Make More Informed Decisions About Your Books And Burritos, Your Essays And Enchiladas

Words: Christopher Forsley / Drawing: Cameron Forsley

Broken Pigeon (2013)

I love San Francisco, its people and its places, both from the past and the present. Jerry Garcia, Laffing Sal, Andre Nickatina, Harvey Milk, Frank Chu, John Waters, Fillmore Slim, Bruce Lee, S. Clay Wilson, Willie Mayes, Emperor Norton, Tim Lincecum, Janis Joplin, The Gonz, Robin Williams — I love them all. I love them like I love Chinatown, McCovy Cove, Booksmith, Last Gasp, DELUXE, Sutro Baths, Delirium, Fort Funston, Castro Theater, Hippie Hill, Kayo Books, Musee Mecanique, Muddy Water’s, Clarion Alley, and Little Shamrock.

But it is San Francisco’s writers, who attracted me here, and its taquerias, which keep me here, that I love best. No other American city besides New York — which is unlivable due to its pigs, pollution, and pinstripes — can boast of a literary tradition and a food culture that are both historically enriching and contemporarily bitching. And this boasting, if you ask me, is only possible because of San Francisco’s word-wielders and tortilla-tossers.

The two, I admit, seem to have little in common with each other. While the products that San Francisco’s writers produce are consumed intellectually, the products that its taquerias produce are consumed physically. The writers explain shit, but the taquerias create shit. One favors English and the college-class, the other favors Spanish and the working-class. And although they both uphold the city’s liberal conventions, the writers do so through their opinions whereas the taquerias do so through their portions.

Low Res Books and Burritos

But they have more common than you know. Their products are affordable and, in both cases, go down better with beer. They also, in addition to helping you get to sleep, come in a disguise — with a book cover and a tinfoil wrap — that makes their glorious insides a surprise. They both face technological threats: for the writer it’s the internet and e-books, and for the taqueria it’s the microwave and frozen burritos. And they each offer their ingredients in different forms. Writers, for example, use their words to form essays, poems, novels, scripts, plays, and short-stories. Taquerias, on the other hand, use their fillings to form tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and tamales.

These similarities are not a coincidence, rather they are proof of their boundless bond. This bond between San Francisco’s writers and taquerias is so strong that you could, based on their individual characteristics, pair every great San Francisco writer with every great San Francisco taqueria. . . well, maybe you couldn’t pair them, but I certainly could. And I will do just that so you, San Franciscans, can make more informed decisions about your books and burritos, essays and enchiladas.

I’ll start by pairing the first San Francisco writer I ever read, Jack London, with the first San Francisco taqueria I ever ate at, Taqueria Cancun. Neither offer anything extraordinary, but they both offer consistent creations at accessible locations. London, a San Francisco native, wrote two adventure novels, Call of the Wild and White Fang, that, because of their potent plots and simple symbolism, have been taught by teachers and scanned by students for over a hundred years and can now be found in every bookstore and library under every section from ‘teens’ and ‘classics’ to ‘animals’ and ‘sports’. And Cancun, with its properly folded rather than haphazardly rolled burritos and its rational ratio of fillings that include the oh-so-rare whole sliced avocado, is so solid that I’d use any of its three locations as an earthquake shelter — especially since their jammin’ jukeboxes and free ice-water allows one to hydrate with Mariachi music. Continue reading

Free Zines

Email with an address to receive an envelop full of Forsley Feuilleton zines left over from the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest.


News: Last Gasp, 2013, Best Publisher


One of our distributers, the legendary underground publisher, Last Gasp, once again won the San Francisco Bay Guardian‘s Best of the Bay title for Best Publisher.   Help support a San Francisco institution that has, for 41 years, been spreading work from the world’s greatest talent — including but not limited to R. Crumb, Bill Griffith, Mark Ryden, and, our personal favorite, S. Clay Wilson — across the globe by ordering one of our books  through them: HERE




Jimmy Chen’s Penis Is Indeed Based In Fact

Words: Christopher Forsley

Published by Metazen (2013)

In 2011 I was writing an essay for PANK in response to the “Adrien Brody” short story scandal when, during my research that involved jacking-off to nude photos of its author, Marie Calloway, I discovered a Jimmy Chen spoof over at HTMLGIANTcalled “Adrien Brody By Roman Polanski.”  It was very, very funny.  And I used it — well. . . distorted it — to illuminate my own spoof of an essay on the subject.

