INTERVIEW: JOHN PICHE 12/14/02

I met Rev. John Xerxes Piche during my first year of college through Matt Eland. It was most likely at Kinko's. He's kinda strange and looks a little like the devil. He makes zines that are absolutely chock-full of text. Write him here or at RJXP 2641 Euclid Heights Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44106-2816. In the process of this interview, he even added a few questions that I didn't even ask. I figure, that's pretty cool.

Hi John! How are things?

Pretty shitty my girlfriend brought home a Margaret Chao video and is
mad that A.) I do not want to watch it and B.) I did not save her any left over
pizza. She isn't talking to me. And my lower back hurts because my spine is
collapsing. Really.

What was for dinner tonight?

Left over pizza. Weren't you listening? You haven't changed a bit, have
you?

Does Love Bunny Press still exist?

I am not sure Love Bunni Press ever really existed. It was all a figment of my
scrambly brains. I still to publish under that name sometimes, though my father
finally started destroying my mail so I had to use my apartment address. The
Fucker.

I've known you on and off for about 8 years now - and I've seen gobs of
your writings. Can you list the titles of some of the zines you've made?

Um.NO EXIT. That one Alex de Acosta and I did for five issues. He is now
a professor of Philosophy at Binghamton University in New Joisey. I did four
GRUMBLEPHUCKS. Those were both standard interview/review zines with a little
scene commentary. Boring stuff, which I will never reprint except for the
wealthiest collectors or the upcoming exposition show at Busta Galleries. I
published a 19th century pamphlet for children DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, written by
this French pornographer named Rene Farben, Matt Eland illustrated it. It was
translated by this barely medicated paranoid schizophrenic named Jeckil
Kegglog, I met while living in New York City. I actually stole the manuscript
out of his room in the Chelsea Hotel. I had been seeing one of his daughters at
the time and while she was in the shower, cleaning off the mess I had left on
her chest, I pilfered the document. I have done one shots called HUMMINGBIRD
INSTINCT, GRUMPY HORISON (a badly drawn comic), and SWISS CHESSE AND BULLETS,
PERSILUM CANTOS (which actually had three issues and was co-edited by Alex,
myself and this hippie named Dave Font from Fort Lauderdale). Then there was
the infamous FROM THE DIANE FILES, which was such a great idea, YOU actually
stole it from me and made a killing, right?

If I remember correctly, you challenged wrote an essay in one of the
GRUMBLEFARTS that challenged the reader to do their own DIANE FILES. So I did.

Okay. Maybe. But I do not remember that. Currently I am working on
UNCERTAIN NERVOUS SYSTEMS. I've done two issues of that so far. It's a
collection of fragments and essays I've written on politics or art, which most
punk kids hate.

Do you have a favorite of these? Which do you consider the most popular?

My favorite is hard to say. Though I am really proud of DESTORY ALL
MONSTERS, but it took far too long to get Eland to do the illustrations. Five
years! Can you believe how fucking lazy that kid is? I was really happy to have
been able to return such a classic of children's literature to print and
introduce a whole new generation to Rene Farben. I also really like HUMMINGBIRD
INSTINCT. I feel it has some on my strongest prose in it. I would have to say
that FROM THE DIANE FILES is the most popular. The print run ran into the
thousands, which is still unheard of in my publishing history, and kids all
over the country knew about it. Though I am still bitter that you took the idea
and made it better. While you lived in Cleveland you made a career of showing
me up, didn't you, you bastard?

I read in Uncertain Nervous Systems that the internet has pretty much
trampled the world of zines. Unless I got that all wrong - have you considered
a website? They can be a fantastic waste of time!

No. You got that right. But I think three things killed zines 1. When
Kinko's went to the credit card system and got rid of those key counter
thingys. It was harder to scam them. Even though they recently went back to the
counters, it may be too late. 2.) The fact that zine editors started to
graduate college and look for real jobs in publishing/web design. 3.) The
Democrats. You know I have toyed with the idea of doing a website, but I keep
thinking about World War III.

What do you do these days? An hour by hour breakdown.

