Gertrude Stein Larry King

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”

— Gertrude Stein

Issue thirty-two of Otoliths has just gone live, a few days early. This issue contains four of my works: three poems and a video poem. These are part of a series that began with “Gertrude Steinbot Online“, a track I collaborated to produce for the Second Land album, The Copycat Sessions.

The video that appears in Otoliths was created using CrazyTalk Animator, one of its stock animation characters, and a still image from the Larry King Live television program. The audio was created with a text-to-speech reader and a handheld audio recorder. The text is excerpted from Gertrude Stein’s 1933 self-published work entitled “A Long Gay Book.”

One of the poems that appears in Otoliths is entitled “Mick Jagger vs. Gertrude Stein” because “Angie,” the 1973 song by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and “Susie Asado,” the poem written in 1913 by Gertrude Stein, both have some traits in common. For example, they’re both named after women and they’re both repetitive. With this mashup, I imagine that the two works are sharing a duet with each other.

Otoliths contains what it describes as “a variety of what can be loosely described as e-things, that is, anything that can be translated (visually at this stage) to an electronic platform.”

The issue maintains the magical mix of styles & media Otoliths is known for, with work from Jennie Cole, Michael D. Goscinski, Howie Good, Kyle Hemmings, Eric Hoffman, Raymond Farr, Jim Meirose, John M. Bennett, Craig Cotter, Philip Byron Oakes, Jack Galmitz, A. J. Huffman, Reed Altemus, Anne-Marie JEANJEAN, Paul Summers, Philip Terry & Tom Jenks, Miro Sandev, Lee Slonimsky, Joshua Comyn, Zachary Scott Hamilton., SS Prasad, Michael Berton, Marthe Reed, Nicola Griffin, Owen Bullock, John Martone, Louise Landes Levi, Kate Tough, Alex Stolis, Elizabeth Allen, Bobbi Lurie, Cecelia Chapman, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Catherine Vidler, H. Mark Webster, Adam Fieled, Joel Chace, Carol Stetser, dan raphael, Corey Wakeling, Taylor Reid, Johannes Bjerg, Mariapia Fanna Roncoroni, sean burn, Felino A. Soriano, Leigh Herrick, John Pursch, Mark Cunningham, Tony Beyer, Vernon Frazer, J. D. Nelson, Richard Kostelanetz, Lakey Comess, Andrew Brenza, Jeff Harrison, Darrell Petska, Marc Thompson, Spencer Selby, Katrinka Moore, Michael Brandonisio, Eryk Wenziak & Amy Gentile, Branko Gulin, Bogdan Puslenghea, Caleb Puckett, Bob Heman, Marty Hiatt, Gene Flenady, Tim Wright, Collin Schuster, bruno neiva, Geraldine Burrowes, Dylan Kinnett, & Aditya Bahl.

There’s a maxim out there, variously attributed, which says: “serious writers should keep their work in circulation until it either sells or the ink wears off”. It can be difficult and time consuming to keep that circulation going, especially if you’re trying to get a variety of things published. There are so many important things to remember. To record all this information, there are so many different apps available, but none of them seemed perfect for me. So, I built my own database. I call it “bestrew.” Bestrew is a database designed to help writers, or other creators, to track their work, its submissions and the results. In summary, Bestrew is designed to track three things, along with several details about each:

  1. What have you created? (“works”)
  2. Where have you sent your work or where might you send it? (“venues”)
  3. Which works have you sent to which venues and what happened? (“submissions”)

I built it for myself to use and for me it works pretty well, but there is definitely room to grow. Currently, it’s just a database built to work with SQLite, so if you know how to use SQLite then you’re able to use it. I hope that it can be made easier to use so I’m sharing this database in the hopes of attracting a community around the idea. Perhaps we can devise an open source application to help ordinary writers to stay organized?

Download Bestrew v0.8-beta from GitHub and let me know what you think of the idea in the comments.

Fair warning: this is going to be one of my geekier posts. Let’s get to it shall we? At the beginning of 2014, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to do this year, making the usual resolutions and so on. To record those thoughts, I opened up my trusty todo.txt file, rattled […]


It’s surprisingly easy to create an index of first lines. If each of your poems is a separate text file, then a handy command line trick will produce an index of first lines. If you have all your poems in a single Microsoft Word document, you can use the index feature.

Editorially, an online application for writing collaboratively, has announced that it will close down soon. This is the trouble with online writing apps: if you’ve got your documents stored with them, you’ll need an exit strategy, because the service just might go away.