Monthly Archives: March 2010

On This Day in Cyclical Time

And thus begins the first of Artifice’s numberless series.


1513: After a faint dissatisfaction with Urban Outfitters, Wet Seal, American Apparel, Deb Shops, and Charlotte Russe, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sets out in search of Forever 21

3054: In the second round of their UFC: Infinity bout, Archangel Uriel submits Adam via armbar

1999: Seamus Heaney translates Beowulf from Old English into Kind of Awesome English

1739: A lazy, sycophantic, and iPhone-less Prussian nobleman travels to Pennsylvania and simply names the first town he sees King of Prussia

5391: The final legacy of humanity proves to be an airborn pathogen that corrodes science fiction metals and turns all robots into cannibalistic zombie-robots

320 BC: Aristotle developes another law of physics that’s well reasoned and influential and totally wrong

1955: A Midwestern family eats meatloaf and twice-baked potatoes amidst non-threatening but thoroughly engaging conversation and after dinner the father smokes hickory tobacco from a corncob pipe and the mother drinks peach flavored sweet-tea and the children try to catch fireflies with homemade nets

Ask The Artifice

Friend of The Artifice Stephanie Cobb asks, “Who would play Artifice in ARTIFICE: THE MOVIE, keeping in mind that Mickey Rourke has already been cast as a rival lit mag, Hilary Swank is going to don a fat suit to play the City of Chicago, and you have a reasonable special effects budget?”

The original claymation King Kong.  But he would not be filmed on a set of tiny buildings, so that he looked huge.  Instead, he would be filmed on a set with enormous buildings, buildings that are three or four times the size of actual buildings. And the entire movie would be shot through the Bean in Millennium Park .  

Nonetheless he would climb these beyond-scale buildings, because he’s King Kong, and that’s what King Kong does.  Then Hillary Swank would fall in love with him, and Mickey Rourke would eventually come around, as well.

A still from the movie.

Author Dossier #13: Derek Phillips

The Author Dossier series reaches the sixth prime number! 

Derek Phillips’ “Poem Stolen from a Fifth Grader’s Essay about Why Endangered Animals Should Be Protected” is found only and exclusively and forever in Artifice Issue 1.

Name: D with a Dollar Sign and Two Exclamation Points

Other Known or Desired Aliases: Most of my nicknames have to do with me either being broke or having too much money

Sidekick: Discrimination

Arch-Nemesis: Haters, snitches, scallywags and sucka MCs

Lair: The bottom of the barrel

Endangered Species In Most Need of Protection: Lil Wayne

Endangered Species We Could Really Do Without: Come on man, I wrote a poem about it

Besides 5th Graders He Would Also Like to Appropriate Poetic Work By: I guess it’s about time for someone to put the term ‘parking lot pimping’ to good use

Preferred Mode of Transportation for the Post-Apocalypse: Gold jet ski

Summation of Aesthetic Philosophy: Get Money

Ask The Artifice

Friend of Artifice Felicity K. Gibbons asks, “If God & Artifice came together to produce some pronouncements, what would those pronouncements be? Please bear in mind that they cannot be fallible.”

Our Pronouncements would read as follows:

1.       In the future, weather controlling machines will be handheld and LED backlit and have downloadable apps for adjusting hail size

2.       All stream of conscious novels scrawled across tile floors by gun-shot victims in their own blood must take up less than 400 tiles unless there is an extremely pressing narrative reason to the contrary

3.       The existence of pre-gramophone sound should be disbelieved for want of evidence

4.       When the time travel machine is finally cleared for public use by the FAA the destination of the first trip should be Las Vegas the day Charm School debuted so the christening traveler can restore the economy by betting that three years later Mo’Nique would be an Oscar winning actress

5.       All laundry detergent containers, in addition to that cup to measure detergent, should come with someone to do the laundry

