Voices From the Fictionary is David Moscovich, who writes flash fiction and performs them in patches of invented multi-lingual improvised tongues. His most recent chapbook is Cannibal Cuisine: A Restaurant Guide to the Year 2039, a sixteen page booklet based on a recent acrylic/spray paint/urine collage exhibited at the Gallery Nine in exotic Lincoln, Nebraska. Twenty Drunken Nights, a mannequin novella, will soon be available as an ebook. A native of Boston, he spent his formative years in the Midwest and most of his adult life in Portland, Oregon and Japan, improvising with fine local musicians fond of unorthodox and extended techniques. His stories and interviews have appeared in Rain Taxi, Fringe, Smokebox, Silent Revolution, Buk Scene, Gaijinge, Heso, Fragments, and others.
www.myspace.com/davidmoscovich (Invented tongues sound performance)
www.myspace.com/eristhrottle (Reviews of chapbooks)
A couple of lit sites where his stories have appeared:
David F. Hoenigman: What projects are you currently working on?
David Moscovich: I just finished a sixteen page chapbook entitled Cannibal Cuisine: A Restaurant Guide to the Year 2039. It’s basically fake reviews based on some acrylic/oil/urine collages I did for a gallery show. I really did piss on them in moments of frustration — the heat boiled the wet paint in semisoft circles of pee cookies. The collages came from paging through food magazines, combining them with bizarre exercise machines from the back of Japanese catalogues. I crossed out the eyes and fingernails of all the subjects, some sitting in soup or oatmeal, some in a blender. Away from that I’ve got several things going: a creative non-fiction piece about how my mother escaped from communist Romania to Italy during a theatre tour in the 1970’s. It takes the form of a film director constantly re-scripting his movie to subtract the actors, one by one, so that the final product contains no one at all, just the settings. It’s a bit of a commentary on how Romania erased my mother’s name from the record because she was “a traitor.” There are two films in which she played the starring role which no one can find, which I myself tried to locate in Europe with no luck (Prima Melodie and Vara Romantica). Other projects: Twenty Drunken Nights, a novel about female mannequins who discover the secret to animating each other then foment a mannequin revolution and dig up bodies with a bulldozer for fun. I’m going to produce it as an e-book very soon, but I continue to add what will eventually be volume two. I’ve been having fun with a couple of plays, one of which features a deceased Eugene Ionesco speaking from a coffin on a moving train, another based on a real world practice of British police — they are required to train officers for over two hours with a video on how to use a three-foot stepladder. This is in the life-threatening situation where they have to replace a speed limit sign. Performances: improvising and inventing multilingual and nonexistent tongues even partially reading flash fictions with effected vocals. This is either solo but better with my friends Joseph Jaros and Bryan Day in a band called Shelf Life — we’re also marinating a more composed, song-oriented absurdity we haven’t decided the name for yet. Here are some names we’ve come up with so far: Tonsil Blanket. Food Towel. Tower Scraper. Pop Tart Diaper. Thicko. Nuns Kiss Demons. Humbert’s Humbert. Brothelsaurus. Brisket Runner. Leather Widow. Lethal Erection. Boys of Wind Cave. I’ll be doing some musique concrete performance (where I’ve been told the idea is to meld into the natural music of the street like a squirrel scattering under bushes) at a sometimes event called Avant Yard West. There are really too many things going on in the world of Moscovich right now. It’s disorienting.
DH: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
DM: Bluemarine hiccups, mostly. Romanian. Mostly Romanian. Moistly stuffed cabbages. All manner of grape leaves. Kalamata olives. Bulgarian feta. Much much much feta cheese growing up. My mother tried to send me feta cheese more than once, wrapped up in a typewriter. I’m not joking. She said she wanted to put it on dry ice. She said she wanted to put it in a shoe, inside a warm winter coat. The stuffed cabbages she wanted to send inside some hefty sweaters. I told her the post office would smell it and think it was a bomb. Those cabbages collect certain gases that altitude may affect in volatile ways. It might even actually explode, in which case it might in fact be a bomb. Does a bomb that doesn’t want to be a bomb, is it still not a bomb? Them’s powerful cabbages. I talked her out of it. I still have the typewriter, a smooth Mercury Whitney Woolf gave me. Whitney sent me micronized vignettes written on cigarette papers [micronizer: 2008]. They were so provocative they came with a tag — This package has been opened by the US Postal Service for security purposes.
DH: Do you have a specific writing style?
DM: It reminds me of a dream I told my lover this morning. I was in a checkout line. I had just ordered the giant blueberry muffin hair cake. My boss sent me. The cashier took out what looked like a ginormous soft serve ice cream only it was blueberry muffin dough whipped into a swirl. He had stuck stiff black hair like a wig he removed from his head, and placed around the dough so it covered it on all sides, as if it were a mannequin head. Now the cashier was bald, and he put the whole thing in the microwave then pressed a button, with a mundane exhale. He turned and punched keys on the cash register. Eight people were waiting in absolute silence behind me. I handed him the money. He didn’t give me my change. His mouth was down turned like a sullen whip. The microwave beeped, and he took the plate out. The hair had melted completely like black tar and it shrunk down to a quarter its original size. There was the smell like when you strain a muscle or a thigh cramps during the act of lovemaking.
