Lit Mag Festival at Housing Works

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe – 126 Crosby St, New York, NY

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IMG_0366For moi, the CLMP’s 15th Annual Literary Magazine Festival was a whirligig of amusements, a fountain of delights, a veritable beetle colony exposed to the sunlight. Sigh. What a beautiful arrangement of literary eye candy. The heart could not ask for more.

On one side, Confrontation and Bodega, on the other, Tin House and A Public Space, on yet another  n+1, Armchair/Shotgun and The Newer York. Not to mention such luminaries as The Georgia Review, Slice, and the New England Review, among others. Such a plethora 0f distractions for an overwhelmed biped such as myself.

I spoke briefly to a very nice human representing Diverse Voices Quarterly. Without pause I attempted to barter for a publication credit with a slab of raw london broil I had smuggled onto the premises. Ah, but she was too smart for me. Touche, mademoiselle. Until we meet again.IMG_0373

Accosted the lovely editors of Bodega magazine at a table from which, they grudgingly admitted, they were barred from escaping. When they were not looking I tried to enter the address of this blog into their open laptop, but to no avail. Blast these freakish digits! If only they were not stubby, each of them, as a prime cut of Polish kielbasa sausage. I was discovered before I could bring my little plan to culmination. They are sharp as bamboo switches, these literary folk.

On the streets of SoHo outside Housing Works bookstore, found myself surrounded on all sides by sunhat-wearing hordes, mocassined masses, and boat shoe-loving bourgeousie. Is this what so many of my human friends mean when they refer contemptuously to a “mall?” From what I have gathered, this “mall” of which they speak, a phenomenon of the middle-to-late 20th century, is characterized by bemused crowds of culturally-sensitive, upwardly-mobile wanderers, widely known by their fondness for carrying large shopping bags full of bespoke goods. SoHo seems to fit this description to a T. But why turn a large swath of downtown Manhattan into a so-called “mall?” Wasn’t it a perfectly good residential neighborhood at one time? Perhaps this is another example of my woeful cultural insensitivity. I digress.

Concluded my literary iliad of the weekend at Berle’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, where I was welcomed, somewhat hesitantly, by a gaggle of pale fellows and ladies sporting ironic haircuts. There, a thoroughly provocative reading closed out the Popsickle 5 festival. Ah, how I love the summer.

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