Although FC2 feels like something I’ve always known about at a sort of cellular level, the truth (and I use the term loosely) is that I was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, thumbing through new arrivals at the library late one Friday night, when I stumbled across a copy of 98.6.
The four winds, humors, blood types, corners, directions, seasons, the four chambers of the heart, the four chambers of a cow’s stomach, the four-in-hand knot, the four railroads of Monopoly, four eyes, four dead in Ohio, the four speeds of the record player playing quartets, Motown and Moptops.
I first heard about FC2 when I was an editor at Quarterly West, the literary magazine at the University of Utah. We published several of their authors and FC2 would send us books when they were published. Sometime in there I bought Brian Evenson’s The Wavering Knife.
The text is the residue of a nine-month-long performance piece during which I carried out a specially designed three-pronged system for culling and mixing material from more than a decade of my own journaling with tiny bits of other texts, according to a schedule designed to challenge my short-term memory in various ways.
It was in North Carolina of all places. I was in the Army (82nd Airborne Division) wondering what the fuck am I doing here with all these dumb hillbillies. In those days (let’s say it was 1951, I was still very dumb and naive and unprepared for the rest of my life and sentimental and full of complexes, but ready to take on anyone, anything, in those days I would easily do 100 push ups and 200 sit-ups without blinking), anyway, there I was at Fort Bragg with the 82nd wondering how the hell did I get into this shit, and one day, I remember very clearly it was raining cats and dogs and while all the fat ugly hillbillies were getting drunk or playing poker, I went for a long walk alone in the rain.
I would not want to leave the impression that my print books are a less significant part of my total oeuvre. The truth is, my print books, especially those published by FC2, I hold near and dear to my heart. And I think they are multimedia objects too, not just books. They play with the visual interface of the page as well as the sound/audio potential of language. The Amerika-At-War section of The Kafka Chronicles is every bit as multi-media and virtual as my recent DVD/surround sound piece “Chromo Hack” is.