Thursday, October 02, 2014


In keeping with the newly-minted Twittition that is ThrowBackThursday and out of a desperate need to put something up here that doesn't apparently expire whilst still in "Draft" mode, I offer this - a five-year-old posting from the Forced Exposure Magazine Appreciation Society Facebook group about a twenty-one (!!) -year-old letter section of said magazine, in which, because of the increasingly gaping gap between issues culminating in what we can assume was the final issue of said uber-zine (I don't recall any official word that publication had ceased - maybe issue #19 is still being painstakingly grunted out), they published a letter I had written almost three years previous to that.  Which makes this a Triple Throwback.  Which sounds like an arcane dodgeball move.  Anyway, enjoy the following, whose resemblance to the dense, compressed scribe stylings of one Mr. Byron Coley (a writer every bit as seminal and inspirational to me as Saint Lester ever was) is purely and cravenly intentional.

(Pictured above: the cover of FE #18, the issue in question.  If the picture is a bit hazy, well, so are my memories.)

My First Published Writing, Annotated (FE #18, pp. 8-9)
In my late teens and early twenties, Forced Exposure was the best saddlestitched ink-smear on newsprint that a miscreant-in-training(-pants) could hope for. Baited by the R. Hitchcock interview in #13, I was yanked in and in short order was life-alteringly enthralled by the utter vistas of noisome skwee w/overhanging phlegm-ropes of lit-spew it opened up for me. One afternoon in late '91, a full year after the most recent issue (#17 - MX-80 cover, if memory serves) had hit my mailbox, I was fired up by my own nascent lit'ry ambitions, a few micro-dots of Meltzer (L.A. Is the Capital of Kansas, I believe) and a fistful of pseudoephedrine, and decided to compose the following epistle to the brain trust at Waltham. Quite unawares, I appeared to have followed what I discovered much later on was Madman Meltz' m.o. in his early days as the first of the rock scribes - one draft, written quickly, as dense as possible and coherence and factualness be damned. I almost screamed with joy when, a full eighteen months later, I found my letter printed in what turned out to be the last issue of one of the finest "rock" rags of the age. Whether they were impressed by my nonsensical spiel or simply printed everything that hit their PO box in the two and a half years between issues, I can't say. But hell, it got me started down that old slippery slope of intermittently semi-professional freelancing, so I guess it counts for something. Anyway...
Dear Sirs,
I have noted, in the recent past, the untoward tendency nay propensity for the more anthropodean post-lysergence of certain of your freak-yodeling contributors to become not so much a stylistic quirk but a variegated spasmosis nugget of attitudinal peristalsis. This can be a good thing in my personal opinion, your periodical being consistently notable for its sub-anglican usage of the non-categorical verb imperative, viz: r. Meltzer's post-18th century sense of epidemiological consonance in a partially empathetic epididymis-wielding show of "force," thus making your magazine a troilistic crucible of submediterranean cerebrality (of a certain prismatic variety).*
However, being an accredited amateur sociologist of no mean reput and a student of guerrilla pulp-querulousness for over a decade, I must warn you that this is the point at which many similarly-minded publications have gone particularly astray. I give as example In/Sane magazine, a mimeographed literomusical bi-quarterly which was in matter of fact merely the incorporation of two divergent tabloids both issuing from the Tucumcari, NM area, and for which I personally contributed an occasional epigrammatic notice during its initial print run in the early 1980's. The editor-in-chief of said publication, one Burgess Straum, managed to sate his more megalomaniacal literary urges by encouraging that each of the contributing editors wrote at least one of their record reviews in prose-poem form, a form for which I have no abiding love, a stance I can thus far ascertain you have at least a passing accordance with. (Forgive the grammatical uncertainty - my stylistic caterwauling has, of late, become somewhat avant.) However, this editor's psychological and tonsorial states took rather an unfortunate turn for the less-well somewhere about the fifth issue of said periodical, with the result that the sixth issue of In/Sane was withdrawn forcibly from the market by the muscular imposition of Straum himself, who re-wrote every one of the intended articles for that edition (including a very good and philosophically probing essay on Tucumcari's now-legendary Meat Probes by yours truly) in the fragmented style of a cognitively-dissonant inhalant enthusiast (much like your Stephen Albini without the simian charm and polymorphously skewed gerundial mannerisms), resulting in the cancellation of all but six of the sheet's subscriptions and an inquiry by the postmaster general, all of which led to the speedy demise of the periodical and the eventual suicide of the entire contributing staff save for three of them, myself, of course, one.**
I would not have bothered to recount this particularly unpleasant and impoverished tale had I not noticed particular elements in recent issues that nauseously echoed the well-documented death throes of the aforementioned monograph, namely the Goo Goo Dolls review in issue #17, L. Ranaldo's poetry in issue #14 (p. 33-4),*** and the impenetrabilities of certain unnameable elements of your art direction. The remainder of your periodical is indeed of a very high standard and quality which makes for diverting incatatory**** mudslides of near-mephistophelean sartori (a hard-found, elusive element not seen in printed form since the now-passed glory days of Excema Bowsprit magazine back in '82), which makes these intrusive whispers of possible lucubrative***** decline all the more unnerving.
I am also seeking a copy of Humpdragon's "Pentecostal Insertion" bootleg cassette for an article I am preparing on amyl nitrate mysticism and its place in music. I have Strychnine Logic 45s ("Foment"/"Sangre de Corpus Christi" and "Liliput Mansions"/"Put The Bone In") for trade. If interested, please contact me at the address below.
Yours sincerely,
Nicholas Rainey******
c/o Kiosk magazine*******
PO Box 3414
Plymouth, MA 02361
[Nick: To answer your question -- yes, the words "murk," "Turk" and "squirt" do rhyme.]********

* I know, it's been said before...
** Pretty much everything in this paragraph was kiped from the plot to a novel I was writing that winter, entitled "The Plague Museum," which pretty much reflected the imagined paranoia of a 22-year-old would-be writer imagining what Philip K. Dick's writing must be like. (The manuscript is lost to the ages, thank gawd.)
*** I picked those out pretty much at random, discovering later that both referenced Paul Westerberg (an individual very rarely referenced in FE otherwise) in some way. What that signifies, I have no idea.
****I think I meant "incantatory."
*****This is a word that really should be used more often - according to, "lucubration" means "any literary effort, esp. of a pretentious or solemn nature," but it sounds way sexier than that.
******I have the unfortunate tendency to slap most of my better writing with some nom de plume or another - I held on to this one for some time, using "Nik Rainey" as my byline for most of the semi-professional music writing I did in the last half of the nineties for Lollipop magazine, mostly as a shield in case I pissed off my subjects (I should be so lucky) and/or out of fear that the writing sucked (much more likely).
*******Unlike pretty much everything in the preceding letter, this was a real magazine - a rather woeful Xeroxed attempt at a literary magazine I started with a friend of mine in '91. It lasted three issues, the mag and the PO Box were inactive by the time this saw print, I can't find copies of any of them anywhere, and I strongly suspect the world isn't missing much.
********Advice that I hold in good stead to this day.

(Present-day note: this post was inspired by my discovery of the FUCKIN' RECORD REVIEWS Tumblr, which any student of the Gold-Plated Age of 'Zines should slop up gluttonously.)

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