I put my arm around my lover’s hips and she said, Good morning I love you. Not: Good Morning, I love you. Good morning I love you. I think it was the best day ever.
DH: What genre are you most comfortable writing?
DM: I’m not he’s not comfortable at all. Flash fiction is at the same time most satisfying and challenging to write. I am he is into laconic. I’m into long winds. I am he’s into it.
DH: Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp?
DM: I’m grasping because I’m trying not to grasp. I he may be a grasper. Here, grasper, grasper. There’s a girl in a doilie dress trying to catch a hopping grasper.
DH: When and why did you begin writing?
DM: The first time it was Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet: Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all — ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write?
After the first few tries I quit trying. There’s an epitaph that I like, of Charles Bukowski. Don’t Try.
Then, then there is Raymond Federman. He is the reason I go on even when I can’t go on.
DH: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
DM: I wrote my first short story when I was eleven but. It was about a handyman who couldn’t fix anything but. I fancied myself a poet when I was in high school but never told anyone. Boxes of scribbled ink in a closet but. Someone recently told me I was a poet but I tried to disagree but. I’m not he’s not considered by myself himself, a poet, by him myself. I don’t call myself a writer, either — I write. I do write, it’s something I do. I’m a lover, a lover is what I am. I like to separate writing from the me me. Writing is writing and it has nothing to do with my me me self. It’s something I need, like an uneven haircut, I have to do it myself, but not with my self self.
DH: Who or what has influenced your writing?
Crooked neck squash, cucumber, Supersweet One Hundred tomatoes, Serrano peppers, Early Girl tomatoes, Better Bush, oregano, basil, basil, basil.
Travel and injuries seem to spell a novel for me these days. All I have to do is buy a ticket to some place I’ve never been, have a local shaman blow smoke into the top of my head while making gurgling noises come out of my chest, go swimming and throw out a shoulder or foot, and boom. There it is.
There are few things more healing than becoming my karaoke alter-ego Rex Romulack, getting up in front of fifty drunk people to sing The Greatest American Hero, and nailing it. In the morning I write.
I like to disable one of the arms.
Sabotaging Board Games
Any board game with cards. Take them and pervert them between the ribbons of the typewriter. Then play the game.
Writers, to start
Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce (Finnegan’s Wake really is forever), Raymond Federman, Donald Barthelme, Marianne Hauser, Richard Brautigan, Charles Bukowski, Robbe-Grillet, Borges, Marquez, Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Gertrude Stein, Whitman, Shakespeare, Zora Neale Hurston, Mark Twain, Faulkner, Capote, Phillip Sollers, William Gass, Larry McCaffrey, Joe Wenderoth’s Letters To Wendy’swas a great read and seemed to coagulate something in my blood. Many many others.
Musicians, there are too many to list
Laurie Anderson, Diamanda Galas, Cuban son and rhumba music, Cecil Taylor, Romanian Gypsy music (called Lautari), Fela Kuti, Ember Schrag, Fred Frith, John Cage, Nurse With Wound, Merzbow, De la Soul, Steve Reich, The Shaggs, Muslim Gauze, Harry Partch, Art Ensemble of Chicago — music might be organized according to music to write by — and music not to write by. Recent music I’ve been writing to: Wolf Eyes. Penderecki. Squarepusher. Nice Nice. Portland Bike Ensemble. Faust. Zdzislaw Piernik. Arvo Part. Stockhausen. Massacre. Messiaen. Ulpiu Vlad. Han Bennink. Evan Parker. Jack Wright. Derek Bailey. Hella.
Sometimes they go on in the background when I write, silently. Finding secret soundtracks – Ivo Malec for Xanadu. James Brown for Barbarella. Szalonek for Onibaba. Hitchcock’s Rope has only one cut. Darling Darling, a recent quirky short film with great British overdubs. British humor in general. Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian. He’s inspiring. People who call everybody a “coooont”, that’s heavily inspiring. Watching people get offended. That’s inspiring. Female Convict Scorpion, School of The Holy Beast and nunsploitation in general. The fact that it’s even a genre of film I find beautiful. Killer Nun. Letters to a Portuguese Nun. Jesus. Anything with Meiko Kaji. Disjointed B-movies that leave plot to the imagination. Dark Star by John Carpenter. Fearless Vampire Killers.
Vine of the Immortals
DH: What book are you reading now?
DM: I seem to read several things at once, in patches, the way sleep hits me, hard or not at all.
Tender Buttons/Gertrude Stein.
Flying to America/Donald Barthelme.
Agape Agape/William Gaddis.
DH: Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest?
DM: Last year I tuned into the pleasant static of Fast Forward: Confessions of a Porn Screenwriter by Eric Spitznagel. Oedipus Wrecked by Kevin Keck pretty much disabled me with stomach cramps from laughter. A poet named The Fug rearranged my lunatic harness more than once. Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock blew me a brand new toupee. Kevin Sampsell keeps reeling in the hits. Mike Daily’s Alarm is a meditation on literary riffing. He rhymes Dante with Fante and asks you to ask the dust. Sam Lipsyte. Magdalen Powers. Miranda July’s No One Belongs Here More Than You has me thinking about pacing and the architecture of the page.
About the author:
David F. Hoenigman is the author of Burn Your Belongings.