THE2NDHAND coeditor Jacob Knabb, along with the great people at Make Magazine and Knabb’s cohorts at ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), will be hosting “Make it Another Afterparty” during the AWP conference in Denver on April 9, 8-midnight at The Great Room, 901 W. 7th Ave., 80204. If you’re lucky, THE2NDHAND’s So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel host, the janitor Harold Ray, may make an appearance with or without the crew he’ll have on hand at upcoming Nerves of Steel events. The next one, Sunday, April 18, 8 p.m., at Whistler in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, will feature my old friend and fellow scribbler Brian Costello, creator of the Book Cellar series Second City/Third Person, devoted to Chicago tales told in the third person and reacting quite nicely to the paucity of such perspective in our selfish times. (The next SC/TP event is happening April 10.)
Also reading are Mairead Case, Literago.org editor and author of THE2NDHAND’s latest minisheet, No. 33.2, and Alexis Thomas, Windy City Story Slam finalist and the writer behind this story of fallen love and octopi.
Ray may well introduce a few of his barroom pals to you, too. Here’s a quick detail of two of them:
NAME: The Sansei Samurai
BIO: The Sansei Samurai is a third-generation Japanese warrior descended from the Yamanashi forests of Mount Fuji. He was raised by a Polish chambermaid in Chicago’s Lakeview and educated in the school of Mushin (Mind of no mind). He has so perfected the state of “no-mindness” that his words are not words; his movements are sitting still; his conscious is subconscious.
MOTTO: “Sword and Zen are the same.”
NAME: B.R. Whipsmill
BIO: In 1859, Kentuckian B.R. Whipsmill cofounded Le Nuage de Mourir, a transcendental experiment in communal education and agriculture. Whipsmill chaired the departments of French and Time Machines. Exposure to water from the farm’s contaminated cistern sent Whipsmill’s mental health into a viscous downward spiral, ultimately leading to his disappearance into the Appalachian hills and, possibly, the future. Sources close to Whipsmill indicate that he might not actually speak French.
Look for them in the dark corners of the bar, perhaps, or hiding in the bathroom.
For his part, Whipsmill made this unsolicited proclamation about the Nerves of Steel series (please do not confuse the future dweller’s pronouncements as those of THE2NDHAND or any of its associates): “Because, thus far, the Nerves of Steel series has failed to realize established financial expectations, we will be enlisting certain celebrity personages in an effort to both expand and monetize hitherto unforeseen avenues of STEELabilistic synergy within our target demographic. With this in mind, references to Toni Braxton during, before, or after officially sanctioned Nerves of Steel events, while not necessarily required, are definitely encouraged.”
That doesn’t mean we don’t like Toni Braxton, but of course, but has anybody seen that new Erykah Badu video?
Also, prior to the AWP event, April 8, Nashville-based Keyhole Mag, our partners in the Brick Reading Series (next shot: April 23), put on a big event at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, with readers Matt Bell, Amelia
Gray, Elena Passarello, Kevin Sampsell, Matthew Simmons and Rachel