Colombia’s Paradero Paralibros Para Parques program has given birth to one hundred miniature libraries all over the South American republic, the majority of which are in Bogotá, Colombia’s main metropolis. The petite libraries are open a scant twelve hours a week, mostly on weekends, and are run by volunteers who also create events for kids and the community and help with homework assignments. Long live print, and long live Colombia’s national literacy organization, Fundalectura, who are responsible for these tiny monuments to the shared power and joy of knowledge.

Colombia’s Paradero Paralibros Para Parques program has given birth to one hundred miniature libraries all over the South American republic, the majority of which are in Bogotá, Colombia’s main metropolis. The petite libraries are open a scant twelve hours a week, mostly on weekends, and are run by volunteers who also create events for kids and the community and help with homework assignments. Long live print, and long live Colombia’s national literacy organization, Fundalectura, who are responsible for these tiny monuments to the shared power and joy of knowledge.



Blinky Palermo
"Peter Heisterkamp"Stadtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, 198110.5 x 8 inches (26.67 x 20.32 cm)

Blinky Palermo

"Peter Heisterkamp"
Stadtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, 1981
10.5 x 8 inches (26.67 x 20.32 cm)

Cite Arrow via karmakarmanyc

You can’t overestimate how exciting it was to be openly gay in San Francisco in the 1970s. I mean, Stonewall had happened in 1969, gay civil rights legislation was passing in different states, and, you know, for the first time you could love openly and not be considered sick, not be arrested. It was a very exciting, heady time…
Alysia Abbott writes about growing up with her gay dad in SF in the 70s in her new book Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. As a millenium of civil rights struggles whirs into action before our very eyes — nascent advances are made, fundamental victories are threatened — it’s good to take a close look at those who brought us this far by demanding the right to be themselves.

You can’t overestimate how exciting it was to be openly gay in San Francisco in the 1970s. I mean, Stonewall had happened in 1969, gay civil rights legislation was passing in different states, and, you know, for the first time you could love openly and not be considered sick, not be arrested. It was a very exciting, heady time…

Alysia Abbott writes about growing up with her gay dad in SF in the 70s in her new book Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. As a millenium of civil rights struggles whirs into action before our very eyes — nascent advances are made, fundamental victories are threatened — it’s good to take a close look at those who brought us this far by demanding the right to be themselves.

Fairyland Memoir

Fairyland Memoir


Shadow puppetry tonight at City Lights Bookstore in SF based on Matt Bell’s novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods. Starts in an hour. Get ye.

Shadow puppetry tonight at City Lights Bookstore in SF based on Matt Bell’s novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods. Starts in an hour. Get ye.


The grand old families of Long Island — the Buchanans of ‘East Egg’ — and their disdain for the flamboyant nouveau riche of ‘West Egg’ are the kingpin of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. As you’ll know if you’ve read the book, or if you see the Baz Luhrmann adaptation — for which he wrote the screenplay in a loft suite at Ace Hotel New York — premiering today, West Egg’s prince of thieves is represented by the Prohibition-era rumrunner with an inferiority complex and a broken heart of gold, Jay Gatsby. Why would generations of Americans below tycoon-status be so drawn to a story in some ways so remote from their own lives, dealing as it does with an obtuse schism between rival factions of the over-privileged? Likely, it’s due to Jay Gatsby’s humble origins, and the shame he felt about them, coupled with his unrequited love — both of which make him universally relatable. He’s a prototype for the conflicted American social climber, most eloquently expressed today in hip hop. We don’t begrudge him his excess because he feels like one of our own. And none of it — the fancy cars, the lavish parties, the jazz orchestras imported from Harlem — can salve the wounded soul of this striver anyway. His hopeless inner struggle humanizes him. Even after the robber barons of the Jazz Age drove the country off a cliff there was still a place in America’s heart for Jay Gatsby.
The Gatsbys and Buchanans of today’s West and East Egg are less nuanced. The rumrunner tycoons are all gone. They’ve been replaced by investment banks that bundle predatory loans and sell them to your grandparents’ pension funds, then short sell against those same loans, to make a killing when families get foreclosed on in Jamaica, Queens or Cleveland, Ohio, and your grandparents lose their life savings. You know the story well — its choose-your-own-misadventure variations are nearly endless.
In our Gilded Age, if you’re more than a few rungs up, there’s little or no social consequence for ethically dubious schemes, as there was for poor Gatsby’s rumrunning. When a Gatsby of 2013 gets busted, he settles for pennies on the dollar and celebrates by treating himself to a Picasso. Our East and West Eggers’ soirées still depend upon the fruits of creative labor. Without artists, the party would be a drag. Even acute protestations end up on the penthouse walls.
As Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby hits screens today, we’ll face an invitation to inquire into how history repeats itself — how are tensions between landed gentry and lottery winners, between philanthropists and studio-squatters, between the desire to be an object of envy and the deep human need to struggle toward our fantasies, ideals and visions — how are these the sheer force by which a developed and developing world orbits? We’re human, imperfect, compassionate, greedy, and full of yearning. It looks good on the big screen — it’s fucking beautiful. Good sugar with a bit of vinegar between the lines of the great American novel.

