Categories
Art For Sale

Art for Sale: Alphabet Soup

Alphabet in Blue 16x20inch
Memorial 16x20inch
Reticulation 16x20inch
The Aseme in Cut 16x20inch
The Alphabet 16x20inch
Spun Gold 16x20inch
The Aseme in Expanse 16x20inch
The Aseme in Movement 16x20inch

All artworks available in limited signed and numbered prints.

Price is $60 AUD plus shipping.

You can make a purchase by emailing me at lachlan.mcdougall@gmail.com or visiting artpal.com/lachlanmcdougall

Categories
Uncategorized

The Evening Edition

Hi all,

My latest project The Evening Edition is now available for purchase from Amazon.

Or, if you don’t want to give Amazon money, email me at lachlan.mcdougall@gmail.com and I can arrange to send you a copy.

The Evening Edition is a newspaper of a future age. The world is plunged into war with word and image and our intrepid reporters are your lifeline to information.
The Venusian Blue Boys are on the attack–the people have stormed the palace, guillotines at the ready and out for blood–the Queen has dropped her hologram and Princess Agatha is down with the Venusian Goop-Rot.
This is a world at war and there is nothing left but the recordings.

Get ready for madness!

Categories
Uncategorized

Art for Sale

Hi guys,

I’m doing a limited run of prints of some artwork I’ve been making recently.

Infinite work 20x30inch (2/5 available)
Infinite Repose 20×30inch (4/5 available)
The Tempest 20x30inch (3/5 available)
Incantation 20x30inch (4/5 available)
The Spell of Language 20x30inch (3/5 available)

Five individually numbered and signed prints are available for each piece. Price is 80AUD each plus postage and handling.

If you are interested in making a purchase just email me at lachlan.mcdougall@gmail.com and we can get the ball rolling.

Or simply visit https://www.artpal.com/lachlanmcdougall to make a purchase

Enjoy!

Lachlan J McDougall

Categories
Uncategorized

Sepia Tone Dim Jerky Distant

Eric Carson was a strange child right from birth. He had a strange way of looking straight through you like he was fixated on a remote point in your past or future and he would say things like “hope the car’s okay” and “mind those stairs” and sure enough in the weeks to come there would be a little pile-up at the intersection or down you’d tumble on an icy flight. The first magic Eric could remember, however, was the moment he saw his first ghost. Couldn’t be more than eight years old, a cold winter’s eve and there he is staring out the window attic floor couldn’t sleep there is a man outside has the appearance of his father but spectral like cigarette smoke the sort of man who would blow away were you try to talk to him. This visitation appeared many times before young Eric, always the same, a family member or some faded photograph, standing there in sepia tones sped up slightly dim jerky moving off into the distance like a whiff of something rotten.
Eric watched with fascination, kerosene lamp turned low a Boys’ Own Adventure magazine slung at the foot of the bed, he held his breath in anticipation always feel it coming on a prickling sensation in the back of the eyes registering in the places where light penetrates before image. Once he tried to reach out and make contact, but he stood there without a throat, without a voice, speaking as if from underwater to someone oblivious, someone in a different timestream, someone who could not have listened even if he wanted to. Sleep overtook and the vision was gone kerosene lamp fading to an orange pumpkin glow rose wallpaper faded over an anxious young man who doesn’t know what to make of his ghosts.

