393 Economized media: WHAT becomes writ = more important than WHO writes it

Dear I.,

... after a flashback to 24 years ago, we back—December 5, 2014, in Manhattanville. Part of this recent spell of archival non-cense has to do for gearing up to become us semi-nomadic over the course of the next 6-8 months ... switching our slave (laptop) to become master (sans scanner, etc.) ... + as such need to sync up w/ our latest images + texts so we can work from wherever, nowattimean?

Sumtimes peepole aks how come scramble us all topics togather here—our maphattan walks, books we read, what work us on, news of the day, randumb tidbits, etc... ever morphing in voice. Why? Cuz it all interconnected. All it comes down to [date + place] in time ... as grounded to the rest of the world + u, dear Internet. U can't talk about what u read or where u wander w/o grounding yourself in quotidian events going on around u (where = u when _____ = shot?) ... even if perch us like peregrine hermits comme ça, 18 stories above the H river. Not from anywhere in America can u xcape the feeling that live us more + more in a racist police state ...

... not that keep us up w/ news or consider ourselves remotely political or activ about it. The only «news» source we can stomach lately—The Economist ... ± maybe that Harper's 2-pgraph weekly review, or Jon Stewart ± Oliver, before he went on xtended leave again (what up w/ that?). Most everything else = monetized hypocrisy.

For a while, didnt like us The Economist cuz they opinionated ... but there no such thing as unbiased news anymore, may as well opine away ... + agree us mostly w/ their opinions ... o piney onions, o piñon seeds. Pero mostly dig us The Economist cuz theys write anonymous. Why? «what is written is more important than who writes it» them say ... «anonymity keeps the editor "not the master but the servant of something far greater than himself. You can call that ancestor-worship if you wish, but it gives to the paper an astonishing momentum of thought and principle."»

«every law not based on wisdom is a menace to the state»
(chiseled in marble in front of old courthouse on 25th + Madison)

The fucked part about all this Ferguson noncense? Not that he got off «Scot-free» (contrary to popular belief, a term not rooted in Dred Scott, nor the Scots, but a skatty derivation of tax), but right after occifer Wilson gets paid upper 6-figs for an x-clusive interview!?!?!? Of course he fucking retired ... he made as much $$$,$$$ in 45 minutes as he'd make working for 10+ years as a cop. $$$,$$$ becomes his bootiful bounty.

«The» media ≠ news, «the» media = entertainment ... fueling all these fires so addick peeps watch more TV, read more papers, tweet tweets, etc. But «the» media does nada to better the situation ... not that we can do aNYthing bout it cept be pissed ± disruptive. Like everything else in America, «the» media driven by $$$. If poleeze get equipped w/ cameras it cuz camera companies them lobby for it. What the point of body cameras? The entire attack on Eric Garner = caught on camera ... what more information do they need? They, the «grand jury» ... as if sum anonymous quorum exempts 1 from accountability. Like gang rape mentality, all around.

Becomes not an issue of information gathering, it about deeply entrenched institutionalized racism + more concern for protecting the rights of police than citizens, when the whole point of police = protect citizens in the 1st place.

«... for what? Every time u see me, u want to mess w/ me» said Garner, «... every time u see me, u want to harass me. I'm minding my business, officer, i'm minding my business. Please just leave me alone.» Yes, he aks politely, says please ... says please 3x more, before saying «i can't breathe» x 8. Not 1 or 2 ...... 8 times.

flanking the other side, the inscription says: «we must not use force until just laws are defied»

What our cuntry founded on ... «just law» = no peddling of tax-free cigarettes. The only x-cape from this fucked + failed justice system = death. How do the rest of us living live w/ ourselves, w/in this fucked cuntry ... just cuz we born here? How do we keep doing trivial shit, like making art or peddling tax-free books?