The grand old families of Long Island — the Buchanans of ‘East Egg’  and their disdain for the flamboyant nouveau riche of ‘West Egg’ are the kingpin of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. As you’ll know if you’ve read the book, or if you see the Baz Luhrmann adaptation — for which he wrote the screenplay in a loft suite at Ace Hotel New York — premiering today, West Egg’s prince of thieves is represented by the Prohibition-era rumrunner with an inferiority complex and a broken heart of gold, Jay Gatsby. Why would generations of Americans below tycoon-status be so drawn to a story in some ways so remote from their own lives, dealing as it does with an obtuse schism between rival factions of the over-privileged? Likely, it’s due to Jay Gatsby’s humble origins, and the shame he felt about them, coupled with his unrequited love  both of which make him universally relatable. He’s a prototype for the conflicted American social climber, most eloquently expressed today in hip hop. We don’t begrudge him his excess because he feels like one of our own. And none of it — the fancy cars, the lavish parties, the jazz orchestras imported from Harlem — can salve the wounded soul of this striver anyway. His hopeless inner struggle humanizes him. Even after the robber barons of the Jazz Age drove the country off a cliff there was still a place in America’s heart for Jay Gatsby.

The Gatsbys and Buchanans of today’s West and East Egg are less nuanced. The rumrunner tycoons are all gone. They’ve been replaced by investment banks that bundle predatory loans and sell them to your grandparents’ pension funds, then short sell against those same loans, to make a killing when families get foreclosed on in Jamaica, Queens or Cleveland, Ohio, and your grandparents lose their life savings. You know the story well  its choose-your-own-misadventure variations are nearly endless.

In our Gilded Age, if you’re more than a few rungs up, there’s little or no social consequence for ethically dubious schemes, as there was for poor Gatsby’s rumrunning. When a Gatsby of 2013 gets busted, he settles for pennies on the dollar and celebrates by treating himself to a Picasso. Our East and West Eggers’ soirées still depend upon the fruits of creative labor. Without artists, the party would be a drag. Even acute protestations end up on the penthouse walls.

As Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby hits screens today, we’ll face an invitation to inquire into how history repeats itself  how are tensions between landed gentry and lottery winners, between philanthropists and studio-squatters, between the desire to be an object of envy and the deep human need to struggle toward our fantasies, ideals and visions  how are these the sheer force by which a developed and developing world orbits? We’re human, imperfect, compassionate, greedy, and full of yearning. It looks good on the big screen  it’s fucking beautiful. Good sugar with a bit of vinegar between the lines of the great American novel.


from Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine released in early February of this year from Greywolf Press.
Szybist is a Portland poet who reads tonight at the Brooklyn Public Library with other Greywolf poets Catherine Barnett and Dobby Gibson at 7pm on the Plaza at the Central branch.

from Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine released in early February of this year from Greywolf Press.

Szybist is a Portland poet who reads tonight at the Brooklyn Public Library with other Greywolf poets Catherine Barnett and Dobby Gibson at 7pm on the Plaza at the Central branch.


