Monday, March 07, 2011


Sous Les Pavés (edited by Micah Robbins out of Dallas, Texas) and Eccolinguistics (edited by Jared Schickling out of Farmington, Maine) are two relatively new print magazines, both produced in much the same way: photocopy or desktop printer, a staple in the upper left corner. The description at the Sous Les Pavés site claims SLP

. . . is a bi-monthly newsletter of poetry, prose, ideas & opinions, reviews, photo documentaries, b/w artwork and letters of all kinds. It is conceived in the spirit & tradition of THE FLOATING BEAR, FUCK YOU, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, ROLLING STOCK, THE REALIST, THE DIGGER PAPERS, INTERNATIONALE SITUATIONNISTE, THE BLACK PANTHER INTERCOMMUNAL NEWS SERVICE, PROFANE EXISTENCE and any number of lo-fi no-frills PUNK ZINES & COMMUNITY PAPERS. At a time when much discourse circulates amid the instantaneous push-n-pull of the blogosphere – some of which is sharp, but much of which is soggy pulp – we seek to slow down, pause, and cultivate thoughtful responses to our collective troubles before delivering a polemical flux of ideation via the hands & feet of the world’s postal workers

The call for pause toward the end of the statement reminds me a bit of P. Inman's interesting comments on the utility of "slow writing":

Against it. The overwhelming noise of late capitalism. The omnipresent signal of late capital (of "product" minus production) wearing away at everything else: at anything apart, anything aside from its own tautologism. "Noise [visual, auditory] as a weapon ... " The communications [sic] network driving not only the superstructural, but the economic & political as well. "Electrification" given a perverse twist with the digitalization of banking, commerce, investment, production, text, weapons delivery &&&.

Inman's statement here, delivered as part of the Philly Talks series in November 1999, concerns the production of poetry rather than editing practices, but these thoughts are no less applicable to editing and publishing practices. Inman's call, if I read it correctly, is to offer "an interruption in the ongoing transmission" of capital, and this is something I think magazines like SLP and Eccolinguistics do offer and perform.

Either way, both are magazines I've had the good fortune of contributing to in recent months and both are doing work I recognize as incredibly meaningful.

In addition to several stunning collages from Steve Dalchinsky, the inaugural issue of Eccolinguistics includes writing by Patrick James Dunagan, Whit Griffin, W. Scott Howard, Mary Kasimor, Michael Leong, E.J. McAdams, Deborah Meadows, Philip Meersman, Jonathan Minton, Nate Pritts, Chuck Richardson, Andrew Schelling, Brandon Shimoda and Tyrone Williams. Williams' brief statement on education and poverty in America is especially charged:

The state of American education is not an index of our collective lack of intelligence but a willfully obstinate underdeveloped intelligence. In the current cultural climate of tabloid television news, talk radio muckraking, corrupt political processes and unethical business practices, it is impossible to assess anyone's intelligence quotient, especially since that process itself is little more than the institutionalization of a glorified house of mirrors.
The most recent number of SLP (1.3) is given to protest: "... the past year has witnessed a resurgence of direct-action politics in the streets of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. These actions have taken new and surprising forms and have developed in ways that indicate immense complexities that are invariably distorted by the chatter of the mainstream media. In an effort to both register and understand something of these events beyond the usual clichés, the current issue is largely given over to individuals with first-hand experience of the protests in the UK and is entirely dedicated to the spirit of dissent and revolt." Contributors include Jay James May, Lara Buckerton, Frances Kruk, Susan Briante, Francesca Lisette, Goat far DT, Sean Bonney, Justin Katko, Elliott Colla, Debrah Morkun, Tomas Weber, Linh Dinh, Danny Hayward, Keston Sutherland, Pocahontis Mildew, Sommer Browning, Collective Anon, j/j hastain and David Hadbawnik.