The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Scunnard presents … the Novels of Zak Ferguson Day or Sex is Confusion


I wanted to present this here because I became aware of Zak Ferguson’s writing indirectly through this community. My book had just been released and Zak reached out following its “welcome to the world” from DC. Zak and I began corresponding after that and discovered a real affinity and some amazing conversations about art, writing, and life. Reverberating like a playlist on repeat, songs and memories almost forgotten, working on new projects, I was impressed that he had already published over six novels—some bizarre, sprawling, frequently obscene, riddled with intentional typos and grammar lapsed-ed-ded-ness, confeve, absurdist, and all intimately observed. It’s not common to stumble upon a world so fully formed and after the fact like blizzards. From this, I wanted to share a few thoughts and excerpts from some of his recent work (Volatile Voices Volatile Universe, Dimension Whores, and Mr. Nick… as well as interviews and video at the bottom) and I also included text from the epilogue of his recent book What Mr. Wants Mr. Gets where he shares ideas about awakening as a writer as well as experiences with autism or neural diversity in relation to art, which is something that doesn’t get written or considered in this manner. I want to see more writing like this. I want to see more people like this. I want to feel confused and conflicted in the best possible way in reading and art, no more prepackaged viewpoints—and this next generation of writers and artists need to be nurtured as they claw and wrestle big ideas, forms, and portents into the physical world we trudge through. Zak is a true experimentalist and promiscuous writer in the most generous sense of the word as convoluted and obsessive images scree rampant across page.

I wrote this shortly after reading one of his recent novels:

Not often does new fiction come to this world so fully formed and peculiar in its execution. Zak Ferguson’s work confuses me on the deepest levels—and I would not have it any other way—as it twists a thread of visceral narrative layers only to break it and start anew. Ferguson dredges the most specific and proscribed shapes and images to page, stilting and rendered through oblique and haunting vantage, riddled through to the baser aspects of the conscious and condensing as something more. Writers like this are born to it, even when one might suspect a heritage—Bataille, Lautréamont, Bulgakov, or Burroughs—but also with a surprisingly delicate touch. Manic images somehow increasingly specific, like intimate sea divers setting off a light-pulse from within a leviathan, merging with genres like science-fiction or metaphysics and rant. It is writing that burns itself.



Zak Ferguson is an Autistic, mental health-suffering much despised entity, barely a person, just an irritable itch, on the ear- lobe, on the fringes of your conscious-self; whose reality consists of words, literature and the pretensions garnered from art.

If you like literature that tests your perceptions of literature, that tests your patience, that entices, arouses, annoys, irritates, breaks into you machinations of consuming literature, literature that confounds, upsets, and semi-forms itself as entertainment and all such and sundry as accepted and marketed in the full fledged market place of book-building and publication… then Zak is probably somebody you’d like to beat around the head with, said book, and tell him what a waste of time it was…

If, and this is a BIG if, this is an experience you wish to partake in, if only to get a chance to beat him publicly/privately…read his stuff.

He exists online in some vague form. On INSTAGRAM under some name or other…and TWITTER…under another name based around his issue with sweating…

Zak lives in the seaside town of Brighton.



Volatile Voices Volatile Universe:

We live in a reality that is supposed to be our own. Voices break through, in textural compositions. A reality crafted by our own hand. Our own, their own, a sum of many, many parts of this slop of material. We are existing on multiple plains of existence. Layered. Tiered. Dormant. Existing. Birthing. Dying. Fizzling out. Our decisions are not our own, it is dictated by a melange of our other selves. Our parallel selves. Our truer selves. And if that isn’t comfortable enough for you to accept, to compute, to define as a narrative streak, there is a billion others in the wings to be hung up for contemplation- {not entertainment}…then faith, objectification and all great emotions are greater served and rationalized, and made acceptable, by putting it to our greatest deities; to make our most basic of decisions somebody else’s fault. The Narrators? {who do you trust?} What if you got a TASTE of your own reality? What if every minute thing has cause and effect, rippling through the linearity of your (multiple-selves) LIFE-LINE(s)? What if every possibility of all potentialities submerge into “your” cohesive narrative life? What if you got a TASTE of a broader Cosmos? What IF… those voices, those rippling, bending, curvature-noise-made-material-ectoplasmic-events altered not one singular variation of yourself, but all of your selves… these phantom images, these intrusive thoughts, these Déjà vu-moments are our own extremely tempered voices…ever so V O L A T I L E Breaching…reaching out…Part of an even greater web-work and mapping, making its own sub-pocket in space and time, where, out there, in there {indicate to your own head, thus meaning your mind} personified within itself as a multi-layered Universe, itself ever so, V O L A T I L E… Meet a whole host of characters, whose singular, epic, contained stories all interweave to culminate into a broader far more {“pretentious} cosmic whole, where there is a sexually perverse demented youth Dimension-hopping, searching for his sick obsession, a young girl, of pig-tail innocence, a council-block dwelling witch with a penchant for pushing carers to their mushy-deaths, meet That Man who exists on the fringes of a young girls reality, a girl, who in question is the focal point to all of these characters, whose realities are splayed out, who is a key component to this fractured, abusive, controversial, VOLATILE universe…And novel.

Excerpt Volatile Voices, Volatile Universe:

If Benedict had any source of reality outside of his own he wrapped himself up, like an eskimo survives by, in the farthest reaches of some ice planet he resided…he would have ended them both; to even have a modicum of awareness, that even those he had around him, sought to further his greed to be assumed as a respectable person to be envious of, though envy was pretty much evident (and appreciated by Benedict) it was envy to the fact that such a character and human being, so obviously slimey, inhuman- could receive such a life and the great potentialities that if anyone else had, would be almost pinching themselves, of the belief they were in a dream- to still be so negligent and blind to them and what they truly as a species, even as his usually perceived aesthetic-attire, there to apply to his mythology that of he mastered, in himself- to bolster everything that is of his airs and aura as a human being…blind…blissfully so… of what they meant and represented…as human vessels, as souls, as some rare form of intellectual animal. The furthered, beatific visage and embodiment of what it meant to be human.

They were Humanity and the meaning of life. They should have been his meaning of life.
To think, the reasons he had a child, and took Mora as his own, was to bump up his esteem and that social seasoning that would make him feel emboldened, be tasted and assumed as, this great big respectable and respected thing, he wouldn’t have bothered…

There was never love. Just unconditionally greed. Never love. But an unattainable need to control.
It only made sense that these. . .entities and (emotions, feelings, these permeator’s of power) would accept this new unofficially sealed agreement. But they knew, they must know.

