Yvonne, pepper nor salt, lawyers nor laws, fire nor water, none of these things will reduce your beauty or pick up that spare.
A bowling alley is a synergism, something greater than its parts. The pins set up again.
The polished lanes, conversation of clapping and falling, the little rail that pulls the mess back in. Machines make the greater machine.
To list the personal effects of the moon: one silver watch, one basket of dust, one heart made of paralyzed gears, one ancient yacht powered by lightsails.
And now that I have sketched the twenty chambers of the heart, each with a single obscure symbol on the wall, shrinking and growing chambers, the chamber with only a single white chair. Now that I have described the various sensual moon people who arrive nightly to broaden the dictionary of seduction, I plead with you.
Hand out, to ring your doorbell on your porch in Atlanta. The cloying hibiscus.
“The Peaceable Kingdom.”
In the pear orchard in the early spring we did not fail to enjoy ourselves.
The light fell hard like it slipped off a roof.
The design of love was endless; it cascaded upward like a double helix, through the orchard’s branches, under the skin of the wind, and around the spine. In a parking lot in Indiana, I watch the bats dive through the lot lights, watch them, from the shock of sound only, draw a world.
From the Latin Copia, meaning abundance. To sing in ever-changing, every-varying ways, the same essential thing. To amplify this feeling through the skillful manipulation of tropes. To make it look easy.
All night I dreamt, Yvonne. All night, I did the math of our love, Yvonne. I came up with huge, huge numbers.
Numbers that frightened me.
In the dream, I began to run from the mob, the mob who so resembled myself, the mob who wore my hundred faces so awkwardly.
I want to go back to the hill, the fireworks, the humidity of the night
where I can feel my body move through abundance.
I’m sorry. You are lovely under
your skin as well,
Romantics fear the faithless; dogs the odorless.
I feel unsettled by a completely washed down blackboard.
The lights, a hundred watt, angry. The machine starts to tremble with its speed.
The equations start churning in the walls. I see a Spanish galleon broadsided in my brain. Touched by too many salts, drunk on devices, awash with symbols, too many parts and too redundant. Even the cat a steel gray.
Samantha, down in unruly Florence.
Her love was temporary; her hair a permanent. She gave great graveyard.
We described the moon in the sky copiously, against the sky, and for no reason whatsoever. “Death scares me little compared to creation” she said.
If it wasn’t love it was in its wheelhouse.
But in the shadows cast by the curtains, the dirigible descending through a cloud in heavy flack from the mounted guns on the Florentine walls.
A dream! What is consumed is called fuel. The night, fuel. The sky fuel for the airship. Text for the text.
I’ve known it. I always have.
I want to confide in Samantha. To say, “I am in the dark and I am climbing a rope, a rope that seems to have no end. And the rope burns after me as I climb.” But she is asleep and wouldn’t care anyway.
She has a brutal thing in her that I fear I have in me.
I can’t get back down.
Ceremony centers the worshipper, love the romantic, footnotes the scholar. To open the footnote, go back to that night on the hill with the fireworks.
But I wake in Florence, in clothes I don’t remember putting on, the long scarf, the aviator’s jacket, the flipped up collar and the watch fob. I storm out again. “I become a storm,” I scream, whatever that means in half-dream. I start asking myself the wrong questions
– why do I feel?
I ask– what is the machinery of feeling? Does emotion just pull through me like one big stitch? Then I’m back on the dirigible, shoveling coal in the boiler room, devising ways to reach even higher into the sky.
“Some study their feelings; I, my accounting,” said Samantha, and I know she is right.
When Yvonne says, “I ate my heart today,” she means it in the sense of one god nesting in another. When I say, “My heart is a burning house,” I mean it in the sense of home as fuel, of knowing as fuel.
Youth with the paper bag still around the heart, the pound of sugar in each moment, the pound of cream. I began stupidly and so I continued stupidly. The couch sat firmly in the living room and my fears swam briskly through my head.
The leaves fell in central park. Each moment was pulled away by its hash tag. Yvonne and I, happy again, walking down 5th Avenue. We came across a little lighter can be read in two ways.
When I look at a bright juke box I think of little else but deletion. It remains for me to dry dock the boats and can the peaches. It remains for me to watch the wind vane turn frantically.
