Interviews with Late Mitchell Warren

Reading interviews with Warren over the years depicts a young man’s gradual descent into madness. Read at your own peril.

From 2004 to 2016

Original Interview with Late Mitchell Warren, 2004, Attempted Rapture Release

10703641_10152726920340350_5786194645206052195_n

Original collector’s item covers. Sent in by fan. Not sure why one has blood all over it.

 

Sitting languidly on an uncomfortably firm chair, surrounded by shelves of world-renowned bestsellers and critically lauded masterpieces in the local White Settlement library, Mitchell Warren prepares for what he calls “hell on earth” — or, according to others, his first civilized interview for Attempted Rapture. Hiding his face from the world but firing his vicious eyes between fingers at the one that dares to ask questions, the anti-social Warren finally begins to hold eye contact and converse like a normal human being. His demeanor, a panicky yet theatrical mess of simulated human emotions, screams unprofessional applicant as loudly as does his attire: arrayed in silky black from head to foot, with a black beret hardly covering his wild hair. Before one could assume Warren has a rough exterior but a sweet soul underneath, he begins to spew out bizarre witticisms produced somewhere between true wisdom and total insanity with little explanation.”I’m sure you are a genuine and pure person, but I simply hate the communicative process. I consider professional interviews little more than emotional gang-rape. You’re asking questions you really don’t care about, at the sexual prodding of someone else.”

With little or no attention to the bewilderment written on my face, Warren continues to expound on life and the unwillingness of the human spirit. “I admire words and writing and people’s wisdom documented on paper. But the sights of shelves and the thousands of books you see at every turn I find very depressing.” With his hands flailing about and his eyes darting around the room like exploring hummingbirds, Warren has no problem explaining the transparent reality of anything and the pessimistic fate of everything that is contained in the world. But the one topic of conversation that he purposely seems to avoid is the true, personal reality of Mitchell Warren. And much to his chagrin, it is the topic of this sit down interview.

(Though the author often feels the need to stand up and proclaim dogma at any given moment) After being purchased a Coke (to which he replies sourly, “Not spiked with anything, I see.”) and a chocolate bar (“Ah, frozen love in its truest form”) by his interviewer, Warren starts to open up about his creative life and times, slowly and steadily.

QU: According to your website, you were originally going to be a minister, following in the steps of your father. What happened? Why did you forsake that life?

MW: Well, I don’t consider my decision of leaving that career to be forsaking God in any way. I believe that we as human beings are not at all able to comprehend what God is thinking, or what his specific will for us is. Life is like a novel that one must read to its completion and only then figure out the ultimate mystery behind each character. If you figure out the ending of a book halfway through, you lose interest anyway.

QU: But why specifically did you leave that course? Did something happen?

MW: Many things happened over a period of time. The heart is a very deceptive organ. Not only your heart but hearts of other men and women. The heart is naive and if educated constantly as regards anything, truth or falsity, it will be convinced and you will lose control over your own rational mind.

QU: So are saying that you disagreed with a lot of the teachings that you grew up with?

MW: I wouldn’t say I disagreed with them. I think any thinking person reaches a point in their life where they question reality and boundaries. Or even if they don’t question basic teachings, they attempt to transcend certain expectations of what a moral person is supposed to be. In that spirit, various important ones from church got together and decided that that I would be a dangerous leader if I were to progress further, and that I was not quite meeting the qualifications of a minister.

QU: Would you say you gave up the fight?

MW: (Pauses) I think I would say, I woke up and realized there was no fight. If God decided I wasn’t fit for leading people to salvation, whom am I to argue? I am content just wandering through the wilderness looking for signs of life.

QU: Do you think these experiences left you resentful? Or even, forgive me for saying, slightly damaged in your reasoning?

MW: I never argue with anyone who implies I’m slightly bonkers. But I always believe the maddest among us all are the ones who refuse to admit their own partial insanity. The human race is mad. We send people to the moon, we kill each other in war because we’re ordered to, we produce automobiles and toy micro-automobiles, and we have sex with all sorts of other people for no other reason except so we can define what “true love” really means. We’re all crazy.

QU: Have you ever had a stable relationship with a lover?

MW: All the relationships I’ve had have ended terribly. Usually of the unrequited kind. The faces of the women I have lost, the ones that got away, I am still haunted by every waking moment. Thus, I am in no great hurry to find a transparent woman and insert myself into her translucent existence for no other reason except for the sake of my sexual well being. I find my current celibacy to be miserable, and misery, I believe in my case, leads to more fertile creativity. You see, life balances out in that ironic way. All of life and all of your emotions and triumphs and moral losses amount to nothing but mathematics.

QU: (Long pause) Okay. Do you consider the book to be obscene or sacrilegious? And why so? What is contained in the book that would offend any particular reader?

MW: I never wrote the book intending it to be obscene or sacrilegious. When you do that, you limit yourself. You’ll be saying, “I am going to write a book to offend God and Christians.” And yet that’s all you’ll be doing, and you will not be challenging yourself or any of your readers. You must advance as a writer. Surpass boundaries and escape limits, not simply tread over the mud just because you can.

QU: Are you afraid of eternal damnation?

MW: (Pauses) I would say that I hope God forgives me for Attempted Rapture.

QU: So you do feel some guilt over writing the book?

MW: As a parent, the novel being my child, I feel some regret over the decisions the child foolishly makes.

QU: You lost me there.

MW: I figured I would.

QU: How will your readers ever know what you look like?

MW: I look vaguely like the Hal Persill character only some years older. So they would have to use their imagination. Obviously, if they would ever see me at book signing or during an interview, the mystery would be over. But to post a picture of myself on a public website or on the book jacket, I think would be a risk.

QU: Let’s talk about what “unpublishable” means. You stated before that you feel Attempted Rapture is an unpublishable novel. What does this mean?

