Hail Weaponeers! This post marks the first video appearance on Weaponizer of some of Scotland's finest poets, collecting under the banner of the mighty BIG WORD. Big Word ran for more than a decade in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, hosting performances from across the range of Scottish poetry - funny poets, sensual poets, angry poets, experimental poets, hip-hop poets - BIG WORD had them all. Set up and run by (at different times) Jenny Lindsay, Jem Rolls and Anita Govan, BIG WORD was the longest running and arguably the best poetry night in Scotland. On a personal level, BIG WORD's Jem and Jenny helped me realise my potential as a poet, and took me under their wing from the very first Slam I attended. They'll be sorely missed!
Luckily for you, my Weapon friends, I recorded some (pretty bad quality) videos of some of the perfromers at the final BIG WORD, which took place last week at The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh. Although BIG WORD has now run its course, the poets and performers involved in this seminal night are still very much alive and alliterating, at clubs, cafes and cabarets near you.
On the 15th of May, BIG WORD founder and jet-setting international megastar of verse Jem Rolls comes to Edinburgh to perform at The Jazz Bar, premiering his new touring show, HOW I STOPPED WORRYING AND LEARNED TO LOVE THE MALL. He will be ably supported by Jenny Lindsay, and The Chemical Poets (my little crew of hip-hop weirdos, featuring Tickle, Harlequinade and myself - Texture).
For now though, Weaponizer is proud to present the mighty JL Williams, reading two poems - THIS IS THE BODY and ARCADIA, TEXAS. JL's sensual style and hyper-literate wordplay combine to deliver a perfume-scented smack in the gut, alternately caressing you and grabbing you by the hair. Enjoy!
THIS IS THE BODY
Warren Ellis linked to this video on his site - it's a preview for a new film called Schroedinger's Girl, independently produced in the UK by Huw Bowen of Sundog Industries. Looks pretty sweet to me, can't wait to see the full movie.
Hail Weaponeers! New fiction uploaded to the main site today:
The final two parts of JL Williams' Nightmares sequence of Flash Fiction pieces: Haircut and The Nutcracker, Part 2. Bound to creep you out and make your head swim. Dont go into the woods alone.
New short story from Xavier Toby, the antipodean Hercules of prose who brought you My Friend Danny a few months ago. The Normal Eric Jenkins, a twisted tale of high-school bullies and self-reflexive revenge. Bitter twisted, horribly fucked up and uncomfortably hilarious...
Plus, more internet gubbins from everyone's fave deity, Jesus, including Chuck Norris' suspect endorsement of Mike Huckabee.
Thanks for reading...
Our friends over at the Invisible College have kindly provided a permanent link to their ever-growing collection of videos about weird stuff. Which is nice. It will now sit at the bottom of the Blog here, so even if there isn't a new Invisibles post for you to enjoy, you can alwasy find say, a biography of Nick Cave, or a history of Hindu Cosmology when you need it.
A preview of the forthcoming movie of The Spirit, as conceptualized and directed by Frank Miller. Using the same techniques as Sin City, it does however seem that Miller's own brand of gritty, macho mythmaking is the raison d'etre behind the project. A shame - would have been nicer to have included some of Eisner's more delicate, sociological themes, or even some of the comedy caper stylings of the hugely entertaining run by Darwyn Cooke.
As Warren Ellis said on Twitter:"Apparently the city is his mother and his lover. So it's a film about motherfuckers. Cute."
So, after losing 250gigs of data after kicking my Seagate Hard Disk, I bought one of these babies. Interestingly enough, the installation disc came with a video presentation about period information doubling. Wow, so far so Alan Moore.
Anyway, I can drop this fucker from 3 metres without losing all that hentai I spent so long illegally downloading. Joy!
Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, on The Creator of The Universe as Estate Agent...
And a wee bonus: The first part of the 'Four Horseman' debate involving Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Click the video for the other 11 parts of the discussion.
Definitely this round's best competitor, The Erebus Effect is a beautifully crafted psychodrama in space, with weird visual ninja references and much blood. I want to see more of this. Please go vote for The Erebus Effect today on Zuda!
Battle Pope is based on the comic by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. It's actually pretty cool, they've stayed faithful to the original, and the animation's not bad. The basic premise? After the rapture, God appoints a hard drinking, muscle-bound womanizer as the Battle Pope, defending mankind against the demon hordes with the help of his retarded, hot-dog loving sidekick Jesus.
More available at the Spike TV site. Kirkman fans should check out his new fan site, Kirkmania.