Remains for the oceans. Remains for the stars.
But lovers are types of matchbooks, only lovers.
We must fight here in the parking lot, passionately! Argue and consume the car, heater full-blast, the radio screeching like its baby was taken away, the filthy minutes covered in bliss.
Steeped tea and solitary studio, structure and stretch, theatre and thereafter, all of these I promise you in spades, Yvonne, if you’ll just turn up the radio even higher.
The people in the heart thrive when the heart is loud. We must from sound alone, learn to draw a world. Autumn is written in Cyrillic on a tiny scrap of paper. Should I take it out of my pocket and read it? Should I start the whole process again?
The moon will support us. The fox tail wrapped around the heart is warm. The obsidian clarity each time we blink. Each heartbeat a Caribbean isle. White bird, I want to become you.
Sound fills up all spaces.
The cat slept in the warm patch of sunlight. I considered the gossip that I was gold.
Once in Minnesota, in winter, heroism overheated the car engine, and so I walked out on the ice on the lake which was two feet thick. I looked back at the cloud the car was sending back up to the sky.
If you were to strip it all away, would we be just some sort of wild power all blank and undone?
_______________________ Frank Montesonti is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Blight, Blight, Blight, Ray of Hope, Winner of the 2011 Barrow Street Book Prize chosen by D.A. Powell, and the book of erasure, Hope Tree (How To Prune Fruit Trees) by Black Lawrence Press. His poems have appeared in journals such as Tin House, AQR, Black Warrior Review, Poet Lore, and Poems and Plays, among many others. A long time resident of Indiana, he now lives in Los Angeles and teaches at National University.
It’s so hot in here this must be an oven or a warmhole. When your stay is done here, fella says, you will have, for little to no point at all, traveled many places. In many pieces. Picture, I say, entering paradise head in a severed hand. Heart in an edentulous mouth.
So, Finally, Then
Half a century past her wedding, decades and decades past doting kids, past discords, years and years past doting grandkids, past harmonies, years past menopause, past hormone replacement therapy, long past rheumatism, months past wheelchair-bound days, she told him that and meant it—tremulously but firmly at first, then unfirmly, firmly at last—that which she had always told him but had only occasionally meant.
A Logical Procession
First, for that matrimonial photograph, he’d cut his locks like (they said) he must. His boy cut, it turned out, wouldn’t suffice. It wasn’t just that his hair-sprayed, scalp-close hairs looked (to some) too shiny—he had (to others) a goatee. By the time it was the next time, he had the locks again, so, out of ennui, he just trimmed them to short locks.
Then he had the boy cut again, but (to everyone else) he had a soul patch. Yet again when he had the boy cut, he had (to others) a hairstyle. Then, when he tonsured, his scalp had denuded spots, so (obviously) he had a head. Only after he had his ‘tonsured head transformed to a short-locked head’ decapitated was he given the bride.
On the first night, the bride was wrung out, yet she grew over-excited and tumescent once she’d felt the groom’s priapism. His was bigger than his normally (some said) would be. It didn’t matter the groom wasn’t voluble or that he lacked a proper tongue. So then she disrobed herself, when she couldn’t contain herself, ever so slowly like (they said) she must.
That Multifaceted Dunsboy!
I, Little Bruder, while I could be perceived as being unmindful of my unzipped fly, never did I tire from telling just about anyone in the neighborhood what to do. It was precisely at the point when I began to instruct a band of do nothings did I get perceived as a bit much. I began by telling them how I could not be of any aid to them, that I could barely get intrusive in their affairs, that they hardly did anything, that they must begin to do things, so that I may be obliged to correct them.
The Band of Do Nots said to me in return it’s not because they cannot do anything that they aren’t doing something, that they can do just about everything there is to do, but that to do not is their way of life, and how they can even recite the Dao backwards in its entirety. They said all this while having encircled me, and I kept anticipating opportune moments to flee as it’d been minutes since anyone said anything, let alone did anything, trapped in a web, feeling like a fly. I hopped, crawled, and leapt, I screamed, sang and wept, I spoke, waltzed and slept: all to no avail.
