Saturday, May 24, 2008

Steven Zultanski <3 Kevin Thurston

Tomorrow evening, Steven Zultanski will read from his poems at the Zinc Bar, located 90 West Houston, at 6:30. He will be reading along with Dorothea Lasky, so attend if you like these pics of Steve 'n' Kevin Thurston.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rodefer Pictures

How better decorate your hot Brooklyn pad than with the badassery of one of the best poets of like 3 or 4 generations? My first Rodefer book was his entry in the Tuumba series--#36 Plane Debris. That title was also one of the first I acquired in my quest to complete the entire Tuumba publications. The format of the series changed to the classic style at issue 12; it historically hit its stride with editor Lyn Hejinian's second entry, Gesualdo, which was issue 15. The only other formal anomaly is Rodefer's entry, featuring delightfully oversized wraps, more than 2 inches wider than the other pamphlets, as if it's protruding place on the bookshelf constantly reminds you how extravagant & great the contents are.

About a year ago I bought some of Rodefer's "language pictures" from Greg Fuchs, a fact I've previously documented here. Never, though, have I provided photos of the framed jobs hanging on my walls.

These two flank the fireplace in my living room. The quote from the item above, which I call to myself "23," is reprinted as an epigraph to the poem "Brief to Butterick," found both in the pamphlet Leaving & the larger collection Left Under A Cloud. It reads,

Yes, the tooth of time is black to the root
I have done all I could do
To appear mirthful

This second piece, which I call to myself "The Order," is a most pleasant collage of artist Mathew Barney over one of those September 11th remembrance name-lists. The item was created on December 20th in the year of its happening. It is most interesting in the context of the other, linguisto-minimalist pieces, & is striking as a somewhat more conceptual texture than any of the other items.

The final picture, which I call to myself "Fuck Death," follows below. It is a variation on one of the items Rodefer displayed at the Bowery Poetry Club in February of 2007. It hangs above the fireplace in my bedroom. This one isn't on paper, but rather a rollable burlap sack, with a painted sheet of paper towel between the two words.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

SxSw 2: A Shit Phylum

Then, like now, life forms begat others. Conversely, condensations beget themselves. Drinking this water, I arrive at new photos of new acquisitions, photos in which you will find various 'pataphysical items, most of which are officially sanctioned by the College de 'Pataphysique. This new set, the initial series of the College's external publications, dates back in excess of 50 years, the first issue appearing as early as 1950. The Cahiers, compared to the Subsidia Pataphysica, are more fragile, less bright, but no less magnificent. Now housed in a protective wax paper, they appear even more faded, yet examination yields the truth of their beauty. Of course, I could have just as easily said the beauty of their truth. There, I have said.

Below, an array of issues 1 thru 10. Issue 2 has a smaller trimsize than any of the other numbers. It also lacks a gidouille above the globe at the top of the cover illustration. Beginning with numero 10, a title is included at the top of each cover. Issues 1 thru 9 lack titles. Issue 10 carries the title "expojarrysition." Also with the 10th issue begins the practice of including a bit of text at the very bottom of the cover. Issue 10 announces an exposition at the Galerie Jean Loize. Many of the quotes that follow are from Jarry or his texts.

Signs of age are especially intelligible in numbers 5-6 & 7 above, or number 12 below, the gray edges encroaching on a once brightly colored display. The 7th issue must have been a beautiful pastel purple at one time, though it remains exceptional today, perhaps moreso, for it's endurance.

Titles of issues 11 thru 17-18:

11 La Sagesse Des Nations

12 Devoir de Vacance

13-14 Rabelais Pataphysicien

15 Jarry Pantagrueliste

16 Vacance du Devoir

17-18 Allais-Rimbaud

Numero eleven features this at the bottom of its cover: "LES CLICHES SONT L'ARMATURE DE L'ABSOLU (Alfred JARRY)". 12: "Le coeur peut-il être, même chez les grandes personnes, au-dessous de la ceinture ? (Alfred Jarry, le Surmale). 17-18: "J'ai mon fémur ! J'ai mon fémur ! J'ai mon fémur ! C'est cela que depuis quarante ans je bistourne" R i m b a u d.

For numbers 19 thru 21, I elected to remove the protective paper, so as to better reveal the colors & designs. 19 is especially striking, a purple on brown combination. Some wear, such as that visible on numero 20, is to be expected with items of such age. Though worn, never is anything diminished.

Titles of issues 19 thru 21:

19 L'Avenir Futur ou Non

20 Ubu Encore et Toujours

21 De la Morale



20: Le Naturel et le Surnaturel sont à ses ordres et pour un laps de vie, Dieu lui a cédé sa place de Synthèse

Rounding out the program, the last five issues feature titles such as

22-23 Navigation de Faustroll

24 Droit de Vacance

25 La Syzygie des Mots

26-27 ___________

28 Blanchissage

At the bottom of the cover of issue 24: S'IL N'Y AVAIT PAS DE POLOGNE, IL N'Y AURAIT PAS DE POLONAIS____UBU ROI


Volume 26-27 is, somewhat like issue two, an anomaly (in 'pataphysical terms, clinamen) as it features no title & a slightly different cover color scheme. Issue 28 above is actually a facsimile of the original, though its length measures only 2 leaves. Never one for such games, a bonafide copy is in the mail, heading my way.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SxSW: Roundup pt 1

Items are piling up in my crib. In my crib, items are piling. Please join me on a brief tour of recent acquisitions. First, a survey of a small but notable haul at a recent book fair featuring the likes of Roof, The Figures, Cuneiform, Bootstrap, Portable Y0-Yo etc, & Ugly Duckies.

