June 27, 2008
June 25, 2008
Introducing The Green Lantern’s new CHEESE critic, Ellen Mary Cronin, resident badass. Ellen Mary Cronin was born and raised in the Sunset District of San Francisco, CA., where she learned to drink 40’s, wear baseball caps, take down the SDI, and tell the future. She is a woman of numerous talents, and can do many things better than you—although she would never admit this. She holds an art degree from USF, where she was also a resident badass, and was the recipient of the prestigious i-kick-ass fellowship. She has extensive training in the retail arts, and has worked at such fine retail establishments as, Tower Records, Into video, Green Apple books etc. Obviously, she has a penchant for selling rectangularly shaped objects. She currently holds the position of assistant cheese buyer for a certain unnamed organics-focused gastro-megalith in San Franciso. She is extremely sexy & charming, and always maintains a faithful cabinet of unrequited suitors. She also has cool hair. She knows more about cheese than you. She can also drink more whisky than you.
Ellen Mary Cronin will be the author of the forthcoming, “Triple Milk Threat” series that will feature reviews of cheese and other profound observations about essentialities. The first installment, “how i deal with retail” is now available on The Green Lantern Press blog (see below).
June 25, 2008
how i deal with retail.
There is a great quote i am reminded of in the early morning, as i find myself traveling downtown to work, sitting squished and silent between calloused tradesmen, still-drunk and stinkin’ hipsters, old asian fishermen carrying gallon buckets to the Bay, and the rest of us variously weird-looking and insane San Francisco inhabitants; everyone stoic and silent and the only things moving in what feels like the stillest place in the world. We pay our respect to the dawn by paying our fare, tiptoeing down the aisle, and not talking. Not making a sound. I mean, really: we every one of us know what we are lumbering towards on that 6am bus, in our silence and stillness and lingering drunkeness. It sounds and feels something like:
the sun is rising! a new day approaches! and with it, the Blank Slate, the chance for something new, some change, The Big Break!, a promotion, a plane ticket, a blow job on your lunch break, a free bottle of wine, people win the lotto, right?, maybe i’ll quit, i’m going back to school, i’ll find my motivation/passion/love today, i’m splurging and buying myself a nice lunch today, ANYTHING, something please god let it be today i don’t even know what i need want should need or want but it’s gotta come soon please let my boss get hit by this bus if i catch him/her sleeping with someone they’ll pay me out won’t they? if that one asshole bothers me again today i’m gonna lose it for sure where’s my vicodin? clonopin? whiskey? i can’t wait until cocktail hour if i just survive today and make it until tomorrow everything might change i’m not wearing that fucking nametage today what ever happened to graduate school? and holy shit it is so completely and totally silent on this bus what the fuck? what is everyone else on this bus thinking about?
And your actual entire brain, and with it the ability to pull the cord and step off the bus and walk up that hill to the supermarket that you work at, begins to rot away into the mess of hate and disgust that you have for your job and your boss and especially that old british lady with the cornichon obsession; and also the creepy old fuck who only eats “young” cheeses. When you can’t even get it together enough to get off the damn bus anymore you certainly can’t draw or write or lay in the sun with a boy or even sleep, what for all of the “ifs” and “and thens” and “i’m gonnas” that are constantly running through your head. But the brilliant thing about riding the bus at dawn is that you really hear yourself for a minute, and later you have this fantasy that everyone else hears themselves, too, in that very significant silence that you all create. You remember that while today may not be the day that the evil bitch face boss drowns in an ocean of bubbling gooey gruyere, it might still be a day that you get some kind of pathetic satisfaction that will calm you until tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow. Maybe you clock back in for lunch before you smoke a cigarette. Or you remind yourself that you work with cheese, and cheese is amazing. Or it can be the day that you run into an old friend or professor and are reminded of the “ifs” and “and thens” that went through your head before you were a retail-lifer, before you bought stuff for other people to buy. Before buying and buying to buy existed. Before you realized that you are and were always and continue to be a part of the web of purchasing and purchases and purchasers. And that brings me, finally, to the quote: on the bus to work at dawn, it’s the ever-popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer i am reminded of. Now mind you, it’s not the tv show i’m talking about here, it’s the real thing, the true blue: it’s the 1992 classic hollywood picture starring Kristy Swanson and the ever studly Luke Perry. As Buffy describes her vision of the future to her guardian Merrick, like, instead of slaying vampires, she muses “I’m going to be a buyer. I just think it sounds cool, you know? Buyer, buying, to buy…”
I don’t know if “cool” is the word that i would use. But I’d agree that it certainly sounds as though it’s bordering on “needed” or “important” to the functioning of the store, as though to do the job successfully one would need to know a lot about certain things, like, what they are buying (cheese, in my case). The other aspects of the job include lessons in both patience and post-work binge drinking. I might as well wrap up the stupid boss with all of the shitty customers and throw the whole lot into a pit with all of the annoying people i’ll meet over the course of my whole life. But what about the cheeses? The most important part of the whole buying thing I am doing? Those glorious, sweating, unforgiving crottins and 80 pound wheels of rotting, delicious goodness? They don’t seem to be going anywhere, because they are, in fact, really fucking cool. And, maybe its kind of cool to be paid to hang out around them. And talk about them with other willing and interested quesophiles. If cheese were just another passing fad, then gorgonzola wouldn ‘t have a history stretching back to the 9th century, Sardinians never would have declared larvae-infested pecornio a delicacy, Uniekaas cheese makers in Holland never would have slapped my ass on their business trip to the states, and and i’d have nothing to write about on the internet. Next time i’lll write about the ass slapping.
