Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An Important Issue Regarding Vanity Fair, Rich Cohen, and my book, Hitler's Mustache!

In November, o7 the above piece by Rich Cohen appeared in Vanity Fair. It's good. I like it. I wish he'd have mentioned my pink book. This is what I wrote:


Dear Vanity Fair,

Like Rich Cohen, I too am fascinated with Hitler’s mustache.

While Mr. Cohen provides a rich history of this particular configuration of face hairs and the way in which they ultimately arrived on, and defined, the upper lip of human evil, I was somewhat dismayed that he didn’t mention my book of poetry Hitler’s Mustache (Barnwood Press, 2006). Had he even Googled the words “Hitler mustache” he would have found my book among the very first results. He then would have discovered 56 poems, each centered on that mysterious patch of square, black, face fur that has come to be called a “Hitler mustache.” Among many other bits of information, I provide 238 potential alternative names for the mustache, including some that Mr. Cohen might appreciate, like the “Fur turtle” and the “Not Lincoln.” I also illuminate certain facts, such as “Hitler’s mustache underestimated the furriness of the Russian winter” and “Hitler’s mustache sees a beard and wonders, Why didn’t I think of that?”

When people ask me, as they do, why I wrote a whole book of poems about Hitler’s mustache, I always say that I was “simply filling a hole in the market.” It is a square, furry black-hole of the universe that is ripe for exploration. I am glad that Rich Cohen is a fellow explorer, and I hope, in the future, that he will acknowledge those of us who have gone before into that uncomfortable, black barcode.

All best,

Peter Davis

Vanity Fair did not print my letter. But, I'm saying this: Rich Cohen and Vanity Fair, you should have printed my letter! I know that in your heart you know that I've got an excellent point and that there is no use arguing about that. So, I'm asking you, do what the universe suggests and feature my terrific book in your magazine. (Or, Rich Cohen, since you probably write for other magazines too, write about my book for some other magazine(s).) You cannot deny that my book, published 11 months prior to your article, clearly indicates that while we are both early comers to the significance of Hitler's mustache, my recgonition of this realization was published significantly earlier than yours. Additionally, while I have a great deal of respect for your crisp and engaging prose (something I can't quite do), we both, if we were both familiar with my book, would surely acknowledge that my engagment with this particular square section of face fur is much wider, longer, and depthy-er than yours. Of course, I know that your audience is a different audience than mine (meaning: I can write as if I don't have a significant audience, because I don't, but you must write as if you do have a significant audience, which you do.) So, I'm saying: Share the love, bro! We're all a little in debt to Hitler's face stubble. We all got bills to pay. Help me out a touch! Rich Cohen, I'll be happy to mail you a copy of the book for free! It got some terrific reviews! And I'll be happy to mail a copy of the book to anyone who you seriously think might like it. Free copies to anyone who works at Vanity Fair! My e-mail is artisnecessary@yahoo.com!

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