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Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD ('13) & Emerson College ('08).

"My Life As A Weapon" is your new favorite song about my favorite Avenger.

As anyone who's met me would probably expect, I'm super pumped about CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. So to celebrate, here's a song I recently wrote about Clint Barton, the powerless, purple-wearing, bow-and-arrow-loving badass known as Hawkeye. (Specifically, it's about the comic book version of Hawkeye, with allusions to his relationship with Kate Bishop and his life growing up in the carnival and his death and resurrection at the hands of Wanda Maximoff but...let's not get so bogged down in continuity, yeah?)

LYRICS

This looks bad
You can blame that on my dear ol' deadbeat dad
But I'm not mad
Until the arrow that I've notched becomes my last

One more shot to break
this carny from his cage
where a low-life can escape
to save the day

So I'll stay on target
Because that's all I know how to do
Just as long as I'm next to you

And I know that this looks bad
But the quivering is all I've ever had
Like some Nomad
Or a Ronin dressed in black to hide the past

Draw the bow back, breathe
One moment of control
Because once it flies
You never know

So I'll stay on target
Because that's all I know how to do
Stay on target
While I'm fighting my way through
Stay on target
Just as long as I'm next to you

"Not like this."
When the silence stings
My sight's my only bliss
But I won't miss
Because I'm going out in style
with my greatest hits

I'm no Giant Man
But I won't give up the fight
Until my violet violence
Takes its flight

Tennessee's shameful new "therapist bill" isn't just anti-LGBTQ. It's pro-suicide.

Hey Tennessee. It's me, Thom. And I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the honesty of your embarrassing new "therapist bill."

I understand that passing thinly-veiled anti-LGBTQ legislation couched as "religious liberty" protection is all the rage these days — lookin' at you, North Carolina and Mississippi and South Dakota and Georgia and Indiana and so on ad nauseum infinitum.

I also understand that it's hard to find a cool new way to spin your discriminatory language and actions, after so many others did the same before you — and, oh yeah, reaped some pretty awful economic consequences in the process.

But you, Tennessee. "The Volunteer State." You just willingly volunteered the awful, heartless truth at the core of this entire struggle:

See, that Senate Bill 1556 that you just passed? It's not just anti-LGBTQ. It's shamelessly pro-suicide.

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A musical memorial to Mama Cooter

This is the last text that I ever sent to Layne.

We had that creepy Campari clown hanging in our apartment junior year of college. Not because any of us drank Campari then (I do now), but because we found it in the trash on Beacon Hill and it had a frame, so we figured, why not? 

But Layne hated it. That clown creeped her the hell out. Still, she let it stay, and it became a running joke with us.

I don't know if she ever saw that text of her hated clown painting, or if she had already died from complications with diabetes by the time I sent it.

Here's a song I wrote when we were living together in 2007, and she was hospitalized for the same thing.

It's called "Electric Lights."

 

The selfish unawareness of
a window painted blue
electric lights that won't reflect,
but sound so clearly overdue

It permeates the smell of
sanitation and
of jaundice under skin that

has been peeled away
by saline soldiers,
crawling on their knees
across a bridge of gather lives;
maybe this time

she'll sound so much better
in this sweater than this dress
that leaves her back exposed
so all the coldest air can make a nest

All the stabbing
All the dripping
All the fevers and the cries
And poorly picked out tiles on the wall
have watched a million maidens die
underneath electric lights

She's so mixed up
like metaphors
it's better for her.
So when all
the shallow echoes fall
and settle in her cheeks
she's still demanding
all that I can V.

My latest comic book, "iCthulhu," is now on sale!

Grayhaven Comics' latest anthology issue, The Gathering: Sci-Fi Volume 3 is now on sale, and features a short sci-fi action comic by me and my good friend Dave Ganjamie!

Dave and I were bouncing ideas around when he made the intentionally-absurd suggestion of doing a "Futuristic Lovecraftian steampunk horror story." I decided to take this challenge literally...and thus, iCthulhu was born!

Our story is just one part of a 48-page anthology featuring tons of great creators, and the whole thing will only cost you $3.50, so what are you waiting for? Buy it before it becomes a rare and valuable collector's item!

A little sneak peek at Dave's awesome artwork...

A little sneak peek at Dave's awesome artwork...


What's more romantic than spending Valentine's Day hearing me perform bad songs I wrote as a teen?

That's right, I'm doing another round of performances for the Boston Chapter of Mortified, showcasing the worst of the worst romantic songs I ever tried to write as an angsty/horny teen.

