September 20, 2008

Walter de la Mare, Three Royal Monkeys

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:

Pitch Black

From Pitch Black by Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton (Cinco Puntos, October 2008).

It was a pleasure meeting and working next to Youme & Cinco Puntos at the Brooklyn Book Fest. This is my favorite painting from her new book.


Many years ago I collected some diving books for collage material. None of my collages turned out as mysterious as this un-edited book illustration.

Aerobica Cigarettes for Children

Everything about these candy cigarettes makes me happy. I bought them on the boardwalk of some godforsaken Jersey beach about seven years ago.

I remember smoking candy cigarettes as a child. You could blow a tasteless white powder out of the end of a shaft of gum and then chew the nasty gum for five minutes until it turned to a rough sucking stone.

I want one right now.

September 17, 2008


This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:

September 16, 2008

Chief Bottle-Washer

Words of caution from Scott Walker, self-described "chief bottle-washer" at Graywolf Press from 1974 to 1994:
Starting a small publishing company takes an angel's combination of idealism, passion, unreasonableness, innocence, naiveté and blind obedience to an inner voice telling you to go heart- and head-long into something utterly likely to fail. It would in fact be a kindness if the venture failed, because success requires so much time and intellectual and emotional energy that it squeezes to death every last healthy impulse you had to start with.

To keep going as a publisher requires luck and a mundane assortment of personality defects. It helps enormously if you have nothing better to do, are out of touch with your feelings (agony, worry, exhaustion, frustration...) and are disinclined to concentrate on any one thing for more than a few minutes at a time. (These faults are more often referred to as commitment, bravery and an ability to do a lot of things at once. This is clearly propaganda.)

This was therapy for me to type.

It is the beginning of Graywolf-co-founder Walker's preface to Keeping the Books: Developing financial capacity in your nonprofit press. (Long out of print!)

Much more encouraging was meeting the future of publishing at the Brooklyn Book Fair: Bruce McPherson's kids!