“Why yes, sarge, we’re in position.”
Through binoculars the private first class made his statement through a walkie-talkie looking dim and distant at a grey street sleet covered barren a few tattered buildings still standing and a rotten breeze blowing through.
“Make your move, private.”
The private first class put down his binoculars sailing off into the distance leaving his body far behind and penetrating the grey walls with a ghostly sense of solidity. Kerosene lamp—rose wallpaper—paper moon—adventure magazine. He sighted a kid standing at the window just right where he wanted him. Torn bedclothes—kudzu vine—gravel driveway spitting dirt. The kid made a move with his mouth like trying to speak from a distance. A thin manoeuvre like morse code he was trying to get something out, but the connection just wasn’t there. The private first class made a note in his pocketbook, time, date, exact coordinates, turned around and returned to his body on the far side of the distant veil. He walked down the road like a small man moving in the wrong side of binoculars, moving like weeds on a football pitch, like fireflies under arc lights. He kicked an empty can of beans that was lying by the side of the road tinkling off into the bare rocks that lay scattered there like broken pottery the remnants of a past age kudzu vine kerosene lamp rose wallpaper magazines and fireflies. The damp settled in like nectar and the private first class gave of a damp smell like fever spores. His medications were running out and he was beginning to feel the pinch of his body tight around the old bones bending out of shape, he took a small ampule from a pouch slung at his hip and broke it under his nose inhaling deeply the sharp metallic scent that shot out. His eyes lit up a distant green like the skin of an iguana rolled back in his head like film and he felt his body returning to its time and place. He met up with the rest of his platoon roasting raccoons over an open fire, picking their teeth with splinters and spitting into the dirt.
“Evening sarge.”
“Private.”
“That kid almost made it through this time.”
“We’ll take him with us when the time comes.”
Fever smell, soap and onions. Someone hands Private Bucky a leg of ‘coon and he nibbles delicately. Soap bubbles form in the air where he was washing himself in a past life, scrubbing his back with a boy from the mission. He moved slowly taking it in savouring the warm heat of the water and the feel of the mission boy’s hands on his thin back. Red hair blushed down to asshole legs bent at the knees and hips. He left his body and they did it telepathically soap bubbles between them idiot spurts of whitewash down the drain.
Eric remembers vividly the old bruja they kept as housekeeper small Southern town he couldn’t have been more than twelve and he followed her around on his days off from school (which happened quite a lot due to his weak constitution) watching her make the beds and whisper little magics through the old brick house. Kerosene lamp turned pumpkin orange she showed him how to read the cards, how to put an egg under your mother’s bed when you want a little brother, and most importantly she showed him how to call the animals and listen to what they have to say.
June evening pouring table scraps to the dogs outside. Esmerelda calls Eric over who has been skulking in the shadows watching the way she moves her hips when the dogs leap up at her avoiding unfortunate pawprints on her white apron with little flowers embroidered at the corners. She walks down the steps and out into the green of the yard making a clicking noise with her tongue sounds like impending rain. Eric stands frozen listening to the sound and in the distance the frogs croaking the raccoons snuffling the owl hooted three times and flew away. The field mice, the rats, the badgers camped around Esmerelda with a soft heat their bodies throwing off a luminous shade of purple that stood out like flowers on snowdrift. Grumbling noise like coyote—the rats sit up on their hind legs and whistle a prairie tune—hiss in the back of the throat like an alley cat on the warpath—the badger mutters out a sonnet of the fields. “Listen to them and hear their secrets.” This is a lesson Eric will never forget.

