Starcherone Books Presents: Naked Kitchen Yoga
Friday, March 6, 2009 @ 7:00 PM
Rust Belt Books
STARCHERONE BOOKS is celebrating NATIONAL SMALL PRESS MONTH with NAKED KITCHEN YOGA on FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2009, 7 pm, at RUST BELT BOOKS, 202 Allen St., Buffalo, NY. So far, these 17 writers and small press fans have tentatively agreed to partake: Mike Basinski, Robin Brox, Lisa Forrest, Kristi Gansworth, Gregory Gerke, Mark Gunther, Paul Hogan, Aaron Lowinger, Douglas Manson, Liz Mariani, Steve McCaffery, Ted Pelton, Chuck Richardson, Gary Earl Ross, Forrest Roth, Mike Sikkema, Ed Taylor.
You too are invited to be a part of this fundraising event. Participants are invited to share with us a 5 minute or less work written by themselves or others that has been published by a small press book, magazine, journal, chapbook, or other construction strongly or loosely affiliated with small presses. One lucky attendee will also win a complete set of the 18 (maybe 19) Starcherone Books published to date!
Starcherone Books is itself a nonprofit small press publisher of innovative fiction and hybrid prose stuff. This event will not only be a fun occasion to see old and new friends and together celebrate non-mainstream contemporary literature and its offshoots, it will also (hopefully) help us pay some bills. We are asking a $5 donation, which will entitle the contributor to ONE FREE DRINK (beer, wine, or nonalcoholic). Further refreshments will be available all evening.
Rust Belt Books
202 Allen St.
A hodge-podge of this week’s thoughts and communiqués:
It is conscious relations
A friend writes: “I don't know how you can watch that stuff—MSNBC, CNN, etc etc. Since we've been without cable, I watch less and less TV, to the point that if I turn it on, as I did last night to eat my dinner, I last minutes at most…as to hope, I don't really see it…I see much more of the opposite, despair, hopelessness, being a form of emptiness…If I'm to live, I should do something and, I think, I'll choose to be a counterweight to that.”
Ah, to choose. A romantic notion. But I think the choice is given if you're here. In other words, if you haven't killed yourself you're choosing to be here. And since you're choosing to be here, what the fuck are you doing about it? For a thinking person, things get messy quick. And when things get messy it's hard to be smart. I think the most ethical and courageous thing a writer of any stripe can do today is admit s/he doesn't know anything outside his or her mind [this would not be ethical behavior for people who have different functions like actors, politicians, business people]. We only have clues…
I feel the whirling dervish in the tight mess of my perceptions. All living things are emergencies striving for delightfully complex, becalmed horrors that increasingly terrorize themselves over time, thanks to the way the dervish fevers a virus in one's memory banks, forcing dubious re-categorizations and classifications, etc., due to the modification of habituated identifiers...it's all fucking babble, and if we're loving it we're monstrous...maybe.
At times even monsters must have their fun. Life seems, among other things, a perpetual pursuit of pleasure...by and large people feel Life is something to get through properly so they can have a good afterlife. Life seams an undesirable temporary stitch to these self-perceiving, perhaps self-deluded, possibly infinite beings who believe that they, in and of themselves, are at the very least in conscious relations with God almighty.
Or, if one's an atheist, replace God almighty with "human mind" or some form of secular humanism.
I prefer It when referring to It. One doesn't have conscious relations with It. It is conscious relations, however, among other things, some of which are beyond our imagination…
The problem with APES
I hear what you're saying re: the economy. The way things are going finding a teaching job might be tough. Although English departments may fare better due to their budgets being much lower than the nuclear rocket departments. Literature is cheap, relatively speaking [a thousand dollar bailout could save the world!].
My theory is this: Obama knows damned well that the whole thing is fucked. He also knows damned well he can't say it and retain power until it's obvious to everyone. He also knows he has to be able to position himself outside the blame once everyone knows how thoroughly fucked the American Political-Economic System [APES] is [and he has to do this while appearing to work very hard to save it and being thwarted and frustrated by his eco-political-economic enemies who run the mainstream media (eg: GE, et al) ]. He's doing this by giving the political economic elite a lot of rope by which they're hanging themselves. He's keeping the military commissions act intact for the day when the new reality strikes home to a critical mass of the population and he has to put his enemies in a box. Extraordinary times calling for extraordinary measures. If he's successful beyond this wildest of wild dreams, by 2016 there will be no more Republican Party, Wall Street will be history, the Federal Reserve will be history, the big three automakers will be history, the m.i.c. will be broken beyond repair, the empire will be completely humpty dumptied, and his successor will be tasked with the gradual, peaceful dissolution of the federal level of government and begin the formation of something modeled on the EU. Large political-economomic entities will disappear because there's no longer a place for them, no longer enough stuff to sustain them, and the UN will be re-invigorated in an attempt to fill the power vacuum. Paradoxically, as the nation-state folds local eco-political-economies will form and a global framework of interaction among these communities will emerge. Nation states exist in the muddied unworkable phantasy between local and global. Nations are undesirable, parasitic middle men filling the dangerous voids of inaesthetic scales. Somehow, full scale nuclear war will be avoided, but I think a smaller scale exchange will occur resulting in people waking up all the more to the bullshit that is technology/growth. Anything that links progress to increased production/consumption will fail.
