Submissions Open

Submissions Open for D.O.R issue 2


Hi all,

I’m happy to announce that the LJMcD Communications literature and arts magazine, D.O.R, is opening up for a fabulous second issue.

I’m looking for poetry, prose, and art on the edge of sanity. Bold new experiments in text and form. Anything that pushes the boundaries of what we can do with language and symbol. Full details below.

POETRY: Send up to five poems as a single word document. No restriction on form or subject matter, just make it interesting. You’ll find I’m more interested in experimental poetry than I am in traditional sonnets and the like, but I’m open to anything. Up to a million lines, but make them count!

PROSE: Up to 5,000 words in a word document. Short stories, prose poems, essays on contemporary magick, whatever ya got, just make sure you’re doing something new with your words. I want my head to spin with the modern world.

ART: Send up to five high def images in a single email along with any additional information you want published like titles and media.

Send all submissions to Please include a brief third person bio in the body of your email to accompany your piece if it is accepted.

Unfortunately, I cannot offer payment for accepted pieces, but all contributors will get the option of a print copy of the magazine at printing/shipping cost.

You can check out the first issue of the magazine in pdf or print copy here

Now, go forth and send me your best and weirdest work!

Book Review

Recent Reviews

Hi all,

I’ve been a bit slack on book reviews recently, so here’s a small collection of reviews in brief for the books I’ve missed.

Letter to my Mother by Georges Simenon—an engaging little read. At times boring, but overall quite interesting and really draws you into the deathbed musings of a long and strained relationship. A quick and simple read, I’d recommend for a rainy day. 3/5 stars.

Death the Barber by William Carlos Williams—fine poetry, but overall didn’t engage me that much. A quick read, there were some lovely images at times, but I think I was expecting more. 3/5 stars.

The Waste Land by T S Eliot—you can smell the charred landscape, the trash the death the strained amd curt relationships. It’s a wonderful poem and there’s not too much to say that hasn’t already been said. 4/5 stars.

The Problem that Has No Name by Betty Friedan—this is where it’s at. A wonderful feminist piece cataloguing the despair of the mid-century housewife and also the passion of the early feminists. Every word is powerful and resonates all to well in the modern world. 5/5 stars.

Schisms by Joshua Martin—another wonderful installment in the Martin cannon, this book teeters on the edge of sense and leaves you to draw your own lessons from the chaos of the text. A great, quick read, there’s nothing quite like it. 5/5 stars.

I’ll try to keep up with my reviews going forward, but there might be more of these reviews in brief coming your way.

Lachlan J McDougall

Book Review

Review: ‘Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems’ by Allen Ginsberg

The wild beat hullabaloo where it all began in resounding howl over rooftops and tenements. Vision through the skies and over land, unflinching language to settle the scores. I love Ginsberg, and this is a fabulous collection of some of the best of his writing. “I am old father fisheye” writes the maestro and we see him there.

There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. ‘Howl’ is ecstatic, wild, a bop kabbalah for the ages. The rest of the poems follow suit. Each link in the chain is a drawing back of energy waiting to be unleashed into the universe. Every bit as powerful as it was back in the late fifties.

I highly recommend this book. If you need poetry in your life—this is it.

Book Review

Review: ‘Omon Ra’ by Victor Pelevin

A scathing indictment on Soviet Russia and their flair for theatrics, this book presents itself like Catch 22 nourished on Kafka and put through the bleak Russian mill of Dostoevsky. I loved this book—it made me laugh and weep and rage with bitter impotence.

The coldness with which it treats the bureaucracy of the USSR is all the more interesting considering just how shortly after the fall of the state it was published. It holds back no punches and really goes to town on the two-faced doublethink of a nation bent on one-upping the West. It is not your usual critique though, it does not declaim a failed communism, but a failing of men and political advisors. It is a failing of the spirit and it has infected the Russian consciousness as far as Pelevin is concerned.

The story centres on a young man, Omon, who is being trained for a flight to the moon to show the Americans who’s boss. But really it is about the malicious scheming, the resigned indifference, and the callous cruelty of the systems in place around him. He has wanted to be a cosmonaut since he was a small child, so why is this great feeling so hollow?

Overall, however, I think this book speaks in a very modern way to the vast cannon of Russian literature. It speaks to Dostoevsky, to Gogol, and even to Pushkin. It speaks of despair and the urge to life in the face of adversity. This is a truly terrific book and I highly recommend it.

Book Review

Review: ‘Dark Days’ by James Baldwin

A collection of three essays on the condition of black people in America, this book is steeped with a gentle melancholy and a slowly boiling rage. Baldwin feels the plight of his brothers and sisters and doesn’t shy away from cold, hard facts. There is nothing reserved and no punches pulled when it comes to the pervading system of white supremacy and this is not an easy book to digest.