– ellen cronin.
June 24, 2008
Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
amanda browder rules
but we all know that, right? browder used to be a staple around these parts. It used to be that she lived in Chicago. Recently, she moved to New York. I saw her once in Chinatown—after playing video games at an ancient arcade, some friends and I trotted over to a bar where, allegedly, old Asian men play dice with the bartender. The drinks were supposed to be terrible, and expensive, the ambiance incorrigible: red low-lit room, drop-ceiling, Christmas lights and tinsel all over the place. It wasn’t Christmas, but visions of retired Triad members made it impossible to pass up.
At any rate, Browder came to join us—a whirlwind of energy. She’s a tall, willowy woman, long brown hair, a little sadness in the eyes, what I believe provokes her wild exuberance. She’s a busy one, for sure—one of the original members of bad at sports (www.badatsports.com), plus art-making, stomping around to this or that art-related thing, and she’s an optician. When I saw her in New York she seemed to buzz with New Things. New Stories.
About The Show:
The show she put up at the Green Lantern reflects that same kind of energy. An energy of calamity, disruption and excitement. There is a 12-foot “cyclone,” sewn by hand, it stretches from a cloud of cotton on the floor, to the ceiling. You can see the parody of the natural disaster from the window on passing trains. The fabric swatches which comprise it feature small cats, near-transparent gold, polka-dot swatches and other brightly-colored fabrics.
Much of Browder’s work appeals to this same aesthetic: there is a way in which she’ll re-interpret natural elements like fire, rocks and caves, using colorful and often vintage fabrics or quilts, sewing them up and stuffing them, transforming an intimidating imposition of Nature into an abstract visual poetry. In my mind it’s a way of personalizing a remote and austere power (Nature), over which humanity had no control, and in fact is diminished by. Browder humanizes these elements as Wallace Stevens might humanize death through the creation of a poem.
Additionally, “Cyclone” features a gorilla puking up ribbons. Also: a painting of sewn canvas with a Viking ship on it and ribbons coming out of its helm and falling to the floor. A small porcelain rabbit looks up at the ship, seemingly unaware of the gorilla staring at its back. The small white rabbit has a pink ribbon around its neck and behind the painting (the painting is leaning against the wall, not hanging), vinyl letters—some of which are neon—spell out “This Ship Has Sailed”. The letters were cut from large sheets of vinyl material, and the negative of this—the remaining sheets—were re-configured, pasted one on top of the other on another wall, where the same phrase is reiterated: This Ship Has Sailed. In this second case, it is as if the letters have indeed abandoned their perch, leaving behind a message, like any note: Mom, I went to the grocery store.
Finally, because it cannot be ignored, there is a lightening bolt. Hanging off the wall, black and yellow striped, it almost feels like a professional tie for the room. Transforms the wall into a go-getter.
About the Opening:
Before the opening, Duncan and Amanda interviewed Ed Marszewski and Rachel about Proximity Magazine. They were sitting at the kitchen table eating fried chicken while Young Joon and I bustled about with last minute details: printing out price lists, sweeping, touching up the walls.
A baby appeared a half hour early, delivered by parents who wanted to see the show.
“If you feel the fat on this thigh, you’ll want to have one,” the mother said, pinching the little thigh to demonstrate. People in the room drew in a circle around the little thing, looking at the baby’s leg like a curious fertility drug. A few dared the pinch themselves, but not many.
The opening in full swing, and people came and went over the course of varying occasions. The night was cool, it had been raining off and on all day, and the sky was still mottled with the pregnancy of rain. I met a kid who wasn’t in high school. I met his sister who wanted to transfer out of college: both of them hungry, it seemed, to figure out what the hell life was all about, and probably a little frustrated that it wasn’t more apparent.
