Off the Morgan Avenue stop on the L train, one finds oneself in an intriguing neighborhood of Brooklyn, a shrub-less territory, ironically dubbed Bushwick. Aha! I thought to myself after mounting the steps of the subway. Unless he was a candle salesman, the enterprising Dutchman of yore who likely christened this place had a sense of humor. What was once an industrial hinterland, an ominous urban jungle, has matured into an industrial Middle Earth, a mustache-friendly jungle of the “cool.”
The last time I was here I discovered a teddy bear dangling from a power line over Bogart Street. Thankfully, no such grisliness manifested on this occasion.
In the midst of this gentrifying wonderland, we find ourselves at Mellow Pages Library for the second anniversary of English Kills Review, founded by book maven about town, Ian MacAllen. These days one must plunge his feathered head into a sand dune in order to remain ignorant of Msr. MacAllen’s literary journalism and online missives, English Kills not least among them. In an ironic twist, MacAllen describes his creation, which regularly reviews and promotes local literary events and publications, as a “narcissistic” venture. In that case, dear reader, join me in demanding more selfishness all around! We shan’t stop until we drown in ourselves!
Fiction writers Alex Norcia (of Slant) and Melissa Swantkowski (lovely editor of Bodega Magazine) joined poets including the lunar priestess Dana Jaye Cadman (@DanaJaye) and sardonic savant Melissa Adamo (@adamopoeting). After the reading, I was giddy with satisfaction and excitement. Mlle. Adamo even let me touch her program! Earthly bliss is within our reach, readers.
Since the reading room was not quite large enough to accommodate a chap of my stature, I stood on the curb and poked my head in through the open window. No one seemed in the least disturbed, a blessing I attribute to the magnetic and mesmerizing performances by the night’s readers. Bravo, all. Now let’s seek out that no-good scoundrel, Mr. English…