Purple Proze #3Welcome to PURPLE PROZE, the zine of information on Poppy Z. Brite (that's me). I can't answer your letters or e-mails personally, but please send questions for the HUH?HUH? column. DO NOT ask me to critique your manuscript, find you an agent, or help you get published unless you want to be made into a voodoo doll!!!

Though PP is no longer available by e-mail, several issues can be found online at Pandora Station (http://www.gothic.net/pandora), where you can also order any book I have in print.

Send changes of address and books to be signed (with post-paid SASE) to P.O. Box 750151, New Orleans LA 70175-0151 USA.

Love & Slack,

Poppy Z. Brite




Why was SWAMP FOETUS retitled WORMWOOD? Right-to-lifers make a stink? Does it take its new name from the meteorite in Revelations?

Right-to-lifers don't even have to make a stink any more; your publisher just has to be afraid that they will. Dell insisted on a new title because they were worried distributors would be offended sight unseen by any book with "foetus" in the title. They wanted to call it FOLK MAGIC (yeeeurgh). I chose WORMWOOD instead, from the story "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood" -- referring not to the star but to the toxic component of absinthe.

Is there any singer who directly inspired you to write about Ghost?

A. When I imagine Ghost singing, I hear elements of Hank Williams Senior, Michael Stipe with early R.E.M., Tom Waits, and even the Eagles singer on "Hotel California." But I realize that each reader may hear something completely different.

Reading "Triads" made me wonder if you enjoy watching Hong Kong action movies.

Yes, but not as much as Christa. I'm the dilettante who's seen BULLET IN THE HEAD and a few other obvious choices. She's the expert.



My new novel THE LAZARUS HEART (formerly FRAMED; often erroneously listed as FRAMED IN BLOOD; Harper Prism, trade pb) is in stores now. Yes, it is set in the world of J. O'Barr's Crow; no, it is not a piece of fast-money hackwork as some of the "fans" on my Usenet group prophesied without bothering to read the damn thing first. (Yes, I look at the newsgroup occasionally; who wouldn't look at a newsgroup named after herself? No, I don't expect to have my ass kissed in perpetuity, but I do expect you to read my work before deciding whether or not it is shit.) Guess what, guys -- it takes just as much time, sweat, and heartache to write a book with the Crow in it as it does to write one without. And with all due respect to Mr. O'Barr, I don't happen to believe that any one person holds the copyright on love, loss, revenge, or avian revenants, thank you very much.

My second collection of short stories, ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT?, will be published this fall by Gauntlet Press. The book will include an introduction by Peter Straub, an afterword by Caitlín R. Kiernan, and artwork by J.K. Potter. The deluxe limited edition will also contain comix by me and a cassette tape of "The Bad Mouse," a story I recorded at age 3 1/2. For more information and pre-orders, contact Gauntlet, 309 Powell Rd, Springfield PA 19064 or Gauntlet66@aol.com.

My sisters in perversion, Cait and Christa, both have first novels coming out this spring. Look for SILK by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc, May) and CONTROL FREAK by Christa Faust (Masquerade, June).

Russian rights to DRAWING BLOOD have been purchased by Severo-Zapad.

Greek rights to LOST SOULS and EXQUISITE CORPSE have been purchased by the houses Livani and Akti-Oxy respectively.

THE LAZARUS HEART sold to HarperCollins UK, Frassinelli of Italy, and Presses Pocket of France. German rights are under negotiation.

Spanish readers, watch for a translation of EXQUISITE CORPSE titled EL ARTE MAS INTIMO ("The Most Intimate Art").



DISCO 2000, the anthology containing the new Trevor & Zach story "Vine of the Soul," is now out from Sceptre (UK).

Check out Paula Guran's extensive OMNI Online interview with me at http://www.omnimag.com/darkecho/index.html

Short story "Self-Made Man" appears in DARK TERRORS 3 (ed. Stephen Jones and David Sutton, Gollancz UK).

Jean Daniel Bréque's French translation of my story "Calcutta, Lord of Nerves" was awarded the Grand Prix de L'Imaginaire for best short story of 1997.

"Enough Rope," an essay on my (mis)adventures with gender, will appear in the anthology CROSSING THE BORDER (ed. Lisa Tuttle, Gollancz UK, November 1998).

