There exist no limits or boundaries apart from those we ourselves choose to respect or transcend. There are no limits or boundaries we are not sharing with someone who is on the other side of them. We choose to stay on our side, they stay on theirs. We have been taught to define our individualities by adhering to a certain set of limitations, hence nation, race, region, religion become what we see ourselves to be, crossing them means crossing ourselves.
In Cleveland Heights, OH the place that’s most stubbornly alive with communal life is the coffee shop of the Severance shopping center Borders bookstore. There people of every age and walk of life sit side-by-side, flipping the pages of books and magazines they’ve gleaned from the shelves, conversing with each other when what they’ve picked up bores them. And every evening every public library in town is locked up empty and dark. Are coffee and the opportunity to pay for it all that people need in order to get together and give themselves a chance to meet other people? Is the security provided in the illusion of a public space (i.e. shopping mall) so appealing that people don’t even consider assuming the responsibility for maintaining actual public spaces? When did “free” become merely a synonym for “no charge,” and “no charge” a synonym for “no value”?
The idea behind Admit Two has been, and still is, to test the limits and boundaries of what is the acceptable mode of literary creation. Thus far we have successfully circumvented all traps of commerciality: access to all work on these pages is free, contributors and editors receive no remuneration, and roughly $6 per month for the rent of webspace comes from the pockets of the editors. But any future plan for increasing the availability and impact of A2 comes too close to being a business plan. Yet to be successful in the business of literature would mean, at least for us, to abandon literature and turn to doing business. Of course, that simply wouldn’t do, so instead we propose an experiment in unbusinesslike behavior:
Under the Barns With No Borders Act we are going to distribute some of the copies of all NeO Pepper Press titles in local (wherever that might be at any given moment) corporate bookstores simply by placing them on shelves where people would ordinarily find them if they would have been published by a commercial press. Whoever happens to find them will be free to take them. The list of all new locations and titles will be available at the NeO Pepper Press website and we hereby invite everyone to look for NeOPP chapbooks, but also to leave free copies of their own, or other people’s books, and email us the titles and locations so that the books could be found and read. The plan is to use this action as a way of spreading new books from small and independent publishers who don’t have the means to distribute their publications commercially. We also urge everybody to give details of the whereabouts of any BWNB book on their own blogs and websites to which we will gladly link up.
Surely, there will be some casualties, especially if corporate bookstores realize they have something against providing space for liberating literature from the holds of the market, but just remember, when recycled or burned a book is merely a neatly bound block of paper; literature, on the other hand, resists fire but sets minds ablaze. In terms of the Barns With No Borders Act, we think of books as communicational bait, and look forward to seeing what we might catch.