Tag Archives: men’s pulp magazines

Vietcong Seductress, et al



Hi blogsters:
Sometimes trying to piece together our lives can be quite a chore.  Peaceful Warrior posted something on one of the groups about the way his name has been a problem to him, and it got me thinking about it.
I was given a name at birth that nobody since has been able to pronounce.  They followed that with another one nobody’d ever heard of.  So when I exited that burg at the age of 15 or so, I left those two names behind and became Jack for most purposes.
But as a struggling young writer in the late ’60s I found myself needing yet another handle…. I was writing for the hairy-chested men magazines… Men, For Men Only, a genre of magazines that vanished by the mid-1970s.
They usually had a picture on the cover of a Marine with a machete struggling with python wrapped around a half-naked woman in some jungle.  That sort of thing.
Well, fact was, in those days I thought there was half-a-chance I’d want to be president, or try to get a decent job sometime.  Didn’t want stories like, Viet-Cong Seductress, or The Half-Million Dollar Sex Salon The Texas Rangers Can’t Find following old Jack around the remainder of his life.
Adopted the pseudonym, Frank C. Riley, which worked well enough.
Then the market collapsed for hairy-chested men stories.  Best paying hack-writer market left was something called ‘Confession‘ mags, which must have been read by the mothers of Romance Novel readers of today.  I figured, what the hell.
Popped out  I Was An Outlaw Motorcycle Mama, sent it off, got a nice letter back telling me there was a middling amount of what they read they liked, but that I needed to work on my female perspective a bit.  Eventually they published it, but they never bought another, though I tried.  But unless I’m mistaken, Motorcycle Mama was the only time I ever succeeded in passing myself off as a woman.  Only time I really ever tried, during that confessions market thing.
Amazing the things a man will do for money.

Old Jules

Hack Writing

Editor:
“Give me a 750 word
Masterpiece
Describing
How crushed ice
Machines
Can be used
On construction sites
To slow the cooling

And surface cracking
Of freshly poured
Cement.
Make it lively
Make it dance

I want it yesterday
We’ll argue
Prices
Three months from now
When you see the check.”

“Give me 2000 words
To titillate
Give me that whorehouse
That famous Chicken Ranch
In La Grange, Texas.
I want pockets picked
I want gonorrhea
I want luscious hookers
And hints of corruption
Deep in Texas
Law enforcement

I want it yesterday
We’ll argue
Prices
Three months from now
When you see the check.”

“I want 2000 words
Fiction
Something about
Beautiful Vietcong seductresses
Luring innocent GIs
To bed and death
In some stinking thatched hut
With pigs squealing outside
I want to see her despair
Her soul searching
As she discovers she loves him

I want a hint of non-fiction.

We’ll argue
Prices
Three months from now
When you see the check.”

Workshop:
“I want a poem
About how you feel
When your lover
Jilts you
In favor of someone
Of his own sex
And begins
Taking hormones.

I want the word
Encyclopedia
Used in every
Third line.

No pay
You just have
The pleasure
And satisfaction
Of doing what I
Told you to.
To help you
Get used to the feel
Of being a writer”

From “Poems of the New Old West”, NineLives Press, Copyright 2003

The Beatles– Paperback Writer