To the listener

August 31, 2009

posted by Heather McShane


I was reading 39 Microlectures: in proximity of performance on the train yesterday, when the woman next to me began talking to me about Matthew Goulish (the author of the book) and the Goat Island performance group. During the conversation, she asked me what the premise of the book was. I answered that it was Goulish’s ideas about approaching life. Here’s an excerpt from 39 Microlectures:


“When listening, please bear in mind: I have tried to compose some of your most particular experiences. I realize that you may consider it impossible for one to compose the experience of another. I realize that you are not a typical, but a very particular, listener. You have begun to listen in such a way that you attend only to the note being played at the moment—you try to forget a sound as soon as it stops and not to anticipate what will happen next. Your concentration lapses frequently. You are not a thorough listener, and proud of it. You have a sense that almost anything can happen next: across boundaries, with many connecting threads.


“I realize that I have imagined you. Nevertheless, you have one invaluable advantage; you are the one listener about whom I really know something. You are the one I feel closest to, even if I do not know you personally. You are absolutely necessary for me—since it would be impossible for me to imagine this process other than in conjunction with a constantly imagined percipient. In this way creation and perception intermingle and are elements of the same complex phenomenon. In this way, we have begun to write this book together. Now the question arises: How do we proceed?


“We proceed in absolute freedom, within certain limits: the limits of your abilities, the limits of work and play, the limits of the next ten minutes, and the limited size of my desktop; the limits of bodies, the memory of bodies, and the motion we make toward and away from our own death; the limits of justice, creativity, natural resources, blankness, the limits of space, time, sound, instability, the fractal scaling of cloudshapes, leaf veins, the circulatory stystem, heartbeats, the rhythms of sleep and insomnia; the limits of our skill as dancers, the limits of I need a job, the limits of the echo off the opposite wall of the Grand Canyon.


“We proceed in almost any direction, across boundaries, with many connecting threads. We proceed like the mosquito that bites the iron ox. We proceed with no need to fear or to hope, but only to find new ways of understanding.”

This TUESDAY! Brendan Short to read at The Parlor Tuesday, September 1, at 7pm

Brendan will read from his debut novel, Dream City (MacAdam/Cage), which follows dreamer Michael Halligan from a childhood in Depression-era Chicago through an adulthood spent trying to collect the comic-book stories he loved as a kid and make sense of an arbitrary and unkind world. Learn more about Brendan at

Dream City has been called “powerful” (Chicago Magazine), “terrific” (Austin American-Statesman), “complex” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “an impressively mature first effort…Highly recommended” (Library Journal). According to Rod Lott at the Oklahoma Gazette, “It’s rare that a novel can affect and haunt the reader to a marked degree, but this one does.”

Following his 30 minute reading, Brendan will take questions from the audience.

As always, the event will be recorded and published on-line for your repeated listening pleasure on iTunes and at

All readings take place at 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor

For more information, please visit or contact

The Parlor is a monthly reading series, sponsored by Bad At Sports Podcast.

posted by Caroline Picard

We were lucky enough to get a little plug for the North Georgia Gazette release this Tuesday (The Whistler) and Thursday (57th Street Books). You can check the whole piece out by going here. They also point out  A Gate At The Stairs by Lorrie Moore and Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich.


Fall Preview 2009

The North Georgia Gazette
We’ve been singing the praises of Green Lantern Press long past the point of hoarseness, and we’re guessing with this release, there will be some new members of the chorus. The Chicago press is reprinting an edition of The North Georgia Gazette ($30), a newspaper written and produced by English sailors in 1819. Another reason to be intrigued: Printmaking ace Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer has also made a limited-edition cover.

A Dialogue of Lies

August 29, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

Moshe passed this NYTimes article on to me; it’s a conversation about lying, what it means and what it entails. I’ve included the first part of it here. This is the first part. There is a second part of the dialogue that you can find by going here.

RICKY JAY: Lying has to be verbal. Do I believe that?

[a pause]

ERROL MORRIS: And it can’t be accidental. You can accidentally deceive somebody, but you can’t accidentally lie to somebody. If you’re lying to somebody, you have to know you’re doing it.

RICKY JAY: I’ve written about verbal deception, for example, the P.T. Barnum sign – “TO THE EGRESS” — to make someone believe something that was other than what was intended. Even though there was nothing wrong with it — it’s deceptive. [The sign is intended make people believe that they are about to visit some exotic animal, rather than heading to the exit.] I wrote an article about verbal deception in “Jay’s Journal” on the Bonassus.