Cut forward ghost like fog on a winter’s night—Eric is calling in all the small animals and chirping away in idiot trill speaking without move his mouth. He makes a noise like a whispering wind and the foxes and the coyotes talk back telling tales on everyone for miles around. “Mr Sanderson likes the milkmaids.” “Mrs Beauvier is a grade-A dyke and Sister Bernadette Aberdein will testify.” Eric gathers all this information into him like a tape recorder moving backwards and forwards in mambo stride inching the tape back and forth across the recording heads. Pirates hanged in West Indies port of trade—spaceship down over Venusian skies—fever spores across planets of eternal night. Eric listens to it all and records it for playback.
Grey street sleet on the horizon red brick houses smoke in chimneys hickory shit and kudzu vine. Private Bucky makes the rounds like idiot mambo snake coiled up ready to strike.
“We’re moving into position, sarge.”
“We have enough to last us three weeks at the outside.”
Bucky breaks another ampule fever smell of reeking sulphurous metal. He burns iguana green moving back and forth like a typewriter. It’s medication time and the whole platoon is serving up the good stuff, some sniffing it, some crushing the ampules into glass pipes, and others still cooking up and shooting it. The whole platoon in lavender, pinks and greens—sunset explosion of kudzu vine, shit and hickory—old sarge moves up and down the line like General Patton riding crop in one hand, leather gloves doubled up in the other.
“Well, well, well… looks like we got ourselves a fight, boys. You’ve all been ghosted here one time or another and it looks like we’re ready to make contact.”
“Sarge?”
“What is it Plimpton?”
“When do we bring the kids across?”
“When they’re good and ready, Plimpton—no sense coming off half-cock and shooting out craps before the game is run.”
Sniggers from the line.
Plimpton blushes a deep red folding back brown hair and cleaning his fingernails nervously. He’s been in this position before, remembering back when they picked him up and brought him across. The medication works its magic and he feels it run down the backs of his thighs like waterworks. He feels himself leaving his body and soaring through the air like a buzzard or a vulture. Shit, hickory, kudzu vine. Grey street, sleet, and kudzu vine. Red brick houses, kerosene lamp pumpkin orange, Esmerelda calling the small animals she turns her head to look at Plimpton floating there fifteen feet off the ground and makes a noise like clearing her throat.
“You just leave that boy alone—we don’t want none of your nosy business going on around here. He’s a nice boy and I’ll see to it he stays that way.”
Sniggers from the platoon light up iguana green.
Medication time down the backs of thighs—soap and onions a bubble burst in air between memories. Fever smell, carbolic soap and sick. The field mice, the rats, and the badgers make their moves while Eric whistles idiot trill fading in and out of focus sepia tone sped up dim jerky faraway. They platoon does it telepathically leaving their bodies behind dirty fatigues they make it fifteen feet in the air spurting electric blue and violet sparks caressing the ghost flesh of yesterday. Old Sarge sniffs an ampule and studies a map crisscrossing the prairies and plains with distant memories of red brick houses, grey streets, hickory, shit, and kudzu vine. There was a time and a place—a land that once grew vibrant flowers—everything turns to dust with the wind of ages. Stand distant watching warm teeth light up distant heat—pirates hanged West Indies port of trade—first mate Bucky cut the rope and massaged the captain’s hands breaking an ampule under his nose and letting the yellow metal heat pour into his still nostrils. Blue heat from a blue fire—eyes light up idiot iguana—roll back the film to days before freedom, days before the sea, days before the hanging gimmick—red brick houses, grey sleet, shit, and kudzu vine.
Cut forwards in mambo strike.
Bucky makes a noise without speaking. The platoon surges forward leaving their bodies behind and converge on where Eric is reading a story about pirates the pictures leaping off the page and moving of their own accord in vibrant slashes of colour sped up and careening through the room where the owl and the mice and the raccoons tell all the secrets they have to tell. Eric stands up and moves to the window kerosene lamp burning low he sees them standing there like a photograph someone he can’t place and damp heat like fever through the room and he is gone up in a whiff of smoke.
He finds himself in a long boat drifting at sea, the hemp marks still red around his neck, his hands being warmed by a cabin boy and two deckhands. He sits up sharply and fumbles for the telescope little men running painting backdrop far away soap bubbles and onions. He makes his way to the ship plotting a course on a faded map ragged at the edges and instructing the deck hands on how to steer the small wooden craft. At length they reach the ship and he is hoisted aboard in a barrel let down on a pulley stepping onto the deck with a cool calm look and everyone just standing there staring at him like death risen. “Back to your stations! We resume our course as soon as the wind is up!” He barks the orders like a gentleman sailor and the crew leap to action. It is medication time for the midshipmen and they set to work brewing a metallic tea sulphurous yellow inhaling the metal steam and glowing with a green heat. They study they maps and plot a course for a remote island somewhere in the tropical belt. The wind comes up like clockwork Captain Carson checking his pocket watch, nodding slightly with good humour and retiring to his cabin with Bucky.
Fever smell of death and metal. Captain Carson and Bucky make it telepathic hands bent on knees rose blush to asshole red hair freckles green eyes like idiot iguana. At the moment of orgasm Carson plans the weather for their entire journey maintaining a good wind with intermittent storms about a day behind them to take care of any ships that might be following from Port Louis. Any ships taking this course would be blown off track and might never recover the scent. Even if they did, they would be at least another three days behind and there would be another storm waiting for them should they decide to continue. As for the clipper ship Nordenholz, smooth sailing all the way to Port Ericson on the remote island of Jajana—not represented on any but the most specialised maps. In fact, it was not represented on most of the maps aboard the Nordenholz, but the crew had made do by copying its location in red ink from the two master maps that did include the island. One of these maps was kept under lock and key in Carson’s private cabin. The other was in the possession of Bucky who permitted only certain trusted members of the crew to view it, and then only under strict supervision.
Spent, Carson and Bucky return to their bodies as one of the deckhands brings a pot of yellow tea. The two men drink the bitter brew quickly and sit back to let the fever wash over them down through the back of the eyes and into the spine settling finally at the soles of the feet where it prickles with a yellow heat and lights up the skin in a green sheen. The entire crew are by this point glowing green and their skin has taken on an ominous scaly complexion like reptile workers. It is possible for them to walk through fire unhurt and touch red-hot metal without sustaining any damage. Prolonged exposure to the various medicines is not without its advantages.

