Doug Skinner: An Archive on Your Gizmo

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The Glorious Town (2)

July 1st, 2015 · 2 Comments

This is the first page of the illustrated version of the verses that I posted here. This too will appear in The Doug Skinner Dossier, out later this month from Black Scat Books.


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Baby Bay

June 24th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Here’s the beginning of a short story, “Baby Bay.” The whole thing will appear in The Doug Skinner Dossier, to be published next month by Black Scat Books. You can read this while you wait…


High up in the treetops, old Mr. Stork shuffled into the Baby Bay, and peered over his specs at the day’s deliveries.

Now, you may not know this, but when a man and woman copulate and produce a baby, either by accident or design, it goes to old Mr. Stork’s Baby Bay for delivery. There, old Mr. Stork’s young assistant, Henry, sorts all of the infants by zip code, and lays them in the outgoing bins for delivery. Old Mr. Stork wraps each one in a reasonably clean piece of cloth, and then flies off with the bundle in his beak. If he doesn’t sneeze or something, he leaves it under a cabbage leaf, where the new parents track it by its smell. This is easier than pushing it out through a vagina.

As old Mr. Stork looked over the squalling infants, he blanched, which is difficult through feathers.

“Criminy!” he expostulated. “This is the ugliest bunch yet.”

Henry shook his head sadly. “Another church picnic,” he explained.

“I need some coffee,” muttered old Mr. Stork, backing out of the room.

Storks don’t usually drink coffee, but old Mr. Stork had a difficult job, and needed his stimulants.

Henry fell into a reverie, daydreaming about his intended, Samantha, and her inviting cloaca. Maybe some day they would have four yellowish eggs of their own…

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June 8th, 2015 · 5 Comments

A brief essay on the nature of humor. This page will appear in The Doug Skinner Dossier, to be published next month by Black Scat Books.



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A Curious Physiological Industry

June 1st, 2015 · 2 Comments


Just in time for June Gloom, Black Scat Books proudly presents the first in a series of Black Scat Broadsides: Alphonse Allais’s “A Curious Physiological Industry,” translated by Doug Skinner. In the spirit of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” this rare text is the master absurdist at his devilish best — a full-color, poster-sized (12 x 18 inches) collector’s broadsheet edition. Printed on acid-free paper and suitable for framing. $10, from Black Scat Books.

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Index Cards (77)

May 27th, 2015 · 2 Comments


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A Leaf

May 19th, 2015 · 3 Comments

A brief round, after Remy de Gourmont.


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Another Spirit Trapped in Flesh

May 13th, 2015 · 2 Comments


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May 7th, 2015 · 4 Comments


In 2012, Norman Conquest kicked off the Absurdist Texts and Documents series at Black Scat Books with his illustrated adaptation of Alphonse Allais’s story Un drame bien parisien. The original limited edition is now out of print. He has just republished a new expanded edition, with an introduction and notes by Doug Skinner. You can find it at Black Scat Books. Alphonse rides again!

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Index Cards (76)

April 29th, 2015 · 2 Comments


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April 20th, 2015 · 5 Comments

Here, if anyone is interested, is an alphabetical list of my songs. It includes art songs, cabaret songs, songs from shows, choral works, and everything else. Except, of course, for all the songs that I wrote and later threw out.

Agnosticize [TTBB]
Alba (Ezra Pound) [SAT]
Anecdote (Jean de La Fontaine, my translation) [voice and ‘cello]

Babbo Natale
The Baby Song
Bend Down Your Faces (James Joyce) [SAT] (written with Ann Garvey)
The Best Fruit Is Free
Black Friday
Bread and Honey
Breeders Can’t Be Choosers
Buenas Noches, Little Roaches
Bugs, Not Drugs


The Death of Orpheus
Don’t Despair
Don’t Talk to Me

The Easter Bunny’s Noel
Eddie Unchained (a ventriloquial musical, with string quartet)
1. Eddie Unchained
2. I’m a Likable Guy
3. In an Ivory Tower
4. Never Cross the Crosswalk
5. We’ll Rally Round Our Eddie
6. And To Think I Knew Him When
7. It’s Time To Give Up and Die Out
8. The Oatmeal Song
9. Never Cross the Crosswalk (reprise)
10. This Is One Party That Won’t Be Terrible
11. Eddie Unchained (reprise)
Eight Riddles (C. C., Chatterbox Magazine, 1898)
The Elephant Calf (Bertolt Brecht, directed by Julie Taymor) [voices, clarinet, violin, bassoon, piano, percussion]
1. Monologue of a Mother’s Grief
2. Oh Dear, What Fun We Had in Old Uganda
En Route (Blaise Cendrars, my translation) [voice, violin, and piano]
1. “Everyone talks about sunsets”
2. “The sea is still sea-blue”
3. “We don’t want to be sad”
Epitaph (Richard Corbett) [voice and piano]

Fa La La La La
A Few Essential Principles
Film Crew
Flake Food
Flipbook Songs
From Roussel’s “Indications” (Raymond Roussel, in my translation) [voice and piano]
Free Wine
Full Time, Part Time (from Doug and Mike’s Adult Entertainment)
The Fun Song (from Doug & Mike’s Adult Entertainment)