The Weiners I had been after for what seemed like a full year, though I don't think it's been out that long. Deals were to be had at this event--publishers, bookfair visitors, take note, always have a deal. People want them. Some of the most interesting items though were some special things from Geoff Young. On his table were paperback copies of Clark Coolidge's Space, published long ago in 1970 by Harper and Row. When I lamented to Geoff that I had a hardback signed copy that was somewhat beat up, he produced a lavishly new HC copy from his bag behind the table. My eyes were so wide I saw Fuji. That, along with a copy from a recently-discovered handful of Kenneth Goldsmith's No 111, marked the true finds of the day.

What follows documents various sorts & sites of acquisition. For the most part, this will be only a general pictorial survey, as there is still more yet to come. The careful voyeur may notice the 'pataphysical jets destinationally aflame, for very good reason. Those goodies to be depicted in part 2 of this post.

The Clark Coolidge/Glen Baxter collab, out from Arc Publications, a UK outfit, is the first edition of work originally from 1974, & it is something similar to Ted Berrigan's picture-drawing-texts featured in the Aaron Fischer bibliography Granary put out. The Stephen Rodefer item is from Equipage, in what is almost a totally Tuumba-inspired design, replete with oversize wraps with too-easily bumped corners. The copy is signed. The early Rod Smith title The Boy Poems is my 2nd copy of this book but it was up for grabs for cheap at his recent Zinc bar reading so I grabbed. Of the Atlas stuff, the Peret is especially choice, a 1986 title that is among the most elusive of the early Atlas product.

In this series of items, the Benjamin Friedlander pieces are of special note. The first is the premier issue of Jimmy & Lucy's House of K, a small-run mag of the mid-80s west coast scene. Friedlander co-edited the journal along with Andrew Schelling. It is similar to L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E in the sense that it is 99% prose, but on the whole seems less militantly critical, tending occasionally toward biography & remembrance. The first issue for instance opens with Stephen Rodefer on Ted Berrigan's then-recent passing, & ends with Barry Lane on filmmaker Hollis Frampton, who had just died also. In surveying issue one, particular note should go to Nancy May's giraffe artwork, featured throughout the issue, which is a nice formal touch, as opposed to featuring it in one's own separate section. By issue six of Jimmy & Lucy's House of K, a survey of Tuumba press which I've previously owned for a while, a similar interactivity between pieces is achieved by allowing the different pieces to end & begin on the same page, much like L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E.

The second Friedlander-related item is a tiny, rare, visually interesting collab with Rodefer, which was "originally published in March 1984 on the occasion of a reading...This new and revised edition of 200 copies printed Spring 1987 and assigned to the reader," published by Phraseology, entitled Oriflamme Day. By total coincidence, the innards of this one highly resemble the Baxter/Coolidge collab, featuring visually random bits of collaged image & text heading in all directions.

Also totally by coincidence, I recently pounced on what was then my second copy of Kenny Goldsmith's No 111. The only copy for sale online was going for over $200, so when I saw one for a much more reasonable price, I stepped on the gas. The pristine copy arrived, &, much to my pleasure, bore a nice stamp & signature from Goldsmith--a detail that was not included in the description of the book when I bought it. So now I have three copies of the book.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Who New?

Who knew that Library of America's somewhat recently released Four Novels of the 60s (I just got it) from Philip K Dick would be followed by Five Novels of the 60s and 70s, shortly available this July? This was probably the plan the whole time, but the forthcoming release is nonetheless quite exciting.

The first volume includes:

The Man in the High Castle • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? • Ubik

While the second includes:

Martian Time-Slip • Dr. Bloodmoney • Now Wait for Last Year • Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said • A Scanner Darkly

Reading the first volume is a rich experience, not only for the work but for the format of the book itself. The book is simply bible-esque, with extremely thin pages (the 800 page book is about as wide as a standard 400 page volume) & a built in bookmark, making it impossible to ignore the exponential trajectory of the design & production of PKD's books throughout his career (an exhaustive number of these are on view here). From mass market paperbacks to the extensive, consistent Vintage editions, now on to the Royal Treatment. Welcome to the canon, Phil. For one, when did LoA get such good taste, & who is spearheading these releases? Kudos & surprise abound.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Living Alone

Recently, @ Spoonbill & Sugartown, a store founded using Bob's invulnerable Troubadour books of Hadley, MA as liftoff, a store which has since fully embraced the modern sophistication of it's Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, America, location, featuring all sorts of hipster-friendly varieties of shit (art books, Baudrillard), while still remaining good enough to spend $300 dedans. The above is from Max Ernst's The Hundred Headless Woman, of which there is more below.

Geoffrey Gatza's Dreadful Quietude, a 9-11 fueled Superman Extravaganja, adjacent Dot Dot Dot 15.

Badiou's Handbook of Inaesthetics, Ranciere's The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Planet of Slums from Mike Davis.

Notice the Double Stuf Oreos! Visible in several of the sequence's photos.

The Frenchies: Ponge, Ernst, Queneau.

Douglas Cockerell, Adrian Wilson, & Johannes Pedersen. Also, my love interest tells me Sumner Stone is famous.

Bargain Bin treats: Bimbos of the Death Sun is an adventure tale completed by a protagonist who uses his Dungeons & Dragons superskills to outwit the fembot adversary!

Finally, some selections from the Ernst: