Literary America tour! All the shows are free!
Tuesday, July 17, 7 p.m.: Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse (800 St. Paul, Baltimore, Maryland 21202) with Sean Stewart of Thoughtworm.
Wednesday, July 18, 7 p.m.: Germ Books (2005 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125) with Frank Walsh, King Wenclas, and Eric "Jellyboy the Clown" Broomfield of the Underground Literary Alliance, and David Talento.
Thursday, July 19, 7 p.m.: Freebird Books and Goods (123 Columbia St., Brooklyn/New York City, New York 11231) with Mike Faloon of Go Metric.
Friday, July 20, 9 p.m.: bela dubby (13321 Madison Ave., Lakewood/Cleveland, Ohio 44107) with The Balomai Brothers and The Dad Of Rock.
Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m.: Quimby's Bookstore (1854 W. North Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60622) with Grant Schreiber of Judas Goat Quarterly.
Monday, July 23, 7 p.m.: Joseph-Beth Booksellers (SouthSide Works, 2705 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203) with Karen Lillis, author of the new novel The Second Elizabeth.
If we're in your neck of the woods, please come on out and say howdy! If we aren't near you then you can still join in some tour silliness as we'll likely be keeping some audio tour diaries on the Underground Literary Alliance website ( ), and if we're lucky enough to get Internet access on the road, maybe some blog postings too here and at Crazy Carl's blog.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Introduction to the Following Posts

The posts before this one (and thus below it) are all poems I wrote in 2006.

The Nightly News

Terrorism Terrorism Terrorism Terrorism
Fear Fear We’re Selling Fear
Commercial Break
Denial of Lies
Kowtowing to Authority
Deference to Power
Commercial Break
Corporate Shilling
Sucking Up to Advertisers
Commercial Break
Commercial Break
More Lies
More Bullshit
Commercial Break
Sucking Up to the Government
Kissing Up to Big Business
Commercial Break
Entertainment Gossip
Bread and Circuses
Good Night!

Ode To The Crusher

by The Bodyslam Poet

Crusher, I declare that I will crush you!
In my headlock you will turn bluer than blue!
I will squeeze and squeeze and squeeze and squeeze . . .
Until you beg “Please, Oh, please, please, please, please!”
Then we will see the effects
Of my bodyslam and suplex
From turnbuckle to turnbuckle we shall go
For I am the champ and you are my foe
Oh, it has long been my dream
To make you shriek and scream
Will I pin you or make you submit?
Either way, I’ll pop you like a zit!


Allen Ginsberg told us
Everything is holy
Even the asshole
He was right
Where would we be without our assholes?
That’s right
Full of shit
Thank your asshole
Hardworking asshole
Why is it an insult to call someone an “asshole” then?
We need some new swear words
Some new insults
What’s wrong with “fucking”?
Except for test-tube babies
It’s how we all got here
In fact, it’s hard to think of a bad word
“Shit” grows flowers
“Dicks” and “pussies” are like “assholes”
We need them
Unuseful old phrases
I hate sayings which don’t hold up conceptually
Like “You can’t dismantle the master’s house with his own tools/”
If the master has a sledgehammer, then sure you can!
We either need new taboos or new language
Maybe not
How about . . .
There can’t be anything good about that
What kind of person drowns kittens?
A kittendrowner
Why that’s almost as bad
That’s up there with “Animaleater”
Oh, I guess that last one won’t catch on
But hell, if you’re going to eat a chicken sandwich
You might as well kick puppies and drown kittens
What? Accuse me of a logical fallacy!
What’s the difference?
There ain’t no such thing as a humane death
I eat meat once in a while
I can look a cow in the eye
I only keep my hand in
The meateating business though
So that when civilization collapses
I can stay alive
By eating you if I have to
I can look you in the eye too
You’d go good with Sriracha sauce I bet
Cannibal, eh?
Well, only if there’s no spinach around.
Now, where was I?
Oh, yes.
It’s hard to think of a good insult.
Just like it’s hard to imagine what humans might not do.

Monday, January 15, 2007

On The Black Bus

At the airport

In New Orleans,


Else from my flight

Takes the shuttle

To the hotel.

It costs ten bucks.

I take the bus.

Dollar fifty.

I'm the only

White person on

The bus but with

My eight fifty

I buy some beer

When I'm downtown.

I look at one

Of the dollars

Before I hand

It to the clerk.

On back it says

“E pluribus

Unum”. Latin

“Many made one”.


Is a strange land

And New Orleans

Is where it all

Wash down to sea

At the bottom


If anywhere

The people should

Be mixed as one,

It is this place.

Instead they mix

Class with one's race.

The slave auctions

Are no more, but

The auctioneer's

Chant echoes on.

Truth in Advertising





Dick Cheney

(x ad infinitum)

Things That Should Be Illegal But Aren’t

Making war, selling fear, greed feast

Censors, hangmen, stupidity

Corporation as human beast

Things That Should Be Legal But Aren’t

Drugs, prostitution, nudity

Open container, female priest

Gay marriage, swearing on t.v.

Ten Commandments? I’d Settle For The Seven Deadly Sins

Bumper sticker reads

Proud to be American

One of seven sins

One Nation, Under An Idiot

Which nation? I will give you just one guess.

United States of America? Yes.

Ode To The Toilet

You are much underappreciated my porcelain friend

No more running out to the outhouse on cold winter nights

And you carry away the stench

I’d give you a hug

But somehow cleaning you once in a while seems enough

The Lost Art Of The Turn Signal

Driver’s license from a cereal box

On the cellphone he or she talks talks talks

Dear God save me from the populi vox

Jesus Of The Squirrels

I wonder if there ever was a Jesus Christ for squirrels?

