Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wanted: Assistant Editors

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who applied for our assistant editor positions. We’re sifting through applications now, and once we reach decisions we will notify applicants and spread the word via the usual channels.

decomP is receiving more submissions than ever, which is great, but our editors need some help. We have two positions available: Assistant Prose Editor and Assistant Poetry Editor. Each editorship entails reading submissions via Submittable and deciding on which to recommend for publication. There is no pay, but there may be fame (and/or infamy). To apply, send an e-mail to decomp.magazine AT gmail DOT com with the editorship you’re applying for as the subject line, your CV attached as a .doc, .docx, or PDF, and a paragraph about why you want the position. Please choose only one editorship—prose or poetry. We’re looking for long-term commitments, so consider that prior to applying. Finally, we’ll be reading applications until March 31, 2013, and we expect to reach decisions and announce them in April 2013, our nine-year anniversary. If you have any questions, direct them to the e-mail listed above.


Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Though we won’t have a table at AWP ’13 in Boston, check out what we had made for the event:

We got a hundred of them, and you’ll be able to find them at select tables at the book fair. If you don’t get one at AWP, routinely check eBay. Ha. Actually, we’ll be getting more later.

We used Busy Beaver Button Co., out of Chicago, to design and make the buttons, and we highly recommend their services.

“Decomposed decomP”: Guest Post by Caleb J. Ross

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

When researching Stranger Will, I learned that “decomp” is jargon in the human remains removal profession for a decomposing body, as in “bring an extra towel, we’ve got a three-week decomp.” I’m not exactly sure how decomP magazinE got its name (well, I do, but let’s say I don’t), so let’s pretend for a moment that the terms share etymology (because they do). Something rotting, filthy, that’s been sitting around for a while, but damn, it brings a few of us a lot of pleasure to experience. In honor of this comparison, I am going to dive into the decomP archives and pull out three stories that I’m still trying to scrub from my brain.

“Climax or Cry” by xTx

I like the playful nature of this story, placed against the heartbreaking content. The casual asides (“You are missing Lost, btw. I hope I don’t forget and delete it by accident” and “I wouldn’t know, you didn’t call me….”) serve the passionate narrator well. The seemingly nonchalant nature of the running commentary, which is the story, makes the narrator’s obsession almost grotesque.

“LINE” by Barry Silesky

One very interesting authorial choice is what keeps this piece alive for me: the hesitant introduction of the persona. This short piece, probably categorized as a prose poem, doesn’t bring a single he/she/him/her into mix until past the half-way mark. So the reader is subjected to ambient description and intangible philosophical ramblings, almost to the point of exhaustion, but then BAM, we get a “she” and everything falls into context.

“History of Space Whales” by Megan Casella Roth

This piece opens like it could be a Brian Evenson story, which immediately got me. I’m a sucker for grotesque characters built with equally grotesque imagery. The idea of a man built entirely out of broken watches can, conceptually, be driven in so many directions. And perhaps Megan Casella Roth will do so with a larger piece (fingers crossed). But at the same time, the brevity of this piece, and its refusal to implicate the reader into an intended message, gives it charm.

This is a gust post by Caleb J. Ross as part of his Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour. His goal is to post at a different blog every few days beginning with the release of his novel Stranger Will in March 2011 to the release of his second novel, I Didn’t Mean to Be Kevin in November 2011. If you have connections to a lit blog of any type, professional journal or personal site, please contact him. He would love to compromise your integrity for a day. To be a groupie and follow this tour, subscribe to the Caleb J. Ross blog RSS feed. Follow him on Twitter: Friend him on Facebook:

Back decomP onE via Kickstarter

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

We’ve teamed with Kickstarter to raise funds to publish decomP onE, our print debut. Check out the video below and pre-order your copy of the issue for $12. Please help us spread the word!


Sunday, November 21st, 2010

decomP is glad to have been mentioned in Flavorwire’s “10 Online Lit Mags You Should Be Reading,” alongside great journals like Moon Milk Review, PANK, > kill author, and others. Check out our write-up here. Thanks to Chelsea Bauch for including us.

Also, our E-i-C was recently asked to participate in The Huffington Post‘s “Online Literary Journals Come of Age: 15 Top Online Journal Editors Speak.” You’ll find our editor’s words here. Thanks to Anis Shivani for the invitation.

Straight to Chartres: On Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres by Spencer Dew

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Samuel Johnson said that reading is the primary task of any writer. In the process of writing, one works through “half a library to make one book.” With Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres I worked through one book to make one book, offering the story of a woman who, returning to Toronto on the occasion of her mother’s death, seeks refuge in the Henry Adams book of the same name. Her reading is an escape, a retreat, as she says about her decision to stay in some tourist hotel instead of her mother’s flat or with her friends. She’s turning to Adams’ experiment with feeling the 13th century—its aesthetic, its values, its worldview—as a coping mechanism, a kind of elaborate denial, even as, simultaneously—inevitably—she’s revisiting her childhood, coming to terms with her mother’s death and, to an extent, her own mortality. My method was a template from Kathy Acker, though Acker would likely say it was a template from Cervantes and be right. Her Don Quixote was on some line of plot “about” a woman who took refuge in Cervantes’ Don Quixote while waiting for an abortion. I wanted to take that framework—which I also assume, as with Doctor Johnson’s truism, to be commonplace, a standard human action and experience—and push it, see how it might feel in a prose and a vision of human reality that is a bit different from Acker’s.

