April Events

Three gigs coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 14
Stuart McNair and I are playing at Pale Eddie’s Pour House (2308 2nd Avenue North). We’ll be backing each other, playing our original songs. It starts around 8pm and goes until we get tired of playing. No cover.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=138152426257010

Saturday, April 23
The full-on Mississippi David Hornbuckle Band is playing at Sipsey Tavern (1926 12th Avenue South). We are opening for another local band whom we know and love, the High Fidelics. They are a surf rock band and lots of fun to dance to. A great time will be had by all. Starts at 9pm. Cover is $5. Cheap.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=199381973435647

Friday, April 29
I am hosting a poetry and music event at Grey House Studio (825 A 39th Street South). As this month marks the 55th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, we are staging a tribute. The online literary magazine I edit, Steel Toe Review (www.steeltoereview.com), is presenting a number of its contributors to read from their own work, as well as Ginsberg’s. There will also be live music, beer, and snacks. Starts at 7pm. No cover.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=207706842592712

Zen Mississippi Has Been Out for a Year

I’ll be damned. I was just looking over this here blog and checking some of the links to make sure they still work, and I discovered my novel came out April 2010.

I know you’ve all read it already, but just in case you want to buy it again, here is the link:


And perhaps you’d like to add a glowing review on Amazon.com. You can do that here:


Have a good weekend.

Steel Toe Review, Issue #4

Reposted from STR.

Editor’s Note, Issue #4

We’re a couple of days late wrapping up our March 2011 issue. We won’t try to re-cap everything we’ve published in the past month here. Just go read it for yourself.

We aren’t slacking off–just still tweaking the format so we can find the best way to keep you coming back regularly. In March, we posted a ton of great poetry and two awesome short stories, all of which we were very happy to include. We’d love to have more fiction submissions, and we’d love to publish more multimedia work. Please keep sending us stuff and spread the word about this site.

By the way, none of us here at STR are making a penny from this venture. We wouldn’t mind making a penny here and there, but right now we have no advertising, we don’t charge a “reading fee” for regular submissions. We don’t even charge an entry fee for our contests, though this may change in the future; we are currently paying the prize money out of our own pockets. Not to mention the cost of fliers, postcards, and stickers we had printed up. We’re not asking you for money to defray these costs right now. We just want you to know what’s up.

If you have any ideas about how to better get the word out about Steel Toe Review, we’d love to hear what you have to say. Just email us at steeltoereview AT gmail and tell us what you think. If you are in the Birmingham area and you are interested in getting involved with STR in any capacity, drop us a line and tell us what you’d like to do.

Finally, in the coming month, we are excited to have two major milestones on the horizon: the deadline of our first fiction contest and our first live event! For details, visit our front page.

Yrs. Trly.,

M. David Hornbuckle


STR and Tritone Represent at NOLA Bookfair

I acquired a table at the NOLA bookfair to promote Steel Toe Review as well as my two books.

On the way down, I stopped at a Chick-fil-A in Meridian, MS because I had to attend a conference call for work. I was there for almost three hours, during which I overheard the manager discuss with several people his theories about the similarities between the U.S. today and Germany in 1939. He also refilled my drink several times, so I let it slide. Languid Christian music was playing on the p.a. I ate two chicken biscuits.

I picked up my much overqualified editorial assistant at the New Orleans airport because she was flying in from Florida. It was nothing short of miraculous that we found each other there, since I was running late, she wasn’t sure if I was coming to get her, and she is the last person on earth who doesn’t own a cell phone. But I guess since I tolerated the Lord for three hours at Chick-fil-A earlier in the day, He was looking after me.

The divine intervention didn’t end there–for example, getting back to our motel each night after the relentless debauchery and decadence that being in New Orleans seems to necessitate. Also, my assistant and I each randomly encountered people we knew but hadn’t seen in more than a decade and whom we did not know now lived in New Orleans. But I’m getting things out of order.