Short-short story "In Vermis Veritas" appears as the introduction to REGISTRY OF DEATH, a graphic novel by Matthew Coyle and Peter Lamb from Kitchen Sink Press.



In November 1997 my husband Chris and I went to Italy under the aegis of Frassinelli, who had just published CADAVRE SQUISITO (EXQUISITE CORPSE) to apparent fanfare. Italian media and critics linked me with the "Pulp Fiction" movement, a trend toward extreme, ultra-violent work by young writers. Named after the Tarantino film, the trend seemed to be more toward realistic suspense than supernatural horror: more noir than splatterpunk. We did a crazy week of TV, print, radio, and club appearances in Milan and Bologna, then traveled on our own to Venice and Florence.

I made the mistake of reading Thomas Mann's DEATH IN VENICE for the first time in Venice, and it cast an additional pall over a city that already seemed impossibly mysterious, labrynthine, and faintly Lovecraftian. It was looking to be a rather gloomy, Gothic holiday, but the shopping in Florence cheered me right up. Mille grazie a Marzia Kronauer, Giovanni Arduino, e Amy Meo.

I'll be a guest at two international fiction conferences this year: Galaxiales '98 ("Les univers de la Science-Fiction et du Fantastique"), April 16 - 19 (contact B.P. no. 3687, 54097 Nancy, France / e-mail Benoit.Domis@wanadoo.fr); and the Melbourne Writers' Festival, August 21 - 30 (P.O. Box 10, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria 8009, Australia / mwf@avery.apana.org.au).



When I'm being asked "Is that your real name?" for the millionth time, it gives me comfort to reflect upon the fact that there are actually other people named Poppy in the world and that they probably have to listen to the same dumb questions I do. For your entercation and edutainment, I offer a by-no-means-exhaustive selection of famous Poppys around the world. I've never actually met any of these women (or anyone else named Poppy except an English bulldog).

POPPY KING is a 25-year-old makeup designer from Melbourne, Australia. She founded Poppy Industries in 1991, at age 18, and has since parlayed it into a $5 million business whose cosmetics grace the faces of famous divas like Courtney Love. Poppy's "Mushroom" eye-shadow was one of the ones dumped on my floor by Courtney in 1995, and I've been wearing it ever since.

POPPY CANNON was a scary chef and food writer of the 1950s. Known as the Queen of the Can-Opener Gourmets, she was of the school that believed almost any recipe could be improved by adding a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom. "A miraculously dark, glossy, beer-rich beef flambé leaps in less than fifteen minutes from a tin of beef stew and a can of onion soup." -- Poppy Cannon, House Beautiful, 1953

POPPY FANTASTIC WORLD!! is a great Web page by a Japanese girl named Poppy. "Age: 21 (probably getting 22 though). Zodiac Star: Scorpio (the one without toxic!!) Appearance: Normal face, normal hair, normal ... (Hey, I am just a normal people! hehe)." Poppy and I obviously have a lot in common, although I am a Gemini (the one with toxic). Visit POPPY FANTASTIC WORLD!! at http://www.exess.com/users/albar/home.htm

MY FAVORITE POPPY: The "Hairy Babe of the Month" for May 1997. Her fascinations include "Convex glass lenses with a large diameter, dangerous viruses, clay, water, and dikes, living organisms." See Poppy in all her mustachioed glory at http://www.studioxx.org/maidincyberspace/poppe/may_babe_e.html

(Information on Poppy Cannon courtesy of the delectable FASHIONABLE FOOD: SEVEN DECADES OF FOOD FADS, Sylvia Lovegren, Macmillan, 1995.)



1. I don't think she's really all that "smart." Most of the puzzles in her column are similar to the word problems I encountered in tenth-grade algebra, which I don't ever want to think about, let alone when I am reading the cheesy, mindless Sunday supplement. Would you want to hang out with somebody who does those for fun?

2. She thinks all strippers are stupid. When an intelligent stripper wrote to protest, the Smart Lady's logic was that even though the letter-writer sounded intelligent and self-respecting, she must actually be stupid and bereft of dignity because she was a stripper.

3. She says marijuana shouldn't be legalized because there is no benefit to the public (jails crowded with victimless "criminals"? Not a problem for the Smart Lady). Besides, alcohol is already legal, and legalizing pot would automatically make the world twice as dangerous according to the Smart Lady.