It was Big Schwester at last who happened to rescue me. She said tnelis os! and they laerehte os! She then turned to me and said I better learn first to zip my fly, then to boss around if I wanted to, that I wouldn’t perhaps then want to, given how vital and life-changing such a seemingly trivial knowledge can be. I then came to my Council of Toys and confessed out loud how much I disliked being told to do.
If by a Time-Machine You Go
Every time I get caught in, I’d say, Hat’s Paradox. Some, though, call it the Vermilion Paradox. “You are nearly there and you are there and then it’s you were just there,” (or else all that comes in reverse), sort of sensations. It’s an effect, I’d guess, of time-portation. You’re inch by inch, fiber to fiber colonized and your body is—ports and portals—your time machine. It doesn’t matter if you go decades after, yesterday or decades before, things don’t change this much as an inch. She at times gets déjà vu and jamais vu. She gets déjà entendu and presque vu, at other times.
Every time—so, no doubt, then—she takes a swing at and hard slaps. No marks on my cheeks—hell no—but it hurts like hell and it’s nearly embarrassing, always, to come back to, to lean back, to just think about it all. She wants two two-wheelers and two four-wheelers. It’s like, quite frankly, she has wanted it and wants it and is going to want it. I forget to mention: a handsome three-story home, plenteous cash in the safes, four perpetually barking dogs of the Alsatian kind. What’s even worse is she wants children. I mean—not adopted children, but children of our own—why.
She’d then scream, “Secretly, perhaps, you bloody want them, too!” (the perhaps barely audible), all the bleeding time. And that’s precisely where you begin to freeze and start worrying about the possibility of time-portation and its aftereffects. I forget to mention: the inescapable barfing, a delicate yet unnatural twitching of her vermilion border and the wispy evaporation of our present sweet bloody selves.
‘You are Not Simply to Be,’ Speaks Our Fastmodernist
Not just with You or just about anything that I publish but in everything anyone writes, the letters, er, the alphabets better matter as much as the words. I cannot believe half the readers missed the word on the third page at first read. The choice of the Blank Second Page was purely one of aesthetick. To read and know the word Be on the first page and not know the third page reads Fragmatic is utter ignorance. It’s like you are all jetpacker’d and your roof wouldn’t bloody open up. I say know the combination to your roof already. Honestly my favorite alphabet from You happens to be G and so is the postfix Tic one of the best three alphabets (that aren’t a syllable) I conjured up ever. To think Be is all there’s to You and critiqueue headfirst it’s a clever throwback to a fabled, ancient Existentialism, well, it couldn’t get ironic’r.
I think Raju Binoy’s works are relevant, albeit for different reasons than to what major criticks think they are. First, it is plain he does it longwinded, as hundred pagers, yet he does it a word a page. That makes him one of the purists and thus authentick. Second, his doing what he does in a literary atmosphere where the significance of alphabets is becoming more and more pertinent makes reading him all the more rich’r. Just so you know I skipped reading most of the first half of his Into the I the first time around, like almost everyone I know did, but I’d spent nearly five minutes twice trying to transpose and guesswork the origin of the words World and Road at the last half and spent many a two minutes post-read thinking about not just its segueing of words but its intriguing alphabets. Nadim Sultana is publishing an alphabet a page, Oh! Yea & Besh Besh as thousand pagers, and Raju, I must say, is just as important as Nadim, and not a rupenny less.
It’s a healthy sign, I’d say, microfiction is still saleable. When what many said is soon doomed to fail remains “fashionable,” still growing to be, it says a lot about the unpredictabiliti of trends. I dug’r most micros of Percival Art, et al., still do dig’r them. Just because it’s half pagers or twice as longers, when there’s enough substance and poeosic merit to it, isn’t going to turn anyone off.
A lot of the travel I do is within my Room C. I often go to the Corridor F but not lately because it means I must face my brother. He’s this well-meaning Stare Language practitioner. I haven’t so far learnt to Stare, so, you know how timid that can make you. I tend to the Bonsai Forest Y at the Northern Corner of the Room. It’s so dense mice Maos often get lost in those micro-woods. Sometimes, from where I sit, spin, sprint, work and do the rest, thanks to the Sprinkl’r Comfort K, it takes me weeks to reach the forest. The print’r is down now so I cannot object print out the jetpacker yet. I think I should jetpacker to Hong Kong and other citlages before I begin my ten-pager pre-titled Grolic.