Before finding that story, I had never heard of Jimmy Chen even though we had a lot in common.  We, for example, both live in San Francisco and both sometimes feel like including “Tao Lin” in our writing so that when he googles himself he will find our work and put it on his tumblr or twitter so that his followers will see it and then, after jacking-off to nude photos of us, write articles about it. dear-depressive

I once saw a still-shot of him from the movie, Lost in Translation, which showed him and his long blonde hair basking in the Tokyo moonlight while looking up at Bill fucking Murray with a sparkle in his eye. . . but it may have been photo-shopped.

His writing, however, is not photo-shopped.  It’s far too depressive to be photo-shopped.  In fact, Dear Depressive is the title of Jimmy Chen’s 2013 ebookPublished by Thought Catalogue, it’s a collection of questions — and his responses to those questions — asked anonymously on Formspring.  In case you don’t know, Formspring, which is now defunct, was a website where teenagers were bullied until they too became defunct. Continue reading

Big Brother Didn’t Help Me Kill Myself

Words: Christopher Forsley / Illustration: Cameron Forsley

Published in Total Bozo Magazine (2013)

In 1992 the skateboard magazine, Big Brother, published an article called “How to Kill Yourself.” I didn’t have any use for the article because I had yet to fall in love. I loved Ren & Stimpy. I loved Super Nintendo. I loved backward jeans. Most of all, I loved skateboarding. I sucked at skateboarding, but I had yet to fall in love with any girls besides Murphy Brown and had no reason to kill myself.

Back then even pro skateboarders sucked at skateboarding. It wasn’t about what you could or couldn’t do. It was about imagination. Anything was possible, especially since everyone was high on crack.  And now what were once possibilities have become realities: Both Harmony Korine and Spike Jonze make blockbuster movies, Mark Gonzalez is a world-renowned artist, Jason Lee is an A-list actor, Mike Carroll is a business tycoon, and Rob Dyrdek is a famous television clown.

Ninja Houston

More recently, Dyrdek went from being a clown to the ringleader of a skateboard circus called Street League. Corporations like Monster and Nike sponsor it, and ESPN broadcasts it across the world. The young skateboarding clowns starring in this circus are produced on assembly lines and trained in private skateparks. They get pro-models before they get pubes because they can do anything and everything, like robots.

Skateboarding used to be about uniqueness. Everyone had their own style. It was like Hemingway said about writing: “All mistakes and awkwardness are easy to see, and they call it style.” These new skateboarding robot clowns never make mistakes and are never awkward. They are perfect. They have no style. And without style, you can’t have soul. And skateboarding without soul isn’t skateboarding.  It’s just a reason to kill yourself.   Continue reading

I Was Engaged To Nick Carraway

Words: Christopher Forsley / Drawings: Cameron Forsley

Published in Manarchy (2013)

Every English teacher in America knows that Nick Carraway is an unreliable narrator, but not one of them knows if what he writes is fiction, fake, fabricated, forged, or false.  Just as they only have a general idea of the English language, they only have a general idea of Nick’s unreliability. They know that the title of his story, The Great Gatsby, is faulty and that Nick was the only one who thought there was something great about Jay Gatsby, but what those teachers don’t know is that he thought that greatness was in Gatsby’s pants.

Nick used to think I had something great in my pants, and we even got engaged because of its supposed greatness.  But, besides an unreliable narrator, he was also an unreliable homo.  I’m not talking about his performance in bed which, as long as he was drunk, was plenty reliable.  I’m talking about how he would deny what was in my pants if he wasn’t drunk enough.  And one night Al Capone’s local man got pinched and Nick was completely sober when he came to bed.  He not only denied me, but he said what was in my pants wasn’t worth the homophobic backlash of our Midwestern town and broke off our engagement.

