Sunday, July 26, 2015

allowing myself to pick up the phone

This is Mary Marge. She told me that I broke her zine virginity. She had just moved to SF as a 17-year old and out of all the zines at City Lights Bookstore, show chose WNHP 5, the Home issue with cover by Gabriel Liston. She told me my zine meant a lot to her and she bought the most recent issue, WNHP 12, stories about leaving NYC with cover by Enrico Miguel Thomas. She just moved to NY and came to Pete's Mini Zine Fest at random, had no idea I would be here or that I was the organizer. When you send a publication out into the world, you don't know that anyone is even noticing it, let alone choosing it among others, buying it, loving it, and letting it change your life like lead you into writing or publishing or writing a zine or moving to a new city.

WNHP isn't the kind of zine where people contact me. I've reached out to folks who buy it online to ask, hi, thanks for buying my zine out of the thousands of zines out there. Who are you? Where did you hear of it? But I got a reply only once or twice over the 8 years. Even in person, like at BZF 2015, a man came up and promptly bought the latest issue, saying he has been buying this for years. He didn't need to meet the editor or be talking into buying it, he didn't want to tell me why he was reading it. I've come to accept that the brand really is an extension of myself - an outside even at the best of times. WNHP is what you find in the attic, without context or future.

But today, a bright and happy young girl told me that my zine changed her life, a little bit. The words that I know are powerful, that I entirely know, but don't believe others will know have been acknowledged. She also knew.