In the spirit of full disclosure we fully disclose our readers’ private correspondence to us.
you get to see what they really think without the time-consuming hassle of having to meet them in person
& they get to express their opinion of the journal without necessarily ever having read it.
beginning on p. 11 of the issue, see readers’ responses to our donation of new subscriber
money to new york city subway & bus workers while they were on strike.

A Signal
Your fingers will tell you
that there are no substitutes for a good thrashing
just as there are yards of flesh that I leave behind
as my signal; a brash, ashy signal
that makes my fingers chapped and raw.
In certain circles there are those who maintain
that the ocean laps at the shore
but I know better for I have seen horrible liquids
pouring from the people of this land.
I had once seen the liquid stretching 150 miles
but my vision was occasionally blocked by the gorgeous
spangled wake that the ships carrying snow machines created
as they passed not more than 30 yards from the shore.
One afternoon I wandered by a small refreshment
stand that stood on the edge of a platform overlooking
an inlet gulch. A crowd had gathered there and was looking down
at a bear-like animal with silver fur
that had fallen from the cliff and landed
in a brown puddle. The animal had a tidy purple gash
on its belly around which enormous black flies buzzed.
There was talk amid the onlookers
that the animal we were all gazing down at
was actually a man in a fur suit
caught in a practical joke that had gone horribly awry.
Todd Colby

I just read the introductory essay.
It's a piece of work. My hat’s off to you.
Jim Maughn

It is nice to finally hold an actual copy of the elusive lungfull. I was starting to think it was more in the realm of fight club than reality. Looks good and I like the sticker too.
Eric Hollender

Dear Lungfull,
I wasn't born yesterday, though I did just
write a poem called UNICORN MISSION.
I will not let up until I am KING OF POETS
Todd Colby

Dear Lungfull,
Cool. Can't wait to take it in the bath with me. Thanks for posting all those pics on the Lungfull site, it's a great way to see the world over there.
Farid Matuk

Dear Brendan,
Thank you so much for this note. It cracked me up and I thought it was super gracious and responsible of you. I hope your house remodel went well. I am getting married this Sunday so I am pretty swamped but when things settle down I'll put together a submission.
Best regards,
Sarah Rosenthal

hi Brendan....
received my TWO copies of Lungfull last week...thanks mucho....very funny preface, btw, on the inside cover.......my only regret is that you guys had to space my poem out onto two pages (verses, reducing the font size to 10 or 11)....but, I'm quite pleased to be included in this edition of Lungfull....and among such talented company....I hope this issue does well comparatively.....and perhaps we'll be encountering each other's work again sometime.....
best wishes,
Michael Ricciardi
Dear Lungfull,
Needing to find a colored finder for a lost thought to paste in a found page, and thinking I was reaching for yellow pages I just grabbed instead the latest copy of Lungfull!, which, smoldering on my bookshelf, burned my paw. I hope you have insurance. I think its time to start making those Lungfull! Jumpsuits you've been talking about — Please send one along with the next issue. I'd like mine in periwinkle. Thank you.
Charred & scarred in California
PS: You'll be hearing from my “insurance agent” — “soon”

The new Lungfull! is grrrrrrrrrrreat.
Even greater than America's Next Top Model.
Daniel Nester

So often I nearly choke on my nightly cereal meal while reading your emails. They are hilarious. More than a few agree.
I hope lungfull finds it's anarchist ocd bipolar intern.
I'm hopping off to Seattle for a year to check out the weather. I may even take a gander at completing my m.s. So,if you're in town---make sure to howl (or whatever it is the kids these days are saying.)
In the lungs.
Divya Victor Hey Brendan,
Just wanted to email and say it was great to meet you and read at Zinc. It is difficult for me to write this email as my mind was COMPLETELY BLOWN by the new issue of Lungfull! Wooo! It's good good good. I hope Thailand treats you well! See you again soon.
Take care,
Eric Baus

