During the glorious summer of 1993, my dear accomplice Brett Astor and I were awhirl in the air-conditioned confines of a Massachusetts copy center, cutting, pasting, and assembling the premier issue of Conduit. At the risk of sounding like an old geezer, I must report that those were the days when the copy center was the creative epicenter of many college towns.
Fueled by dreams and caffeine, we arranged the work of ten promising poets between our blue cardstock cover. The production values left something to be desired certainly — I was broke and impatient — but to this day I stand behind the poems in that inaugural issue. Of those ten poets, five have been lucky enough to have had books published and then well reviewed. I think the others deserve the same -- including today’s poet, Greg Bachar.
I’ve known Greg for nearly twenty years, yet I’ll never forget the first time I visited his rathskeller of an apartment in Amherst. On three or four desks and tables and covering a good portion of the floor lay what seemed to be innumerable writing, reading, and publishing projects in various stages of completion. Ambitious, prolific, tenderhearted, original, Greg is a poet in the truest sense.
Maybe it was the years spent in Europe as a boy or his voracious appetite for the Surrealists, their contemporaries,
and their literary antecedents, but much of Bachar’s work has a continental feel
to it. Daniil Kharms comes to mind, for there is a beautifully bureaucratic
sense of humor at work, which is tempered by love’s twin demons, loneliness and
melancholy. “Finally Myself” first appeared in our “Last Laugh” issue (#19).
-- William Waltz
No one knows that I am nobody. They think that I am
somebody, and treat me as such, with equal parts fear and apprehension. To be
somebody doing nothing is one thing, but I am nobody doing something, and that
confuses them. They think it odd that a somebody like me would do what I do.
None of them listen when I try to tell them I am no one and that although I am
doing something, they might as well think of me as doing nothing, since it
would be easier to be seen as a nobody that way.
I want to marry a real nobody, someone who means nothing to no one anywhere. That would be something to me, and she would be my everything. My nobody girl, how everybody will love her, thinking her a real somebody like me, but it’s nothing, really, just a little of this and a little of that, some crumbs and a piece of ice tied to black string.
That, to me, is something. Being a nobody, nothing suits me quite well.
-- Greg Bachar