Department of New Stuff: Vehicular, a zine from The Press Gang
So last Tuesday I read some poems at an event put on by Boog City (site seems out of date) which featured four indie presses: X-ing Books (my guys), Open 24 Hours Press (no site I could find), Farfalla Press, and The Press Gang. Well, as you might imagine, everybody had the best time ever. I ate some cheese, and Anne Waldman did this terrifying thing where she shouts what might be Wikipedia entry about manatees over a boombox soundtrack of something that sounds like the music on the first Ani Difranco/Utah Philips collaboration. (I’ve actually seen her do this twice now, so I guess it’s like a thing.) Anyway, my favorite thing was The Press Gang, who put up an impossibly emo young poet named Evan Kennedy, who compulsively kicked the floor with his boot while he read. After the reading, one of the editors high-fived m and then gave me a copy of issue #1 of their ‘zine, vehicular. Then they wanted to come out drinking with us and I wanted them to come but then someone I was with said where we were going wasn’t really that kind of place, and her brother was in town visiting–all of which was true–so we didn’t get to hang out. Next time, next time.
Anyway, the zine, which is photocopied unbound pages tied up with a string, is a split between two writers: J.D. Mitchell-Lumsden and Evan Kennedy. JDM-L makes weird blocks of prose and presents things that look like they are diagrams, or used to be, or maybe will be soon. Kennedy, writing as “Evan Abandoned,” presents a sequence (?) of Bowie/club-kid inspired poems. Despite one poem actually containing the refrain “I am as lonely as a poetry reading,” it’s really interesting work, and I think he’s onto something. Evan’s section of vehicular is entitled “All the Young Dudes,” and here’s a poem from it, which I typed up just for you (I tried to approximate his spacing, but it’s admittedly a best-guess sort of job).
“In a Season of Switchblades”
for Saint Augustine
After an awkward phase, our bodies
became a pleasure to look at;
we got the hint that things were starting
to fill out.
We joined the Wreckers and
received matching coats. We bred
a subtle trouble through the school halls.
Even a little danger loved was death won.
There were the bloody-nosed at the video arcade
and haircuts in the bowling alley bathroom.
On one wall a portrait of Cabeza de Vaca,
another, all the animals he brought.
There were Swishers to smoke and
showers to get the stink off. The Cineplex
was brimming with unheard-of poetries.
The heroes were attributed human sins,
but not ours.
There was the tree we shook
after skinny dipping; pears fell into
mud that was up to our knees. Two eggs
dropped as well, and we palmed them.
BONUS: REFERENCE GUIDE TO EVAN “ABANDONED” KENNEDY’S “IN A SEASON OF SWITCHBLADES.”