Spoiler Alert

Exhibit 1.9.11

[SPOILER ALERT]

 

rats-nest-cover-196x300

The Literary Review recently posted some old [SPOILER ALERT]s on their website. The chapbook from Dzanc is long out of print, I believe, but these were really fun to write with Laura Eve, and I’m not going to let an opportunity to feel nostalgic about them slip away.

Comment / Posted in Fiction, Laura Eves, Spoiler Alert

Exhibit 1.5.5

I Only Write to Say I Love Me

Sorry for more self promotion but I’m really excited about this:


I present to you [SPOILER ALERT] out now from Dzanc Books. Done with the brilliant Laura Eve Engel, it’s 36 collaborative prose pieces the likes of which you can check out at DIAGRAM here and Sixth Finch here.

And read an interview we did about it here.

And order it here already.

Much thanks to Matt Bell, Dan Wickett, Steve Seighman, and everyone else at Dzanc.

1 Comment / Posted in Laura Eves, Little Books, Spoiler Alert

Exhibit 9.16

Redbelt plot synopsis.

Redbelt runs a failing jujitsu dojo. One night, a harmless but drugged-out lawyer wanders into the dojo and misinterprets a jujitsu student’s rather aggressive efforts to take her jacket as an attack, picks up his gun (did I mention he’s a cop? He’s a cop), and immediately fires it–vaguely in the cop’s direction–breaking Redbelt’s window. Everyone freaks out and a lot of heated conversations occur about how this should be “covered up” since everyone erroneously assumes that they’d have to charge the lawyer with the attempted murder of the cop. The cop decides nothing happened and Redbelt is so overwhelmed with his bromanship that he decides to make the cop a black belt.

Later that same night, Redbelt goes to a club to ask to borrow money. He also wants to make the club pay the cop who apparently had done some security work for them but was never paid. That doesn’t really matter. Okay, maybe it does. It’s unclear. Anyway, Redbelt ends up saving Tim Allen in a fight. Tim Allen is a movie star who rewards Redbelt by inviting him to dinner and giving him a $20,000 watch. Redbelt, whose honor won’t allow him to do, well, anything, gives the watch to the cop to make up for recommending him for that bouncer job that he never got paid for. Or something. Anyway, Redbelt goes to dinner with Tim Allen and a host of Mamet regulars and he and his wife make significant business and personal connections with them. At the end of dinner, Redbelt regales everyone with an ancient Japanese jujitsu tradition of picking colored marbles to determine handicaps before a fight.

The next day, the cop comes in and tells Redbelt he’s been suspended. Turns out the watch Tim Allen gave Redbelt was hot. Some talk ensues. Everyone agrees the watch was hot. Way hot.

Some other stuff happens, but just know that Redbelt goes to dinner with Tim Allen’s manager. No wait. Hold everything. First, Redbelt meets the drugged out lawyer in his dojo because she might want to learn how to fight. She freaks out and we don’t know why until she screams that she was raped. Redbelt then reenacts the rape without her consent and shows her how to escape from it. This cures her rape, I guess. Anyway, that happens.

So the dinner. Redbelt tells Tim Allen’s manager (Joe Mantenga) that the watch was hot and that it got his buddy in trouble. Joe Mantenga says he’ll take care of this right away, gets up from the table, never comes back. Redbelt apparently waits for hours. The next day, Tim Allen and his wife have changed all of their phone numbers and nobody will return Redbelt’s calls. Redbelt’s wife blames Redbelt. Oh, and they need money. Like, a lot of money.

Redbelt notices that his ancient Japanese fighting tradition is suddenly being used in an ultimate fighting championship-esque promotion. He gets the lawyer to go with him to threaten a lawsuit against the fight promoters. While there, he sees Joe Mantenga and realizes that’s who stole his idea. Before they can arrange a settlement, however, the evil promoters pull out a file full of evidence about the window shooting and say that if Redbelt doesn’t drop it that they’ll make sure the cop is kicked off the force for not reporting a crime and that the lawyer goes to prison for attempted murder. Redbelt is bummed but not…

…as bummed as the cop who kills himself. There’s a suicide note that leads us to believe he did it so as not to dishonor the dojo. It’s unclear why he’d feel this way (the watch?) but whatever. The cop’s wife is really concerned about her bills. She appears to have several bills which she gives Redbelt. Redbelt really wants to help her pay these bills so he decides to enter the ultimate fighting championship thing.

So he’s going to sell out his honor. But then he learns the fight is rigged for him to win so he’ll get the money and go away. He can’t do this so he leaves.

But then he comes back and fights his way through the security guards so he can get to the ring and tell the crowd how everything is fixed. But then the world’s greatest fighter (oh, which is his wife’s brother, you should know that) stands in front of him. They fight and everyone in the arena watches. It gets broadcast in extreme closeups around the world. It’s unclear what is happening until Redbelt wins. No one makes a noise. You know how sometimes when something shocking starts happening and you don’t really know what’s going on but it keeps building and getting more and more exciting until it ends in a moment of sublime catharsis and you feel absolutely no desire to exclaim or clap or move? It’s like that.

Anyway, Redbelt gets a hug from the lawyer who is apparently now better than his wife. Oh, I should mention that his wife was the one who sold Redbelt out to the fight promoters. I guess because she wanted to make clothes with Tim Allen’s wife. I should have mentioned that before. I think Tim Allen and Joe Mantenga wanted this information in case Redbelt blew the whistle on that one time they bought a hot watch (if only the cop hadn’t gone to the one pawnshop in the world that doesn’t take stolen goods he’d still be alive and paying bills).

That’s not really the point now anyway. This is the climax. Redbelt climbs into the ring and asks for the mic to be lowered. Oh, and a guy who is the greatest fighter ever is there and suddenly appears in the ring to give him the redbelt. Oh, before that he got a different belt we know is worth $250,000 from a different fighter as he walked to the ring. This was either before or after he got hugged by the lawyer. It was a long walk to the ring. I may have left out a few other major plot points (the magician!) but that pretty much covers it.

The End.

Comment / Posted in Cures, Movies, Spoiler Alert