NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
Nake-Lunch-in-passing

William S. Burroughs lived in New Orleans from 1948 – 1949, when he was arrested for possession of drugs, elected to not stand trial, and moved with his wife (who he would later shoot in the head) and young son to Mexico City. Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road famously includes a visit to “Old Bull Lee,” a world-weary gentleman junky in New Orleans who represents Burroughs, but the following passage from Burroughs’ Naked Lunch strikes me as much more appropriate in the post-BP spill, Cancer Alley age. Like the “In Passing” excerpt from Blood Meridian, the characters in this excerpt breeze in and out of New Orleans onto adventures afar, but the harrowing description of the city and its surroundings sticks to the reader like bad humidity.

++

Came at last to Houston where I know a druggist. I haven’t been there in five years but he looks up and makes me with one quick look and just nods and says: “Wait over at the counter …”

So I sit down and drink a cup of coffee and after a while he comes and sits beside me and says, “What do you want?”

“A quart of PG and a hundred nembies.”

He nods. “Come back in half an hour.”

So when I come back he hands me a package and says, “That’s fifteen dollars … Be careful.”

Shooting PG is a terrible hassle, you have to burn out the alcohol first, then freeze out the camphor and draw this brown liquid off with a dropper—have to shoot it in the vein or you get an abscess, and usually end up with an abscess no matter where you shoot it. Best deal is to drink it with goof balls … So we pour it in a Pernod bottle and start for New Orleans past iridescent lakes and orange gas flares, and swamps and garbage heaps, alligators crawling around in broken bottles and tin cans, neon arabesques of motels, marooned pimps scream obscenities at passing cars from islands of rubbish …

New Orleans is a dead museum. We walk around Exchange Place breathing PG and find The Man right away. It’s a small place and the fuzz always knows who is pushing so he figures what the hell does it matter and sells to anybody. We stock up on H and backtrack for Mexico.

Back through Lake Charles and the dead slot-machine country, south end of Texas, nigger-killing sheriffs look us over and check the car papers. Something falls off you when you cross the border into Mexico, and suddenly the landscape hits you straight with nothing between you and it, desert and mountains and vultures; little wheeling specks and others so close you can hear wings cut the air (a dry husking sound), and when they spot something they pour out of the blue sky, that shattering bloody blue sky of Mexico, down in a black funnel … Drove all night, came at dawn to a warm misty place, barking dogs and the sound of running water.

Hand-in-Glove Conference Guide

Hand in Glove Conference Guide
Essay by Amy Mackie, edited by Bob Snead, designed by Erik Keisewetter

This beautiful book, designed and printed by Erik Kiesewetter of Constance for the Hand-in-Glove Conference, includes a guide to all of the conference happenings Oct 17-20, 2013, an informative map of the artist run spaces on and around St. Claude Ave, and an extensive essay by Amy Mackie about the history of self organized contemporary art [...]

Photo by Sophie Lvoff in WE'RE PREGNANT

We’re Pregnant
Words by Nathan Martin. Photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano.

We’re Pregnant is a chapbook of short fiction by Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin along with photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano. The book contains three of Martin’s short stories—which explore in morbid fashion anxieties related to sex, disease, marriage, and childbirth—with images inspired by the stories from each of the photographers.

final_cover (2)

The People Is Singular
Poems by Andy Young and Photographs by Salwa Rashad

The People Is Singular, by local poet Andy Young and Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, is a personal response to the Egyptian Revolution. Rashad’s vision includes everyday people—Muslims and Christians, young and old, the foregrounded and the peripheral. Her perspective is from inside the events as they unfolded. Andy Young, a New Orleans poet married to [...]

curtain_optional (2)

Curtain Optional
by Brad and Jim Richard

In both poetry and prose, Brad Richard explores the influence of his father’s work on his own, as well as the experience of growing up as the son of an artist while becoming an artist himself. Jim Richard is a professor of painting at the University of New Orleans and has exhibited at the Solomon [...]

howtorebuild

How to Rebuild a City
Edited by Anne Gisleson & Tristan Thompson w/ design and artistic direction by Catherine Burke

Beautifully designed, sometimes fun, always informative, How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a work in Progress, is a reflection of the many ways that New Orleanians have realized our way towards recovery, actively and creatively engaging with our communities.

bitterink

Bitter Ink
by Brian Zeigler & Raymond “Moose” Jackson

BBoth originally from Detroit, cousins Brian Zeigler and Raymond “Moose” Jackson began collaborating while Brian was harboring Moose in Vermont during Katrina evacuation. While their doodling proclivities may have made them rustbelt exiles from the rest of their autoworker family, together they produce seductive aphorisms of wit and weirdness that provoke, confound and celebrate a [...]