WITH THE FIRST VERSION of the Underground Literary Alliance there was clearly a mismatch between reality and hype. The presentation was kickass. The products and writings were a different reality. By our zine background, we were basically quirky. The writing and look we showed was in line with this. But our hype, in order to attract attention, had been extreme. We had a punk element to ourselves, but not enough of it. For instance, the logic behind the name of our house zine, Slush Pile, was sound—embracing the criticism to defuse it. In hindsight, we needed more. “19th Street Murder” or such would’ve been more attention getting.
Our “look” was low-rent pop. To fit the reputation we needed to be edgier. I was edging toward this by 2004 or so with one of my own small projects, Literary Fan Magazine.
No longer completely “pop,” but requiring more edge.
The writing? “Pop” writing which people enjoy reading, and can read, is a necessity. It’s a start. The trick will be to do more than that.
I think about this often.