Ashé Journal #5.3 Now Available

Issue 5.3The Fall ’06 Issue of Ashé Journal (#5.3) is now available:

Articles include:

Earth and Sky Gods of India and Greece: Finding the Feminine in Masculine Myths by Dirk Dunbar, Ph.D.

All Things Are Like This
by the 13th century Master Dogen Zenji, founder of the Soto school of Japanese Zen
Commentary on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
by Brendan Connell
A World Divided
by Zen Master Gudo W. Nishijima
The Savage Buddha: Notes on Gautama & the K?p?lika-vrata by Sritantra

Cultural Engineering With Eyes Wide Shut? Playback/Feedback Magicks And The Archaeology Of The Now by Tristram Burden
Teachings by Shakyamuni Buddha and Nissim Amon

Artist Portfolio: Ernest Williamson III
Astroplankton Break Dance
New literary fiction by Sarah Knorr

and Poetry by David Keali’i

plus reviews of Tibetan Magic and Mysticism, Enlightened Courage, The Hundred Verses of Advice, The Complete Magician’s Tables, and Pan’s Road

Ashé Issue 5.2 Now Available

5.2 CoverThe Summer 2006 issue is now online,

The 2006 annual book issue, including exerpts of:

Generation Hex, Jason Louv
Seventy Times Seven, Salvatore Sapienza
The New Reformation, Matthew Fox
The Elijah Tree, Cynthea Masson
Sweet Son of Pan, Trebor Healey
Breakdown, Gregory J. DiStefano

And interviews with:
Jason Louv, Sal Sapienza and Matthew Fox

Plus poetry from:
Mitchell Stone, Jennifer Silvia and Trebor Healey

And reviews of:
Nothing Is True—Everything Is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin, John Geiger
Loving Mountains, Loving Men, Jeff Mann
Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels, Hella Winston
Vellum: The Book of All Hours, Hal Duncan
A ScarecrowÂ’s Bible, Martin Hyatt

Ashé Issue 5.1 Available

5.1 CoverThe Winter/Spring 2006 issue is now online,

This issue of the Journal includes a selection of spiritual fiction…

Spray Can Mimesis (representation or imitation of the real world in art and literature). New fiction from Jay Michaelson, Farrell Davisson, Craig Gindey and others.

Plus reviews of the magick of Jack Parsons, Love’s Rite, Kabbalistic Tarot, Oracles of the Dead, God, Jr., The Bull of Ombos, Baba: The Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Yogi.

Ashé Issue 4.3 Available

4.3 CoverThe Fall 2005 issue is now online,

This issue of the Journal focuses on Gnosticism…

historical to post-modern…

Burroughs to Velentinus.

Contributors include: Alamantra, Catt Shiflett, Jonathan Sellers, Eric Lerner, Anne McGuire, Jeremy Puma and Sven Davisson; plus books reviews and more.

Plus reviews of The Gospel of Thomas (recent editions), The Secret Mark, Gnostic Philosophy, The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts, Join My Cult, The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuberg, The Seven Point Mind-Training, Balancing the Mind, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage

Ashé Journal #4.2

4.2 CoverThe editors of Ashé Journal are pleased to announce the publication of the Summer 2005 issue (4.2),

The issue includes selections from the five finalist for the 2005 Ashé Journal Book Awards:
Novice to Master, Soko Morinaga
The Shamanic Way of the Bee, Simon Buxton
Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions, Randy P. Conner & David Hatfield Sparks
The Center of the Sunlit Sky, Karl Brunnholzl
Jesus & the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love, Will Roscoe

Also included in this issue are The Magick of Saints by Adekun, Stories of Hindu Devilry by Mogg Morgan, The Artist and the Tidal Wave by John Goldhammer, poetry by horehound stillpoint and Patrick Frank, as well as reviews of Tritiya-Prakriti, Clay’s Way, The Pseudonomicon, and others.

Lammy Award Winner!

I Do/ I Don’t took the Lammy for best “non-fiction anthology” at the 17th annual Lambda Literary Foundation Awards gala in New York City. The collection from the cutest duo in gay publishing, Ian Phillips and Greg Wharton of Suspect Thoughts Press, getting dah kudos…

Rumor has it that there’s a second volume in the “Queers On…” series in the offing. 😉

Ashé Journal #4.1

Ashé Journal is pleased to announce the release of Issue 4.1
“Occulture in the Fin De Siecle”

This special edition of Ashé Journal focuses on Occulture and the Fin de Siecle (the end of the 19th century France) and includes original articles by Alamantra, Adrian Eckersley, Eric Lerner, Sven Davisson, Mogg Morgan, Jonathan Sellers.

In addition, the issue includes original source documents from Josephin Péladan, Arthur Machen, Jules Doinel, Erik Satie and J.K. Huysmans.

The issue also contains a special tribute to Cabell McLean (1952-2004).

The Islander & Ellsworth American Holiday Book List

The MDIslander and The Ellsworth American included Foley Craddock for their suggested gift list of Maine Books:

The Islander

The Ellsworth American

Three anthologies from this year are worth noting — all of them quite distinct from one another.

