The Clam has landed.
A four word sentence containing all the contradiction of what this journal may or may not—but almost certainly might—become.
Clams don’t fly. What kind of clam is this, you may ask. In what sense has it landed? I don’t know. It’s here. That’s all I have.
Then what will happen now, you go on. What are we to expect?
I am stony-faced.
This first issue splurges—most of it available online. But Exacting Clam is above all a beautiful paper thing, and will contain treasures for which you’ll need to stump up. That’s your end.
At our end, we will try to do it right—to let the thing exceed us, become something we could not have foreseen and quite possibly would not have chosen.
What does that even mean, you ask. And just how exacting is this clam? Exacting in what way?
You ask a lot of questions. Again, I demur.
This particular bivalve cannot, will not be described. Not on my watch.
Right, jump in. I hope you like seafood.
Welcome to the Exacting Clam, a quarterly journal of arts and ideas from Sagging Meniscus Press. Selected work will be published on this website, but for the complete experience you’ll need a physical copy (available from booksellers throughout the world—see the buy links below). Much of this first issue is available online—we’re celebrating—but in the paper edition you will discover also: hangdog comedy stylings by John Patrick Higgins; literary archaeology by David Collard; quite possibly the shortest book review you have ever read, by Moira Walsh; aphorisms for the pandemic-weary, by Yahia Lababidi; the unexpectedly exquisite postal service provided by Kevin Boniface; basic evolutionary assumptions challenged by Joe Taylor; Covid’s viral media mess, curated by Steven D. Schroeder; the gently, and genitally, startling poetry of Julia Drescher; Daniel Beauregard’s Kafkaesque reboot of Monty Python’s parrot sketch; and Steven Breyak’s heartrending dispatches from Japan.
At the Clam, as bottom-feeders, we swim in the dangerous but lively waters of unprocessed human taste, valuing personality, vitality, and authenticity over doctrine. Simply put, we publish writing that interests us. We hope it will interest you.