Short Film based on a scene from TORTURE THE ARTIST

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Check out “Daphne.”  Written and directed by Manuela Gilke.  Produced by Pauliina Tulenheimo.  In English!  A crucial scene featuring Harlan and Daphne from Goebel’s second novel, Torture the Artist.


Goebel story in SURREAL SOUTH ’13

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Edited by Josh Woods, SURREAL SOUTH ’13 is an anthology of short fiction that includes one short piece of surrealism by Joey.  The story is called “Contrivances of a Stringbean Marblewood” (or “Surrealist Party”).

To learn more, or to order, go here:



Joey to sing at Bagelrama on Aug. 23

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The Fourth Friday reading series will soon continue.  On Aug. 23, Joey will be providing the music.  He will play from 6:00-6:30, and then from approx. 8:30-9:00.  Readers to be announced.  This is a free event held at Bagelrama, in the Citi Center Mall in downtown Henderson, KY.  Also–Goebel will be signing his new novella at this event.

SUMMER NEWSLETTER: New Novella, New Album, etc.

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Joey Goebel Mass E-mail Newsletter, Vol. 2, Summer 2013:  New novella, new album, and a whole lot more for you to read about, young sportsmen.

Dear Readers,

It’s funny that sending out a mass e-mail now feels old-fashioned.  I don’t know if I’m supposed to apologize for doing so or explain why I don’t correspond through Twitter or Facebook.  (By the way: If you’ve “friended” Joey Goebel on Facebook in the last few months, I have nothing to do with that Facebook page.  It appears to be auto-generated from my Wikipedia page, which I also am not responsible for.)  At any rate, for now this is how I prefer to make announcements once or twice a year, and please feel free to contact me at if you wish to be added to my e-mailing list.  As for the news:

1. New novella Summer Man and Other Black Comedies     summer man

I’ve had 100 copies printed for our own Valentine & Garuda Publishing.  The black comedies are five short stories.  If you wish to purchase a copy, go to

The cost is $12 + shipping and will include a download code for the book’s soundtrack (I’ll explain in a moment), plus I’ll inscribe it to whomever you’d like.

2.     New business Valentine & Garuda: found & handmade objects, clothing & more.  Valentine & Garuda is a Kentucky-based web business where kitsch and functionality make friends and bear children in the form of vintage clothing, home goods, jewelry, handmade oddities, art, textiles, and other weirdo-chic objects from the American Southland and surrounding areas.  Valentine & Garuda is owned and operated by my wife, Micah Goebel.  We obviously encourage you to do all of your Thanksgiving Day shopping there.


3. Big reveal  I am Unscrewpolis.  Five years ago, I began a social experiment.  I created an alias named Unscrewpolis, an overly-amorous pop-hip-hop-r-&-b singer who sings mindlessly sexual songs like “Granny Panties” and “Bed” (a ballad).  The idea was that I would give myself thirty minutes to write each song, since from what I was hearing on the radio, the typical pop song sounded like it could not have taken more than half an hour to conceive.  I assumed that with the help of online social networking, this would somehow result in overnight success and an obscene amount of money, of which I would promise to give ten percent to charity (in Robin Hood mode).  Well, as it turned out, I couldn’t even get selling out right.  I will say, though, that Unscrewpolis has managed to get himself nearly two thousand friends on MySpace—more than I had before deactivating my own account.  (By the way, the Unscrewpolis MySpace is still up, should you have the need to be repulsed by a sampling of his ghastly music.)
What does this have to do with anything?
Well, the novella, Summer Man is about the life and death of this Unscrewpolis character, told from the perspective of the uptight ghost writer hired to follow around the hard-partying pop star on his last summer tour.  So it only made sense to include Unscrewpolis’ musical masterpieces, hence the download codes which will accompany each copy.

come fail4. New album  I have done more musically the last five years than write purposely horrible pop songs.  (There are some accidentally bad ones too.)  You see, all the time I was teaching English at the community college, working on novels #3 and #4, and freelance writing, I was also slowly building a twenty-two song album of folk-punk songs under the name Dr. Lawyer.  (See Jr. Bailey cover art.)  The album is finally finished (some songs featuring former Mullets Jason Sheeley and Justin Hope) and is being shopped around at various labels, though there is a good chance I’ll just release it digitally.  Regardless, you can get a preview of Dr. Lawyer’s music at the following sites (*note that I do not manage these sites, and if you wish to contact me, please e-mail me at



Oh—and I must thank all those who came to the Dr. Lawyer shows, both here and as part of my reading tour in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  I had never intended to play as Dr. Lawyer live, and I now see it was one of the better decisions I’ve ever made.