Dear Editors:
I'll always feel a little sad and creepy about something so I won't even try to pretend I'm not feeling sad and creepy as I write this. At work yesterday I had a bit of an out of body experience as I wondered how I got to be where I was at that very moment. As I pondered this question a certain fatigue set in that made me feel rather dizzy and light-headed for the rest of the day. It wasn't until I got home and started carving my oak crown that perhaps a career in Life Coaching might be better suited for my high-strung temperament. Here’s the question part of this letter: when measuring a head for the fitting of a crown, how high above the eyebrows should one measure?
Sad and Creepy,
Marcus V. Kincaid

Dear Brendan:
I just got off the phone with Donny Sandoz and he is equally disturbed as me about the dire forecast you delivered at the Naropa Milk Lit Conference in Boulder last week. In your address, you may recall, you said you'd practice your theory of the “Math of Affection” with, and I quote: “the certitude of a strong squeeze on a cow’s blistered udder.” This image has come to haunt me (and my wife). In addition, the provisions you distributed after your lecture were seriously laden with useless gifts (e.g. an i-pod nano is useless when everything is on fire or under water). What we needed after your lecture were matches and blankets. Think about that.
Lift your heart next to mine,
Todd Colby

Please pay attention Tad.
Some people are all about free speech until someone says something about *them.* I think you misunderstood when I said ABS. I meant “already been swallowed” as in “Your wife was locked out of the secret apartment she rents for just such occasions because the keys were ABS by her APT.” Armenian Physical Trainer. Please pay attention to the needs of your wife's physical trainer in the future. Donny is lost lost lost, but I have hope for you, but only if you sign up for my weekend course “The Massive Ass Fixation” up at the beach house center for swarthy tarts. Your aptitude for math astounds me, but my lecture had nothing to do with numbers except for one: yours. And now it's up.
As the microwave said to the three week old leftovers: This is your final warming.

Dear Sabocat:
While numbers have never been my strong suit, I am known in certain circles as The Number Cruncher, as I’ve installed a large foam number “5” on heavy springs in the graveyard of a church that I use as a tackling dummy. But that's not the point. The point is: I am good (and sexy), so to imply that Donny is lost in the presence of my sexiness or the lecture you gave had anything to with anything BUT numbers is merely an act of denial on your part. BTW: I've never seen an entire episode of “Friends” but suffice it say that if I were on a show by that name you would not be in the cast with me. I don’t know what my wife's physical fitness has to do with your lecture, I’ll just blame it on the shitty breakfast of malt-o-meal and cool glycerine you're known for eating on these warm days. Perhaps you've heard I'm also a nutritionist? Put that in your backyard meat smoker and smoke it. I'm off to Marble Head for the 15th of July fireworks, a holiday for the Patriots of Blind Glee. I’m sure you deem the holiday too trite for your participation; that’s your loss, not mine.
Good Bless You,
Tiltwater Glazer

Dear Glee Farm Attendee:
You’ll calm down as soon as the air strike happens. Until then, use the slow solvent to etch distress signals into the green wall in the lobby. It should reveal a combo of space junk and Coney Island pubic hair, so don't sweat it when the authorities ask, just tell them that's the way it comes out of the bottle. Blinky the porker is available to help you with any harsh combing or jacking, just ask.
Please let us know about any of your prior commitments or achievements so that we may dash them in lemon oil and old summer dogs.
By the way, have you ever spent time on the island of good beings? We had that crushed and powdered so you can only use it as an inhalant or body powder. We may send you elsewhere with a 4.0 mega pixel camera so you can snap away at your achievements until your memory is gone and then you're all ours.
You’ll be okay. You can’t complete anything we give you to do anyway (or do it right) so our expectations for you are rationally low.
Let us know if we can offer you relief in the form of fire or clothing--we'll try to do what we can, even if we use old curtains from the mansion for your pajamas--at least you'll have something to burn from us.
Todd Colby, President
The Glee Farm Corporation
cc'd donny, bev, and the meat angel

