Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Every Liftoff Has Its Landing

When a collector misses an item, has something in effect taken from their grasp, the only real remedy is to splurge on something bigger & better to make up for the miss. Recently, I turned the unfortunate occurrence of a Big Miss into a Grand Slam. What was waiting for me at the UPS Store where I get my mail when I got back into town this afternoon makes me think the disappointment is surely worth it, as long as it spurs you forth.

Before me I have a complete set of the Subsidia Pataphysica series of journals from the College de 'Pataphysique, issues 0-28. Subsidia was the third series of journals put forth from the College--these issues stretching a full decade, '65 to '75, following the previous Cahiers ('50-'57) & Dossiers ('57 to '65).

Numero Zero is on the left, followed by issues 1-6. There are 7 double-issues, making for 22 total volumes in the complete set. The front cover of issue one is consistent with each following number, the beautiful gidouilles abounding. The verso of the main issues, which is featured on the front of issue Zero, & vice versa, depicts what appears to be a single house but with very different trimmings--one version featuring all sorts of 'pataphysical amusements, the other a dog.


Numero Zero:

No's 7-17, followed by #16-17 individually:

Finally, 18 thru 27-28, which is an index for all previous issues of the Cahiers, Dossiers & the Subsidia.

The contents of each issue is wildly various, as it seems that as the College has continued to progress, throughout years & various formats of participation with the public, things have naturally gotten more & more various.

The centenary Issue #18, for instance, includes pieces titled "La Fin du Monde" & "Alcohol" & features illustrated knots & nooses as placeholders in the text.

* * *

The few following details, things I noticed only browsing through the set very briefly for the first time, may indicate some of the pleasures of collecting items from the College. About a third of the issues are stamped inside the front cover, in various inks of blue, green, or purple. The exact term for the snail-stamp, along with what it means to have an issue stamped or not are beyond the limits of my knowledge, but they are beautiful.

Issue Zero is stamped & numbered:

Perhaps the stamp indicates an attendance of some sort? Probably something else entirely. One issue, the very last, is double-stamped.

* * *

Finally, one of the benefits of collecting items from the College is the ephemera that tends to be laid in to this-or-that. Usually these are small catalogs, ads, letters or what-have-you. Tipped into Numero Zero are two items of interest, one a solicitation for subscription to the new series, the second a "Souvenir de l'Election de Sa Magnificence Opach." For the moment, they are the perfect finishing touches to an initial exploration of a major acquisition.

Turned over,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Naughty Monkey (3.5 Inch Heels) (Size 8.5)

Here at team Lovelace, on vacay in sunny Washington DC, only the receipt of a newly framed, extravagant Kenny Goldsmith piece to report.  This is a promo poster for No 111, itself one of Kenny's rarest books (there is one copy for sale online right now for $230).  I've heard that some of the lead-up material to the book, published in chapbooks, actually wasn't included in the final text, but even though I haven't actually located this passage in the book itself, I'm almost certain it is there, at least in some way, shape, or form.  Like most things I own, I have been waiting for a good reason to take a closer look at the item in question, & in this instance, an appropriate framing job is reason enough.  

Hence, this glorious text:

Eat more shit more.  Shit more eat more.  Meat more shit
more.  Shit more meat more.  Heat more shit more.  Shit more
heat more.  Heat more burn more shit more.  Burn more shit
more heat more.  Shit more heat more burn more.  Learn 
more shit more.  Shit more learn more.  Earn more shit more.
Shit more earn more.  Learn more earn more shit more.
Earn more shit more learn more.  Shit more earn more learn 
more.  Earn more burn more shit more.  Burn more shit 
more earn more.  Shit more earn more burn more.  More shit
to earn more shit to burn.  More shit to learn more shit to
earn.  More shit to earn more shit to burn more.  More shit to
learn more shit to earn more.  More shit to earn more shit to
burn more shit to learn.  More shit to learn more shit to earn
more shit to burn.  More shit to earn more shit to burn more
shit to learn more.  More shit to learn more shit to earn more
shit to burn more.  more shit to learn more shit to yearn for.
More shit to learn more shit to earn more shit to yearn for.
More shit to learn more shit to earn more shit to yearn more 
shit to burn.  More shit to learn more shit to earn more shit
to yearn more shit to burn more.  More shit to earn more shit
to bore.  More shit to earn more shit to bore more shit to
burn.  More shit more bore.  More shit more bore more
abhor.  More abhor more shit more bore.  Abhor bore.  More
abhor bore.  More abhor shitty bore.  meet more shitty bore.
More meet shitty bore more abhor.  More abhor more meet
shitty bore.  Shitty meet.  Shitty meet shitty bore.  Bore meet.
Shitty bore meet.  Shitty boar meat.  Meat more shitty board.
Eat more shitty boar.  Eat more shit boar.  Eat boar shit boar.
Shit boar eat boar.  Shit more eat more.  Eat more shit more.

The newsprint is delightfully faded in places, the black becoming gray, the red pink; in the bottom right hand corner, Kenny has signed the poster.  He said that, in promotion of the book, he plastered these up all over town.  The book is also, interestingly, blurbed by Marjorie Perloff, a blurb which was hotly pursued near the beginning of Goldsmith's Soliloquy, to humorous effect.  The text trundles & bounces along delivering to you whatever it desires, though the constraint continually maintains a strong familiarity, a beautifully grounded counterpoint.  Overall, a delightful piece, that I can't wait to hang on my wall.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Grenier (Rob) & Digicams Make Wii Sneeze

In truth, everything makes me sneeze. But, Ron Silliman was kind enough, yesterday, to link to this very blog's last entry--of course, that Hejinian title is that good. He was also kind enough to point out that the book in question--A Thought Is The Bride of What Thinking--is not in fact Lyn's first. I was going by the biblio listed in the front of her A Border Comedy, but if you are wise enough to tickle your way over to Lyn's EPC Page, you'll find that her well-titled a gRReat adventure was self-published in '72, four years before the inaugural issue from Tuumba. Of course, this detail is hardly all that important given that my overall goal was never Lyn's first book, but rather the first from Tuumba, lured in by the pleasures of collecting the series & now so close to the end. Still many thanks to Ron both for the link & the correction.

