Funhouse is a collection of brilliantly slippery pieces of flash fiction and longer form prose from the author of Addicts & Basements, and Rift (with Kathy Fish), among others. Robert Vaughan is unrivaled in his ability to suprise, stimulate and explore. A magician with a typewriter. He returns here with stories to hypnotize in the tunnel of love, beguile in the hall of wonders, spin you around on the tilt o’ whirl.

What People Are Saying about FUNHOUSE

In Robert Vaughan’s FUNHOUSE, the many mirrors there do not undulate, do not distort, but rather reflect our deeper, fully recognizable selves. With a keen, wise, and stunningly original amalgam of poetry and prose, Vaughan shows us, not only life’s fractures, but its mendings.

—Robert Scotellaro, author of Measuring the Distance and Bad Motel

Robert Vaughan is a writer we need more now than ever: one filled with overwhelming generosity. His characters are allowed to be ugly, funny, kind. He recognizes the joys of collaboration and boundary pushing, putting art above ego. His stories aren’t static artifacts, they’re fluid: jumping into poems into lyrics and back into stories in the span of mere paragraphs. One of the biggest delights of this collection is that with the turn of the page, we’re always somewhere new.

–Megan Giddings, author of Arcade Seventeen

Arresting and sometimes haunting, this book will make your knees quake. With lush and precise prose, Vaughan invites us into lives that are familiar yet not, and never are we disappointed. It’s rare to be so seduced by such rich language, to be both transported and immersed. FUNHOUSE is simply riveting prose and, in a word, Vaughan is a master.

–Len Kuntz, author of I’m Not Supposed To Be Here and Neither Are You, and The Dark Sunshine

Publisher’s Information


  • PUBLISHER: Unknown Books
  • ISBN: 978-0998309019
  • DIMENSIONS: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • PAGES: 260]
  • PRICE: $15.00
  • RELEASE DATE: 12/26/2016


Recommended Works by Robert Vaughan

Favorite Eckleburg Work:

Sing the Song by Meredith Alling

A terrific romp of short fiction, Alling’s first collection from Future Tense Books. Delightful, irreverent, and strange, these tales will make a reader want to finish the collection in one sitting. READ MORE

Notes on the Cinematograph by Robert Bresson by Sirens by Joshua Mohr

These random notes are non-fiction flash that enter into the artistic mind and realm of great French Film Director Robert Bresson. A most radiant, innovative stylist and director whose movies contain nothing superfluous and everything is always at stake. READ MORE

Discussion Questions for FUNHOUSE

1. Why do you combine genres such as flash fiction and prose poetry in the same collection, FUNHOUSE?

2. There are drawings in Hall of Mirrors, “Another Brick in the Wall, part 4.” Did you do them? If not, who did? What was it like to collaborate?

3. In the fourth section, Ferris Wheel, there are longer, more tradition short stories. Have you published any books of them prior to FUNHOUSE?

About Robert Vaughan

Robert Vaughan teaches workshops in hybrid writing, poetry, fiction, and hike/ write. He has facilitated these at locations like Alverno College, UWM, Red Oak Writing, The Clearing, Synergia Ranch and Mabel Dodge Luhan House. He leads writing roundtables in Milwaukee, WI. He was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award for Fiction twice (2013, 2014). He was the head judge for the Bath International Flash Fiction Awards, 2016. His short fiction, ‘A Box’ was selected for Best Small Fictions 2016 (Queen’s Ferry Press). Vaughan is the author of five books: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (CCM) and RIFT, a flash collection co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press). His new book is FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press, December, 2016). He blogs at

Do You Have a Book Launching? Submit Your Book to The Eckleburg Book Club…


Brilliantly slippery pieces of flash fiction and longer form prose from the author of Addicts & Basements, and Rift (with Kathy Fish), among others. Robert Vaughan is unrivaled in his ability to suprise, stimulate and explore. A magician with a typewriter. He returns here with stories to hypnotize in the tunnel of love, beguile in the hall of wonders, spin you around on the tilt o’ whirl.


ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Addicts & Basements By Robert Vaughan



Addicts & Basements by Robert Vaughan


Miscommunication and misunderstanding can be an addiction, an albatross dictating the invisible creeds we often cling to. Age, time, desire, lust, and a cacophony of suppressed urges are intimated at in, “The Lost and Erasable Parts of Us: “My identity tied up in a bottle. I craved my smell back, my decency, my shameless will. I grew gills, slithered up the stairs, fettered away, toward some desert city, in undulating waves.” When identity is so intertwined with a bottle, an addiction, or a basement, it’s easy to get lost. In Vaughan’s symphony, those weaknesses are a path back to self-discovery, a melody, however distorted, to guide listeners up into revelation. This isn’t a AAA meeting though as addictions lead to other addictions and there’s no permanent egress, only leaps into oblivion. I’m a Robert Vaughan junkie now. You can find me drowning in his basement.