Dear Brendan:
I’ve news for you: I can read your mind! I can't take your mind off of my mind even when I’m thinking about myself, even when I’m grooming (myself), or going over the facts with myself. The gift of solitude, when it is spent reading your mind during repeated listenings to Mile’s Davis’ song “Great Expectations,” is a drag. I'm going to spill “The Beans” in a movie about YOU, as in “you.” It will show “you” licking CAKE BATTER off a wooden spoon that I HOLD. I’ve got really good feeling about this project so don’t spoil it for me. In the past I’ve had an award winning lack of nerve but that has all changed: now I’m more about losing control while taking advantage of certain genealogical messages I get from my wonderful MOM. This message is super good for you; it should help you reach (and maintain) astonishing speeds. I'm looking out for you, so relax.
Todd Colby

Dear Brendan,
Here’s the thing. I’m watching this movie the other day, right? The one where the man descends into a silver portal while his wife (blind) awaits him in their wedding bed. You know, where he travels through time to when birds ruled the earth, and he sleeps in those terrific trees, and one night, as he’s glaring astonished at the miracle of the stars, another portal opens up and returns him to the hotel only minutes after he’d originally left, and he hears his wife calling out his name, frightened, and though he can’t speak, still inundated by the shock of his adventure, he walks toward her, and you can see her groping, still saying his name, and when her hands finally find his face, which is now covered with a dense, redolent beard, she screams? Yeah, that one. Well, I’m walking out into the sunlight and can’t see a thing and I run into my ex-girlfriend. You know, the one with the missing toes? And, get this, she’s still mad about that one page in the last issue!
Chris Martin

Dear Sir:
Okay, it looks like my attorney is going to take over all my future correspondence with you as the recent missives you’ve aimed my way have been full full of vile threats and mean barbs. Suffice it to say that I have a lawyer that is “itching” to take this case on and believe me, there will be money involved.
If you think this is a fib or that this is simply some elaborate ruse to seduce you into sending me cash or some other valuable piece of furniture or housing fixture you're wrong. I have everything I need in this world to provide me with the sort of material status that you can only dream of. Do you need examples? I’ll send you a catalogue. This has everything to do with honor, remember that? Honor?
I'm still looking forward to the luncheon,
Tad Blanda

Dear Little Old Lady in Switzerland—
I am writing to request that you go. You must go now. You should have gone already.
I will no longer call on you like old days and sit with you for tea, biscuits and your feigned neutrality. I wouldn't have asked you to leave but now I know and if only I never knew wednesday what we would become, and when, oh when, not if but when. If I see, then I say, a good call, and there will be no more somethings, no more doomsdays.
Consider this your eviction notice. You need not pay this month's rent. Just leave. It is really better this way — we're out of space, there are no more rooms left, and notice the post in the stairwell about the landings, they are costing us a fortune to keep up with the mix-ups all the time and the Times keeps putting the classifieds on the front page!
Last week you said it's only a sea change with gray-haired age and it all comes to counting only a matter of days and bodies on not if but when day. But enough is enough. Pack your things, Old Lady, I saw the plane circling outside to take you away. We know the graham-cracker plot, no more milk and cookies for the orphans. No more checks cashed in your name. Now off to the bay (not Sheepshead, of course), but the bay by-the-by, that means goodbye, good riddance!
Please go, granny, so I will be safe. When they drop you in the sea, little nymphs can carry you away, and you'll have no more worries, no tired body and no more aches, and everyone will be pleased every when not if on wednesdays.
Please turn in your keys on Tuesday.
Yours ever—
Elena Landriscina

This week I visited Albany, New York. On the bus there, I passed a street called “Korn Street” — named after the hard rock band (which I believe are Christians).
Then I realized: “I must have misread that sign.” Though pop culture has saturated our nation, it has not yet reached street signs. You don't even see streets named after The Beatles.
How many of the 108 Basic Knots — the essential “alphabet of knots” — occur in nature? Do scientists search in horses’ tails, straw, human hair, etc., to find natural knots?
Suddenly our rabbit (“Bananacake”) is elderly. Her hutch is no longer a confining cage; it’s an “Old Rabbit Home.”
Cellphones are attracting other technologies. Already they have absorbed wristwatches, cameras, address books. Eventually the cellphone will replace the wallet!
A sudden intuition: Bob Hope will return from the dead!
Half of the people in each country have no national character. 50% of the English could just as easily live in Hungary. Half of the Russians could be Yemenis.
The other half of the population gives each nation its distinct tone.
Reality TV is too cutthroat. Why not a cooperative show? One woman dates 12 men — then decides to marry them all! They have a New Age wedding on a hilltop in Oregon. The minister is a pagan woman. As a gentle flute plays, all 13 vow to “respect the Four Faces of the uncontrollable Wind.”
Why is a wristwatch called a “watch”? Because it looks out at the world with its round, eyeless face?

Shortly after the release of the last issue, subway & bus workers in New York went on strike against the MTA,s unreasonable demands -- Demands that included raising the retirement age beyond the median death age for transit workers. The strike brought the city to a standstill & while the press blamed the union, saying they were greedy & insensitive to “average New Yorkers” most people recognized the real issues: that transit workers are themelves average new yorkers. that an injury to one is an injury to all, that if you lose your benefits & your wages get cut, my cuts won,t be far behind. In solidarity with the workers, Lungfull! gave a portion of the proceeds from new subscriptions to the Transit Workers Union strike fund. Here are some responses:Your comments on the strikers are right on the mark,

Brendan. I’m with you — and them.
Nada Gordon

After walking 15 miles to and from work today, I don’t feel at all kindly towards said transit workers, whatever their grievances (and they do have some legitimate ones), nor their union, nor the MTA, nor George Pataki (who ultimately controls the MTA). I normally am supportive of labor, but not this time.Easy target or not, they and the MTA equally share my wrath.
Tony Hoffman

Thank you for sending this. I thought I was the only one supporting the strikers. I have a question though — I thought the 6% into the pension was only for new hires, so MTA's proposal was even worse than I thought.
I’m sorry I missed the party. It sounds like it was a blast.
John S. Hall

excellent post, brendan.
i am quitting teaching at the end of the term, a decision that spawned from the new contract there. i am chagrined that 65% of the uft voted yes on it. it, too, is ultimately a reduction in pay with good measures of humiliation thrown in (a teacher cannot respond to a grievance filed by a principal, for example).
sorry to have missed the party - glad you had a rally! rightly so!
carol mirakove

Right on brendan; this is a great message and i am going to forward it all around.
Good man
Paul Layton

Hey Brendan,
Merry Christmas to you too. I appreciate your note about the workers — I didn't know all the facts, I just assumed sympathy for the workers based on principle, I guess, and it'll be nice to have some details to support my position.
Corrine Fitzpatrick

Hi Brendan,
Thanks for the info. I’ve been following the strike from afar — viz. Paris, France, home of the most strike-prone public transport system in the world.
Keep up the good work, lad. Pump up the volume. The revolution will not be televised. Though it seems the strike hurts the workers most, fellow non-MTA workers of NYC can profit from the chaos, ponder the meaning of all this, perhaps remember that they too are allowed to strike in defense of their rights as workers. This might even warm the hearts of disgruntled NYU grad students who were bullied into going back to work after striking for weeks in defense for their right to have a union (let alone, a new contract). In fact, New Yorkers — and visitors from elsewhere in the country — might just remember that there is such a thing as unionization, collective bargaining, etc. and that Jesus, and the dollar, are not the only voices of authority.
If I make enough money this year, I might venture back to the city (and your country), and try to see another Japanese movie with you, and share a plate of fries. Though with the serial fare hikes, I might opt out for a cheaper destination, such as... well, the local park or library, here in grey Paris.Those are still free here in France, though rampant privatization is also a real, and ugly, threat. France is doomed.
Ciao, & happy holidays,
Yan Brailowsky

Well said, Brendan!
Happy Hollies,
Bob Holman

Mr. Lorber,
Your insight on the issues is always
Christine Hamm

Brendan and all the other LUNGFULL! commies!,
Greetings and happy holidays from Minneapolis. Please expect our subscription within the week. We think so highly of you; thank you for doing the right thing pretty much every time. Really, we just think you're the absoslute greatest.
Sarah Fox & John Colburn

Dear Lungfull,
Glad you had a great celebration and AMEN to you statements about the MTA and the TWU.
Patricia Spears Jones

Hi Brendan,
I agree about the strike, and appreciate the stats you quote.
Thanks! & hoping you are well,
Gary Sullivan

This is such a good idea.
Hell yeah.
Martha Oatis

Hi Brendan,
I like that you are on the side of the transit workers. Uh...I have two letters to the editor for Lungfull! and am wondering how to submit them (I appreciate Sparrow's missives.) Can I send them in this way? They are below.

