Sally Forth

Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

Kurt Cobain's Ghost with an Invitation to a Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks by Angela Genusa

"B.L.T.": A Review by Will Layman

Ten Tiny Poems by Brian Beatty

Angry Words from a Gnome Who to This Day Continues to Think the Human Genome Project Was Actually The Human Gnome Project by David Ng

Key Party, N.Y.C., Circa Always by William K. Burnette

A Day on the Phone with Mythological Norse Firewarrior, Bringer of Storms by Aaron Belz

Polish Fact

Major illicit producer of amphetamine for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe.

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Impari L'Italiano
Wham, bam, grazie, signora.
Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004   |    How To

Writers-on-Writing Month

How to Write Gouda

by Tom Robbins*

Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Mushrooms. All day. How do I write so good, you ask, my little inanimate object into whom I will breathe life? By tripping out of my gourd. Woo hoooo. Beluga, beluga, screamed the painted stick. Focus, Tom, Focus. Tom, tom, toooooom tommmmmmmmmmm, tome. I write good. Write good how do I? Good is how I write. Nap time. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. O.K., I’m awake, and less high, not as many Mushrooms. Let me just light this little cigarette here and—voilà! Let’s talk writing. My favorite thing to do is lock myself in a room with all manner of inanimate objects. Occasionally it causes a problem, when it’s not my house, or it’s a stock room at a department store. One of my biggest successes though, was written when I stuck my head in a hobo’s travel gear. What a trip. You know those little handkerchiefs on the end of a stick with the goods in it? It was hobo luggage and a hoot it was. He had a can of beans, and he had a conch shell and he had a dirty sock and he had a painted stick and he had a rusty spoon and he had MUSHROOMS! YAY! So there I was with this hobo’s luggage on my knob. What kind of a story can come out of that? Well, if you eat enough mushrooms, and get punched in the melon enough by an angry hobo, you get a story about a painted stick and a can of beans and a dirty sock and a rusted spoon and a conch shell touring the country in search of God or something. I usually write about religion. Whole lot of stuff to write about religion. I never get shit for it neither. I think that’s because I live in Seattle and everyone thinks it’s the rain or something. Either that or it’s the Mushrooms, YAY! Mushrooms. Tom, tom, tom, eat ’shrooms, Tom ’shrooms. I’ll be back. I’m back. A key to my writing, aside from the aforementioned which I mentioned before, is to think of things as Jim Henson would; make life out of everyday things, then add in some sexual tensions, usually influenced by Cinemax late-evening programming. I like to create a strange character in there too. Something wacky. Not wacky like Garbage Pail Kids, wacky like a former football player who raids Vatican vaults for fun. But don’t use that one, that’s my line. Lines, lines, lines, let’s do lines. Did I mention religion? Anyway, I’m way into religion. It’s silly, you know? Like Silly Putty except it’s religion and so I like to make fun of it. As far as the actual writing goes, I’m a big believer in the scruffier your hair, the shaggier your beard, and the worse your descriptions, the better. Take my friend Charles Dickens for example. The only thing I admire about him is that he has the word Dick cleverly buried in his name. DICK-ins. That’s the name of my next character. I’ll walk you through the process now. Woo hoo. Glory woo, beluga, hornswoggle, pig’s nipples. So there’s this guy named Dick Ins. What’s he do for a living you ask? I’ll tell you, he’s a porn star. But he’s a porn star that moonlights as a hot-dog salesman. He entered the porn industry after what? Well, I would say, he became a porn star after he found out the Bible was anti-porn. Well, hell, he said to himself in the middle of mopping the Vatican floor, (it’s important he be a janitor at the Vatican for some reason I can’t quite comprehend even though he’s my creation). But what’s the story? Well, the story is this: He talks to his hot-dog cart. See he bought this hot-dog cart for fifteen hundred dollars from someone who claimed to be a direct descendant of Jesus but couldn’t get repeat business worth a damn. See the irony? His relative, good ol’ Jesus, got people to follow him everywhere, repeat customers galore, legacy! But this dude, nothing. Ha. Brilliant. So then Dick Ins has this hot-dog cart he calls Dick Ins’s Dogs. And his hot-dog cart, you see, when people eat them, they see visions. Like I am write now, mushrooms, whooooo. Mushrooms, Tom, Tom. Then you let the ’shrooms raid you then whooooo, tired, tired, must drool. Sleepy. More talk write later. Later write. You see? Write, Right. Must order pupu platter. Chinese. Mushroom. Vroom. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Tom Robbins is an awful novelist.