Click through for my review of 3rd BED , the fourth in my full-press review series of Calamari books.
3rd BED  Contributors:
Michael Burkard, Thomas Browne, Bei Dao, Margaret Flynn, Brooks Haxton, Jame Ineiech, Bill Knott, Stacey Levine, Tuan-Li Diana Liao, Cormac Mac Carthaigh, Michael Martone, Paul McRandle, Heidi Peppermint, Christopher P. Riley-Zaleniev, Anthony Robbins, &Diane Wald (& translations of Baudelaire, Alkman, & Theokritos)
Let me just preface all of my reviews of both the 3rd BED journal series & the SLEEPINGFISH volumes by admitting that as a reader, I am not the greatest fan of literary print journals. Typically, unless enormously well done, I find them to be disjointed & often ill-focused, even if they are thematically or contextually well-endowed.
That being said, I always read with an open mind & did so with this, the first issue of 3rd BED, produced in 1999 & now a part of the growing Calamari catalog.
First of all, I didn’t know where the name 3rd Bed came from, as I came to the writing scene a bit too late to even submit to their journal or print arm. So, from the inside cover:
‘We have seen that there are three sorts of bed. The first exists in nature, and we would say, I suppose, that was made by god. No one else could have made it, could they? I think not. The second is made by the carpenter. Yes. And the third by the painter? Granted. (Plato, The Republic)
As there was no other bed-chamber in the house, the hostess, without much nicety, led them into mine, telling them, as she usher’d them in…that there were two beds in it, and a closet within the room which held another.—The accent in which she spoke of this third bed did not say much for it. (Stern, A Sentimental Journey)
This bed is just right. (Goldilocks)’
The Martone is good, the Burkard & Wald & Knott interesting, but I don’t feel like there are pieces worth quoting, going into depth with here. Overall, this volume didn’t seem to express a clear through-line to me other than classical sensibilities – I couldn’t find its express statement except to perhaps establish a presence on the scene shouting ‘we are here, we are here, we are here’ much like the Mayor’s trembling townspeople in Horton’s incapable trunk.
That’s right, Dr. Seuss.
3rd BED  is an artifact. I found the textual material neither riveting nor deplorable, but instead a kind of literary constant that I did not love or hate. But 3rd BED  is an artifact because it is a part of our history, this web-connected sometimes self-diluting pool of current literary stakes that we are in, have been in, will continue with-in.
Next up, SLEEPING FISH . Stay tuned.