Our longtime friend and collaborator Michael Bullock recently published his first book, Roman Catholic Jacuzzi, to much acclaim. Michael is the American publisher of BUTT Magazine — a community resource for international homosexuals — as well as features editor for Apartamento, contributor and publisher for PIN-UP, and works on the publishing side of Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman.
Style Guy Glenn O’Brien deems Roman Catholic Jacuzzi “a must read for Catholics and those who love one,” and Bruce Benderson, author of Catching Salinger, calls it “the first honest look at sexuality in the Catholic Church.” The book’s publisher Karma hosts a book launch this evening in New York at Artists Space's new TriBeCa bookstore with music by Honey Dijon and a special performance by the Harlem-based gay and lesbian gospel choir Lavender Light, tonight from 7 to 9pm at 55 Walker Street.








Photos by Paul Barbera of Where They Create

Our longtime friend and collaborator Michael Bullock recently published his first book, Roman Catholic Jacuzzi, to much acclaim. Michael is the American publisher of BUTT Magazine — a community resource for international homosexuals — as well as features editor for Apartamento, contributor and publisher for PIN-UP, and works on the publishing side of Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman.

Style Guy Glenn O’Brien deems Roman Catholic Jacuzzi “a must read for Catholics and those who love one,” and Bruce Benderson, author of Catching Salinger, calls it “the first honest look at sexuality in the Catholic Church.” The book’s publisher Karma hosts a book launch this evening in New York at Artists Space's new TriBeCa bookstore with music by Honey Dijon and a special performance by the Harlem-based gay and lesbian gospel choir Lavender Light, tonight from 7 to 9pm at 55 Walker Street.

Photos by Paul Barbera of Where They Create


We really love Reading Frenzy in Portland. It’s where we first read Doris and Burn Collector and everything by sts and got vintage postcards to send to our penpals before email shrunk our brains. RF lost their lease a few months ago and they’re looking for a new space. Hopefully you can kick down a little coin to help them make it happen — viva la real books!


Untitled #1, from the Freeway Series by Catherine Opie
"Once she was on the freeway and had maneuvered her way to a fast lane she turned on the radio at high volume and she drove. She drove the San Diego to the Harbor, the Harbor up to the Hollywood, the Hollywood to the Golden State, the Santa Monica, the Santa Ana, the Pasadena, the Ventura. She drove it as a riverman runs a river, every day more attuned to its currents, its deceptions, and just as a riverman feels the pull of the rapids in the lull between sleeping and waking, so Maria lay at night in the still of Beverly Hills and saw the great signs soar overhead at seventy miles an hour. Normandie 1/4 Vermont 3/4 Harbor Fwy I. Again and again she returned to an intricate stretch just south of the interchange where successful passage from the Hollywood onto the Harbor required a diagonal move across four lanes of traffic. On the afternoon she finally did it without once braking or once losing the beat on the radio she was exhilarated, and that night slept dreamlessly.”
— Excerpted from Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays

Untitled #1, from the Freeway Series by Catherine Opie

"Once she was on the freeway and had maneuvered her way to a fast lane she turned on the radio at high volume and she drove. She drove the San Diego to the Harbor, the Harbor up to the Hollywood, the Hollywood to the Golden State, the Santa Monica, the Santa Ana, the Pasadena, the Ventura. She drove it as a riverman runs a river, every day more attuned to its currents, its deceptions, and just as a riverman feels the pull of the rapids in the lull between sleeping and waking, so Maria lay at night in the still of Beverly Hills and saw the great signs soar overhead at seventy miles an hour. Normandie 1/4 Vermont 3/4 Harbor Fwy I. Again and again she returned to an intricate stretch just south of the interchange where successful passage from the Hollywood onto the Harbor required a diagonal move across four lanes of traffic. On the afternoon she finally did it without once braking or once losing the beat on the radio she was exhilarated, and that night slept dreamlessly.”

— Excerpted from Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays


SAFE IN THEIR ALABASTER CHAMBERS

On this day in 1862, Emily Dickinson’s poem “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers” was published in the Springfield Daily Republican. This was the second of only a handful of poems published in Dickinson’s lifetime, all of them anonymously and, most think, without her knowledge.

Safe in their alabaster chambers,
Untouched by morning and untouched by noon,
Sleep the meek members of the resurrection,
Rafter of satin, and roof of stone.

Light laughs the breeze in her castle of sunshine;
Babbles the bee in a stolid ear;
Pipe the sweet birds in ignorant cadence, ——
Ah, what sagacity perished here!

Grand go the years in the crescent above them;
Worlds scoop their arcs, and firmaments row,
Diadems drop and Doges surrender,
Soundless as dots on a disk of snow.


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