5. New novel
I Against Osborne (Ich Gegen Osborne), my fourth novel, has been published by Diogenes Verlag.  For right now, it is only available in German.  The manuscript is currently at Penguin, Random House, Little, Brown and Company, and Grove/Atlantic, and as soon as I have any news on the English publication, I will post it on my newly refurbished website, which leads me to . . .

6. New 
It’s now a fully functioning site, and the LATEST NEWS section is updated regularly.  New interviews, photos, songs, etc., can be found there.

7. Various updates Work on fifth novel novel has begun . . . French rights to I Against Osborne have sold, so French readers can expect a translation in the next year or so . . . Diogenes to release paperback edition of Vincent this summer . . . And local filmmaker Bradley Glick is shooting a Mullets documentary.

8. Recommendations  While I have your eyes, I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend a new novel by absurdist filmmaker/playwright Kelly Broich.  His wildly unique book is called Precious and can be found at  . . . Also, in way of music, the So So Glos are one of the best punk bands I’ve heard in a long while . . . Meanwhile, Little Joe recommends PBS Sprout (especially Caillou), Hot Wheels, and the Yellow Submarine movie.

Alas, I thank all of you who came to my readings in March.  It was the best book tour I’ve had, by far, and was beneficial for my self-esteem.  Bless all y’all!

Kiss My Grits,

Joey Goebel


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A funny Joey interview appears in this book:

CHEWING THE PAGE was put together by Phil Jourdan & the Goat and contains interviews with Nick Hornby, Craig Clevenger, Stephen Graham Jones, Michael Kun, Stephen Elliott, Chelsea Cain,  and many more.

Joachim Zimmerman photography

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From Joey:  “Who would have dreamt I’d ever be underneath Wayne Coyne?  Check this out…”

“The insanely talented Zimmermann normally focuses on musicians but made an exception for me when I did a reading in Berlin.  Danke, Joachim!

Waiting for Joey: A Reader’s Experience at a Book Signing

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From Joey:  “What follows is a fine piece of writing by a young fellow who brought his family to my reading in Munich.  I figure I better keep his name anonymous, but  his writing touched me and I am glad he gave me permission to share it here. I do not deserve this treatment, but I thank him nonetheless.”

My Old Kenstucky Home

As I’m sitting in the front row and glancing again at the church’s small side-tower opposite the wall of glass, its clock tells me it is ten minutes until the last subway leaves for the last train back home tonight. Finally the last person puts down her book to have it signed and then its only the wife left. As he raises his pen once more, he really looks the way he said the late hour and the trip made him feel. I just hope the jet lag, all the signing and the questions from the audience, all this is going to be worth it for him as much as the long wait was worth it for us, for her.

‘Your book is full of this teenage sexuality, when will you let your son read it?’ – ‘Well, I was raised by quite liberal parents, who let me watch R-rated movies pretty early and so on, and I intend to raise my child in a like manner, so I guess there’s stuff in there you wouldn’t want, I don’t know, a six-year-old to read, but I guess like 13, twelve, eleven, whatever, take your pick.’

So what’s in it for the girl? I guess a lot of A-words, and some of the T-words, the S-word and the F-word probably too. What the heck, they go nicely with all the cursive letters she’s just learned at school. She’s standing in line now with A—, waiting for the signature, for her collection, she had said. Back at home, after she had learned that we were going to A—’s friend’s reading tonight and she’d have her book signed by him, she had first picked a pencil to get signed for herself. Then, later, during the reading, we could convince her to switch to paper, and she figured her note pad she’d taken for drawing during the long train ride here was perfect; finally, she just took the flier about the reading up there. She’s holding out pretty well for the late hour, but she’s always been like that. By god, if nothing else good came out of these ten years here in Germany, she sure did. And what else is in it for her, a midnight burger and shake at the station and a 45-minute nap on the train; not too bad a trade-off for having to get up for school six hours later. The woman is now spelling out some name to him.

‘So do you still play in your band, are you still touring?’ – ‘No, no, we’re not. It was fun while it lasted, but as time went by, I realized that playing in a teenage punk band called „The Mullets“ wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to be, in the end.’

