Purple Proze #3Welcome to PURPLE PROZE. If this is the first issue you have received, you probably either requested it or wrote me a letter -- sorry I can't answer them personally, but please do send in questions for the HUH?HUH? column. You will receive all future issues of PP unless you request other-wise.

PP was started in 1995 by me and my then-assistant, Robert Sage, to keep my readers up to date on where my work was appearing and such. Robert wrote the first two issues. When AIDS forced Robert to stop working, I put together the next two issues myself -- and found that I enjoyed it! In high school, I preserved what little sanity I had left by writing and circulating an underground paper called THE GLASS GOBLIN. PP reminded me of that, and with this issue it only gets more so. Cut-and-paste! Illustrations! Kinko's at 4 AM! I don't know how long it will last, but I love it!

The new PP will be more diverse, as evidenced by the necrophilic obit for William S. Burroughs. The new PP will sometimes be obscene and offensive. If this bothers you, please cancel your sub. If you are a minor and you think this would offend your parents, for Bob's sake keep it out of their sight. This is a labor of love -- I don't want to get sued.

Though PP is no longer available by e-mail, back issues may be found on my web site, Pandora Station (http://negia.net/~pandora). Back issues are ONLY available on the Station, NOT by mail; they are so out of date that it's just not worth my time to copy them or your time to read them.

Send questions, changes of address, pretty picture post-cards, drugs, good-luck charms, Slack, Frop, and books I wrote all or part of that you would like signed (please include stamped self- addressed return mailer with the last) to PURPLE PROZE, P.O. Box 750151, New Orleans, LA 70175-0151 USA.

Love & Slack,

Poppy Z. Brite




Q. Are you an alcoholic?

A. Now, whatever gave you that idea? Just because I dedicated my first short story collection "To the Memory of Alcohol, My Dear Lost Love" ... In truth, I went through a period of happy, crazy, youthful drinking for which I am apparently going to pay for the rest of my days. One day I was fine; the next day from then on, alcohol -- even the least little bit -- sent me off to worship the porcelain goddess all night. So no, I never got to be an "alcoholic" -- I just got a permanent hangover.

Q. What happened to Trevor and Zach (Drawing Blood) after they went to Jamaica?

A. See the NEW CREATURES column in this issue for an update on those THC-saturated lovers.



Courtney Love: The Real Story (Simon & Schuster) should be in stores by the time you read this. It's excerpted in PEOPLE, and I will be talking about it on various national TV and radio shows in September and October.

Exquisite Corpse has been published in trade paperback by Scribner.

Italian rights to Courtney Love have been purchased by Frassinelli.

I am completing the first draft of Framed, a novel of murder and revenge set in the world of THE CROW. This will be published by Harper Prism in 1998.



"Would You?", an essay on how much better the world would be if Beatles John and Paul had been queer for each other, appears in (on? @?) the sexy new webzine NERVE. They're having censorship problems, so stop by and support them. (www.nervemag.com)

"Pin Money," a prequel to my and Christa Faust's novella "Triads," appears in the September 1997 issue of RAGE. RAGE Magazine, LFP, 8484 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900, Beverly Hills CA 90211. Sub info (800) 566-5760.

My column, "Guilty But Insane," appears in each issue of CEME-TERY DANCE. Look for #2 (New York Diary) in the Summer/Fall 1997 issue. CD Publications, PO Box 943, Abingdon MD 21009.

My interview with artist Rodger Gerberding (whose illustrations graced Swamp Foetus and were bastardized in Wormwood) appears in THE SILVER WEB #14, Buzzcity Press, PO Box 38190, Tallahassee FL 32315, e-mail annk19@mail.idt.net

"Saved," a short story I co-wrote with Christa Faust, is reprinted in Typical Girls, a grrly anthology edited by Susan Corrigan (Sceptre, UK, October 1997).

Another photo spread (way, way better than the last one, in my opinion, though it's from the same shoot) appears in the July 1997 issue of RAGE. The photos are accompanied by a preten-tious piece called "Found in a Battered Notebook, 1988" (which is exactly what it is). The cat in the picture on page 18 is Marie.

My dream about being a Triad guy appears in The Tiger Garden: A Book of Writers' Dreams, edited by Nicholas Royle (Serpent's Tail).

"Vine of the Soul" will appear in Disco 2000, edited by Sarah Champion (Sceptre, UK, 1998). All of the stories in this anthology take place on December 31, 1999, the last day of the millennium. "Vine" looks in on Trevor and Zach from Drawing Blood, now living in Amsterdam.



(The following is an excerpt from Alex S. Johnson's interview with Christa Faust, published in CARBON 14 #9. A longer version of this inter- view, as well as one with me, will appear in Johnson's upcoming book Extremities: Interviews with Writers of Dark Erotica. Christa's work has appeared in Hot Blood, Revelations, and Love In Vein 2, among others. Her first novel, Control Freak, is forthcoming from Masquerade Books.)

AJ: You've co-written two stories with Poppy Z. Brite. How do you know Poppy; why did you decide to collaborate with her? What's your relationship with her?

CF: Poppy and I met in a boy-brothel in Thailand in 1936. We found we had a lot in common and decided to take over the world. Poppy and I are very different in the way we use language and construct stories, but our writing styles turned out to be weirdly complementary. We could see around each other's corners and together we were able to come up with a story like "Triads" [in Revelations, Harper, 1997] that I don't think either one of us would have written alone.