MW: It’s a story that no mainstream publisher would want to touch. Mainstream publishers buy formulas, not pieces of original art. For one thing, the style of writing is very experimental. I pride myself on breaking the rules of traditional writing. Therefore, I probably appear Satanic to most book publishers who are very keen on new writers mindlessly following propriety. I’ve never had a desire to kiss a man’s ass, and to sell out to the corporate mentality would be something distasteful. Why write a story to please one editor if I hate compromising? Because I can? I really don’t care what people think of me, since a man’s opinion is cheaper than toilet paper and just as prevalent as the stuff toilet paper was invented for.

QU: How about the story itself? Is it hard to follow or explain?

MW: Hard to follow, I don’t think so. To explain, perhaps. The story is an abstract painting of words. People will see different things in the book, and the meaning of it will vary greatly from one person to the next. We all have different backgrounds and appreciate art differently. If you want to get all philosophical, you could even say that there is no such thing as true brilliance in creativity. Your writing, with all of its artistic achievements, is something to be defined by individuals who study it and who are willing to share an opinion. Greatness in literature is only determined by how many people actually relate to the story we’re telling, or are moved by the material, based on the emotions we as authors elicit from them. Whether one person or half the world sympathizes with your work, is not really a universal issue. All of life as we know it is a painting, or a dream, open to interpretation.

QU: How then do you interpret Attempted Rapture? Particularly the ending of the book, which is borderline esoteric, and that will no doubt challenge or even provoke many readers.

MW: I can’t comment too much on the ending, since it is important to keep the final pages a secret until the book’s release. All I can say is that to me personally, the ending of the book was not on the last few pages as is traditionally expected. Rather, it was the preceding pages right before the conclusion. We feel a great sense of loss at that point in time, and I think that’s what the book meant to me. Not necessarily the ultimate conclusion that could be called esoteric.

QU: You stated on the back cover that you felt the story was allegorical and religiously symbolic. Give some examples of this

MW: Well I wrote it to be very multi-layered. I wrote every scene two or three times over, and put some more significance into each happening as I went along. I wanted every seemingly insignificant word, every sentence, every single instance to be about something else, and about something else, and finally about something even deeper and more abstract than we can explain. I feel the three main characters, as well as the supporting cast, represent more than just their names. I do feel in many ways that Hal Persill represents mankind. I also believe Amara and Anne respectively represent something larger than just two human sisters. To some extent, the book follows the pattern of humankind’s loss of innocence paralleled from the Garden of Eden. Sanctuary to temptation, temptation to death. Lastly, from death to redemption or judgment, which is the final journey.

QU: All this talk about religious symbolism and redemption might paint to your readers the wrong idea about the book. You must remind your audience that it is indeed a satire. One part moralizing drama, the other half a caustic parody of Southern Fiction.

MW: I never wanted to define it as a comedy or as a drama. It was an experimental novel, because it stubbornly refused to be categorized as either one. I chose Southern Fiction as the genre, well knowing the category was misleading. Yes, it takes place in the south, but the book’s heart is far removed from easy-going, positive-thinking country folk.

QU: Phrases like “southern fiction” or even “comedy” don’t begin to warn readers of certain scenes in the book that are so outrageous…

MW: Right.

QU: Even provocative. There are some scenes in the book, that for a time, you wondered if your publishing company would even allow in a traditionally published novel. Most of the scenes in question, we can’t even describe on a G-rated website such as this. But just to jog your memory, “The Good Samaritan Scene”? “The Shopping For A Used Car Scene”? “The Alex And His Angel Scene?” These are moments in your book that are not only sexual in nature, but also so blasphemous, if not to God, then to the standards of what you are supposed to read in mainstream works of fiction. There are moments in the book that are so shocking, that you stop reading, look up and ask, “Did Warren just write that? Did I read that correctly or…?” How in the world do you reconcile such comedic, reader-teasing moments like that with the other half of the book, which you claim is religious symbolism?

MW: Life is irreverent. Our lives are funny and sad and shocking all at the same time. When you write just a drama or just a comedy, you are writing artificiality. You’re not writing about life the way it really is. Life is an experimental novel, a bizarre concoction of every positive and negative emotion, every victory and mistake and every moment miserable or ecstatic.

QU: What was your inspiration in writing this book?

MW: A nightmare I had while I was awake. A nightmare, not of images but of feelings. And an indescribable fear of something, not hideous, but human. The epiphany that man one day realizes, that he has equal capacity for good or evil. He has such overwhelming power, and the potential to change the world if only he sets his mind to it. And what will be among the remains after a man’s will is accomplished? Heaven help us all.

QU: What is happiness to Mitchell Warren?

MW: I am still attempting to define it. At this point, I am leaning towards the philosophy that happiness is a willingness to die. We spend the majority of our lives fearing death and escaping danger. But when we reach that point in our minds, whether through religious convictions, marital bliss, or material paradise, where we no longer fear death and have finally realized the ideal life, the pinnacle of our individualized existence, happiness finds us.

QU: And in closing, what do you want your audience to know about Attempted Rapture?

MW: It awaits its judgment. Your audience ultimately decided the fate of your children. Personally, I feel it is my greatest work. In the future, I’ll probably write more mainstream stories that will appeal to wider audiences. But even if I ever win the Pulitzer Prize in my twilight years, this is the story I will remember most prominently in my dying breath. It has been the most traumatic and challenging work in terms of everything. I do feel the book has stolen some of my trust, my innocence and my faith. Whether or not I ever become happy and well adjusted in life following the emotional bloodletting I’ve brought on myself is another matter. But for the time being, I feel as if I’ve bled onto every page of the book, thus I cannot consider any part of my soul gratuitously lost.

QU: Thank you for this interview, Mister Warren. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

MW: One of the more harrowing experiences of my life. But thankfully I have come out of it unscathed. Thank your eyes for meeting mine and let’s meet again someday.

