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First Thought Worst Thought: Collected Books 2011-2014

Gauss PDF, 2015 & Royal Nonesuch Gallery, 2015

First Thought Worst Thought is a digital and print archive of the 40 books I wrote and designed between 2011 and 2014. It collects poetry, night novels, art books, a users manual for a computer program I made and more.

First Thought Worst Thought also appeared as an exhibition at Royal Nonesuch Gallery, Oakland, in 2015.


Collection homepage

Guide Book (with introductions to each book)

Exhibition homepage


East Bay Express

Project Background

While applying for a grant in the summer of 2014, I realized that I had a large number of books on my hard drive that had never seen the light of day. I wrote to Gordon Faylor, editor and publisher of Gauss PDF, and we developed the idea of what would become First Thought, Worst Thought: Collected Books 2011-2014, an archive of the 40 books I wrote over four years. In the course of about nine months I worked with Gordon on developing the project and collecting the 40 books into a single publication. On May 5, 2015 we released the full collection here.


Gauss PDF was one of the few publishers that would (and could) take on a project like this. Not only did it have a previous interest of publishing small archives (like Steve McLaughlin’s Puniverse), its platform of publishing PDFs and print-on-demand paperbacks allowed us to easily release a large collection of books.


Soon after publishing the 40 books and printing the full set, I felt that the books needed to find another home offline. I reached out to Royal Nonesuch Gallery, in Oakland, and they fit me in for a show later that year.


The exhibition that I developed with Royal Nonesuch Gallery curator Zoë Taleporos was imagined as a kind of dynamic archive. With the books as the core of the show, additional materials were added to invite the readers further into the books. One book, soUNDtext User’s Manual, is a literal user’s manual to a computer program I developed. Putting the manual to use, we made the computer program accessible to gallery goers. We also installed drawings and sketches related to a number of the books on the shelf. A video, "How to Write Good Poetry," offered a skewed counter argument to the show’s title. And, on the gallery’s street-facing windows, we turned one of the books, point line shape, into a window installation — a kind of 24/7 public art installation.

As programming for this exhibition, I staged "National Novel Writing Night," a speed-novel writing workshop. This workshop drew from a number of techniques I had developed to quickly write novels during my National Novel Writing Night Month (2012) project. After I offered a few case studies on speed writing, the workshop group composed, designed, and published  their own night novels within three hours.


Below you will find the single video installed in the exhibition and a full list of books published by Gauss PDF in the First Thought Worst Thought project.

How to Write Good Poetry (2014)

Full List of Books:

All of these books can be read on Gauss PDF here.


The Anniversary Show

I Can See You But I Know You’re There

[cabinet]-equivalent) for approval, and that \ VOLTAIRE

Balding Type

Blueprint for Realist Cinema (Two Stars)

point line shape

soUNDtext User’s Manual


anemone by Mot Ramrot


badvertisements, or exercises in rerouting, confusing and eliminating desire


waiting for godog

Summer on Nob Hill: Part 1 

Summer on Nob Hill: Part 2

In the Time of the Leaves

P A R K in memoriam Mary Ellen Solt

1948 by George Orwell

Z by Andy Warhol


Portrait of the Artist as an Unborn Child Star

ASAP’s Fables by ASAP

Lorem Ipsum by Lorem Ipsum

The Happy End of The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s Amerika

maybe failed texttile book.doc

Jurnes ut f the by Rert Mnre


On the Road Not Taken

To the Left and Right of the Lighthouse


Proposal for Partial Renovation of the Main Stairwell at 8 Samoset St., San Francisco, CA 94110 (37° 44’ N / 122° 24’ W)



Story of the Dot

queer porn tv enterance (accidental book)


IN ITIBIIGRIPHI by Igir Strivinski


The Idiot

First Thought Worst Thought

___ _____ __ _______ (now called Echoes Without Saying)

All of the above books can be read on Gauss PDF here.

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