Kerosene lamp burning low. Pumpkin on rose wallpaper, paper moon, magazines. Eric puts down his story and returns to the window where the ghosts have faded into a dim memory he might once have had. Sleep overtakes him and he swoons down on the feather bed inky blackness and the soft heat of a duck down comforter. Old Sarge on the walkie-talkie: “looks like we got him, boys.”

***

Beginnings of a new novel I’m working on provisionally titled The Ground Of Lost Illusion

Categories
Book Review

Review: ‘Blade Runner (A Movie)’ by William S Burroughs

Let’s not get confused with Blade Runner the movie based of Phillip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep—Burroughs’ Blade Runner is entirely different. Set in a terrible future governed by a vast an inefficient bureaucracy, medicine has gone underground and the intrepid blade runners are there to smuggle drugs and equipment.

This is one hard piece of satire—more ridiculous than a lot of Burroughs fare, but still with the acerbic wit and sense of dark prophecy. Possibly more scattershot and undisciplined than other works, it falls, to my mind, into a lesser cannon of writing.

It’s a quick and fun read with many occasions for chortling, but overall I think it lacks the rigour and depth of Burroughs’ better work. Still though, a fascinating read and a good addition to my Burroughs collection.

Categories
Book Review

Review: ‘Investigations of a Dog’ by Franz Kafka

A densely veiled story with heavy prose telling of a dog committed to finding out where food comes from. An outcast, his investigations lead him to the brink of destruction.

As I said, the prose is dense and heavy requiring a stern mind to penetrate. The story itself is also wrapped up in a blanket of dense fabric that requires careful unravelling. There are no simple answers here and each reader is left to their own devices.

This is not the best Kafka has to offer. It lacks the pathos and punch of something like The Trial. Still, there is an elegance here that is hard to deny. After sifting through the rubble we are left with an image of light and redemption.

Still though, it is hard work and I think the pay-off might be too little for a lot of readers. A lot of work for a long evening’s pondering. Perhaps you would do better elsewhere.

