The last time Lauren had gone to Psychic Institute, she paid sixty bucks and was told she was a reincarnated mermaid from another planet. How stupid would a hitchhiking, pool-shooting landscaper have to be to impregnate a former alien mermaid? How idiotic would he have to be to sleep in cornfields, hitchhike with white supremacists, and consume a pillowcase full of mushrooms just to figure it out? Wallop is a budget crust-punk epic, an oogle ode set in the house parties and open roads of wasteland America, a manifesto for the crusty dirt bag who’s trying to get something, anything, back on track.
“For anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to hitchhike through Kansas, sleep in a cornfield, or join the underground Missouri punk scene, Wallop is a thrilling read. Self critical while never self indulgent, Perkins has crafted a smart and refreshing twist on a familiar genre. Through witty prose and wry humor, he achieves a delicate balance of nihilism and hope, resulting in an ultimately moving perspective of one man struggling to find meaning in contemporary life.” –Isa Mazzei, author of Camgirl
“Nate’s writing is real. Honestly human. It kicks you right in the nuts then extends a hand to help you up. Wallop is that one oddly good friend you met in passing months ago at the bar and run into every now and then and every time you hug and smile and feel like you’ve known them for years. It’s a big bowl of Captain Crunch—sweet, filling, but cuts you all up inside. Yet when you’re finished you still crave more. Nate Perkins your book is beautiful fuck anyone who says otherwise.”
–Tanner Ballengee, author of Sixty Tattoos I Secretly Gave Myself at Work
“Where other writers might make a big show of pulling back the curtain, Perkins tore his down a long time ago and has been using it as a makeshift sleeping bag. His writing necessitates a dirty, uncomfortable intimacy, revealing the ugly contours of fringe life in the West, where cigarettes and tequila can be a warm meal and a story only ever ends when Perkins gets tired of telling it.” –Kevin Sterne, author of All Must Go
Bad luck follows travelers through the desert, Mormon missionaries contemplate the bodily implications of the internal combustion engine, and minimum wage workers look for a sense of meaning in art, country and western music, and domestic terrorism. A lemon tree produces an alarming number of fruit, but nobody can manage to have a threesome. Perkins’s first collection of short stories vibrates at the chaotic frequency of the American West, a place where the states are square, the drives are long, and heartbreak is at least as much of a shit show as it is anywhere else.
“Depression makes most people’s memories collapse inward onto themselves. Perkins struggles with himself but knows the beautiful punctures on the the stick-and-poke world around him.” –Brendan Wells, of Uranium Club
“In the Western Lands there are people who believe in its landscapes and cities like a secret cult. Nate Perkins lets you into this world of travelers, the secret passwords that allow you into the Western Lands.” –Noah Cicero, author of Nature Documentary
“Coming to you from the front lines of the crusty underbelly of American weirdness, Nate Perkins writes from a place of hard-earned material, and these stories brim with authoritative detail. He knows the sordid basements of punk house parties as well as he knows the grandeur of the Utah desert landscape. All of it told with humor and sadness and deep empathy for the lost and broken-hearted heroes of this monster of a motherland.” — Bart Schaneman, author of The Silence is the Noise
In Cactus, correctional officer and ex-punk rocker Will Stephens works guarding prisoners who pick up trash on the side of the highway. One of them, a hardened inmate with a tattoo right beneath his eye, seems oddly familiar, but Will can’t quite place him. When he realizes that the prisoner is none other than the former lead singer of his favorite punk band, he must navigate an emotional desert landscape populated by neo-Nazis, asshole cops, guilt, student loans, and a double dose of mescaline tea.
“There is a special kind of magic spun by the stories on this cassette. Listening to Nathaniel Kennon Perkins read his work, you are taken into this strange, warm, safe, close, healthy realm. You feel good. You feel taken care of. Which is weird because often these stories are dark as hell or deal with gross-ass shit that should make you feel uncomfortable. Hearing a Nathaniel Kennon Perkins story, you are made into a sibling of his; a few words in and you’re his loving big brother listening to accounts of awful violence, hilarious misadventures, and various forms of deep shit that is always beautiful-rendered—laid-out in sentences that are graceful, clean, and absolutely flawless no matter how sad or painful the subject matter. The spell is cast. The magic settles over you like gold dust drifting down from above. And once you are in his clutches, you are his. (BUT … he is also yours.) Nate’s tape, Put Me on a Dog Leash and Make Me Eat Taco Bell Off the Floor, is both funny as shit and a hard road to take—a world where you are put in position to see the brutality and callousness of humanity, our failures and bad habits, the awkward relationships, the shit ways we treat each other. Mostly you’ll laugh. You’ll laugh and you’ll shudder and you’ll feel good about Nate, the world, and yourself. This is a true wizard’s skill.” -Adam Gnade
The Gardener of Tijeras – Upstreet (Forthcoming Fall 2022)
I Can Sleep Here – Philadelphia Secret Admirer
Excerpt from Cactus – Philadelphia Secret Admirer
The Way Cities Feel to Us Now – Timber Journal
Log – Pure Coincidence
Ms. Pac Man – Noncanon Press
I’m Sorry That Your Boyfriend is in the Mental Hospital Again – Keep This Bag Away From Children
Bees – Commas and Colons
The Weed Jesus of Nicaragua and His Embarrassing Persecutions – Intrepid Times (Forthcoming 2022)
Punx is Hippies – Why Am I Here? #2
INTERVIEW & REVIEW
What We Talk About When We Talk About Punk: An Interview with Zinester and Writer Jessie Lynn McMains – Maximum Rocknroll