I don’t talk about thoughts like this when I try to impress girls

I Exam

I kept forgetting who I was

I made a doctor’s appointment

Surely there would be some ointment

I said “My ego’s lost its buzz.”

“Instead of memory, there’s fuzz.”

“Nothing brings any enjoyment.”

“All I get is disappointment.”

Doctor says, “Ah, this is because . . .”

“You have existential crisis.”

“Buddhists would say this is good.”

“No more desire, no more self.”

“But here’s what my advice is . . .”

“Get a hobby, maybe work wood.”

“My bill will shock you back to health.”

Heroes And Villanelles

I grew up loving to read comic books

At first Wonder Woman was the best

And all around people gave me strange looks

On to The Flash, with his speed he caught crooks

A boy, a male hero, I passed the test

I grew up loving to read comic books

Then The X-Men got me into their hooks

I wished for claws and a tail with such zest

And all around people gave me strange looks

Now a teen, I vanished into hidden nooks

To find and buy stacks of comics--no jest!

I grew up loving to read comic books

But words and art, however smart the cooks

Were suspicious things, they said “Take a rest!”

And all around people gave me strange looks

But the comics grew with me, they were not rooks

Now an adult and at a small press fest

We all grew up loving to read comic books

And all around no one gives us strange looks!


I love you more than elephants have wrinkles

I love you more than pianos have tinkles

I love you more than zebras have stripes

I love you more than organs have pipes

I love you more than trees have rings

I love you more than guitars have strings

I love you more than grass has blades

I love you more than color has shades

I love you more than banks have coins

I love you more than joints have joins

I love you more than owls have whoos

I love you more than unions have dues

I love you more than zeros have os

I love you more than Josephs have Joes

I love you more than flies have eyes

I love you more than liars have lies

I love you more than gollys have gees

I love you more than ha’s have hees

I love you more than oms have ahs

I love you more than crows have caws

I think you get the idea

I love you lots

Christmas Card From A Misanthrope

Lousy Christmas! Crappy New Year!

Let’s kill everyone else

And to guarantee peace on Earth

Let’s also kill ourselves!

Bury Me In The Backyard

The wags always say, “Send me flowers while I’m alive.”

So in that spirit I thought I’d write you an elegy

A tribute to you while you’re still alive

But then I changed my mind

You’ve always been full of yourself

Why should I add fuel to the tank?

But since I intended to write an elegy

I’m in that frame of mind

I’ve always been the tidy sort, you know that

My possessions are pretty well-documented

They go to you and my parents as in the will

You can give some to my friends

The rest can go on eBay--make some money

Garage sales, auctions, thrift stores for the rest

Find them all happy homes, let nothing go to waste

In fact, if you want, you can stuff my body

Put it in the corner, maybe have me reading a book

That’s pretty much all I did while I was alive

If that’s too grotesque then bury me

I grew up across the street from a graveyard

I liked to play there as a child

Yeah, a cemetery would be all right

But you could also bury me in the backyard

You might need a special permit from the city

You know the government always has to get their cut

I don’t want any embalming

None of that stuff polluting the ground

I want to go back to nature

I want to feed the worms

I bet you’d get a really good garden the next year

Maybe the tomatoes would taste like me

And if a dog ever dug up a leg bone

Don’t get mad, let it have a chew

Make sure to put a tag or something on me

So no one gets freaked out fifty years from now

Thinking there was a murder

You can put a headstone if you want

But I don’t want no stinking coffin

Maybe one of those biodegradable bags

You could have friends dig the grave

Some of them could use the exercise

I don’t want to stay there forever though

Someday I hope my skull ends up on a shelf

Maybe a college student’s somewhere

I’d visit if I could from time to time

Offer advice, or just rattle my teeth

Yeah, yeah, don’t be sad

We can’t just keep getting older

The Earth is too crowded as it is

Death is a friend after all

Invite it in, have a drink

Enjoy the times while you’re here

Oops, this is turning into a carpe diem poem

Anyway, when I’m gone, don’t let me be a pain

Flowers, funeral directors, rent on the gravesite

Just dig a hole and bury me in the backyard

True, it might affect the property value

But then goths and the morbid might pay extra

And I’d still always be at the family bar-b-qs

The Bodyslam Limerick

by The Bodyslam Poet

I am the wrestler known as The Bodyslam Poet!

I am going to be the champ and you all know it!

So just gimme the belt!

Or I’ll give you a welt!

Your ass is grass and I am going to mow it!

Bad Catholic

Bad Catholic

by Wred Fright

I never go to church

I never send money

I like my priests drunk

This disturbs my mother

She asks if I still pray

I tell her not yet today

But then she should talk, my mother

She never goes to church

Though she does send money

I’d use that money to get drunk

Instead she starts to pray

I wonder if she did that today?

Still I’d never leave the church

Even if they excommunicated me today

That might distress my mother

But I never go anyway--I just stay at home and get drunk!

Besides, they’d never do that--they still hope to get my money!

Ha! Hard they better pray!

Say, it’s a beautiful day today

I’ve never understood why God has to stay inside a church

And Jesus too--water to wine--they should let him out to get us drunk

I think it’s mostly a scam to get money

“Blasphemy!” says my mother

Then for me she’ll pray

Oh, how the woman loves to pray!

Almost as much as I love to get drunk!

But one gets sober when one runs out of money

I wonder if she ever runs out of prayers, my mother

Ask the pope for a refill today

He’ll zap some right out to the local church!

I’ve read that the Vatican bank launders money

I’ve been there before and I wasn’t drunk

Now that’s what I’d call a church!

She would love it, my mother

There’s a place to pray!

I wish I was there today!

I’d get drunk on the communion wine and maybe even give them some money

Today maybe I’ll visit my mother

She can pray for me and for her just this once I’ll go to church