Part of the digestion issue, I must confess, stems from a l sense of overwriting at points which can confuse the issues. This is a rare occurrence, but one which made me prick up my ears more than once. It detracts, in my opinion, from the hard realities when Baldwin traces back through too much poetry.

On the whole, however, this is a relatively straightforward read and a real eye opener for white readers which, I’m sure, is the intended audience of at least two of the three essays. Baldwin knows he has something to say to the white man (although he claims he can’t have conversations with them) and by hell is he going to say it.

It’s a good book and it doesn’t make you feel good about it. It is a languid call to action and a bitter indictment. Reading it will pulverise your outlook, but it might just make you a better person.

Book Review

Review: ‘The Book of Breeething’ by William S Burroughs

A sort of scattered set of musings on language and symbol mixed with a thrilling collection of illustrations, this book is a short, wandering piece that reads like a knowledgeable ramble. Burroughs certainly has a point, but he refuses to make it, allowing it to grow organically out of abstract, dreamlike prose.

The illustrations are just gorgeous and Robert F Gale has done a fantastic job bringing the strange prose to life. Without the illustrations, this book would not work. With them, it is lifted to a high plain of fancy and wonder.

It is not Burroughs best book, and certainly not his clearest, but it is an interesting little addition to the cannon. For a collector like me, it is a must, but if you’re looking only for content, you can find these thoughts better expressed in other books. Still though, it is a fascinating excursion.

Book Review

Review: ‘The Cracked Looking-Glass’ by Katherine Anne Porter

A cute story about the loves and marriage of an Irish immigrant woman and her aging husband. A good psychological portrait with a thread that keeps you hooked throughout.

Nothing overly stimulating or exciting in this one, but it performs its task well and without hesitation. At the end you feel like you’ve learned something, but this is a vague feeling and you can’t put your finger on what.

I can’t say as I recommend this book overly, but I wouldn’t avoid it either. It is a plain and simple diversion and it performs well under the circumstances.

Book Review

Review: ‘Antkind’ by Charlie Kaufman

Following the story of B Rosenberg as he discovers, destroys, and attempts to recreate a miraculous three month long film, Antkind is a surreal assault that provokes the mind and tickles the funny bone. Exceedingly witty, biting, absurd, and tragic by turns, the book draws the reader into this strange world of killer robotic Donald Trumps, Abbott and Costello plotting the murder of unknown comedy duos, and hyperintelligent sentient ants.

My only real criticism is that the book tends towards the episodic and sometimes things appear to happen with no relation to the larger plot. But then again, this randomness and meaninglessness is part of what the book is about in the first place. It’s just that at 700 pages, sometimes extraneous material seems a bit unnecessary.

I enjoyed this book a lot and never grew tired poring through its immense bulk. I was captivated start to finish and laughed out loud at more than one point. I very much recommend this book.

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Prospective Catalogue for LJMcD Communications Printed Material 2023

Hi All,

The prospective catalogue for all LJMcD Communications printed material is now available–just have a read or download below.

This catalogue is subject to change at any time, but for now this is what will be on offer for the year.

You can order or pre-order any of the books in this catalogue by emailing with your order details and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Orders of more than one book usually get a discount or at least combined shipping rates.

All pre-orders will be shipped after release date.

Proof copies of some books are available before release date for especially keen fans. Send me an email to see if you are able to get your hands on one of these. Not available in all cases, but some special exceptions apply. Limited numbers available.

All books are also available on Amazon after release date, just search for the title of the book or the author’s name and you will find it.

Remember, small presses like LJMcD Communications depend on support from readers like you, so if you are able to buy a book, please do. Or consider donating to the press via PayPal to Every little bit helps keep us afloat and bringing you more of what you love.

That’s all from me.

Enjoy the catalogue and make your purchases!

Lachlan J McDougall

Book Review

Review: ‘Leaving the Yellow House’ by Saul Bellow

A wandering tale of an aging woman being forced out of her home due to injury and age and the resulting stock taking of self and position in the universe. At times touching, at others blunt and forceful, this book reads well and brings up a number of pertint issues for our time. That being said, I don’t particularly care for this book. Despite its occasional human reach, I just didn’t find myself caring about the characters and the resolution was, to me, unsatisfying.

Bellow clearly has something to say and he will say it. Does the message come across loud and clear or does it get garbled in a long line of memory and description? Perhaps it was directness this book was lacking, or perhaps a definite sense of direction, but it meandered through a desert forest leaving only faint impressions.

At times the prose was beautiful and there are some very nice moments in this book, but overall it just doesn’t connect. Who knows? Maybe another reader will pick up a thread where I left it lying on the floor, but for me this one is a solid ‘okay, I read it—now what next?’