Saturday, November 16, 2013

Reid Fleming - a little update

I seem to have forgotten to post this, but there you go. Last April, I stopped by David Boswell's table at the Vancouver FanExpo. I asked him if and when a Volume 2 of Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman would be coming out. I picked up the first volume a couple of years ago and have been waiting eagerly for the second instalment. Dave said that he was still writing the last chapter of the Reid Fleming saga. He was hoping to have it finished for next year, but, depending how it goes, it may be another two. He also mentioned that the final story has Fleming competing in the Milk Truck games for glory and more. (The games may have a swimsuit competition as well!) Definitely going to be worth waiting for. If you have not checked out this comic yet, grab the first volume which collects Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman volumes #1 to 6 plus Heart Break Comics which features Laszlo (with appearances by Reid). It's a nice hardcover with a decent trim size and great reproductions of the artwork. All for around $30!

Friday, November 01, 2013

The new Intro!

I asked playwright and poet Peter Duffer to write this introduction for my latest book. I was so excited when I got it back that I decided to post it right away. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m sure it’s wonderful. Hopefully, the book will be out sometime next year. Thanks Peter!


First off, Michael Roth, go fuck yourself in your mouth. You are a narcissistic, delusional asshole. Quit writing or painting or whatever it is you do and just go away. Let’s be clear, sitting in your parent’s basement obsessively masturbating does not qualify you as an artist. It’s pathetic enough when someone in their 20s playacts at being a douche bag artist; it’s even more so when they are in their 40s. So give it up. Nobody cares about you or your bullshit.

To be clear, as a person, Roth is a stuttering, inbred mongoloid, unable to comprehend his own incompetence.  And his art? Simply put, it’s pure bullshit. It is amateurish, derivative, shallow, and ultimately forgettable. He reuses the same old avant garde clichés without any reason and to no effect. I could barely make it through a page or two of this manuscript without throwing it across the room or stomping it into the floor in pure disgust. This type of banal, pseudo-intellectual posturing makes me vomit. Don’t waste your time. You have been warned.

Why has he done this? That’s my main concern. Why? All of these works are truly pointless. I believe it’s really a narcissistic project for him, fueled by a strong desire to be accepted by the artistic community (and beyond), and, ultimately, in leaving an artistic legacy. He believes he has talent. He does not realize that few will see these works and none will care. That he and his art will descend into obscurity, where they belong. With any luck, I hope he will realize on his deathbed that it was all just a waste of time; that he has wasted his life. That none of it mattered when he was alive and that it will matter even less after he has died. Mr. Roth, if you do not realize this simple fact right now you are indeed delusional. Please stop immediately. For our sake, please do not inflict these mediocre, moronic ramblings on anyone again. Just stop. Please. For fuck’s sake. Stop. It’s embarrassing. It’s meaningless. It’s unnecessary.

So I need to know, why did you ask me to write this introduction?  Why do you even bother? Just, why?

Peter Duffer, PhD.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Failure to translation

The priest gives my ideas of them, in many cases, the performance of a series of Vancouver Writers Festival, 12 days of the file in Word, 120 Marquis de Sade "was confusing in the same pizzeria and the leader of the team, as they say, a long period of time I did not read it looks at the '12 Sodom Sodom, both to lay down for the night. slowly read it because it's a pain, indeed, a class of people at the beginning of the month on Sunday near the end of the bird bread, it's a miracle pill.

Of course, to read as it is fully taxable, mix them all and technology. Sometimes it is to dig a few pages of Morse code, but I saw a book on the fact that he was cruel. Pantomime play, because the laws of different countries around the world or 3 cups of another person.

I think I have the best vegetables you can smell the pizza insane leader of the Tuscan sea and took a break. Read it in my book. Thus, the desire to you at all times, and memory to play with. I'm not Mr. Stewart Wu Ming yesterday, but unfortunately, it's not, I want my writing lip sync.

