Notations from the Bad Dream Machine

This is an editorial. This is not an editorial. This is not the editor talking, nor typing, nor pushing bytes into pixels for devouring. This is the editor talking. This isn’t. This is.

Between two states:
This zine is not glossy. It’s not shiny, it’s not pretty. This zine is DIY, this zine is done for fun, for screaming in the dark. This zine is not professional. Professional is slick, is shiny, is filled with light. Professional is a lie, a cover up, a farce. We don’t sling truths here either, but our lies are mossier, filled with moving poisons. Our lies come in the shape of dreams, with memories burning at the edges.

The internet has made the underground too obsessed with fame. It’s made the underground too much like pop culture lite. It’s about chasing money now, making things look pretty and licktastic. This is not pretty. The age of the internet and cheap software has given people with even the modicum of talent to make things that look close to perfect, close to store-quality. It’s all round edges and candy colors.

Coffinmouth is none of these. Coffinmouth looks back to the days before this, before the advent of cheap tools to make anyone into a professional. I remember walking into a punk store that opened up down from my house in the 90’s, and looking at all those zines, hand crafted, ugly, naked, raw. They felt dangerous. I felt like I could get in huge trouble for reading them. They were not pretty, or shiny, or perfect. They were raw, contagious, fantastic.

That’s what I want Coffinmouth to be. Like that, but electronic. I remember hitting Coventry street in Cleveland also around the same period, going to the Grog Shop, checking out Mac’s Paperbacks (with their basement filled with zines). I bought and I consumed and I bought more, and I consumed more. I wanted raw and bleeding. I was sick of pretty. I wanted music that was more noise than sound, and I wanted to read books that smashed my mind open like a hammer.

This is not professional. I put a short story of my own in it. OH NOES. I paid people in screams and not money. OH NOES. Money flows to the pants!  Not the sphincter! I put up comics, I don’t label things as fiction or non-fiction. I put some of the short stories (including my own) into a cut up engine I wrote in PHP*. I published what came out of it.

Sit back, read, enjoy. Don’t look for round edges. Don’t look for professionalism. Look for the raw beating heart, the angry rib bone dance, look for edges to cut yourself on, for blankets to suffocate yourself with.

Next issue? It’ll be out when I feel like doing it. The same with the issue after that. The next two will be themed- Surrealistic Space Opera and Experimental Epic Fantasy. Send me something broken and burning, with all the emptiness it needs.

*I’m tidying up the cut up engine now and will release it for anyone to use shortly. Probably today as well.