July 11, 2013

1. Just got the green light on a curating project involving emerging Beijing artists.
2. Just managed to get Drunken Boat 17 out into the world.
3. Just finished reading The Man Who Was Thursday.
4. Just realized I am using just incorrectly, but there you are. Sometimes just means recently.
5. Just realized that I am quite possibly the only person in the world listening to "Pat Novak, for Hire".


June 28, 2013

If you haven't yet, take a look at Drunken Boat 17. It has some stellar work in it.

February 1, 2013

Went crazy at the bookstore and walked out with:

Homer, The Iliad & The Odyssey
Virgil, The Aeneid
Byron, Selected Poems of
Shelley, Selected Poems of
Blake, Selected Poems of
Keats, Selected Poems of
Dickinson, Selected Poems of
Yeats, Selected Poems of
Frost, Selected Poems of
100 Artists' Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists

It feels like a syllabus. But I have a couple of weeks off for Chinese New Year, so thought I'd reacquaint myself with the pre-avant set.

October 11, 2012

An ensemble performance of my "A Rodeo Clown Opts Out" at the Yellow Book in Chicago tonight at 9 pm (1007 N. California Ave)


October 8, 2012

The 7th Chicago Calling Arts Festival is Still Going strong. Below are some upcoming events and venues.

Chicago Calling at The Yellow Book
Thursday, October 11 (9 p.m.)
The Yellow Book
1007 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Performances by Elizabeth Marino, Cathleen Schandelmeier, Bob Rashkow, Sally Evans, Ira Lightman, Philip Miller, Wayne Allen Jones, Vittorio Carli, and Robin Fine
* * * *
Ex Libris: Portfolio Exchange Opening Reception
Friday, October 12 (7-10 p.m.)
Spudnik Press
1821 W. Hubbard, Suite 302
Chicago, IL 60622
Member Print Exchange in collaboration with Atlanta Printmakers Studio
* * * *
Creative Currency: Words To Live By
Saturday, October 13 (noon-10 p.m.)
Phantom Gallery Chicago Network Space
2300 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Presented by the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network. Visit to find out more.


September 1, 2012

J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known (1969; repr. HarperOne).

Krishnamurti is so simple he's devastatingly deep. It's the distance you keep from others and have with yourself that keeps you from knowing yourself which makes you unhappy and, as an extension, the world a crappy place to inhabit.

But I want to look at Krishnamurti as a rhetorician.

He is the only writer I can remember that has invited me to put his book down.

For example:

"Can we go the very root of violence and be free from it? Otherwise we shall live everlastingly in battle with each other. If that is the way you want to live -- and apparently most people do -- then carry on.; if you say, 'Well, I'm sorry, violence can never end', then you and I have no means of communication, you have blocked yourself; but if you say there might be a different way of living, then we shall be able to communicate with each other" (49).

With this rhetorical move, only four responses can happen in the reader:

1. The reader disagrees, stops, closes the book.
2. The reader is skeptical but continues onward, willing to hear what comes next.
3. The reader continues and is open to following ideas based on the previous discourse.
4. Preaching to the choir.

Once the reader has made it to page 95, Krishnamurti acknowledges the difficulty of the simple thing he has purposed: "Please go on with me a little further. It may be rather complex, rather subtle, but please go on with it."

Rhetorically, throughout, he's tested the mettle of the reader, asking the reader, without shame, to drop out at any time. For those that make it to the end, there is no huzzah. If you want/need a huzzah, then you should start again at page one.


August 30, 2012

Han Sanping and Huang Jianxin, The Beginning of the Great Revival (2011). 

What's Good: Every scene is shot beautifully. There is very good acting.

What Isn't Good: This film has the subtlety of a sledge-hammer or a wrecking-ball coming through your living room wall. It announced as much in the opening titles with the statement "In Commemeration of the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China."

The original title for this was The Founding of a Party: It got retitled for international release (IMDB). The film was financed through the state-run China Film Group, a mouthpiece of the propaganda department.

What's Bad: A film green-lighted from the Ministry of Propaganda encouraging Chinese citizens to act out against foreign "colonialism" (disputed Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean islands, for example) with the call of "Chinese Sovereignty!" It's hard not to read this movie through a probable anticipated outcome, like (just for an example) the tearing off of the Japanese ambassador's car's flag while the ambassador was in it. Boil the hate, stir the hate, hate will manifest.

A narrative arc where Mao doesn't go to France while his friends are boarding to a much talked about and previously agreed upon better education because a foreign influence can't fix China (no international interference necessary, China can and will fix all its problems by itself).

What's Really Bad: The Chinese Communist Government is trying desperately to relate what's happening now in China with Mao's understanding of Marx and the populist impulse that started the CCP.



June 22, 2012

I'm very happy to be a part of this anthology:



Edited by Sara Wintz
Cover Design: Michael Cross
Interior Design: Stephen Novotny


It includes writing by tons of incredible writers who contributed wonderful, beautiful responses to the very simple question:


*BUY A COPY!* All of the proceeds go to Small Press Traffic: one of the most important literary organizations in the greater Bay Area that has made supporting innovative writing in the Bay Area its mission for the past forty years (!!!!)

*Please join us in supporting Small Press Traffic as it continues to grow!*

Purchase your copy of THE FEELING I$ MUTUAL: A LI$T OF OUR FUCKING DEMAND$ at Michael Cross' website (THE DISINHIBITOR)


and support SPT!

Sara Wintz, Michael Cross, and Stephen Novotny


May 31, 2012

1. The Demolition Job, new project
2. SAGINAW no. 3 in the works
3. Letters owed to be written in the next few days
4. Books with titles like "Theory of the Avant-Garde" or somesuch have so far been found dire wanting
5. A home-cooked meal beats anything near where I work
6. I'm Pat Novak, for hire
7. Tentative plans for both New York and Chicago, New York and Chicago be warned
8. What's your favorite dish? Fish. Gesundheit.


April 20, 2012

SAGINAW no. 2 is being assembled and shipped.

If you'd like one and aren't on the mailing list, send a postal address to
unionherald (at) gmail (dot) com

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