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We Who Are Stealing Promotion Ideas.

May 14, 2010 \am\31 11:27 am

Some time ago, my Ampersand Books labelmate and WWAATD editor Melissa Broder did a promotion for her new book in which she offered to write something personally for anyone who bought the book directly from SPD.

I loved the idea and so I copied it. (“Good artists borrow…etc.”)

Richard in Virginia Beach got the story below not too long ago after buying. I thought it might be a good entrée for my first post here.

Also, the promotion worked really well. It was a great idea because everyone wins: the buyer gets more than just a book, and as the writer, you suddenly have a commission to write some new flash/poems.

It’s hard to sell books. Offering more than just the book itself seems to help. Any other thoughts?

“Something About Last Time At The Cedar Tavern”
For Richard

I’m reading Don Delillo’s Americana and waiting for Peach in the wooden booth we shared last time. Last time was a summer afternoon; today it’s just started snowing. Last time, which was really the first time, I fell asleep when he went to piss. He returned and put a bottle of brown mustard under my nose; he sat down and poured the last drops of brown beer into my glass. Kerouac pissed on an ashtray in this bar, he said. I wiped my nose and eyes. And Pollock ripped the bathroom door off its hinges, I said. We clinked our glasses and drank.

The waitress interrupted with another foamy pitcher and set it between us. I remember she was beautiful, vaguely Irish with Killian’s-colored hair and something of an accent. You’re talking about the old location, she said. The bar used to be down 8th street. We moved decades ago. She took our empty pitcher and walked off. Peach refilled his glass with the new one. It was our fourth pitcher of the brown stuff. Franzen set a scene of The Corrections in this location, I said, and Peach nodded. Sad there aren’t any ashtrays to piss in anymore, he said. I nodded. One of us needs to write a good story about this place, one of us said. Before we leave this city.

Now Peach settles in across from me and shakes small snowflakes off his collar. I close my book and we order a pitcher of the brown stuff. In a week the bar is closing down. This will really be the last time. A waiter brings our beer and we clink glasses and say, Here’s to the last time. Then, together, we remember the first time: how the waitress said what she said, how we drank until we had to piss again, how we fell asleep again. We remember how Peach returned from the bathroom and woke me with a shake; how I lied and said I’d dreamed of ripping the bathroom door from its hinges. We remember how he’d stood on the toilet to piss out the window, how he’d pissed-out the Irish waitress’ cigarette as she stood in the alley on her break. We remember how four years later I wrote this and sent it to him.


  1. May 14, 2010 \am\31 11:30 am 11:30 am

    I offered an astrological love analysis if you bought the book from SPD or signed by me. Offer still stands.

    • May 14, 2010 \am\31 11:43 am 11:43 am

      Thanks, I couldn’t find the page itself. But I’m a Pisces, and therefore forever swimming against the current of my own confusion.

  2. May 14, 2010 \am\31 11:51 am 11:51 am

    As a Virgo, I needed to make sure that all i’s were dotted.

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