Dogslandia

Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sonnet #157

I have a line of jars with water
Some with canes and some with roots
I change the water, wait for green shoots
To rise above the lip, sons and daughters,
Rise up through glass, and green with me,
I will sprout, too, as I am old and gathering
Barnacles in my bones and mossy smothering
Together we will lay down in a trench and see
The glory of the spring from beneath the ground
Where all that grows from us rises in bunches
And we seek all soils, all waters, unbound
Sons and daughters, you till until the hunches
Hurt, the scratches weep a little, aye, but the sound
Of songbirds in spring, the garden green lunches.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

THE FORTRESS AT THE END OF TIME

It's out now. If you pre-ordered,  I thank you. If you did not, I encourage you to do what you can to get your hands on the novel. Libraries are wonderful. Request it at yours, today!



And, if you want to help spread the word, all help is appreciated. In these noisy times, every little thing that helps art along is a good thing. Tell your friends if you like it, or if you hate it, or if you don't care either way. Talk about books. It's important to keep that part of ourselves alive as we stare down what's coming later this week, when what we always thought America was becomes something else, entirely.

Good luck, and godspeed, and eat art, make art, talk art.


Friday, January 13, 2017

I'm Around...

Recently, The Brazen Bull's Charlie Chipman was fortunate enough to get the chance to sit-down with Tor's author Joe M. McDermott, and talk about his upcoming book, The Fortress at the End of Time. Below is the transcript of the interview in its entirety. Charlie and Joe talk about everything from what is about the craft of writing that intrigues Joe to the so-called 'Dream Salesman' and their unfortunate customers. Joe's newest novel is set to be published on January 17th, 2017. To pre-order a copy of The Fortress at the End of Time click here Pre-Order The Fortress at the End of Time, and to learn more about the book, Joe, and Tor, click here Tor Publishing. Enjoy!

(CC) First, before we dive into your book, FORTRESS AT THE END OF TIME, I want to know about you, the author. Tell me about yourself, who is Joe McDermott?    

(JMM) I'm pretty sure I'm human. I'm a pudgy, middle-aged white guy from suburban Texas, mostly. 

(CC) Why writing? What is it about the craft that drew you in? When did you realize this?

(JMM) I wish I had a good answer, but I don't. I write because I don't have the power to change the world. It's either writing or standing on a street corner and shouting at passing cars. I don't feel like writing is nearly as effective, but at least I don't have to leave the house to do it. 
continued here: http://www.thebrazenbull.com/single-post/2017/01/11/Joe-M-McDermott-Interview
Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Joe M. McDermott?
That’s who I am when I write fantasy novels. I’m going by Joe M. McDermott, these days, in part because I am tired of people I have known for years calling me “Jim.”
Your new novella, The Fortress at the End of Time, will be published by Tor.com in January 2017. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?
Larry Nolen, of OF Blog of the Fallen, recommended a book to me, that I loved, and which led me to another book, which I also loved. The first book was The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati, an old Italian Surrealist anti-war book. On the Amazon recommended page, there was also a fascinating book called The Opposing Shore by Julian Gracq, a French classic of SF. I loved them both, and thought about how they were better military fiction than the military fiction I was reading, because it was more about dealing with the idea of the military, the way the bureaucracy and culture press down on the soul and psyche, than about any great acts of violence.
continue here: https://civilianreader.com/2016/12/12/interview-with-joe-m-mcdermott/

Joe M. McDermott Guest Post–“The Writer Industrial Complex”

There is the writing, then there are the publishers, and then there are the consultants to writers and publishers. I refer to the third category as the “Writer Industrial Complex” and they are in the business of selling services that may or may not help books and stories along. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that this industry exists, and it can provide valuable services at critical stages of a writer’s practice. However, there is always a dark side where there’s lots of hope, a limitless supply of wannabes with money, and no accountability whatsoever. You see, the Writer Industrial Complex can always place the blame for your failure to implement their system successfully upon the feet of the phrase “Write a better book”. There are very few meaningful professional standards, and no licenses to lose. If poor student performance and bad reviews build up, it doesn’t take much to burn the website down and start over.

continue here: http://www.locusmag.com/Roundtable/2017/01/joe-m-mcdermott-guest-post-the-writer-industrial-complex/

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sonnet #156

The killing freeze browned all the citrus leaves
It wiped lantanas down to brown like baking sun
like drought and sun, but it was cold, the trees
so cold, they broke the cells, lost to brown

They say it only happens every couple years
So fight to bring them back to life and harvest
What comes when the spring rain rears
And all the heat returns in summer, the hottest

Aye, we brace, we lose, and only a few degrees
Of chill in the wind, a very gentle dip from wind
The tiniest of moments in the greatest forces we see
a subtle shift in the air, a rock face fallen, a sin

A single sin, a single tailpipe adding heat to sky
The threshold is so small, and all the trees die

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sonnet #155

In fourteen lines or less, I shall explain,
Why we will never know if color is real
It was not discovered until the prism's grain
Extended out the ray of light like skinning peels
Until then we believed all things had a color,
But now we know all things reject the pigment
That we think they are, it bounces all over
With other hues devoured. It's a figment
of imagination, then, a flicker in the eye
A way to tell a shape from shape upon the plain;
At night, for all the universe is night, color dies
and there is only shades of black and grain
like ancient television screens distorting
We know it as we see it, a convenient sorting.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sonnet #154

