In Memory of Kurtice Kucheman
May 31, 1981–February 23, 2014
Kurtice Kucheman, who wrote his first stories under the name Kurt Lee, crafted weird, wild, brilliantly violent and deliberately vile neo-pulp that terrified the heart while it expanded the mind. In April of 2008, before "Unlikely Books" was formally founded, Unlikely 2.0 published anonymous gun, his sprawling "novella" of interconnected vingettes. It was originally published as a staplebound chapbook, and is now available as a perfectbound paperback with a new introduction by Kurt's sister, Casey Kucheman-Majercak.
Buy the paperback at Amazon.com
In Casey's words:
I am very honored to have been asked to write something for my brother, even though I know very little about the stories he wrote and the meanings behind them. Even so, I was always his number one cheerleader, so incredibly proud of his determination to be an author. When he told me he was finally being published, I felt my chest might actually burst with the happiness I felt for him. I know the stories he paints are detailed tapestries – dark and gritty, just like him. He experienced many scary and traumatic things in his life – the inspiration for his work. I know he used the hardships he endured from living with a serious mental illness as the muse for his art – and proud he was able to find solace in that. He could be dark and intense, cold and pensive…yet he could also talk about poetry and philosophy for hours, and make me laugh until I cried. He was interesting and funny, and had endless stories – I never knew which ones were actually true, but I think that was part of what made them so entertaining.
Thank you for reading his book. He would be pleased and shocked to know there were others (besides me) that love his work.
I miss Kurt every day, and I am so happy he lives on in his writing.
Kurt’s little sister,
Casey Kucheman Majercak
And in Kurt's:
It was the longest drought I could remember, with the pot. Gill was off the heroin and drinking beer again, and Mary and Ian were recently just married, and hanging out with a trio of guys who played guitar, wrote songs, and called themselves the Opium Suppositories. They also brewed crack rocks and gave them to drug addicts in exchange for depraved and obscene acts which they were allowed to videotape. I had just bought my last ounce from an art dealer at his gallery and afterwards he propositioned me for sex to get the drugs for free. Rudely I asked him why all the sculptures in his front window resembled penises and balls, then left, dropping $300 worth of greasy bills on the carpet. The dude looked like he had just gotten a hot dose and disappeared into the back room. I had another connection, but it was in the French quarter in New Orleans, and the idea of smuggling a quarter-pound of pot from New Orleans to Akron, Ohio didn't seem too appealing. This was to change, as shit got more and more heady here. I couldn't seem to stay out of trouble, my apartment was full of bongs and pipes, and I knew I was going to have to substitute drugs when this ounce was gone. Crack was everywhere, and I could get booze and cough syrup almost anytime I wanted it. A cough syrup trip is so potent and all encompassing that you can beat withdrawal symptoms on the shit, so preoccupied with the nonexistent abstractions the DXM creates in your mind it's impossible to recognize a craving. I knew how to make a crack pipe; after I got fired from the gas station some crackheads taught me. You clean out the middle of a tire air gauge and stuff a screen in there. Then you can burn up all the rocks you can score. There's other ways but this was my preferred method. The girl that lost her virginity to me was addicted to crack and getting married in San Francisco. I wanted nothing more than stoned oblivion under the flickering images of a television in a black basement.
Mary and Ian consummated their marriage in a different way, not a traditional wedding or stepping on a wrapped-up glass, but by drowning their sorrows in cocaine smoking after reading that Mary's parents had been killed by a drunk driver. Copies of the obituaries sat around openfaced on the floor, and they paced around in strides and trajectories, handing off the pipe and reloading, blowing funnels of smoke into the many fans that sat around the room. They would stop and notice things, track marks on the walls, faces melting on the floor, their hearts melting and reforming with the next hit, and each others' deprived faces. It was then that Mary did a deep hit and a rope of blood fell out of her right nostril and splattered right on the picture of her parents in the paper. She wheezed, and collapsed to the floor. While she paroxyed, Ian fixed a JD on the rocks and took his ink and needle out from a cabinet, and knelt next to the small of her back, lifting up her shirt. With crooked, shaky hands he began to print on her two words. As he inked her she shivered and whimpered, muttering "What are you doing..." "I'm marking you." "How?" "You'll see when I'm finished." She continued to shiver and paroxy and picked at the clotted blood around her nostrils. He paused, finished his drink and then continued. "Almost finished." She groaned, and when he was through, he told her and she sat up. "What is it?" "Go to the mirror." He watched her stumble to the mirror and lift her shirt. The words in crooked and shaky writing across the small of her back read in black "JACK DANIELS." She attacked him, clawing and kicking at him, spitting curses, but he hushed her down and made her a glass of wine. "It means we're married now." Ian spoke. Mary looked at him with tears in her eyes.