A brief history of sleeping fishes in the cancer castle housing Ever Abeokuta
7/16/23 : In reading 4 the next Sleepingfish 20th anniversary issue, we D-sided 2 revisit past issues 2 recruit folks + also perhaps 2 republish sum pieces. Az we mine thru 'em we might blog hear w/ extra material, a sorta Where Are They Now? upd8. In issue zer0 (witch is out of print, but u can read the entire issue online), there's folks weave lost touch with, like Petra Backonja, who doesn't seam 2 halve much of an Inurnet presence now (brava!).
Petra, if ur out there, please submit!
Petra Backonja piece from issue zer0
Others, like Jukka-Pekka Kervinen halve bin doing more music than 2D art, witch wood of bin gr8 4 the mixtape cassette issue.
Weed like 2 recruit Guy Beining, who was in a few early Sleepingfish issues, but that wood involve sending him a (dead-tree-based) letter or postcard, az he has no email (we used 2 have 2 send physical proofs via snail mail). Again, bravo! Carlos M. Luis, who we also collabor8ed on 2 chapbooks with, died in 2013... maybe wheel inkloot a piece or 2 that are hanging on our walls, that nvr got publiched. Other ppl may sleep w/ the fishes w/o us even knowing, sad 2 think about, but at least they've bin immortalized in Sleepingfish. Also souprizing how many ppl have changed their emails + u can't contact them (unless u stayed connected on social media) or if u find 'em on Inurnet it says 2 contact them thru their agents. 1 such person's agent responded 2 ask how much we pay. There's work by our bedder-½ + our one photos of street art from pre-Maphattan Project flâneuring, but that was incestuous/nepotistic, rite? However, may-B wheel inkloot our dead brother's piece from issue zer0, which got repurposed in2 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY'. Peter Markus was also in the 1st issue, + The Singing Fish was the 1st Ↄalamari perfect-bound book.... that makes 3 book projex that stemmed from this 1st issue. That's really what Sleepingfish is about, the Ↄalamari farm team. Brandon Hobson was also in this issue zer0 (we'd then publish his 1st book + he'd go on 2 receive a Guggenheim fellowship + B a finalist for the Natl Book Award).
Onword 2 issue 2, which per Zeno we #ed 0.5 to demonstr8 u can only reach ½ of ½ of ½-way, ad ∞ (tho we gave up this zenotic scheme @ issue 0.9375). Again, issue 0.5 is out of print, but 1 can read the PDF online... we considered weather 2 keep these issues in print via POD, but perhaps this wouldn't B true 2 their DiY chapbook origins? Robert Lopez appeared in this 2nd issue, but we can't reprint those pieces in the new issue, could we, az he's now co-editor? Issue 0.5 was more about art + flash fiction (the 1st issue we let sum versed "poetry" slip in) + also vispo + street art (+ perhaps a bit heavy-handed on D-zine elements). B-sides BroLo's book, another project that stemmed from 0.5 was P.S. At Least We Died Trying to Make You in the Backseat of a Taxidermist. Thurston Moore was also in this issue. We were told that Scott Helmes (who was in this issue) died this past January. MayB others weave lost touch with sleep w/ the sleepingfishes.
These 1st 2 issues we printed + stapled by hand in our apartment in Hell's Kitchen.
Sleepingfish 0.75 was the 1st perfect-bound issue, by this point we were living in the West Village near Washington Square. It's also out of print, but available as dbook (we tried to set it up as POD, but wood halve had 2 make 2 many modifications + again, perhaps best 2 let Sleepingfish sleep w/ the fishes? There was a feature on Mexican visual poetry curated by Brian Whitener.
Victor Sulser (from Sleepingfish 0.75)
Joshua Cohen was also in this issue, the same Cohen who has since gone on to win a Pulitzer prize. David-Baptiste Chirot appeared in this issue, he died in 2021... maybe we'll inkloot sum other work of his in the 20th anniversary issue 5ince we have a stash of his work he sent us that we had plans 2 make a book of. Michael Peters' Vaast Bin came from this issue 0.75, as did Michael Boyko's The Hours Sets + George Belden's Land of the Snow Men.
page from Land of the Snow Men in Sleepingfish 0.75
By issue 0.875 we were living in the East Village (after a brief stint above the pickle factory in the Lower East Side (+ below kids that liked to play volley ball @ 2 a.m. listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive)). Robert Lopez joined us as co-editor 4 this issue + it features a cover by Eduardo Recife, whose fonts we used in this + many other issues of Sleepingfish + Ↄalamari books. Justin Torres was 1st published in issue 0.875 + has since won many accolades + awards + by coincidence the movie version of his We the Animals was directed by Jeremiah Zagar, who we knew when he was a newborn baby (he is the brother of our good childhood friend Zeke Zagar). Small whirled.
