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In this surreal road novel, Anthony searches for the father he’s never met: Andy Kaufman, the legendary song-and-dance man from the ’70s. There’s a few problems here, of course. A) Andy Kaufman died in 1984, and B) Thanks to a recent cancer diagnosis, Anthony doesn’t have much longer to live, either. However, new evidence has come to light that questions whether or not Kaufman is actually dead. Could he be in hiding, after all these years? Anthony is determined to discover the truth before his own clock runs out. During his travels, he will encounter shameless medicine men, grifters, Walmart shoppers, the ghosts of Elvis and Warhol, and the Devil himself.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DOCTOR KEVORKIAN GOES TO HEAVEN PUBLISHED


Cover by Susie Fear
“But what if things stopped changing? Stasis? Static life? There’s nothing to look forward to here. Just oblivion.”


“I’ll install that pool, then,” God said. Doctor Kevorkian sighed. “You’re . . . just . . . not seeing it.”

“I’ve got other problems on my mind,” God said.

“I’m sure you have the whole universe on your mind.”


“No one is dying?”

          
“And it’s your fault. You found the infinity song.”
           

 
--Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham
            Artwork by the artist Susie Fear

            NOW AVAILABLE!!!

           

Without death or sickness to strive against, humanity would cease to grow. Death is change, transformation. It is the motivation that has compelled me to write—and live deep into the fabric of the universe. This is my commentary on life, physician-assisted suicide in this life and the next, stasis, humanity, heaven and time—all on the back of Doctor Jack Kevorkian


Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing has had the wisdom—madness and self-destructive motivation—to release my novella, Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven. I wrote this story out of love and admiration for one of the great egotists and humanists of the current era; and already since his death, most of the humans he sought to help have forgotten about the man or his work. I have a proclivity of writing about forgotten eccentrics; ergo, my upcoming book from PMMP: Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman. I like the obscure.

Let me tell you about writing this novella. As with all my long-fiction, I wrote it on a fathomed and personal level; indeed, finishing the narrative cost my health and energy. It will take me several months to recover. I am of poor physique, as many of my fans and critics are aware, and writing a lengthy narrative costs me in a finite currency that will never be replenished. I’m an isotope throwing off neutrons, and I can only radiate my readers for so long. I have a limited number of books in me, and once they’re written, I will deflate and collapse. I convert my body and spirit into tomes as if I feed my limbs and organs to hungry animals. So far, it has been a success, and this is the only kind of writing I could ever have foreseen myself doing. I don’t see the purpose of writing with any less passion or conviction. We all suffer diminishing and winding-down time.

            Fill your pen with your arterial blood and write your soul to its dissipation.

Anything less is not worthy of the gift of life you have been given, the same gift that is taken from so many everyday. Can you write this deeply? Can you create something with such passion that it kills you a little each time? Commit to that. Strive for it.

And so I release Doctor Kevorkian, and like all parents, I have no perception of how these words will change the world.



About Doctor Kevorkian (Because most of you have forgotten or could give a damn)




Doctor Jack Kevorkian
Time on Earth: 
May 26, 1928 – June 3, 2011

His family fled from the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to Pontiac, Michigan where they remade themselves as Americans. This little man never married, never had children, and as his life declined, he sought immortality, some kind of continuance in human regard. The thought of obscurity, of being forgotten as though he’d never lived terrified him.


American pathologist, euthanasia activist, painter, author, composer and instrumentalist. Doctor Jack Kevorkian was a veteran of the Korean war and later in life became the most famous and successful proponent of physician assisted suicide and a patient’s right to die. He claimed that during the years1990 to 1998, he assisted in the removal of 130 patients from this world into the next world, much like a cosmic train conductor punching passes—though he didn’t punch his patients. He injected or gassed them with industrial chemicals to stop their hearts. He built his Mercitron—I feature the Mercitron II in my book—from an Erector set he bought at a church rummage sale.

The state of Michigan labored several times to convict him of murder, and Jack sought out the services of the illustrious attorney Geoffrey Fieger to defend him, who became his Sancho through his homicidal medical career. Geoffrey also appears as a character in this book, though I must remind that this is fiction; and I write with appreciation and admiration for their work.

Then the state inflicted upon Doctor Kevorkian the most punitive punishment: they stopped persecuting him. For a man with a messiah complex, this is a sword through the chest. Where would Jesus be without the Romans? Modern Christianity owes its symbolism, the crucifix and faith, more to Pontius Pilate than it does to their prophet. In previous cases, Kevorkian setup the apparatus and gave the patient the means to end their own suffering. He understood what all effective civil resistors know: you have to provoke a response. Thus, on September 17, 1998, Kevorkian himself administered a lethal substance to Thomas Youk, 52, who was in the final stages of Lou Gehrig's Disease, which he recorded and then showed on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, daring the state to stop him. He refused proper representation at trial, and after a two day trial, the Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree homicide. The judge threw his skinny bum into prison. After spending eight years in prison, he was granted parole for good behavior and bad health. He then ran for Governor, continued his art and music and died of thrombosis.


               And so it came to be that before his death—tired of going to court for his noble work for responsible euthanasia and failing a run for governor—Doctor Kevorkian began work on inventing an immortality machine. He decided it would be of great value to society to obviate the question of mortality, so civilization would no longer be pestered by such antagonizing questions such as when is death death? And what is quality of life? And thus, with such questions no longer relevant, the world could go on happily buying consumer products and watching the latest episode of American Idol. These questions forced humans to exercise their frontal lobes. Humans went to places such as bars or pubs or churches to actively block stimulation of their frontal lobes, and for that reason so many brilliant men and women in history were locked away, often burned alive or poked with sticks or bullets.

--Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham


For you to really understand the nature of this novella, you must know my story. This morning, I awoke in near-agony. My leg muscles twisted off my bone. My spine screeched the high notes on a knotted harp. It won’t let me sleep at night. Morphine makes it bearable, but it won’t indefinitely. Five months of radiation daily burned my neck and spine in an attack on lymphoma, and the damage left me crippled and continues to wreck my nervous system. The pain and damage may reach a unending and churning storm that never alleviates, removing any quality of life.



            You are not choosing to die. It doesn’t feel like that. No one chooses to die. It’s not in your head to make that choice. It’s always something else. For me, it was choosing to stop the constant agony. I felt so tired. I didn’t care to be laid in wormy earth. I longed to turn the page, to see what came next. Curiosity desired my stay in the world. Still, I couldn’t endure the pain any longer. I refused any more treatment. I refused respirators and feeding tubes. I was done. No one could stop me.
       You don’t ask to die.  
       You need the pain to stop.
   
--Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham



This book—a fusion of my love for both Mark Twain & Kurt Vonnegut—is a commentary on my experience and my explanation. This is my suicide note, though not yet, and I hope it doesn’t become necessary. I have the right to end my life with dignity and the right to free myself of pain. Society will not be injured. Wars happen all the time and people are murdered yet Burger King keeps slinging meat and Target sells cheap Asian-slave-labor woven jeans. As an individual right and in the hands of responsible doctors, this can be handled with rights protected and without disabled people becoming expendable. I believe life is to be cherished, valued and guarded, which is all the more reason why we must preserve it and not mutilate it. It will be tricky, and great wisdom will have to be discerned in the procedures and guidelines, but I believe humans are capable of it. This is about compassion.

When the capacity to live is gone, when the body is destroyed beyond anyway to function in the world, what is life?



Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven is now available through E-book format. Susie Fear has done a stunning cover and artwork for the book in the spirit of Vonnegut yet ensnaring the dark sensibilities of the book.