You Are Not a Normal Human Being by Justin Blackburn

In 2009 we were thrilled to release Justin Blackburn’s seminal publication, “Farting Fire,” and the world was introduced to a young, vibrant, wild poet who through his blatant and forthright honesty, conveyed through poetry a beauty of message and persona. Now in this decadent age of 2012, Justin Blackburn returns with his latest collection, “You Are Not a Normal Human Being” is a 100 page dash across the life and times of Justin Blackburn: poet, comedian and spiritual teacher. Readers can expect elements of these to shine through poems that reaffirm the mysteries of life with gracious love and insight. As life can be blatantly honest, so to can Justin’s poetry, and this collection presents itself as a story of a person in the process of having found themselves, perhaps on the edge of acceptance, and the process is teaching, informing, all while entertaining and sometimes shocking. In You are Not a Normal Human Being, Justin takes readers by the hand through an adventure that is sometimes jarring, sometimes sweet, sometimes sexy, sometimes enlightening. There are moments of poetic vividness,


On the back porch the people play and sing
Steve miller praise songs to the eternal joker.

A young goddess, brown haired, halo, dancer suggests 4 Non Blonde,
the guitar man says “sing it sweetie,” she does
and the backyard porch universe is in perfect order once again
with the precise people screaming and cheering, on and for the life,
the music, the song, the dance, the voice, the everything.

The simple savory sweet children of music
swallow the super duper joys accompanying life
with every idea of their own divinity inside
the everlasting moment of singing a song straight from the heart.

~ Back Porch  (p. 74)

There are moments of lewdness, though intermixed with positive messages, as demonstrated in this prose piece:

Love yourself enough to embrace who you are. The unclaimed parts;

claim them. You like the smell of your own farts, then fart motherfucker,
fart. Love yourself enough to make the saddest, shittiest, whiniest, fucked
faggot assed art and share it. All the judgmental cunts talking shit behind
your back about how much suck, love yourself enough to suck and not
give a shit. Love yourself enough to listen to them bitch and laugh. You
got six toes, oh no everyone thinks it’s gross, love yourself enough to ask
every gossiping gospel Christian to clean your uncivilized fungus Jesus
infested abnormality. You got herpes, walk up to the town’s favorite
judge, and kiss him on the mouth while he’s out to dinner with his big
belly, thieving, lawyer, frat bros. Love yourself enough to admit that
nobody knows; that you don’t need to know, that you do know you
probably started this poem off too raw and real for the way most average
people feel, that you might walk half your crowd right from the beginning,
but know that you love yourself enough to reach far beyond the average
ideas of curtain calls and modern day winning, to express the love blood
that bleeds your perfect broken heart never ending. Love yourself enough
to be aware that this beautiful world is in outer space spinning. Love
yourself enough to exclaim to a crowd of beautiful women and famous
movie star athletes that you have a small, smelly dick even though it’s
obvious you have the biggest, blackest cock in the room.
~ Love Yourself Enough (p.57)

You Are Not a Normal Human Being is a collection of poetry not to miss. It is a read that may not be easy to put down for some, it is an effigy may be treated as a pariah by others, it is a collection we have embraced at Virgogray Press with enthusiasm for the artist and the message conveyed, a vision to be respected for the creator and observer. Don’t miss this exciting new release, You Are Not a Normal Human Being by Justin Blackburn!  100 pages.



Justin Blackburn and Publishing Update

Greetings all from Austin, TX. A brief update on the goings-on regarding Virgogray. We had a bit of a hiccup recently when the AC Jack on our computer broke. Fortunately, everything was backed up, but having put the machine in the shop and waiting for a part took some precious time. We are now scrambling to get his book out to you now that we are back online. We appreciate the graciousness of the author and his many fans for their patience, but one thing for certain is it is quite a collection to look forward. We are proud to have Justin Blackburn back with us (we previously published his collection “Farting Fire”– our best selling title which is up for a re-release probably next year), and I know there will be much to look forward to once this project gets rolling.

Another new publication that will be quick on the heels of Justin Blackburn’s “You Are Not a Normal Human Being,” is “Sinister Splashplay” by David S. Pointer. I can tell you for a fact, we are very excited about this publication which is a long time in the coming from a very talented poet and writer who has bright future in the writing world. I imagine things are just getting underway for Mr. Pointer, who has been a constant contributor to Virgogray Press for a number of years now. This consummation between poet and press is indeed a long in the coming and something to look forward.

