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Monday, August 29, 2011

Mike Meraz BLACK-LISTED THOUGHTS. Propaganda Press, Palo Alto CA, 2011 (42 pages)

Mike Meraz is the long time editor of Black-Listed Magazine and he has recently released an innovative micro book through Propaganda Press. The book is quarter-sized (4¼ x 2¾ inches) and contains short proverbial like quotes in the ‘wisdom literature’ tradition.  The quotes are varied and expound on philosophical, ethical and literary principles. Taken together they appear to embody Meraz’s hard earned reflections on life.

It will only take you about ten minutes or so to read the book but it’s interesting to dip into it later and put your own personal spin on the quotes. About half the book consists of universal aphorisms dealing with the nature of truth, happiness and love. The best ones are less obvious and have an elusive ambiguity central to them:

“truth is rarely shouted.
  truth comes in a whisper.”


“if you look at something too long
you lose sight of what it truly is.”

Other quotes are maxims of a more personal kind, such as: “I am constantly vacillating between a/ life of brilliant misery and happy/ mediocrity.’ Or the terse paradox: “in separation we find closeness.”

Some of the other quotes represent Meraz’s take on literature. He reveals his underground credentials when he writes:

“I have come to realize
the only good thing
about Modern Art
is the free wine and beer.”

Black-Listed Thoughts is a book largely created through instinct. Meraz attempts to distil the raw emotions from his personal experience into language. The ideas in the book resonate in your mind long after you have read it.

Buy the book at Propaganda Press:

Some other comments about the book: