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Jules Archer

Article posted on Monday, July, 23rd, 2012 at 3:00 pm
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Interviewed by Hubert O’Hearn

Any idiot can profile the famous; it takes a specific idiocy to identify those who will/should be famous but haven’t quite got there yet. However, journalism in general and arts journalism in general requires a fearlessness in making the Big Call. I’ll make the big call, for that’s the way I roll. A young woman in a suburb of Phoenix is the Next Big Thing and I’ll stake both Dracula’s heart and my reputation on it.

Jules Archer and I got to know one another through Twitter. Via her persona as @JulesJustWrite I initially observed Jules as a wickedly sharp and witty observer of modern life. An example:

‘I’m a wimp. I could never be a starving child in Guana. I drank the juice, steadfastly refusing WHOLE food in favor of my liquidy diet, but at the end of each day ended up caving and having a granola bar. It didn’t help the fact that my asshole husband scarfed down chips and guacamole right in front of my face while I watched Master Chef.

Now this doesn’t sound like a good plug. But it is.

And that from an endorsement of home juicers. I’m sure Jack Lalanne would be proud, if he was alive enough to be proud of anything.

So that was Jules. The greatest surprise to me was discovering that she was NOT a New Yorker, as her entire ethic speaks of the mid-Manhattan bristling porcupine. Instead, she is born and bred in Montana where one imagines no one does much of anything other than squeaking the rocker on the front porch and murmuring, ‘yup.’ So much for what I know. Equal in discovery was this side of Jules:

‘Before bums were getting their faces eaten off in Miami, I was in a hotel bar getting asked if I was a porn star.’

No one else, No One Else is writing ledes like that today. Jules has Hunter Thompson’s knack of writing the observational detail while equally making it personal.  There have been other women writers who have had those equal parts of observation while making the commentary personal; their names are Dorothy Parker.

Jules however trumps Mrs. Parker as a poet. Parker’s poetry had the subtlety of a coal shovel to the forehead. Ms. Archer prefers slicing with a scalpel. One of her short poems:

Glory Days

the prom queen of
scorn and
dirty knees

Beverly Hills
missed suicide thrills

middle name always never,
not never
a fictitious faction

force fed plums
prettiness and primp

delight goes down with a
silver-coated spoon
castor oil tongue

and shit-stained hands

One has to look deeper for the meaning or the narrative meaning here. It is an entire life, from youthful cuteness and corruption (Why are her knees dirty? How the hell do you think?) through to a senior’s suffering of incontinence.

Jules Archer sees the human condition, processed it and expresses it in entertaining forms. Unless I missed something along the way, those are the duties of a writer. Jules is busy writing short stories and a spectacular first novel whose contents I am sworn not to divulge.

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