It takes but, not always, about two weeks for me to finish a roughly five-pager work and six months of leisuretime, which is also the time of incubation, before the next. I don’t know how the Delhiit Triniti does it thrice a week. I wouldn’t imply their work is poor’r for it, but it makes me wonder couldn’t they be less desperate or, just perhaps, couldn’t the rest of us be more desperate. No sooner my wallet-e thinners than I want my next Advance Payables. I’d much rather the freebi remixers stop being given away and reprintables stay in print’rs for much longers. It would be nicer’r to have worried less about my kid’s Self-Education and more about syllables and alphabets on my pagers, nah?
(In keeping with Brevity Code—Q’s shan’t be long’r than A’s—we regret in the aftermaths that Amit’s Q’s (being long’r than Zahid’s A’s) been moved to Issue XXV Volume VI of meddlingmillennialmiddle)
Ahimaaz Rajesh, who works for bread, writes to breathe, has works published in A Twist of Noir, Apocryphaand Abstractions; Short, Fast, and Deadly; Thrice Fiction, theNewerYork, and SmokeLong Quarterly, blogs (sort of) at minimalust.wordpress.com. Currently based in India, he was previously based in India as well.
We’re going to be asking the poetry submitters to include a video of them reading a poem by another poet uploaded on youtube or vimeo. By “them” or “you” we mean this is open to interpretation, like “you” could be your mom… or dad… or dog… or whoever, so long as it is a poem by someone that is not the submitter. We wanted to switch it up a bit, get some multimedia action going that gives texture and background to the people we publish. Okay, that is all. Jake is going to go study some Korean in his dorm room now.
P.S if you are still looking, go check out this poem by Kim Kyung Ju over at Guernica. Jake spent like three weeks translating it. Drew played lead vocals. Shuta had the vocoder. Joel ate the chicken. Richard lived in a barn but slept in the rain.
Drew’s gotta new job. Jake is living in a dorm-room in Korea while pursuing his PhD. Richard is writing a new book. Joel is teaching college. Andrew is pursuing his masters, teaching high school, freelancing, and not sleeping.
But we’re still making books. Old and new. New books coming soon. New tapes coming soon.
We’re still doing this without making any $$$.
Online poetry is open again for submissions. Thinking we might close submissions from time to time just to make sure our backlog doesn’t get too big.
WE DON’T STAY ON MESSAGE WE DON’T STAY ON MESSAGE WE DON’T stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t splay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay our message we don’t stay on message we won’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stray on message we don’t stay on mess we don’t say stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we slay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message we don’t stay on message
Thinking small and writing small and simple and yr stories accessible and relatable and I wonder what the hell purpose is there to that. Yr unremarkable everyday told straight for some whatever purpose, yr felt feely feelings and musings re: your cube your ad your sincere and unquestioning shilling your world where there is no boundary between marketing and art and speech and after all the commentary re: the blurred lines between art and ad and self and promotion; & it seems doesn’t it that that commentary is not observing and commenting but us discomfited asking IS THIS OKAY? and we’re all asking permission & maybe someone thinks that since the line is blurred that makes it so and not that people got sloppy and smudged things all drunk and not looking. The new sounds just mumbles these new sounds screams new no words just sound, yr making just these sounds. And maybe that should stop, or maybe be minimized or maybe be pressed into service of better. There’s things to be invented and meant, things to we wanted and explored and maybe there’s some looking at what is and that can be okay too. Please for us, for me, please ask impossibles and dream not clever but grand and maybe ask your literature to expect more and better of us than we have been giving it.
Remember when you first fell in love and it made you hurt because you didn’t understand that you were in love? Richard made a video about poems here: RICHARD’S FIRST MOVIE. We also got interviewed by the fine people at paper darts here: PAPER DARTS INTERVIEW. Sorry if we haven’t gotten back to you when you submitted poems. Jake died but he is alive again. This summer we will get back to you. Promises. Drew got a new job so our production is slowing down for a little while. Everyone like a manatee, patient. Poems and books will be delivered in time. The fiction is always on time.
