Logan Ryan Smith

Logan Ryan Smith: "I live in Chicago and I publish/ edit Transmission Press. For a while I also published a poetry mag called 'small town,' which sometimes pops up with a new issue for no particular reason but my WHIMS. I cherish my WHIMS because they give me THINGS, help me meet PEOPLE, and take me PLACES. Like Chicago. I used to live in San Francisco. But no longer. I have a terrible memory. I sometimes think I can't remember anything before the age of 25. It's all a blur. And yet, nothing is new to me. I have two books: The Singers (Dusie Press), and Stupid Birds (Transmission Books). As well, ypolita press published a chapbook, TRACKS, recently. House Press published a long poem, A Ring of Trumpet Brass, as a booklet some time ago. I also have a few chapbooks published online."

What is (or has been) your favorite editing project and why?

Since I have only two projects that I've undertaken on my own—small town, first, and then Transmission Press—there's a 50/50 chance that I'll change my mind on a WHIM as to what has been my favorite. But my terrible memory has lead me to believe that what I've done more recently has to be the better experience. Transmission Press has the good fortune of only featuring super excellent poets, and so each and every book in that lineup is a favorite of mine. I couldn't pick one out of that lineup as a favorite if someone put a gun to my head and told me to. I'm only kidding. Of course I could. Don't be silly. But I won't pick one right now. The thing about Transmission Press and its books that make it my favorite is simple: I like books better than magazines, and so I like publishing books better than magazines. small town was fun in that I got to deal with so many different people at once, and so I got to publish so many different people at once, and so made so many different people happy all at once, and that made me happy. But the concentration of a book, and my own particular devotion in my own writing to THE BOOK, must mean that Transmission is my favorite project. Transmission is currently on hiatus because the economy and Arnold Schwarzenegger decided that, at this time, I didn't really need a job, a career, a steady income, or a general sense of self-worth. Despite all that, Predator is still one of my all-time favorite movies. But, Transmission will be back sometime this year, I'm sure of it. More books will be made on a WHIM. And nobody will forget them.


It wasn't an hour of silence
to beget. But it was this. This
to set the hours by—is what the clock meant.

The turning digital
minutes, a turning digital sense
to collect. A way to run with it. To balance
the pendulum of calendars and dour cardiac arrest. The
the heart
can meet. The beating
the chest, such timing in a cage, spent. Spent time
in the ribcage
the end. However much the cardinals sang
in the end, the cardinal rule was to ring the bell
to signify
the end. To let the other gather their self. To let
them get up
under their own will, or with help. To let the bloodletting
be stopped, cleaned up and stitched. To fill the room with
red wings
from the ceiling. To fall asleep on them
and never wake up.


I have heard of “bloodless coups”
just like you, I’ve heard of them on the news
and then I forget them
until I hear of later deaths
these things that drift over the wires
from other states to this state to whatever state
I’m inhabiting and whatever that state may be
is how I will ingest the news of these far-off deaths
from these “bloodless coups” and yes, I know
these coups are sometimes and often necessary
and these coups are a state action by the inhabitants,
sometimes, of the state,
and I get excited when I see a bunch of citizens
storming their government buildings and those that
are armed around them just let them, throw their
explosives and guns down, uncharged, and, yes,
I see no blood on my TV screen because they
today have not hurt themselves and today
I have not hurt myself or anyone else
so there is not a drop of blood on my TV screen
and today, today,
I feel good

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