 

Faux Interview with Late Mitchell Warren, 2005, Cry on Cue Release

floren6

“OR CRY TRYING”
An Interview With Dame Floren Felvturn
(And some goof named Warren)

It was an unbearably dreary day for Floren Felvturn. Her flight had been delayed, luggage was misplaced, and premenstrual cramps were working their magic on the ultra-loving Madame with spite. And then just as she quipped that things couldn’t get any worse or her long wait become any more tedious, there Mitchell Warren seated himself, inches away from Floren’s heart with the worst possible question on his mind.

“I hate chick lit,” groused Warren to a total stranger, but one that he considered pretty enough to complain to.

Floren lowered her brow, gritted her teeth and replied with a taunting grin. “Do you? Why is that? Misogyny or simply a case of ennui?”

And from those humble beginnings came the demon spawned Cry On Cue, arguably one of the most scathing exercises in literary criticism and social satire the publishing world has ever seen.

From those humble beginnings until today, Floren Felvturn has always considered Mitchell Warren the most miserable, dissatisfied, insufferable human being ever mistakenly born and allowed to enjoy the wonderful gait that is called life. She says having an intellectual conversation with Warren is comparable to being viciously beaten to death by joyful Christians, and to flirt with Warren as a sexual being is such a bizarre experience, it must be on the same level as seducing a catatonic.

Yet, for all her personal criticisms, Floren never once doubted that Warren was the one and only writer worthy to turn her personal story and rambling memoirs into a coherent and marketable novel.

For the first of two interviews, Webmaster Sara J. Lamb interviewed both writer and “editor” regarding the book as well as their strange, indefinable relationship that is at the heart of Cry On Cue’s ultimate mystery.

SL: First of all, I’m obviously sitting here, talking to two different people. So yes, Floren Felvturn is a real person. But I need an honest answer, guys. Is Cry On Cue Floren or Mitchell’s book?

MW: In the literary sense, it is my book. I structured the book, I wrote a lot of the words and ensured that the jumping narratives flowed together smoothly and were always closely connected so as to be understood. However, Floren deserves the credit as far as the byline goes. It’s her story, a great deal of it is her life.

FF: And yes, as Master Warren Bubba confessed with contempt, not all of the book is one hundred percent truth. I took some liberties and added an inordinate amount of sexual content for my perverted amusement. And Mitchell’s as well. The [scene] in the Jeep had Mitchy boy racing like a blue-arsed fly.

SL: Now is as good a time as any. Mitchell, what do you think of the many obscure colloquialisms Floren uses? Will they affect the mainstream marketability of the book?

MW: Again, that was one of the things I ensured as an editor. Whereas Floren’s original source material, that being her poems, scribblings and oral stories–

FF: I have a bevy of “oral stories”, babe.

MW: Right. (Laughs) Obviously that collection, unedited would have been unmarketable and hardly readable. Not because it wasn’t interesting. More like, it was just too interesting. Too much for a reader to digest. So one of my assignments was to make this strange, impenetrable novel readable and understandable for a mainstream audience.

SL: But would you still classify this book as an experimental novel?

MW: Absolutely. There are some shocking moments in this book that will really test readers and obviously, some of the aesthetic techniques would also challenge traditional publishers and literary agents who are, of course, only interested in the safest kind of mainstream available.

SL: How much of this book is based on your life experience?

FF: A great deal of it is based on truth. I admit this, I do, that there is one act in the book, that is, very obviously, symbolism. And without giving the whole shagging thing away, it is the most memorable sequence in the book. So there will be no gratuitous head scratching. It is patently clear, in the end. But for the most part, yes, it is true. It is my life, and it smells like Tuna sometimes, but eat it anyway, Deacon.

MW: “Ahem”. Anyway, I would suggest that while the story is based on truth, there are also some moments of the surreal that go along with the anti chick-lit campaign.

SL: So if you had to choose a percentage…would you say at least 75% of the story is fact?

FF: I say 69% is fact.

SL: Okay then. Be honest now. The whole biography of Floren Felvturn is exaggerated, isn’t it? You’re telling people you were a nymphomaniac who went around propositioning all sorts of men and never got “lucky.” That has to be a liberty taken.

FF: There was a time in my life when I was very dischuffed. In my youth. Now did I exaggerate real events? Naturally. And the bugger Mitchell used his own exaggerations with the word usage. I feel no need to convey to divvys what parts are real or fake. Breasts and traumatic pasts are two difficult subjects you should be weary of inquiring on
about.

MW: Remember now. This is an experimental novel. Not a memoir or a work of nonfiction. After knowing that, a person can draw their own conclusions as to what is real or what is illusion.

SL: Floren, you’ve made it clear how sad and unlucky your youth was. Have you finally found love and lost your virginity?

FF: I have misplaced my cherry! Have you seen it rolling about on the ground? It is mine! Step lightly! I need to stuff the little glob back in! Yes, I am happy to say that I have found love in its purest form and am now living happily ever after with ten non-aborted children and a picket fence. Since I have reverted back to Catholicism, I no longer use birth control and shoot unwanted babies out of me like a vending machine. Whenever my BF or FB, whichever term you prefer, walks around the house he is literally stepping on children’s arms and feet. It is quite sad, really.

MW: In case you can’t discern sarcasm.

SL: I can, believe it or not.

FF: I have found love, yes I would say that. And it was not with Mitchell Warren! Hard to fathom. I can only imagine shagging such a disturbed and pessimistic creature would be a very unique and disconcerting experience. Would you wear your hat while we did it? When you c___ Mitchy baby, do you actually bring yourself to smile and show teeth saying, (imitating Mitchell’s grousing in heat) “Hey what do you know? This is all right. I guess I’m feeling okay. Ah, this is interesting. Hmm, life is not such a dismal experience after all.”

MW: All right, Floren.

