Asterism, Transparency, «Everyday Objects, Luminous Things» + Psychic Surgeons


3/31/24 > «this is a public service announcement, w/ gheee-taaars... » > i dint have much 2 say in the last post abt th epic SPD collapse, but after chattering/comiser8ing in th aftermath w/ other 5mall presses figured it's worth elabor8ing on 4 NE 1 that cares abt such things + i (writing az Cal A Mari now) will try 2 make more 5ense, in planar inglish > lets move on past how all this happend, 5hall we? (souprizing there's 5till folk out there that din't know abt all the $PD swindlings + mis-/in-appropriations?) > wheel move on from saying we told u so 2 what 2 do going FWD > on the damage ctrl call (that CLMP was so kind 2 coordin8) in effect 2 options were presented, 1). Bookmobile/Itasca + 2). Asterism, both of witch are h&s-down light-yrs ahead of $PD, so you're bedder off NE-way ...

> witch is bedder deepends on how much product you're pushing, Calamari chose Asterism last yr (+ nothing but 100% happy we did) b/c we val-U being nimble + truly indeependant + foke us on quaLi-T, not quaNTi-T (i.e. we don't do #s that warrant big distro) > we D-b8ed this plenty w/ the L8 + gr8 Giancarlo of Tyrant books (see the Calamari v. Tyrant «nimble sustainability» post) when we both moved our presses 2 Rome + wanted 2 disengage our5elves from the day-2-day 5chlepping 2 the PO > 4 a press like Tyrant, a bigger distributor (Ingram) made 5ense, w/ print runs in the 1,000s — 10,000s > but he also got $crewed (financially, not that he cared, may he rest in peace) on the books that didn't do az well, why? returns + chargebacks

> i don't remember the words «returns» or «chargebacks» being uttered on the «emergency» call? but @ the end of the day this was the dealbreaker 4 Calamari (when D-siding weather 2 go w/ ^ big distributor vs. 5ticking w/ SPD (4-5 yrs ago when SPD started 2 self-implode + there was not yet the option of Asterism) > of course the idea of having yr boox in every bookstore on the planet sounds enticing, rite? but then 6 moonths down the road reality sets in when they send 1s that dont sell back 2 u (often damaged) + charge U back 4 copies that get returned, on yr dime > Calamari nvr had this happen 1st-h& (eXcept via SPD, who opaquely subtracted this from quarterly checks (that were notoriously L8)), but when Calamari bailed out 3rd bed, Vincent Standley told us this was the main cause of 3rd bed's downfall, chargebacks/returns, so we have Vincent 2 thank 4 making us gun-shy about big distro

> i don't know what Itasca's policy is on returns, but gr8 thing about Asterism is they dont allow 'em > the other thing i'm not sure about is whether u have 2 use Bookmobile in order 2 use Itasca, but they sure seam 2 go h& in h& > we have nothing against Bookmobile, we used them for ~20 yrs + only stopped using them last yr b/c of their inkcreased prices 4 small print runs (see post 1095, why we 5witched 2 POD) > again, this all deepends on the types of #s you're tocking about, but anything less than 100 @ 1 time is just not economically viable NE more w/ Bookmobile

> «exclusivity» is the other elephant of a word i only herd uttered in regards 2 Asterism (they aren't, ble55 their soles), but no 1 asked Itasca (they are) > the other weighty word that sums up Asterism = transparency > + i'm not tocking abt the damaged book worker stuff (silly question 2 even ask, 2 promise this wont happen in yr org, what else wd the answer B?) but e¢onomic accountability > i've herd from other publishers that just «assumed» SPD was keeping a¢¢urate a¢¢ounting, but after we cot them trying 2 cheat Calamari of $5000 early on (that they chalked up 2 sum $ort of ¢lerical error (+ made good on)), i definitely went thru quarterly reports after that, witch weren't EZ 2 figure out, mind U [Q up the Strangers w/ C&y Chuck Noblet calcuL8or bit:]

> Asterism pays out in real time... u don't have 2 trust their accounting, u $ee each $ale come in2 yr inbox > they're everything ^ small press distributor shd bee, what SPD shd of bin, may-B they were in the '60s + 70s, but shd-a cd-a wd-a, not @ all sad 2 see them die (that's what happens 2 dinosaurs if they dont evolve w/ the times), just sad 4 all the small presses cot in the cross-fire + 4 those 300,000 stray books in wherehouses who nose ware

> dat's my 2 ¢ense > if NE 1 has questions or needs help or fostering (from the no-kill $helter Calamari) while u get back on yr feet, please feel free 2 contact us, otherwise hope 2 C U in the Asterism community

> in other Calamari news, Peter Markus is running 1 of his infamous workshops, here's ^ D-scription from the horse's mouth:

Dear Writer,

It's spring here once again in Michigan—cloudy skies, the daffodils have broken through the dirt soon to turn magically to mud, the temperature of the Detroit River is currently at 38 degrees, and soon the moon-eyed walleye will be running, which is something I always look forward to this time of year.

I'm also looking forward to summer and another summer workshop, which is always the highlight of my summer. I’m excited to share details for the workshop, "Everyday Objects, Luminous Things."

Things, images, other words, songs. Or as the poet Adam Zagagewski puts it in his poem "A River":

Poems from poems, songs
from songs, paintings from paintings,
always this friendly

I've gathered up things to read by Peter Bischel, Dom Leone, Stuart Dybek, Gordon Lish, Italo Calvino, Frank Stanford, Raymond Carver, Jack Gilbert, Maggie Nelson, Marie Howe, Claire Bateman, William Gass, Richard Hugo, Jennifer O’Grady, Richard Krysnak, Mary Oliver, among others.

Things to look at from Rene Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Georges Braque, Edward Munch, Frida Kahlo, Eugenia Shchukina, Georgia O'Keefe, Joseph Cornell, Gregory Crewdson, not to mention a photograph that claims to be the first ever taken, among a number of other things for our eyes to look at and to see through to what others in the world might not know or notice or bring to them.

Things to listen to from Bill Callahan, Maya Hawke, Echo and the Bunnymen, Bob Dylan, The Waterboys, Smog, Maggie Nelson, Phoebe Bridgers, Leonard Cohen, Florist, among others.

As ever, each of us in our separate rooms, we'll make use of these things with the aim in mind to displace the given with the made and to make the "ordinary" or "everyday" world shine in new and "luminous" ways.

The workshop will begin June 23rd and will run through August 18th.

Weekly email directives will be sent out at first light (here in Michigan) every Sunday morning and new pages (of a thousand words or less, poems or prose, fiction or non-fiction, let's call them what they are: "words on the page") will come due by midnight every Saturday night.

Weekly conversation threads will flesh out the "workshop" experience to build and foster among us a sense of togetherness, a sense that we are in this "thing" and in the world of things—to make luminous—and that in this workshop setting we are not alone.

The fee for the workshop is $850 and, as always, payment plans can be worked out between us (whatever it takes to make the workshop work for you!).

... @ witch point brother Pete gave out contact details + how 2 sign up but the inurnet can be creepy, so contact us directly if intrested

4/1 > April Fools! 2day we celebr8 z reLease of The Psychic Surgeon Assists by Zebulon House > get it from Asterism!


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