Most days.
6.30/7.30 Snooze alarm, shower, get dressed.
7.30 - 8:30 Smoke and drink coffee
8:30 - 9 Check e-mail get caught up on library gossip and odds and ends before
the customers are allowed in the building. Usually smoke more.
9-10 Answer the phone to deal with the first reference questions of the day
(usually book reserves, telephone number look ups, errant research question)
and help people by troubleshooting the public internet terminals and hotmail.
10-12 is usually when the daily cross word puzzle questions start pouring in,
more book reserves, help people navigate the very complex labyrinth of the dewy
decimal system.
12-1300 Warn incoming co-workers of which loonie is stalking about. Help people
wipe the snot from their noses.
1300-1400 Eat hamburgers.
1400-1500 Wander around the library. Try to avoid actual work. Go to the
bathroom for half an hour, if I am lucky.
1500-1600 Baby sit the after school kids. Help them find video games on the
internet, break up fights, answer more stupid questions.
1600-1730 Try to stop the teenagers from making babies in the browsing room.
Help people find videos. Answer more questions about medications, inmate
searches, sign people up for programs, the fun never stops. Break up more fist
fights.
1730 - 1830 Dinner and Simpsons.
1930-2030 Answer emails and assort internet chores
2130 - 2.30 Search the internet for PORN.
2.30 - 6.30 sleep.

Are you still on the booze? You were pretty unruly at times. I think you
may have attacked me once at the Euclid Tavern.

Sorry about that, did I try to fight you or fuck you? It could have gone
either way. Actually, was that the time the Beauty Pageant played there? I
don't remember your set at all. I was trashed. I was a really good drunk. I
would black out by midnight every night and try to set girls on fire. You know
that they closed the Euclid Tavern last year? And the Grog Shop is moving, they
lost their lease. I have been painfully sober for almost three years now. I
never leave the apartment and am a total dry drunk nerd.

How is Cleveland these days?

Cleveland is the exact same. Nothing changes, except everyone is now on
coke instead of heroin. This town has such a great vibe though, no one supports
each other and everyone is a bitter asshole. I love it. I can not think of a
better town to fail in. Though I do wish the ELECTRIC EELS would get back
together.

How is Eland these days?

He is cooking under the name Dr. Protein at this restaurant in Cleveland
Heights called Lopez. Last time I saw him, he had put on a little weight and
had longish hair. Every time I see that kid he looks more and more like a Jew.

I came across a 'The Six Parts Seven' CD today and your name was in
the 'thanks' section. How did you manage that?

Well, when I was drinking every night at the Grog Shop I would hang out
with them. And they are one of the few bands I will actually go out to see.
Plus I performed Al's marriage last summer. You know I can marry people
legally? I am a certified, recognized, and bonafide Reverend in the great and
foolish state of OHIO. I have done 15 marriages. Mostly of friends who knocked
up their girlfriends and whatnot. I use to get a bottle of whicky and a bride's
maid as compensation, now I just ask for the bride's maid.

Do you think the music on that CD is good?

The CDs are okay. They are a really great live band, though. I see big
things happening for them really soon.

Can you give me an idea of what you think this country will be like in 20
years?

No. But I will tell you by the time our generation of punks all end up
in nursing homes, with our saggy piecings, splotchy tattoos and cancerous
growths, we will be jerking off in the halls, hiding pills, and switching IVs
with one another. I can't wait until I can get a nurse to give me drugs!

Do you think you'll ever collect stamps? Do you collect them now?

I collect mason jars now! I fill them with beads and sand and make
colorful desert scenes. I am also quite a stitch at macramé.

Please put these songs in order of cultural importance:

a. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana
b. 'So Whatcha Want' by The Beastie Boys
c. 'The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot
d. 'Strikeforce' by Skrewdriver
e. 'Sk8r Boi' by Avril Lavigne
f. 'I Am The Man' by Anthrax
g. 'Tubthumping' by Chumbawamba
h. 'I Have Always Been Here Before' by Roky Erickson
i. 'Ms. Jackson' by Outkast
j. 'Twist & Shout' by The Beatles

I think that list sucks monkey balls. Here's mine.
A. 'Rowdy' - Christina Aguilera (she became the punch line to every Brittany
spears/Olsen twins joke)
B. "Word Up' - Cameo (for proving black people can be a nerdy as white people)
C. 'Mongoloid' - DEVO (for making physical deformities and mental inadequacies
hip)
D. 'Longview' - Green Day (did more to ruin punk than any other song in
history)
E. March of the Chrome Police (A Cold Clamey Bombing) - Chrome (for taking us
INTO space)
F. 'Love will keep Us Together' - Captain and Tennille (the antidote to all
that mascara black turtleneck gloop that gave stoners the bad name of GOTH in
the 1980s)
G. 'Demon's Gate' - Candlemass (fucking Candlemass!)
H. 'Posse on Broadway' - Sir Mix-A-Lot (an american anthem!)
I. 'Smackwater Jack' - Carole King (how many white suburban kids do you think
were conceived to Tapestry?)
J. Boss Hoss - The Sonics (because the Sonics are great!)