Gorgeously produced—with illustrations on transparent overlays and a tiny blue build-your-own model of the cathedral—by the design team of the indie publishing house, record label, and microzine maker Another New Calligraphy, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres engages the Adams text with the same kind of sympathy he brought to his tour of French cathedrals. Adams writes, “We have set out to go from Mont Saint Michel to Chartres in three centuries, the eleventh, the twelfth, thirteenth, trying to get, on the way, not technical knowledge; not accurate information; not correct views either on history, art, or religion; not anything that can be useful or instructive; but only a sense of what those centuries had to say, and a sympathy with their way of saying it.”

Meg, the narrator, knows some basic background on Henry Adams. She knows about The Education, for instance, and that it neglects to mention his wife’s suicide. In earlier drafts I had her make explicit mention of his vitriolic Jew-hatred, but this I later cut because, while Meg still shows frustration at Adams—his hunger for an over-arching theory, for instance, or the various half-baked claims that he fires off, from the hip, as a result—I was more invested in getting across that his Chartres, despite its warts, a beautiful and haunting book, a useful book in its own right, a portable slice of the grand tour for all us “nieces” here in the States who might not have the time or finances or frame of mind to go and see as Adams saw, to think—however lunatic and sometimes offensive, but always, nonetheless, enthusiastic, infused with wild energy—as he did.

Adams saw his audience as “of English blood and American training,” possessed of a “scientific mind” that has “atrophied, and suffers under inherited cerebral weakness, when it comes in contact with the eternal woman—Astarte, Isis, Demeter, Aphrodite, and the last and greatest deity of all, the Virgin.” It is notable, then, that Chartres was imagined as a letter to “nieces” back in the States, young women early in their formal education and, perhaps, already, by nature, in touch with what he saw as a central concern of his study. “The study of Our Lady, as shown by the art of Chartres, leads directly back to Eve, and lays bare the whole subject of sex.” For Adams, this “subject of sex” concerns the symbolic role of Mary—a church designed to honor the Queen of Heaven is necessarily constructed so as to affirm political concepts, the majesty and authority of the divine mirrored in human monarchy, for instance—and while his examination of religious discourse reveals the inherent human politics thereof, he doesn’t push too far, or think too critically, about what he’s reporting back to his “nieces.” Obviously, readers today will take observations a step or two further, and it intrigued me to imagine a contemporary “niece” trying to cut through the bluster and misogynist arrogance of this book and delve into the meat of what Adams was saying.

Adams, throughout his book, contrasts artists with everyday folk, though this dichotomy seems to me to be set up only to be viscerally broken down. “The rest of us cannot feel; we can only study,” Adams writes, but, of course, in his “study” there is deep and overwhelming feeling. He speaks of artists experiencing “the revival of archaic instincts,” but he is clearly reviving some of these instincts himself, and—more interestingly, to me—he seems to intend his text to do the same on and for his readers. Wandering through this book, I take Adams to be saying, will make you something of an artist, will rekindle sparks of spirit that the modern world, via various systems, has more or less erased. Thus, the book invites readers to consider its own function and afterlife—reading Chartres, one imagines how other people have or will read it, how it will affect them. Which is what I did, in this book.

Official Spencer Dew Web Site
Official Another New Calligraphy Web Site

Zine-Scene Covers decomP

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Zine-Scene, a promising upstart, recently published several pieces on decomP–an overview, a profile of our August 2010 and September 2010 issues, and an interview with our Editor-in-Chief. Keep an eye out for their future spotlights, as well as their magazine The Reprint.

Looking for a Book Reviewer

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Now that the new site is online and fully operational, we’d like to begin our search for a long-term book reviewer to join the staff. Ideally, he or she will be comfortable reviewing prose and poetry releases, and will review at least one book per month, though more are encouraged. While there’s no monetary compensation, the reviewer will receive a complimentary copy of every book they review, and everything decomP ever publishes. Also, we firmly believe that reviews should mention positive and negative qualities of the book in question. Needless to say, reviews will and should only appear in decomP. Interested? We hope so.

Here’s what we’d like embedded in an e-mail to us at

1. A short bio with contact info
2. A review of a book you like and a review of a book you don’t like (links are fine if they’re published somewhere; if they aren’t, embed ’em), and each should be 300-500 words
3. Why you think you’re qualified for the position and why you want it

Please apply by April 1, 2010. We hope to notify applicants by May, if not sooner, but watch the blog for the latest news.


Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Welcome to the new site. We hope you enjoy it. Watch the blog for new content on a rolling basis.