Unity. What do we, as humans, gain from this word? There are many times when this word becomes stifled through clouds of trepidation; murky to the point where unity is difficult or nearly impossible. The grasp of the subconscious hand slowly loses its grip on the fellow man, thus wielding an outstretched palm—or lately a closed fist tucked close to the cheek—as to navigate, blindly, through this labyrinth we call life. Yet, there is hope that humanity can cease this toil, by simply using their voice. Yes, their voice, be it spoken aloud, in mumbled curse, or even expressed onto the parchment. By any means, voices spoken with clarity bring understanding. Clarity brings rationality. Rationality can either go one of two ways: trust or uncertainty. I implore you to take the former stance when visiting Thirty West.
A main concept about this site is to not just talk about publishing. There is an air about the word that can lead a misinformed artist into the wrong direction. Granted, there are multi-million dollar publishers (from here-on known as 1) that know the metadata to claim a huge audience with a spectacular author, and there are vanity publishers (from here-on known as 2), who lead one down the rabbit hole of false fame through money-first-product-later logarithms. And then there are simply, Indie/small press publishers; the true artists of the bookmaking craft, in my honest opinion. Some dismiss the capitalistic gains of 1, pleading to others for leftover dinner money or pocket change, who scrounge around office dumpsters for refused paper, spend their hard-earned money in whatever occupation of their choosing, electing to eat one less meal a day; to go one less week without the electric or running water. These select few know the struggles of fulfilling the entrepreneurship of small business, while simultaneously fulfilling their aesthetic, while simultaneously fulfilling their socio-economical demands in a capitalistic system, while simultaneously acquiring food and a ‘good night’s sleep’ so that they can fulfill their physiological need to survive. Do you see a trend here? At the closing of the nighttime eye—or day, depending on your schedule—they become truly fulfilled, know that it is their passion that has emerged on top of this dogpile of stress. It is the fulfillment of their very soul that allows the aforementioned process to continue.
As a child, I learned quite quickly how the influence of stress could take one on a harrowing ride. Seeing death and pain was the worst; keeping my head above tepid waters of black proved difficult. Even in my young adult life, things became no easier, and the stress stained me dark, infecting parts of my moral conscience that were chaste and prohibited from even my subconscious from altering. Hence, like the phoenix of many a tale, I was re-birthed into a realm that piqued my interests, and that is literature. I repressed the realm in which I was genuinely intrigued in with the times, yet found solace through music and drawing before I ultimately honed back into the reading realm. My whole life I’ve spent creating from scratch, and it is that very fabric of the creative process that makes publishing so fulfilling to me. With this platform, I hope that I can help spread my passion outward, like Thoreau and his glorious Walden tree; the essence that connects us all through nature.
With unity, I also strive for expansion. Reaching out past the computer screen and into the physical realm…that is where I want to be. Luckily, I’ve meet some magnificent people that share this passion in their own way; their own creative discipline that varies from my own. They immediately have reached to my arms with their outstretched palms. As united, we can emerge from the debacle of life and pursue the sunlight that inches its way upward, beyond the foggy wall. With this support I am eternally grateful, and hope that Thirty West pushes forward in its own way. In closing, here is a poem that was published through Temple’s literary magazine, Hyphen. With the over-saturation of all that is muck and garbage, this poem easily invokes a dark mood and negative connotation. However, is the ‘blackness’ just a metaphor? Is it truly, the lack of passion that continues to infect and spew out? You can be the judge of that. Enjoy your visit to Thirty West.
Gathering of Shadows (2015)
A swirling drain hole of black,
taking everything down with the goo of my innards.
A viscous bile covering, sticking to my hands.
A sloppy murk is what my heart has become.
Sickly and liquefied; the solid state of matter
is futile, let alone feasible.
Splattering it all along the wall,
while mocking the Picasso I never was.
Like a child making mud pies,
what a rank innocence to be had.
Then I realize, the stitches were never meant to be sewn,
and I shall continue to seep more and more
until the breath is expunged and the last drop dribbles out.