Ye olde portfolio site, after many years of unflagging service, has been put out to pasture.

There's a
holding site up now.

(courtesy of the talented Ben Pieratt)





I'll announce when the new site is up.

In the meantime- if you
have to look at book covers then click here.

If you wanna see more of them:
look at these.

And much more importantly, if you wanna see EVERYBODY'S jackets:
check it


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A new interview, with James Morrison at
Caustic Cover Critic.


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Strays





Single letters, unannounced and unaccompanied, have been showing up like wayward orphans at my door of late. First came this "P," which appeared, enigmatically, in my bedroom. And when I transferred it to my office door, it picked up a companion- a blue underdot just as mysteriously. This small addition effected the creation of the neatest logotype imaginable for...me? This logotype, which I never would have been able to concoct on my own, combines my first initial with both a question mark and an exclamation point, and that seems just about right.

Then along came "X."

First, the whole
Salomon Kalou kerfuffle. The Ivorian Chelsea striker celebrated a goal at Middlesborough by crossing his arms into an "X" sign, thereby expressing his feelings about such disparate causes as: the plight of his compatriot the embattled writer Antoine Assalé Tiémoko; the closing of Guantanamo Bay(Camp "X-ray"); support for a variety of prisoners, political and otherwise, (the crossed hands equalling cuffs); and/or his love (as Russell Brand would have it) of Trebors X-tra Strong Mints...

This was followed by the
Blackwater rebranding itself as Xe, though the "e" seems unimportant and afterthought-like. (This "Xe," in typical, elliptical Blackwater fashion, should evidently be pronounced "Zee." So, why not "Z" you ask? Why the war in Iraq, why George W. Bush ("W!") why covert renditions...why indeed.)

...and...

"X's" abound in a wonderful book just sent to me by Princeton Architectural Press:

THERE'S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT DESIGN by David Barringer



in which the author tells us (in a truly virtuoso essay)
everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about the letter/symbol "X," including the fact that it stands for both
everything and nothing, a point that harmonizes nicely with what I had already learned during Salomon Kalou's ill-advised goal celebration. You can buy it here if so inclined (and you should be!).

(and while we're on the topic of letters and goal celebrations... remember Larry Johnson's "L" gesture during his four-point play against the Pacers in '99? I do.)

ANYHOO... on to "E..."

and check out this bad boy that showed up in my mail this afternoon courtesy of one Mr. Jason Fulford:



Indeed my mind HAS been blown, as I read Plutarch, and delved deep into the hieratic nature of the "E." Suffice it to say that this "E" is as semantically, philosophically, symbolically rich as any letter can claim to be. I'll never look at the fifth letter of the alphabet the same way again. So thanks for that Jason. And for the rest of you, if you don't mind reading sentences such as "
The dragonessa's sidekick was Hera's spite-child, the monstrous Typhoeus" then you can read this piece on the "E" at Delphi.

P's out.


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Pick up Caleb Crain's
THE WRECK OF THE HENRY CLAY,


A chapbook of his posts from STEAMBOATS

"When the electromagnetic-pulse device is detonated, I will be the only blogger in America with backup."

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Efficiency

Christophe, who runs Rotorelief, and I have hilariously broken conversations on the phone- he in France, me in NY. However we always seem to be on the same page when it comes to our graphic sensibilities. When he decided to reissue the complete works of Vivenza, the singly-named noise artist whose works came to prominence in the eighties, he used one word to describe what he wanted out of the record sleeves: "efficiency." I'm not completely sure I understand what he means by this word, if he is mistranslating, or simply wants the sleeves to use the fewest possible elements- but in any case, these (below) are the upshot. (N.B. for those of you who have contacted me wanting to buy the posted records- they take a while to ship overseas, and as Christophe is a small business owner, it behooves him to ship in bulk. The records that will be available for public purchase at the end of the month are ETHER, P.231 & Lt. Caramel, P.231 & Vox Populi, the first of the Vivenzas and the M.B. record. The others will be rolling in over the summer. So contact Christophe if you want'em- or contact me and I'll see what I can do! They are limited editions so hurry)












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Recall

I'm working with a young Russian poet, Vera Pavlova on a new collection for next Spring. She is incredible, and something of a superstar in her native country. We have decided to print an entire poem on the front-of-jacket, and chances are it is going to be this one. This poem has become something of a koan for me over the past week. There is something very enigmatic and Heart Sutra-like at the poem's core. (I need to remember to ask if "recall" has the same dual-meaning in Russian as in English.)


If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.

—Vera Pavlova

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