'Jay's Journal of Anomalies'
“Jay’s Journal of Anomalies,” courtesy of Ricky Jay

The Bonassus was presented in 1821 as this extraordinarily exotic creature. I’ll read just the opening: “The Bonassus, according to contemporary handbills, has been captured as a six-week-old cub deep in the interiors of America …” —blah, blah, blah… “It was presented to a populous eager for amusement and edification” — this was in London — “whose appetite for curiosities both animal and human was insatiable.” The attraction said, “A newly discovered animal, comprising the head and eye of an elephant, the horns of an antelope, a long black beard, the hind parts of a lion, the foreparts of a bison, cloven-footed, has a flowing mane from shoulder to fetlock joint and chews the cud.” And underneath the line, “ ‘Take him for all in all, we ne’er shall look upon his like again.’ — Shakespeare.”

You can read the rest of this article by going here.

Mountain Dream Tarot

August 28, 2009

 posted and written by Heather McShane             




The Last Judgement from Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Nettles

The Last Judgement card from Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Nettles

I concentrated on the idea of future when I overturned the 10 of Spades card, which portends a period, albeit potentially short, of intense creative activity, or so I understood from the reading. My friends and I used three decks of tarot cards for the reading: one to represent the past, another for the present, and the third for the future. I was particularly drawn to one of the sets of tarot cards, the Mountain Dream Tarot staged and photographed by Bea Nettles.

In 1970, Bea Nettles’s idea for the photographic set of tarot cards came to her in a dream and she began work on the cards the following day at Penland School in North Carolina, with the help of family and friends who served as models. It took her four years to complete the cards, and the cards are evidence of her patience and skill, especially since it was decades before Photoshop. For example, the Three of Swords card shows a heart shape pierced by three swords suspended in front of bright white clouds and a reflective sea.

As Nettles explained in the original 1975 introduction (a second edition was printed in 2001), her cards were more of an intuitive rather than a literal interpretation of the source material (Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Waite). Perhaps it was her open and almost playful, though personal, approach in creating these cards that makes them so endearing.

I also have to admit that there’s something intriguing for me about North Carolina and that I like her nameBea makes me think of Dante’s Beatrice and Nettles reminds me of the nettles on the land around my childhood home.

Las Nuevas Criaturas

August 28, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

written by Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison (312)


Savage destiny

Naked girl, seen from behind,

on a natural road


explore the labarynth


young woman left on the desert

A city gone mad w/ fever


Sisters of the unicorn, dance

Sisters and brothers of Pyramid



Mangled hands

Tales of the Old Days

Discovery of the Sacred Pool


Mute-handed stillness baby cry

The wild dog

The sacredbeast


Find her!

posted by Caroline Picard

I got this email the other day, a query about the press release I’d sent out about the Gazette:

Hey! Hope all is well in your world. I wanted to being annoying for a moment an question what plays and paper publication had to do with warding off Scuvy which if memory serves is a degenerative disease resulting from a vitamin c defficiency? I’m done being annoying now, sorry.

I thought it was a point worth mentioning, so I posted it here, along with my response-

not annoying at all-
i think that’s part of what is so funny about the whole thing. captain parry believed that scurvy was caused by indolence. so, in a very british way (it strikes me as british anyway), parry made the sailors do all kinds of things to keep themselves occupied when there wasn’t much for anyone to do besides some scientific observations about ice. from what i understand he had all the sailors wake up at six a.m. and scrub the deck with stones. then they kept this newspaper with only happy news (which means its full of weird poems, reviews of the weekly plays they put on, some fake news (it wasn’t exactly fake, but it would include for instance a piece about the capture of a “spy” (in reality an arctic fox) and how the “spy” eventually escaped) and some wanted/missing ads (i.e. the theater needs some backstage hands to help with the female characters costumes, or a letter from a beloved went missing on deck–that sort of thing). sometimes they talk about how everything froze, or there are weather reports about how it was a balmy negative 20 degrees.

what is really awesome is that the captain brought a trunk of costomes (including women’s corsets) from england–presumably in the event that they got stuck in the ice.

what is also awesome is that only one person died on the whole voyage which, from what i gather (in contrast to other expeditions) is an astounding survival rate.

and really just fuels my larger, general life-theory, that people make meaning in order to survive ordeals…..

thanks for asking by the way…

Come to The Whistler on September 1st and/or 57th Street Books on the 3rd of September for a series of readings/performances and Q&A’s!

