Best Thing I’ve Read Today: As We All Change / Love Symbol Press

24 Sep

Love Symbol Press, which started as the books arm of the resolutely web one-point-oh online journal Red Lightbulbs, announced a few days ago that they’ll be putting the press on indefinite hiatus:

We have no current plans to continue with it from here on out, though there is a possibility that sometime in the future, (possibly years from now) we will decide to reopen it. Our reasons for this are simple: we felt like we didn’t have the time or energy to do these works justice, and the work began to feel more like guilt about how little we were doing. We want to just be writers for awhile and focus on our own projects and our own lives.

(For those of us living in Chicago, this was a double blow, since LSP runs Poetry Made of Diamonds, one of the most reliably awesome reading series in town, now, like the press, on hiatus.)

In addition to the three fantastic print books they put out, LSP offered some of the most beautifully-designed echaps around. They’re all free, and available for download, and I can’t recommend enough that you take advantage of this.

In honor/memoriam, I’ve been reading As We All Change, by Wyatt Sparks and Kate Erikson. As We Change is a collaborative text, a long poem in five parts composed of words and photographs. The text is interested in the vast and the emptied, the myth and the death of myth:

and I wasn’t there
and you weren’t there
and everyone we talk about
wasn’t their either

“CHAOS,” we are told, “begins to assume a form / and it looks like a couple.” The couple that is to propagate this newly emptied earth, as in any good myth, is incestuous and full of violence: “If we were the last two humans / I would break my teeth / so that you’d have something pretty to wear.” From this coupling, monsters and gods: Medusa, Morpheus, Arachne, Apollo. The poem itself becomes a journey, through middle-America, through swamplands and along highways, finally to the underworld:

now they realize
they’re dead
and twist into sick
fantasies of themselves
for each other.

The electronic medium works to the book’s advantage, I think: Rather than seeing a spread of pages, so that a given photograph appears next to a given page of text, the photographs and the pages of text spring forward singly, each claiming its own precise moment. Reading As We All Change is a succession of minor shocks: a sudden empty sky, a sudden almost-empty page.

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One Response to “Best Thing I’ve Read Today: As We All Change / Love Symbol Press”

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