John Olson's The Night I Dropped Shakespeare on the Cat sprung from this issue. Issue 0.875 contributor Noah Eli Gordon died a few years ago, we're still working on bringing his Subito Press books back 2 life... we sent them boxes, now they just need 2 put the boox in the boxes + send 'em back. 1 of these Subito Books is by Trevor Dodge, who was also in issue 0.875.
By issue 0.9375, we were living 50 blocks south of here, on 74th + CPW. The cover was by Irana Douer. It featured more work by Noah Eli Gordon (a collaboration w/ Joshua Marie Wilkinson). 0.9375 contributor Daniel Borzutzky went on to win a National Book Award in 2016. Contributors to issue 0.9375 that went on to publish books w/ Ↄalamari inkloot Blake Butler + J'Lyn Chapman.
At this point—az we approached (but cd nvr reach) 1.000—we changed our #ing scheme (issue #0.96875 wd halve bin confusing)... witch doesn't mean we're done reminiscing about Sleepingfish, but wheel revisit the rest of the issues L8er.
IRL, putting the finishing touches on our nu apartment @ 455 CPW. Hung most of the art + built more cases + shelved all the books, tho still dealing w/ Gothic Cabinet Craft 4 a refund 4 bookcases they never delivered on. We're never shore how 2 organize books, part of it has 2 do w/ size, which shelves the books will fit on + then sort of loosely associ8ed, we guess. The other day we sewed a fringe 2 a Dogon textile that weave had 4 4ever (sin¢e we went to Mali in 2009) 2 turn it in2 a rug... we wanted 2 borrow our friend's sewing machine 2 do a bedder job, but got impatient + ended up sewing it by h& (after all, we are a DiY casalingo).
retrazos (what's left on the cutting room floor)... speaking of Carlos M. Luis
Weave got new work (from U/X)( in the new Perspektive issue 114, which looks cool, from what we can read (it's in German except 4 our piece), für alle Interessierten haben wir ein paar zusätzliche exemplare, die wir Ihnen kostenlos zusenden. We also have an extra copy of Oyez Review #50, free to the 1st person that asks.
Books weave red the last week or 2:
The Ask by Sam Lipsyte—started to read it b4 realizing we red it already
Ignorance by Milan Kundera—both this + The Ask we found in free book boxes + they've bin in our 2-read pile which we've bin trying to clear 2 make more shelfspace, started 2 read Ignorance b/c Kundera died the other day, but didn't dig it az much az we member liking his other books in college
Sound of Culture by Louis Chude-Sokei—so far so good (50 or 75 pages into it... only can read so much @ 1 time), about parallels between technology + slavery
Movies weave watched in last week or 2:
Johnny Mnemonic (★★)—painful, but we finished it, regretfully
Working Girl (★★★)—figured we'd rewatch since our bedder-½ started a new job + it's a good '80s NYC film (worth it 4 Joan Cusack's hair alone)
Boston Strangler (★★)—much az we like both leads, got bored of it + gave up
Beef (★★★★★)—last 2 episodes particularly awesome
Mysterious Skin (★★)—disturbing + exploitive, considering the subject matter
The Verdict (★★★)—Paul Newman is always EZ on the eyes, but the plot a bit dull
Lunana: Yak in the Classroom (★★★★)—the whirled needs more movies like this
Foundation series (★★)—got 1½ episodes in2 it b4 we lost intrest, but the idea of changing the gender/skin color of Gaal was a nice touch
7/15: put the last round of leftovers (guitar cases + whatnot) in our storage cage + yesterday we received "Ever Abeokuta," the cover art from Red Earth, the last piece of the puzzle, shipped all the way from Berlin! Sew now our new digs are complete enough 2 show pix.
"Ever Abeokuta" in the red-bricked cancer castle (+ speaking of, here is a recent talk Michael Salu gave @ Princeton about this overarching Red Earth project(
bedder-½'s office (most of these photos u can click on 2 blow 'em up)
... + bedroom
original art/cover of Sleepingfish 0.875 @ left
living room (original art/cover of Sleepingfish 0.9375 to left of red column)
kitchen (small + not much cupboard space so we installed pot racks + converted coat closet into pantry)
the powder/"get high off the supply" room, where we keep Ↄalamari + scale/shipping supplies on sink + when in recording mode the toilet will make a good seat for the drum kit (in the storage cage)