Doug Skinner: An Archive on Your Gizmo

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Music for Six Game Calls and Buzzer

January 15th, 2017 · No Comments

The “Music for Six Game Calls and Buzzer” has never been performed, but I hope it would make a cheerful racket.

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John Dee’s Dreams

January 11th, 2017 · No Comments

A setting of the dreams of the Elizabethan polymath John Dee, as noted in his diaries. I originally performed this with viola and glockenspiel; here it is for voice and piano (the first page only).

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Black Scat Review 17

January 8th, 2017 · No Comments

The 17th issue of Black Scat Review is now out, subtitled “Dada Forgery.” I contributed a piece on Tristan Tzara’s final book, Le Secret de Villon, in which he searched for “discontinuous anagrams” in the works of Villon and Rabelais. Other contributors include Captain Anonymous, David Moscovich, Anna Keeler, Christy Sheffield Sanford, Karl Waldmann, Ruth Crossman, Norman Conquest, Paulo Brito, Harry McCullagh, Michael Leigh, Gregory Autry Wallace, Eîlot Tuerie, Terri Lloyd, and Joseph Heathcott. This will be the last issue of this delightful journal, so pick up a copy while you can! You can find it here.

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Le Scat Noir 219

January 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

The 219th issue of Le Scat Noir is now available, ready to be read or downloaded, free, over here. It contains another page of my musical instrument drawings, as well as my translation of Alphonse Allais’s story “Comfort.” The Bohemian spirit is alive!

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The Easter Bunny’s Noel

December 18th, 2016 · 2 Comments

A Christmas song, written for the annual Holiday Recording Party Meg Reichardt used to hold in Brooklyn. You can hear me sing it here.

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December 11th, 2016 · No Comments

A set of eleven brief piano pieces, from my conservatory days. Here are the first two.


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Le Scat Noir 218

December 1st, 2016 · 2 Comments

You can click here for your copy of Le Scat Noir, in handy PDF form. This 218th issue contains my translation of Alphonse Allais’s “Christmas Story,” more of my drawings of imaginary musical instruments, and much more by other people. It’s festive!

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Double Over: Blackcattish Stories

November 20th, 2016 · 3 Comments


Black Scat Books is proud to serve up the master absurdist’s inaugural collection,  containing his hand-picked favorites from the pages of Le Chat Noir, the bohemian journal that amused and scandalized Paris. Here you’ll find Allais in the first flush of his comic genius, spinning out elegant and hilarious gems of black humor on suicide, murder, obsession, and adultery. You will meet the philosophical cuckold, the young lady in love with a pig, the inventor of the Tumultoscope, and Ferdinand, the most resourceful duck in literature. Among the highlights is Allais’s most famous story, “A Thoroughly Parisian Drama,” a favorite of André Breton and Umberto Eco. This is the book’s first publication in English, and features seven additional stories from Le Chat Noir, as well as a sublime introduction, notes on the text, and drawings by Doug Skinner.

276 delicious pages!

Pick up a copy on Amazon! Visit Black Scat Books!

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The Vulture and the Jackal

November 16th, 2016 · 5 Comments

I’ve written fables in verse for many years, mostly so that I can work within a set of specific formal constraints. My fables are invariably made of seven couplets, in strict iambic tetrameter, with no feminine rhymes, inversions, or sprung rhythms. These constraints, mind you, are not arbitrary, but chosen for their poetic effect. At any rate, here’s one of them. Enjoy, if you can…


A vulture and a jackal met
To settle on some scheme to net
More meat. The jackal growled, “A king
That we control is just the thing:
Some pawn that only seems to rule.”
And so they crowned a lowly mule.
The puppet monarch strutted, brayed,
And marched his troops in grand parade.
And when they cheered, he brayed some more,
And marched them off to fight a war.
As bombs were burst, and soldiers slain,
And trenches smeared with blood and brain,
The jackal and the vulture fed
Upon the mounting heaps of dead.

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Black Scat Review 16

November 6th, 2016 · No Comments

The sixteenth (count them) issue of Black Scat Review is out! This one is devoted to “Obsession,” and fittingly includes my translation of Alphonse Allais’s story “Little Pigs.” You can find this fine journal here, and the book from which the story was taken, Double Over, will be out soon.

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