Look it up!


Sound or sounds which pass rapidly through brick and stone walls

A church service of morning prayer followed by a Biblical movie

Hard floor-covering made of ground cork and linseed oil on a canvas backing, found in many large, imposing tombs throughout Asia Minor

A full-time working mother with a large family

The sophisticated dance routine of a Central American Indian tribe who had formulated a highly developed civilization

A lively dance through a confusing, intricate network of pathways bordered with neatly kept topiary

The 15th Century sport of pissing in another’s glass of mead

A female mugger

A tonic made from cantaloupes prescribed to relieve extreme depression

A telephonic apparatus for transmission of sound or speech to a distant point through a pliable series of layers composed of animal or vegetable tissue (a soft house-phone)

A lizard-like reptilian found in many polluted waters

Mermaid’s purse
(Slang) A rather wet, slobbery kiss

The split floor area of a low story between two other stories of greater height in a building

A mountain summit of lesser altitude than those which overshadow it on one or more sides

A hypersensitivity to specific alloys such as brass or bronze

An imaginary apparatus for conveying objects and concepts which do not literally denote, in order to suggest comparison with another object or concept by means of mental signals, as a bright idea, the radiance of which may be changed

An aggregation of Methodist persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages

from The Complete Unabridged Lexicon by Opal Louis Nations

The Brighton Daily Herald says “Nations gives new meaning to the word definition.”


Coming Soon


Ah, the merry month of March hath arrived, and that means the “Pleasure” issue of Black Scat Review will soon be available. In addition to its provocative cover photograph by Eleanor Bennett (a British sixteen year old of astounding talent), the magazine features nearly 80 pages of pleasurable art & fiction by Alain Arias-Misson, Jonathan Baumbach, Guy R. Beining, Miggs Burroughs, Pierre Henri Cami, John Crombie, Farewell Debut, Jacinta EscudosStephen D. Gutierrez, Harold Jaffe, Richard Kostelanetz, Terri Lloyd, Samantha Memi, Opal Louis Nations, Derek PellDoug Skinner, and D. Harlan Wilson.

This is one issue you won’t want to miss, and to avoid such a catastrophe simply enter your email address in the box in the column at left (below “Join the Underground”).  How hard is that?

March on!

Pop (Music) Quiz

Q: How many Black Scat authors and contributors are gifted singers and musicians?

A: Two for certain (Doug Skinner and Opal Louis Nations)—we’ll have to ask the others. Skinner can be seen performing in the previous post. And here’s a link to a rare audio clip of Opal Nations singing Take the Easy Way Out.

Opal Nations and The Frays
Opal Nations and The Frays


Extra credit:

Q: Do they have groupies?

A: We’re putting our money on “yes.”

More of Opal’s music here: opalnations.com

Order his book, The Complete Unabridged Lexicon 

Word-Freaks of the World, Unite!


A new year, a new imprint: Black Scat Scholastic Classics (“A Wealth of Knowledge at Your Fingertips”), our premiere educational reference series.

We’re pleased to announce the first volume in the series—The Complete Unabridged Lexicon by Opal Louis Nations. Excerpts from this seminal (albeit eccentric) dictionary have appeared over the years in obscure little magazines and avant-garde broadsides, but now Black Scat Books unleashes the entire unexpurgated edition in a deluxe 128-page trade paperback.  OUT OF PRINT


As for the OED…it’s time to toss that dusty dinosaur in the dumpster and make room for this contemporary masterpiece which, according to The Brighton Daily Herald “…gives new meaning to the word definition.”


Opal Louis Nationsphoto by Ellen Nations

Opal Louis Nations was born in Brighton, England. During the mid-1960s he worked as lead vocalist in London clubs with the late Alexis Korner’s Band, and later his own group, The Frays. He helped popularize American soul-based R&B and gospel music in Great Britain. After brief periods with various London R&B bands, he turned his back on singing and began a career as an experimental fiction writer. His textual work, sometimes strange, sometimes humorous in nature, appeared in over 200 small press magazines around the world. He is the author of over 30 books of fiction, including The Strange Case of Inspector Loophole (Véhicule Press), Stabbed to Death with Artificial Respiration (Coach House Press), and Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen of Good Society (Obscure Publications), as well as drawings and collage. As an editor, he brought to the public’s attention fresh young poets and writers, both in the publication of books and through his literary magazine periodical, Strange Faeces. Nations currently spends his time interviewing gospel performers, writing articles on a regular basis for Blues & Rhythm, Soul Bag, and Dr. Jazz magazines (to name a few), conducting music research and compiling CD reissues for English and U.S. record companies.

