Friday, March 20, 2015

#287: Dublin Numbers & Gorse No. 3

North Circular Road, Dublin
There's something very satisfying about tracing the long arc of the North Circular Road. Cycling along it, you can fall into a comforting rhythm, almost like you're following a massive Olympic track. Walking, I always feel more at a remove from my surroundings, though these numbers hand-painted onto the low walls give me a sense I'm making some sort of progress. In shape and size, the black numbers on white remind me quite a bit of the curbside numbering of my hometown streets growing up. The steady presence of these numbers provides a way of orienting myself to the street, and the small variations that come with each hand-painted marker lend each one its own personality.

Until I find a way to make wandering the streets of Dublin my full-time occupation -- and believe me, I'm working on it -- I've got to settle for these small projects: collecting numbers, drawing maps, and scribbling what I see. It's an obsession that's been with me for years, and I'm happy to say that an essay I wrote, "A Writer's Guide to the Dialectical Landscapes of Dublin," is going to be published this month in gorse journal, issue no. 3. You can read a very short excerpt of the essay now, and though the issue is officially being published on March 23rd, you can pre-order copies of the journal. It's as stunning a book as you could want: attractive, compact, and brimming with sharp, beautiful new writing from Ireland and outside: essays, fiction, poetry, and interviews. I'm honored to be included in the illustrious bunch.

Here's a sneak preview of the cover, designed by the talented Niall McCormack.

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