Fall 2003

Photographed by Steve Dube, Minetta Lane in Greenwich Village.

You can view the Minetta Review’s Fall 2003 issue here!

In 2003, both the Spring and Fall editions of the Minetta Review featured the black-and-white photography of their editors. The beauty of these issues also grows from the mystery behind why they’re nowhere to be found in Minetta’s publication closet. Perhaps there is a secret archive somewhere in the publication lab. In the coming months, we’ll shift seemingly commonplace objects in various sequences and not tell you when we’ve unearthed the passageway.

In tandem with Éléonore Josso’s Spring 2011 artwork, an excerpt from Tao Lin’s Fall 2003 poem was featured on Minetta’s 2011-2012 postcard.

Gentlewomen and gentlemen, let me present to you:

A poem for, what day is it again?
A poem for Tuesday.

Tao Lin

Coming out of the computer lab
To go to the bathroom
People were all against the wall
Waiting there for a computer

And they all stared at me
When I came out
I was like
I’m just going to the bathroom
So Stop staring at me
You all look like owls
Or something
Little giraffes

And then coming back from the bathroom
Rounding a corner
I witnessed a lady
Gesturing with her hand
In the air
At no one
There was no one else around
So I guess I caught her gesturing
At nothing

We looked at each other
As if nothing had happened
As if the other was a muffin on display
A condiment packet

But I was like
Haha what the hell was that
Did I just catch you acting like a complete idiot
Yea I did

I was like
Okay I’ll just keep on walking then
But later I’m going to write a poem about this
And you can go home and pretend that nothing happened
But there’ll always be this poem

That took five minutes
Maybe later I’ll go back
And delete all this
Replace every word
With a different word
That means the same thing
But sounds better
So poets can be like
Wow you are a good poet

And I can be like
I spent four hours with a thesaurus
Am I still good

That’ll be in my head of course
And my mouth will be like
Hey what do you think about bean sprouts
I put them in instant noodles after taking the pot off the boiler

I was going to end this poem right there
With that last image of putting bean sprouts in a pot
But what about that use of italics
It might be jarring
My poet friends will be like
Why did you use italics here

And I’ll be like
Because that’s how I want you to read it
And maybe I’ll put a hand on their shoulder
And be like
Calm down
It’s just italics
Don’t worry
I’ll be like
Sit down
Let me buy you an ice coffee

I checked the word count for this poem just now
It’s 12:02 AM now
Does this mean I have to change the title of this poem
By the way, the word count was three hundred something
But by now it may be four hundred something
This is an inadequate stanza to end this poem on
The last stanza was an acceptable ending
In my head
I was like
This ending is good because I like coffee
And it’s ambiguous
And subtle
So poets will like it
They will find the symbolism
The harder
The better

I really hope a good ending comes up again
Because I can’t go back to three stanzas ago
I can’t just repeat that like now
It wouldn’t have the same effect

There goes the italics again
Wait a minute…
Let me try something
Never mind those last two lines
I’m talking to you
You the reader
Ignore the second and third lines of this stanza
Let me distract you really fast
Ignore that line too
Just keep reading

My mom went to Taiwan
For a month
And my dad is in a federal correctional facility
And my brother is taking like two months
To read my novel
When all I want is for him to tell me I’m good
And I’m at NYU
Tonight I spent three or four hours not doing this article that I need to write for reporting

Should I have broken up that last line
I’m not really sure

So I like coffee
It makes me happy

Ah there are those italics again
My poet friends
If I had any
Will be like
Or if I have any
Will be like
These italics are jarring
And I’ll be like
I’ll take them out
Let’s not talk about poetry
Sit down
Let me buy you an ice coffee

I just read my own poem
This one you just read
And am still reading
And I must confess
I wasn’t really sure if I should add more to this poem
But I really don’t want to go write my article
For my reporting class
Now I am running out of ideas
I guess I have exhausted my ideas for the day
Maybe this is a good time to go to sleep
Don’t worry
I won’t write about italics again
Even though I just did
That really fell apart there
But it’s a good thing
That is what this whole poem is about
So I don’t have to go back and spend twenty minutes to fix it

It is now 12:17 AM
I’m listening to SUN RA
I used all caps to show how absurd my situation is
There was no way for you to know that
Unless I just told you
I am depressed
I think
It is now 12:18 AM
I’m going to send this poem right now
To Minetta Review
If you read this
Then it was a long time ago that I wrote it

I kind of feel like I’m in the future right now
Because I am imagining you reading this
I wonder what I’ll be doing

Probably I’ll be really disillusioned with my life
I’ll be like
God what the fuck am I doing here
Maybe a friend will be with me
But I won’t care
I’ll be like
God isn’t this horrible
I mean life
For example
To show that I don’t care
Just the other day
I told a classmate of mine
In Chinese
That life sucks
And I was like
I don’t think you understand
My life sucks
And she just laughed
And she ate some ridiculous pita sandwich thing
Then I went to the computer lab
To work on my novel