SL: (Laughs) So now is a good time to touch upon the antagonistic relationship that lies between you two. When did this begin? The story of how you two met differs greatly from the “story” of Merrill Janeen (Jaded_Sapphira) and The Late Mitchell Warren of Attempted Rapture fame. Care to explain?

MW: Well, obviously that whole thing was a work. We were just starting “The Publish America Show” and wanted to parody a lot of the avenues of self publishing and traditional publishing. And so the idea of writing forums came to me, and how seriously writers all take meaningless and endless debate. So I started “The Cult Of Mitchell Warren” forum as a parody. Floren was already helping me on some of the writing for The Publish America Show” and so then we had an idea to do a spoof of the typical “flamer” on writing forums. That is someone who just pops up out of nowhere and starts creating conflict. So we had our back and forth moments where we insulted each other. Some thought we took it too far, whereas Floren and I thought it was just hilarious. And then the topper of course, was when Floren played Merrill at the Publish America review page and sabotaged all of the pages with negative reviews. I thought it was hilarious and anarchic. I think Publish America did too, which explain why they never censored any of it. Controversy sells. Besides, no one reads The PA Reviews page anyway, so we were just having some fun with it.

FF: And I as have stated in explicit detail, and I state everything explicitly in case you haven’t f___ing noticed, a lot of my spiteful messages to Mitchell were improvised and deep from within the heart. It is so easy to spew malicious hate for a man so dreadfully incorrigible as Mitch.

SL: Mitchell, do you consider Cry On Cue to be your second work, as a successor to Attempted Rapture or is it a completely different story?

MW: I think in many ways it complements Rapture nicely. I don’t think Cry On Cue is as disturbing or graphic as Rapture. But that doesn’t say much, because Cry On Cue is still more feral than ninety-percent of the books out there.

SL: Anything to say about Attempted Rapture? If you talk about an anarchic marketing campaign, that has to go down in the record books.

MW: Absolutely. I think Rapture’s marketing campaign was truly ahead of its time. And no doubt Publish America deserves a lot of credit for preserving artistic integrity. Virtually everything I asked for was put into the manuscript. Also as regards the content, I don’t think any traditional publisher or even some POD companies would have allowed some of the adult subject matter in the final draft. From the very beginning Rapture was a book that dared to be censored by the publishing world, one that asked for trouble, and one that not surprisingly met with a lot of opposition upon its release. Who knows, if not for Publish America, Rapture may have never seen the light of day. No other book publisher, traditional or print on demand, would have allowed such a willfully offensive, artistically hazardous and “unpublishable” book to be released under their name. To this day, to read the banned Rapture is an amazing experience as buyers of the book have told me.

FF: Wow, Mitchell. That is so interesting. And now, will you please tell us about the size of your Hampton wick? Since this interview is all about you and your intricacies.

MW: I digress. Let’s get back to Floren.

SL: Is Publish America publishing Cry On Cue?

MW: Sorry, Floren. The next question is yours. PA and I could not come to an agreement. So this book will be released under the name of a different publisher.

SL: Interesting. Do you think The Publish America Show might have had something to do with that?

MW: Very possible. (Laughs) But I regret nothing.

SL: Floren, what was your inspiration in writing this book?

FF: My best friend Paula. Also, my coy nod to optimism and wishful thinking. Never had a place for them in my life, until more recent times. I think after a person experiences amazing sex on a consistent basis it helps with some of the hangin’ turmoil brewing inside. Case in point, I could never attempt to tell my story until I got banged up by a funny looking bloke. Sex is surprisingly not overrated. It really is the best thing since sliced bread.

MW: Well, I guess I wouldn’t know.

FF: (Laughs hard) What do you say, for an exclusive to this website, I will give you a free knobbing. Just so you will shut up once and for all and stop being a moaning Minnie.

MW: Please don’t. (Laughs) Some things are better left to the imagination.

SL: Why is this book described as an Anti Chick-Lit book?

FF: I believe there is an audience for this sort of book. That Is, both men and women that are tired of reading predictable novels about typical female protagonists and their G-rated, approved by standards & practices, traditionally supervised foibles. I and Mitchell both agreed the first day we met that most romance novels, or even literary novels with strong female protagonists, rarely even take any artistic risks. Everything is so idealized and squity and is written for money not for creativity’s sake.

MW: Pardon me. Did you say squity? I know what that means. You didn’t use it correctly.

FF: Spit out your dummy, Master Warren Bubba.

MW: (Laughs) You have to listen to her sometimes. I swear she should still be in therapy. But yeah, I agree that I wanted to write an anti chick-lit book-a book about women but one that the destroys values of a typical romance novel. Also a book about a strong willed woman but one that would also appeal to men. Then I met Floren and she told me more than I ever wanted to know about her personal life-

FF: (Laughs) The dangleberries, the face-fungus, the sweet dutch oven moments…

MW: (Laughs) That doesn’t work anymore, babe. I know what it means.

SL: Finally to both of you. What is happiness to Mitchell Warren and Floren Felvturn?

MW: Happiness cannot be defined. It is only to be felt.

FF: A Spam-Javelin at the Olympics. No, no. Joshing, joshing. Sit down, Mitchell. I would have to say like I do in the book, “Oi Oi savaloy, chillax and relax! If only we were to look a little closer at every trifle, we would find that love besieges us-that there is no escaping such a wonderful thing.”

SL: I’m sure everyone feels the same way. In their own manner of speaking.

Follow Up Interview with Late Mitchell Warren, 2006, Song of Solomon Failure

 

salomo4jmlay

Article originally published at the TLMW Museum

In The Song Of Solomon, experimental novelist Mitchell Warren paints a radical new portrait of King Solomon, following the life of the legendary king not only during his early reign, not only towards the end of his luxurious kingdom, but even some two thousand  years into his distant future, where King Solomon’s reincarnated self continues to  pontificate.

