Jerry Falwell is finally dead. You know who this man is. Fundamentalist Christian Pastor. Founder of the Moral Majority (Christian Right organization). Leader of one of the "megachurches." Basically, there is less evil in the world. I bet you were even breathing easier today and you didn't know why, but now you do.
"Sad Pallor" by Google Image
"Sad Pallor II" by Google Image
So I'm just continuing on with the chapbooks from earlier. On to Jeremy Schmall's Underneath an Obnoxious Moon. Which is published by Booklyn and looks quite lovely. Here is a little bit about Booklyn from their website (http://www.booklyn.org):
Founded in 1999, Booklyn is an artist-run, nonprofit organization headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Our mission is to promote artist books as an art form and educational resource; to provide educational institutions and the public with programming involving contemporary artist books; and to assist artists in exhibiting, distributing, and publishing innovative bookwork.
They have started to branch into more text based books, it seems, such as poetry chapbooks. Schmall may have the only chapbook in the world to which you must cut each page open before you can read it. If you don't have a knife or scissors, for example, if you're on the subway and you want to start reading it, you may either tear it a bit in a ruffled, worn sort of way, or peak underneath the folded pages and receive a few weird looks from strangers.
Anyways, as I said, I don't do reviews, just want to tell you something good to look for. Schmall presents a narrative voice that is strong as an "I," yet at appropriate times, gracefully bows out to the collective "us." For instance, "My drunk wears off at the worst time, with dinner so many hours away and all I can think of is cornbread." There are many insular thoughts like these, often caught between the humor of coveting cornbread and the sadness imbued in the reticence felt towards sobering up. Then you have moments of collective regret, a sullen awareness that one is a little too similar to the people you don't want to be entirely associated with: "And the sun? Well, why should it care, we're all too lazy to invent something else." This short chapbook captures an eerie commentary on our general lack of direction, on the feeling of being overwhelmed by too many choices and maybe none that look too good, on the disconnect between people we ignore on a daily basis, on our personal, internal humiliations and episodes of loneliness, on how to rally a troop of one which is just you, on why one might look at and for a brief moment resent it and call the moon obnoxious. And yet, in a quiet resilience, the narrator ends with an offer to you, the stranger, to feel "my tongue clicking inside my own mouth."