Categories
poetry

The Agent

the agent

the agent enters the room scattered books and papers an easy chair ashtray by the side overflowing. lights a fresh one from the pack and sets to work the adding machine scissors paper books and papers—cut—
—muscle boys flex and glisten in the dawn light crepuscular and strong beaming down biceps triceps hot groin glistening in the body oil glowing in glamour. eyes rake down across the bodies glistening there crepuscular and the boys grow hard looking and they make this move like move their mouth—cut—
the agent sets to work tree of Gihon sparkling waters of the Danube Swedish rivers like i never saw and the papers—cut—come back glistening words a new outlook on
life
—cut—
the agent sets to work Koran Bible Book of Mormon all agents glistening receptors glistening. the whole thing is done with radio waves an eager eye looking down cigarette hat down low over eager eyes a Russian codebook receptor glistening. the whole thing is done with radio waves—a big joke see?—and when you cut it all up and fold it back then what have you got? a new outlook on
life
—cut—
—muscle boys jack off in the shower raking eyes across a radio wave taut buttock hot groin rising sperm crescendos across the room in an orchestral manoeuvre like London symphony and they giggle their biceps giggling and they soap each other’s backs one boy peeling an orange and eating slices with a bowie knife—
the agent investigates the matter assiduously looking in every nook and cranny looking for the thing that unhooks and there is always something does. what is he looking for? i can’t say—something new and unusual, a slight dimming of words where the back brain comes into play—a magic something beaming out a muscle boy of words looking hot arcs of sperm crescendo across the living room floor scattered books and papers—cut—
Russian codebook talking: sput
one big putdown and the thing comes down like heavy lead around the room falling heavy lead one muscle boy looks down glistening—cut—where his biceps triceps hot groin falling on a newspaper advertisement “used cars—cheap prices—you take a ride, we wind the miles back…”
the agent looks a glass eye looking on everything books and papers—cut—the whole room crescendos around like London symphony a Russian codebook hat low ashtray overflowing a sedentary look we can all do it at home in our easy chair—fancy yourself a poet? how does the outlook look looking look on life
—cut—
r the outlook looking room scattered advertisement investigates the agent sets to work the Koran Bible Book looking: sput
one wind back off in our easy chair—fancy you cut it at home back glistening. the whole room falling newspapers and the adding machine the papers—cut—
the agent sets to work the Koran Bible Book off in the dawn light dimming eyes news out a muscle body oil glowing eyes across their backs one from the Danube Swedish rivers an eager easy chair—fancy you cut it at home our eager eye looks down low ashtray overflowing. the boy of Gihon sparkling. what is down cigarette hat is done winds back one with the radio wave you take thing words yourself a poet? how does? what low ashtray overflowing waters and the boy looks eating newspapers—comes down muscle boys jack off glistening. their mouth—come in then what have you got? a new muscle boy looking beaming the room falling and fold it back the agent—“used cars—you take down cigarette hat have taut buttock hot groin falling”—sights a fresh one they soap each other is he looking beaming giggling strong beaming room floor scattered books and eating? i can’t say—unusual, a slight crescendo across the look looking waters the agent enters strong beaming room crepuscular and the adding machine work tree of words where he move like London symphony a Russian comes into play—biceps hot groin falling down glass eyes a radio wave taut buttock hot groin rising beaming look on
life
—cut—
the giggling comes into play—magic something waters like London sparkling and they soap each other’s back brain codebook with a bowie knife—
the miles—cut—
—cut—
—muscle bodies glistening is he heavy lead one muscle bodies glistening in the bodies glistening. light crescendos across a Russian codebook unusual slices…
the body oil glowing—what look talking: sput
one with a big putdown—a bowie knife
the side over saw and papers—cut—
—muscle boy peeling receptor glistening. the Danube Swedish rivers the matter ashtray by the whole room is this whole move living sperm crepuscular and cranny look off in glass eyes rake this biceps hot grow hard looking Koran Bible Book all up and glistening down cigarette hat is always something look looks his paper book on
life
—cut—cut—
the room crepuscular and the agent sets to work the papers assiduously looking down glistening. the pack glistening beaming sperm crescendo across the agent looking down light crescendos across a fresh one from the agent sets to words a Russian comes into play—something waters on an orchestral manoeuvre like move like London symphony a Russian comes down from the show raking receptors glistening. the back of sperm crepuscular and papers—cheap triceps hot groin glamour. eye looking machine scissors glisten in the adding slices—you got?? new and strong book an easy chair assiduously looks and eating newspapers—and the papers—cut—
Russian codebooks an eager eye looking: sput
one big joke see?—a magic something heavy lead around the side over saw and sets to words a new outlook new and papers—cut—cut—
“the miles wind back…”
the pack the paper ashtray overflowing outlook down glamour. eye looking: sput
one boy’s groin rising looking. what unhooks and paper book receptor glistening. light crescendos around the papers—cut—
the agent—“used cars”—a magic something

***

From a book called NEWS OF THE WORLD set to come out 2024.

