Robert Olen Butler Official Website


J. P. Sartre & J. Goebbels drink ape-piss tea in fetid bistro, wondering if they might’ve done differently without a walleye, a club foot

Swore by Stalin, mollified Hitler, Che & Chamberlain bake together in a low-temperature oven: damned if you do & damned if you don’t

Those who died demented in a nursing home think they’ve simply moved down the hall

Robert Olen Butler types away in a tiny, dark room alone with his unconscious & unable to avert his eyes: this is Hell, but it is Heaven too

I have to speak fast: Hell as untweetable novel officially available. Satan will do all he can to stop anyone buying it. Please resist him

Satan tortures writers by making them flog their books. Tweeting of news from the nethers will be somewhat less often now, but will not stop

She was faithful, he was not; then he was faithful, she was not; then they didn’t even care & split. Reunited forever in faithful rotten sex

In Nam, the “mad minute”: spooked, all shot wildly into dark. Here, vets live the mad minute, firing into the dark, hitting only themselves

The VC dug tunnels, quaked within the earth at bombfall. Here, they dig & dig & find, digging upward, peasants they killed who chose no side

Telemarketers & phone-sex workers are one here, calling endlessly, selling their own body parts. Handling & shipping is the tough part

Descending Picasso’s stairs: her face is 6 cubist planes: Fernande & Eva & Olga & Marie-Thérèse & Dora & Françoise: the sex will not go well

A sadly lost past: she the future reporter, YA in Fifties: on Sat. night the sound of metal wheels of paperboy’s cart with the Sunday paper

Childhood lost: chewing Teaberry gum. Childhood kept: chewing your nails, furiously, to the quick, afraid someone will see. They will.

The guys who slew all in Midian & Bashan & Heshbon & Gezer & Libnah etc. over who is God have new faith: the top guys are somewhere here too

Sarah Palin lives alone, talks nonstop to herself, unable to grasp her own syntax, believes she can see Heaven from her window. It’s Russia.

Hell is proud of its perfect model of a market-driven health care system.

A pragmatist in Hell: in Obama’s right ear a braying conservative; in his left, a braying liberal. He is driven to reconcile their views.

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