Friday, June 19, 2009

We're Here, We're Queer, We're Taking ELVIS With Us When We Leave!!!!! OR, Decoding THE PURPLE GANG 

OK, so, my new book Advanced Elvis Course is OUT, and I do mean OUT, as the reviews (while they've been really good reviews) are finally mentioning the queer content of the book. Well, it's making some Elvis fans INSANE with rage that I would DARE make Elvis MY OWN, for me, as who I am. I've gotten called Faggot by a few, but I was called Faggot more often than my actual name in high school, so, eh, it has no real bullet penetration for me anymore.

One dude wrote to me, "You know Elvis was straight, don't you?"

First of all, NO, I don't know that, and neither does Dude. I think it's VERY SAFE to say that YES, Elvis liked women, and liked them A LOT! But who is to say that he didn't also like men?


"Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone
Little Joe was blowin on his slide trombone. (yeah, BONE all right!)
The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang, (OOOO! SOUNDS HOT!)
The whole rhythm section was the purple gang." PURPLE GANG?

There's not A SINGLE female pronoun or female name in this entire song, I challenge ANYONE to find her between the tromBONE and the purple gang! But wait, we're not finished (this will break the Elvis snow globe open!):

"Number 47 said to Number 3:
You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see.
I sure would be delighted with your company,
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me."

WHAT????????? Number 47 and Number 3, those are prisoner numbers, right? There's no such thing as a co-ed prison in 2009, and I certainly don't believe there was one in 1957 either! But wait, we're not finished:

"Shifty Henry said to Bugs, for heavens sake,
No ones lookin, now's our chance to make a break.
Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, nix nix,
I wanna stick around a while and get my kicks."

BUGSY is so turned on he's not even interested in escaping when he's got the chance! OH MY GOD THIS IS SUCH A FAG SONG GIVE ME A BREAK THEY'RE ALL FAGS! This song is Prison Fantasy Fag Studies 101. "Jailhouse Rock" is a FAG song, END of fucking story!

AH, but wait, there's even more! There's THIS mysterious section:

"The sad sack was sittin on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin all alone.
The warden said, hey, buddy, don't you be no square.
If you can't find a partner use a wooden chair."

What's HE CRYING ABOUT!? "...weeping all alone." Was he just gang raped in the shower? He makes me a little sad. He makes me want to walk into the song, sit with him, hold his hand, and tell him, "It's OK Honey, it only hurts the first time. You'll see Sweety, it's going to get easier AND EASIER! You might even get to where you look FORWARD to shower time!"

Well, as you can imagine, this did NOT go over well with Dude, deconstructing "Jailhouse Rock" for him in this manner, to which he replied with the single word "PERVERT!" Ah, yes, Dude got that one right at least! Good one Dude, good one! All I'm trying to do is open Dude's mind, well, and his sphincter!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This author photo for my new book advanced ELVIS course (Soft Skull Press), was taken by THE AMAZING Heather Raquel Phillips. Heather will be selling prints of Elvis impersonators alongside copies of my new book at THE ELVIS SOLSTICE CELEBRATION!

THIS FRIDAY, June 19th, 6pm
at MOONSTONE Arts Center
(2nd floor of the old Robin's Bookstore space)

110A S. 13th Street
(on 13th between Chestnut and Sansom)



Saturday, June 13, 2009

the best... 

...speech I've seen so far this year to a graduating class, click here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday- Jenn McCreary's :ab ovo: Book Release Party 

Night Flag presents

Jenn McCreary & Sunshine O'Donnell
Sunday June 14 @ 7:30pm
L'Etage (6th & Bainbridge)

Jenn McCreary
is the author of :ab ovo:, published by Dusie Press. She is also the author of two chapbooks: errata stigmata (Potes & Poets Press), and four o'clock pocket chiming (Beautiful Swimmer Press); the e-chapbook :Maps & Legends: (Scantily Clad Press) and a doctrine of signatures (Singing Horse Press). Her poetry has been published in magazines including Combo, Lungfull!, Tool: A Magazine, POM2, So To Speak, Tangent, & How2. She lives with her family in Philadelphia where she co-edits ixnay press with Chris McCreary, works for the Mural Arts Program, and serves on the board of the Philly Spells Writing Center.