Do you have a job? If so, what is it?

I have had the same job for 6 years now. I am a Para-Professional
Librarian. I work at the reference desk answering your dumb questions.

You're awfully well read - do you get most of your info out of newspapers
or the internet?

Yes. Though I usually read the newspapers on the internet now since half
my job is sitting around waiting for patrons to waddle up and ask me questions.
I also subscribe to a bunch of email news servers and subscribe to various
government lists. So daily I read Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and other DoD lackey news
releases, press conference transcripts, etc. But I read a lot of magazines and
books too.

Do you like the internet?

I would like the internet more if it were more interesting. The thing
about the internet is that it is wonderful for entertainment/popular culture
and such, but it stinks for research. I think as a society we were sold a bunch
of shit by skilled used car salesmen and that have yet to deliver on half their
wide eye starry promises. I would rather read a book.

How much time do you spend on it per day?

Too much time since I am no longer a drunk and have no social life. I
think if I had a faster connection I would not waste so much time. But then I
think my relationship is falling apart and I am hiding in cyberspace trying to
get handjobs from 18 year olds.

Where's Dan Herman? I can't remember if he was your friend or just
Eland's. I have fond memories of that guy listening to Metallica. A lot. I just
realized, Eland has a really modern name - he's like an electronic-land! eLand!
The last time I saw him, I was drunk in Portland begging women to go home with
me. Actually it was a hotel.

Last I saw Dan Herman was when he visited Cleveland on his way to
harvest cranberries. He told me he was living in Ashland North Carolina next to
a highway on ramp in a shack that he built and was very happy being a general
stinky homeless guy. I had to incinerate my couch after he left. He was brown
with grime and smelled like the TV room full of geriatric Alzheimer's patients
who had chili for dinner. Old people's farts are so disgusting, they creep out
and smell like feet and burning snack foods.

I'm listening to Danzig.

I wish Danzig would do a porno. But then I like dwarves in my pornos.

How often do you shave your face?

Every third day. I like to look rugged, but hate it when the wafting
kitten hair sticks to my face.

Do you believe in god?

I believe in squalor and decay. Parasites and Capitalism.

How do you feel about internet pornography?

Most internet pornography is boring capitalism at its apex. I am loathe
to view a site for the inanity of the pop up windows and teasing ploys enacted
to attempt to facilitate a nominal credit card transaction. I am fond, though,
of message boards and groups. In them I have uncovered the most perverse and
accessible means of satisfaction.

Have you ever looked at suicidegirls.com?

My friend Chris wrote that punk porn article in a recent Punk Planet. I
did visit the sight shortly after reading about it. And was incredibly
disappointed that the girls were not punks at all. They did not have meaty
boyfriends, were not holding said boyfriends' coat near the back of the club at
a Cro-Mags show, and definitely DID not have that rounded oblong shape that
most punk girls seem to nurture. In fact, I was really disappointed there was
not a single shot of voyeuristic or close up penetration.

Do you still think that Cleveland is an ok place to live? What's to do
there?

Well, right now Cleveland is in an economic downturn. Corporations are
fleeing the city like rats off a sinking ship. Maybe a good old fashioned
depression will make the city interesting again. I think we got too pudgy over
the years. What is there to do? Fuck if I know. Do you still drink?

I kind of wish I had taken sleeping pills. I'm really into the Tylenol PM
stuff without the Tylenol. You can get it pretty cheap if you shop around.

I have been buying Vicodin off this old lady who comes in the library.
Unfortunately for me I am not using it recreationally, but am actually
medicating pain. My spine really is murdering me. I will probably be a cripple
by the end of the decade.

Do you ever drink cough syrup?

Once a month I drink a bottle of NyQuil. It helps me relax.

Have you ever huffed? You know, glue and stuff?

Probably. Though I would not remember it. I snorted heroin and smoked
crack in blackouts, I am told. All the good stuff I don't remember.

What was the last thing that you did that was illegal?

You mean besides buying proscription drugs from old ladies in the
library?

What type of computer do you have? What about processor speed? What about
RAM?

Are you even speaking english?

I think that's about all I can muster - feel free to add anything that you
want at the bottom.

All I have to say is. LISTEN TO THE FALL!