4. My friend Heidi once attended a publishing dinner with her at a book convention in 1991, right after Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested. The Smart Lady said she knew hundreds of incredibly sick Dahmer jokes, but wouldn't tell any of them. That's pretty much my definition of a spoilsport.

[Note: The above was written before my paper started running Dr. Laura. I guess I should've counted my blessings.]


An Interview with Rev. Chris Korda
And Information on the Church of Euthanasia

Reprinted with permission from Snuff It Magazine
copyright Chris Korda

SI: The Platform of the Church of Euthanasia includes suicide, abortion, cannaibalism and sodomy. Why did you choose those four things?

Korda: Well, first of all we have to establish what they all have in common, and that is of course that they all reduce the human population, which is the primary goal of the church.

SI: And you approve of these four methods?

Korda: Well, these are the four that really stand out as being the most useful for the moment.

SI: But you approve of these methods?

Korda: We prefer methods that are voluntary. The population is going to get reduced one way or the other. We have a choice between allowing things to continue the way they are, in which case natural forces will reduce the population for us, with the maximum amount of violence and unpleasantness, or we can take steps to try and reduce our population our population voluntarily, through the four pillars of the church.

SI: You're opposed to involuntary population reduction?

Korda: We don't believe in mass murder. We would prefer to see things done in and orderly and sensible manner, to the extent that that's still possible. The longer we delay, the more likely it becomes that there won't be any sensible solution. Already we see chaos in our society, spreading out from the cities, and from the United States to the rest of the world. There's not much time left. If ther's going to be and orderly solution it needs to be started immediately.

SI: And you're not just talking about zero population growth, you're talking about population reduction.

Korda: Absolutely. It's been well known for some time now that zero population growth just isn't enough, and we haven't even achieved that. It's a common belief that the United States has already achieved zero population growth, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Our population continues to grow, and not just from immigration. In the rest of the world, the population is growing at an incredible rate. As things become more and more uncertain, due in large part to the tremendous strain placed on the ecosystem by the industrial nations, people have less and less confidence that their children will survive, so they have more of them. The numbers speak for themselves. At the current rate, the human population will reach eight billion by 2020, which is well within our lifetimes. It's just common sense that the Earth's ecosystem is not going to sustain that population, and taht the side effects are going to be famine, disease,war, and chaos on a scale that we can't even imagine yet.

SI: The apocalypse.

Korda: Right.

SI: But wouldn't the acocalypse accomplish your goal?

Korda: Actually, no. The acocalypse would involve the destruction of the ecosystem, and that's what we are trying to prevent. There are many groups out there who support war, particularly nuclear war, as a way of drastically reducing or eliminating the human species. There is no doubt that the process would be effective, but it would make vast areas of the Earth unsuitable for any form of life. What we're trying to do is put the human species back in balance with the other species on the planet. We're trying to prevent the apocalypse.

SI: Abortion and suicide are abvious. These are responsible decisions that people can make. Can you be more specific about how sodomy will directly affect the population?

Korda: Well, no one ever got pregnant from sodomy.

SI: (laughs)

Korda: Seriously, why do you think it's still illegal in most states? We are living in a society that is almost entirely dominated by heterosexual males. Our government is a patriarchy. Our god is a father figure. There's been no check, no restraint, on male power for hundreds of years, and the results are horrifying.

SI: Why do males behave this way?

Korda: It all comes down to biology. The male has approximately six hundred million sperm in his body at any given time, and these little guys are jumping up and down in there yelling "let me out, let me out!" By contrast, the female has one egg. There's a well known saying that when the dick gets hard, the brain gets soft, and it's actually very close to the truth. Men will say anything to get laid. Their sperm makes them crazy.

SI: The dreaded sperm buildup!

Korda: It's not just that. Males also lose an enormous amount of energy when they ejaculate, unlike females, who lose their energy through menstruation. Women can have orgasms all day long without a problem. This is the principle reason females live longer than males. All of this was well understood in traditional Asian cultures, where boys were taught sexual yoga to help them retain their semen. In our society, men are encouraged to ejaculate as often as possible, so of course they become weak, and gradually develop deep resentment towards women. This makes them extremely dangerous, and causes sadism and violence. Industrial society is really the male's attempt to get revenge for his natural sexual inadequacy by raping the Earth.

