‘Unpublishable: Fragments from an Underground Notebook’ by Derick Dupre​​

— Melissa Mesku

I told myself that these editors were all fucking stupid, fuck these people, they didn’t understand my gift, I’ll show them all one day. (I still have not shown anybody anything.)

Perhaps even more beautiful than the words cellar door are the words underground notebook, evoking the mystery that surrounds revered, obscure texts, the kind penned by tortured authors working in secret. Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground comes to mind, as does any number of hastily prepared manifestoes passed around in revolutionary circles. The “underground” it refers to is wholly figurative, even when literal—as in a bunker, or a subterranean prison cell. What’s funny is that Derick Dupre’s underground notebook was a yellow legal pad laying around at work in the shitty basement concourse of Penn Station. Full of missives he never had any luck publishing, this ugly pad was penned in Penn by a tortured author secretly not working. The tragic backdrop of human detritus that New Yorkers learn not to see takes on an eternal, pulsing glow in this short collection of published fragments. “Across the top of every entry, I wrote ‘March of the Damned.’” You get the sense he’s being wholly literal, even when figurative.