Crusade 77

(spam poem by Edward Desautels) we spoke a barbarian tongue on the stage where swarms confined us in silks and reckless cloth of gold the world gazed and applauded engaged in pitiful longing for the cross and compass for the reckless men like poison we believed in all that was necessary in the seriousness of…

Manifesto: Maximalist Expressionism, or “Shut/-/Up(!) Fiction”

Several years ago, some fictioneer colleagues and I considered the idea of founding a small press. When asked what, precisely, we intended to publish, I answered, “Maximalist-Expressionist fiction,” a term both satisfactorily accurate and sensibly vague. Almost simultaneously a colleague responded, “Shut up fiction.” Much more to the point, wouldn’t you say? Especially when written…

The Decline of Labor

(spam poem by Edward Desautels) we'd saved our lives more than once by degrees we came to understand arithmetical problems and the drawn white faces crawling on hands and knees sentenced and banished like Vallandigham we groped about to please our counsel "we want to make a very careful choice" "we want to comment upon…

A Word on Spam Poetry

A few years back, while attending the &Now conference on innovative writing at Lake Forest College in Chicago, I was introduced to the concept of spam poetry. For some, this exercise simply takes the form of a kind of poetic version of Duchamp's "found object": take the spam email and, without reshaping it in any…