Untitled, California, 2016
on reverse: a short essay on Brian H. Merriam by Daniel Arnold (below)
Brian’s got a void fetish. A ‘the void’ fetish, you know what I mean? Like, he loves lonesome shit, trippy nature shapes with no scale or people, stray dogs and mermaids with blurry faces and their bushes out, and look at how he titles his collections: A False Colored Dream, Home And Ghosts, On The Road To Never, The Last Best Place, I’m Nowhere. He’s big on nowhere. Pretty sure he’s got it tattooed. Maybe ‘no way home’ too, but I can’t be totally sure as I’m typing it out on my phone at 4am and this blurb was due a few days ago. That’s all me, though. Brian wouldn’t be caught dead in such procrastinated chaos. A most regimented man. The first proper time he and I ever spent together was just the two of us on a week-plus drive across New Mexico and this Yankee fucker knew every inch of it, turning four times, mapless, off the main road to point out every tumbleweed cemetery, bullet-ripped road sign and dumb-tagged shutdown gift shack. “Check it out. Pretty sick,” or, “Dude. Eagle. Siiick.” He still brings up that fuckin’ eagle. Roadside odd jobs too, like motel clerks BY NAME, and he knows exactly where they’re all plotted in the atlas. The amount of screwy data this guy walks around with is astounding. Autistic, even. Because he’s not one of these glimmering khaki vest bros shooting magic hour wildlife jeep porno. He’s a sad 70s-quarterback-lookin’ nowhere man who gets therapy making his own crazy sense of nowhere places. Claims the details nobody else cares about. Memorizes all the sick shit. Distills Mozart out of My Bloody Valentine for his own satisfaction. And that’s ace orphan strategy if you think about it. Charting all the lonely places. You just can’t sweat the void near as bad after you’ve stood on it stoned in sweatpants and been like dude, void, pretty sick. — Daniel Arnold
Brian H. Merriam spoke with us about being on the road, tragedy, and finding an affinity with the out of place. Read our interview here.