Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

April 19, 2008

SHORE ACCESS (KSE #92) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:44 pm

My chapbook SHORE ACCESS (KSE #92), the 31st volume in the Sound Library Series, is now available.

Many of you will remember the controversy a few years back when media mogul David Geffen spent hundreds of thousand of dollars in legal fees and over a decade in court to deny the people of California access to a strip of public beach bordering his property in Malibu. At the time, this story seemed to me the perfect symbol for present-day America, and I filed it away in my long-term memory. Then in March 2008, when my wife Mary Anne and I took a romantic trip through the Texas Hill Country for a few days, we stayed in Marble Falls, Texas, home of the beautiful Lake Marble Falls. Of course, we wanted to go down by the shore and spend a little time, so we circled the lake for miles, and every inch seemed to be privately owned and fenced off, even if it wasn’t being used for anything right now. FINALLY, we found a strip of shore about as long as the average driveway that had a small public boat landing, a concrete wall from which one could fish, and a few picnic tables. Sitting there and taking in the scenery, I looked at the other 99% of the shore that we did not have access to and saw an upscale restaurant looking over the water, seeming to cater to tourists and to affluent locals. I remembered the Geffen incident, and started creating a fictional scenario about this restaurant, some of its employees, life in Marble Falls, and the state of society today. The result is the suite of poems SHORE ACCESS.

This chapbook took me about six weeks to write, and like GROUND or RED DIPTYCH or SAN ANTONIO GOOD FRIDAY, it is character-driven…but it puts those characters in a larger context. I also did something during the writing of this piece that I rarely do, and that is discuss the writing of it with others as I was doing it. Some of the regular KSE readers/customers write to give me feedback on past chapbooks and ask me what I’m presently working on, and usually I’ll just mention a name, but this time I actually sent a draft of completed sections and engaged in dialogue with readers. The experience was refreshing, and it provided a unique feeling to have people outside my family and closest associates waiting for SHORE ACCESS to reach completion! I’m reminded of the classic remark attributed to film director William Beaudine, who helmed many great horror/action/Bowery Boys b-movies, “you mean someone out there is actually waiting to see this?”

Feel what it’s like to have an enlarged prostate; get a consciousness-splitting rush from Salvia while it’s still legal; taste the grilled salmon with chipotle cream sauce; sit through a tedious prom date while looking out the restaurant’s window onto the shimmering lake; hear Tish Hinojosa’s haunting Brazilian rosewood guitar (note: I don’t know if Ms. Hinojosa, a legendary Texas singer-songwriter, actually owns such an instrument, but I bet she’d love to, and through the magic of literature, I’ve given her one, at least in this poem–TH also recorded one of the great holiday albums of all time, Memorabilia Navidena, spinning regularly at the Shute-Bernal home every Nov. and Dec.); pay for the occupation of Iraq even though you have no health insurance; rush a cigarette or two while on your break; dream about getting out of deadly small town life so you can face an all-new set of problems in the city! All this for $4 US/$5 elsewhere, the price of renting the DVD of some shi**y movie you didn’t think was worth seeing even at matinee prices when it played theatrically.

I feel that SHORE ACCESS will have a wider appeal than some of my chapbooks do (I’m thus giving it a larger print run), so if you have not tried one before, this might be a good starting point. If you want a “Taste of Texas” circa 2008, this will surely give it to you. Check the “available KSE poetry chapbooks” page to the right of this entry for ordering information. And don’t forget our 3-for-$10 deal, postpaid in the US.

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