Benedict knew the flick of a tongue on vowels and select words that held a weight of a future singer.

Such a voice his son could possess as an adult was cast aside. He needed to use what he had at hand, at that time.

Paulie was a well-mannered boy with such deep cunning and strength. It really had pissed Benedict off.
A kind-hearted child born from love? And commitment?

To Benedict none of that was ever conveyed in his daily actions even when he did make love to his Mora.

Their relationship was solidified by their own separate dedication to the cause.
Paulie, though his son and the only remaining part of Mora left, had never truly been part of Benedict’s life.

He never connected nor would allow himself to. Only on a maligned basis.
The genes of his Mora, with the angelic high cheek boned face and the deep whirlpool eyes of crystal blue phosphorescence was not the only thing they shared by genetics. They shared that self-possessed dedication to their own thoughts.

Stubborn bastards!

All those years of trying and failing to get some peaked attention, the birth of his child, of Paulie – this boy was the key. So he had thought.

This is what he had needed for the future.
The boy did have some of his own talents merged in with his Mothers looks-of his own traits of octaves that were of great resounding pitch, the shrilling chill, an educing power, merged along with his own wife’s fine breeding and her own variant brand of sound.

The child was to be a project.

As everything was dealt and ordained in Benedict’s life A project to garner applause and appreciation?

No, nothing of that ilk. He was to rise something.

When it had all come together to form an image (a visual display of a long stretch of road, with hedges, yet all that much empty with plaintive structures and colours)- to anger him with that voice, that only some, or thee one and only God could afflict one with.

As talent is an affliction.

A voice to anger whatever you viewed the epitome of evil or the devil himself, who could have thought himself, devil wreath dimming in contemplation- that this innocence came from his own balls.

Now everything had been ruined. Scuppered. Fucked.

That kind face which often he could look at trying to imbue some form of attachment with or applying a small touch of Fatherly fondness, was now forever lost.

The potential too.

The loss of his wife should have been the nail in the coffin to Fatherly love or what could have passed as a form of attentiveness. But everything performed or done was out of his own self-interest and gains.

The image of his ghastly face counter acted the boy’s deep morale’s and personality now.
Give a voice to a monster as sweet and tasteful as a ripe plum the thing will forever remain a monster.
It was imprinted upon his mind forever, that image. That grotesquerie. Shivers spread. Shoulders hunkered up. Evidential judders were spread across his huge hulking form.

The vision of hell itself. No matter if the voice was heard with its angelic lilt- it was spoken by a monster.

His monster.
His burden.
His boy.

The most pivotal thing to the continuation of Benedict’s bad luck and his rising fame.

Excerpt Volatile Voices, Volatile Universe:

He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Because what he witnessed could not have possibly happened. She was gone. One minute there, next minute not there. He threw himself away, his four-wheeled chair threatening to topple him backwards. He started to assault his wang. . .

He took stock, he couldn’t do that- or the whole lead up would be stalled, and he would be left with that jitteriness in his legs for the remainder of his day, that he hated.

So, he tore at his hair. He grabbed the front of his underwear, pulling it up until the seams teared, the buttons flew off and it flicked out of its sewed structure- with such strength behind the tug the materials came away- leaving him with a lashing across the bridge of his noise. The elastic in the band leaving a nasty welt.

Once he had settled, like a pirate would place a calming hand on the hilt of his sword, Paulie did this. The feel of his sweaty palm of his shaft tingled and he felt himself grow firmer.

Selfish little thing, to go off like that, not letting Paulie finish his be good to yourself hour and a half. Paulie leaned his head against the blinds, strumming his man meat with gusto and angry passion. It felt great. It enlivened something new inside him.

Something he could grow to like. . .



Dimension Whores:

Dimension Whores is a non-novel. A non-linear-experimental book. An ode to the works of William S. Burroughs and all the great literary masters who gained notoriety in death…rather than in life…a legacy Zak Ferguson won’t even have a chance at even following in his own demise. Praise for Zak Ferguson, “I don’t get it, I truly do not understand how this is even allowed to hit the presses…he didn’t even pass English Literature in his GCSE’s”- Zak’s English Teacher (year 9/10/11) “Anyone know of Zak’s whereabouts, please get hold of your local Police”- Zak’s Probation Officer

Excerpt The Dimension Whores

The Dimension Whores.

They who wanted to feel the light brought through an indeterminable darkness that opened through his eyes and those who sort a higher power-they could (try!) to enter.

The sooner they sat down and crossed eye lines with him the sooner they either died or became hooked. That teetering potential of going beyond the veil of their own reality.

Sadly, over the decades that was Plait’s prime function to this day. Though he would never admit it to himself. It was termed holding “Palaver”.

Holding palaver went beyond general conversation. It was a polite term for the binding of two souls. A dominance that breached the functioning of Dimensions, in this case on Earth and its logical placement and generalisation.

In function, it was two people looking longingly into each other’s eyes and twitching. One may seem in more control as if in the throes of a staring contest than the other who would be the individual (victim) crumbling from the inside out.

Plait would be the unblinking and steely eyed one who would be viewed as the initial winner, having always been that composed opponent, though still enabled to be creasing with a sly smirk that stated his affirmed control over such dim witted and deluded pathetic creature(s) such as the Junkies had become through this new vice they’d crafted from their intolerable sickening greed, all whilst the other was either a creature that could hold palaver and cross over and ascertain their worth on the other side, though mostly were just scabby pot holed fleshed homeless individuals whose sole existence, seemingly, was probing for a new high or hit; to hold Palaver was theirs to try and cope with and lay blame to their shallow lives. To maybe confirm to the multi-function of realities (hardly, it’s just an assumed trip) and exit Earth’s reality and go to the void of another of an even more masterful plain of creation, technology and experience a swirling cleansing. Like a sluice of paint twirled in water; that vortex that held species beyond rationality and creed. To hold “Palaver” was to hold an internal conversation with the Universe.

Excerpt The Dimension Whores:

The scent of corporation and consumerism and the far more universally illegal sex trade stronger than the floral musk used to mask it.