The spiritual journey the author takes us on is an uncomfortable one, filled with great passion and aching truth. Solomon is not only detailed in the work but violated; his psyche is invaded, his innermost thoughts revealed and his ultimate mystery solved.  Even while Solomon desperately tries to confound us with existential questions, the riddle we finally answer is the King’s own: If Solomon really did gain the world at the end of his reign then what, in the beginning, caused him to lose his soul?

Warren has repeatedly said that this book will never be released. He has admitted only two copies were ever made and that both have disappeared. He regrets their release and hopes they have been or will be destroyed before they cause “serious damage.”

One book was given to his relative but later misplaced and lost forever. The other book was last seen in California but could literally be anywhere in the world at this point. One source states that the book makes no sense and might well be incomprehensible to human beings.
“The Song of Solomon will never be released in my lifetime. I might release it 100 years after I die. The Song of Solomon destroyed three previous relationships of mine. It is a book that ruins lives. Both my parents stopped reading it a quarter of a way through because they said it was too depressing. Who knows what might have happened if they had finished? Why am I mentioning this then? Because I am building anticipation for the 100 year anniversary re-release in 2116.”

Foreword

“Greetings, I am King Solomon of Israel.  I, the king of all Israel, kindly ask for your undivided attention.  This I ask kindly now, whereas in generations past I had only to lift my arm and my whole kingdom would stand in adulation.  It has been an arduous experience to adjust to the twenty-first century and become acquainted with the English language, as well as “American” culture. The dominance of the Anglo-American race has been difficult to accept as well. I was of the tribe of Judah, the chosen people of God, an Israelite with lineage linked all the way from Abraham to my father King David and  even to the one called Christ.  Today, you attach the term “Jew” to many men of similar ethnic background.  But we first originated from the two tribe kingdom of Judah, the divinely approved nation of God.

Yes, I have been called the greatest king in the history of mankind.  Books have been written in Hebrew, Greek and English as well as many other languages detailing my riches and wealth.  Furthermore, countless numbers of people have heard of my wisdom.  They have read the Proverbs, the Psalms and the Ecclesiastes.  Why many people alive today remember my sayings by heart, the ones inspired of God.  I was even poorly portrayed by the actor known as Yul Brynner in a movie based on my affair with Sheba in the year 1959.

The truth of the matter is this: every man, woman and baby knows who I am, what I was, and what my name signifies.  But they do not understand the underlying story.  They do not comprehend the truth of what I have written.  They know of my reign and the great things I accomplished while alive on earth.  But they, and even you, do not know my heart, nor do you hear my one superlative song playing in its flawless melody.

O, but you wonder not of such contemplative things.  Only the vanities of the surface concern you.  The stubborn minded questions, like how is King Solomon, though deceased in the flesh for nearly three millenniums, speaking to us today?  Cannot a King in spirit communicate through the world wide web just as a living man does?  Can the man who is limited in form exceed the abilities of one who is shapeless and without physical law?  Have confidence in your King, that even while in death he continues to instruct you from beyond Sheol.

After you dismiss the peripheral thoughts of men such as, “How is the King alive but dead?”, you will then move on to the next cluster of fairly obvious questionings like, “Where has the King gone, if he is truly still alive?” Has he been resurrected, as my own descendants would say?  Or has he been caught away to heaven at the request of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit of Christianity?  Has he been reincarnated into the body of a sheep, and has his Jiva and soul survived death as the Hindus say?  Perhaps his sins been forgiven by Allah and is he now resting in Jannah?  This is the truth of the matter: It matters not where his body is or from where his thoughts do emanate.

What truly matters is that you are, at last, listening to my words.  Somehow a communication between our minds has been established that defies the concept of shape and distance.  The message I have is being delivered clearly, in a timeless, sempiternal way.

And what is this message, you ask?  What is the significance behind my Song Of Songs and what does it really mean for all of you?  I will not answer the question you seek.  Rather, I will present to you a riddle.  A mystery that you alone must solve.  For in your solving of it, you will have taken the very wisdom of Solomon and deposited it in your own heart.

downsol3

While giving sacrificing in Gibeon, Adonai appeared to me in a dream by night.  I knew he was willfully exerting pressure upon me.  I, a young boy barely prepared for any responsibility much less that of an entire kingdom, what was I to say?  Surely He would scrutinize my answer and judge me strictly and according to whatever I asked.

So I took my time in replying.  I paused, I reflected.  Perhaps Adonai read my mind, and was able to see the initial requests of power, women and riches being suggested by my young mind but then quickly dismissed.  For this is the Most High, I reminded  myself.  I have but one opportunity to impress the almighty One of my forefathers.  If I had asked for riches or women, he would have given them to me.  His word is true, and he did offer me whatever I requested.  Perhaps I wondered at the time if a man did weakly ask for such obvious things, would He forgive him for being weak?  Would He have granted me those things I wished for only to punish me in other ways for my selfish choices?  Perhaps if I had wished for riches and power and sensual pleasures, I would have received those things only to discover that a hedonistic life was hardly worth living.

Yet, that is not what I was considering.  Rather than ponder over the luxury of such material wealth, and rather than focus on the lawful details of such a dangerous request in the face of divine pressure, I chose to think of the matter on a much deeper level.  Scoff though you might, know that I did in fact look into the future before answering.  I saw the end of my life though many years ahead.  I saw all that I had amassed and I heard my own dying thoughts.  How was I able to do this?  At the time I did not know.  I called this uncanny ability I had “discernment”.  One who wisely discerns what is not in the present, nor necessarily perceptible.  What was apparent to everyone and what was tangible to most were no longer of my concern.  At that moment, I started to analyze life for more than what it appeared to be or even what it should be.  I saw His creation as something fleeting, with every beautiful and collectible feature  amounting to nothing more than a man’s vanity.

