An Amusing Amalgam of the Offbeat
By Angelica Gonzalez, WTP Editorial Assistant
Because WTP’s mission revolves so strongly around Web presence, it’s not uncommon for our editors to peruse the sites of our submitters. I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Mark Baumer’s after reading his quirky submission to our magazine. (His work appears in Vol. IV #8.) What started as a simple visit to see the site turned into at least half an hour jumping from page to page, and I knew I had to tell our Editor-in-Chief Sandra that we had something special.
The landing page of thebaumer.com is equally as quirky as Baumer’s writing. It hosts a truly amusing amalgam of offbeat poetry, wild dreams (“I had a dream I was on a game show. All the contestants were dripping from their pieces of hair”), and even actual scrawled “Dear Diary” entries:
The spontaneity of the hand-written reflects the overall authenticity of the site, a transparency that is both refreshing and captivating on a personal page. Everything on the site is a twist on what one would expect from an individual’s website, even in how his “About” page is structured. The page reads more like a table of contents, inventorying the last ten years of his life, from buying a house and eating pizza every day for a month, to walking across America (yes, he did). Each life event links back to its corresponding post—or series of posts—on his blog:
One of my favorites is “Unemployed,” screenshots of several cover letters from 2006–2008. Why should the “Job People,” as he calls them, hire Baumer?
Dig deeper into the site, and you will uncover treats, from his dream journal and sketches on napkins, to his affiliate website, everydayyeah.com, documenting daily photos of the word “yeah” scrawled on dumpsters, coffee cups, and even pumpkins:
Baumer’s site is largely delightful entertainment. But it also offers up an impressive “Reading List” page, spanning from Thich Nhat Hanh to Sam Pink. Don’t see anything you like? He links you to the reading lists of his friends and family as well. And be sure to visit his “Writing” page to read Baumer’s works published around the Web. (I’d recommend “Cow,” “killing/deathing/bombing,” or his interview with Black Warrior Review.)
Baumer’s website is a goldmine of both his and others’ works. And evidently soon he will be embarking on another walk across America–this time barefoot. No doubt he will be chronicling it, so keep up with thebaumer.com for those latest, surely captivating, installments.
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