This morning, fans of The New-York Ghost, the weird and frequently wonderful little "Newsletter You Print Out at Work," were treated with a new issue, Vol. IV, No. 53.
But instead of calling itself a weekly, the digital-only paper of McSweeney’s-like squibs, poetry, essays, and fiction (with occasional contributions from writers like The New Yorker‘s Sasha Frere-Jones) is now calling itself "seasonal" due to its semi-erratic publishing schedule.
Started in 2006 by Believer co-editor and Personal Days author Ed Park, The New-York Ghost went from mini cult to the subject of a New York Times ‘City’ section profile by Sani Knafo in 2007, which dubbed Mr. Park The Wizard of Whimsy. (Disclosure: This writer worked with Mr. Park at another paper five years ago but has had no contact with him since.)
As a possible explanation for the newsletter’s long absence (the last issue—topically re-dubbed The Wasilla Ghost—came out October 7, 2008 and consisted of a poem by Aimee Kelley that began, "Dick Cheney’s home is only visible/in winter. Those months he sits/underground dreaming"), the new issue begins with a surprisingly confrontational imaginary dialogue with a reader:
We got scared.
Too much attention.
PUBLICITY IS GOOD.
WHAT is your PROBLEM?
It’s just that, well, let me begin by saying—
WE DON’T CARE… WE JUST WANT FRESH ISSUES OF THE GHOST DELIVERED TO OUR INBOXES ON A REGULAR SCHEDULE. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
The thing is, I HAVE been putting together issues, I just, it’s just, once I’m done I somehow don’t have the heart to hit SEND, or more often I don’t QUITE finish the issue and then it just taunts me in its unfinished state… It’s torture, really…
IT’S THE SOUND OF ME CRYING OVER YOUR SITUATION.
Oh, I, I don’t, I guess I don’t hear anything and—
THAT’S BECAUSE I’M NOT REALLY CRYING.
This "prologue" is separated from the rest of the issue by a perforated line. Readers are advised to "Detach & Abandon" it.