Dear Lungfull! 
What's hot air full of? 
Mike Topp
Dear Lungfull! 
Yesterday I got a lobotomy and some free
steak knives.
Mike Topp

Thanks so much for this email. I really appreciate the statistical breakdown. Rock on strikers and transit workers!!!!!
Mariana Ruiz Firmat

hey brendan,
thanks for sending around this message about the strike — it was easy to miss the salient facts, especially before Roger Toussaint's amazing press conference today. i just subscribed!
Anna Moschovakis
Right on Brendan! Workers Unite!
Jen Benka

Hi Brendan,
Today my computer stopped typing the letter that comes between "j" and "l". I hope this will be clear.
Seriously, I was glad to read your ta e on the
stri e. Especially the fact that transit wor ers don't often reach age 62, the age the MTA wants to push bac retire benefits. I didn't now that.
I enjoyed photos now up on the Lungfull website, I loo forward to pic ing up a copy of the anniversary issue soon as the hectic waiter season cools off.
See you about.
Cliff Fyman

Holy mass transit, Brendan, someone willing to speak up for the working class in the midst of the strike! I'd like to see the MTA board work underground for 20 years breathing steel dust and losing their hearing — or just take the subway for 12 months and see what they think of the conditions. My father in law drove the J train for years — talk about a stressful job. Your stats are too real. He passed at age 55. But we love his memory and his life and can still hear him as if from his from his wheel chair, when his wife was out of ear shot, “3 cookies, just bring me 3 cookies.” Hooray for your support.
Amanda Lichtenberg

 It's been a long time! Hope you and Tracey are doing well — I went and took a look at the Lungfull 10th Anniversary photos today and you look well. While there, I was glancing at the contributors to the current issue and noticed...my name. What on earth kind of letter did you publish under my name, you little scamp?! :)  Seriously, did I submit a letter to the editor and then forget that I did so?
By the way, I really liked your e-mail about the transit strike. I feel the same way but you expressed it far better than I could.
Let me know how you are doing! I went to the Lungfull site in the first place because I was looking for when the reading series resumes. I plan to stop by one in the new year.
Courtney Dodson

Brendan, thanks for explicating the TWU's case so clearly. I don't know what they gave Toussaint to get him to back off, but in the meantime only you and WBAI seemed to understand that this was a legimitate action for a workers’s union to take, and to publish the reasons why. Maybe there were websites somewhere, but mainstream newspapers and radio stations — and His Arrogance — were more or less united in denigrating the action. Good work, and thanks,
Anna Mockler

Get those visonary tics off your shivering chest for real real. The blogovine and passive aggressive sniping behind the editor’s back is so 72nd-generation Hater School. Yes we were wrong to reject your work, or to accept it, or to change a few words & sell it to a movie studio under our own name. (It seemed like such a win-win to redo your sestina as Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj.) There’s no end to the way in which we have failed you or “the community” or American Literature. Let us know how we got your goat & what unnatural acts we performed upon the poor guy. Or tell us how much you enjoy the journal for reasons unclear to even yourself in more lucid moments of reflection. THE POLICY: Anything you send that is not a check or a submission will be considered a Letter to the Editor & perhaps printed so brace yourself. The amazing thing about people who complain that we published their letters without permission is that A) those very letters tend to be in praise of Lungfull! & B) those songs of praise are written by people who have apparently never seen the journal or they would know about our policy (see above). We can understand not wanting people to know you’re a big fan of German scat movies, but shame over liking a literary journal? People who say one thing publicly and the opposite privately may be adept social navigators, but ultimately they will be untrusted by everyone. They will die alone & unloved, surrounded only by obediant sycophants angling for one more blurb. And their German adult DVD collection. But you are not like that! No, you are filled with unremitting light, (we think). Prove it: LUNGFULL!Magazine, 316 23rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11215



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