After checking into the charming Super 8 motel and inspecting it for bed bugs, the first stop was the official pre-party for the book fair, where Jordan Flaherty, author of Floodlines, was giving a talk about post-deluvian community organizing. Flaherty was funny and inspiring, despite the fact that I personally have very little emotional brain space at the moment to care about anything at all (cf. this and this, but I’m digressing again already).

We saw our first jazz funeral parade of the weekend as we were leaving the party. We headed down to Frenchmen Street, where the fair would be taking place the next day, drank way too much bourbon, and then called it a night.

Early the next morning (okay, about 10 am, which is early by N.O. standards), we set up our table. I had a surprising amount of interest in both the books and the literary magazine. I met several writers, whom I asked to submit to STR. I was asked to be on the radio. And my assistant and I ate shared a muffaletta that was bigger than both our heads combined.

We also saw another, much larger funeral parade, which I came to find out was in honor of the famous photographer Herman Leonard.

There was an after-party for the book fair at an undisclosed location. We were supposed to call a number after 7pm for directions. That was far too complicated for us. But we did attend the book fair-related Books & Burlesque show upstairs at Le Maison. The book theme was a stretch for several of the burlesque acts, but it was pretty entertaining. Somehow, I got roped into the audience participation segment of the show, which turned out to be a trivia game (we didn’t win, sadly).

The revelry continued after the burlesque was over, until the wee hours of the morning. Around 10 am (again, early by N.O. standards) we were awakened by what seemed to be a rocking gospel band performing just outside our motel room. Neither of us had the energy to actually get up and look out the window, so we still don’t really know what happened. But speaking of music, I forgot to mention that there was incredible music everywhere we went, more than I ever remember from my previous trips here. On every street corner, at every bar, many styles of music, expertly and joyfully performed.

When we finally managed to get up on Sunday, we met up with friends at Court of Two Sisters for their famous jazz brunch (more excellent music, not to mention amazing foodstuffs). This had to be followed by yet another nap, which was then followed by a home-cooked meal at another friend’s house.

It will require several more blog posts to fill in the details on some of these events. There are definitely stories worth telling. New Orleans never fails me in that respect.

Apartment Adventures

I got back from New York on Sunday with a U-haul truck full of stuff from my storage unit. Tym Cornell and C.E. Nelson kindly dropped by to help me unload it (C.E. just happened to be passing through town on his way from Arkansas to Florida), and I took them both over to Rojo for a beer afterward.

When I came back upstairs, a couple across the hall was fighting loudly, and their door was open. A black cat was wandering the hallway. I shrugged and figured one of them would soon notice the cat was missing and take it back in. I spent a couple of hours catching up on email and work, and then I went out again for a little while.

The cat was still in the hallway. I knocked on the door where I’d seen the people fighting earlier, and there was no answer. So I put the cat in my apartment and gave it a bowl of water. And then I wrote a note for the owners, which I stuck under their door. “Black cat is in apartment #[redacted]. I’m not home, but the door is unlocked if you want to come get him.”

I came home, and to my surprise, the cat was still in my apartment. Even more surprising, the cat had not trashed my apartment or peed all over the carpet.

The cat seemed hungry, and I didn’t have anything at all to give him because I’d been out of town for a week. So I called a friend and asked her to bring over a can of cat food.  She brought two. Then I wrote another note for the cat’s owners, giving them my phone number to call when they are ready to get the cat. The cat seemed malnourished and blazed through an entire large can of food in no time. I had nothing for the cat to poop or pee in, but I was just hoping he’d use the tub if necessary. But he never did either while he was there.

All night, he kept talking to me, jumping up on the bed and asking to be pet. I sort of hoped they wouldn’t call me. The cat reminded me a lot of Frankie, my cat in New York. My ex got custody of Frankie, which is in his best interest, but I miss that cat. By the time I went to sleep, I was thinking of names and figuring I’d go to Target in the morning to get a litter box.