Sex was a consumerist occupation and lifestyle in this area. Public sex acts endorsed and filmed and profited from. Scents of intoxicates attuned for each participant in the endeavouring to drink and caress and soil and to fuck to/with. A secret place exposed by its arrogance and fervour.

The façades and facades boasted eminence and greed with the usual wealth beyond natural filth, but beneath there was much more to experience.

He sauntered down the least lit of all alleys. The majority take outs and restaurants were catered to a select clientele. As the light pulled away its groping hands from Plait’s suit, he made his way down said alley with both hands firmly in his deep front pockets. Gloved fingers feeling the cold steel of his weapon in his right. The left pocket much lighter with his clippo and packet of smokes.

He did not have to confirm by word with the deposited lump of fat sitting on a crooked stool who this night was posing as a night guard.

Adjacent to him was an equally attired doorman, their clothing more of newspaper seller than bouncer: Both kept nodding off in and out of sleep and eventually collided with each other. Before he entered, this pursued:

A fight broke out between the two, both opening freshly healed wounds from last night’s gash/wound opening.

“I told you!”
“NO! I told you”
Fisticuffs flew. Teeth shattered. A mouthful of dentures flew out of one of the twos mouths. Upon collision with the ground it kick-started its wind-up mechanism and skittered on and off out the alley with the fatter of the two wobbling on after it. Chatterer away. Plait entered the bar, coming down a curved weak boarded staircase thus making his way towards the sticky bar of Nell’s Dew Drop Inn. Tonight, was a night of wonders.

Excerpt The Dimension Whores:

No sooner had it built to an almost sadistic orgasmic explosion…

(With his jeans straining, hurting with the pressure of an odd angled erection that was also accompanied by beads of greasy perspiration cascading down the back of his legs, leaking down from the tight enclosure of his jeans to hit the open air offered by the broad hems of his 70’s styled leg wear, trailing like slug slime down to his ankles, the seat of his underwear weighted like a full diaper).

I have never adorned 70’s wear? – it was washed away, no sooner replaced by that same cosy emotion that would settle and then be nestled and then personified within. Washed away by acidic sweat.

Perfect. . .so perfect. . .
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Everything makes sense sooner or later.

Before him was life: Living and breathing and forever playing out.
His own life projected upon the shards. Eric could not distinguish its function nor its reality. As much as he was synced into this matrix it was still a constant discovery of feeling.

This place was not made by such a mind that of any Eric in the multi-verse of Greater Universes. Much was his material matter that had been nip and tucked and spliced by all his far off co-existing alternate reality ‘selves. Further out from the reach and influence of the WAVE-LENGTH of Eric’s potentialities and their cross-hair stitching’s.

It was made by some being who knew its relevancy, no doubt.
But, was it directed to Eric himself? Or, humans in general? Was it some saving grace to an all-round ulterior motive?



Mr. Nick:

Mr. Nick. He’s the Devil. Or just good ol’ Nicky-Boy. Any who, Nick is suffering from a case of the mid-Millennium blues. What is his life? To serve others, and more? At the end of the day, it’s not like he’s got horns and breathes fire… …that, and he’s not the actual epitome of Evil. He’s an old boy wanting to live out the remainder of his (im)mortal life. After a few bevvies, and World Record for MOST CIGARETTES SMOKED IN HALF AN HOUR, Nick comes to the conclusion that it’s high-time to call it quits. To pass the baton. Heavy lies the crown upon the head of he who is: RULER OF THE WORLD. Of whom, you ask, would be the worthy heir to The Devil’s throne? Well, none other than Nick’s son himself – a simpleton with a devout passion for pushing papers, and sorting pencils. The REAL question is: Can this desk-dweller do what is necessary to keep Earth neat and tidy? That question is put to the test when Cupid is bequeathed his utmost desires… …desires full of beautiful benevolence – a fire too HOT for any level of Hell to contain, or control. From one fiasco to another, Nick’s spur-of-the-moment decision to quit his job couldn’t have come at a more hellacious time. Mr. Nick offers laffs (laughs, for the spelling police), gonzo-bonker characters (like a mallet to the head, and that soppy cartoon laugh), and moments that’ll most likely have critics throwing this book at their least favourite child.



Excerpt Mr Nick:

William’s work place would be best described as a building made of blocks stacked upon another, with a few obligatory windows, if not put there for any form of natural light to bring some semblance of there being an outside world/an escape to the work environ (most likely not, as anybody of whom entered the work place of William were there out of their own sense of duty/need/JobsWorthy-ness) and more out of the necessity to be just an UGLY CONFORMIST BUILDING.

Cement. Plastic. Metal. More metal. Infrastructure the exterior façade. It was surprising the stuffing of electronics/inner workings wasn’t lining the outside.

It also could be said it was crafted out of plastic and glass without being wholly intended to be distributed in blocks.
Or you could say it is just ugly, and not a very well thought out architectural design, with nary as much thought put into its erection than its overall architectural splendour.

The dimensions to it were square, oblong, then square, then high, then short. The building screamed: I’m a place of boredom. It felt sterile and far too clean. Too futuristic. A place personified and structured, a solidified building that exhumed: totalitarian of drollery.

Futuristic though in the 1960’s sense, back in the days of Kubrick.

Bold. Bright. Shiny. Blocky. Broad lines, curved arches, everything was symmetrical, also tube like and very much corporatism enthused.

Run by Corporation wah-wah’s – which is humans by all similar traits, like minded, like haircut, like wet eared bores, who are now officially titled: Workaton’s. Not an original idea between them all. Nor was the name. Everything was systematised and compartmentalized without finding itself given space of thought in that source of compartmentalisation.
They would seem to come across as efficient and spot on.

How could they be efficient and spot on with work when there is no intuition? No passion. Just systematic wandering around. A place George Orwell would have pointed to and stated, “That’s worse than I truly predicted”.
There were, at least in some small section of his mind, consciousness, unconscious apartments of thought, some original thoughts were hidden in Williams brain, specifically.

Though the systematised routine of lunch or breaks never broke for him either: fountain breaks, which were company paid/brought and never dried up on stock of dry ham sandwiches, or on a good day, egg and cress. Ultra-runny. There was just monotonous similarity. Endless days that were the same. No matter what. If anything is slightly alternated in a routine it seems to set itself back. Or you go back in a circle, without time stopping or getting reeled back, you must complete that task the way it was set in your office hours and the way the destined time line as a Workaton NEEDs you to react: cut, paste, walk, strategically place or just do the task, the same way you have since the first day you stepped over the threshold.