“Drawing its energy from society’s underbelly—the dim corner booths of bars, the stalls of public bathrooms, the thickets of unkempt parks—Vaughan’s book is part prose poem, part fractured sonnet, part Whitmanian love-cry. ‘What were your last thoughts, Ophelia? Were / you loved enough? Will I ever know when I am?’ When this poet speaks, we are compelled by the plaintive urgency of eros in his voice. On the edge of a low-lit Interstate highway somewhere between Los Angeles and New York City, Addicts & Basements yawps and pivots and veers, praising its own wreckage.”
—Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men

“Robert Vaughan’s poems are peopled with painfully human characters, depicted with an unnerving authenticity and irreverent compassion. In ‘Turkey Town,’ a young man working a wedding banquet sneaks out back when the father-of-the-bride dance begins because he misses his own father: ‘The cold hurt my lungs, made it hard to breathe.’ In ‘The Patio,’ patrons are ‘sucking down margaritas’ and ‘gnawing chips’ at an outdoor restaurant when there’s a car crash and they become witnesses to the scene. In ‘Bonus Question,’ a woman calls into a late-night radio quiz, but instead of giving an answer, she asks, ‘Will you love me?’ The deejay is unmoved, but the poet says: ‘Somewhere, lying in the darkness … someone who has never seen her face whispers yes.’ These are poems to break your heart, but Robert Vaughan is always whispering ‘yes.’”
—Ellen Bass, author of The Human Line 

“Robert Vaughan is a voice I am glad to know, and his excellent debut, Addicts & Basements, is a collection full of confidence and startling complexity. Pick it up; you won’t be able to put it down.”
—Gregory Sherl, author of The Oregon Trail is the Oregon Trail


Publishing Information

Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: Civil Coping Mechanisms; 1st edition
Release Date: February 1, 2014
Price: 13.99
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937865231
ISBN-13: 978-1937865238
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches



Discussion Questions

1) Whose writing does Vaughan’s remind you of?
2) Many of Vaughan’s pieces contain dark references or situations (pathos). Why do you think this happens in his work?
3) Do you feel that his cover(s) relate to the material in his collection?
4) Any favorite characters? Any you might want to see return in a longer piece of his?
5) Can you speak to the three sections included in the book: Addicts, &, Basements?
6) Vaughan crosses the lines between prose and poetry. Can you speak to his tendency to include both in Addicts & Basements?
7) There is a quirkiness or an abstract element in many of Vaughan’s pieces. Choose one poem and elaborate on this part of Vaughan’s writing.



Robert Vaughan leads writing roundtables at Redoak Writing. His writing has appeared in hundreds of print and online journals. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. His story, “Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu” was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award 2013. His story “The Rooms We Rented” was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award 2014. He is senior flash fiction editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazines. His chapbooks are Microtones (Cervena Barva) and Diptychs Triptychs (Deadly Chaps). His first full- length book is Addicts and Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms).


Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu

  1. A smile when you read Brave New World, a sort of smirk, like you’re getting away with reading literature that was once banned. Like this is better than Japanese ever was. Except one time when you dreamed that Yoko Ono walked all over your back and ass. This doesn’t come close to that.

2. You took up whistling, jingles from television commercials. Samsonite, Sony, tampon and yogurt ads. It was almost as bad as my ex, Tony, who whistled “If I Only Had a Brain” until I accidentally called him a moron.

3. One morning I woke up thinking, I can’t remember the last time you used the L word. And then I can’t remember the last time you went down on me. Then I recall they used to be linked together.

4.The first time we hooked up was in the back of your truck. It was a hot summer night in the Haight, mosquitoes, scant moon with flutter clouds. It was rough and fast, and you pinned me at one point so I couldn’t move. My neck hurt for a week. And nothing has compared to it since.

5. When you started seeing Brandy, and I’d run into you, you seemed so happy. So alive, when I just wanted to crawl into a hole for a year. I remember thinking what’s she got that I don’t? I mean, besides the obvious. And when I found out she was knocked up, I knew.

6. All that dog shit I shoveled out of the back yard. And it was your dog. Not mine. My yard. But your dog. Yours.

7. My sister would call on Sundays. You’d mouth “not here” and point at yourself. Which clearly was a sign of your inability to commit. Or mine. I’m not sure which.

8. I’d left the gym and saw you that day sitting on a sofa in a coffee shop. Really close to that girl, Tracey, who used to sell us pot. You were laughing in a way that I knew. And for a split second I was thrilled that you were cheating on Brandy. When I got home I drank a six-pack in less than an hour.

9. The weekend before you moved out, you farted in my sister’s elevator and other people got on and you said my name and fanned the air. I pretended it was funny. By then you farted so many times I honestly thought it was me.

10. Seems like someone’s always missing someone. My sister told me that she doesn’t have time for missing anyone- let alone loser ex-boyfriends. Thing is, I don’t really consider you a loser. A little gassy, perhaps. Something always takes the place of missing pieces.


Robert Vaughan leads writing roundtables at Redbird- Redoak Writing. His writing has appeared in numerous print and online journals. His short prose, “10,000 Dollar Pyramid” was a finalist in the Micro-Fiction Awards 2012. Also, “Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu” was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award 2013. He is senior flash fiction editor at JMWW, and Lost in Thoughtmagazines. His poetry chapbook, Microtones, is from Cervena Barva Press. He has a chapbook forthcoming from Deadly Chaps this summer, and his first full- length collection, Addicts and Basements from Civil Coping Mechanisms in February, 2014.