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manifest press

a lot of the reading i’ve been doing lately has revolved around small press/underground publishing in the 60s and early 70s, in particular the work of lewis warsh and anne waldman with angel hair, and therefore the multitude of poetic sensibilities that were conversing with and and colliding with one another during that time. the journal is inspiring in its scope and its project. as an emotional person i have been frequently moved by the stories of salons in warsh and waldman’s new york apartment and that “you can take your work, literally, into your own hands.”

i spent a lot of time in olympia trying to coax a writerly community. or force one. it changed depending on the people i was dealing with. i had varying degrees of success, but i walked away with a small handful of individuals i really connected with on multiple levels: socially, creatively, intellectually, politically, that has since scattered. i feel the weight of the limits of time. i think about how nice it would be to have just one more quarter with all of them together in one place.

but why do they have to be all in one place?

how far could we reach if we created a net?

this weekend my dear friend nicky came to oakland. we talked about the things we usually talk about: poetry, poetics, “art,” being an artist, hating academia, loving academia, making things together. we sat in the library and on my couch and read and wrote and got excited to share things. my heart swelled, drank from our mutual well.

i/we also realized that we should be making a journal together. it doesn’t make sense for us not to be. since we’ve been away from olympia and each other our collaborative energy and productivity hasn’t seemed to wane, so why not capitalize on it?

if i start now i might have a sizable body of work from which to draw on for my thesis next year.

the other part is that i don’t want to leave graduate school and just be a professor. and even if i did, that is getting to be less and less viable. is it naive to think that if i start while i have the backing of graduate school i could establish a journal that could be the basis for a small press? that with the collaborative efforts of my aforementioned net we could sustain this endeavor with our combined limited resources? maybe really all i want to be is a customer service worker so i can leave my job at my place of employment and come home to my work, spend a few hours geeking out with my broke-ass poet roommates, stay up ’til 2 am writing and then go to work with 4-5 hours of sleep. i can work behind a counter on that much sleep.

my stepfather’s response would be: “but what will you do when you’re old? you don’t get a pension working as a barista?”

but does anyone my age expect to get a pension? haven’t we already sort of been fucked in that department?

how do i do me?

also, today i learned how to make a font on adobe illustrator. the top parts are the individual strokes i used to make the letterforms.


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