Great Gasby low res

He went East, claimed that he was never “even vaguely engaged,” and even started calling me the “girl back home.” But he never stopped loving me.  I have stacks upon stacks of letters signed, “Love, Nick,”  to prove it.  And although he tried to embrace the female form, his cravings for the male physique were relentless.  “The intimate revelations of young men or at least the terms in which they express them are,” he admitted, “usually marred with obvious suppressions.”  He realized he had a need to drunkenly defile what was in my pants, and his unmet need is bitterly revealed through his character descriptions:

Daisy, the love of Gatsby’s life, doesn’t have the enchanting eyes of Carey Mulligan or the silky skin of  Mia Farrow.  She only has, according to Nick, a “thrilling voice” that is “difficult to forget.”  The voluptuous Myrtle, who lures Daisy’s husband away with her big beautiful ass and lively luscious breasts, is “stout.” And although Nick admits that “she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can,” he doesn’t appreciate this ability, for he says she “contained no facet or gleam of beauty.”   He “enjoyed looking at” Jordan Baker, the professional golfer, but only because she, with her flat chest and “shoulders like a young cadet,” resembles myself.   Then there is Daisy’s brute of a husband, Tom.  Nick hated him, but a man is a man and when Nick saw his “great pack of muscle shifting,”  he couldn’t help but imagine how  “the enormous power of that body” was “capable of enormous leverage.”  Continue reading

Open Letter To 3D Movie Technology

Words: Christopher Forsley / Drawings: Cameron Forsley


3D Movie Technology,

Stop turning all the good movie theaters with high-def screens and custom surround sound and comfortable stadium seating into brothels.  By pimping out every movie showing in the good theaters, you’re pushing out every quality film that refuses to turn 3D tricks.  Some will find spots in shit movie theaters with screens covered in the cum of its cracked-out clientele and alien-like sound that only NASA’s best can interpret and seats so creaky every film comes off as a Birds of Paradise sequel.  The rest will go straight to YouTube where a few hundred viewers will skip to the sex-scenes and comment with links to free toaster-ovens.

3D Movies

Even if a quality film makes it into a good movie theater without prostituting itself by adapting your 3D technology, it will still get fucked multiple times in multiple ways.  You and all your 3D whoring movies will ensure that it only has early showtimes, that it’s out of theaters before the holiday weekend, and that it gets isolated to the janitors closet.  The aesthetically inclined audience, after packing into their seats like sardines, will share with each other the dirty mop odor that smells worse than their fishy selves and then drown, despite being fish, in the surround-sound splashing through the vents from the 3D whale in the theater next-door.

I know you recently adapted the Great American novel with the great Leonardo DiCaprio as the great Jay Gatsby and aren’t concerned with letters from the likes of me, a mere viewer craving the good old days when I could watch a movie on the big screen without having to avoid 3D protrusions like a contestant on American Gladiators avoids Nerf balls, but you’re not fooling anyone.  We remember when you, 3D Movie Technology, were working the slums of Disneyland hustling that Captain EO movie to little brats on vacation just like its star, Michael Jackson, used to hustle little brats into his bed when they were on vacation at Neverland Ranch.  And, if you don’t learn to respect quality films, back to those slums you’ll go to project that dancing space cadet to a bunch of churro stuffed Mickey Mouse faces for all eternity. Continue reading

A Forsley Feuilleton: The Best Part Of Birding Is that, Like Skateboarding, You Can Do It Anywhere.

Words: Christopher Forsley / Drawings: Cameron Forsley


You can’t skateboard everyday.  It rains.  It snows.  You get hurt and hungover.  Sometimes you got to mellow the fuck out, for Real. You got to get your head out of the skate-game and wait for enlightenment, like Buddha under the bodhi tree.

By getting off the skateboard and embracing the Middle Way, like the Buddha say, you’ll learn some shit.  You might learn to Heelflip like Neen the Ninja, bomb the Bay like Busenitz the Boss. . . or that Tom Penny came from the Mushroom Planet on a spore named Style.

Vulture Fishing

But you won’t learn shit by doing shit. You got to do nothing while doing something. Doggie, do you digg it?  Teevee is like an STD.  Video games fool the brain.  And books are like boring broads.  You could, of course, pop one off to some porn, but poppin’ two is tiresome.  It’ll just make you take a nap and get fat.

It’s better, even if you’re not skateboarding, to go outside.  There’s plenty to do in the great outdoors while not doing anything.   You could, for example, go fishing.  But fishing exposes you to hostile rednecks and mutant mercury fish.  Birding is better.   Continue reading