***

For more updates and to view a lot of other great stuff, check out my linktr.ee and sign up to the newsletter

Categories
Book Review

Review: ‘Cities of the Red Night’ by William S Burroughs

This book represents a turning point in Burroughs’ work—we make the move to a much older man who has settled back in his home country, we return to a more straightforward prose, we begin with new thematic concerns and new takes on old concerns. All this makes for a remarkably lucid and cogent novel that draws the reader through and lights up with many questions.

The main plot revolves around the mysterious ‘virus B-23’ which has been released into the world and is infecting large swathes of the population. From here we branch out into pirate communes, time travel, private eyes, opium addicts and much more, but more than ever before (excluding Junky) do we see a follow through of story and character.

This is still a non-linear excursion through time and I will not pretend that this is a simple read, but there is something new here that signals a more mature author. Things are less brash, more considered, but still with an anarchic and razor sharp wit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it’s no secret I think Burroughs is a genius. But this one is something special even in that oeuvre. It’s well worth your time and I would suggest you check it out.

Categories
Uncategorized

Updates on McDougall

Hi all,

It’s been a busy little while. My latest project The Evening Edition is now available for purchase through Amazon, I’ve just put out a new collection of artworks titled Alphabet Soup and I’ve helped publish a strange erotic title by friend and colleague J. Ollie Manoeuvre.

Let’s start with The Evening Edition: this small pamphlet is a newspaper from a future time—a wild ride through a world at war. Part prophetic satire, part textual experiment, this short work will have you laughing and scratching your head.

Read more about it here

Or buy a copy here

Next up we have Alphabet Soup, a drowing of symbol in arcane logic. Part collage, part digital manipulation, part asemic wandering, this collection of prints has something for everyone.

Check it out here or make a purchase here

Lastly on the releases side there is the short erotic adventure A Space Affair by J. Ollie Manoeuvre. This book echos my own work in a number of ways and I’m glad to have had a hand in publishing it. It tells the story of two queer young men captured by a strange machine which sends them off to sexual adventures of the past.

Get a copy here

In other news, I’ve been hard at work on new projects which I will share with you all soon. Yet another novel is percolating and I’ve got more artwork under my belt which will appear in due course.

For updates on everything going on, make sure to sign up my newsletter here

And that’s all for this week, you’ll here from me again soon.

Sincerely,

Lachlan J McDougall

Categories
Book Review

Review: ‘Till September Petronella’ by Jean Rhys

Four short stories of astounding dullness. The rickety language leads nowhere and the images are confused and messy. I found myself asking, just what is the point of all this?

There is a desperation and a melancholy here that might be touching if better written, but as it stands it’s all washed away on a garbled stream of consciousness. The words tumble from one routine to another with no apparent aesthetic sensibility or program. All in all, I was disappointed in this book and this is not a writer I’ll be returning to any time soon.

Categories
Book Review Uncategorized

Review: ‘Lament: Doll’ by Amanda Earl

This is a dark and difficult collection of poetry and one which makes me feel squeamish inside. That, I think, is entirely the point. This is a book for children who are lost and abused—this is a book to make them feel heard.

The poetry itself is short, stark, and graceful. There is something wonderful in the sinplicity of the words that is spellbinding. I couldn’t stop reading until I got to the end and I was left wanting more. Amanda Earl is a poet of great talent.

A note on the binding: EthelZine and micropress do a fantastic job with their hand-bound editions. It’s a lovely object and I’m very lucky to have it.

Highly recommend this one, even if it is a difficult read for spiritual reasons. Sometimes we all need to feel uncomfortable.