Commerce

Every sign of human progress entails a rent increase. –Georges Darien   What this country needs is a good two-dollar room and a good two-dollar broom. –Captain Beefheart       One morning as I was walking up First Avenue, a dog ran past me with a dollar bill in its mouth. A few seconds … Read more

Twelve Sides

“We Got More Soul,” by Dyke and the Blazers (Original Sound OS-86). Ex collection “M. Scale.” Found circa 1977, Passaic, New Jersey. Estimated plays 50-60. Gritty but serviceable, the grooves still evincing a satiny surface sheen. The silences are not too loud; the stop-and-go percolates nicely. Former owner Scale was in his middle twenties then, … Read more

Thirteen Most

One night in the 1980s, a low period for me, as I slumped on my regular stool at Farrell’s, in Brooklyn, staring into my fourth or fifth of their enormous beers, the gentleman to my left struck up a conversation. Like nearly everyone in the bar but me, he was a cop, a retired cop … Read more

Détournement

One day very soon it will happen that our heroes, having searched and studied ancient property maps on file at the bureau of records, having rented a basement storage space on the opposite side of the block, having pretended to be a punk band and carted in instruments and actually played them very loud before … Read more

The Poetry of Ellery Queen

Above, a poem drawn from the depths of The American Gun Mystery (1933) by Ellery Queen (joint pseudonym of Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee). The extraction was the work of an anonymous member or members of the Resurrectionists, a shadowy group devoted to finding the poetry hidden in the works of the most prosaic … Read more

Hooliganism

Just about as rare as if it had never been published at all, this may be the only extant copy of Dave Carluccio’s only book–typed, photocopied, folded, and stapled by its author in 1980 in an edition of fewer than a hundred, maybe fewer than twenty. The title and the cover image both refer to … Read more

The Grasshopper and the Ant

Like the ant, the teenage stoner labors ceaselessly and uncomplaining, pursuing an arduous task that casual onlookers would dismiss as pointless, yet which is essential to the little creature’s survival. Like the ant, the stoner lacks an animating concept, but sets to work at one corner and emerges, hours or days later, at the opposite … Read more

E. S. P.

1. Very late that night, riding home on the train as it shoots past the graffiti-washed vacant stations on the local track, they stare straight ahead, unable to explain or articulate the sense of dread that fills them both except by reference to the lateness of the hour, or the ebbing of the drugs, or … Read more