An artist indoors was plotting her residency in solitary confinement in the Netherlands. It was part of a larger project, in which several artists had applied to do projects in solitary confinement all at the same time, for a whole month. She was planning to do most of the work in the beginning of the residency, anticipating that as the days and darkness drew out, she would have less and less enthusiasm about finishing what she’d set out to accomplish.
—Houdinies of the household, Little Grey and Mei Mei escaped—
Mysteriously, of course: a cause of great speculation.
They were nevertheless promptly returned to the safe cloisters of the closet.
One fellow went hither and thither, in a kind of solo-dance step, strolling around conversations in a suit and tie, stopping on the cusp of a circle of people, he would wait for a pause in their conversation and then ask, “What is a non-sequitur?” A certain lilt in his voice. Clearly a happy man.
Or on the porch, in the corner by the door, there was a huddle of fellows:
WHITE SHIRT (shirt is orange and luminous, as cast by the back-alley street light): When we renovated our house we found pants stuffed in the walls.
GRUFF SWARTHY: Was it an old building?
WHITE SHIRT: I assume so, the pants looked old.
YELLOW GIRL: Did you try them on?
WHITE SHIRT: They were too small.
YELLOW GIRL: You did try them on.
WHITE SHIRT: I held them up to myself. Like so. (held imaginary pants to his waist)
NEW PERSON: Wait. I don’t understand. The pants were stuffed in the walls?
GRUFF SWARTHY: Like insulation. Instead of newspaper. Or fiberglass.
YELLOW GIRL: That’s old-timey (old timey is in air quotes).
NEW PERSON: Were they children’s pants?
WHITE SHIRT: Little boys’ maybe.
YELLOW GIRL: Do you think someone killed the little boys before they put the pants in the wall?
GRUFF SWARTHY: Were there dead bones in the wall too?
WHITE SHIRT: Ground up, maybe.
NEW PERSON: What did you do with the pants?
WHITE SHIRT: The workers wanted them. So I gave them to them.
GRUFF SWARTHY: Is it wrong to trade labor for children’s clothes?
YELLOW GIRL: I heard you can trade dirty girls’ socks for money on e-bay.
NEW PERSON: The dirtier the better.
WHITE SHIRT: I also found a German newspaper from World War Two. With the pants, in the same wall. It was all about Hitler.
GRUFF SWARTHY: Did you keep that?
WHITE SHIRT: The workers wanted that also. So I gave it. They lowered the cost of their work.
YELLOW GIRL: What’s in your walls now?
WHITE SHIRT: I don’t know.
GRUFF SWARTHY: Fingernails.
Giggles, the other girl on the porch, a slip of a girl, I believe she was with the truant, she had long brown hair a little wavy and wore a shorts-suit, one piece, with a little leotard underneath. She seemed frail in her sandals, her feet perched in a terminal point of indecision. She didn’t say much of anything, just giggled now and again, a little wild.
She only really came alive once they started talking bands, once her fellow came outside to join everyone.
“I want a smoothie,” she said. Possibly stoned, or maybe just touched, no one could be sure. It seemed to suit her either way, the breathy non-sequitur pitch of her nerves. She giggled again.
“I like tropical smoothies,” said the truant.
“Tropical Smoothie Band, I like that,” Gruff Swarthy said.
“Your first album could be called Coppertone,” said Yellow Girl.
Giggles clapped her hands. Like the white shirt, she was also orange. “And then after ten years, we could call ourselves ‘Psycho tropical.’ When we’d get really intense.”
“Just like Jefferson Airplane becoming Jefferson Starship.”
Inside, a fellow opened a new bottle of wine, intent, I suspect, on seeing Amanda. He poured two cups.
As they all left one by one I saw several touch the gorilla on their way out. In particular they seemed to like a flap of fabric that was sewn on his back right shoulder: a good luck charm, perhaps.
– caroline p.
June 22, 2008
This happened Sunday June 1.
like an underwater anemone or how when someone is in a highly emotional state, a ripe red scene rushes into their face and flushes their cheeks with an interior patina of blood, or a terrifying one drains it, a funnel of blood pours from a face into a scene. A scene demands your blood. We move inward we move outward, in beating, undulating rolls. We wave our feelers in a translucent fiber of water, where we can’t quite see, but we can make things out. It was hot in myopic.
Amina’s sentences are short. They have the rhythm of a thought aligning with a heart beat. Her stories can somehow be made up of questions without asking them. They take place somewhere between the earth’s crust and the soul’s molten interior. What do I remember. That in Amina’s story, “Attached to a Self” there is a small library at the Zen center, where when two people read together it feels intimate, and here Amina is reading to me about one person reading, about two people reading, about three people reading. And everyone is listening to a nebula of the unpronounceable, visible through the texture of her prose, in the way that a bride’s face is visible through her veil. And two women drinking tea in “I Sew my Prey”, and their dialogue narrates that moment when the veil is lifted so that the face is hidden and also revealed. She writes what we’re thinking. They are truths we have forgotten how to say. And so it lingers there like the density of air through which sound travels, the muscle movements in our eyes as a text makes worlds. The dependence a self has upon another in order to make itself is undone, exposed, like the naked core of the globe you can just see through the grass. Amina got in some grass (“Theater of Sincerity” with Justin Audia). I was glad about that.