Nature remembers every cut, every stone
The city is a forest that we forget to see
We see the building past the trees, not the trees
But we never left her when we built our homes
There is no division between city and country
The trees on the streets rise up, the possums
and insects hum. The cats run wild, hunt for some
beetle or songbird or mouse, who sneak into our pantry.
The trees of the city, the grasses and hedges
The flowers that bloom and the migratory birds
We see only parking lots, not their edges
We see only roadways, unknown we are herded
Climb past the fences, walk where development alleges
But never start, and thistles break through the ruins, hard

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sonnet #153

For every season of the birds there is a song
Because to sing is to remember time
We hand our story down with music, rhyme.
Time that changes everything, we do all wrong
When we betray the music of our memories
That taught us how to live. The song of children
Is the song of learning, we tell them
How to know the letters, how to tell no lies
Then, the dancing season comes, the quarrels
The quest to be a strong woman or man,
The love that burns all flowers, burns all morals
The third season, we're the singers where we stand
Humming while we work, giving songs for sorrows,
Masters of the art of how to woman and man
Until the dirges come, the last season, winter, narrows.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

With apologies to Shelley and Vonnegut

I met a sailor from an antique shore
He told me this... "Out in the cold shallows
Where the pollution persists, a poor-
Ly built tower lies tumbled and hollow
Upon some rust and rocks, a slogan there
Where once a giant name, writ-large
Decrepit, now, if it ever was more and better,
A seawashed gaudy gold-gilt plastic visage
Hideous and haughty, 'I am Trump, the winner
And the best president for the economy
Where oil wells pumped, and dollars shimmered,
Look upon my amazing properties and praise me!
I was the best president; everyone says so!"'
The lonely sea has swallowed all. So it goes.

Sonnet #152

oh hard bitter rue, what became of you?

dishwater green, and dun-colored yellow blooms
aromatic oils to kill your neighbors for elbow room
left a rash when anyone tried to walk near you

eventually little golden pimples emerged as infections
they turned black and pulsated, living, growing
Until the little eggshell cracks, exposing
The servants of the rue, upon close inspection

The tiny things cleared out the foliage, made room
For new growth, and ate away other infections
The bigger, the prettier, striped golden white and blue
Ate skins when they cracked to make new skins
Chrysalis, and patience for the fruit of the rue:
Swallowtails soaring like velvet paintings that flew

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sonnet #151

They will use the nuclear bombs again,
I know it's hard to hear this, but you must
Because the future is no place for just the just
The fact that men can dream of it is enough sin
To know they mark history by slaughtering
To know the war can be won by wiping out
Genocide with a phone call, no drill sergaent's shouts
And history will remember who, the world trembling
The feeling of being big, being strong, from a sneeze
That sinks a billion destinies, a little spark and fizzle.
The bombs will fall. I promise you this. The wheeze
of dying men who dream of glory see the puzzle
of geography as a territory to bring to knees
They will. I promise they will. I shout until muzzled.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sonnet #150

So, Golgotha wakes for us, and we must stand
Upon the hill of skulls? That's fine by me
No one ever promised peace for an eternity
Let us stand together, see the temple, see the land
Feel the stab inside of us, the powerlessness
Aye, they wanted Barnabas, the rapist, grifter, thief
They rather keep their devil than change against grief
We will all bow down to Rome, to Pilate, to Barnabas
Let the world keep their sinners among sinners
We stand on the hill, above, brace with pain
Let the world shout their misery, pretend as winners
We will hold our souls, and wash away all stains
Be gentle on Golgotha, let them dance regrets and burns
Let the hurt reveal the strength of us like keening trains

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sonnet #149

What came first, the gender or the pronoun?

When Adam had his rib removed, was there 
anything to call him until the flesh became clear?
He, alone, requires no third, no second, no sound.
Without those two, must there be a first?
What point is sense of self without another?
Is God's voice in our hearts enough for
the measurement of a pronoun? What's worse:
The idea that the self cannot exist without
Another person to bounce off of it,
Or that the self exists when nature's out
and I am in, and I am not a part of it?
And, if we accept that Eve's our rib, shout
at her, and pronouns break communion, doesn't it?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sonnet #148

Cancelled due to illness, shut the doors
Close the windows, go to bed, We're sick
and tired of all the cleaning, mopping floors
Washing dishes, trimming trees, let's stick
The laundry in the baskets for a day
Let's call the repairwoman tomorrow
Let's be sick and lie in bed and pay
our bills tomorrow, and sleep in sorrow
Let the pain wash over us, let it pass
Drink no coffee, feel the headache split
the skull, embrace the tremors, harass
each other about who must deal with it
Cancelled due to illness, invent a sickness,
Anyone will do, and hide all day in blankets

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sonnet #147

In dreams, I was an angel that flew above

the crowd, when a powerful preacher lied
to an illiterate woman, preached hate, I pried
his tongue from his mouth, and drove
the preacher away from manhood, now a dog;
Chased dogs away from the wriggling flesh,
Invisible by will, I hid it in a creche
Of a high closet, wrapped in old towels, a fog
descended on my flight of invisibility
I soared above the world all night, stealing tongues
of men who spoke of hate, voted in irritability

Say they own half the diocese, say they won
the world, once, and keep it in perpetuity.

Take away tongues; change them into dogs that run.