Last weekend I took a few things out of storage, including some ULA stuff. (Saw a guy there who lives out of storage; or at least, seemed to be cleaning up and changing his clothes. An underground poet?)
Among the items I took out were several of the real underground masterwords created over the past twenty-five years, including Jack Saunders's Screed, Michael Jackman's "The Army" zeen, "Security" by James Nowlan (more about that later), Fred Woodworth's novel Dream World, and two great books by Joe Pachinko.
I also came upon a copy of an exchange in The Believer from 2003 between the ULA's Michael Jackman and the lit-establishment's Tom Bissell. Some interesting points were made. A Jackman quote:
"Bissell spends a good deal of effort constructing a laughable fantasy world in which the ULA has the almost Soviet power to decide what is published. Let's just say that I wouldn't want to live in a world where people like Bissell decide what is published. Yet, the punch line here is that I actually do live in a world where people like Bissell decide what is published."
In response, Bissell says about Jonathan Franzen, "a writer who, when I first met him six years ago, was basically living from month to month and struggling as much as I've ever seen anyone struggle. . . ."
But wait a minute! Mr. Franzen during that time was a subscriber of my newsletter. Copies were mailed to a ritzy address on Manhattan's upper east side-- probably the most expensive piece of residential real estate on the planet.
Quite a definition of "struggling"!