Wrote us our guilty of being Chaulky White post before the Ferguson + Staten non-indictments went down. White guilt = a burden we've carried our whole lives ... a taxing legacy we born with. But where do peepole like us—whose peeps have been in America for 6+ generations—go? Being black in America sucks, but coming from Oregon we dont relate to this brand of white guilt as much as, say Ian MacKaye, who comes from DC (... tho in recent years—living in Harlem + Nairobi—perhaps a spectral shift to our guilt). What bothers us more + what peepole dont talk or tweet about nearly as much ... the plight of Native Americans. In looking into our geneology, no denying that our incestors pushed westward at the expense of them natives already here. If not murder, our presence here in America for sure an indirect cause of their displacement to «reservations» (funny name, as if u need to call ahead) ... + before that likely had us incestors that owned or traded slaves.

No matter how u look at it, it = fucked up. Words cant even describe, better to let stats speak for themselves ... do the math to figure out your chances.

How to proseed + live w/ ourselves, w/ a clear conscience + subconscious? Keep seeing talk of #whiteprivilege ... but then again this false notion of privilege (generally) = at the root of it. Privilege + entitlement ... not sure where these ideas stem from, but Americans of all shades have this inherent cents of entitlement, of justi¢e + fairness. Even those not born here, think the second u set foot here all becomes fair + just + u protected under American law to do whatever the fuck u want. Any1 whose been around to other places knows this ¢ense of entitlement + fairness = unique to America. Europeans (specially Italy) might act sumwhat entitled ... + sum might argue rightfully so ... that them culture forse merita protezione da influenze esterne, to preserve them way of life, come vivevano comme ci for 1000s of years. Sucks that by virtue of geography Italy takes the brunt of the recent influx dal Nord Africa. Ma il mondo diverso ora. No 1 entitled to anything, nothing = fair. Certainly dont help to xpect it so (otherwise u go pazzo).

Tutto hopeless ... parte of us wants to xcape this Racist Police State of America, but where où, dove, donde? Where do us belong? Nowhere ... destined we exist to live in exile, rootless, sin rhizome. Anywho ... this all on our mind + we cant disassociate day-to-day journeling w/o mentioning this. Che ha iniziato tutto questo? ... o yah, archiving in preparation for a nomadic shift ... in prep to x-cape the land named for Amerigo. In planning our x-cape, ponder us our to read shelf, to figure out what to bring when comes this time ... clearing the queue, clearing out deadwood ... books that have been shelved in this queue in limbo, that we've read or started to but never talked about here.

> Boycott by Vanessa Place—started to read this a few times, but got put off + would shelve it thinking maybe we'd come back to it. Place just seems to take herself way too seriously for her own good ... so full of her$elf $he incorporated her$elf out, sold. From what could us muster to read of Boycott just seemed boring + anally pent up ... the tone like a stern parent lecturing us kids. We unable to xpress the way $he seems unable to xpress her$elf, retentively repressed + image-greedy as $he puts on, out.

> Cultivation of Enigma by Faruk Ulay—talked us up recently bout his Dolls Found, Words Lost ... but didnt mention this other 1 Ulay kindly sent us round the same time ... another elegant + well-oiled juxtaposition of photos + bursts of associative text ... the photos semi-urban landscapes/decrepit architecture (presumably around L.A.?). Sum great accompanying koanish lines that ever ride the cusp of sense, like: «Ashes of failure are worth saving—they are the mementos of an attempt to ridicule hypocrisy.» + sum great images like:

scanned spread from Cultivation of Enigma

+ A few lit rags we've flipped thru recently ...