And what’s in it for the boy, I wonder. I had hoped that at the worst, it would be a night out in the big city meeting one of his mom’s old friends from back home, and at he best it would get him that tiny bit more interested in reading; now, literature isn’t a magic cure-all, but it will open the doors to many things that will otherwise stay closed for ever, and it can be a friend holding your hand at times. I didn’t know it would be all about how high school sucks, he sure has enough teenage drama tat school and at home himself, what with being 13 and his cousin, the older brother he’s never had, a million miles away; and his Granny, whom he left at three years old, sits alone in her smallesttown Southern recliner, surrounded by her pets, and his German dad switches his iPod for the English text book on the train ride here so’s he won’t screw up his English test too bad again the next day, while his biological father is busy playing video games somewhere in America, or maybe making yet another half-sibling. Well, I sure hope C— also heard that part about how J— liked his teachers most about school, just like his protagonist, and how that one teacher said how people are just people everywhere, don’t matter if it’s in America or Germany; he doesn’t know yet that he’ll have to wait with reading the book himself until his mother’s had a chance to read the English version, once it finally comes out. And I sure hope that little man with his little guitar and his passion up there left enough of an impression on him somewhere so he won’t give up his own guitar lessons some time on a teenage whim. And of course he’d already been seeing this celebrity friend of his mom’s in every new face walking through the building, and now he’s really looking forward to meeting a famous person, just like the YouTube celebrities he’s striving after with his video game commentaries. Now J—’s saying something to the woman about German names.

‘I thank you all for bearing with me and my songs, but I’ve felt lately like there was a void in my life and I realized that I would have to fill it with music, so playing for you here tonight is like therapy for me, thank you.’

Well, I don’t know on how many other authors singing songs after their readings that little church clock tower has so gently frowned upon so far, with its little buttresses and windows, but probably not many and surely none so sincere. I guess that adds another 15 minutes to the 15 he’s already got. So what’s in it for me? ‘Life can turn pineapple upside-down cake’ and ‘after so many pratfalls this is your prattest’ goes that song off the last N— album; I eventually learned that it was about the unhappy life of a silent-movie star, but the wording and content still tie in so neatly with the other songs on the album about the singer’s recent divorce from his wife and daughter, so it’s no wonder it stuck with me like that lately. She still sticks with me, even after that latest pratfall of mine, but I guess my music will be all that’s left for me when good reason finally gives in to dammed-up emotion and that constantly hovering upside-down cake decides to strike the face of the clown that I’ve become. So I guess these people here who so enjoy a little America-bashing before they go home in their denim blue-jeans with their American book and Hunter S. Thompson-buttons, watching American bodies, yes, writhing across their iPhone screens, they may all have their own personal legitimate agenda, but none of them understands you like we do, who sat with you sipping iced tea at the American apple-pie institution that is Cracker Barrel, me listening to A— and you and your friends reveling in what passes for nostalgia among thirty-somethings. So I say, Go J—, give’em hell! and show them who can rock and who can roll and let that voice ring out loud and ring out clear, give us some of that therapy, and tune that guitar on stage as long as it takes you to get that sound just right. Now the woman’s telling him something about the person he just made the dedication out to.


‘And you, do you still live in Kentucky? – ‘Well, yes, as I always call it, I’m still in Kenstucky, I don’t seem to have been able to write my way out of there yet. But, I must say, I’m staying there for the best of reasons, family.’


And that’s the reason why she’s still here, and also why she wants to go back. And that’s what’s in it for her and it’s why we’re here, for a little glimpse of that home abroad, that old life. That’s why she’s been talking about him coming here for months, urging his friend to come too, and why she got the tickets long ago and even dragged the kids out here in the middle of a school night and waited in line for an hour, here in that country she’s grown not to loathe. ‘Home is where the heart is’ we are told, but what about the heart whose home is two places 5000 miles apart, and when the calls and Christmas cards don’t come as often as they used to and time slowly takes its sad and inevitable toll, one by one. And despite all of tonight’s talk about the horrors of life in the heartland she’ll still long for the seat on her mother’s porch but will make do with this here sample of that life she’s exiled herself from. It feels a bit like we’re in some small way part of a private conspiracy of five, and he doesn’t even know yet he’s in it; and even though her trading in the small gifts she brought for a signature and a home-made button pushes her even further into the formal grooves of the pattern dictated by the ritual and constraints of the occasion, those words written into that book and that button she might not even wear will be the only things that she’ll be able to take back to our four rooms in the attic from tonight, the only things that she can keep, that will stay. Well, the woman just said a last good-bye, so here goes: ‘Hi, J—, how ya doing?’ It takes a moment for him torealize who she actually is…

