PURPLE PROZE, ISSUE #6, 4/98
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
IT'S NOT JUST ME & YOUR GRANDPA
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
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
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
(Information on Poppy Cannon courtesy of the delectable FASHIONABLE
FOOD: SEVEN DECADES OF FOOD FADS, Sylvia Lovegren, Macmillan,
WHY I HATE THE SMART LADY
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
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
SI: The apocalypse.
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.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.
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
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.
10. Where can I get EMERGENGY CONTRACEPTION?
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,
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,
The man I would most like to have dinner with is R.
My favorite piece of clothing is a black sweater from
Amsterdam flea market
I shop at a department store on average 1 times per
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
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