Hey you—yes, I admit it. We’re not so professional as to really manage our mailing list in the way you seem to want us to because you’re not dealing with Random House here but a few people who have multiple emails lists that we’ve been trying over the years to merge into one. This is an somewhat open, headless organization and so the initial email list from Notre Dame in 2004 was passed around and shifted back a bunch of times for Lake Forest 2006, Chapman 2008, and Buffalo 2009, etc, and yes, your name and address was probably replicated, copied, duplicated, doubled, each time so there’s like at least four versions of your contact information floating around on all these different lists in different formats and even though you have ask me via email with decreasing civility to take your name off of the list and I in good faith really want to, there is a slim chance that maybe one day you might possibly perhaps receive another email from &NOW telling you about another conference or some other cool literary event and do you really not want to know about it—did you have such a bad time at the &NOW conference that this is what gets in your craw? Yes, I know you were the tech guy in a wacky art ensemble and you probably only give a shit about your own project and not anything else that’s happening in indie or innovative or whatever-you-want-to-call-it or in your case not-call-it-literature but have you thought that maybe just maybe you are receiving these emails because of some sort of bad karma (?) like maybe you work an IT day job and have to deal with mailing lists or stop other people from receiving unwanted emails which means you should be able to just blacklist the &NOW emails or maybe that’s too much for you, admitting that you can’t quite control this information and I understand just a little bit what you are feeling because I somehow appeared on a listserv for “Seattle Spin” even thought I’ve never been to Seattle and I’ve asked about a thousand times to be taken off the list, but always in a nice way not with the kind of jerky mini-screeds you send me about netiquette and who has the right to contact others, and they’ve never taken me off so now I just deal with it and hit delete and sometimes I even read it and think about visiting Seattle where one of my friends just moved, maybe you’ve seen her, Debra Di Blasi, or maybe you saw her at &NOW and that’s one of the reasons you don’t want to hear any more about it or her and now I am telling you or maybe retelling you about it and that’s like a nice sort of poetic irony if you ask me even though you wouldn’t ask me and maybe I’ll start sending you updates about Debra and her Jaded Ibis Press or some of the other &NOW writers are up to and maybe I’ll send you some extra emails about it, motherfucker, and maybe I’ll write you some letters—yeah, old style shit—like I’ll type them on my 1951 Remington and these letters will be half unreadable because the ribbons are drying out, but the half you can read will say loud and clear that THIS IS A LETTER FROM ME TO YOU or maybe I’ll cut out some kidnap font from a stack of old Newsweek magazines your grandmother leaves stacked about her apartment that I saw on “Hoarders” and they are like from the late 1980s dude—WTF?—but you’ll get the idea, that’s right, that I’ll never stop contacting you and after a while it won’t even be through email@example.com, but I’ll get to your friends and supervisors and tell them really funny stories when I meet them at parties and they’ll casually tell you a joke that they heard from me, and I’ll be talking to you through your friends and even your parents or siblings when they call to bitch you out for forgetting a birthday or an anniversary etc—guess what, dickhead, that’s me bawling you out, and don’t you dare forget flowers on your anniversary because you should hear the shitstorm I am cooking up to put your ass in a frying pan. Stopped by a cop for going 4 miles over the speed limit? That’s me! Grocery clerk asking you to ogle the premium buy of the week? My plan, executed perfectly. Radio playing that ZZ Top song you secretly love even though you pretend to dig high-end jazz? I’m programming that shit—
So hit delete to my next message, I’ve got all sorts of other things to tell you in the future, which, now that you think about it, we will share–in so many ways–together.
Davis Schneiderman is a multimedia artist and writer and the author or editor of eight print and audio works, including the novels Drain, Abecedarium, and Blank; the co-edited collections Retaking the Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization and The Exquisite Corpse: Chance and Collaboration in Surrealism’s Parlor Game; as well as the audio-collage Memorials to Future Catastrophes. His first short story collection, there is no appropriate #emoji—with collaborations from Lance Olsen, Cris Mazza, Kelly Haramis, Stacy Levine, Tim Guthrie, Andi Olsen, and Megan Milks—will be released in Fall 2019.
His work has also appeared in numerous publications, including Fiction International, The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, and TriQuarterly.
He is Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lake Forest College.