Joyless In Milwaukee II: a Recap

On October 12, Joyless House returned to the keen streets of Riverwest, on the north side of Milwaukee to celebrate seven years of publishing excellence. Some very swell old friends stopped by. The mantle of anarchist poetry was taken up, raised to the rafters exalted and gloried in duly. Songs were sung, beer was drunk, the best Peruvian coca leaves were chewed. It was altogether heartwarming. In keeping with the Joyless tradition (as Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones refused to ever play a show that was not in direct competition with a higher-profile artist performing somewhere down the street) another collection of writers was having a showcase just across the street from the Public House at Woodland Pattern Bookshop. Well fuck all of them. I can only assume they were cowered in their little bookstore, clutching iced-coffees in fear of the primal howls emanating from the House of the People. They could never have stomached our high and naked antics. As always:

Our aim is true

our record unblemished

our favors, always for sale.


Local raconteur, Desmond Paul Bone opened the show and got the sick-minded dancing with his Tom Waits on ecstasy-sltylings. Songs, stories and poems. If you can't catch the man in person, his poetry can be found on the restroom walls of the more tasteful establishments in Riverwest.

Next up: a true local legend. Warlock. He's like the father my mother swears I never had. Warwick entertained with tales of his days in the merchant marine, stints marshaling the Mardi Gras parade and fronting punk bands against the government. When it was his turn at the lectern (not the podium, mind you) it was a protest song and a brave argument for the human animal. Well done, good sir. If you are ever in Riverwest, stop in at the Circle A Cafe and and ask for him by his nom d'art. Tell him JH sent you. He's a consummate southern gentleman and will not disappoint.

Then the Sublime Boys took the stage. Alex and Paul up from Chicago. You will remember Alex Mussawir from his debut collection Deadpan on Monster House Books, his interview on this site and his erratic but delicious tweeting. Paul, who was billed only as a chauffeur, but wielded prose/poetic game that justified his one-name-performer status, got up first. He read a short story and several reviews of various star ratings off of Amazon dot com. He got the biggest laugh of the night. Alex read a story about grocery shopping and a how-to on smuggling farm fresh eggs. In Chicago, Alex feels he has the space to rededicate himself to his art. So it seems there is hope for that soul-crushing hell hole after all.

(perps, L-R: Paul, Warlock, Alex, bartender, Ted Prokash, Desmond)

Next, I read from chapter10 of Napawaupee County Blues over and amongst the strains of Casey Buhr's Peach Fuzz, a falling rock classic. It was brought to my attention that the volume of the music may have it difficult to make out everything I was reading. No problem... just go to and buy the fucking book, jerks! It's $10!

Anyway, the event was capped off with the music of Floor Model. And, oh lord, I saw more of myself in this band than I'd like to admit.

Finally it was back to the Warlock's inner sanctum at Circle A for a wee-hours discussion on literature, music, human sexuality and all those topics you will never gain an understand of by reading a fucking blog.

Safe travels, sailor.

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