It was not in the rules, but every single employee did this.


William stared hard at his computer monitor. He brushed an invisible wisp of flint from his starchy, buttoned up, long sleeve Office shirt.

The usual routine commenced well.

His cubicle isolated the noises, maxed up certain octaves of select noisome objects.

Noises climaxed, only to leave an empty dead space of…nothing.

Then another minute, but exemplified noise would recommence.

More tapping of a defunct processor. More waiting for a greasy sweating bull of a man to have his butt on view, for near half an hour when fiddling with the computers wirings, all the while boasting of a great marriage and paid job as William averted his gaze to his cactus.

That was his only luxury and proof of (in a very in the minus department of mathematics, equations) a personality.
Personified in his cactus. Clichéd. Dreary. A dullard. And a kitten calendar in his four-walled cubicle. Sadly, it did not read:


It read: JUST DROP SON. . . just drop.

The rest of his work space was covered in very neat tidied piles of annotated notes, pock marked letters, officially sealed paperwork. Anything that would be the five, top to get items on an art director’s list were there in his office, and then some.
The life of an office worker, started with pencils. Set your pencils in a row. All straight. Then move them until in a good looking standing order. Then turn on your sparks flying greasy palm imprinted screen computer, from the late 1950’s. Work on analysis. Creating pie charts.

Averting his gaze to a collision of digits, inter connecting, geographical computerised mathematical equations, BEFITTING TO A GRAPH.

All a mirage of the similar, part of a routine. All part of the life of a Workaton.
A little history on what it means to be a Workaton: Workatons usually are always living in a self-induced coma. Physically their bodies troop on. In line. “Atten-HUT!”

LINE UP CHAPS. PUT YER’ HARD HATS ON. All in marching order.
The 99.9 percent of their brain function was all work (No)…let us stop there as…well, “no-play” was never in the itinerary.
No, anything.

That One Per Cent consisted of original thought was as bland and plain as any type of floral wallpaper your Grandmother boasted was the last seventeen roles available at the end of the early seventies.

The most original thought any of the workers of this world were along the lines of:


Do I like carrots more than carrot Cake?
Some do often go beyond a thought. They go further to argue against those thoughts and contradict themselves.

Do I like Carrot Cake more than Beetroot Cake?

Others go along the lines of:
Am I thinking…wait?!…no!…pie chart needs some colour coordination.

Some more perverse.
I think I love my cat! Would it like a sexual relationship?

One out of many who did long for a different life, was William. Deep, deep down through the wading force of bureaucracy of notes and lamented paper.

He sat himself behind his desk; just in the act of Office Worker managerial pen and pencils alignment, he froze.
Debated an idea.

Which was then shunned and bullied into disappearing.

William booted up his steaming computer, which was turning into an orb. His forehead leaked out the passion in globular droplets. The notion of working oddly therapeutic.

Out of this world William inhabited of faxes and long drawn out monotonous conversations to his company’s clientele, across the board, with their stupors of in-voices, letters, out of the whole of Lyn’Franch’s Banking & Lawyers & Soft Drinks Firm.
William was the one who sat there, suddenly realising there was more to life than work.
It was literally a light bulb moment.

William continued working through his load of piled papers, piled folders, piled graph sheets, arranged pens, a phone that was just for show but that often rang, when answered a heavy breathing voice would say “Take your pants off!”
His mind forever tweaking daily; changing course. Then like all great inspired ideas, that they make your whole-body jerk, the last days of his Workaton mind frame begun to malfunction, jerkily. And as did his motions and his concentration. William’s stooped skinny frame lingered over the top of his computer, plummeting his giraffe length neck downwards to scan the loading bar of the computer, that emitted sounds you only should hear when a steam train is about to leave a platform.
Pushing his wire framed glasses back up the bridge of his raven sharpened nose, he felt a change in the room. Something strange, ominous, something differentiating in the air. Physics being pulled and prodded and larked about with.

William glanced down at his bronzed-varnished, leathered wristwatch, witnessing the inner workings, every month, on the dot, that he had checked over and serviced, were showing signs of actual inner- discombobulation, beyond that of which whirled inside his mind to send him on such routinely stupid ventures to have his wrist watch randomly checked over/serviced/charged extortionately for. Here, the wrist- watch was showing signs of total self-destruct, the hands dancing around manically.

The plain bare white washed walls seemed to grow out, bulging pregnant belly-like, further and further outward.
His waste basket skittering around the coarse carpet.

The kitten calendar flew from the wall onto his desk blotter.

The room expanded, as if all four walls were attached to some external device, which was rearranging the cubicles dimensions.

It continued to grow and expand to the point that William was alone in the centre of the white-white- white void.




The following are excerpts from the epilogue of What Mr. Wants Mr. Gets, addressing awakening as a writer and reflection on autism:

A Brief History of What Mr. Wants Mr. Gets:

This was originally written back in 2012, at a point when I realised what I wanted to do as a career, after a long period of reading, and discovering the offerings that I had missed out on up to that point in my life. Discovering different genres, different writers, different styling’s and ways to tell stories, and to exhume something powerful, like atmospherics, tone, mood and intent, satire, socio-political statements.

The true power of literature was lost on me, up until then, aged 17, where I was left disgruntled, heart-broken, lost, ill, having found myself not doing what I wanted in education, having never got along with authority, the education-system, nor the systems put in place for us to abide by and live by; I pulled myself out of college, in a deep dark depression with nothing to do but find something to help me escape.

I discovered works of pure art. Literature that now, if I had not read them in that time, I probably wouldn’t be here nor be the writer that I am today.

I had always been an avid reader, upon picking up my first ever book aged 10, I soon found myself riveted, transported, reading was quite unlike any type of experience, outside of my preferred choice at that time, being films, that I had ever felt/experienced.

So, after having read Irvine Welsh’s- FILTH, Anthony Burgess’s- A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, GLAMORAMA by Bret Easton Ellis, and pair those reads and various other transgressive pieces with the discovery of William S. Burroughs (with the cut-up method much used and emboldened in his work) my exposure being NAKED LUNCH.

I was in a rather shocked state. Left questioning myself and literature in general.