Goebel inducted into Henderson Alumni Hall of Fame

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On April 13, Joey was inducted into the inaugural class of the Henderson, KY Alumni Hall of Fame.  This first class included:

the late A.B. “Happy” Chandler (former KY governor and Major League Baseball commissioner who first allowed integration)

Joan Hoffman (Henderson’s first female mayor, local educator, and unparalleled community activist)

the late Admiral Husband Kimmel (Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during Pearl Harbor, four star admiral)

Herndon Lackey (Broadway star with many credits to his name, including the first Javert in LES MISERABLES)

the late Dr. Darrell Posey (legendary in the field of anthropology and a humanitarian who championed the rights of the indigenous peoples of South America)

Al Reiz (engineer and scientist with amazing resume that includes innovations in solar energy and space propulsion rockets)

New Interview

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Click on link to read interview on 2013 AD website.  Thanks go to Austin Duerst.


Reading/Singing in Henderson, KY

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April 2013 Fourth Friday Writers’ Coffeehouse

Date: April 26th, 2013 from 6 to 9 PM

Location: Planters Coffeehouse in downtown Henderson, KY at 130 N Main St.

The 2013 April event of the Fourth Friday Writer’s Coffeehouse will take place on Friday, April 26th, 2013 from 6 to 9 PM, at Planters Coffeehouse on 130 N. Main St. in Henderson, KY. Live music is by an acoustic guitar player Tyler Ross. Open Mic is at 6:30. Guest speakers begin at 7 PM. More live music and an artist showcase at 8 PM.

Goebel will read and play around 7:30…


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Joey wrote a feature on Hollywood bug expert Steven Kutcher for the first issue of DAS BUCH ALS MAGAZINE.   The magazine reprints the entirety of Kafka’s METAMORPHOSIS.  Check it out here:



Dr. Lawyer Shows

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Dr. Lawyer (Joey with an acoustic guitar) will be playing at the following:

Third Tuesday Writers’ Coffeehouse: Tuesday, Feb. 19, approx. 6:30/Owensboro, KY/Intl. Bluegrass Museum, 117 Daviess St. (next to Riverpark Center)…NOTE:  Dr. Lawyer’s stage time will likely be limited to just a few songs…

Heirloom Records:  Saturday, Feb. 23, 2:00pm/2023 W. Franklin St., Evansville, IN….Dr. Lawyer will play 30-45 minutes.

Dr. Lawyer will also be performing at most of the Joey Goebel readings for the ICH GEGEN OSBORNE tour.

Further Details on 2013 Reading Tour

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Monday, March 11, 8:00pm:  MUNICH, Literaturhaus Munchen
Tuesday, March 12, 8:00pm:  ZURICH, Kaufleuten Festsaal
Wednesday, March 13, 9:00pm:  COLOGNE, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
Thursday, March 14, approx. 3:00-4:00pm:  VIENNA, book signing at Thalia Buch & Medien
Thursday, March 14, 7:00pm:  VIENNA, reading at Hauptbucherei am Gurtel
Friday, March 15, 8:00pm:  FREISING, Friedrich Pustet KG, Bucher Pustet
Saturday, March 16:  LEIPZIG, Book Fair Leipzig (details forthcoming)
Sunday, March 17, 8:00pm:  BERLIN, probably Backfabrik
Monday, March 18, 9:00pm:  HAMBURG, Uebel & Gefahrlich

Actor/musician Robert Stadlober will be doing the German parts of readings!

2013 Reading Tour Dates

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March 11        Munich, Literaturhaus
March 12        Zurich, Kaufleuten
March 13        Cologne, Festival Lit.Cologne
March 14        Vienna, Hauptbücherei
March 15        Freising, Bookstore Pustet
March 16        Leipzig, Book Fair
March 17        Berlin, Backfabrik (expected venue)
March 18        Hamburg, Uebel & Gefaehrlich

Specific times forthcoming.