Unlikely 2.0

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Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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prurient anarchic omnibus
Gabriel Ricard reviews the book and interviews the author

prurient anarchic omnibus"Autobiographical" is one way to get a handle on the surreal, overwhelming journey that encompasses j/j hastain's prurient anarchic omnibus. There a number of words running through the mind when you finish reading the book. Perhaps it's easiest to describe it as a surreal, abstract memoir mixed with observation and cultural commentary. Autobiography and memoir spring to mind, because it's clear that hastain's imprint is on every single page of prose and photography. You can't write lines like those found in the book's wonderful preface without some deeply personal history behind every single word. It's impossible to embrace without connecting to complex ideas about sexuality, biology, personal evolution and what that does to the immediate world around us.

Then there's the style of the prose itself. No one would work at constructing such a subversively elaborate approach to the framing of the language without absolute conviction. Not necessarily complicated, it contains a very potent personality with intricacies that are entirely separate from the words themselves. It almost feels at times like the style of the book is a separate entity from the words. The two entities come together, and the result is something that pushes your perception of things like gender and sexuality and brings you well away from what you think to know. That's a lot to ask, but hastain seems confident that you'll hang in there for anything thrown at you, or any of your views that are challenged. Being challenged like that can be wonderful for a reader. You don't have to necessarily like the imagery, views and poetic method of hastain to get something from this book. Chances are you will enjoy the layered visuals and unwavering honesty of prurient anarchic omnibus, but it won't be a complete loss if you don't.

It's almost as important in a work like this to keep in mind its ambition and the sincerity of that ambition. hastain believes with complete, concrete conviction in the ride we are taken on. To date hastain has worked extensively as a teacher, performer, musician and writer. This is not their first book, but it's impossible to shake the sense that here more is being put up for grabs than in anything hastain has written so far. The idea of going for broke is never implicitly stated, and it doesn't need to be. Love, death, rebirth take physical form and stand as the speakers of this long prose piece, broken only when the phrase, "dear weaver of disparates," appears on a single page.

The density of prurient anarchic omnibus doesn't end there. More creativity and potential for that creativity to express itself exists between the spaces of love, death, rebirth and everything else hastain weaves in a hundred-and-twenty-eight pages of startling, bizarre photography and words that construct a decidedly unique lyrical narrative. It doesn't appear to be lyrical at times. There is nonetheless a very distinct rhythm and tone that stay a consistent course. "Dear weaver of disparates," almost feels like a chorus.

You can look at it that way. If not, you can simply take prurient anarchic omnibus as a weird, beautiful ride into parts of the world that we may not be familiar with. hastain, on the other hand, appears to be complete control of those places as our raconteur and master of surrealist ceremonies. That isn't the same as being at ease. hastain may know where we're going, but that doesn't mean they knows what's going to happen as the last words of the book trail off into darkness. This is a flight that begins and ends on the page but doesn't necessarily end in spirit. hastain is aware of this. The thought is expressed numerous times throughout. Because although everything might be on the line here, that doesn't mean the ride begins on page one and ends at one-twenty-eight. This is where evolution and biology come into play. Things change. Organization falls apart and gives way to new organization, and then that falls apart to make way for the next thing. Or perhaps the next thing borrows from something in the distant past to create a time and place within ourselves that is then expressed in the times and places around us. This is something hastain writes about extensively here. The world in five, ten or twenty years is dreamed of here. prurient anarchic omnibus wonders where hastain will be in that time and what kind of person might come of the experiences that occur. A lot of those experiences are relayed in this book along with a host of thoughts, hopes and beliefs. This brings us right back to the idea of this being a memoir.

Only it's not a memoir as we tend to know the concept. If you have to look at it in traditional means (although hastain doesn't seem to be all that concerned with traditional means—indeed they seems committed to breaking down as many conventional brick walls as possible), then consider prurient anarchic omnibus as part one of an ongoing life story. Part two will be whatever hastain comes up with next. It might be in the form of more photography. It could be another book of long verse. On the other hand it could be like this book and seek to utilize both. It's possible hastain knows no better than we do what part two might be. The next chapter might be something completely different from what we've been shown thus far. hastain is committed above all else to taking the past and present to create as many different avenues for the future as possible. Along the way those venues, whether they deal in love, sex, death, change, growth, consequence, travel or anything else will be expressed in works like this one. prurient anarchic omnibus is not the easiest realization of that kind of ambition, but it's one of the most compelling. You have to admire that if nothing else. Start at that admiration if at all possible. It could be the way you begin to appreciate the book's creative merits. Those can be pretty impressive, too.

Click for the interview...