My second collection of writings, COLORS MORE COLORS, will be available for the first time at the San Francisco Zine Fest this Sunday, the day after tomorrow, September the 6th and so on and so forth. Unfortunately no, I do not have a table, but I will be walking around from noon to three and then volunteering at the info booth from three to close – so come find me and buy or trade or something. Copies of both COLORS MORE COLORS and my first zine, MY FIST IS A BOOK OF ETHICS will be available for only one dollar. A buck. 1$.
The flier I’ve made for my slowly expanding catalog describes COLORS MORE COLORS as
“6 poems about touching and 1 short story about the destruction of the university”
which pretty much sums it up, I’d say. But just in case you’re curious as to what a short story by yours truly might read like, here is an excerpt from the short story included in COLORS MORE COLORS, entitled “The University Was Burning:”
He’d once had a dream wherein he’d woken up, shuffled to the bathroom and looked into the mirror. The moment he saw himself there he realized that he was dreaming, woke up and opened his eyes. Rousing himself, he shuffled to the bathroom, turned on the light and looked into the mirror, only to be reminded that he was still asleep and transported immediately back to his bed, once again falsely awakened. Fearing that he was somehow caught in some sort of oneiric feedback loop, this time he leaped off of the cot and ran into the bathroom, trying desperately to not remember what he’d just learned. But it was useless: before he could even reach the threshold of the door to the darkened bathroom he awoke again, still dreaming in his cot. He learned two important things while stuck in the feedback loop: first that he could tell it was a dream by the fact that each succeeding reboot presented a reality that was dimmed by some sort of filter, as though a thin piece of coloured cellophane was held before his face- a different color for each episode- and one that deepened the darkness of the shadows of corners and the like. Secondly, he could tell that he was asleep by the muffled quality of the sound, as though an invisible pillow were wrapped around his head. He found that if he lay still he could hear the sound of his own, actual, breathing- still and trebly and lucid and far away. The greater the success he had in isolating the sound, the closer he felt he came to waking up. Interestingly, however, it wasn’t until he gave up and, resignedly shuffling into the bathroom, made it all the way to the faucet. Forgetting for a moment that he was dreaming, he turned it on, splashed his face- and woke up.
Last December I was able to visit the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest. Though I’ve been half-heartedly and in fits and starts-edly collecting zines on and off for the better part of forever, I’d never actually been to a ‘zine fest. I didn’t know what to expect- ok I take that back: I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, but what I didn’t expect (and you know I’m not really sure why?) was to be blown away. Which I was. There were more interesting people making more interesting things and telling more interesting stories in more interesting ways than I was prepared to deal with, and in such a small space (the atrium at Berkeley City College). I really, really enjoyed myself, and was inspired and motivated by all the great zines and art.
Because of this, I vowed to keep my eyes open for other ‘zine fests in the area, and was lucky enough to catch the news that the 14th Annual San Francisco Zine Fest will be going on this Sunday. I was lucky enough to catch it early enough, in fact, that I was able to find a way to help out: towards the end of the day I’ll be manning the Power Donut, also known as the Info Booth, smack dab in the center of the chaos.
I will also be bringing a pant-load of copies of MY FIST IS A BOOK OF ETHICS, and the first editions of my new work COLORS MORE COLORS, for sell or trade. Sadly, I won’t have a table, but I will be lugging my satchel around. Also, I’m in the market for illustrators with which to collaborate. Also: friends.
In other (dreadfully belated) news, you can now purchase MY FIST IS A BOOK OF ETHICS at the E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore, which I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time a week and a day ago, in downtown Oakland. I thoroughly enjoyed perusing the space, populated as it is by multiple interesting-edition versions of a wide range of zines, non-fiction and fiction works, as well as a gallery space, the present work, by San Francisco multi-media artist Zoe Leonard, being accompanied by a zine published by Wolfman, and that carries the same name as the show WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR ANYTHING, which I purchased. The zine, not the show.
More both soon and later! If you attended last night’s Holloway: thank you very much. If you purchased a copy of MY FIST IS A BOOK OF ETHICS afterwards: thank you very mucher.
I am excited and honored to be able to open for poet Claudia Rankine this coming Wednesday(, February 18th, @ 6:30) as a part of the Holloway Reading Series in the Maude Fife Room in Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley. I will be reading a selection from my current collection, My Fist Is A Book Of Ethics, as well as a few sneak-previews from my current project, Colors, More Colors.
Apparently none of the shops that I sold my book to/ at today were actually *in* Piedmont, though I feel as though I should at least reiterate the fact that Piedmont is not a neighborhood of, but an actual city, separate from- though surrounded by- Oakland. The quaint shopping district in which I did the day’s business, however, is a neighborhood, in Oakland, and goes by the name of- you’ll see the root of my confusion here- Piedmont Avenue. I spent much of the day wondering about these things and, as a non-native Californian/ Bay Area resident, finally broke down and consulted the googles.
While out I picked up a short but color-plated art book on Cubism (from Spectators), as well as a 1981 Anthology of writings on Children’s Literature (from Owl & Co.). I did not manage to purchase anything from Issues, as I had no paper money on me, but they are holding a small ‘zine of poetry by Oakland writer Sara McGrath, and I plan on returning to pick it up ASAP. I also visited Book Zoo, who I hope to add to my list of sellers soon, where I bought the brand new Cometbus– something that I don’t think has ever happened to me. I mean, usually I pick them up months after they come out (if at all). This seemed fortuitous as the current issue is apparently all about the used book scene in NYC, and here I am- not in NYC- but, you know selling and buying books and stuff. And also because I’d read in a former issue of CometBus, some months back, that “back in the day” there were quite a few punks in/ from Piedmont. I wonder which one?