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Volta is my homage to Wallace Berman.

It’s also an assemblage and a little magazine that’s published whenever I can make it happen.

I named it after James Joyce’s one and only (failed) business venture. It was called The Volta Theater. The Volta was located at 45 Mary Street in Dublin. Opened in 1909, it was Ireland’s very first movie house. Although the very first movie to ever screen in Ireland didn’t take place at The Volta. Which is probably why it failed? I mean it takes a really shitty businessman to open a movie theater in 1909 only to have it fail. Thank goodness. What if The Volta was a success?

Some have even claimed The Volta as myth, as far as it being Ireland’s very first movie house, but that really doesn’t matter, does it?

The first issue of Volta was published in an edition of 50 copies, all of which were sent to the friends, the enemies, and the heroes of the synaesthesia press.

Essentially Volta is a junk shop of sorts, as I take whatever paper scraps I have laying around from completed projects, found scrap paper from thrift stores, and various found objects that I’ve yet to use, and then I just run ’em through one of my presses — after I set the type and proofed it all.

Contents for the first Volta include poems by Bukowski, Brautigan, Litzsky, Denander, and Catlin; there’s one of the many “overs” I had in my archives of the Childish woodcuts that accompanied “The Strangest One of All“, as well as an assemblage / found piece by Jim Pritchard.

John Martin called Volta a “brilliant little piece of publishing”, which made me squeal like a little girl; I squealed a bit louder when he sent me 6 Bukowski poems for future issues.

You can’t buy a copy. It simply arrives at your door.


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Tsaurah Litzky — Blessing Poems


Remember Joe Maynard’s Beet magazine? It was a small gem, published out of Brooklyn, New York, and I think I found a copy one day at Tower Records. Joe did a great job with Beet, and I wish it were still around.

I first stumbled on to Tsaurah Litzsky and her “blessing poems” in Beet. I went nuts over them. They made me laugh a whole lot, and anytime poetry makes me laugh, I want to publish it.

The Blessing Poems was synaesthesia press chapbook #5, and it was published in the late summer/fall of 1996. I remember the book well because it was only halfway done when I moved from Arizona to San Francisco and started graduate school.

I collated and bound the book in a little room I rented for a few months — #419 — at the Mayflower Hotel. The Mayflower’s on Bush Street between Geary and Taylor in San Francisco. There was a hot plate and a small TV, alongside my typewriter, piles of Blessing pages, and a stapler, all crammed on a kitchen table overlooking the city.

What a great view! I was almost on the top of Nob Hill, but I like to refer to that area as “the Tender Nob”. The Mayflower was right off the #29, near the #32, and just blocks from the heart of the ‘loin. I left that room to take a gig managing a residence hotel in the same neighborhood not too long after; I should have just stayed put in that hotel the entire time I lived in SF.

I don’t recall the limitation, but I do recall writing the colophon and ISBN by hand on each book. There’s still a few here, in the archives, that aren’t bound yet. And another synaesthesia press author, A.D. Michele, illustrated the book.

Tsaurah Litzky lives in Brooklyn, in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe this is the reason she says the purpose of her work is to seek the light. She’s been widely published, most notably in the Best American Erotica series.

Tsaurah believes this is the Promised Land.

So do I…even after everything’s that happened since this book was published.