“Ask what I shall give thee, young Solomon.”

And so I answered Adonai carefully.  Not cautiously, but in deep thought.  “You have shown David my father great mercy.  And now you have made me King in his place.  But I am but a little child.  I know not how  to go out or come in.  And I am to command your chosen people?  A great number of people that cannot even be counted?  Therefore, what I truly request of You, is to give me an understanding heart so that I can judge your people as you would.  Let me discern the differences between Good and Evil, the truth of the matter that Adam and his wife were unable to comprehend.  I request only the wisdom of God.”

And Adonai seemed pleased by my request.

“Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.  And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”

And I awoke and beheld that it was a dream.  And upon waking, I had only one thought in my mind.  “But Adonai?  I did not wish for riches or glory.”

Confused at why we’re wasting all this time talking about King Solomon in a book that’s not for sale or published? Why not have a laugh? Visit the Urban Legends page to read absurd rumors and even crazier truths about L. M. Warren’s books.

solomonsad

“A Portrait Of The Mitchell As A Self-Published Writer”

(Originally published 2006 at the TLMW Museum)

I trust you have met his majesty, King Solomon by now. Let’s now introduce you to the other half of this perplexing collaboration. While he doesn’t really believe he is King Solomon’s reincarnated self, author Mitchell Warren certainly finds parallels between his penniless poet life struggling in North Texas and in Solomon’s opulent reign during ancient Israel. Madness, you say? Warren doesn’t argue.

“I do believe I’m going mad. It’s no great coincidence that the sooner we find total  incoherent lunacy, the closer we come to occupying a world that is not  our own. Sanity is one of the sacrifices we must make in order to inhabit that new plain, that entirely new level  of thinking. While I don’t literally believe I am King Solomon, can anyone prove to me that part of Solomon’s soul doesn’t still live inside me? That I, and any number of us walking about the earth and pontificating at any given moment, have not assimilated pieces and fragments of his timeless mind? Where does all that wisdom and information go when the body dies? Even if it’s not stored somewhere safely, it is escaping somewhere and subject to whoever can catch that spark of inspiration.”

Is he for real, you ask? This we must ask of a man who marketed his first book so brazenly as a “a libelous and sacrilegious novel doomed to hell.” With a writer so self-deprecating and personally elusive as Warren, we must wonder just how much of his gospel is exaggerated and how much of an illusion he casts even in his most “personal” work to date. Warren is quick to reveal at least one honest and uncovered truth in this magic show-marketing campaign; The Song Of Solomon is the first ever PG-rated book by this vitriolic novelist, once notorious for his foul-mouthed dialogue and exorbitant love scenes. “I don’t know if God is proud of me, or just ashamed that my sexual drive is waning,” he quips. As for whether or not Warren truly believes in inherited destiny, parallel worlds, and nonlinear reincarnation, or if he’s just confounding us with perplexing, unanswerable questions for his own amusement in the true Solomonic spirit,  is up to the reader’s discernment.

While this illusionist has often called himself the elusive butterfly when it comes to real human relationships, the webmaster has gathered at least this much information  on him. Mitchell Warren’s father was a minister in Texas and for a time it seemed as if Mitchell was following in the family tradition. He has admitted many times to being a former minister. One who actually gave sermons on the pulpit every week and who once, ironically, preached against too much freethinking and guarding against unchristian doctrines. However, it was soon discovered that the young would-be King of a spiritual kingdom lacked certain qualities required for such a weighty responsibility. As for what those lacking qualities were is anyone’s speculation. Though it’s a likely scenario, that if Warren brought the same restive theatrics to the pulpit as he now brings to his books, he was simply too much too soon for churchgoers to absorb. Dejected, he left the ministry behind to pursue his writing career. It is of little wonder then that the rebel minister sought isolation instead of attention, living directly in the heart of the bible-belt community. A community he once helped to shape and then suddenly abandoned. “While I have not yet reconciled the guilt, I have successfully managed to stop constantly obsessing over it. And that of course, is a lie. A lie I feel guilty about telling.”

Tragically, Mitchell Warren remains unmarried even at the age of twenty-eight. Many of Warren’s colleagues and co-workers are often surprised to learn that such aged and cynical profundities are coming from the mind of such a young man. And a young man who, as he himself admits in very unbiblical terms, never gets laid. “I don’t try at all. Sex seems to be a monumental waste of time. Even upon first leaving the ministry, I never felt the desire to go explore the world and bed a hundred different women. Solomon would be ashamed, I know. But love and sex thrive in the fantasy world, in the literary world. In real life they are very scientific notions, complex like splicing atoms, and hardly romantic at all.” When asked if there exists a mistress anywhere in the world capable of stealing him away from his one true love, that is Writing, Warren replies in painful honesty. “I am a love agnostic. I can believe in something powerful and destructive like God. But something as fanciful and idealistic like true love? We love what is constant and unfailing in our lives. Women and religion are two things that have proven to be fallible and untrustworthy.”

Warren continues to live in DFW, Texas, more busy than lonely, and with far too many domesticated birds to speak of comfortably. “Another parallel between Solomon and I. He collected women, I collect birds. The similarities astound me,” he giggles. (Laughing with us or at us?) He is also known for wearing stylish hats whenever venturing out into the cold world that waits outside his writing room. “I have a hat for every mood as I’m sure Solomon had a crown for every occasion.”

Finally, we asked the master illusionist Mitchell Warren the ultimate question; stripped away of your many facades, silencing the voices in your head that come from your many colorful and outspoken characters, and even forgetting the wisdom of Solomon that drives this book campaign, who really are you?

Stroking his chin where his long flowing beard would be if he were king for a day, he replies cautiously, even while wearing an impudent smile. “I am Mitchell Warren, my pseudonym. None of us are really ‘ourselves’…we become people in our past or in our present, or at least we try to become who others expect us to be. We become whoever we have to be in order to survive. Anyone who says otherwise cannot comprehend the complexity of the mind, the uncomfortable truth about life, much less the wisdom of Solomon.”

