30 December 2017

Fuguers Cove makes a best-of list!

Hi, all --

I don't usually get press for Fuguers Cove, in part because we don't perform live or promote, but I'm happy to report that one of the albums I released in 2017 made a best-of list!

Per the Weekly Alibi:

Fuguers Cove is one of the nom de plumes of underground artist Justin Bendell, a dude who really does live somewhere deep in the Manzano Mountains where he writes, makes music and watchs the clouds. Serio. He’s recorded heaps of music since appearing in this part of the material world, but his summer album release, Colours of our Sickness, is like totally sick in its mastery and twisted exression of pop music and guitar rock tropes. Track 12, “Colours of our Love,” reaches toward exhuberant rock anthem status, almost casually, with blistering drums leading the way. I predict The Oh Sees are going to make this album, but maybe not until 2019.   -- August March, Weekly Alibi (29 Dec 2017)


29 December 2017

End-of-Year Updates

Happy new year, folks!

Here are some recent and future happenings:

December 30 2017 -- I have started writing & recording drums and guitar for two new fuguers cove albums (Satanism & After Midnight), a Marshmen EP, a Burning Silos EP, and Anarchist Wolves' "To The Barricades," the long-awaited follow-up to last years Kill the Fascist Seed EP.

December 15 2017 -- formercactus published a tiny story of mine called "Some Nights." Check it out.

early December 2017 -- I started a blog called Lyrics to Every fuguers cove Song I Write. The content is self-explanatory. I only have 20 songs on there now, but I'll keep adding till all 300+ are up.


Coming Soon:

Point Blank Podcast
Kurt & I will be recording Episode 9 of Point Blank Podcast (Cornell Woolrich) and re-recording Episode 6 (Chester Himes) due to an unfortunate technical glitch that damaged the original.

  • fuguers cove "Satanism"
  • fuguers cove "After Midnight"
  • The Marshmen "get slack, fuckers"
  • The Burning Silos "Thrash Wizzaards"
  • Anarchist Wolves "To the Barricades"
  • Euthanized Horse "TBD"

  • Got a poem forthcoming at Origins Online!
  • Working on draft three of crime fiction novel-in-progress

28 November 2017

Lyrics to Every fuguers cove Song I Write

I will post the lyrics to all fuguers cove songs.

I will post them slowly, album by album, until all of them are up.

Each lyric will be accompanied by a link to the adjoining song.

They are not up yet, not all of them.

Excerpt #2 #nanowrimo 2017

I owned a Mach 5.
It was very fine.
Like a spaceship, that thing was.
Waxed and oiled.
Not an ounce of rust.
I sold it for three hundred dollars the year I tried to kill myself. 

16 November 2017

I am writing this month / excerpt #1

Hello "folks" / internet winds:

I am working on a noir-ish character-driven crime fiction novel this month.

It is the same novel I was working on last November; however, I'm adding points of view. Many points of view.

If it is a novel, it is an experimental form. If it is a novel-length poem, it is a very structured one.

Here's the voice of an old man waiting in winter at a bus stop for a bus that never comes.


Broken down Benz. The vehicle his late wife wanted. She wanted a Benz and he had a problem with the Benz because of the war and because the Benz was an expensive car and he had no need for a symbol like that, but she didn’t understand these things because she had had a dream once. And maybe that was why things did not work out with them as he did all the things a good man is supposed to do but he never gave in and let her have her dream and it may be a small thing but small things grow and fester and become great problems and it was too late to realize this now but oh well.

17 October 2017

I have made all 17 fuguers cove albums free on bandcamp


This is the most recent EP. Go to the website to download the rest for free.

02 September 2017

Point Blank Podcast is fully operational

Hey nerds,

My comrade, Kurt, and I started a podcast where we discuss hardboiled, noir and detective fiction. It's called Point Blank and here is our website. In the first episode, we discuss Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me. It is currently available for free download on I-Tunes.

In subsequent episodes we will discuss works by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, Chester Himes, and many more.

Please go to I-Tunes and subscribe. 

17 August 2017

Note to Self / Prompt #1

What does Luz do on a normal day? Put Luz in a grocery store.

Put any character you want to learn about into a grocery store. =
  • What do they buy? 
  • What aisles, if any, do they avoid? 
  • Do they read the ingredients? Do they check the price tags? Do they do mental math? Or are they guided by hunger and impulse?
  • Do they use a cart, a basket, their curled up t-shirt bottoms, pockets? 
  • How do they feel in a grocery store -- joy, fear, anxiety, comfort?
  • (By the way, what kind of grocery store is it -- fine foods, standard ole, granola co-op, bargain bin?)
  •  How do they pay for their food?
  • Coupons? 
  • They're now in the parking lot. What do they do with their groceries?

14 July 2017


Tomorrow, I head north to begin a one-month residency at PLAYA.

Per their website: 

"On the edge of the Great Basin, PLAYA offers creative individuals the space, solitude and the community to reflect and to engage their work through its residency program. PLAYA supports innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences and other fields of creative inquiry and encourages dialogue between disciplines to bring positive change to the environment and the world. "

I hope the experience (which I will share with collaborator / artist / poet Craig Goodworth) bears fruit.