But some players said marketing opportunity and a new suitcase. But you're a man, he found the afternoon of popular, but the anarchists came by night, you know, hands. Fortunately grant of power (and, believe it or not, just throwing my shoes), my friend stopped emetic sprint stage lighting and involuntary. These are the things that are done well, and tens of thousands of professionals.
That this night, light and AJ piles: Breakfast and it begins to dawn, a few drops of passage. At this point, I said to you, even as the east is a little less than great. You want to read the book, the audience shouted: "Oh my God, she is released to create a dog!"

On that day, I used to catch the one that will lead to end the Etruscans, and that people will hear it. DLE in the past the fair, which is really the leader of all the equipment to a high degree shot just started middle of the night. Moreover, more than 12 hours, but it does not matter in the end.


A(n) (un)successful translation of a post "120 Hours of Sodom", originally from Oct 20, 2009. The post was run through Google Translate and back into English. I thought it was a cheap way to translate my articles. Instead, I realize that it's an easy way to make them better.

Friday, August 16, 2013


This is an improved version of a short work called Breaker's Party Room.  I have removed every letter except "m", while keeping the spacing the same as the original. Here is the first page. More will be posted to the website at a later date.  And, no, I don't think I've heard of Monica Aasprong. Really.


   m m
m              m

        m                                   m


                                     m          m


m           m
       m                         m



                  m      m                                          
  m                        m
       m      m                 m

                         m   m m
  m        m                                     m
         m      m

  m                                   m
                      m                         m

  m         m

Tuesday, August 13, 2013



             aaabb    dddeeeee

eeff  fgggggg         hhiiiiii

                                      iiiiii iiklll ll lllmm nnnn

                nnnnno oooo opr   rrrr

                                                rrssss stttvwww


This is my poem, "Codeine" with the letters in alphabetical order. (Apologies to Claus Bremer.)  

Monday, August 12, 2013

peaking just before the music disappears

Another poem (click to enlarge).

peaking just before the music disappears

Monday, August 05, 2013

intense gravity of ghosts in the washroom at work

This is another cutup / visual poem. (Click to enlarge.) Check out the website for more.

intense gravity of ghosts in the washroom at work 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

New improved MC&MJ Review

I've reworked my review of Stewart Home's Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane by alphabetizing the text. It's a definite improvement on the old one, which was poorly written and uninformative.

& A by Charlie Home Mandy Mary-Jane of Review Stewart

by Michael Roth

& 69 2005 7/7, a, a a a, a a a a a a a a a a a a a a about about academia, academic achieve action afterlife against all all Allen along.  Always always an an an, and and and and and and and and and and (and) and and and and and and and and and and/or, Andre Ann any anyone appropriately are are, are art art’s artists as as as as as. As as as ascension. At at at at at avenues bath be be, be, be becoming begins being believed believes believes. Belle de Jour Belle de Jour beyond Bites Blair blank-faced, blogger blood bombing, bombings bombings Bombings both (brilliant brilliant) brought Buddhist but but by campus Cannibal Canon, carry caught (cell Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie). Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie’s City class classes classic, "Classics Coldplay comes completely, comprised concludes."

Confuses conscious counterfeiting course cultural cultural cultural CUNT currency dark Dead Dead decide - decline, denies department deranged deranged destroyed devolves direct discovered. Discussion do do do documenting does Dog don’t don’t doors down dreams drug drug drugs education elements. End end enough enthusiasm equally, Eurosleaze eventually exactly explore extraneous fact faculty faculty faculty fans, fellow filled filling film filmmaker films films find finish, flowery focused follows fooled for for for for for for for forgets. Freaks frequently from from fun futility ghost ghosts glorious go, go great groove group had half-interested. Has has has, has have have have he he.  He he he he he he he he he he he he he. He he head heavy hidden high higher highly him his his his his. His his his his his his his his Holocaust Holy Home Home Home Home Home’s. Home’s horror humor, humor I I’m identity immersion improve in in in in in, in, in in, inability in-joke instance instance instant interesting into introduction is is is is is is is.