In other news, our friends at the Destroyer have a new issue here. They are nice people.
we’re going on a poetry moratorium because the poems are dead to us now… no, not really, but there are a lot of submissions we’ve got and the backlog is big, so we have to wait awhile before we can begin accepting poems again. the submissions were really fine this year. so fine that we might be pushed back until next january ish in terms of our publishing schedule. that’s a good thing. you ladies and poems are mighty fine. in terms of spirit, i feel heavy and filled with love. the universe overflows with half-drunk unicorns mounted by the ghost of federico garcia lorca– and the ghost of garcia lorca, mounted by russel edson’s ape. love, jake (poems)
Remembering a conversation this year at AWP, after we’d found the liquor store around the corner…
Them: Hey, what do you think about book trailers?
Drew: I think they’re stupid. Props for books ashamed that they’re books.
Them: Oh… well…
Drew: Books are paper, they’re text on pages, magnificent things, the best of all media, why the fuck are we gonna pretend they’re not that? The interaction between a person and the book is an intimately personal and unique thing — it’s their brain, the interaction between that person and that book is a unique experience, the words producing entirely individual images in the mind of that one reader, and only there. Why the fuck would we want to mess with that, to preemptively impose any kind of visual structure, minimize and cheapen what is probably the most sacred part of the reader’s experience?
Drew: Sorry. I got me some opinions on stuff. You want some bourbon? There’s a store just around the corner. Shit’s expensive. Who are you guys with? What do you do?
Them: We do book trailers…
Drew: I guess this is the part where I say “Well… this is awkward…”, isn’t it?
Our friends at H_NGM_N have a new issue here.
Steve Roggenbuck reads for us at the Black Spork (Black Ocean/Spork) reading for Mission Creek Fest, Iowa City.
Amelia Gray reads for us at the Black Spork (Black Ocean/Spork) reading for Mission Creek Fest, Iowa City.
Accidentally said Colin’s book was Animal Collective instead of Animal COLLECTION in a mass mail. Was the hipster inside, making its way outside, through the fingers. Sorry Colin. Love, Jake
The external hard drive containing the archive of everything we’ve done since we started caught fire today. I mention this because maybe you’ll click on a link somewhere on our site and you’ll see a bunch of garbled mess rather than the text you were expecting to see. I went to retrieve the original text to fix these glitched pages, and then, as I said, there was fire. I stripped the drive from the housing, and it appears undamaged, the thing powers on and spins up… so maybe it’s just a matter of getting a new housing for it, or maybe it’s a matter of getting some pro-type so-and-so to retrieve the information on the disk, but I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to salvage what we need to salvage and then I’ll be able to get the glitches handled.
Also. We’ve changed the way shipping works when you order books from us. It’s now based on weight rather than the weird and wacky whatnot we had going before where you could order 10 copies of a book and pay just the one shipping charge, or order two different books and pay two shipping charges… this mostly didn’t make any difference to anyone, since the books are mostly purchased one at a time. This way’s better.
Those errors and glitches I was talking about, they’re on the pages for the stuff from our physical issues. Which are accessible via that link on the page that’s been sitting dead for way too long. Issue 9.1 still needs to be added to the pile, which will happen damn soon, but it’s the everything else that really matters. Like Issue 4.1. That one’s fan-fucking-tastic. And there’s 4.3, which our buddy Kevin Sampsell edited for us. It’s all up there, it’s all pretty damn good. And it’s easily accessible once again.
———- Casey Hannan lives on Horse Streetand you should, too. Here’s an excerpt from a new interview up at Necessary Fiction.
\\\Do you have a favorite story in the collection? If so, what is it and why?
I don’t have a favorite. Spiders don’t have favorite legs. The stories in Mother Ghost function better together, which is why they’re together.
But if you said you were going to erase one of the stories, I guess I’d beg you not to erase “Horse Street.” There are some lines in there I still can’t believe I wrote. ///
Hearty call-out to Anthony Spaeth, the man who wrote “Aliens” for us. Check out his new book of stories The Reasons for My Alias, now out on Wrong Way Press. Find it on the Amazons & elsewhere.