  • The Newer York issue #2—intresting little mash-up of text/image. Not even sure how this came into our possession ... perhaps xchanged at a bookfair we forget. But happy to have it.

spread from The Newer York

  • Faultline no. 23—nice mix of prose + art (in opposing directions) + art, including a # of folks also gracing the pages of Sleepingfish/3rd bed: Rosaire Apel, Matthew Derby, Michael Martone + Ryan Ridge/Mel Bosworth. + cool sycorax video style-ish (ala Brathwaite) design sensibilties.

spread from Faultline 23

  • Achab #4—fine looking journal out of Italy ... includes an Italian translation of Their Sizes Run Differently ('Ragazze') by Gary Lutz ... perhaps the 1st ever Lutz translation (others have tried but inevitably given up).

art (by Elisa Macellari) accompanying the Lutz translation

... speaking of Lutz, pleased to announce we (our Cal A. Mari arm) aim to publish his massive Gotham Grammarian sumtime in 2015 ... stay tuned for details. Might start serializing sum ± all online ... hope in the process we dont become self-consious bout our shite grammar.

Anche excited to say we gonna publish NO MOON by Julie Reverb.

+ también tratamos to refresh nuestro español lately (no say porqué), leyendo algunas libros mostly picked up last year round this time in Mexico DF (xcept Sidewalks—that we read the english):

  • Poeta en Nueva York by Federico García Lorca—a book Lorca wrote during a residency he had at Columbia towards the end of the '20s ... hard to follow at times (w/ our limited spanish), but from what we could tell he didn't seem to have such a good time of it. Also got his Dibujos como poemas, a little collection of loose drawings + postcards ...

1 of Lorca's dibujos

spread from Sombra Sólida de Sangre:

opening spread from Notebooks + Margins


another spread from Notebooks + Margins

> Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli ... intresting in light of our current Maphattan project— various assaying essays on flâneuring + philosophy + dead poets. She young + suffers that syndrome of ok maybe she well-read + can write but dont know what to write about. Sum intresting tidbits tho here + there about other writers + places. In the 1st essay she goes to that island cemetery near Venice to search for Brodsky's grave ... sumthin we found on accident w/o even looking. In another essay she talks about the portuguese word saudade (in relation to Pessoa) + how no corresponding word exists in english ... she mentions correlated words in other languages but surprisingly no mention Orhan Pamuk's notion of hüzün. + already talked about the Relingos piece, probly the best 1 in the collection + what prompted us to get it, to inspire our Maphattan (where actually she lives now, not far from us) project.

Our Maphattan walk for 6 Dec 2014 ...27th thru 22nd:

+ what saw us along the way:

concrete poetry welded in steel (on 26th street)


Madison Square w/ Flatiron (R) + Met Life North (L) ... where works the down-on-his-luck protagonist in After Hours (1 of the best NYC movies ever, which coincidentally arrived today for us to re-see) + also Robin Williams' love intrest in The Fisher King


the last remaining remnants of 2014


lady not-so liberty

Cruised by sum place on 26th street where Melville lived + wrote Billy Budd... + also past the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd where more artists famously shacked up then we got room to list here ...

potion N




bldg site


need we say?


happened on a parade for the virgin of Guadalupe going up 9th ave


in the Chelsea gallery district


free cold bondage


fire x-capes


stopped for lunch at Empire Diner (where Igby tries to win Sookie back w/ an ice cream sundae)


fenced in w/ vinyl siding

... only 12 miles (cut short by rain, which we walked in for the last bit ... even hitting a piece of 28th we cheated on on last walk) ... came back wrote this, walked a mile or so up to Abyssinia at 135th + Frederic Douglas (great Ethiopian) ... then drinks/dancing at American Legion Post 398 on 132nd ... local old-school Harlem hole-in-the-wall in the basement of a brownstone. Seems we've been to a similar American Legion or Elks type place in all-white middle-America sumwhere + felt far less welcome. The Harlem legion (sum decked in full regalia) made sure we (3 whites + 1 Filipino) felt welcome, cleared us a spot, pulled us up on the dance floor, etc... good times. Tho the music kinda sucked (put it this way—at 1 point found us line-dancing to «The Electric Slide»). Somehow seemed better than protesting, certainly more fun + self-therapeutic (probly why most protest anyway).

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[  (ɔ)om.Posted 2014  derek white  |  calamari press   ]