Mike Daily's new novel and double CD boxset, ALARM, is set to print any day now. I've been keeping track of it's progress since Daily first showed me ALARM in its manuscript form, in two racecar red three-ring binders. I've seen him perform parts of ALARM live, and I've sat in with him a few times as well, knobbing various electronic devices while he spun the tale. It was always the propulsion of the narrator (and what he calls the alter-narrator, a voice projected behind [BRACKETS IN CAPITAL LETTERS]) that kept me and the audience into it. I asked Mike when the final print will be through, and what's the latest. Here's his update:

I'm guest blogging on Claire Zulkey's blogand doing another article in

"your book is a complex beast."
--Kevin Sampsell

The complexity caused delays w/ printer. The 15 copies I got on friday were fairly tight but the FC2 appendix was a bit jacked. I'll send you one of the next batch. I'm getting excited about it again.
End of the novel blues lighter. Going to give copies to the Hold Steady tonight, they are headlining crystal ballroom. O'Grady will be performing at the FC2 thing again this year.
Garett Strickland asked me last night. Learning new sections of alarm so I can make new videos. Every performance is documented.

XXXXXXTRAVELOGUEXXXXXX. Los Viajes del Santo Monstrogringo Snorkeling on Iki Island renews my faith in this sepia world.

This last weekend I took my lovely girlfriend Asako to explore the charms of Iki Island (pronounced EE-KEY, not icky, for all you anthropocentric foot scratchers) in Nagasaki ken, and for the first time in quite a while I forgot that I am "one of these things that's not like the other", that is, a gaijin. I never liked that Sesame Street episode. That was Sesame Street wasn't it? For the most part it was a great experience growing up and watching kermit the frog, reporting from Sesame Street blah blah blah. Of course the classic Jim Henson Sesame Street is what I'm talking about. No I'm not. I'm supposed to be reporting on Iki Island (scratch, scratch). Right. So our plan was to go snorkeling, and of course we had to call and confirm the day before, and the day of as well. Yes, we're coming. But then the dude (Habu-san) picked us up from the hotel, patiently waited for us at least five minutes (which if you don't know, in Japan waiting five minutes for someone is socially equivalent to waiting an hour in the States, it's pretty rude). He wasn't miffed by the lateness, then it turned out he was a swell guy on top of it. He patiently waited for us while we took a lifetime to get our wetsuits on (what are they doing in the showers? I bet he was thinking) I proudly emerged to the front of the shop wearing the zipper down the front, which I knew was backwards, but Habu-san recommended I turn it around, smartly suggesting that my neck would get wet if I didn't. And I certainly didn't come here to get wet. Then he gave us a crash course on snorkeling, as it was our first time. Shape your mouth like the French vowel "u", clamp the rubber around your teeth and bite. Breathe gently. We waddled our way in the sand, mouthing our best French vowels, tripping over our rubber flippers, choking on saltwater, holding hands in the midst of the trauma. My biggest obstacle was trying not to hyperventilate while the saltwater invaded from around my lips and through the tube. I nearly drowned about eight times, a testament to my outdoorsy prowess. Marinesports Moscovich. It's the new me. In fact we signed up for the kayaking as well, but if I could drown with flippers and a lifejacket on, surely I would sink straight to the bottom of the sea without my beloved flippers. After the first few attempts at eating moss, shedding skin and bleeding, roughed up against the reef by the waves and the invisible lightening watersnakes, we finally got the hang of it and saw a fish. Asako pointed exitedly at the fish, as it swam in the monitors of our ridiculous silent film, it was about the size of a nickel, and totally in black and white, not like what I saw on the flyers. I didn't know everything underwater is black and white until that day, really I had no idea. Invigorating and humbling both. Actually it was more like sepia. We did get to see some lettuce-like seaweed coming up from the ocean bottom a good ten or twenty meters below. Another highlight was this half-bottle half-shell organism lying on the beach afterwards (pictured above left), which confirms everything I thought I didn't know about quantum physics, chaos theory, Ken Wilber and Reaganomics. The little guys inside the shells poked their heads out and I think they had long tongues like spider dicks (or miniature horse dicks if horses were miniature seacreatures that lived inside shells or people's minds who have the talent to nearly drown wearing flippers and a lifejacket) which like, totally creeped out my girlfriend. Later we went inside for cool beers and chatted with the truly amiable staff until Habu-san gave us a ride back to the port. I'm not kidding. Living in Hakata makes me particularly sensitive to people who are genuinely friendly, it's like watching a midget do a superjump to a thirteenth floor elevator then opening the door for you. Really quite out of the way friendly, Habu-san and staff at Hawaii Bar renewed my faith in life on this archipelagos.

Highly recommended: Iki Island's Bar Hawaii Marinesports.

After reading Raymond Federman's recent novel about his life on a farm in Nazi occupied France, Return To Manure, I've decided that the secret to the brilliance in his writing is really deceptively simple. It's all about the numbers. I've calculated a rough word count for his recent novel, Return To Manure, thusly: an average of 12 words per line, an average of 25 lines per page, multiplied by 200 pages = Federman's novel Return to Manure. I believe that after reading and re-reading Return to Manure, the English language rewrite of his French novel Retour Au Fumier, the secret to his brilliance lies in the numbers. The word count. What does it all add up to? Roughly speaking, according to my average calculations, the rough word count for Federman's novel Return to Manure is 58,000 words. I believe that is the secret to the digressive brilliance of Return to Manure, a novel by Raymond Federman, an American writer a native of France famous in Germany and France winner of numerous awards and a brilliant digressive novel called Return to Manure and thirteen other novels. He currently lives in California.

