PARIS SCRATCH – a new book

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The complete PARIS SCRATCH is now available from Sensitive Skin. bart plantenga spent years wandering the haunted streets of NYC & Paris, cluttered with ghosts & memory, rich in phenomenological detail, friends & foes, encounters & coincidence & the enticing scent of decay, which allows the old to ignite the new. This sensory wealth tends to overpower a city’s residents &, to survive, they must learn to ignore it all.

Paris Scratch by bart plantenga

One day, bart wakes up wondering why he’s living in Paris; he must now either put up or shut up; it’s either reinvent his relation to his surroundings or get a divorce from Paris. & rather than do the easy thing – taking snapshots – plantenga began recording what the 5 senses registered; scribbling down a “snapshot” per day for a year with the writing-while-walking strategy producing a unique form of dérive as well as countless notepads of barely legible scribbles. The Unloaded Camera Snapshots series began as an exercise to document everyday life. These eidetic, epigrammatic, not-quite prose poems, not-quite journal entries, served as meta-factual attempts to re-pollinate existence with the fecund, oft-neglected details of the everyday, la vie quotidienne. Think of it this way: Brassai & Doisneau meet Cartiér-Bresson in a Montmartre cafe &, over Pastis, decide to smash their cameras & triumphantly take up pens instead.

WARNING: The depictions of friends & acquaintances contained herein are more than mere coincidence.

NY SIN PHONEY IN FACE FLAT MINOR, the companion book to PARIS SCRATCH, will be available through Sensitive Skin Books in November, 2016.

“Don’t look for La Ville Lumière in PARIS SCRATCH because one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

—William Levy, author of Natural Jewboy

“A marvelous book – imagine Baudelaire taking a camera and throwing out his pens and precious inks in a rebellious anti-anti-Dadaist manner, then taking snapshots of everything that comes his way … the author’s camera moves very fast, the ‘center cannot hold’ and we live only twice!”

—Nina Zivancevic author of Death of NYC

Buy it on Amazon $9.95 Buy the PDF

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bart plantenga

bart plantenga is the author of the novel Beer Mystic, the short story collection Wiggling Wishbone and the novella Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man plus the companion to this book: NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor (Sensitive Skin, November 2016). His books Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World and Yodel in HiFi plus the CD Rough Guide to Yodel have created the misunderstanding that he is one of the world’s foremost yodel experts. He’s currently working on the Amsterdam-Brooklyn novel Radio Activity Kills with his daughter. He is also a DJ & has produced Wreck This Mess in NYC, Paris & now Amsterdam since 1986. Photo by Jose Padua, taken at the 1992 Downtown Beirut Book Launch Party for Paris Scratch & NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor with Dave Mandl, Jose Padua, Chris Potash and others.


black & white | 6″ x 9″ | 160 pgs. | ISBN: 978-0-9961570-4-9 | $15.95 | release date: June, 2016