6.       The carbon dating of Robotic Dinosaur fossils are malicious fabrications perpetuated by Steven Spielberg

7.       The moon exists because there are so many similes for pale light

8.       Philip Marlowe and Hercule Poirot and Nick Charles and Simon Templar and Nero Wolf and Charlie Chan and Sam Spade and Philo Vance exemplify why all police forces should be privatized and wear top-hats

9.       In the advent of a nuclear Holocaust that destroys the Artifice Headquarters Artifice’s official stance will be one of condemnation towards the tenet of mutual assured destruction

10.   In the advent of a nuclear Holocaust that destroys everything but the Artifice Headquarters Artifice’s official stance will be that all (surely now mutated) citizens must dress as X-Men and cagefight each other


Author Dossier #12: David Silverstein

David Silverstein, whose poems “daylight saving time • death rattle,” “characteristic • chatter,” “double-talk • down,” and “dissociate • divagate” appear in Artifice Issue 1, is lucky number twelve in our Author Dossier series.

Name: David Silverstein

Other Known or Desired Aliases: silverfuck or slvfk (see: siamese dream)

Arch-Nemesis: Joel Patton (see: Artifice v.1 p.67)

Lair: Anywhere + a web browser

Sidekick: Internet

Sidekick’s Sidekick: You

If He Was a Celebrity Chef in the Post-Apocalypse His Apron-Embossed Catchphrase Would Be: A moment on the apocalypse, a lifetime on the apocahypse.

Three Reasons He’s Early Anticipating the Apocalypse:
(1)    The sudden thrill of discovering a forgotten vending machine in the sub-basement of an abandoned parking structure, and the ecstasy in shattering open the glass and snatching every last, shiny, blue-wrapped pop-tart out of that magnificently mundane and utterly beguiling treasure chest.
(2)    Less junk mail.
(3)    Casual Thursdays.

Summation of Aesthetic Philosophy:

We are all participants in this ongoing obscene story of misperceptions.
We are all participants in this ongoing obscene story of misperceptions.


‘This thing needs a name’ anagrams to ‘Shanghaied Sentiment’

Author Dossier #11: Christopher Phelps

Christopher Phelps’ piece “Word” exists only in Artifice Issue 1

Name: Christopher Phelps

Other Known or Desired Aliases: Crispy, Kiggy, The Navel-Gazing Gazelle

Arch-Nemesis: Artificial sweeteners, tartrazine (yellow #5), cream sauces. Non-food nemeses: hurricanes, magazine models.

Lair: Yes, it is. At least there’s a window.

Vacation Lair that He Timeshares with Other Superheroes: A two-bedroom, aging, Bukowski-style bungalow in Southern Florida, currently. At least there’s a black lagoon in the back, complete with Loch-Ness-looking snakebirds.

The Special Features on His Fully-Loaded Robotic Sidekick Are: I’m old enough to remember a time when every robot was either Japanese or handmade. I made one that could follow a line of pencil drawn on white paper. I called it Sniff-mouse.

If He Was President of The Adjustable Clamp Company (Incorporated in 1903, by Adele V Holman, to Manufacture Genuine Jorgensen Handscrews) His First Executive Act Would Be: Tripartite. 1) Throw a Rexroth-style party and get everyone laid and every last company dollar spent; 2) Deliver the entire product line to my father (a former carpenter and current industrial-bohemian artist, oxymoron included); 3) Apologize for the party and petition the government for a bailout.

The Co-Star in the Buddy-Cop Movie of His Life Would Be: Woody Allen, so that I could be his Diane Keaton: calm and cool by comparison. On second thought, Conan O’Brien.

Summation of Aesthetic Philosophy: Plato said to study mathematics first, so I did. Plato banished the poets, so I became one.   Alternative 1. Crispin Sartwell’s translation of Verse 1 of the Dao De Jing: “Naming things loses what unites them. Failing to name things loses them into what unites them.” If aesthetic defeatism were a person with two hands, this verse would bind them. So that we could get on with it.   Alternative 2. Lyrae Van Clief-Stephanon said the following sentence came out of a Cornell University English department faculty meeting: “The purpose of poetry is to take the ineffable and eff it.”