Monday, August 30, 2010

from MLKNG SCKLS by Justin Sirois

It’s dawn.

Khalil’s tracksuit pants and T-Shirt hang from a branch like the tree’s trying them on. The roots of the tree want to slip on his repulsive socks. It holds both of his Adedas up, sunshine blazing through one rubber sole. But Khalil doesn’t care what the tree does with his off-brand sneakers.

He swims.

Every time we stop walking he’s in the river.

Khalil was born with gills. Hovering over the crib, his father took engine oil and slicked Khalil’s neck every night with his mechanic hands until baby Khalil learned how to breathe human air. The gills slowly faded into flat skin. But Khalil never forgot the water.

I want to join him.

Half-dressed, the tree watches in envy.

Justin Sirois will be performing his work at WORMS on September 15.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

from "The Great American Museum of the American Nickel" by Donna Sellinger

"Well, sure it might not look like much, but you have to realize that at the time Spratt's Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes represented the acme of human ingenuity. Here was a man from Cincinnati-Cincinnati of all places! I think it's a miracle, frankly," said Florence. The girl she stood lecturing was the third-prettiest girl I'd seen come in that day. And second-prettiest if you disqualify the girl whom I had to ask to spit out her gum while exploring the museum. And if you think those things aren't quantifiable, if you think those things have no absolute value, well, one thing is you're wrong.

"But a lot of terrific things have happened in Cincinnati besides the advent of dog food," the second-or-third-prettiest-girl-of-the-day said.

"Name one," said Florence, and she did not like where this was going.

"Well, I'm sure you get this kind of answer all the time, and so I guess it might sound trite, but Cincinnati's port on the Ohio River played a major role in getting supplies to the Union Army during the Civil War. Also George McClellan came from Cincinn-"

"George McClellan was an ineffectual bungler," Florence said, and rested a foot against the wall. "Everyone whose television gets PBS knows that. Dog food pre-dates the Civil War. Well, almost pre-dates it. Didn't you consider that? It may be a relatively new development in the world of dog nutrition, but compared to the history of our country-well, frankly, if you want American history, look no further is what I say. The world is full of gifts. Gifts that should be appreciated. That's what I'm trying to tell you."

Donna Sellinger will be performing her work at WORMS on September 15.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 15 - Stephanie Barber, Chuck Green, Adam Robinson, Donna Sellinger, Justin Sirois

The first WORMS of the season! Readers include Stephanie Barber, Chuck Green, Adam Robinson, Donna Sellinger, and Justin Sirois.

RSVP and invite others to this event via facebook !!!

STEPHANIE BARBER is a multi media artist who creates meticulously crafted, odd and imaginative writing, films and videos as well as performance pieces which incorporate music, literature and video. Some places she has had solo screenings of her film and video work include MoMA, NY; Anthology Film Archives, NY; San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center; Bio Penrepo, Prague and Close-Up Video, London. Her films and videos have also been included in group screenings at The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Tate Modern in London; The Cinematheque Francaise; The State Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow and The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art among others.

Her small book poems was published in 2006 by Bronze Skull Press. Her lecture FOR A LAWN POEM was published in 2007 by Publishing Genius Press and her book these here separated to see how they standing alone or the soundtrack to six films by stephanie barber was published in May 2008 by Publishing Genius Press and is being reprinted presently. Included in this book is her experimental essay the inversion, transcription, evening track and attractor (the soundtrack for the video of the same name) which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has also been included in magazines, journals and anthologies.

More information can be found at

Since learning to read and write, CHUCK GREEN has undergone a vast transformation from communicating solely with sounds and crude drawings. Over the years he has developed his motor skills beyond that of an ape and has learned to operate the typewriter-style keyboard to the point where he has managed to publish many different zines, including his most recent work, Celebrities I Have Known. He is also the technical director of the Baltimore-based society of rock opera producers known as the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. He currently strives to live out his lifelong mantra, "Live Every Week Like It's Shark Week."

ADAM ROBINSON's first book, Adam Robison and Other Poems, was released by Narrow House in early 2010, and he self-published his second book, Say, Poem, in May. He operates Publishing Genius, a small press that has put out about 15 books and a couple dozen chapbooks. He plays guitar in Sweatpants, a rock band.

DONNA SELLINGER spends most of her time as one third of The Missoula Oblongata, a critically-acclaimed touring experimental theater company. When not doing that, she participates in the Baltimore DIY theater scene as bet she can. In early 2008, Donna directed The Wham City Players in They Should All Be Destroyed (A Jurassic Park Play). She also adapted a Tom & Jerry cartoon for the stage (playing Jerry) for the Annex Theater's Hanna-Barbera play festival and directed a musical called The Prettiest Place on Earth written by Lola Pierson with music by Alex Scally (of the band Beach House). Her play-in-a-box-for-an-audience-of-no-one, titled One Pair was included in the Wham City Box Set #1. More recently, she spent five weeks in Jordan and the West Bank teaching free shadow puppetry workshops to refugee and Palestinian youth. Donna received her MFA in Theater Arts from Towson University, a program that she highly recommends.

JUSTIN SIROIS is a novelist living in Baltimore, Maryland. His books include MLKNG SCKLS (Publishing Genius) and Falcons on the Floor (forthcoming, Pub G.) written with Iraqi refugee Haneen Alshujairy. His novel Black, Light, 1993 will be finished soon. He also runs the Understanding Campaign with Haneen and co-directs Narrow House. Justin received individual Maryland State Art Council grants in 2003, 2007, and 2010.

The 2010-2011 WORMS Season

After a three-months hiatus, WORMS returns to Baltimore in September, 2010, at a new location (The Bell Foundry in Station North), at a new price (free), and with a renewed bloodlust, coming off the most awful summer heat this writer has ever experienced.

This year's WORMSes will feature one or two more writers per WORMS. We're pushing harder than ever to deliver consistent quality while at the same time aiming at becoming a full-blown trans-scene schmoozefest. (We will scale that Hopkins mountain yet.)

With the unexpected lack of cover charge, we know you may find yourself suddenly in need of a way to spend money on literature. Well, it so happens that this season will feature many opportunities to sample the wares of local writers and cranks via Baltimore's inexplicably rich and top-notch micro-press community, who have been invited to hawk their goods at each and every WORMS.

Keep checking back at this frequently updated (I promise) blog for info about future events as well as writs and excerpts from WORMS writers.

As always, if you have any inquiries, suggestions, &c., do not hesitate to contact me through

Good night and good luck,
R.M. O'Brien