Get on the Grid
Good Night
Greenaway Pictures [voice and piano]
1. The Boat Sails Away (Kate Greenaway)
2. Dirty Jim (Jane and Ann Taylor)
3. Poor Dicky’s Dead (Kate Greenaway)
4. The Butterfly (Jane and Ann Taylor)

Happiness or Unhappiness
He Will Be Back Soon (I. M. Condit) [voice, toy piano, small electronic organ, and percussion]
How About a Movie?
How Pleasant to Know Mr. Skinner [voice and tuba]
Hungry for Fun (a slide show musical, with illustrations by Doug Roesch)
1. Hungry for Fun
2. Let’s Get Away
3. We Know
4. Bargain Breakfast
5. Jackpot
6. Moulin Rouge
7. A Wedding Should Be a Special Occasion
8. Let’s Get Away (reprise)
The Hype Is Ripe
The Hypnotist’s Birthday

I Don’t Like That
I Don’t Want to Be the Pope in Rome [voice, viola, and tuba]
I Just Don’t Understand
I Like to Clean (from Mike’s Kiddie Show)
I Never Met a Man Who Never Met a Man He Didn’t Like That I Like
I Wish I Were an Alien
I’m Canceling My Counseling
I’m Still Bitter
Im Hinterland (H. L. Mencken) [voice and piano]
In Memoriam
In Ukuleleland (from The King of Ukuleleland)
The Inchworm [voice and piano]
Insects Have Taken Santa’s Place
It’s Your Loss, Boss
I’ve Got to Be the Person That I Am

Jack Frost Got Lost [voice and harpsichord]
Jesus Under the Mistletoe
John Dee’s Dreams (John Dee) [voice and piano]
1. “My dream of being naked”
2. “It was the eighth day”
3. “All the night very strange knocking”
4. “Saterday night”
5. “I dreamed that the toth next my top toth skarce cold hang”
6. “The nyght following”
7. “These two nights”
8. “This night I had the vision”
9. “I had a dream after midnight”

Lasciate L’Ombre (Luigi Tansillo) [voice and piano]
Let the Patient Lift the Panniculus
Let’s Not Leave the House Any More
Let’s Ridicule the Nightingale
Listen to the Birds Cry Ouch
Little Flower
Little Two-Headed Kitten
A Llifetime with Lloyd (a show featuring my dummy Lloyd)
1. Lloyd’s Llament
2. Bandwagon
3. If Something Goes Wrong, Just Pretend It Didn’t Happen
Love is Fun
Love Me Unconditionally

Make a Wish
Make the Angels Go Away
Medulla Oblongata
Mike’s Kiddie Show (from Mike’s Kiddie Show)
Mr. Toilet Is Our Friend (from Doug and Mike’s Adult Entertainment)
Motivational Speakers
My Face Is in the Sand
My Mistake [voice and piano]
My Pal Satan

Never Schtup a Nutjob
Nine Settings for Voice and Piano
1. Giordano Bruno
2. Marsilio Ficino
3. Tommaso Campanella
4. Christopher Smart
5. Attributed to the Comte de Saint-Germain
6. Guillaume Apollinaire
7. Jean-Pierre Brisset
8. Francis Picabia
9. James Joyce
No More
Not Much to Brag About
Notary Publics

Oh Dear, Oh Dear (Maman, Maman)
Or So I’ve Been Told

The Parcel
Peepee Caca Fucky Fuck
People Like You
Philosophy: A Shameful Sonnet (Edmond Haraucourt, my translation) [SATB]

The Renaissance Faire
The Rose

Sentimental Doofus [voice and piano]
Seven Songs with Viola
1. Calico Pie (Edward Lear)
2. True Love (Walter Ralegh)
3. Written in Disgust of Vulgar Superstition (John Keats)
4. Sonnet 28 (Giles Fletcher the Elder)
5. Ed Kistner (Ed Kistner)
6. The Silly Bee (Robert Devereux)
7. To Electra (Robert Herrick)
Son of a Gun

That’s Why We Call It Love
Things Are Looking Up
Three Songs (from The Donner Party, performed by Kraken, directed by Herbert Blau)
1. “Lean back from your thirst” (Stuart Friebert)
2. “Did you do your painting” (Stuart Friebert)
3. “Strike a match in the morning” (Herbert Blau)
A Tip from a Pro
Twenty-Four More (MTV jingle)

Uncle’s Ankles


We All Will Do the Hukilau in Heaven (from American Excess)
We All Work So Hard
We Have No Life Beyond Our Daily Life
We Need More Art
We’re Just a Bit of Dust
The West Coast Is the Worst Coast
The Whale (I. M. Condit) [voice and six instruments]
What Could Be More Interesting Than That?
What Is True Happiness? (from I Fioretti di San Francesco, my translation) [voice, violin, and viola]
What’s That Smell?
When I Sleep (Gertrude Stein) [voice and bells]
Why Do We Have to Die? (from The Book of Wonders, 1913)
The Wishing Well (from Doug & Mike’s Adult Entertainment)
The Workman’s Friend (Flann O’Brien) [voice, viola, and tuba]
The Worse It Gets, the Better We Like It
Worthless Little Moments
Wreck of a Man

Y2WKS (from Millennial Mouthful)
Your Parents
You’re Only as Good as Your Microphone

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