Warren Ellis posted these links on MySpace today, they're some rather fantastic examples of his short fiction which I'm sure you'll find instructive and entertaining. Ellis says: "Those of you who read my novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN will hopefully remember Falconer, the weird "detective" whom Mike McGill meets on a plane. Falconer actually started out as a character whom I wrote flash-fictions around as warm-up exercises. If you never read my LiveJournal, then you probably never saw Falconer."
The Return of Falconer
Springtime for Falconer
Falconer In Love
The Joy of Falconer
Well, the day has finally come, www.weaponizer.co.uk is now up and running! I'm really pleased with the way the site looks and feels - hopefully you'll find the new interface a bit less confusing than the current Blogger design. In the next few days, I'll be updating the links at the side of this blog to channel back into the main site, so if you're using any old urls for stories or columns, you'll need to update them by going to the main site, or following the new links.
I'll still be blogging here, and providing posts from regular contributors, Invisibles. Jesus and other regular columnists (who you'll be meeting soon) will be over on the main site.
I'll get round to setting up a mailing list soon, but for now here's a little teaser of what's to come on Weaponizer...
- Features about the best up-and-coming and established musicians, writers, film-makers and artists - check out our latest feature, a 2-part interview with Triple Darkness members Cyrus Malachi and Melanin 9, two of the most uncompromising and gifted rappers the UK has ever produced.
- New fiction from Xavier Toby, JL Williams, Harlequinade, Grimly Whetfox and myself - including a few of the long-promised science fiction stories I've been talking about.
- Free downloads of music by unsigned artists.
- Web comics - which I can't tell you anything about right now, other than to say watch out for me running around Edinburgh dressed in a bike helmet, carrying some nunchuks. Brap!
- And of course, more internet madness from Jesus 'Hellboy 2' Christ.
- The new links page is also a lot more easy to navigate, and I'll be continuing to scour the internet to try and find paying markets for creators, and amazing resources for readers and creators alike.
So without further adieu, we welcome you to the new look Weaponizer. Please join me in thanking Cook at Monkeytribe Design for his awesome work.
The Nutcracker - Part1 by JL Williams
You are walking around the biggest toy store in the world. You see high up on a shelf the most beautiful nutcracker. His white beard juts out stiffly from his wooden face. He has round red cheeks and heavy black eyebrows that make him look fierce. A velvet jacket in navy with gold braid, crimson waistcoat, brown breeches and white stockings up to the knee. His black leather soft-soled slippers are just visible poking over the edge of the shelf. You decide to climb the shelves as if they were a ladder to get closer to the nutcracker. As you climb many toys fall off the shelves. It is very difficult and your hands get dustier the higher you climb. The climbing seems to go on forever. You finally reach the top shelf only to discover that the nutcracker has moved. He is now poised in the rafters of the toyshop’s ceiling ten feet away.
You venture out onto the rafter on your hands and knees. You can smell the timber of the rafter, like an old boat. The nutcracker faces you and leers. A strange mixture of anger and pain fills your heart. You proceed forward on the rafter, trying not to look down hundreds of feet to the floor below. Occasionally you cannot help but look down and each time you do you see the tiny rows of shelves extending outwards in every direction on the great shop floor. Every time you raise your eyes the nutcracker has moved another ten feet away. You travel for ages like this, moving in no discernible pattern, never coming to a wall or window. Just rafters to traverse and miles of shelves below in every direction.
The nutcracker is sometimes turned toward you, sometimes turned away.
JL Williams biography
READ THE NEXT PART OF 'NIGHTMARES' HERE ON WEAPONIZER IN 1 WEEK!
Today I would like to introduce you all to a new contributor to Weaponizer, the mighty JL Williams. She has written a quartet of flash fiction pieces for our site, under the title 'Nightmares'. I think you'll find them suitably creepy and disturbing, and I hope you'll enjoy JL's heady, deliquescent prose.
JL Williams is a writer and performance poet based in Scotland. I've been lucky enough to see JL perform at the Big Word poetry cabaret, and also at her own night, Neue Liebe. Here is a quick biography:
JL Williams was born in New Jersey and studied at Wellesley College with the poet Frank Bidart. She has been published internationally in journals including The Red Wheelbarrow, Chanticleer, The Wolf, Fulcrum (late 2008) and Stand (2009).
Since moving to Edinburgh in 2001 she has been active both as a poet and in the performing arts. She was awarded a grant from the Scottish Arts Council for a music and poetry collaboration entitled chiaroscuro pentimenti.
JL Williams plays experimental percussion in the band Laura Lewis and the Tea Dance Orchestra, runs
cabaret and is on the Creative Writing MLitt programme at the University of Glasgow.