Sunshine O'Donnell... and yes, Sunshine is her real name, given to her by hippie parents in 1971. Despite this, O’Donnell has developed a long and diverse professional history in both teaching and writing, including the publication of her novel, Open Me, which was selected for the 2007 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Series and has been translated into Dutch and Hebrew. Her nonfiction work was recently published in W.W. Norton’s Anthology of Best Creative Nonfiction and has also been featured in magazines and online. For the past fifteen years, O’Donnell has been teaching creative writing to underserved children in poverty-stricken schools and residential facilities throughout Pennsylvania through The Coffeehouse Project, a mobile literacy classroom she founded in 1994. She has published hundreds of literary magazines of creative writing by abused and abandoned youth and has been honored for her work as an agent of social change. O’Donnell lives in the Germantown section of Philadelphia with her husband and awesome son, Kieran.

See you there.

- Frank Sherlock

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kelly Writers House has done it again! 

Magic is a word I want us to reclaim from rolling eyes. It's a word we can use everyday, make it everyday to us in every way in making poetry strong enough to need no other magic. It's my extreme pleasure to have met an elder who has been cooking all the best sense of magic for many decades, strengthening poetry for us all, everyday. Tony Green needs little prompting from us to pay attention, as once he gets going we truly are in his realm, we're right with him. And he's never asking that we orbit him, but orbit poetry with him. Does that make sense? I WANT IT TO MAKE SENSE, but it can if you look at him on You Tube, click HERE.

This photograph by Al Filreis is of Tony Green reading one of his Poetry Tubes, which you can see on the You Tube link. Another link HERE, and another HERE.

Once the PENNSOUND Page is up I'll post it here, as you will want to see his reading, and the interview with Al Filreis that took place at Kelly Writers House today. Much was said, and I don't want to ruin it for you, but the Robert Creeley highlights, the history of Green's Tube Poetry highlights, well, it's all highlights.

The generosity of Tony Green is part of the joy of this day, his handing his beautiful, handmade Poetry Tubes for us to pass around and look at closely. He gave the Poetry Tube in this photograph to Ish Klein when the three of us went out for lunch. Ish then donated it to THE PENN BOOK CENTER at the corner of Sansom and 34th Streets, SO EVERY POET IN PHILLY, AND EVERY POET VISITING PHILLY, GET TO THE PENN BOOK CENTER TO SEE THE TONY GREEN POETRY TUBE FOR YOURSELF! And while you're there please support one of Philadelphia's BEST and last independent bookstores (THE BEST POETRY SECTION IN TOWN!)

One of the most generous moments was hearing him discuss NOT fitting into the university worlds he was working in, his work, his poems in particular NOT acceptable. He shows strength by having lived it, strength by sheer example.

Ish and I then took Tony Green to the Sun Ra exhibit at the ICA that Frank Sherlock has been raving about. Frank's been raving for good reason, IT'S A MUST SEE! Sun Ra, self proclaimed extraterrestrial has a giant fingerprint left behind. The film THE MAGIC SUN (1966) of Sun Ra & his Solar Arkestra reverberates in me even now, and I want to go back for more of it!

Seeing the Sun Ra exhibit after experiencing Tony Green's own extra-extraterrestrial experiments for winding the terrestrial upward was nothing short of perfect! Here's a small sample from his book 12 MiCRoChips & 2 PIEs:

impotence gardenias

so fucking needy this

mine was nearly cylinder

l'apres-midi d'un beige

watching new entrants

listening foam standing

de-eroticised mating in

step by instep

hesitation stop-time

square white fingernail

our world revolves around you

leather pouches shoulder

cardigan strawberries

gold rims fruit tartlet

cafe fug fusion rock

knees read newspaper

universe no borders

undisseminatable un-

reality day-time

box haircut high-rollers

weaponry water sip

this room was serviced by Tina

Aesthetic Ideology

passionate real estate

the sensory appearances of

what it enacts

there is to go on

standing underneath

double blind referees

lay crate flat

they are not signifiers

foundations of grammataology

I trust everything is to your liking

Many thanks to The Kelly Writers House for doing all they do to bring the magic to us.


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