It is now 12:22 AM
I am enjoying myself immensely
I am actually a tiny biy giddy
About this poem of mine
This could go on forever
I would be like
It is now 4:25 PM
Wouldn’t that be funny

Would that be funny
Or not
If you think it would be
Then email me

Here is my email address
I am making myself laugh right now

Fucking pop ups are interfering with my poem
They must be from Kazaa
They completely screwed my flow
This is my loss
And yours

I don’t know how much longer I should go with this poem
It is now 12:25 AM
Oh how I wish it was 2 PM
And I had an ice coffee
And I was sitting in the sun
Eating a corn muffin
Oh God
I will do that tomorrow

I hope I can fall asleep fast tonight
It will be hard because of this reporting article that I haven’t done
It is very hard to enjoy my life
With this reporting class
So don’t take reporting class
If you want to enjoy your life
OOr take it
Because stress is good for you
My classmates are like
It’s a good experience
It’s a good experience
And I’m like
No, It’s a bad experience
But bad experiences are good for you
I’m like
Get it right
And stop mouthing off platitudes
Use your damn logic
The last three lines are in my head
I would never say those things out loud

That is a lie
I would say those things out loud
But I would be alone in my room
Talking to a wall
And then I would laugh at the absurdity
Which would be a good thing
Laughter is good
Is what I’m trying to say
So in conclusion
I’ve committed myself now to ending this poem
I think that using ‘So in conclusion’
Is a good idea
Because it is so cliche that it is funny and not just banal
I mean it is cliche for high schoolers
But not college people
Like myself
What does this all mean?
I don’t know
But other people will be like
I like how self conscious you are in this poem

And they’ll compare me to Dave Eggers
Or something
John Barth

By the way
I have never read any of those people

I just read Mary Robison’s book
I thought her last name was Robinson
So I couldn’t find shit by her in Bobst Library
Then I found out it was Robison
And I still couldn’t find shit

And I work in the reserve department
Where my bosses names are Brad and Pat
It is now 12:32 AM

I just checked the word count again
It is fourteen hundred something words
People of the sun
By Rage Against The Machine
Is playing on Winamp
Next is
Let me check
I’ll denote the time of me checking with this line break just after this word
Okay I checked
It is now 12:34 AM
And the next song on Winamp is Leftover Crack’s Operation:

This poem is getting boring
I can feel it
That is another lie
The second lie of this poem
I can’t feel it
I don’t know
For some reason
I am getting depressed right now
I’ll give you a taste of me when I’m depressed
Then I’ll end this poem

Okay here is depressed me
Right now

I want coffee
Life sucks
People are bad
I hate my novel
What else defines who I am
My poodles are going to die!
They are so old now
I have social anxiety
Fuck again!
I think my penis is kind of small
I don’t care about that though
That much at least
If I am reading this right now
At some Minetta Review reading
Then my face is probably red
Look at it
And in my head
I am like
God I hate the world
I am so nervous all the time

That is a ‘taste’ of me depressed
And now
I am still kind of depressed
I think
But I’ll begin to end this poem
Right now you are probably like
Hey you did that ‘So in conclusion’ thing a while ago
What the hell happened buddy?

Right now I am like
Hey you!
You think everything is supposed to go just as you want it to go?
You think the world revolves around you?
You think I wrote this poem for you?
You think you’re better than I am?
Let’s go get some ice coffee at Space Market
I am positing into the future
I was I mean
In that line about Space Market

By the way
I am a huge loser
It is now 12:42 AM
And I am sorta depressed
But mostly just stressed
About the fucking reporting article
That I don’t want to write
I’m going to go to sleep now
Right now I am like
This poem is too long
Minetta Review will never publish it
But I still have a chance
If I end right now

It is now 12:43 AM
Ice coffee is still the greatest thing in this world
This is still dragging on
Because I can’t think of a good ending
Something absurd
And subtle
And funny
And self deprecating
Let me think for a moment

Okay I thought
Actually I typed the line above before thinking
Because I thought that I would think then just skip to the next line
And write out what I thought
Okay, Okay
I will think now for a good last line
Okay I thought of something
Here it is
It’s alright
But not great
Here it is after this line break
Here is the final line of this poem

Shout out to my dogs Binky and Tabby (My toy poodles!)


The Fall 2003 Editorial Board
Editor-in-Chief, Events Coordinator: Maureen Andary
Copy Editor: Steve Dube
Operations Editor: Lindsay Reckson
Treasurer: Katie Domaingue

Publication Staff: Rachel Basse, Matt Buchanan, Ryan Dodge, Stevie Kohler, Ellen Lichtenstein, Rebecca Linn, Rebecca Montross, Kira Peikoff, Emily Price, Meghan Redding, Kristin Skrabut, Adam Thomas, Raphaela Weissman, Jessica Walsh, Sally Whiting


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