Around the corner from the Claremont branch there’s a bakery café where I sometimes take my afternoon break. I’ll sit and read and sip a coffee and break bits off a cookie. The Nabolom Bakery seems always on the verge of going under; it’s one of those extra-healthy (vegan cookies!), hippy-esque, Berkeley places. It’s a collective, which means the workers all get together and make the business decisions. There’s an upright piano which customers occasionally bang on. A couple different weekends I walked in on a folk/jazz band jam. Not quite room for ‘em, but they were fun.
Yesterday I saw a zine/chapbook on the counter beneath a hand-lettered sign. “Support Poets! Support Nabolom! $2” … I asked if they had a copy that didn’t have oil stains on the cover and the counter girl enthused, “Oh! That’s really great poetry!” When I asked if the poets worked at Nabolom she said, “They’re associated with the university.” When I asked if she had work in it she said, “Yes! Oh, not in that issue. In the next issue. It’s monthly. I chose the poetry for this issue.” Charmed, I bought the thing without reading a line.
The cover proclaims: The Trainwreck Union Presents: Switchyard. The Two-handed Engine
14 poets are included. None of the names are familiar. Pablo Lopez: “If I could suture geometry. The days falling from the sky.” … Jesse Brownstein: “Speaking candidly / I am at a loss / and that has made / me, Pangry, / reek tragically” … Sarah Stone: “From the proliferation / of new kinds of love letters, readers // learned that love is superior to / property” …
As there is no contact info on the zine I googled “Trainwreck Union” and found their blog. Cuddly, aren’t they?