This year, we're doing 3 different shows — but fair warning, they're all selling out pretty fast!


Post-Turkeypocalypse

Ambling sloth-like through the wasteland, breathing in a noxious haze of tryptophan and sickly sweet liquor, I plod past the pestilent pond of porcelain piled high in endless pillars, towards the puddles of putrid fat liquidized and pooling on the plates, once poured steaming over broken bones now dripping down the drain while the last vestiges of flesh hang threadbare off that osseous matter. Small hands have left their mark behind them, stained and sliding down the wall as if grasping for some invisible rungs to rescue them from wrath. Meanwhile, that gelatinous glob of congealed red mass continues to vellicate on the floor, a ceaseless tremor that suggests its sentience. Yet somehow, the empty glass and glasses have survived the slaughter mostly intact, only weathered and worn by overuse though now dirty, discarded and disheveled down among the grateful undead whose virile corpses litter the living room furniture until such time tomorrow that consumption might continue.

Q: Is Now The Right Time To Talk About Gun Control?

A: YES YES A MILLION TIMES YES.

People are dying at alarming rates. Our current laws are unambiguously failing and yet NRA lobbyists have managed to make it illegal for government scientists to study gun-related violence. Time and time again, data continues to disprove any connection between mental illness and violent crimes — and in fact, gun violence is a major contributor to the suicide epidemic, the tenth highest cause of death in the United States.

(admittedly, there are major problems with the way we address and deal with mental health, but it is separate from issues of gun control)

So let's stop deflecting from the fact that our country engenders a culture of gun violence. Let's break the NRA's stronghold on politics and find a way to enact firearm regulations that actually work.

And let's do it NOW.

Write to your lawmakers today — and refuse to re-elect anyone who refuses to act in the best interests of the country.

Happy Autumn Equinox — now here's an Ode to Candy Corn!

rounded wax wedges, waning; a tawny
base that tapers towards a soft point
white like tundra, in taste and texture,
bleeding out from burning copper ribs
hardly mellow hardened creme
of candle crops to harvest fat
free treats, a sign of times once pagan-
pluralistic-primal-precocious-pre-
human, uncivilized, re-captured,
re-claimed, costume the dead alive
and turn the season, turn to shovel
handfuls into mouths full of rotting
teeth a special offer, a limited time only
exciting when available but hardly
missed in memories of stomaches
turned to sick, in children as in men
but indulging in each dish we find it
harder to resist the solstice sweets
and let ourselves get lost inside
that sadistic sugar maize

 

(see also: "It's 'It's decorative gourd season, motherfuckers!' season, motherfuckers" by the inimitable Will Kaufman)

Up and Worthy!

Just a friendly update to show what I've been up to at Upworthy these past few weeks! First, here's a slideshow put together by our Editorial Director, Amy O'Leary, detailing the company's new direction (with the secondary purpose of pre-emptively shutting down your rehashed "clickbait" jokes*):

While I'm still getting the hang of the system (it's only been 2 weeks, after all), I've still got a few stories up that you can check out. It's mostly coincidence that the subject matter is, well, pretty much right my alley. I've also got a new Official Writer-y Facebook page, if you want to follow all of my (strictly professional!) adventures.

*I can say that, because my own jokes are half the reason that I work there now.

A Louisiana Literacy Test For Black Voters, Circa 1960

You have 10 minutes, and if you got one answer wrong, then sorry, you can't vote today.

Granted, the above test is not explicitly racist. But even the worst apologist can't deny the inherent classism of it. Technically speaking, this test was only administered to voters who couldn't prove a certain level of education. Which is kind of arbitrary, no? That's not like carding someone to buy alcohol. There's no visual indicator of someone's education, is there?

Well, sure, if we consider that education is a privilege, not a right, one that is much more easily accessible to people of a certain class. And in Louisiana in the 1960s, most of those people "of a certain class" were of a certain pigment as well...

(and hey, don't get me wrong: there a lot of dumb people in this country, and that they have a voice in our so-called democracy could be seen as an impediment on progress. But as appealing as it sounds to oppress those faces, suddenly your progressivism borders eerily on fascism...)

Alejandro & the Fame at the Cantab Lounge!

That's right folks, everyone's favorite all-male hard rock Lady Gaga (+ other female pop artists) cover band returns to Boston — this Thursday night at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge! Be there, or be having less fun than the rest of us.

And here's a little taste of the tunes...