Minutes (Chicago)

August 27, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

  • At five o’clock this morning I saw a man on the corner of Milwaukee, North and Damen–an old Scandanavian fellow with a five o’clock shadow and the paunch a skinny man gets when he’s old. I remember he had very wiry ankles. His body was riddled with viens–thick chords that wrapped around his bones, underneath his skin. His skin looked thick and course. The skin of an expeditionist. I suspect he climbed Kilamanjaro once. Perhaps also the Pyramids. He may have even practiced bizarro rituals in the Andes…At any rate he kept clapping his hands together, doing a sidestep dance to the passing cars. And then every fifth car he dropped his pants and spanked himself on the ass. Hooting like he’d just lept from a sauna into the snow. It reminded me of Jean le Phd–the cut Korean fellow who used to dance in short shorts with no shirt at the very same spot. He appeared in the neighborhood two years ago or something. Someone told me that he’d come from California, where he tripped on acid for 12 days straight, again, dancing in the streets. I haven’t seen Jean in a couple of years and someone told me he died in a car accident. I like to think that the Scandahoovian was paying tribute his predecessor. They were, after all, assuming the same corner.

BAILIWIK release party

August 25, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard –

this letter was sent by a most awesome publication bailiwik which y’all should check out….


Dear friends,

We are excited to announce the publication of Bailliwik, Issue 07, our Autumn 2009 edition! Be one of the first to see the latest issue at our release party next Saturday, August 29th (more info below).

Bailliwik is an artists’ collective based in Chicago, Illinois, with members residing throughout the world. Periodically, we gather together in a self-published anthology of our work. We are artists, designers, musicians, writers, students, volunteers, teachers, and many other things too. The book is circulated internationally by means of each participant’s local distribution. ALL of the work in the book, some additional material, and our past issues are available for viewing on our website:

A true limited edition with only 125 copies produced, this issue features 76 pages in full-color and showcases a diverse range of work from 30 artists and writers. Included with the book is an unprecedented number of special artists’ projects: flocked and stitched book covers by Amy Honchell (edition of 125); letterpress-printed postcards by Alysia Kaplan (edition of 100); pocket-sized paper amulets by Leda Zawacki (edition of 125); meticulously documented sky Polaroids by Anthony Rosati (edition of 120); and You’ll Never Know, a new album by New Shiloh, released on CD-R in screenprinted sleeves (edition of 125 + free MP3 download from our website). Each purchase will also ship with an extra-special “thank you” card by artist Emmy Bright (edition of 55).

Bailliwik is member-distributed, which means most of the books have already been claimed by our contributing members. You can contact any member you know to buy a copy from them, and we also have a limited number of books available via web orders. Don’t wait too long — you might miss your chance!

Issue 07 Contributing Members:

Carl Baratta, Jerry Bleem, Christa Donner, Karolina Gnatowski, Amy Honchell, Simon Hunt, Alysia Kaplan, Jenny Kendler, Rebecca Kosick, Jeroen Nelemans, Sara Parker, Anthony Rosati, Nancy Lu Rosenheim, Sasha Ruptash, Leda Zawacki, Surabhi Ghosh and Rob Hunt (Chicago, IL);  Brynna Benefield, Richard de Shazo, New Shiloh (Beijing, China); Ed Panar, Christina Latimer, Kathy Hunt Muse (New York, NY); Forest Bright (Olympia, WA); Beth Hetland (White River Junction, VT); Brenna Burns (New Haven, CT); Theodore McDermott (Missoula, MT); Grafilu, Sujata Reinhardt (Bern, Switzerland).

For more information on our collective, or how to get your own copy for $30 (including shipping), please visit the website at and/or contact us at:

Please forward this email to friends and we thank you for your interest and support!

Surabhi Ghosh & Rob Hunt
coeditors, Bailliwik
You Are Invited….
At the gracious invitation of Chicago artist (and devoted Bailliwik member) Nancy Lu Rosenheim, please join us at her beautiful Rogers Park home to celebrate the completion of Issue 07 — another fantastic Autumn issue of Bailliwik!  Please stop by for a drink, bring a friend who might be interested, meet some Bailliwikians, and pick up your copy of the book!
When and where:
Saturday, August 29th, 4 to 6 PM
Nancy Lu Rosenheim’s home
1109 W. North Shore Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
Questions? Contact Surabhi @ 773.896.8389 or

Minutes (Chicago)

August 25, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

  • A man calls a healer. He says “My mother is dying.” “Put a silver bowl over your belly button,” she says. “You must protect your chakra.”
  • An older cousin calls a younger cousin. “I spoke to your father,” the older cousin says. “My father is dead,” says the younger. “Yes,” says the older cousin. “But I met with a psychic and your father came to visit us.”
  • Franz Mesmer used cyrstal glass to conjure spirits. He liked best of all to sooth hysterical women, particularly the wealthy ones. When the women came to visit him he had them sit in tubs with warm water. Beads of glass were inside of the tubs and he ran an electrical current through the water to soothe the women. He wore velvet robes and carried a wand. He was also very expensive. When in France, Mesmer developed quite a reputation. The King therefore asked Benjamin Franklin to investigate Mesmer’s practice to see if, in fact, it had any merit. Mesmer fled Paris.