And, of course, that was all a bunch of bullshit. I don’t know anything. I only have clues which are dealt with by my imagination imagining what it sees…
The most profound problem the APES has, is that it seems to reward bad thought/behavior and punish adequate thought/decent behavior.
Nothing to do but dharma bum.
I think when I finish Germ, which I hope is soon, I'm going to go on a radical physical regimen to totally reclaim my body. And if I can try to stop needing all my meds and drop health insurance for the extra money so I have it for absolutely necessary stuff like my animals’ health care, I will. I love them. I'd be lost without them.
It's beginning to be now or never. Can I will myself into adaptation or perish? We'll know the answer to that by 2012. I'll be a free man or a dead one.
It doesn't actually matter...what seems to matter most is a life worth the expense of living, which means a mind that's alive and bearing its own fruit. And that requires an indeterminate yet substantial amount of energy and matter…
When I repeatedly watched those towers come down something inside shifted. I could no longer hang out with my old friends and drink beer and watch football or go to a bar and jam with them or anything. The stuff that came out of their mouths about things seemed unbearably stupid. That stupidity was/is having actual consequences. They became little Eichmanns in my eyes. How awful, to discover the people you love are little Eichmanns.
So rather than kill them, I withdrew. I killed them mentally. The writing had a mission and within a month I was off my meds and back to work at the newspaper trying to kill Stupidity.
And I haven't been able to tolerate wrong thinking ever since.
There are all kinds of right ways of thinking and even more gray areas. But there are also wrong ways of thinking, ways of thinking that denigrate one's experience of living and pollute the experiences of others.
People who think wrongly can never be all they can be. They grow frustrated because of it and drown their sorrows in commodified fetishes, saying stupid things, and growing fat.
I see myself in the mirror and call him “you.” I’m fucked up. Call it a consequence of being stupid. You raised me that way.
When confronted with mud, wrestle in it
Back in my Navy daze I was privileged to attend a couple private affairs beyond the military...the most memorable being a pig roast in Monck's Corner, S.C. Rodney D---- and Timmy P----, shipmates and buddies of mine, the two who jammed bluegrass together at 200 feet, were hired to play and I went along. It was in this guy's back yard in the middle of nowhere at the edge of a swamp in October. The weather was perfect. I swear to god every person who came to this thing came with an instrument in hand, including homemade ones. I was [and still am] a fat stupid yankee, but I could sing and I loved the music and learned words quickly and the more stoned I got the better I got at making them up. I was fed lots of ribs and once I couldn't get up to get my re-fills this old farmer would laugh and hand me another one. I remember when it came time to piss and puke I was assisted to the bushes. I haven't remembered that in a long time, but that's why deep down I could never hate the South. The vast majority of rednecks [for my positive meaning of this term, see Joe Bageant’s Dear Hunting With Jesus] were no different from you or me at rest. It's when riled, like a beehive, that they'll sting ya. And yes, sometimes they—we—have to be riled in order to act. But there is an ideal way of instigating action, and bluegrass and partying together is, in my view, the very first step in many positive behaviors. I've digressed. Obviously. Just thrilled about the choice of music [at the wedding]. Ole!
Now the only thing that worries me about this whole wedding is what I'll be wearing. I'm a real baby about wearing anything uncomfortable. I'll look nice if I must but will not wear a stiff buttoned collar with my Adam's apple garroted by some obscene necktie, symbolic of something far more heinous than a noose. In my dreams I would wear a light, loose fitting ensemble like Jesus. Perfect for "toasting," as the pope might say.
I know how you feel about -------, that it seems done. But trust me. It's not done with you. You're tired. You're begging it to stop squirming so you can tie off the knot...deep down we all want to be useful and productive, that's why the suggestion we're otherwise rankles us so [by "us" I mean artists in general]. But no, the fact is we strangle our productions, not to death but "out of consciousness" [our consciousness]. Once the work is limp in our hands we pass it on to its audience, which may or may not revive it. Of course, once others revive it you may wish to re-intervene and alter the evolved alterations emergent from its having passed through the other side. And every book is different, but if allowed to adequately develop, most seem to follow this basic or general framework. After putting together maybe a dozen or so booklength manuscripts over the years, this is what I've observed was common to them all...the way they ultimately achieve their final thought-feeling. And this seems to echo everything I've heard from other weirdo bookmakers.
I always say when confronted with mud, wrestle in it.