“When Foley Craddock Tore Off My Grandfather’s Thumb: The Collected Stories of Ruth Moore and Eleanor Mayor” (Blackberry Press) is a delightful look at coastal life and wholesome Maine characters.

Moore and Mayor were regional writers who spent many years on Gott’s Island. Many of their stories communicate a way of life rather than characters.

The Courier-Gazette

A great review appeared in The Courier-Gazette (Rockland) on November 11, written by Marilis Hornidge:

I once lamented the fact that Ruth Moore’s short fiction had been lost-and-forgotten. No longer, and this wonderful book is treasure beyond treasure, as far as a lot of us Moore-ites are concerned. From the introduction (READ IT, Don’t argue: read it) straight through to Mayo’s even-longer-forgotten gems, it’s a delight. This is the way short stories about a place oughta be wrote, guys… never mind the minimalist eye-to-the-keyhole stuff, this is the real thing. It is very fashionable to sneer at ‘old-fashioned-magazine-ficiton’ these days. Ruth Moore didn’t give much of a rolling d..arn about fashion–she was her own person with her own voice in her own place. And one helluva storyteller to boot. If there’s a Maine Publishers’ GoldStar Award For Fiction, Blackberry deserves it.

Bangor Daily News Review

The Bangor Daily News reviewed Foley Craddock on Oct 25 in a well-written joint review with the reissue of Fire Balloon

Clickie clickie for complete review

Back in 1986, Blackberry Books began a campaign to bring Ruth Moore’s novels back into print. The Gotts Island-born novelist and poet, then in her early 80s, was considered one of the country’s finest writers, yet most of her books could be found only in secondhand bookstores or libraries. Blackberry has now reprinted six novels, as well as a book of poems, Moore’s letters and a collection of short stories.

Moore wrote short stories early in her career, but as she stated in a letter to Sandy Phippen in 1985, “I got tired of rejection slips early on and chucked everything into an old chest where they came in handy for material in novels, now and again.” Indeed, two stories – the title one and “Pennies in the Water” – found in “When Foley Craddock Tore Off My Grandfather’s Thumb” served as the basis for scenes in “The Fire Balloon.”

The social interactions of “natives” and summer folk are the foundation for several stories in the collection, including the memorable “The Ladies from Philadelphia” (which first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar in 1945) and “The Lonely of Heart.” Akin to some of the short fiction of Ted Holmes, “The Soldier Shows His Medal” (originally published in The New Yorker in 1945) is a study in Yankee modesty. A son of Maine returning to his village hides his medal for fear of the islanders’ rebuke: “Guess he thinks he’s something, going round trimmed up like a Christmas tree.”

Ruth Moore met Eleanor Mayo in 1940. They eventually bought land in the Mount Desert town of Tremont, on the road to the Bass Harbor Light, built a house and lived together till Mayo died in 1981. The latter’s literary career echoed her companion’s: she published a number of novels, several of which drew critical favor, then later went out of print.

Mayo doesn’t enjoy the reputation Moore does, yet her contributions to Maine literature merit a reappraisal. In what one hopes is a first step in this direction, six of her short works are printed here. The best of the batch, “Summertime,” is a sympathetic portrait of a young girl who is punished for her imagination until the day the truth of one of her fears comes to light. The short stories of J.D. Salinger came to mind while reading it.

A nonfiction piece, “The Owner of the Apples,” features the kind of commentary on modern life found in the essays of the late John Gould. Complaining about modern machinery, including the chain saw, Mayo writes, “there’s a lot of thinking that doesn’t get done now because the man who could think through the world’s simpler problems while his buck saw quietly snored its gradual way down through the good solid meat of a maple cordwood stick, no longer dares to.”

Kudos to Blackberry Books for the revival it continues to fuel.

Maine Sunday Telegram Review

Maine Sunday Telegram included a review of Foley Craddock on Oct 3…

A positive review on the whole, but Ms. Merker does begin by calling the choice of title “unfortunate” in the opening sentance. Lesson One: if you’re going to write a positive review, do not open with a criticism. So we’ll skip that bit and since it was relatively long we’ll just hit the highlights:

Readers are the beneficiaries of the ardent editorial hours of Sven Davisson, a nephew of Ruth Moore and the literary executive [sic] of the estate of both women, and Gary Lawless and his Blackberry Press.

Ruth Moore’s knack of capturing Maine coastcal life and linguistics is as relevant today as it was in the early 20th century when she began writing and publishing her stories, poetry and novels. The New York Times wrote, “It is doubtful that any American writer has done a better job of communicating a people, their talk, their thoughts, their geography, and their way of life.” [snip]

Moore’s stories, as you read them, feel like you are sitting around a kitchen table, close to a wood stove, just having conversation, so true is her ear catching, conveying ordinary talk with all its saltiness.

Eleanor Mayo’s stories are quite different–no dialect here, but a sure sense of a woman’s voice, fiction that includes social commentary with a keen sense of transition. [snip]

Davisson notes in his introduction that “both writers had the gift of capturing the universal in the local.” He quotes a New York Times review of one of Moore’s novels: “To deal in human universals, making the individual everybody yes keeping him a sacred self, is a gift most writers lack.” (John Gould, April 1951) [snip]

Such are the writings of Moore and Mayo that their work defies being boxed in by the decades in which they wrote. There is the charm of their humor, the nostalgia of another era, but always the steadying factor of Maine people who do not seem to change….