03 July 2017

Soft Wolf EP -- written and recorded in June 2017

I've been making a lot of music this summer. Here is a new six-song EP I put together this June:

29 June 2017

Lyrics -- Last Wolf I (forthcoming)

1 last wolf I

out there on the land
in the shadow 
in the stark white light
offset by darkness

in a staked plain motel
i lie on the bed
in blue and red shadows
and stare at the mirrors

and what's in the mirror? (x8)

it was the last wolf (x 4)

out there in the weeds
where the buffalo died
in petroleum hills
where the millions

near the boarded up mall
at the edge of town
in the wind tousled grass
is a lesson to heed

and what's in the mirror? (x8)

it was the last wolf (x 8)

21 June 2017

Excerpt -- "Roots" -- nonfiction

The ephemerality of life and the resiliency of nature and the healing power of the wild and -- it was at this moment that a boot-sharpened root, protruding from the trail, split the distance between two toes and pierced the soft skin deep, deeper, deepest, pulling me out of reverie as I yelped in pain, tossed down my walking poles, cursed the goddamn trail and the goddamn forest and the goddamn moron who wore Chacos into the wilderness. 

06 June 2017

"Sinclair" - Excerpt

"Dude, there's a camera right there. Right there in the corner. I can't help it if you don't see it. It's right there. I see it. They're filming you right now. So, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna steal my car, or are you gonna get the hell out of here? They're filming you talking to me right now. Make up your fucking mind."

The guy runs, I get gas, there's no camera.

19 May 2017

Sickness / Music

Since the semester ended I have been sick. Twice. My body is decompressing. Or emitting. Or simply weak and tired after nine months of teaching.

After two semesters where every moment of my life had to be scheduled, the freedom of summer presents its own problem: I struggle to maintain a routine. I don't mind temporary aimlessness, but something about it scares me. Call me A-type, I guess. Or focus-driven. Or death-conscious.

During times like this, I don't write as much as I'd like.

Instead, I make music.

The process of creating and recording music is controlled chaos, which is what I need to help stave off the blues, and to assist with my emergence from the gauzy cocoon of constant obligation into the dangerous beauty of three months off.

Here is my latest therapy song. It is part of an unfinished 3-song EP inspired by a week's worth of Sister Bar and reverb and pilsner.

08 May 2017

02 May 2017

Manzano Mountain Review is seeking submissions


I am the founder and co-editor of Manzano Mountain Review (MMR). We are seeking submissions for our first issue.

We accept flash fiction, poetry, short stories and literary nonfiction.

  • For poetry: Submit up to 3 pieces at a time, but no more than 10 pages. 
  • For flash fiction: Submit up to 3 pieces at a time (totaling no more than 1,000 words)
  • For longer prose: 3,000 words is our max.
  • For Visual art/photography: Submit work in jpg form (no more than one sub every three months).
All work must be unpublished.

The caveat: You must be a current or former New Mexico resident.
Tell your friends! Tell your enemies!

The Point Blank Podcast is coming together

This summer, a friend and I will record episode 1-4 of the Point Blank Podcast. Each episode of Point Blank will offer commentary and analysis on a seminal noir, hardboiled, or detective fiction novel. We can't wait to do it and we look forward to sharing it with you. More details when we have them.

30 April 2017

Excerpt #5 from "The Roller Rink" (novel-in-progess)

It’s just one of those things. We get the sadness. It lands on us in the middle of a good time. It perches on our shoulder, whispers in our ear.

Sometimes it takes up residency, but most of the time it sits there a while, then flies off, and you feel the burden lift and all those good thoughts return.

That’s what happened to Trevor, cuz the things I said to him, they were just playful things. Not serious things.  Just good time things. It must have been the sadness that got him. For a little while.

28 April 2017

Excerpt #4 from "The Roller Rink" novel-in-progess

You say that a lot, she said.

I do?

You ask a lot of rhetorical questions too. You waste time.

Well, I said, I’m not sure I agree with you on that count.

Like that. What you just said.

What about it? 

25 April 2017

Excerpt #3 from "The Roller Rink"

I wasn’t going to actually do it. I was going to make it look that way. Fear and all. Establish the fear.

17 April 2017

Excerpt #2 from "The Roller Rink" (novel in progress)

“What I need from y’all is a promise not to scream and holler. I got these headaches, and when y’all are screaming, I get so that I can’t see straight no more. When I get like that, I get dangerous, you hear? I might come over here one day and waste y’all.”

16 April 2017

Excerpt #1 from The Roller Rink (novel in progress):

Do what they taught you--he said aloud--do the breathing thing. He raised his arms and flapped his arms and he inhaled sharply and released. He repeated this action three times, then he went into the kitchen and poured himself a bowl of Corn Pops with milk. The milk had soured, but he didn’t mind. He had eaten worse than soured milk. But the girl, if she became hungry, would require better. He would have to buy some fresh milk. His new friend was getting expensive. 

15 April 2017

Playa #1

"The lake bed, as far out as she could see, had fissured and cracked, a bed of puckered mud, dried out like roofing shingles in the interminable sun.

"But there was water there, in the holes that dotted the bed close to shore. And in this water there was life. Brief fleeting life."

Character quote #1:

I may paint an idiot’s picture of my past, and for that I blame age.  I am older now, and less honest with myself.

What am I doing in this dust?

still thinking through this