Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I Have Made It On To a Tote Bag!
To quote from the oft quoted Beckett masterpiece, The Unnameable: "I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, wait, my name's on a tote bag, I'll go on."
I made it to the Publishing Genius book release party for Senor Powerhouse Justin Sirois' novel detailing the horrors of Fallujah, Falcons On The Ground and not only got to see some great friends and hotshot Baltimore writers and bon vivants, finally get to hear legendary anthropologist/philosopher/writer Alphonso Lingis read, soak in Adam Robinson's thoughtful interview of Justin on stage about the writing of the book and then get to hear Justin read from the book, but I also had the pleasant surprise of scanning the merch table - looking for some unguarded french fries or a just opened Coke - and seeing a fresh red and black Publishing Genius tote bag made for the recent AWP conference with my long-assed name among a bunch of other folks who I admire.
If only my momma were still alive to see the family name brandished on a thick durable tote that will one day carry Everly's Perrier (in about two hours later that night), Little Debbie Devil Squares and various tomes. Of course, mom would probably still have loaded the bag with oranges and beat me with them, taunting me with "Diane Rehm's got her own fucking radio show, tote bags are what they give the rubes who give money to her station."
And cheers to Justin for his fantastic new book, to Iraqi refugee Haneen Alshujairy who helped him research it and to Adam Robinson for putting it out there in the literary wilds. The interview before Justin's reading touched on, among other things, the battle between making what you hope is a lasting work of art that will engage a reader versus partisan propaganda. Which reminded me of some old Revolutionary Communist pals who would only read novels that spoke explicitly of armed revolution.
Justin's apt illustration was the work of Sue Coe. Surely heart felt, but if you're walking through a gallery of it you know exactly what you're going to see. And most likely you're only seeing her work because you already are sympathetic to its message.
And here's to a wild-eyed dream that our country won't be sucked into another blood-soaked futile war! And by the by, Mr. Cheney, it should be pretty obvious that you and this heart thing just don't go together. Stick by your guns and try to live on pure bile.