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I Shot the Moon, Calamari Press, 29 / 41, 3RD BED [5]

Click through to read the full review of 3RD BED [5], the twenty-ninth in this full-press review of Calamari books.

3RD BED [5] Contributors:

Daniel Borzutzky, Robert Coover, Cynthia Cruz, Ruth Danon, Mark DeCarteret, Patricia Eakins, Elaine Equi, Ray Gonzalez, Michael Ives, Caroline Gilman, Cormac James, Christopher Kennedy, Norman Lock, Peter Markus, Chad McCail, Bryson Newhart, Mark O’Neil, Kim Parko, Kathryn Rantala, Rappel, Kevin Sampsell, Robyn Schiff, Alan Sondheim, Virgil Suárez, & Mandee Wright

I see myself saying this over and over again, but I’m going to say it again anyway: this is now the best issue of 3rd BED that I’ve ever read. 3RD BED [5] is nearly identical in layout and professional quality to some of the best issues of Caketrain (another press / journal that I adore) and the contents are the utmost in excellence. There are grounded pieces and experimental pieces and art and poetry and fiction and tremendous writing in all of its pages. For real, this is the best kind of literary journal – why did it end?


But, I’ll quote some of its goodness here instead of mourning:

from Kathryn Rantala’s ‘Sisters’:

Once there were two sisters. One of them wore her herself outside in, the other, inside out. In all other ways except age they were alike, as much as sisters can be alike, which is both a lot and not at all.

from Robert Coover’s ‘Lucky Pierre Thaws Out’:

Focus, fading in, on fallen man fucking. It is understood that this is who he is, what he does, what he must do, it is his Karma. He is a man who fucks. His head is still white with melting snow, his poor flesh bluish, his eyes are closed, their lashes frozen shut by frozen tears.

from Kim Parko’s ‘What is Meant by Bird?’:

Many people when choosing an animal they would like to be will choose bird. They like the idea of flying. They believe that it is effortless. With all the effort they expend they like the idea of a break. A moment when their presence is not felt by the world and neither do they feel the presence of the world. But what if the bird’s flying is difficult and tiresome? What if, as the bird descends to earth, her breath is fast and hard? And with an exhausted relief, she eyes the stable resting ground.

And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the full color art panels of Chad McCail or the beautiful words by Christopher Kennedy or the operatic works of Norman Lock or the segments of the always wonderful Peter Markus. Plus more more more. There are so many reasons why this is the best issue of 3RD BED yet, but it is impossible to put into the right words. Or maybe it isn’t: get a copy. Yes. Those are the right words.

Also, if you’ve never picked up a lit journal or an indie press catalog and told yourself, fuck it, I’m going to read this journal or press from their first title to their current one, do it. The evolution that you bear witness to by taking this approach is truly awesome. I’ve done it now with Publishing Genius Press, Artifice, Caketrain, Monkeybicycle, Tarpaulin Sky, & others & I’m working my way through Dzanc, Dorothy, Hobart, & more. It is one of the most rewarding reading experiences you can have in this literary world. Go ahead, try to prove me wrong.

In the meantime, copies of 3RD BED [5] can be had here.

Next up: VAAST BIN & 3RD BED [6]

Reviewer out.

5 thoughts on “I Shot the Moon, Calamari Press, 29 / 41, 3RD BED [5]

  1. Simply put, 3rd Bed is the reason Caketrain exists. Their literary journal is the finest education a reader could have on the beauty and importance of courageously experimental writing, and their work remains an inspiration to us today.

  2. It is so good to hear this suspicion of mine validated. 3rd Bed is inspiring me as a writer even now, so as a print journal, I can only image the impact. Thanks Caketrain for commenting!

  3. I almost–that’s wrong–I did cry reading Taylor’s review and Caketrain’s response. I cried more when I knew the journal was over; it’s like your dog or grandfather dying. I wound up naked and fetal on Brian Evenson’s couch (house sitting) listening to way too much Elliott Smith. That journal was my life; but I never had a job, was the worst business manager on the planet, and never secured any funding. I used my student loans; I convinced girlfriends to apply for low interest credit; I even borrowed money from Gary Lutz. To this day none of it has been paid back. Towards the end MT Anderson, co-creator and fiction editor, was paying for the printing costs out of pocket. The journal ended when I ran out of quick money sources to exploit.

    I’m glad it’s still being read and that a journal like Caketrain might feel it’s influence. These things are all about one thing to the next.

    I agree PDF versions should be made available, but as Eric posted everything’s on a dead external harddrive from which I need to get the data extracted.

    I absolutely agree with Taylor that 3rd bed 1 is an artifact. The content was whatever we could cobble together with very few connections and no reputation. I would add, I didn’t learn the nuance of design until issue #4. After that everything made sense. Putting together #1, I had never used an application more sophisticated than word, and was stuck in a Syracuse University computer lab figuring out pagemaker by trial and error. And yes, I still cringe at the glossiness of #3. The only time we went with a low-end printer, who, it turned out, made their living printing phone books.

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