What was this? Thinking: this is beyond insane…it was nasty…dirty…unpredictable…rebellious…dangerous…I loved it.
I was moved. I had an almost reawakened reaction, to the possibilities of literature, what it could mean apart from being something to pass the time as a form of entertainment.

With these mature reads and exposures, the craft, the detail, the intent, the agenda, the scope of thought and artistry- it all accumulated to a point where it truly made me stop, to actually think on a different level, considering consciousness, art-in-literature, the strings one can play out with their subconscious, the great revealing’s and the great questions one is posing throughout their life’s and different stages they find themselves in.

Mine, constantly trying to make head or tail of what people were; they were alien, strange, evil, kind, boring, harsh, cruel- that at that point was truly shocking to me, to be able to illustrate this without going into a break down or just circulating and simmering in a continual stream of self- analysis and demolition. To break into it and process it, in the most positive way there is, putting me into a deep reverie, and one that still carries across and stays with me even now; a new perception of how to express, allowing me to contemplate, evaluate literature and life in a way that pushes me not only as a writer but also as an individual. From there on, experimentalism, transgressive pieces of art, the surreal masters, the fellow weirdos and unsung Masters of Literature and their influence have all been percolating, shifting neurons and matter, in mind and my
creative self.
I had to do something with this new energy, this new concept and to try expose the reality of society and life through an unreality of my own making.

I tried my hand at writing something of the same ilk found within the binding of works by Burroughs, Welsh, Burgess and Ellis.

The book you hold is the culmination of that and much much more.

Something totally raw, totally coming from a place of newly awakened consciousness, to not just art and its power and possible results, but myself, in what I wanted to say, to all these emotions, feelings, frustrations. Because frustration is the key component to my writing.

The key component to why I want to tell stories. Paired with many, many other reasons. One main proponent being my final acceptance as being someone who has Autism. And how this affects/effects my life and everything in and around me.

Sadly, though I may well be aware of it, and hyper- aware, and finally empowered by it, and accepting of it, the resultant forms of how my condition affects me, and my social engagements and relationships isn’t. From being an empowered person with multiple-health problems, mental and physical, by being empowered by my Autism, and honest and frank, it seems it is just more fuel to the fire that many are burning in revolt against me as a person, as an individual.

Excerpt from the epilogue of What Mr. Wants Mr Gets:

I created Gomez Aggonia… and here I must not apologise, if you did not know I was he, and he is me, as that was the whole intent, for him to exist in your minds as a real individual, somebody that I still feel is real, and a real friend, a real person, settled within my mind, considering that upon creating his history, and then his personality and put out onto the public platform, such as a social media account is used for now, he was out there, it felt like a connection being made again. To something undefined but something ethereal and tangible within my creative, and pretty much in my soul.

He was real. Once again, I was real. I was there. Me. Raving mad hyper-active dickhead Zak. I was existing. And not only that, evolving as an artist.

It was an almost return to my furious, reactionary, truthful self. No toning down of my character. Pushed out into this fake individual, whilst still to me being the realest of the real and truest of the true. And he was funny and a great project for me. A great performance piece and social experiment. I wanted to release works under his guise.

A character with a purported drug addiction, and such and such as the “acceptances” of broken characters of whom lived by the sword and are slowly dying by the sword, its more accepting to be a drug addict than be somebody who has a mental condition or a brain condition such as I have. Not just within the online community, I’m speaking broadly, about society in general. Unless its evidential on your facial features or body motions, its all hear-say.

I wanted to start creating where there could be no blame, no hurt from the judgement and criticism and the worlds- load of people; them with their ignorant, arrogant, self- justified way of being unable to sympathize, empathize nor understand or be encouraging of an individual, unless it sees their “actions” fall in favour for them and a select minutia; this person of whom, though abrupt, abrasive, sometimes heated, isn’t a danger, just a passionate individual; such as the type of character I am. And will remain. Then having scoured my old SENT items on my email, knowing I had a few old pieces I sent out to many, many, many-many-many- Literary Agents (unedited, messy, and laughable) and turned down (rightfully), and thought lost forever… I discovered the piece here in question.

And I just couldn’t quite believe what I discovered.
A piece that was petulant, angry, reactionary, but truthful and something I knew would be accepted to be released under Gomez’s name, having established such a character, one of whom was me, totally me, and there was a fair few
interested in reading him.
So, having published only one piece in an anthology under his name and identity, it seemed people were kind of interested, as scatter-shot and nonsensical as it was and an asshat as Gomez came across as or was sadly assigned to being in the public social play-pit.

No matter, these people gravitated towards him. People were attracted to this character.

I was laughing, as it was me, and it was nonsense at this point, not thus realising that Gomez was purely me as a creative artist. It was me. Accepted as Gomez, but such characteristics from myself I was hung out to dry.

What a great piece to release as Gomez, this piece was, this book you hold in your hands- to go hand in hand with his character, and at a point where Gomez had become so real…I decided to do the greatest of all things that I could to really rile people up and play them, as much as they believe they are part of the game, I was experimenting on a wide social platform… I decided to kill him…and it was validated, for me especially, packed with enough public extrapolation that Gomez had collected 40 years’ worth of work, it was a great place to start writing again, under Gomez, and in such the styling’s I had crafted for him.

Also, funnily enough, I know people would be interested in him, whether they openly loathed or liked him, he somehow managed to touch some people’s hearts.

At this point it was titled, the title as of now I have decided to retain out of respect to the artists’ (which is myself funnily enough)- intent when it was first envisioned.

I was going to put it out as Inherently Incoherently Incoherent, building up a fanfare of interest that I had a collection of 40 years’ worth of content to use to build and make books for Gomez…a long line of projects to have lined up to really invest all of this growing, mounting anger, frustration and upset into, outside of my own works that I felt, even though purportedly 100% allowed to be free, I didn’t really feel my pieces were allowed to be that of what I wanted them to be.

Excerpt from the epilogue of What Mr. Wants Mr Gets:

And here is another pill you need to swallow, I have a brain condition, one that is still very much misunderstood and there are very few accurate portrayals of people who suffer from it.

I am Autistic and life is very hard for me. But it’s a curse/gift, a pro and a con.
Mostly in reality it is a negative. For my art and passion’s, it’s a positive. But my engagements, socially, are that of a teenager being pulled up on their talking in class during lessons or a pivotal exam, and who back chats and starts exploding in such a vein that was common for me back then, as it is for me now. It isn’t something I can help.