In other news, we have patches and stickers. Join our crew.
You can buy a book and a patch for $15 (includes shipping). And, as always, stickers are free.
There’s books we’re telling you that you can have now. We say this late at night because we made books and then we went to Boston and then we sold all the books and then we came home and made more books and we’re making more books, and so the late night saying is in hope for the slow creep of information, the slow creep creeping in such a way that the pace of want does not outstrip the pace of the making. A stupid hope, probably, but we do what we can. These books are
Both are 10 bucks, like always, and both have the same aesthetic thing going on with Mr. Shuta’s designs, Mr. Burk’s insistence on maintaining the consistent interiors (outside keying off old kids’ books, inside thinking it wanna be like 60s-time Daedalus). But with the insistence on the sameyness why the different format page for these books? Why their own pages, and where are the covers? I don’t know. Errythan different. Sometimes. We’re gonna make, as well, available, our new special anthology, SIMULACRUM, consisting of our favorites from the online poetry from 2012, and last year’s CONSUMPTIVES, the fiction anthology compiled by Joel, for AWP Chicago, which we’re deciding to make available.
A very Gimme-my-fucking-coffee and a Here’s-your-fucking-coffee kind of town, and it appealed, that aspect, that thing about them, it was appealing. The Dunkin part of it is what I’m saying, which if we do things in terms of frequency and density is probably I’m thinking a good measure. Each Dunkin its own mirror of its surroundings and people and in each one I’d think This Is Where I Am. And they’d give me my fucking coffee and I’d get on a train or keep walking or go back to selling books or whatever; and we don’t need to say it because it’s said all the time and is I think probably the reason for it and its appeal and purpose, but then Starbucks and you walk in and you’re everywhere, anywhere. Had I wanted to be in Tucson or California or just not-Boston I just had to go to Starbucks. Already I’ve tested my Dunkin hypothesis even though I’m barely home, and yes, there’s the Central African refugee Dunkin, and there’s the Dunkin with the side of posole and menudo and they do not make me think Boston or anywhere but where I am, where I am then. If the coffee were not uniformly bad across both chains I could infer maybe or observe maybe or allow the unformed or sub-something to decide for me—but preferable I think that proximity alone decides, followed by price when proximity in multiples forces choicemaking.
Near and often hard upon each, regardless, so often were books. Often more than just one shop, multiple shops, which, if my plane had run out of gas and I was still there, I wouldn’t be asking with any real enthusiasm for change.
And we were lost so often, and I was the only one not annoyed by that. Moss and stone and the verylong dead clustering the infrastructure, and the marsh and the small and here we’re all sides surrounded by desert and we carry our guns and we pay for our prisons with our education moneys and there’s like five or six of us here and this is the place to work. This is the good place to work. We go back to the desert because there’s nothing, nothing for us here and we’ve got so much work to do. We are never lost here, in the desert, because there is no here, there is no lost, there is nowhere to go and nothing to do so there’s no need for directions, no cab no train and the buses run but they run in long circles for when we need to feel like maybe we’re going somewhere.
New Poems To Dance To by B.J Love. Sweet. And also, AWP. I’ll be live tweeting about my imaginary AWP in Seoul while the other Spork peeps are actually there. Come and see us at AWP. We’ll give you free feels of us / books. Kisses, Jake.