IN: Are you satisfied with the notion that The Song Of Solomon is a love story? Does it concern you that the book is associated with genre pieces?

MW: At first it did concern me. I felt it was vulgar to call a book about so much more than just love and lust a “love story”, as if it were about an unhappily married woman and her shirtless amorist. The preconceived idea seems to be that good books are not about romance. They are about life, grief and progression. In theory, I agree with them. Love is an emotion. It is a man’s attempt to encapsulate one moment for a lifetime. Therefore, in a way it’s about the exact opposite of progression and overcoming the challenges of life. I wanted the book to be called an experimental novel at first consideration. But the more I dwelt on it, I reasoned that love is such an intrinsic part of this book that it would be dishonest to call it anything but a lyric of love. At the very least, a song devoted to the definition of the ideal…that is, what love can or should be to every person.

IN: Would you describe your protagonist, King Solomon, as an idealist who becomes cynical?

MW: That’s one viewpoint. However, it could also be reasoned that he went into life already cynical, met with the cynicism and failure he set himself up for, and then in the end, became the idealist.

IN: And Solomon’s love interest, the legendary Shulammite. She is certainly an amazing character. One might even say, sure to be misunderstood by the vast readership. After all, for the entire book — not to give anything way — Solomon sees her one way, and thus he compels his readers to see her in the same way. But in the end, because of his clouded view, isn’t it true that the Shulammite becomes to Solomon, and your readers, an effigy of sorts?

MW: Yes. In the beginning she is shown to have form and exudes the essence of fidelity. But by the concluding chapter, she is shown to be a flawed woman in spirit.

IN: One could argue that the story is not so much about the Shulammite’s flaws, as it is about King Solomon’s own skewered perception of romance. Would it be fair to say, as Solomon himself foreshadows in the introduction, that one that cannot even define love doesn’t deserve to have it?

MW: {Pauses} Well, not necessarily. As several characters in the story prove, one can easily attempt to define love and yet not have the slightest notion of what it really means. I think of it more along the lines of, what Solomon thought was supposed to be love–that is, the ideal and quintessence–he could never find with one flawed woman. What that says as to the universal ramifications of romantic love, is best left up to the individual to explain. It would presumptuous of me to dogmatically expound to my readers what love is and what to look for.

IN: Much like King Solomon was presumptuous in his courtship of the Shulammite?

MW: {Laughs} Well, I wouldn’t purposely compare my readers to Shulammite. Though in theory, if romance is writing, and the writer is the lovesick suitor, then I guess a book appealing to a mainstream readership would be the unattainable woman.

IN: In one sentence, what is The Song Of Solomon really about?

MW: Into one word, better yet, I can paraphrase it. Idolatry. We all see true love as a simulacrum of something greater we long to feel but will never find. But haven’t you heard? Real life is not fiction. We have no choice but to live in the real world, accept its finical standards, and leave our dreaming to fantasyland.

IN: What drives creative thought? What makes a work brilliant?

MW: As far as creativity goes, suffering. If you talk to two people in a normal conversation, one who has enjoyed a fairly pleasant existence, and the other a survivor of nationalistic atrocities, of course the one who suffered the most will be the most interesting. Perhaps it is the competitive drive in human beings. “I don’t wish to talk to you, or to read your work, unless you’ve proven yourself a greater human being than I.” As far as brilliance goes, I think ambition is what makes a work brilliant. No modest man has ever won the world’s favor. It’s scientifically contradictory to want glory for yourself and then wait for others to glorify you. Only by claiming to be the Son of God, was the humble man Jesus accepted as the greatest man who ever lived.

IN: Final question. What does love mean to you? Not to King Solomon, but to Mitchell Warren?

MW: Love is an evolving quality. Love cannot be defined or felt equally by a young man and an old man. A man cannot feel love the same way a woman does. A person who has suffered deeply cannot love in the same way as a virgin would. Then national and religious policies come into play. A man who loves God will never explore the perilous boundaries of romantic love at the request of the church. And a man who would sacrifice his life for his country, does not love his wife in the same way a widower would miss her husband. I also believe that in every lifetime, there is one true love that will elude us. But love will not cease to be at that moment of loss. Rather, it shall wait for you, and be shaped further by your experiences and views. As far as what to look for, or what I would look for? You have to think of a soul mate, or a true love if you will, as a bridge. A bridge is built to transport a person from one destination to the next. It would be impossible to cross a watery gap without a sturdy structure; one that you trust is secure. To me, a true lover would be a bridge in that she would connect you from your past to your present and safely to your future. Love should be a very coherent thing. It’s the same essential elements that make a good story. A beginning…in order to love someone, you would have to know that person for a long period of time. She or he would become a protagonist to you, a central character in the novel of your life. It’s very important in a good book to establish a strong protagonist within the first few pages. It establishes trust and trust is really the most important quality in love. In a good novel, to be considered a lead character or even an antagonist, a character has to appear frequently and have plenty of dialogue. What is that? That’s friendship. People underestimate the value of friendship in a romantic relationship and substitute less important qualities like mystery or spontaneity. But mystery is often times a cover up for the rebarbative truth. If you marry a friend, you will receive friendship. If you marry a stranger, you might receive more mystery than you can handle. In short, a true love in the idealistic sense would be someone who has watched you from the very beginning to the middle and to the end. She or he spent time with all of the same characters you did. Someone who has experienced the exact same memories that you have. That way, she or he comes to the same logical conclusions as you do. All human beings are secretly desiring to marry their opposite sex clone. That is, someone who knows your life, perfectly understands your viewpoint, and not because you bore her or him with the picayune details, but because she or he lived it too. My ideal love, if I believed in such a fanciful thing, would reassure me, stop my all-encompassing speech short, and say, “I know what you’re talking about. I was there.” It’s what all of us truly feel deep inside. I’m the only one who admits it. Everyone else, never speaks of it and just marries the closest thing they can find to ultimate compatibility.

