The Language of the Birds

{ untitled: under the auspices } is a book of auguring, or divination codex, where birds are the words, in particular the common starling (with a few cameos by seagulls & crows). The sequenced set of flight patterns, or murmurations, were captured over the course of the past few years in the skies over Rome, where the starlings winter in the months of October & November.

Coming September 2012 from Calamari Press.

Sex is best when you lose your head

In the past thirty years, the conventional wisdom has been destroyed. The truth is that females of most species actively seek multiple partners to have sex with. If the aim of males is to put their sperm into as many females as possible, females are trying, with equal determination, to get the very best sperm to fertilise their eggs – even if that means having sex with many males in turn.

Ray Bradbury (1938–2012)

I just read Ray Bradbury’s piece in the latest New Yorker the other day, and today he’s gone. I have a few fond memories of Bradbury stories from childhood. I’ve got a picture in my head of the cover of a collection, though I can’t find a picture of it at the moment. Probably the same year I read an awful lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs. And of course The Veldt. 

29 Mini-Essays

My new book, 29 Mini-Essays, is available at Amazon’s Kindle Store. The cover is by Paul Maliszewski, a former editor at McSweeney’s and author of Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders. 29 Mini-Essays contains such gems as

Thought of the Day

It’s okay to stare at a dog’s dick.



In the privacy of his home Jesus wore slacks.

The book is on sale for 99 cents and is free if you are a Prime member.

Help me spread the word. Thanks!

April Holy Foolish Palm Sunday Interview with Patti Smith

An hour-long interview with Patti Smith, endearing and, dare I say, inspirational.

I liked her music less and less after the first brilliant album; that much said, I worshipped her when I was in my early twenties and went to see her perform every chance I had. She was brilliant live. (And I have one of her guitar picks from the Radio Ethiopia tour.)

At bottom I have always admired her terrifically. She is tremendously endearing in this interview — both genuinely, unaffectedly girlish at 65 and mature and wise.

Watch or listen to this interview even if you do so in bits and pieces or while tending to other things.

Offline Friend Request EULA

By my (for reasons that will soon become obvious) Twitter-only friend @ChrisKubica:

For those who asked, here is the EULA to be my friend

If you are my friend offline, you agree:


Your stuff is my stuff. Your food is my food. I can sleep on your bed. I can give you kittens. I can take your kittens. I can play your music and your apps. You will provide cuddling within 4-hour’s notice. I can ride your dog even if he or she is too small when compared to my size. I can eat whatever is in your fridge or on your counter. I can sit on your counter. I can ask you questions. You will provide all answers in writing, orally and on 8-track cassette. I can wear your various clothing. I can has cheeseburgers. I can show you unicorns. I can believe in rainbows. You will believe in rainbows or pretend to believe in rainbows when I am about. I can have your milk and your jewelry. I can call you good and bad names. I can rock in your hammock and borrow your car. You may guard my house. You should buy me marshmallows. You will buy me books, read me books and lend me your books indefinitely. You will lend me everything indefinitely. You will provide me with five copies of the entire universe. . . .

If, having read the EULA, you wish to request offline friendship with Chris: Anyone also not on Facebook, feel free to use my offline Friend Request template (PDF)

Update: Unfriend Request Form

Madame Flamingo

To compliment the Avian Serving Trays, this from a bestiary by Svjetlan Junaković:

And that’s not all—450 years before it’s time, he launched the idea of conceptual art with a brilliant idea: in the book held by madame Flamingo he placed a dedication to beauty and the deep love he felt for her.

More anthropomorphic images from Logos edizioni books here, including drawings from a book by Ericailcane (who I’ve mentioned here before).

Elliott Erwitt on the art of photographic sequencing

The BBC won’t let me embed this video of photographer Elliott Erwitt talking about his book on photographic sequences, Sequentially Yours, but it is beautiful, insightful, and amusing.

The Paris-born photographer, whose Russian-Jewish family emigrated to the US in the late 1930s, got the idea when he was looking through the contact sheets of all his work.

He realised that “sometimes a story is better told by more pictures rather than one”.

The short stories about life and lovers, pets and children were shot all over the world during the past 60 years.

a librarian’s wet dream

A one hundred year-old book has been returned to the Archbishop Marsh’s Library in Dublin:

“The book itself was printed in Basle in 1538, and it was donated by Gulston’s widow in 1635 to his old College, Merton College, Oxford. At some point it was then bought by, or presented to, Narcissus Marsh, who was an Oxford man. Marsh then travelled across the Irish Sea to become Provost of Trinity College Dublin in 1679, and his books came to us when he established his library here in Dublin in 1701. The five volume set of Galen was here until about 100 years ago when one of the volumes was seen to be missing,” Dr McElligott said.

On Friday, a barrister, known only as P.G., who discovered the book returned it to the library. He had purchased it along with an antique mirror at a junk shop in Dublin for 90 euro. He became suspicious and brought the book to the Marsh Library where the librarians recognised it as their own.

from the comments

Joel Bernstein:

All my characters have enormous penises.

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