———- This is a poem by Anna Maria Hong and this is a poem by Jon Leon. I really like both of these poems. One is on Boston Review and one is on Octopus. I don’t really think anymore about the space in which the poems get displayed, but the journey I somehow took to get there (email, google search query, submission guidelines, poetry section link). I used to feel that when I read a good book that the route and timing were inevitable, as if it was destined, and we all used to read in the houses where the work was made (presses), but now we read through various channels and rivulets that get spooned inside us by our phones and web devices, social-media and online news outlets. For better or worse that’s how the future readership is being built. On that note, Spork does the web and does the work by hand. It’s strange to work with both at the same time, like we are manhandling the future, work-by-the-week online, while curating and developing books with our hands. We’re going to make something for AWP again where some of the work that was first on the web is going to appear in a book. It’s strange to take cyberspace and stack it in a page, and if the two worlds are interwoven, (which they are), it is not so much a balancing act where two fighters pitch at each other with opposite hands tied, but a magic dance held on the moon…. ballerinas in a celestial turn, animal masks, bearded, throwing knives. -jl
You people have no idea just how much Batman influences decisions at Spork Press. Also Blade Runner. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion… I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate… All these. Moments… will be lost, in time, like… tears… in rain.” Thinking now, thinking about Batman, I’m thinking that Blade Runner might actually have surpassed Batman in the influential arena, which is not to say that Batman’s importance, generally, has decreased at all. Only that Blade Runner wields itself a bunch of influence. Also, I was at a bookstore (and I hate bookstores in Tucson: we have exactly zero actual bookstores—okay, we’ve got Antigone, they’re doing all right, they’re a good bookstore, but they’re specialized and they’re really the only valid bookstore in this town—here, we’ve got two BN boxes, we’ve got a few used bookstore places, and we’ve got Bookmans, but they’re shifting their focus away from books and onto recreational equipment and musical instruments and all kinds of non-book stuff, and that’s cool, I guess, but I still wish for a bookstore) and I picked up Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and I tried reading it and on the first page he showed three times that he didn’t know what the hell he was doing… end-loaded awkward sentences misusing tense and while all structurally correct all were aesthetic abominations. The phrases and sentences between mere workmanlike bits of connective fluff, his style when evidenced a display of his disconnect from people, from society, his yearning for a connection with a more genteel (maybe) time telegraphed in his stilted and shitty prose. I’m saying here that Scott’s visual representation of the story (of which Dick heartily approved) is a far superior thing to its source.
We should aim, all of us, to create things that cannot be surpassed by any filming. And when the movies fail, we should praise the things anyway, appreciating what little they were able to do, and extolling the new perspectives they were able to bring to our work (since, yes, there will be a broadening and greatering of our work, things we could not have said which will be elucidated visually and which will enhance the things we’ve written), and we will say THANK YOU, and we will gladly sell the rights to our short stories and to our novels—and also, maybe, we can write poems that will deserve and beg to be filmed.
SPORK PRESS is officially headed to Bostontown— March 6-9 2013. Bad news is we’re keeping all our beans in Tucson. “SERVICES. It is mutually understood and agreed that AWP will provide each Exhibitor with the following services free of additional charge: erection of necessary flame-retardant backgrounds of uniform style.” Toilets and your humor, be now forewarned. -js
in other news, the biggest problem facing middle earth has got to be declining birth rates… in 3 hours there was one female character of any given race / species who i’m pretty sure isn’t even able to reproduce as she is an elven demi-god or something… she isn’t even given a proper speaking part, just some telepathy thing she uses to talk to the wizard, which is exactly how i try to communicate with drew when we talk poetry or contests, which we haven’t done since i accidentally sliced part of my thumb off making dan beachy-quick books… a sign, if you will, carved with my own blood. no contests. we’ve got a solid 2 months of poems lined up that i can assure you has more sex than the hobbit. -jl
The jump from Billy Idol (Chrysalis, black) to Turing Machine (TRL, pink) abrupt and jarring and continuing the thinking about the object, the times, the differences between then and now — 1983, when Mr. Idol, a mushroom for certain (a fungi, right?), could succeed releasing things that were merely physical content delivery systems; now, the content needs no deliverer, it’s there. Turing Machine has it the objectness, heavy paper and good design and pink/white splatter, things I’d forgotten, but then the sleeve out and the vinyl slipped and me: “Oh. FUCK YEAH.” and me: “Hey, look.” And now, them over there on the thing spinning I think but cannot be certain but think still probably that the pink and the paper and the FUCK YEAH of it is making it sound better. No. I’m allowing it a different access, because somebody cared, because somebody made this not mere content, but made of it a thing, and it’s the THING I crave, the content inextricably part of the thing, though by no means subsumed by it, instead supported and invigorated and greater-ed by it. // I was lecturing just yesterday, not intentionally (and I hope they understand that it was me saying THIS IS WHAT I THINK and not THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD THINK) both a very important musician and an important label-head about mere content delivery medium vs desirable object, and then wandering and waxing re: content and yes it should be the same whether consumed via page or screen or tablet or whisper (laptop/mp3/Pandora/etc) but the fact is that it is not and where the difference lay is in the possibility that we are becoming the old men and we are becoming irrelevant via the fact of us failing in our evangelization via hubris and insecurity and ego and just fucking not getting it. // What I mean to say is we make objects. What I mean to say is our objects are a reflection of the value we place upon the content, and we intend, vis-a-vis said objects, to have these things stay with you longer than the things that you might otherwise eventually sell off or throw away in the interest of more shelfspace for your very very zen minimalistic lifestyle (because the sheer volume of CONTENT necessitates a clearing of your physical environs).