Is is is is? Is is is. Is is is is is is Island. It it’s keeping latest lead lead least lecture led led, lifestyle like London London London make. Makes making Man Mandy Mandy Mary-Jane Mary-Jane may me me meaning meets mention mid-class. Mind mistress more moves movie murder navigates needless needs new new Newcastle-upon-Tyne no none no-nonsense. Not not not not not not, not novel novel novel novels numb Oasis obscure occasionally of, of of. Of of, of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of often often on on. On on on on. On only opens or or other other out out out (own Pagan page planned played position posterity Princess problem problems professor professor Project) prolonged prose protagonist psychosis, punk punks Quin.

Radical rampant range ranks react reactionary read readable reality reality recognizes recommended Red, references references remake remembers retort reveal Richard ring role running, sabotage sake satire satire say screenwriter script (sense setting Sex sex share side simple slowly so so), some some sound source Stewart Stewart (Stewart Stitt?) stops story story strives students students students studies studies, style such such Sue suicide supposed syllabus systems tape.

Teaching teaching Templeton terrorism terrorist that that that that that that that that the the the the the the. The the the the the the the the the. The the, the the the the the the the the the the the the the, the the the the the the their them. Then theory there these these they things Things this this this this this this those those, threat throw throws tight time to, to to to to.

To to, to to to to to to. To to to to, to to to triple two unhinged University university up  up. Up up use victims waiting what what what what what. When when where while who. Who who. Who who whole wife will Williams willing Witch with. With with with with with with words would writing you. You, you you Zombie zombies zoned-out?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another excerpt from Deus Oinof

     I need a fucking smoke.
     And, as usual, Hairlip’s late with the smokes and beer. Ever since
that time he claimed to have seen God, he’s been unreliable. I saw God
once. Coming out of the mountains at Hope, looking into the valley, I
saw the ocean in the distance. Of course, this is impossible but there
it was. As I ran, the water rushed up the valley and in a wave washed
over me. In the water, I was surrounded by warmth and love and it was
there I saw God. Then it was gone and I was back on the road,
breathing in the smell of shit from the surrounding farms. But it gave
me the strength to go on. So, yeah, I saw God too. A lot of fucking
good that did me.


This excerpt is the opening paragraph from Deus Oinof, an unpublished collaborative novel by Michael Roth and Jerry Schroeder. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Untitled #4

Another visual poem, Untitled #4.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Reviews are in!

Here are some reactions to a few of the Visual Poems I posted in Cal's excellect Artists, Writers and Readers etc discussion group.

"I don't like it."

"...Seems like its (sic) trying too hard to be different."

"It just annoys me, ..." 

"[B]een done before by a lot of vis/poets over the years ..."

Alrighty then.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

in the morning, more reality

in the morning, more reality

This is a visual poetry piece from a larger work called Untitled. It's still being put together and will hopefully be complete by Fall 2013.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paraphilia Magazine relaunch

Paraphilia Magazine has relaunched with a new format. A story of mine managed to slip past the editors, so check it out before they realize their mistake!

Notes from the Operating Theatre - A Selection

The new site features a host of interesting and insane art and writing from Andrew Maben, David E. Tolchinsky, Jim Coleman, Gregg Sutton, Joe Ambrose, Steve Overbury, Mike Lee, Charles Christian, Tom Garretson, Edward S. Robinson, dixē.flatlin3, Richard A. Meade, Claudia Bellocq, Stefanie Vega, Robert Earl Reed, David Gionfriddo, Claudia Murari, Mike Hudson, Malcolm Alcala, Christopher Nosnibor, Matjames Metson, Rich Follett, Lisa Wormsley, Robert Seitz, Dale Johnson, Benjamin Robinson, D M Mitchell, Michael Roth, Matt Leyshon, Russell Allen, Douglas J. Ogurek, Andrew Abbott, Tony Rauch, Rob Sussman, Tracy Lamont, Patricia Routh, Gil A. Waters, Craig Podmore, Georganne Deen, Gene Stewart, C.F. Roberts, Michael Dent, Chris Madoch, volcofskY, F.X. Tobin, Thomas Kearnes, A.D. Hitchin, Dolorosa De La Cruz, Ron Garmon, Craig Woods, Oliver Arditi, The Scenics, Cinema Cinema, Lisa Germano, Jamie Sherry, Michael Cano, Patsy Faragher, Steve Wilson, Ben Young, John Wigley, Simon Phillips, Tom Bradley, and David Hoenigman.