IN: That was a mouthful.

MW: Well, that was a loaded question.

IN: That’s a very unique view of love. I guess it’s safe to say your ideal mate would have to buy a copy of your book.

MW: Well, unfortunately the novel I speak of is unpublished, undocumented and exists only in my head.

IN: Isn’t that a bit extreme to say people are going on a never-ending quest to find and marry themselves?

MW: That is the very concept of compatibility. Shared experiences, what you have in common with each other, similar behavioral patterns, etc. Small differences in hobbies and in mannerisms we rationalize are proof that “opposites attract.” But that’s not true. Incompatible people who have completely opposing personalities and who react to situations in totally different ways, cannot stand to live with each other. On the other hand, isn’t every healthy relationship the result of compatibility? True, we occasionally desire conflict from a mate, just as we hate and punish ourselves every once in a while. It’s an ego maneuver, a way of not taking for granted all that we have. But couples who get together and stay together, you’ll notice, beyond the peripheral differences, are remarkably similar.

IN: If that’s your view of love…will you ever find it?

MW: Am I required by law to find it? The more friends we have and the less lovers, the better. Besides, we can never get too attached to something we’re bound to lose someday.

IN: Okay not you, but let’s say someone well-adjusted and normal. What if that person never finds true love? What will happen to him?

MW: {Pauses} He will become incapable of loving. And lastly, incapable of showing love. He’ll become addicted to the pursuit and the never-ending quest to claim an unattainable prize. Those personality types often become philanderers or marry multiple times only to see separation. In the end, not only they deprive their women of happiness…they expropriate their own.

IN: Sounds familiar. Like King Solomon. The man of a thousand wives and a kingdom of riches who could never find true happiness.

MW: Yes, well…not everything in real life is so closely colligated with works of fiction.

 

 

Non-Interview with an Anti-Guru, 2013

image003“In honor of the completion of “Attempted Rapture”, a non-achievement and an anti-accomplishment, I officially proclaim myself an Anti-Guru. In the same vein as an Anti-Pope, an Anti-Hero, or the Anti-Spawn.“In honor of the completion of “Attempted Rapture”, a non-achievement and an anti-accomplishment, I officially proclaim myself an Anti-Guru. In the same vein as an Anti-Pope, an Anti-Hero, or the Anti-Spawn.

The reason being is that I stubbornly reject all beliefs and the inference and mistaken notion that I actually believe that I reject all beliefs. I do not believe that “nothing is provable” because that would be a belief. I do not believe in indifference or in selfish egoism because that is a strong system of belief. Rather, I refuse to be called a believer in anything, simply because I reject the definition of “belief”. However, this does not make me an unbeliever, since that strongly implies that I have a system or organizational methodology of disbelief, which is contrary to the definition of an anti-believer.

These are not my own whims or the ravings of a horny derelict but in response to the Higher Learning Community, the college professors and enlightened college students, who have made it illegal to interpret definitions within context. What “is” is and thus one must be explicit in defining his belief, or in this case, no belief. Therefore to appease the Higher Learning Community, and to avoid being beaten senseless by deans, professors, and master’s degree holding nineteen-year-olds, I am submitting to the studiocratic arrangement of things. I disallow anyone on the face of the planet to say that I have a “belief”, under the threat of ad-hominem attacks, trolling, flame wars and everything else that college professors and college students use to prove their incontrovertible maturity and superior intellect.

I am not a Nihilist since that implies a belief. I do not reject all faiths or scientific facts, since that implies owing a certain loyalty to a set or implied system of beliefs, hypotheses and circumferential evidence that I whole-heartedly reject in all circumstances, because to accept this human concept of “evidence”, “logic”, or presentation would be to subscribe to a belief when I officially renounce the definition of “belief”, and thus it cannot be stated that I believe anything. Or nothing. I am not an abstractionist or a figurativist, since that implies that I believe in non literal explanations, because I am vehemently against anti-thoughts, though I do not believe that in the strictest interpretation. It cannot be stated that I have expressed anything in this post, but that it was an anti-post, deleting from the universe things that may have previously existed.

In fact, it is now illegal to suggest that Mitchell “said something” or “stated something” since that implies that a belief was shared. The correct way to address such tomfoolery would be to say, “I insist on believing that Mitchell said something*.”

* Please note that college students always have the right to rewrite the English language and personal or institutional definitions at any given time. And if you ever have any doubt about this, just know, you are “wrong”. (-Attributed to millions of Higher Learning advocates)

As an Anti-Guru, appointed by no one, accredited by nothing, and as unqualified as anyone else to give advice, I can state with assurance that if you seek advice from me you will actually un-learn things that you think you already know. Thus speaking to me will likely rob your brain of information you previously thought you had. I wouldn’t recommend anyone taking advice from me, as I strive to give the equivalent of anti-matter to people seeking “truth”.

What I would suggest to you, though this is strictly not a belief, is that you stop taking advice from others so damned seriously and realize that at the end of your life, all your life amounts to is the collection of decisions that you made over a period of time—no doubt influenced by corporatists, propagandists, impostor gurus, your parents, people you modeled your life after, your literary heroes, your celebrity crushes, your religious icons, your intellectual skeptic superiors, your founding fathers, your country which you were accidentally born to, and random people that said stupid things on the Internet over the image of Willy Wonka, SpongeBob, or some angry pussy.

What I would tell you is to think for yourself and stop being such a chicken—but that would be hypocritical since that would imply a belief. There, consider yourselves robbed of knowledge.”

Read more about L. M. Warren’s new series, The End of the Magical Kingdom.