People out there they’re giving us what I think is uncritical praise. I think we do good work and I’m happy when this good work is appreciated, but I think also that our books could maybe open easier, I think that we could follow through on all the things we begin—or that maybe we could not begin so many things that we inevitably fail at most of them. Folk could mention our scattershot focus, our overreaching and confusion, our tendency to do this or that right, sure, but to do so much else badly. Someone could wonder, someone could ask what the hell is up with the audio, what’s with the gaps, the lack of consistent or coherent structure, what’s the deal with sounding so TAL and then not? There’s lots of questions to be asked, lots of shit that could be talked publicly. I think it oughtta be. // It’s nice that we do books, that we have this nice selection of neat books that, yeah, aren’t really like other books out there, not in content or structure—but is this vision on our part, or lack of it? These are the questions I’m always asking myself, wondering to the rest of us. Or to some of the rest of us. Some of us are bright-eyed and driven and always positive, some of us do work every day and actually accomplish all the things they said they’d do, and some of us are questioning daily just what the hell we’re doing anyway. Factions (of one) push consistently to let the robots in to do the work, to streamline and simplify, to engage in contests (they make money, you know)—and none of those points are really all that wrong, except that they are, not the streamlining and simplifying parts, that’s valid, and yes, we’re trying and always figuring out better ways to do what we do but there’s only so much that can be simplified and the only real improvements that are left to be made are with our hands. // Our hands need to obey consistently, they need to move thoughtlessly but correct… some of us like to fold; some of us hate to glue; everybody loves the sewing. Everybody also likes the letterpress parts, our savage and barbaric process, the hazardous chemicals, the force and destruction of it. We are all about that.
RE: SITE // Still there’s the dead links. We know. We’re on it. You’d think with all our funding we’d just hire someone that we could yell at, you’d think that. But nobody we interview—we yell A LOT in the interviews—seems to really enjoy being yelled at. It’s important, you see, the yelling. Every other aspect just works like it should and we’re all smiles and cooperation and compliments and catering to and for each other (the soups are always fantastic), so it’s only proper that we have this one area where all the yelling happens. We treat our interns well, so our thinking was since we screwed up so bad by setting that precedent with earlier interns (who went and told prospective interns that we’re kinda nice to them, and then bring also their own prospective interns who show up with all these EXPECTATIONS based upon factual reporting by existing interns), we’d pay money to someone with the understanding that their position, while nominally about doing work for us, probably something like maintaining the website for us, their main function would be to take the abuse we’ve so far failed to give to anybody else. I will say, however, that even though nobody accepts the position when we stop yelling and offer it to them, all the yelling we do in the interviews is helping a whole lot with our collective well-being. SO HEY, THANKS YOU GUYS.
STUPID DOCTYPE PARSING. We’re functional now, in the stupid IE world.
New. We’re new. This has been sitting in a secret directory for months and months and months. // Not everything works just yet. That’s a kind of always thing with us, I guess. But that’s not supposed to be an always thing. There’s parts to come and to update, and the print archive page is a holy shitting mess, all set up in tables and so big and unwieldy and—I think I said something about a mess. // Hi. Welcome to the new place. There’s formatting stuff on the things what got imported and transported and yeah, we know. We’re on it. We’re all on it.
Word is/was, and the word is/was verified, that this shit just don’t work in IE. We don’t know why (but we do), and really we don’t know anyone that uses IE, but probably there are people that do. So, if you’re one of those people, we’re real sorry about that/this. We’ll get it worked out, but really you oughtta be using some other browser. // Since, come on, srsly, the shit works correct in every other browser. // AND NOW