I'm a fan of some of these writers, others are new to me. So drink the Kool-Aid and follow me in!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

A Review of Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane by Stewart Home

Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane 
By Stewart Home

Stewart Home’s latest novel, Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane, is a brilliant satire on academia that begins simple enough then slowly devolves into a blood bath, at least in the deranged mind of the protagonist. The story follows Charlie Templeton, a cultural studies professor at the City University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (CUNT) as he strives to improve his position in the faculty, finish his movie script Zombie Sex Freaks, and occasionally lecture to a class of half-interested students. But Charlie has problems. Rampant drug use has destroyed any sense of identity, time, and reality that he may have had. He frequently forgets who he is, where he is, what he is teaching (often mid-class) and often confuses his wife Mandy with Mary-Jane, his mistress (when he recognizes them at all). Charlie denies there is a problem with the retort, “I’m high on theory, not drugs.”

None of this stops Charlie from his dreams of being a triple threat – screenwriter, professor and head of the cultural studies department. And he is willing to sabotage his students and murder his fellow faculty to achieve this end. He meets filmmaker Sue Williams, who is on campus documenting the decline of higher education, and the two decide to remake Man Bites Dog, with Charlie in the lead role and the other faculty as victims. His ascension up the ranks would be caught on tape, for posterity and for art’s sake. Needless to say, things don’t go completely as planned.

This is played out against the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London in 2005. Charlie eventually believes that he has discovered the hidden meaning of these bombings. He concludes that he needs to carry out his own suicide bombing at Holy Island. In the end, Charlie navigates what he believes is a not-so-glorious afterlife, or, more appropriately, a zoned-out reality brought on by drug psychosis and/or prolonged immersion in an academic setting.

Does this sound heavy? Don’t be fooled. The novel is filled with dark humor. It is not only a satire on the university lifestyle, but on the futility of terrorism. Home makes fun of the reactionary elements that make up both of those systems. Some of the humor comes from Charlie and the fact that he is becoming unhinged. His classes are equally as deranged, when he remembers what he is supposed to be teaching, that is. For instance, the syllabus for his film course is comprised of Eurosleaze classics such as Oasis of the Dead and Cannibal Holocaust. Not exactly the Canon. The students do not share his enthusiasm for these films (their cultural references do not go beyond Coldplay and the Blair Witch Project) and react like zombies, numb and blank-faced.

Throw in a radical Buddhist cell who are running a currency counterfeiting ring, Charlie’s inability to have sex with anyone who is conscious, a side discussion about the Belle de Jour blogger (an in-joke as some believed Stewart Home to be Belle de Jour), and a group of ghost punks (punk ghosts?) who reveal the Pagan source of the London bombings, and you have the making of an instant classic.

What I find interesting about Home’s novels is keeping up with all of the references he throws at you. They always lead you down new avenues to explore. For instance, 69 Things to do with a Dead Princess led me to Ann Quin, while Red London led me to Richard Allen. This novel opens up the doors to a whole range of obscure horror and art films, not to mention to other artists, such as Andre Stitt.

As always, the writing is tight and focused. Home has a no-nonsense, direct style that is readable and moves the action along. No flowery prose or extraneous words filling out the page. This is a brilliant read. Highly recommended. Fans of Stewart Home will groove to the story. And it’s a great introduction to those new to him. So, what are you waiting for?

Also, check out my interview with Stewart here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My interview with Stewart Home on his latest novel, Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane

Stewart's latest novel, Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane, comes out February 26, 2013. Here's a teaser from an email interview I did with him about this book. 

What is Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane about?
Stewart Home: Among other things the book addresses delusional thinking and in this particular novel it is manifested through the narrator Charlie, who is a hack academic with a drug problem. Charlie also has an obsession with porn and likes to have sex with unconscious women. The book is very funny if you've got a black sense of humour, and hopefully it is unreadable and distressing to those who are uptight, po-faced, repressed and even more deluded than the narrator!

