Saturday, June 13, 2009

T-R-O-U-B-L-E !

Every week, barring illness or indolence, we send another of these half-cracked cosmic thwaps out into the aether. Our letter soup bubbles up through your branch of the inter-tubes and, shockingly, some of you read it. Some of you even choose to comment on it. Anything we write that contains a trace of optimistism garners a big response. The rest is largely ignored, though it's inarguably truer and more clear-eyed.

Do that math.

Slow at math? So are we!

But what we think it adds up to is T-R-O-U-B-L-E! What is this obsession with happy endings? It's rough out there, we know. Boy howdy, do we know! And it's tempting to grasp at any straw of hope that's offered... But, honestly, this here is about the shortest and thinnest goddamn straw anyone ever grasped at!

Speaking personally, all of our comforts are stocked on the freezer aisle. We KNOW that Lassie is never coming home. Just like we know that if it was possible to levy a duty on breathing, we'd all be coughing up aspiration tax! And we know that all prospects for survival, over a sufficiently long span of time, fall to zero.

But amongst this unpleasantness remains the possibility of GLORY!!!! If not survival, then thrival! And legendary exploits leading to immortal mythical myths and legends of thrival! "Aye, now there was a bookshop!!!" they shout in the halls of Valhalla! And we're not even gone yet! Dead vikings are notoriously inept with verb tense. But we echo the sentiment!

Perhaps you do too, poor, doomed Spine and Crown customer. Come. Come revel in your transitory, ephemeral nowness! If you fall in battle tomorrow, will you be able to say you read enough? When the crone Fate, Atropos, severs the thread of your life, will you have helped us make enough of our mortgage payments? No, we think not. Come. Shop. Thrive!!!


There was a secret hidden in last week's description of an Edmund Husserl book. A prize was offered to the first respondent, simply for noticing the offer of a prize. No one claimed the reward. And we will never reveal what it was. You snooze, you lose! We suggest reading this week's newsletter v-e-r-y carefully.


This week:

All items mentioned below are first come, first serve. If you want something, let us know post-haste (because they're also for sale on the interweb)! All new items sell for cover price, used items as marked. Sadly, trade credit cannot be used for new items.

Our books are always searchable via ABEbooks.


Hot, Sweet and Blue, Jack Baird.
(Paperback original, out of print)

She was tall and leggy with cloudy black hair, and she sang from inside her, the way Johnny blew his horn. They looked at each other and they never looked away.

But they reckoned without the fact that Lily was a Negro, and the time would come when the music had to stop...

This copy is as fresh as if it just walked off the drugstore spinner-rack, circa 1956.

A beauty!



Artifact, Richard Hell.
(Paperback, out of print)

Sprung full-grown from the thighs of Francesco Clemente and Raymond Foye, Hanuman Books (48 titles, collect them all!) was an art/publishing project for the ages!

These ghouls, masquerading as publishers, would descend upon recently deceased authors and employ a ghastly machine, which they called a "metempsychosatron," to dissect their very brains, messily extracting unpublished, and in some cases, yet undreamt of, manuscripts from the stiffening wordsmiths.

When Richard Hell (Television, Voidoids) approached them volunteering to be their first live subject, Clemente and Foye balked, but only momentarily. Hell was left a twitching husk, but we have this book to remember him by! Clemente and Foye have returned to the pit which spawned them.



The Incompleat Pogo, Walt Kelly.
(Paperback, out of print)

Seriously. Is Pogo the best American newspaper comic ever? Without it, no Calvin and Hobbes. Without it, no Bone. Without it, no movable type, cotton fiber, or sourdough bread! What was the world thinking, allowing this stuff to go out of print? Fantagraphics has some reprints scheduled, but they're years late, and Gary Groth told us a few months ago that the legal hassles delaying the whole project were unpredictable. Get these 1960s collections while we still have 'em!

($7) [Sold]

also available:

Potluck Pogo ($5) [Sold]
Pogo Sunday Parade ($9) [Sold]
Uncle Pogo So-So Stories ($3 - kind of falling apart, sadly) [Sold]


Batman: Year 100
, Paul Pope.

A stylish, hip, libertarian Batman.


Pope sez: "He's someone with the body of David Beckham, the brain of Nikola Tesla, and the wealth of Howard Hughes, who is pretending to be Nosferatu."

It's pretty good Batman.

($10) [Sold]


Selected Letters of Stéphane Mallarmé
, Rosemary Lloyd, ed.

Devotee of Baudelaire, friend to Yeats, Rilke, and Verlaine.

to Léo d'Orfer, 27 June 1884

It's a real punch, momentarily blinding, that abrupt demand of yours: "Define Poetry." Bruised, I stutter:

Poetry is the expression, in human language restored to its essential rhythm, of the mysterious meaning of the aspects of existence: in this way it confers authenticity on our time on earth and constitutes the only spiritual task there is.

Farewell, but you owe me an apology.


($15) [Sold]


Joshua Beckman at Open Books, June 16th

Joshua is a fine, fine poet- and an engaging, generous spirit, as well! It can only profit you to attend, and could potentially cause your limbs to wither should you choose not to!


Everything's turning into a pile of shit.

Especially this.


Goat tower!


# of weeks since Spine and Crown inception: 188

# of weeks since inception that no mention of Spine and Crown has appeared in the print edition of The Stranger: 188


Blogger comradebunny said...

Don't feel too bad - the John and Summit Park to be only got press when it looked like it would fail. We got $150K from the city and does The Stranger care? Nope. If you go mad, quarrel endlessly with the neighbors, or the biz fails horribly, you'll probably get press. Perhaps the continuing lack of press for Spine and Crown in The Stranger is for the best.

3:25 PM  
Blogger comradebunny said... - The Stranger doesn't love you, but the rest of us do. Thanks for the lovely blog!

3:41 PM  
Blogger K. said...

Much appreciated!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Uncle Vinny said...

I'm bummed to see that your Pogo books sold out already! Ah well, gotta be quicker on the draw...

11:28 AM  
Blogger K. said...

those things move!

12:10 PM  

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