SI: So you're opposed to ejaculation?

Korda: Yes, but we're also pragmatic. What we're saying is, since we have all these angry men trying to get rid of their sperm, why don't they get rid of it in each other?

SI: But what if they don't want to be queer?

Korda: Women can oblige just as easily. Grease it up. If more guys were fucking asses instead of pussies, the population would drop. That's the bottom line.

SI: (more laughs) Should they wear condoms?

Korda: Of course! We're opposed to all needless suffering, including AIDS.

SI: Okay, cannibalism. Are there any restrictions?

Korda: Look, we have fifty thousand automobile fatalities per year, and we're lucky if we recycle a few organs. Perfectly good meat is being buried in the ground, or incinerated. That meat should go straight to McDonald's. The United States wastes vast amounts of energy so that its citizens can eat as much meat as they want. It's just plain dumb. It takes more that seven pounds of grain to create one pound of meat. Read Diet for a Small Planet if you want the exact figures. There's no sensible reason why the rest of the world should starve so taht we can eat meat. It's just another form of cultural decadence. But the church is realistic. We're not expecting Americans to stop eating meat, any more than we're expecting them to stop ejaculating. If they have to eat meat, let's make sure it's human flesh.

SI: Have you researched the nutritional value of human flesh?

Korda: There's nothing wrong with it. It's good for you, and tasty too. My understanding is it tastes rather like pork.

SI: Is it true that you'll be publishing a church cookbook?

Korda: There have been rumors to that effect. We're working on it. The main problem is testing the recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Church of Euthanasia?
The Church of Euthanasia is a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth. We believe this can only be accomplished by a massive voluntary population reduction, which will require a leap in Human consciousness to a new species awareness. The Human population is increasing by one million every four days. This is a net increase of 95 million per year, the current population of Mexico. Even major wars or epidemics hardly dent this rate of growth, and modern wars also have tremendous environmental consequences. It is for these practical reasons, as well as moral ones, that we support only voluntary forms of population reduction.

The Church has only one commandment, and it is "Thou Shalt Not Procreate." In addition, we have four "pillars" or principles, which are Suicide, Abortion, Cannibalism, and Sodomy.

Note that cannibalism is only required for those who insist on eating flesh, and is strictly limited to consumption of the already dead. Also not that sodomy is defined as any sexual act not intended for procreation: fellatio, cunnilingus, and anal sex are all forms of sodomy and are still illegal in many states.

2. How do I become a member?
If you choose to not procreate, you're a member already, but why not make it official? Membership includes a life-time subscription to the printed version of Snuff It, a 28-page e-sermon booklet, and a lovely embossed certificate suitable for framing, all for only $10.

Bear in mind that we take our one commandment very seriously. Membership implies a lifetime vow to not procreate. Procreation is guaranteed excommunication. There are no exceptions; abortion will be required, period. Of course, such difficulties can be avoided by faithful adherence to the fourth pillar (sodomy).

3. Do I have to kill myself?
Of course you don't have to kill yourself! If you really want to, though, wait until after you've joined the Church. That way, you automatically become a saint, without any additional paperwork. Don't forget to leave a not thanking and/or blaming the Church, and feel free to will us your estate, if you have one.

4. I've already procreated. Can I still join?
Absolutely! So long as you don't have any more. We have a number of members with children, and we even have a member whose son joined too. What's done is done. What matters is your commitment now.

5. How can I help?
The most important way you can help is by not procreating. If you feel comfortable taking the lifetime vow, then you should consider officially joining the Church. It would also be very helpful if you could manage to abstain from eating flesh.

If you would like to write and have some "fire in the belly," we can always use guest sermons, articles, and letters to the editor. We prefer submissions by e-mail (send to coe@netcom.com) or diskette (Word Perfect 5.1 or DOS text format) so we don't have to scan or type it again. If you send a diskette, you might want to include hard copy also just in case we can't read it.

We also desperately need money. Propaganda campaigns are expensive! The Church is exempt from federal income tax under 501(a) and 501(c)(3). EIN 04-324-9910. Donations are tax-deductible.