For the full interview, just follow the link:

Thanks to Stewart for doing the interview. The book is brilliant so make sure to track down a copy  - Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane by Stewart Home (2013: Penny-Ante Editions) 9780985508531. I should have a review up soon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Function Room by Matt Leyshon: A Review and and Interview

Here's a quick review and my interview with Matt Leyshon. Enjoy! - Rev. Michael Roth 

The Function Room: A Kollection

by Matt Leyshon

The Old Gods demand blood. And Matt Leyshon delivers that sacrifice in his short story collection, The Function Room: A Kollection. This book is a series of loosely connected stories set in the rural town of Leddington. Unfortunately, this town is also home to the Function Room, literally a gruesome esoteric temple space that exerts control over the town and it’s inhabitants. It’s where our nightmares and our waking lives share the same space, where the real becomes surreal and the surreal, real.

Leddington is a place where a man is skinned alive and then saved by crows that imbed their feathers into his flesh. Following up this theme, a flock of birds enter the mouth of a man until his body becomes bloated like a sack of potatoes. Then we have a butcher who murders an elderly patron in a momentary outburst of rage, an act that eventually propels him into a close association with the Function Room. Throw in a few vivisections, blood sacrifices, zombies, a transsexual, and a room comprised of meat and sinew that would make the Cenobites feel at home. This is the world that Leyshon invokes.

Leyshon has a very fluid, readable style that draws the reader into the story and moves the action along. His poetic descriptions evoke a surreality dripping with filth and viscera and push the grotesque to the limits. That said, it does not come off as gratuitous. The vivid descriptions serve the narrative and move the story along.

Personally, I feel the strongest stories are those, which deal with the Function Room directly. This is where the surrealism and the gore are at it’s most intense. He shifts to present tense in some of these stories, which helps to create a sense of immediacy in the action. He also uses the second person “you” for some the pieces. I’m not usually a fan of this perspective, but it works here to connect the reader to the story, which itself can be distancing due to the dream-like nature and the violence. The Spicer stories are also interesting. The writing here is crisp, reminiscent of a hard-boiled style. My only quarrel with the two Spicer stories is that they were too short; I wanted the action to continue and I thought he could have mined the stories for more.

This is an interesting collection. I’m not an aficionado of horror in print, but this book is definitely worth a read. There’s stuff for the gore hounds as well as for gothic fans. For me, Leyshon evokes Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft and, oddly enough, Matthew Stokoe’s Cows. And that’s not bad.
Matt Leyshon was gracious enough to let me throw a few questions at him. Here is our email Q&A.

When did you start writing?
I’ve only quite recently started writing fiction seriously and The Function Room: The Kollection is my first book. These stories are mostly from 2011 which was a very productive period for me when I was writing a new story almost every week. The Function Room story itself however is from 2008 and is one of my first efforts at writing a short story.

What writers, books and/or movies influence your writing?
I’m not consciously influenced by films but I’m very aware of some writers who have inspired me: W. G. Sebald, Cormac McCarthy, William Burroughs, Iain Sinclair, and John Burnside to name just a few. It is because of writers like Stephen King and James Herbert that I write horror, as I enjoyed their books as a child, but they’re not writers I especially admire nowadays. But there are many horror writers that I do like: Thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, R. B. Russell, and Rosalie Parker for example.

How did this collection of stories come together?
I had number of stories printed in succession in Morpheus Tales magazine and so they proposed the idea of a putting a collection together. Although they had published anthologies before, this was to be their first single author collection. Some of my other favourite stories were tied up contractually to anthologies so a best of was off the cards, but a book of connected stories seemed a good idea. The stories published in Morpheus Tales magazine had all been set in a fictional town called Leddenton so my idea was for a collection of stories that were all set there.

Can you describe the Function Room and explain the idea behind it? 
If ever you’ve felt that something is working against you, or that you are inexplicably moving in a direction that you have no desire to go in like a fallen branch in floodwater, then you have in some way encountered the Function Room, or at least the idea behind it. Whatever plans there are for this world, each and every one originated in the machinations of the Function Room. I like to think that readers will each understand the Function Room in their own way.