I am always though, going to stick up for myself and my right to do as such.

Excerpt from the epilogue of What Mr. Wants Mr Gets:

I am not skilled as a designer, but I am skilled and amply experienced in being broken into, used, and taken advantage of.
Meaning? I am used to brushing myself off after such a nasty blow. (This is the thing, I am Autistic and as aware as I am of it, it’s not in a Foresight -ly manner, but Hindsight-ly, as in my Autism is me and if I upset and hurt you, it never is my intention…by speaking my opinion though, and when negativity is aimed at me, I bark back, and the bark is loud and can sting like a bite…but I am in my right if you’re misconstruing and constantly lying about certain developments and scenarios.)
Autism. Boy oh boy.
Socially I react like that of a 13-14-year-old, in that moment of pressure and confrontation. I am aware of it, which adds an added level of frustration and annoyance at myself. And a level of furthered depression and self-loathing.

After, I can make the apologies and explain, as I have, but it seems by being aware of Autism and its effects/affects/ what it means- it is just levelled out that I am making an excuse. Thinking I am in position to control it.

I sadly am not but will always fight for my freedom of character. Being, I am characterized by my condition, which is Autism.

As much as I may be knowledgeable about books and films and can hold conversation, situationally and socially I am childish, I am petulant. It hurts. It is hard. It leaves me wanting to be different and able. I have lived most of my life, like many wanting to be different. All my life I’ve had to explain away my behaviour, and when I have a reason behind it, and am fully accepting of it, and I use it in a positive and hopefully truthful manner, sharing it, I am accused of using it as an excuse or it being a lie.

It is a vicious circle. It is endless and one I know I will endlessly tackle, in life and especially within my art. So to be left in the lurch as I have been, I am scared, I am bitter, but having recently just said fuck it, and to just push on, it is not all that scary and I am able to do this, it isn’t impossible as I was told it was and how incapable I’d be of doing it.

Soooooooooo, I then decided that this was the right book to test out as my first self-published book. It might be messy, it might look amateur, but so was the piece when I first created it, never having truly imagined back then it could be a reality as a physical book one can hold, smell and hopefully read.
A book I soon realised should be released as it was first fully intended to be put out as Zak Ferguson’s debut, titled:

A book whose history and evolution are perhaps, possibly more interesting than the actual story contained within- but, alas, that is up to you to decide.

But I am not apologising any longer for myself and the silly things attributed and misconstrued by my having said nor about whether this book works or fails.

I just wish to thank you for buying this, supporting me, as I know those at this point, the real friends and supports and readers will always come back for more. I wish to thank you for this time, and I am extremely grateful to be able to bring my first intended debut to you finally.

A lot of what I have contained here was written back in 2012, but re-written, edited, built upon in the guise of Gomez, of whom is truly actually myself. Full on. No holds-barred- fully an extremist-artist poking at conceptions, racism, xenophobia, the application of such in art. It may seem all a bit pretentious, or seen for what it is, and all the pretentiousness ushered unto it to hide the reality it is a very empty, spiteful, vile, brash, harsh pointless rant, rave against…
Who knows what…maybe I imbue it with these pretentious notions because I am in denial about being a very weak writer and unable to keep to a storyline or stick to the Literature 101 template one must always be indebted to; but that is what I am totally infatuated with picking at, delving into, studying, and trying to satirize, not in just storytelling machinations and constructs but within the execution of handling themes, subject matters and the serious stuff that at this current moment and climate is sensitive and easily to be manipulated and misconstrued as. I think this book is open to misinterpretation, but isn’t all art?

See it as this… it is me, and my trying to capture something of my own processes, my own inabilities to accept the ways of others…the real evil bastards out there. The full Autistic self. The full me. In a lot of ways this is a satire on experimentalism, transgressive art, a wholly offensive, yet still very autistic, manic, hyper-experience I wanted to exude and really personify through the power of literature. It is not for everyone. Perhaps it is not for anyone.

I hope you glean some insight into what I am trying to achieve as an artist way back when, and especially as to what it evolved into and grew to finally become!

It isn’t brilliant, it isn’t a masterpiece, but it is something rather special to me. A bold new step in my career from something very very old, yet still pretty much relevant and heavy in what I wanted/still will continue to play with and push in my art.

– Zak Ferguson
17/06/2019, Brighton


An interview:

His podcast:

Video for the book: What Mr Wants Mr Gets:




p.s. Hey. We’re back. And we get to restart the newness again with this fantastic post/introduction to the work of Zak Ferguson, excellent writer, as organized and hosted by the also excellent writer Scunnard aka Jared Pappas-Kelley. Please find out what’s what, and say something in regards to what’s what in your comments today. Thank you. And a giant thank you to you, Jared. Otherwise … Warning: jet lag ahead. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. The just finished LA trip was entirely focused on home haunt experiencing and research for our film, but, yeah, I hope to get back there without a pre-set agenda soon. Very curious to see the ‘Painted Bird’ film, thanks for the report. Everyone, Mr. E launched a batch of new FaBlog entries while I was away. Go here and keep scrolling down to see them. Well, I’ll definitely do what I can to see ‘ Earthquake Bird’. Thank you! I never went to McKamey Manor, no, and felt no jonesing to, but I do think the outrage about it is wussy bullshit. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge re: the ‘dead films’ post. ** Sypha, Thanks. Fun and success was had.  You? ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. New Juche is always great. I think ‘The Devils’ and ‘Bosun’ are maybe my faves, but they’re all very worthy. His early pdf image/texts books that were debuted on this blog years back are amazing but now oop. He says they’ll likely be republished before too long. I didn’t get to see any of the Garrels. My work schedule ruined things. Thanks, man. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I assume you have the new New Juche by now. Fantastic, yes? And the ‘Call 3’ launch seemed to really well, no? I’m so happy and proud to have hosted it! ** KeatonagersFromMars & the other Keatons, Hey. I don’t remember whose death you were happy about two weeks ago, but I would imagine it was worthy. Your Halloween was … ? Oh, you scribed something Halloween-y. The second I have enough brain cells working to read anything more than a comment, I’m beelining to it. Everyone, Halloween isn’t over, believe it or not. Not until you read what I mighty Keaton wrote in relationship to it. So … read it, naturally. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Ha ha, I do that same thing: Amphetamine Sulphate/Reptile. We had surprisingly nice, not too hot weather in LA for the most of the time. But there were those fires, so the skies were smelly and full of allergens, and a bunch of home haunts didn’t happen as a consequence. James Batley has had a new film in the works for quite a while, but I don’t think it’s finished yet. How did you Halloween your Halloween up? Oh, wait, a limping film fest, right? Life goes on. ** Brendan, Hi, B! Sorry that I didn’t see you out west. The home haunt research (and the need to complete a bunch of related funding documents while there) ate my time pretty much completely. Grr. Hopefully next time/soon. ** Misanthrope, Hi. Well, your Nats won, but I guess your enthusiasms have moved elsewhere by now? Happy November! ** Mike Morey, Hi, Mike! Welcome! Very happy that that post had good fodder for you. ** MyNeighbourJohnTurturro, Hi, bud. Noel Thomas, who curated the horror film post, wrote to me to say thanks to everybody who enjoyed it, including you, obvs. Thanks a lot about ‘Crowd’. I’m glad you could catch it. ** Barkley, Howdy, Barkley. Thanks about the trip and flight. The former was a big success, and I survived the flights, I guess. Physically. Oh, I didn’t know that Nightboat published Lou Harrison’s diaries. I’ll get that straight away. I met him once years ago at his Chelsea Hotel apartment/room, which was, obviously, an honor. You good? Good October and Halloween? We went to 39 haunts. A lot. Every evening/night while we were there except two nights. Most of the haunts were new. Well, I think all of them were new in one way or another, actually. And most of them were really good to great. I put my faves in my comment to Dominick down below. ** alex rose, Alex! Indeed: ‘dark rides within us’. Apropos, one of the haunted houses I visited in LA took the form of a broken down dark ride, i.e. one walked through the ride along the tracks past stopped cars, etc. Top notch idea/thing. Great news that your solo shows are cement! Now to find a way to be there at those times. Did you do Halloween in any shape or form? Tons of temporarily sleep-deprived love. ** Jesse Bransford, Hi, Jesse! How cool to see you! Belated Happy Halloween! Ahwesh is your neighbor? Whoa. You good? I just saw a photo of you with Bill Arning somewhere, Facebook? You had a show in Texas, I think? Lots of love. ** Jeeston, Hi! Thanks for coming in. ** Steve Erickson, Hi, Steve! I look forward to catching up on your published things. Everyone, If you missed them, here are some Steve Erickson-penned things for you to delight in: (1) His review of DOWNTOWN 81, being revived by the Metrograph, (2) His review of Zonal’s WRECKED, and (3) … of Nadav Lapid’s SYNONYMS. No, the home haunt in our film is in France and untethered to the American genre, so it will seem like a weird anomaly. No history of — or reference to — the home haunt medium is made. Morris on Leary? Interesting. I met Leary once at a dinner, but he was pretty far gone in his illness by then. But irascible anyway. I talked to Jim Greer, who wrote ‘Cleo’, recently, and he said that Soderbergh is making noises about reviving the ‘Cleo’ film again, maybe for Netflix. ** rewritedept, Hi, Chris. I didn’t see your comment, but I was swamped (happily, though) with home haunt stuff, so I probably wouldn’t have been accessible anyway, sadly. Tricks are brain-dead and sleepy at the moment, but they were very good and will be again. ** Mistake Not, Hi, welcome. That was a most interesting thought. Thank you. ** Shane Christmass, Hi, Shane. Happy Halloween after the fact to you. No, I haven’t watched that thing to linked to, but now I will. Thanks, man. You good? ** Armando, Hi. I’m very jet lagged but okay. I was in LA seeng/studying home haunts for two+ weeks, now back in Paris and back to other work. I did see Serra’s ‘Liberté’, yes, and I thought it was tedious and a shallow, boring exercise. Today’s plans? Uh, try to stay awake, work on film funding documents with what brain I have, maybe go to a rehearsal thing re: our TV project later if I’m still awake. And you? ** Derek McCormack, Hi, Derek! It was Halloween heaven, oh my god. I’ll tell you sometime. What did you do on the big day or the surrounding ones? Biggest love, me. ** Dominik, Hi, Dominick! Nice placing for your comment. I’m kind of brain dead, or not ‘kind of’, ha ha, so forgive any fuzz. The actual Halloween night, I did nothing. Or I had dinner with friends. Every other night before Halloween and immediately afterwards, I did mega-Halloween via non-stop haunted house exploring, so I took the day itself off. In all, we went to 39 haunted house attractions, home haunts, and/or mazes. My favorite? I can’t pick just one. There was an incredible home haunt put on by a family called ‘Stoney Pointe Haunt’ [here] that was mindblowingly good. There was a maze haunt put on by these teens who called themselves Twisted Minds Productions called ‘Salem: Escape the Coven’ [here] that was amazing. Among the professional ones, ‘The 17th Door’ [here] and ‘Reign of Terror’ [here] were pretty genius. But there were a lot of great ones. The trip was very successful. We had a blast, and we got a ton of really helpful research done for our film. Did your second psych-evaluation arrive yet? Was it what you hoped or didn’t fear at least? Ive heard about ‘The Leftovers’, but I haven’t seen it. I hope you’re doing and feeling great! Catch me up on those things when you can. Big yawn-y love, Dennis. ** Count Reeshard, Hi, Count! Very nice to see you! I’m really glad you enjoyed the blotter art show. It made me wish I’d saved some blotters from my youthful acid gobbling days, but I guess they ended up where they were supposed to go. Take care! ** Jose L Blondet, Hi, Jose! I got your emails finally. I’m checking with Gisele today about okaying me sending you the texts. Sorry to be slow. Between Halloween madness and work and flights, I’m overly behind. It was nice to see you at Stamp. ** Mr. X, Hi, welcome! I don’t know the mics/ug of the black geltabs. I pretty much stopped taking LSD in the late 60s. Thanks very much for the wisdom and information. ** Kevin, Hi, Kevin, welcome. Good news about the torrent. I don’t think that was the case when I originally made the post four or so years ago, or I spaced at the time. Everyone, Kevin passes along the news that … ‘Laperrousaz’s Hu-Man is available in a perfectly watchable rip via various torrent sites’. ** Adam, Hi. Thank you a lot. I did not know that about the Solondz/Minelli project. How nuts. How lame she was not to do it. Take care. Come back any old time, obviously. ** Kyler, Hi, K. Very nice to see you, sir. ‘L’argent’, yum, of course. I think I’ve read one book by Chaim Potok but that was ages ago, and I don’t remember which one it was. I’ll take a peek at MY NAME IS ASHER LEV. Take it easy, man. ** Wow. If you had my brain right now you would be as amazed as I am that I made it through that. If I did. Please spend your day around here investigating Zak Ferguson’s work via Scunnard, and please say something to Scunnard if you will. See you tomorrow.


