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.
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.
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.”
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.
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…
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*
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)
Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
I self-identify as the inspiration to wanna sniff glue while listening to the first Adolescents LP.
So Sad Today by Melissa Broder (Grand Central Publishing)
I self-identify as anxiety, self-loathing, and sexual fantasies involving vomit.
Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias (Broken River Books)
I self-identify as haunted, gun-toting YOLO cholos in search of love and redemption.
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 Juked, Monkeybicycle, Hobart, DOGZPLOT, Connotation Press, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Hypertext, Literary Orphans, jmww, carte blanche, Heavy Feather Review, Electric Literature, Queen Mob’s Tea House, People Holding, and Atticus Review, among other places. He lives in Florida.