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Trendy Neon Background

How the LUMMOX Review Came to Be

Ten years ago I was involved with When Words Collide, a fantastic concept, but an ill-advised operation. I had worked as an advisor and public relations person for Chase Frank, a person who proved to be, at the very least, delusional, and, at the very most, sociopathic and bi-polar. To put it simply, she was just plain nuts. I worked for her on this project, the much ballyhooed, Long Beach Poetry Festival. I worked without pay for three, long months - with the understanding that I would be paid at the end of the festival.

But it was not to be. Chase screwed everyone involved. And out of the chaos that ensued was born the LUMMOX Journal, though in those early days the LUMMOX was more a double sided rant against WWC. As I remember it, the first two months featured highly critical reviews of the fiasco, as well as a listing of things I was selling in order to make the rent: my TV, my library (a "friend" of mine was more than happy to take advantage of my misfortune and relieve me of half my books for about $100) and my CD collection (which I sold half to Fingerprints down here in Long Beach). These were dark days for me. But, as is often the case, out of my anger came something else, something beautiful... this magazine that you hold in your hands.

I can't remember what the December issue was like, but somewhere around that time the idea that this could become something besides a therapeutic rant, was born. I was running around with this guy named Jay Alamares at the time and I think it was his idea to start a mag where we could publish our own stuff without the usual BS we had encountered in the alter native/underground small press. I think Jay was secretly hoping this would be like the magazine that Charles Bukowski and Doug Blazek had started back in the sixties (Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns). Jay was a fantastic writer in those days and many saw him as the heir apparent to Bukowski. He was also a real hand-ful, in trouble most of the time.

So in January of '96, the first real LUMMOX was published. It featured an interview with Linda Albertano, a performance artist who specializes in spoken word (she has most recently been performing with Laurel Ann Bogen and Suzanne Lummis as "Nearly Fatal Women"), a brief essay explaining what I hoped to accomplish with the LJ, some calendar items (readings, etc.) and Jay's first column called The Last Page. I think I published a hundred copies and sold enough copies to pay for the issue. I also began soliciting subscriptions because I knew the LUMMOX would have to pay for itself since neither Jay nor I had much income to begin with.

During the first year, LUMMOX began to take shape. It gradually became an interview oriented magazine which featured David Holmes - a young San Pedro artist (Feb.), Richard Stephens - a painter friend of mine (Mar.), Steve Abee- a writer/poet whom I had met via WWC (April), Gerald Locklin- a poet/educator who is still a respected member of the Bukowski faithful and a prolific poet (May), Arthur Rimbaud - a spoof interview with the famous dead French poet conducted by Jay (June), the first in a series of tributes to Charles Bukowski which featured an interview conducted by Michael Andrews, as well as a double sided broadside with the poetry of Gerald Locklin, Steve Abee, Scott Wannberg, myself, Jay Alamares and S. A. Griffin (Bukowski Remembered #1) (Aug.), Dren MacDonald - singer/songwriter/gui-tar plaver with one of my favorite bands at the time

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