The Perils of Science & Other Divertissements

Les périls de la science
Les périls de la science

We’re giddy over our lineup of new titles for 2013. Among the offerings…


• Adventures in Pataphysics—an anonymous classic of “imaginary solutions,” profusely illustrated in a deluxe limited edition. You can reserve a copy now by sending an email to blackscat@outlook.com  No payment necessary, simply indicate that you’d like us to set one aside for you. The book is guaranteed to sell out quickly.

• Also in the wings, Captain Cap (Volume One) by the great Alphonse Allais.  Faithfully translated from the French by Doug Skinner, this is the first in an exclusive, multi-volume series. This is the only English translation—a literary landmark—and a must-have for fans of the master absurdist.

• To start 2013 off with a grand guffaw, we’re serving up A Cami Sampler on New Year’s Day. Consider this a spicy dessert by a slightly mad French chef: ten cockeyed microdramas by Pierre Henri Cami, including 9-pages of his rare drawings. Translated by Paris-based Cami-connoisseur John Crombie, this collection is a scrumptious treat by a writer Charlie Chaplin hailed as “the greatest humorist in the world.”

And that’s just the tip of the smorgasbord, as Black Scat is also publishing works by Pedro Carolino, Florence Bocherel, Farewell Debut, Alain Arias-Misson and others. Plus new issues of Black Scat Review.

pata-smileSolution imaginaire: Décodage sourire de Mona Lisa  (from Adventures in ‘Pataphysics)

Happy New Year, All!

Scat from Paris

Novelist and creator of “literal objects,” Alain Arias-Misson has written from Paris to let us know he’ll be in NYC in March. Performance Arts Journal is doing a portfolio on his “Public Poem” and Emily Harvey Foundation is doing a presentation on March 14th. If you’re on that coast we hope you’ll attend.

Alain is one of fifteen luminous contributors to the forthcoming Oulipo Pornobongo: Anthology of Erotic Wordplay to be published mid-October. It’s #4 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

He also revealed the hottest social networking site in France—Fèces-book. Now you know why our logo is grinning.

And speaking of fèces…

Another contributor to Pornobongo, Opal Louis Nations was editor of his own press, Strange Faeces, which brought to the public’s attention fresh young poets and writers, both in the publication of books and through his literary magazine, Strange Faeces.

Alas, good shit like that is hard to find.

In the wings, some special things…


In addition to books on our Scatalog page and six collectible volumes coming in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series, we have these special titles in the pipeline.

Leigh began issuing his handmade, limited edition Xmas catalogues in the U.K. in the late 80s through the 90’s and “into the early Noughties.” Each  booklet was approximately 16-pages folded from one A4 double-sided sheet, published in  an editions of 100 copies and distributed to family, friends and mail art chums. “They are based  on those tacky little brochures that appear at that time of year, particularly to advertise all manner of useless festive crap — gadgets for trimming fluff from jumpers, musical key fobs, big slippers for both feet, etc.” The artist has selected the best of these hilarious items for this special anthology. Just in time for the holidays!   [November, 2012]


Fans of Norman Conquest will rejoice at this lavish collection. In addition to many new works published here for the very first time, the volume incorporates two of the artist’s scarce early books—Sartre’s French Phrase Book and Interiors: A Book of Very Clean Rooms. NEGLECTED WORKS will be available as a trade paperback. [October, 2012]

Excerpts from Nations’ classic lexicon have appeared over the years in the U.S. and Europe, in small literary magazines and pamphlets. Now for the first time, Black Scat Books will make the entire text available for use by students and scholars–not to mention the master’s millions of followers. This mammoth opus is a seminal reference every family should own.  “The final nail in OED’s coffin.”—Derek Pell   [January, 2013]

… and…

farewell debut

POP HOT AND THE DIVA.  Farewell Debut
Another mysterious work by Ms. Debut which defies description
[To be announced]