Keeping Faith

The new issue (13.01-13.02) of Lambda Book Report includes my review of Fenton Johnson’s Keeping Faith: A Sceptic’s Journey–about one gay Catholic’s journey to find a place within his faith.

Samuel R. Delaney is on the cover and there’s a good interview inside… which is more of a reason to check the issue out.

Fall Ashé Online

Ashe JournalThe new issue of Ashé Journal is now available at

The issue includes articles by Toby Johnson (Gay Spirit), John Goldhammer (Radical Dreaming), Ko Imani (Shirt of Flame), Dirk Dunbar on “Renewing the Balance,” Polina Mackay on William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, Nathan Horowitz on a pychedelic dream quest; poetry by Gary Lawless (Ruins), S.B. Wilson, Emanuel Xavier (Pier Queen, Americano) and Bryan Dini; reviews of Shirt of Flame: The Secret Gay Art of War, Gay Perspective, Avatar Sessions CD, On the Down Low, The Hare Krishna Movement, Civils Wars: The Fight for Gay Marriage, When I See the Wild God: Encountering Urban Celtic Witchcraft, Zen: Path of Paradox and The Supreme Mystic.

Trouble with trouble boy

Trouble Boy CoverJust finished Tom Dolby’s Trouble Boy (Kensington, 2004) which it seems was the gay novel of the season–if one discounts the novelization of Latter Days. Judging from the reviews at Amazon, everyone loved this book. I get the feel though it’s in the same way that every old queen loves the cute young twink at the bar–rationalizing it to his personality or intelligence. I just don’t get this book. It wasn’t bad per se and, I do think, it served the summer novel niche well. But I am still not able to make the simple leap to generate interest or energy for these characters and their (yawn) pursuit of happiness. It’s the closest to a gay Bright Lights Big City that I’ve come across… But then I didn’t get the appeal of that book either. Fluff. Not fluffer. Do we really need twink fiction? And if we do then I will leave you with one question…. Why!?

Wait, don’t answer that–Just go out and buy Trebor Healey’s Through It Came Bright Colors or Marshall Moore’s The Concrete Sky.

I Do/I Don’t (More Info)

I Do CoverSuspect Thoughts has put up the info page on the new collection I Do/I Don’t:

Suspect Thoughts Press

Suspect Thoughts editor and self-described “mama bear” writes of his recent marriage to STP publisher Greg Wharton:

On February 19, 2004, he married heartthrob author-publisher Greg Wharton in San Francisco�s City Hall. On August 12, 2004, the California State Supreme Court annulled their marriage. He is uncertain whether this annulment, like Henry VIII�s in days of old, means he is also a virgin once more. He�s having a hard time distinguishing, let alone separating, church from state these days.

I know 3rd is leather and fifth is wood (both wildly entertaining shopping prospects)… but what is the traditional gift for an Judicial annulment?

Suspect Thoughts Press

First Foley Craddock Review

Received my first review for the Moore/Mayo collection today:

And, finally, the perfect way to end a not-so-perfect summer on the Maine coast is a good dose of stories from the master Ruth Moore, and her companion Eleanor Mayo.

Edited and eloquently introduced by Ms. Moore’s grand-nephew Sven Davisson, this collection of stories such as the title tale, “When Foley Craddock Tore Off My Grandfather’s Thumb,” or “How Come You’re Picking My Violets?” or “Aids to the Unwary” are variously funny, poignant or outrageous, but always have such a ring of truth to them they seem to be the perfect verbal illustration for the kind of people and vanishing way of life Colin Woodard talks about in “The Lobster Coast.” [another book reviewed in the article]

Nan Lincoln, Arts Editor, Bar Harbor Times, Sept. 2, 2004

A reviewer from Maine Sunday Telegram interviewed me night before last. The article should appear mid-September. I have an radio interview on WERU slotted for sometime in September as well.

So finally a little press for the book…

The Homoerotic Divide

I have recently been discussing with friends rather McGreevey was bi or a “gay American.” This has led me to dust off my queer theory cap (with the vain hope that the diploma may, one day, be good for something other than dust)…

This is one of the areas that has always fascinated me: the occluded divide between contemporary labels and universal/timeless taxonomy. Currently we have the three teams (or perhaps four, since some argue that lesbians and gay men are only tenuously aligned).

LGBT studies breaks down into two philosophic camps: contructionist/essentialist, homosexuality as innate and historically contiguous vs, homosexuality as a cultural construct denoting the current, temporal modeling of same-sex desire. Essence vs. artifact,

I personally have developed a theory that holds a historic continuity of desire (same-sex desire in this case) and people throughout history have related themselves to this desire in different ways. the continuity comes out both in the desire itself and in the fact, I would argue, that a certain segment of people always have defined themselves in specific relation to said desire. The referential comportment has taken on different cultural meanings among different peoples and at different times.
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