I Self-Identify as These Books from 2016 (and Some from 2015) by Brian Alan Ellis


Mickey
 by Chelsea Martin (Curbside Splendor)

I self-identify as delusions of grandeur woven into Matchbox 20 lyrics, parental neglect, and manic self-doubt.

Maybe, deep down, in the most elusive, neglected, unimaginable recesses of my heart, I am not an ugly and worthless piece of shit, but a kind and sympathetic piece of shit.

A piece of shit worth knowing.

Also try: Calm Face by Bud Smith (House of Vlad Productions) and The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff (Knopf)

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Marigold by Troy James Weaver (King Shot Press)

I self-identify as suicide hotlines, dead flowers, and explaining “…the whole why-I-had-a-homeless-woman-on-the-couch-watching-Seinfeld thing.”

Life feels like that sometimes, doesn’t it? Like a scream that gets muffled by the crushing.

Also try: Sophia by Michael Bible (Melville House) and Sex and Death by Ben Tanzer (Sunnyoutside Press)

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Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements by Bob Mehr (Da Capo Press)

I self-identify as that time where Paul Westerberg drunkenly smashes one of his prized guitars on stage and their roadie says to him, “How could you wreck that guitar? You loved that thing,” and Westerberg replies, “Well, that’s the difference between me and you… You cherish things that you love. Me? I destroy ’em.”

Also try: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX with Jeff Alulis (Da Capo Press) and My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor by Keith Morris with Jim Ruland

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Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press)

I self-identify as a really good death mask.

There’s nothing I detest more than men with happy childhoods.

Also try: RIFT by Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan (Unknown Press) and A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

***

Witch Hunt by Juliet Escoria (Lazy Fascist Press)

I self-identify as fuck-you poems about sex, drugs and Axl Rose.

Sometimes when I get in the shower I close my eyes and it seems like I’m no longer actually in the shower. I’m in an alley, and there’s a bunch of homeless men pissing in my hair…

Also try: Your Glass Head against the Brick Parade of Now Whats by Sam Pink (House of Vlad Productions/Snigletti Haus) and The Book of Endless Sleepovers by Henry Hoke (Civil Coping Mechanisms)

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Bridget Fonda by Elizabeth Ellen (Dostoevsky Wannabe)

I self-identify as Elizabeth Ellen’s emotional baggage/Kid Rock worship—read my review in this magazine! *wink*

Also try: My Body Would be the Kindest of Strangers by Fiona Helmsley (Paragraph Line) and Death Confetti by Jennifer Robin (Feral House)

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Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal
About the Meaning of Life 
by Steven Hyden (Back Bay Books)

I self-identify as multiple references to the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

Also try: You Are a Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations by Mike Edison (Sterling) and But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman (Blue Rider Press)

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Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)

I self-identify as the inspiration to wanna sniff glue while listening to the first Adolescents LP.

Also try: Disquiet by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics) and The Incantations of Daniel Johnston by Scott McClanahan and Ricardo Cavolo, excerpted here (Two Dollar Radio)

 

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So Sad Today
 by Melissa Broder (Grand Central Publishing)

I self-identify as anxiety, self-loathing, and sexual fantasies involving vomit.

Also try: I’ll Tell You in Person by Chloe Caldwell (Coffee House Press) and I’m Ruining My Own Life by Gwen Werner (Passenger Side Books)

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 Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias (Broken River Books)
I self-identify as haunted, gun-toting YOLO cholos in search of love and redemption.

Also try: Black Hole by Bucky Sinister (Soft Skull Press) and Jigsaw Youth by Tiffany Scandal (Ladybox Books)

 

 

BRIAN ALAN ELLIS neglects the literary journal Tables Without Chairs, and is the author of three novellas, two short-story collections, a forthcoming novel, and a book of humorous non-fiction. His writing has appeared at JukedMonkeybicycleHobartDOGZPLOTConnotation PressVol. 1 BrooklynDiverse Voices QuarterlyHypertextLiterary Orphansjmwwcarte blancheHeavy Feather ReviewElectric LiteratureQueen Mob’s Tea HousePeople Holding, and Atticus Review, among other places. He lives in Florida.

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