Best of Drunken Boat
Issue Seven
by Aaron Hawn

DB7 was my second issue at Drunken Boat and the one where our attempts at artistic sprawl began in earnest. Not content with one freestanding issue, contentedly minding its genres, we also chucked two related folios (on Arts and Aphasia and the poet Williams Meredith) into code just for good measure.

Hard copying DB7 would leave you two reams poorer, with a stack of paper the size of a toaster oven. And who can find their way home with a toaster oven?

Resist the sprawl. Follow the directions below for one possible road through the Drunken Boat Issue #7 Aesthetic Big Box Suburbia of your dreams.

1. First, build an avatar, I mean a self, I mean a poem, I mean a Gizmo, with Tamar Schori's web art, Beadgee.

2. Get centered. Read Key Bridge by Ken Rumble where "the world's contained in a line."

3. Then, when you think everything's accounted for, read Leland Pitts-Gonzalez' No More Maps and get good and destabilized: "The last map preceded the salt erosion of our pickups and cars, scaling through the bodies and leaving just husks and engines. Even the town's immaculate Fire Truck gave up during a call to placate some flames on the spot designated as the 'New Civilization'. . . We've been bugging ever since."

4. Regain your inner minimalist with Sol Lewitt's A Sphere Lit from the Top, Four Sides, and All Their Combinations, which upon reading the title you might think is the kind of art that you don't actually have to see. But it isn't.

5. Rub your brain dirty again with William Meredith's correspondence, snarking to the New Yorker about line edits and the "cretin reader."

6. Laugh a little louder as Jean-Jacques Poucel and Jean-Michel Espitallier confirm the long-standing suspicion that Donald Rumsfeld is a Contemporary Artist.

7. Get all transgressive and hip hop with video art and watch Catherine Ross's Fairmont and Cesar Pesquera's Popular Ideas May Be Harmful at the SAME TIME.

8. Tweak your neurons with Ellen Driscoll's Mum's the Word and edify them with a history of the Aphasia Community Group of Boston.

9. Stay with the Aphasia folio and watch Joseph Chaikin write a letter to God; "Dear God, I'm tired of my life," he says, "please send me something new. . . So God strikes me dumb. It's dangerous writing a letter to God."

10. You have driven clean through the sprawl. You are no longer tired of your life or at least have seen something new. Fire up Stephen Vitiello's sound art Gesquiet in one window and read On Healing by William Meredith in another, at the SAME TIME:

"The rage to be whole is part of everyone's nature, but no two people will be whole in the same way."

Enjoy in yours.