I sent a letter to Raymond Federman, author of his recent novel Return to Manure, explaining my calculations. This was his response:

my dear David that's what writing is all about
to find a way of accumulating words on paper

12 words per line
25 lines per page

at the end of a couple of years you have a book

you should count the words and the lines
in the new novel I just finished

it's 204 pages long
I wrote it in French

it took me exactly 157 days to write it
therefore less words per line
less lines per page

it's that simple

everything I write is true - more or less -- though I agree with you that Return to Manure may read like a true memoire -- the way it functions however is that Federman and Erica [the fictitious ones] go in search of the farm in order to verify the bunch of souvenirs [more or less true] Federman [the real one] has in his head - but of course when they find the farm the souvenirs no longer match the reality of the place

you got that

or is that too confusing

wait till you read the book I just finished which related my childhood -- that is to say the 13 years [or was it 14?] that precede the closet -- it call CHUT: HISTOIRE D'UNE ENFANCE -- yes in French. It's a the publisher's now.

the most important - and you say it - is that it rings true

as D.H. Lawrence once put it

Trust the tale
don't trust the writer

i'm a foreign scum
you're a foreign scum
go to japan and you'll
quickly become
foreign scum, too
everybody foreign scum blues!

yo soy extranjero
tu tambien eres extranjero
si vayas a japon
cada dia sera un pinche extranjero
todo la gente tenemos el mismo sufrimiento
de los pinches extranjeros

The Unknown Comic

Excerpt from the novel Castro's Weatherman:

Again give him the alpha state the gentle landing on the Mare Triantium. Set the reprogramming dials on high. This is your brother. Repeat. Brother. Clone? No. Father. Vitamins? This is your Mr. Dilligent. Set the controls on high. We’re setting it as high at it will go, sir. Good. Repeat. Now with the images of the family home. And the poop under the carpets. Yes, the first house. The second house. The merry-go-round accident. The bicycle accidents. All. Repeat. We’re afraid your son has suffered a concussion, sir. He’ll have to take these for the rest of his life. Ease him momentarily into a hyperaware Cretenum Taruntius. Good. Swing him down from Crysallis, slowly into Alpetragius. Nice. Back to the Rear Martonis. And repeat. With the strawberry. The baby. The strawberry. The cries, the cries, the cries. Rewind. Ease him into a casual alpha. Lower pulse, breathing normal. Lower him into the water, easy now. Easy. Okay. Let go of the ark. Nola, let go of the ark. Am I going to have to detain you for subversion? Who’s side are you on here? The strawberry. The cries. The cries. Rewind from the top. Replay. The father. The garage, the tools, the paintings, the new girlfriend. The lovers. He’ll have to take these for the rest of his life. I’m sorry to say this. The stray cats, the first family home. The merry-go-round accident. Monday shephard’s pie. Rewind. Stoned again, looking for a virgin to huff. Bad habits start early. He’s a bummer he’s a bummer he’s a bummer every summer he’s a loyal plastic. Lower him down into the Marsh of Sleep, the Marsh of Decay. Alone in the bedroom, smoking out of a Taco Inn ashtray. Aluminum brain damage, Manhattan, Kansas. Iowa City. Paris, Texas, nickel in the water supply. Nowhere, Somewhere. Petinis Australagus. Begging from the rooftops of Lawrence. Lost in the soundtrack to Slacker. Scratching at the boots of his jailer, the first clone he wanted to fuck. Give him the images of the first clone he wanted to fuck, again. Again give him the treatment. The tenderloin steak. The alpha state gentle landing on the Mare Triantium. A stacked game of Monopoly, he’s building a ten story leggo lamp to pay off his debt. Excruciating unfulfilled lust of teenager. Medicine, turn on the medicine photographs, associate with relief. Headaches, nostalgia, psychosis, associate with health. Religion, contemplation, associate with nerves. Racked. Lower the body into the pine box, sending the message of cheapest burial. Pincher to the incher. Now the father. The scent of the vitamins under his nose, associate clone. Robot. Inhuman. Clarity of logic, emphasise logical thinking. Zoom out. Ease down from the dreamstate, ease out of the alpha, gently, up and up and up into the body. Resting normally.
tuesday. eating in.

6:67 a.m
pissed and pissing in the Yodobashi parkinglot
urethra firetracks

6:78 a.m
still pissed examining random love hotel dungeons, on video

REST……………………..2850 yen

7:77 a.m
besamé mucho on infinite repeat
island of men with mp3’s for heads
the sun’s rays are pixels raining down untitled new folders

8:64 a.m
playing the electric fence with a tarpaulin dump transistor
seventy yellow and orange
ballons release from faux-spanish teal towers
flatulence ignited from two-timing towers
from babies with hips for teeth

119:76 a.m
wrinkled took off her pants
pointy missle granny breasts
pointing the way to gibraltar
outdoor shower beach all eyes
who’s that pointy-breasted gramma
on the new path to hell all eyes
on her alzheimers rum gun
on her alzheimers grin not knowing
on the new path to hell all eyes
on her alzheimers from where did she
from why when
the next game of bridge all eyes
yelling “who’s hiding the soap?” all eyes
who’s that gramma pointy breasts
showering on the beach all eyes
“marmy needs the soap,”
volleyball kids under her legs
sandy ball rolling calves touching
“i wanna be your barbie
i wanna be your toy
fuck me, play me, dump me…”
crack your ribs in tow just glancing at the contract
give you cataracts when she loans you her sunglasses
crack you on the bosom with her
plutonium rubber druck