  1. JM

    Hi D.,

    wow, well, you return to the blog just as I do! i always feel a bit bad when i duck in and update you on my life and don’t engage with the post, but this week’s post is almost super concise and well self-contained, it doesn’t need me to comment on it!! thanks scunnard for sharing, new stuff to look at, etc.,

    sounds like things are going great/tiring for you, on my end…

    reading DUCKS NEWBURYPORT right now which seems like a big leap into some unfamiliar territory for me, it’s a huge one and not really sure if i love it but it has a very unique voice and urgency and i want more trump/climate-change art that isn’t embarrassingly self-conscious about it. i’m loving the new WATCHMEN tv series, about to dive back into work on my novelisation of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and working on not one not two but five theatrical pieces at the same time, one of which is a performance art thing we’re parading thru christchurch in two weeks, one of which is my inside the castle show (relatively low-key but interested to see how people respond, will try get a video of some sort out there somehow), the others are all far more traditional pieces of work, idk, things are just kinda cool and finally the academic year has dropped away in order ot leave time just for hte artistic shit.

    had an absolutely revelatory night with my boyfriend the other night, not a boy i’m dating, just a boyfriend, i like using terms like these ambiguously, he was wonderful, most wonderful, we’ve been tense and dramatic and scary and tearing each other apart for a bit and we finally worked out why and apologised and things have been glowing white and magic and sparkly since then and i’m sorry i used this blog post and your return as a way to gush about things happening in my life and i hope things are wonderful glowing white and magic with you and your boy and girl friends lately and if you don’t like using those terms then i am sorry and don’t mean to impose them! 🙂


    • David Ehrenstein

      But did you and the boyfriend do the Horizontal Mambo, J ?

  2. Shane Christmass

    Hi DC,

    Yes I’m great. These excerpts of Zak’s are fantastic. He’s a writer I’ve been meaning to read forever, but these just might push me over the edge to go read more.

    I’ve got a novel bubbling away nicely here that I need to finish up. I think I’ve rewritten ‘Communion’ of all things – lol. Currently re-reading ‘The Crack Up’ by FSF – as it a pure piece of captured mental disintegration. Not a writer I terribly care for – but a stopped clock is correct twice a day etc etc.

    Also made some music today – first in two years. So potentially some new Mattress Grave in the new year. I hope your well. That Dead Film post was fantastic BTW.

    Reading this next as the author sent me a copy – I really enjoyed his first book – check it out – you might like it – Jonathon should send you a copy –

  3. David Ehrenstein

    ak Ferguson is pretty marvelous. We all exist in “some vague form” or other on-line or off.

    Saw Noah Baumbach’s latest, “Marriage Story” last night. Excellent retelling of hisparents’ tumultuous relationship, starring Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver with Alan Alda guest-starred as a divorce lawyer. Baumbach and Alda were at the screening. I told Alda about seeing his father in “Guys and Dolls” when I was four years ol. Baumbach is old enough to be my grandson if I were straight. His movie is quite sensitive with unexpected emotional turns. Adam Driver keeps getting better and better. At the climax in a pub scene he sings “Being Alive’ quite forcefully,. Never heard him sing before, and doig Sondheim is cannonballing right off into the deep end of the musical comedy pool . Most impressive. I’d love to hear him do THIS!,?A>

  4. Scunnard

    Hi Dennis, thanks for today. I hope you are well. How’s the jet lag (although I already know the answer)? Would this be one of those good times to ask for something while your defences are down, like, hey Dennis can I borrow the car keys?

    Thanks Shane, yes definitely recommend. Let me know what you think, and thanks David!

  5. Armando


    Welcome back!

    I’m sorry, but, wouldn’t a place like all of New England be much better to research something like “home haunts” than LA?

    I’m really, really sorry you disliked ‘Liberté’ so much. I’m still *DYING* to see it. I’ve no idea how or when I’ll be able to, if at all, though.

    You still have ‘A Hidden Life’ to look forward to, though! It opens on the 11th of next month in France!

    Uh, me? Well, just like you try to stay awake, do some reading and maybe do some work.


    Good day, good luck,


  6. Keatonly

    Das Coop! Happy arrive. So many haunted houses. Halloween was fun this year. Really great feeling. Took hypnotics and got drunk at my favorite club. Went as a Scurvy Dog. Obsessed with WW Jacobs this year. Several great stories of his, “The return from the sea.” a classic in maritime horror. Watched American Horror Story 1984 story with bae. It seems the Antagonist is fighting Richard Ramirez and all the kids are already dead and ghosts. Novel and Paris early next year. POV twinks ass before smothered. I seem to be anti-the cool novel these days. Wait, that’s not true. Feeling psyched. Big love

  7. _Black_Acrylic

    Some good bits of zine news to report. This coming Saturday is when Dundee Zine Fest takes place in the church just over the road from my flat, and I will be manning a stall there with back issues of The Call on sale. I am also writing an article about Scottish zine culture for The Skinny and interviewing the folk from the Glasgow-based Good Press, which will hopefully appear later in the week.

  8. Steve Erickson

    I’ve been struggling with serious anxiety lately, and it’s really kicking my ass. I was so anxious today that I could barely leave my apartment, and I can see that I’m stuck in a self-destructive cycle of isolation and near-agoraphobia that I can’t break.

    Whoa, 39 haunted houses! Is there any tradition of this in France, or are your characters sui generis?

  9. Sypha

    Dennis, I’ve mostly been watching movies. This week alone, on Monday I watched AMERICAN GIGOLO, on Tuesday I watched BLOW-UP, and today I watched DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (I have never previously seen any of these films). Yes, I’m trying to add more titles to my “films seen in my life” list, ha ha. I do have a movies-related question for you, but I’ll wait till you’re a bit less jet-lagged before I bother you with it, ha ha.

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