But at about 6:45 the next morning, my phone rang. “Is this David? You have a black cat?” The guy came over. He claimed that he didn’t know how the cat got out because he was “declawed and not an outdoor cat,” which made no sense of course. The cat was wandering around in the hallway on the tenth floor of an apartment building, not running around the woods. I didn’t tell him that it happened because they were fighting with the door wide open, and the cat just walked right out. I just gave the cat back. But that guy is an idiot, and that cat would be better off with me.

Onion Man

Many of you know that I am somewhat internet-famous for my stupid song “Onion Man.” This song will not go away. I’ve recorded it on three separate albums (once solo, once with the Semantics aka PopCanon, and once with the Dixieland Space Orchestra), all of which sound better than the solo ukulele version that for some reason was a minor YouTube sensation a couple of years ago.

Anyway, every once in a while I get a letter like the following, which pleases me very much:

Good day to you sir,

I am a resident of North Carolina.  I play the banjo (3-finger/Scruggs, not claw-hammer which confuses me).  I very much like a song of yours, which I believe is titled “Onion Man.”  I would very much like to arrange the acquisition of the lyrics and some sort of chords and/or tabs for it.  It is one of the most wondrous little jingles I’ve heard in some time, and despite my status as a broke college student, I have decided it would be worthwhile to go through considerable lengths to find the song’s author (you?) and secure the chords for it.  If this can be arranged, I would hold you thrice-blessed and a champion asskicker among the savage and profane populous of common humans.  Do please let me know at your soonest convenience.

Cheers from Winston-Salem,


So to Mr. Stamat and others who would like to play this song:

Onion Man Chords


A / / / G / D / (x3)

A / / / G D F / / /

Em / / / G / / /

D / Bm / G A E / / /


A / / / G / D /

A / / / G / D G

A / / / G / G# /

Onion Man Lyrics

I was broken down in Georgia, waving down a savior

When soon down the road came this girl named Vidalia

She fed me. She healed me. She fixed my carburetor.

She said “Goodbye,” and I said, “I’ll see you later.”

She said, “Now don’t hold your sweet baby breath.”

Come on now, Vidalia, you’re scaring me to death.

Vidalia, Vidalia, be my onion woman.

Vidalia, Vidalia, I want to be your onion man.

Your onion man, your onion man.

I’ve been looking up, looking down, looking low and high.

I guess I should have known a girl like you would make me cry.

I want to get you in my pickup truck and make you understand

That I want to take you home tonight and be your onion man.

I want to inhale your sweet baby breath

And peel off your layers, until there’s nothing left.

Vidalia, Vidalia, be my onion woman.

Vidalia, Vidalia, I want to be your onion man.

Your onion man, your onion man.

Vidalia, Vidalia, mmm mmmm

Vidalia, Vidalia, mmm mmmm

Vidalia, Vidalia, I want to be your onion man.

Your onion man, your onion man.

Onion Man Videos

Labor Day Weekend

I spent Labor Day Weekend with old and new friends in the Florida panhandle. I’m happy to report that I didn’t see any black balls of oil. In fact the water was beautiful and calm and warm. Of course, that doesn’t mean the problem is solved by any means, but it’s a good idea to support the local businesses there while the cleanup is still underway. As for myself, I did my best to help out by patronizing a number of bars and restaurants in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Destin.

I did a little work while I was at the beach as well. I got started on a web site for Steel Toe Review with some design help from Mike Tesney. It’s coming along, but it’s still not perfect. I decided to try doing it via WordPress, but I’m not convinced that’s the best format. And the email address for submissions doesn’t work. So don’t send me anything yet.

The new band is also imminent. Rehearsals start a week from tomorrow. Still need a band name. George came up with The Featles, and I like that one, but I’m not sure it’s right for this particular band.

I got back in town late Sunday night. I spent the first part of Monday at a church fair/flea market/barbecue with Tia and Warren (and baby Walter). Then the four of us joined my parents, my brother, and my niece and nephew at the Birmingham Zoo, which I have not been to in I don’t know how many years. The kids all had an excellent time, and I had a pretty good time myself.