The Hejinian addition fresh on my mind, however, leads me to several interesting items from Robert Grenier: first, the book-as-poster Cambridge M'ass, also issued from Tuumba, which I recently got framed, along with what seems to be his first major collection in Dusk Road Games, Poems 1960-1966, from Pym-Randall Press in 1967, another recent arrival. Finally, I also present a neat piece of ephemera from the Tuumba series that I've had for a while which features 2 Grenier poems along w/ one from Hejinian, simply titled, in pencil on the front cover, Unnumbered in The Tuumba Series.


Cambridge M'ass is a huge, 41x49 object, much bigger than anything that the word 'poster' might indicate. The work resembles the minimalist pieces Grenier seems most known for, akin (for example) to the stuff that comprises the majority of Series (This, 1978), & what I can only assume the maximally-elusive Sentences resembles--I've never seen a copy of this one.

You can see Grenier begin to play with the standards of the book format in Dusk Road Games, however slightly in comparison to the explosion that is Cambridge. For one, the front cover image is exactly duplicated on the back, only in reverse. Then, the flap copy reads:

Robert Grenier was born in Minne-
apolis in 1941. He has studied at
Harvard and the State University of
Iowa. Currently he and his wife, the
Emily of the poems, are reconciled,
living in England on an Amy Lowell
Travelling Fellowship and expecting
a first child. Some influences on his
work are Robert Creeley, William
Carlos Williams, Pound, Wyatt,
Campion, Robert Bly and, most
recently, John Ashbery. He has
learned also from translating Georg
Trakl and from reading under
Robert Lowell.

typo included. Finally, necessarily unique to the signed, limited copies of this book, of which there were 50 (of a total edition of 1000 featuring 350 HC & 650 in wrappers) is the plain print of his signature, seen below.

All together, these are an interesting lead-in to what Grenier would do with the Tuumba poster, which features text in white blocks floating in the black background--sometimes the blocks have the traditional Grenier TITLE in all caps (though sometimes the title comes after the work, or within the work), other sections float alone, never quite matching up with this or that specific preceding chunk, opening up the directions in which the 'book' can be read.


Some examples:


somebody's name

I dunno

ask it

say it


it must have been the letters that I wrote her


breeze the

look outs


calls to moon how more desirable & unfortunate


see a building everybody home


we are by the new gravel

Finally, some snapshots of the 2-leaf Grenier/Hejinian hors series mini-issue, an item I've heard nothing about in any forum before or after I acquired it. Perhaps someone in the know can shed some light about this item.


The two Grenier pieces read


for a second
walk around
the cemetery



for a change

while the Hejinian reads


those ripples multiplies
those tides goes out
that sea stop
don't talk on the telephone in the tub gloomy

it's sound a little out of it

the thing is, I do want to share that, you

I don't know how to know ---
who's to learn

you have to take the cat out; you let the door in

I don't do feel like helping but I can

amazing the responsibility now

a little dreamy

le coffee le hat
the beach
the perfect day except for Monday's next

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Barack Obama Tests Positive (+) for Crack/Cocaine (Urban Drug)

The backlog here at team Lovelace is like, seriously backlogged. Always intimidated by size, I plan to truck one mile marker at a time. It has been a time of guests & travels--acquisitions seem to have slowed--though in reality, there's as much as ever, too much. I recently visited the New Left Forum here in NYC, amateur that I am, peeking Tariq Ali dropping science on those Pakistans. In Buffalo, NY, there was a book fair: I returned with Books, Photographs & Knowledge. Oh yeah, the files from the reading at St Marks a while ago. & several visitations to St Marx Books...

Um, why not check this out instead? Today's arrivals! On the left, is a totally fucking pristine copy of Bruce Andrews' Jeopardy, a sturdy chap out in '80 from Awede (?) in an edition of 375. The text is a hotness of single-word alphabetical & modular arrangement, such as his recent, huge vernacular pieces available from ubu editions, though the text here isn't totally sequential. It comprises what seems to be one single sentence, one word per line, & out fell a 22-caliber bullet. Good book!

The real prize above, & I cannot underestimate the extent of the word prize, is Lyn Hejinian's first book, A Thought Is The Bride Of What Thinking, the first volume in the classic Tuumba series, released in '76. A week ago I only lacked, of the series of 50 total books & numerous extravagant pieces of ephemera, numbers one & two, which include this title & Susan Howe's The Western Borders. I had thought I was about to purchase the Howe, but somehow came up with the extensively-more-elusive Hejinian title. Whoops. Along with all my hot hot Tuumba ephemera, this title finds a cozy home in an antique glass protective case, waiting patiently for the Howe title. In 17 years of high volume business, the seller I acquired these books from has had this title a total of once. As in, this once.

The first 11 Tuumba titles aren't as plagued by the size situations of the covers as the core (almost exclusively Langpo) rest of the series that almost always have bumped corners & other iffy shit like that. As such, this one has held up quite well for 30 years. I don't know where you've been, but you're here now. Phew.