More news coming soon. Stay tuned…

Virgogray Press: The Next Generation

With so many things going on in today’s society, that’s not even to speak of the supposed publishing industry, we here at Virgogray Press happen to believe these to be very interesting times. The great hiccups of 2011: the cancellation of the Virgogray Press Chapbook Anthology Series (which from its ashes shall bear the fruit of the VGP Chapbook Anthology Series II), the delay of Nothing. No One. Nowhere. No. 2 –now forever lovingly known as, “The Belated,” which will have a rerelease so we can move on to issue 3, and a nearly month-long hiatus on Carcinogenic Poetry (now back in full swing), were definitely unforeseen circumstances, and we are not afraid to admit when we face hardship, for honesty in the face of adversity is strength and necessary to overcome adversity. So, cutting the dramatics, Virgogray Press, in the spirit of any independent, has decided to carry on in spite of any hiccups we’ve had this year. We have been combing the myriads of chapbook submissions received (and there are still many to read), perused the Carcinogenic Poetry subs and posted new works, and are working on new projects to take literature and art to new levels for our young press.

I would like to remind, Virgogray Press is a one-man operation supported by hundreds of writers and poets and an occasional guest editor to help in the production of different titles. Virgogray Press has been, since its inception, a largely not for profit publisher, with all revenue from sales going back into the press to create more books, to pay for packaging and handling, and pay for promotional items like posters,  computer programs to build the graphics for online advertising, etc. Basically we did it all at Virgogray Press from editing, to binding, formatting, book design, typeset, cover design, graphic design, publication coordination, scheduling, warehousing, distributing, promoting, research, accounting, shopping, everything. Recent discoveries of the effects of printer ink on health, as well as for more efficient means of printing and warehousing has led Virgogray Press to new paths, with new technologies that will up the ante in our conquest of secular literature and allows for time to be focused on greater causes, as opposed to actual production (all chapbooks previously released by Virgogray Press were hand-made by yours truly). Virgogray is looking forward to future developments for the press. With the introduction of the next generation of chapbooks, readers will have a lot to look forward to: better quality publishing, accessibility worldwide through the web and brick and mortar stores, driving writing that will spark both conscious and intellectual stimuli, new titles by great names and more projects that will expand our pantheon of writers, poets and artists to the next level of literacy. We are always seeking to push boundaries, especially in regard to style, type and content. I encourage everyone interested in the spoken and written word, anybody just longing to share their work to research some of our venues:

Carcinogenic Poetry, an online poetry blog that is anthologized annually; Nothing. No One. Nowhere.—a literary arts magazine featuring poetry, flash fiction, short story, art, photography, reviews, interviews, and more; The Yellow Elevator (published by Lizard’s Tale, an imprint of Virgogray Press) – a brand new publication dedicated specifically to poetry and the poetic arts that is now accepting submissions. Be on the lookout for the Virgogray Press Chapbook Anthology Series II to start-up sometime before the end of the year. Please look for details on how to submit to these publications by clicking on our submissions tab.

We do not fool ourselves into believing the world will always be a hunky-dory place where nothing changes or ever happens. We are cognizant of the current state our country, government and economy is in—an issue which has also pulled at the attention of this publisher. The status of our economy alone makes publishing, poetry or any other type of entrepreneurial endeavor difficult. The Federal Reserve Note is very close to collapse, the Internet is very close to be locked down with the introduction of Internet II, which would have a series of fees, regulations and requirements to use—there will be no more freedom on the internet; our freedom of speech and freedom of expression is constantly under attack, now more so than ever with mainstream corporate media calling for the end of the United States Constitution, a document which is new compared to tyranny, oligarchy, monarchy and slavery and that secures our right to life, liberty (freedom) and the pursuit of happiness (so long as you harm none). All these issues are very real, and in the face of these issues, in the face of this adversity, we here at Virgogray Press shall carry on sharing the work and wisdom of the poets and writers who pass through our halls and cross our pages. Thank you for joining us on this quest for the dissemination of truth through art and literature.

To that end, I welcome you to stay tuned to new releases forthcoming from Suzi Kaplan Olmsted, who in her sophomore release, will bring a great project to her fans and readers everywhere that will include a couple of surprises. Also, Peter Marti’s Thai Chap, which chronicles his journeys in India and Tibet through poetry and photography. A first for Virgogray, we will be presenting Subhankar Das’  By the Banks of Ajoy, Jaideb Vanishes into the Blue, a bilingual publication presented both in  English and Bengalis . Chris D’Errico will return with a seminal new publication—Ministry of Kybosh, a project I am eager to get started on, and our star child, himself, Justin Blackburn has a new book approaching as well. This is just the beginning. We are not accepting any manuscript submissions at the moment, but if you sent us a manuscript during our submission period and have not heard back from us, we ask your further patience. We are aiming to have all submissions addressed before the end of the summer!

I hope this update was informative and entertaining. Godspeed everyone and god bless—here’s to the future!