Finally, you can help by spreading the word. Talk to people. Proselytize shamelessly. Ask us for flyers, or even better, make your own, and sitribute them. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Get on the radio or TV. Be a nuisance. Cause trouble. Piss people off, especially your breeding friends. Carpe diem.

6. What's the best way to kill myself?
We recommend taking an overdose of sleeping pills and fastening a large plastic trash bag over your head. That way even if the dose isn't enough to kill you, or makes you throw up (a common problem), you still die of asphyxiation. This is by the way the official "Hemlock Society approved" method, and has proved to be very effective and painless. Use a rubber band to fasten the bag around your head. It's best to hold the bag open while you're falling asleep, so you can still breathe and don't panic. After you fall asleep, your grip loosens, the elastic tightens, and presto: you stop breathing. The only hard part is getting the pills (some folks just use the bag, but this is hardcore).

If you can't get sleeping pills, you could also try connecting a tube to the exhaust pipe of a car. Run the tube into the car by rolling down one window a bit, and be sure to use tape (duct tape would be good) to seal the space around the tube so there's no leakage. Start up the motor, turn on the radio, and sit back. This one is completely painless, and you will not wake up unless 1. you run out of gas (fill it up first) or 2. someone discovers you (the most common reason why this method doesn't work). It's best to drive somewhere far away from people, which, needless to say, is getting harder and harder to do.

7. Why haven't you killed yourself yet?
I just might. Believe me, I think about it every day. But maybe, just maybe, if enough people listen to what we're saying and stop procreating and consuming so much, we might be able to reduce the population and build a more compassionate, sustainable future. Then maybe I won't need to kill myself. That hope is the only thing that keeps me alive; if it ever dies, I'll die with it, and you can have front row seats. The real question if how much of your self you are willing to sacrifice for the well-being of the remaining species on Earth, as well as future generations of Humans.

8. How many members are there?
The Church currently has hundreds of card-carring members who've taken the vow, plus clergy, directors, and over a thousand "e-members" on the Internet. We have members as far away as Italy and Latvia, though the majority are in the USA.

9. Can I distribute or reprint Church propaganda?
Everything we publish is yours to use, subject to two conditions: we request that you include the author's name if specified, along with the Church's e-mail, world-wide-web, and postal addresses, and if your're reprinting rather than quoting or excerpting for use in your own work, we request that you use the material in its entirety.

The Office of Population Research at Princeton University maintains an emergency contraception world-wide web site and toll-free number. Both allow you to get information on the "moring after" pill and other forms of emergency contraception, and then find the clinics, hospital or doctor nearest you that will prescribe them. Call 1-800-584-9911 or access http://opr.princeton.edu/ec/ec.html right away. Don't "wait and see what happens." You have 72 hours!

The Church of Euthanasia
P.O. Box 261
Somerville, MA 02143



[The back cover of PP#6 was a survey from GLAMOUR magazine. I can't get the original form to scan legibly, but here are the questions and my answers.]

We'd like to be In Sync With What You Think!

You could win a $300 shopping spree

a $150 shopping spree

a $100 shopping spree

or one of 50 GLAMOUR backpacks

Answer the questions below.

The last 3 fragrances I bought were Tea Rose, Tea Rose, Tea Rose

The last 3 CDs I bought were Beatles Anthology 3, Oasis' Be Here Now, John Lennon's Shaved Fish

The last 3 makeup items I bought were (item and brand, please) Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara, Chanel Very Vamp lipstick, Urban Decay Oil Slick lipstick

My 3 female role models are My mom, Dorothy Parker, Marie Laveau

The man I would most like to have dinner with is R. Crumb

My favorite piece of clothing is a black sweater from Amsterdam flea market

I shop at a department store on average 1 times per month

I shop at a mass merchandiser (Target, KMart, Walmart) 3 times per month

I shop at a drug store 8 times per month

My favorite TV show is "Beavis & Butt-head"

The car I would like to own is 1965 Thunderbird

My ideal job would be Amsterdam coffeeshop marijuana tester


And this, from Usenet:

Wealthy German businessman wishes to buy the American author known as "Poppy Z. Brite." Willing to pay up to 2.5 billion marks for good condition goth version if found. Please contact Swiss bank, Zurich, account # Z2239001012347