Next Left Press

As an author whose book was released through a small publisher, at the start, I was worried about what kind of quality my eventual book would have. I don’t mean the words that I put into it, I mean the aesthetics of it. You can’t read small press authors without picking up on the fact that there are some pretty good books out saddled with lazily-designed covers and the same pupil-numbing sans serif font used for everything inside. Adage be damned, a book’s appearance can entice or repulse potential readers, and sometimes a well-designed book can be an art object all its own. Mine isn’t necessarily, but I know somebody who has made several.

Geoff Munsterman, who designed Northern Dandy, made a beautiful book out of what otherwise would have just been “zachb_collection.rtf” sitting on my desktop. He got a gorgeous, thematic image for the cover, designed and arranged the title around it, and even kept its color scheme in line with the other collections Sapiosexual has released.

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His artful design touches are all over the thing — inside as well. It’s faint in the picture, but there’s a cursive shadow beneath every title. Classy! I didn’t give him any guidelines for the interior, it didn’t even occur to me, but he put a wonderful amount of thought into it. When I’m at a reading I need to dress up to look as good as this book. Geoff’s book designs are swanky enough to meet the dress code at Commander’s Palace.

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Geoff Munsterman, and his chapbook operation Next Left Press, have been severely hit by the recent flooding in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. He’s lost the vast majority of his bookmaking supplies, thread and paper, to say nothing of the numerous books in his personal collection. If any of you are in the market for poetry manuscript critiques, design work, or considering putting out a hand-bound chapbook, I’d urge you to get in touch with him. He has done amazing work for my friends and I, and I would not be nearly as excited about being an author if the book I’m pushing didn’t look as good as he made it.

You can see more examples of his work at http://www.nextleftpress.com/ and get in contact with him at nextleftpress@gmail.com.

Better Moans and Gardens

I don’t usually do the confessional thing, but this was too fun not to share with the Esoterotica crowd. . .

Personally, I’ve never seen the appeal of having sex in the woods. There’s itchy pine needles all over the blankets, no easy access to brunch the following morning, plus we’d have to tie the used condoms up in a tree so that bears couldn’t get to them.

Besides, being alone in the wilderness would eliminate my single biggest turn-on when it comes to doing it outside: the risk of being seen. So my preferred venue has become other people’s yards.

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Rhode Island Limericks

Here’s a handful of the limerick series I penned to help drag the form out from Nantucket’s shadow. Sure Rhode Island’s poetic representatives aren’t as physically impressive as their northern neighbor, but they probably have great personalities!

There once was a man from Warren
Whose sexual acts were quite borin’.
He hooked up with a chick
who was narcoleptic,
so he didn’t wake her while performin’.

There was once a young fellow from Coventry
who could not help from falling in love with me.
Didn’t want to be rude
since I’m not in to dudes,
so we only made out one time… okay, three.

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You Can’t Fire Me, I Hit It & Quit It

This was written on short notice for Esoterotica’s NSFW-themed show, so it went a little…base, let’s say…with its humor. But I never liked cream sauces anyway.

Nocturnal Admissions: You Can’t Fire Me, I Hit It & Quit It
By Zach Bartlett

I would have known that Warren was a chef, even if most of his stories didn’t involve coke at some point, because he always wore those houndstooth-patterned pants. He scheduled his appointments right after his shifts so that he’d be sure to have a good hour of coked-up lucidity before he had to pass out for the morning. Mostly we deal with his job-related stress, but last night was the first time we dealt with some relationship trouble.

“I need to find a new gig, that’s what’s pissing me off,” he began.

“I thought things were going well? You work with your dealer.”
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