Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"It reads almost like a meditation, or maybe a prose poem – a reflection perhaps." I Am Richard Simmons gets Baby Got Books'd. And likes it. A lot.

It is most cool to see Tim Frederick and the crew at the terrific Baby Got Books not only give a quite kind shout-out to I Am Richard Simmons, but riff on the existential nature of chapbooks in general. For some excerpt please see below and many thanks to Tim, et. al., drinks on us for sure when next we decamp to the Atlanta.

"Nothing left to do but read. And what is I Am Richard Simmons exactly? It’s not a short story, and it’s not poem. It reads almost like a meditation, or maybe a prose poem – a reflection perhaps – on the existential idea of Richard Simmons-ness. Who is Richard Simmons? Why is he like that? What is his deal anyway? Tanzer shows us that these are merely rhetorical questions:

…you know who, & what Richard Simmons really is; Richard Simmons is you.

Damn straight.

So what have we learned? Chapbooks are the punk-rock-7″-singles-that-are-pressed-in-that-one-dude’s-basement-and-passed-around-from-friend-to-friend of the literary world. Chapbooks reflect the DIY ethos of people creating for the love and not for the money. (Where do I buy my Corporate Literature Sucks t-shirt?) Chapbooks are bad ass. But then you knew that already. I was the one who didn’t know what was going on."

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