Sunday, October 28, 2007

Robbin' Mel

I finally caught a ride on this season's Segue train with the Mel Nichols/Rob Fitterman reading yesterday afternoon. Mel was a very nice surprise, since I was only slightly aware of her work, which is rich & excellent & funny (naughty). She had a chapbook put out by Edge a couple years ago, Day Poems, the cover of which resembles the crossroads of the cosmos rendered as poo-streaked pubes. But to be totally serious, Mel rocked. [Then Rob rocked, reading from the forthcoming Sprawl.] Day Poems was not available for purchase, but a new, even better thing was, The Beginning of Beauty, Part I: hottest new ringtones, mnichol6. This thing is so great I had to buy 3 copies. First of all, it is limited to 150 copies. Then, there are many various photo covers to choose from. There were a few of the same, but at least 8 or 10 different ones, perhaps more. The fun is far from over: each copy has a piece of trash, such as a gum wrapper, squished into a transparant envelope which is bound into the back matter, & a handwritten title-label of the photograph also laid/bound in. One is "It's a Small World After All"--the cover photo is of a small balled up blue piece of paper, maybe tape, maybe dense with paint...maybe the cover photo corresponds to the unique trash selection in the back?. The only problem, though it is not entirely negative, is that the transparant material which encases the book is quite susceptible to finger prints & hand damage.

Rob read from Sprawl, which is the first time I'd heard exclusively from this forthcoming text, though some bits had been included in his momentous MOMA reading from earlier in the year. He had previously described Sprawl as maybe being part of the Metropolis series & maybe not, but word is that it is, in my opinion rightfully so, as it corresponds to & extends that series nicely. There were no new Fitterman book items for sale, though I think I dreamed of a strange chapbook last night, which I can't recall the name of. There were, though, ultra glitzy photos on slideshow behind Rob as he read, accompanied with full soundtrack, replete with occasional & repeated artificial applause.

Afterwards there was a gathering at James Sherry's nearby pad, & good fun was had by all. I had a nice little convo with James about my forthcoming publishing efforts, hung out with new friend Kareem Estefan, & chatted several times with Dirk Rowntree about design prospects. I shook hands with Gary Sullivan, & met Rodrigo Toscano & Laura Elrick. Mel Nichols signed each copy of her magnificent book, I met Rod Smith & told him about attacking Bridge Street, & Julie Patton told me I shouldn't really go with Kenny Goldsmith's name for my press, but should go with something more personal. A digital, Mac Low-esque search using the old name as the seed returned Packed Rat--which could be the answer after all. But aren't I supposed to just know? Isn't it supposed to be love at first sight? I bought a bag of Brach's Mellowcreme Pumpkins, along with a toothbrush, toothpaste & mouthwash earlier. My hotel room smells like popcorn, but there isn't any.

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