Then Jen. A whirlwind of activity surrounds Jen. She’s like the junction of the two sticks in a god’s eye. She’s always tying together voices—no small wonder a fabric emerges. In her piece, “aaaaaaaaaaalice” (11 a’s), three people read simultaneously from three different texts. The three readers improvise the timing of their texts like a conversation, or the dynamics of the creation of culture. Two of the three readers (Jen and Kath Duffy) stay the same, while the other role cycles through 6 readers (Amina Cain, Tim Yu, Evan Willner, Ed Roberson, David Emanuel, Kathleen Rooney). That’s one reader per each Canto of aaaaaaaaaaalice. There are 11 Cantos in total, 6 of which were performed at Myopic. Later Jen and I were standing outside of the Handlebar: me, her, and the roster of poets. I asked her if she had somehow intended the three readers to speak different languages like: interiority, the others, and public signage, for example. No, she said, but each speaker is reading from a different source: me from my journal of my travels through Asia, Kath Duffy from Alice in Wonderland, and the others from a Japanese text book. There was a commingling of different kinds of light, the lamps, the moon, the headlights of the passing cars, the dim candescence from inside the restaurant. She told me that someday she’s going to be an old lady poet, and I heard her wise luminescence humming through the veil of her face, her poems growing on a slow, geological clock beat. Able to swap between the inside and the outside of things as though the barrier doesn’t exist.
Listen to an audio recording of aaaaaaaaaaalice, and learn more about Jen Karmin’s work at: http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=12694. Amina Cain’s book of short stories, “I Go To Some Hollow” is forthcoming from Les Figues Press in January 2009.
i got a letter in my inbox. a note from one jesse ball- he seemed concerned that somehow a contributor to Paper&Carriage no. 2 was somehow slandering him. Here’s his letter. You can see what you think.- caroline p.
May 10, 2008
Dear Paper & Carriage,
I was recently approached by a student and told about a story you ran in your last issue. Apparently it mentioned me by name, and included photographs taken of me near my home. I looked into the matter and saw that it was true. In fact, you have published a totally fraudulent account of my involvement in some despicable organization.
Please publish this letter in your next issue. I am not, nor have ever been, a part of this imaginary (I would suppose — I have no information on the matter) Ukrainian Gaslight Circle.
And please, in the future, check on the relative truth of your non-fiction before publishing it. I do not want to deal with you in court, but I will if I have to. In this case, I have already found Dora Ishida and dealt with her personally.
– Jesse Ball
Dora Ishida – if you’re out there give us a heads up! You caused quite a flurry in the P&C office. E-mails back and forth, concerns about this and that. At one point I even received a mysterious text from a classmate saying “You should be careful”. At another, ThreeWalls sent an official, internal email expressing its ignorance of the story; i.e. that no one at ThreeWalls had read the piece before it was published and therefore no one was responsible for its issue. Sheesh.
June 19, 2008
Just wanted to say, doing these shows was really important to me, and I hope everyone who stopped by had fun. It’s a conundrum to think about fun as a cultural experience, something authentic from which we form memories. After all, it’s just fun. The four shows we did this year were an exercise in community building, in bringing together indie art and music (and writing and reading and thinking) in a way that so many other spaces in Chicago are doing. It’s important to recognize our predecessors and contemporaries for their guidance and dedication to independent culture in our city and other cities. Being able to participate in culture actively and autonomously is one way we form our identities and value systems. I feel proud that we were able to work with so many great bands, artists, and audiences to create a unique and comfortable experience for all involved. Although I won’t be booking shows at this space anymore, the Green Lantern rules, and I hope my friends, new and old, will continue to support the programs there. Finally, I need to publicly thank the following people and bands who made the 2007-08 music series at Green Lantern possible.
THANK YOU DUDES!!!
Ryan Durkin and Andy Slania
Joan of Arc/ Tim Kinsella, Bobby, Paul and Theo
The Cairo Gang/ Emmett Kelly, Leroy, Josh, Nori Tanaka
He Who Corrupts
(Lone) Wolf and Cub
The Bleeding Heart Bakery and Megan
Philip von Zweck
Winters in Osaka and Adam
Flux Bouquet and Chris Miller
The Kehoe Brothers, Shannon Stratton, and all of this year’s
and for everything, Britton Bertran
and of course thanks to everyone who came out to the shows!