A RANT: Written by me, read aloud by Caitlin Kiernan (because my plane hadn't come in yet) at a Dragon*Con panel called "Which Body Part Do I Have To Pierce To Get My Book Published?" All the Dragon*Con '97 panel topics pissed me off, but this was the worst.

This panel topic strikes me as being born partly of stark jealousy and partly of sheer ignorance, and I'm not sure which is uglier -- or less necessary. We are all freaks of some sort; otherwise we would-n't be here. Most of us prob-ably went through hell at the hands of the popular crowd in high school. What's the use of breaking into petty factions now? Do you have to have holes pierced in your body, designs tattooed on your flesh, or Manic Panic coating your poor, fried hair in order to get a book contract? No way. Do you have to have endured a stren-uous personal journey of some sort in order to write a book that someone will want to buy? Well, it helps -- and bodily modification is a part of that journey for some people. Be-lieve it or not, we do these things to ourselves for obscure, cheesy-sounding personal reasons far more often than we do them to look "cool." And when they start handing out book contracts based on number of body piercings, let me know and I'll ship all the local gutterpunks to New York where they can make their fortunes. Until then, if you can't get by on your own talent, work harder, go deeper, and stop blaming people who look different than you.

(Poppy Z. Brite had her nipples pierced on April 2, 1997.)



Dear William S. Burroughs,

We never met while you were alive, but you shaped my way of thinking about everything from drugs to jism to prose style to loving my enemies. You made me wonder, for all time, what was on the end of my fork. I assumed you would live forever, pre-embalmed by the drugs. Tonight you are dead at 83, and I figure the least I can do is pen a fantasy about fucking your corpse.

Pen, yes. This text may eventually appear on a printed page or computer screen, but I am writing the first draft in purple ballpoint, in my notebook, because that's the way I did my writing back when you first got your needles into me. 1987, and Michael Spencer and I used to photocopy pages from Naked Lunch and hide them inside copies of Billy Graham's and Jerry Falwell's autobiographies in the Christian bookstore in Chapel Hill. Passages about beautiful boys fucking on a Ferris wheel and shooting their jism over the moon.

Tonight, though, I take the big blue mystery pill that's been hiding in my stash for too long. It's some sort of opiate, and before it began dissolving in my stomach it was embossed with the number 6350, which my friend David said looked like the year I would wake up if I took it. But I just feel all floaty and nice, and soon I am alone with you in the Lawrence, Kansas morgue. They've left us to have our moment, the tactful pathologists and morgue attendants, because they know that death sometimes needs to be eased along with a little pleasure. You might say fucking the dead is one of my "kicks." (You might. My generation only uses the word "kick" as a transitive verb, e.g., "Don't make me kick your ass, buttmunch.")

The morgue is small and clean, with that underlying sweet- brown smell I remember from the other two I've been fortunate enough to visit. The attendants have rolled you out of the cooler and placed your metal gurney against the row of sinks -- to provide a backstop for our carnal frolics, I guess. You and I are naked, save for one item apiece: you are wearing a gray felt hat tilted forward over your eyes; I am wearing a leather hip harness with an attached latex cock, black, large, shiny, and (maybe I just think because it's you I'm going to fuck with it) slightly insectile.

Your body is long, pale, thin, intact (unautopsied, not uncircumcised). The faint violet mottling of your fatal heart attack is visible on your shoulders and upper chest. Your abdomen is sunken, your ribs rising out of its hollow like wings. When I touch you, stroking the graceful arc of those ribs, your skin feels loose and soft. Parchment ... silk ... the bazaars of Tangiers ...

I don't feel that you are precisely gone from here, that your body is a mere "shell." Nor do I imagine that you are somehow trapped in this meat. But death is an endlessly tran- sitory state. I suspect there may be some essence left in you. Your cock is flaccid and powdery-tasting, but as I roll it around on my tongue, a drop of something bitter leaks out: piss or jism. The ultimate orgasm? I don't flatter myself that I'm giving it to you; at best, I'm getting death's sloppy seconds.

Your hat has slipped off, and I see that your eyes are partly open. They look as watchful and reptilian as they appear in photos, but now they are permanently focused on a point beyond any camera, beyond me and this morgue, beyond my big latex cock. I want to kiss you, but am irrationally sure that if I do, a centipede will come writhing up from your stomach and through your larynx and into your mouth, and it will thrust between my lips like a chitinous tongue.

I take you by your jutting hipbones and turn your body over on the gurney. You are as light as a box kite. Even your butt- ocks have a hollowed-out look, the bones as prominent as your shoulderblades. The crack of your ass is hairless and immaculate. Your body seems so breakable, I wonder if you were still able to bathe yourself. Despite the fact that I am about to sodomize your corpse, this thought feels disrespectful.

As I knead your asscheeks and run my tongue down the sharp nubs of your spine, I throb with readiness. You're a beautiful corpse, Bill. Allen Ginsberg was a beautiful boy once, but he died fat and hairy, not really my type. I like skinny old men.

I baptize your asshole with my saliva. I kiss it like a mouth, unafraid of the centipede at this end. I can't imagine you disapproving of having your asshole worshipped. I coat my cock with a handful of industrial- strength antibacterial liquid soap and slip it into your unresisting smoothness. You are cool inside, shading toward cold.

In my fantasy, I am the last man to fuck you. My tears fall upon your flesh in lieu of jism. You have helped to make a world where this fantasy is possible, and maybe even publishable.

Rest in perversion.