"One" Poetry Journal Logo



I love One’s publishing model: they allow just one submission per poet and they only release an issue when they’ve received 21 poems they like…no matter how long it takes for that to happen. Their idea appears to be working. They are releasing new issues every 3–5 months and the quality is consistently high.

I’ve been giving online periodical publication models a lot of thought as I work on my own not-so-secret project. I decided to go with a rolling publication and retrospective, collected, seasonal “issues,” but the question of where to draw the line between issues in online publications has many possible answers. I like the quantitative solution. In fact, my last idea was to create a publication (Centumism) based on the idea of 10 works per “issue” published 10 times per year. But I was worried about maintaining quality. It never occurred to me to simply dispense with the date-based model altogether.

Simple Bookbinding Plough

This looks like the simplest way for the cheap, garage-free, do-it-yourselfer to plough (trim) little handmade chapbooks and such, which will come in handy for a future secret(ish) project:

First, the base:

DIY Ploughing. Tools needed

DIY Ploughing: Preparation for plough

Note the updated (and simpler) blade—an Olfa MCB-1 Mat-Cutting blade—with a quick DIY epoxy putty handle:

DIY plough version 2.0 : Underside view

Which you can see in action:

DIY plough version 2.0 plouging

There’s even a video:

Brian Koppelman on David Foster Wallace

From The Moment, an interview with David Lipsky

[00:31:20] I could see how spending five days with David Foster Wallace who, I have to say, my wife and son talk about being in our apartment the day that Wallace died. I went to our computer—it was still a desktop computer in the kitchen—and the thing came up that David Foster Wallace was dead…and to my wife and son, all they heard—they were just mind their own—it was super early in the morning because I get up super early—and they just heard me scream “Fuck!” They said the loudest—they were sure that an intimate had died.

[00:31:55] I think about David Foster Wallace every day—I didn’t know him—I think about him every day. Because he was the guy out there in the world describing it to me. He was—I would walk around and I’d be in an airport—or I’d be—I could be at a beach, I could be at a bookstore—and something would happen and I would turn to Amy or my creative partner Dave—because we’re together all the time—and I would say, “God, don’t you wish Wallace were here to describe that. Or to dive into that. Or to tell us—” And he was the guy out there—you know that guy at the best restaurant in the world, they say, Noma, Rene, that chef who’s in this restaurant in Scandinavia somewhere…he forages. And all the other chefs love him because this guy will go and find this little patch of land in between two highways that has a weird thing growing and he’ll pick it and he’ll bring it back and cook it and present it in a way nobody else could. […] And people all around the world go and you can’t get into his restaurant for a year. But to me that’s what Dave—Dave went out there and he found this stuff and he showed it to me in a way I never would have seen it and I felt like he was talking just to me.

Don’t Watch

You know those services that will cheerfully tell you every time someone unfollows or unfriends you on various social media services? Run away. Because here’s what will happen: you’ll routinely discover those blessedly-otherwise-hidden times that you’ve been nuked. Even without such evil services to notify you, it goes something like:

  1. Try to DM a colleague/friend on Twitter. Discover you’ve been unfollowed so you can’t.
  2. Go to their site and discover you’ve been removed from their blogroll.
  3. Look at a recent thread you commented on and discover that even some of your recent comments have disappeared.
  4. Despair.

Removing someone from a blogroll makes sense when they hardly blog anymore and only self-indulgently. But you know this runs deep when someone unfollows you on Twitter despite the fact that you barely post at all and when even your simple, non-antagonistic comments no longer get approved.

I am, apparently, a delicate flower.

“For Real” (Okkervil River)

Lyrics of the moment:

Some nights I thirst for real blood
For real knives
For real cries


Sometimes the blood from real cuts
Feels real nice
When it’s really mine


It’s just a drive into the dark stretch
Long stretch of night
Will really stretch this shaking mind
And this room, unlit, unheated
And the ceiling striped
And the dark black blinds


Cause there’s nothing quite like the blinding light
That curtains cast aside
And no attempt is made to explain away
The things that really, really, really, really, really are behind

You can’t hide

—from “For Real” by Okkervil River

July 28, 2015

I understand now, more than ever, why David Foster Wallace spent most of his last weeks eating his mother’s casseroles and watching television. I understand now, more than ever, why severely depressed people find themselves avidly seeking the entertainments of their youth.

Specifically, I find myself in search of the intensely but unclearly remembered. The things I have yet to revisit. Not the old favorites I’ve returned to again and again, the movies who dialogue I mouth as I watch and the books whose best lines I drop into my conversation and letters.

When I’m merely sad or in the midst of “routine” depression, I look to old favorites from my youth at various ages, Cummings and Keats, classic sci-fi, British mysteries, The Lord of the Rings in book and movie form. The comfort is in the consistent rewards each of these give in their own way, sometimes in the story, sometimes specific words or lines.

But when things get bad, when I’m somehow simultaneously empty and filled with darkness, I look for familiar strangers. I crave, suddenly, episodes of Magnum P.I. and that thriller novel where the protagonist suffers from an irregular heartbeat and is always waiting for the unending gap between one clench of his heartfist and the next.

I want these not for anything anyone else will find in their pages and scenes—it seems unlikely anyone else could benefit from watching Murder She Wrote or thumbing the pages of the thick 1977 paperback edition of the Guinness Book of World Records—but for myself. Literally. I’m trying to find the person I was then, untainted by the intervening years. And if I can’t find him, perhaps I can—for a few merciful minutes—experience something the same way. Or even just remember, at a remove, how I felt things then before I was filled with anhedonic shadows.

But it becomes harder and harder to find these entertainments. Harder to remember them. Harder to find a way into them. And what happens when I run out of them? What happens when I run out? What happens when there’s nothing left?

I’ll Be Watching The End of the Tour Too

David Foster Wallace’s family and widow have denounced The End of the Tour. That’s causing an ethical quandary for many hardcore DFW fans who are torn between the family’s wishes and their understandable desire to see the movie. Not me. I’ll be seeing the film (which might be a long, long time. Sigh.) for very much the same reasons elaborated upon in this post by Michael Moats.

Ian McKellan Reading from Sir Thomas More

If you like Sir Ian McKellan and Shakespeare, you’ll probably enjoy McKellan’s performance of More’s speech as written by Shakespeare (in his contribution to Sir Thomas More) toward the end of his appearance on the WTF podcast. The play as a whole is uneven, and Shakespeare’s contribution relatively small, but it packs a punch, as in this bit from the section McKellan recited:

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to th’ ports and costs for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

And if the one-on-one conversation and face-to-face performance doesn’t change Maron’s mind about Shakespeare, there’s no hope for him. But that’s OK…Maron has a real knack at getting into the genuine with his guests (in contrast to Chris Hardwick’s terrible McKellan interview on The Nerdist from the same week in which McKellan wasn’t necessarily enthusiastic, but Hardwick’s smug unctuousness did nothing to bring him around).