State Line by Alan Batjer Russo
Astra Beck

State Line by Alan Batjer Russo

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“The jewel is in the lotus, but you can’t get there from here.”

Alan “Long Eyes” Russo was the genuine article. He was one of the most gifted members among a group of artists from the Midwest known as the “Wichita Vortex.” His legacy fell into obscurity when he passed in 2003 until a dusty bag of slips, shards, and notes surfaced from the late David Omer Bearden’s basement, titled State Line. In Russo-esque fashion, the uncouth bag fell into the hands of surviving friend, Dion Wright, to string together this cogent collection of disconnected pearls.

Unwound in a tornado of real-life stories, poems, and vignettes—Rosace Publications brings Russo’s “absences” and “negatives in reverse” to life. State Line addresses irresolution between fixed realities: the physical and the imaginative states of being. With accounts by Gerard Malanga, Bruce Conner, Charlie Plymell, Bob Branaman, and many more, this unique literary compendium uncovers notes from the man who trailblazed a distinct path between the Beats and the Hippies.

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