PURPLE PROZE, ISSUE #5, 9/96
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they are so out of date that it's just not worth my time to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
Italian rights to Courtney Love have been purchased
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
"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
"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.
CHRISTA ON ME
(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
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
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,
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
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.