What themes tie the stories in The Function Room: A Kollection together?
The theme that I think keeps coming up in these stories is that nature is mysterious. Tied in with this is the idea of time being non-linear. I also suggest often that the usual laws of cause and effect can be illusory and so in every story you will find magic; the will of the Function Room, or nature, being exercised upon the characters and the world around them.

The descriptions of the gore are vivid and intense, and still poetic. What are you trying to do with this? Have you received any pushback or complaints about the content?
The presence of gore is at least partly reactionary to mainstream horror’s current fascination with subtlety, but also because of the impact it had on me as a young reader (reading books by writers like Shaun Hutson), and still can have upon me as an adult reader in works like Reverbstorm by David Britton and John Coulthart, for example. But my work is not always as graphic as the stories in this collection and whilst I’ve had my share of rejections, none have been specifically because of the gore content. In fact Morpheus Tales have often asked me to make things more violent and offensive, not less! The poetry that you mention is perhaps also reactionary and does hopefully feature in all my work; it is something that I find lacking in a lot of contemporary horror which is so often about pared down prose, passive authorial voices, and free indirect narratives which tend towards making the reader do the story telling.

At the end of “The Rape Waved Yellow”, you shift from past tense to present tense. There is a similar shift in “Who Begat Crow Man”, and again in “Sac.” What were you getting at with that shift? 
Although there are obvious problems using the past tense in fiction, I find that the shift to the present very effectively draws the reader into the action. Also it can be disorientating, which is useful in this collection where I’m quite deliberately challenging the reader’s perceptions of time.

You use the second person perspective in several stories, “The Function Room” and “The Butcher’s Progress” among others. You don’t see it used very often in fiction. Why do you use it here?
I use the second person perspective for impact, in a similar way to adopting a shift in sense. It draws the reader into the story. It also challenges me as a writer, the second person perspective is really difficult to do effectively.

You seem to be playing with time and the roles of character. It seems that in Leddington, time is fluid. And the characters either become reprogrammed by the Function Room or are recast in different roles. For instance, Carla is under the knife, so to speak, in “Sac” and she reappears later in “The Blood Promise.” Or we see Maudlin literally filled with live birds in “Who Begat Crow Man” where he is saved by his friend Spine; we encounter them years later in “A Development” where Maudlin plays the gracious host to Spine. Can you go into this a bit more?
The most honest answer to this question will perhaps disappoint; most of the stories weren’t written with the intention of being collected together and so continuity was never considered when I was writing them. But what you say of Leddenton is true; time is fluid there and the characters can be recast – Leddenton is quite obviously not real and so in a sense continuity does not matter, in fact its absence benefits the overall work, making the town even stranger. But from another angle, I think in life we often encounter and re-encounter people cast from the same mould and so in fiction they might as well be the same person, over and over again.

What is your experience publishing through Smashwords, and Lulu, etc? Why did you go that route as opposed to a more traditional one?
I don’t really have any experience of either except to say enough copies haven’t been shifted yet for me to receive a royalty check from the publisher. Personally, as a reader, I’ve bought from neither, though I do shop in the kindle store. I think e-books are great as long they’re priced appropriately. I don’t buy paperbacks at all nowadays, it’s either hardback or e-book.

What else are you working on?
I’m working on a piece inspired by HHhH by Laurent Binet, it’s about a quest to find Arthur Machen and Edward Lucas White.

And for those process nerds, what tools, programs, etc. do you use in your writing? Do you write longhand first or do you dump it straight onto the computer?
At the time that these stories were written I was writing pretty much every evening and into early morning. The stories here aren’t quite as spontaneous as Kerouac’s, but the editing is only light and they were written quickly, as I’ve said. A story now takes me months to finish; partly because I’m writing less, but also because I’m editing more. Every 2 weeks I have at least 1 full day of writing at the computer with the house to myself. Typically I will spend 10 hours typing up the handwritten notes that I’ve made since the last writing day, and bringing everything together. There is an OULIPO program I’ve used a few times for noun swapping, but it wasn’t utilised in The Function Room: The Kollection. There’s a cut-up generator online that I’ve used too, but again, not in the stories collected here.