Thursday, December 08, 2005

More Spicer

Got some Jack Spicer books from Concordia's library. Exciting that they have some.

1) A Book of Music
2) After Lorca

I ripped straight through A Book of Music. My favorite lines so far, from the poem "THE CARDPLAYERS":

The moon is tied to a few strings
They hold in their hands.

And later, in the poem "CONSPIRACY":

A violin which is following me (...)

It follows me like someone that hates me. (...)

Or is it really a tree growing just behind my throat
That if I turned quickly enough I could see
Rooted, immutable, neighbouring

And since I'm here, I have to include the final piece in the booklet of 14 poems. I like to swim, but only in an empty pool where I can swim languidly, and reach quickly the edges, as deep water scares me so. I love the rope imagery here, and the length--maybe play with the length of a swim/ocean; boundary against boundary. Lover against love/love against lover. "A BOOK OF MUSIC":

Coming at an end the lovers
Are exhausted like two swimmers. Where
Did it end. There is no telling. No love is
Like an ocean with the dizzy procession of the wave's bounderies
From which two can emerge exhausted, nor long goodbye
Like death.
Coming at an end. Rather, I would say, like a length
Of coiled rope
Which does not disguise in the first twists of its lengths
Its endings.
But, you will say, we loved
And some parts of us loved
And the rest of us will remain
Two persons. Yes,
Poetry ends like a rope.

So I decided just now to write some reaction to this piece. Here it is.


boundary against boundary
length begets length

remainders filed away
      lover against love

      (love against lover)

in the first scenes of it
mere ankle depth
there is cause for causation
      (models and models of them)
to kill
or to be died
     (I killed him
      I died him

there is a room full of scientists
forcing determiners
down the mouths
into the throats
of rats

men are safe today
only the poem will survive


The little collection was published by White Rabbit Press in 1969, San Francisco. It is an edition of 1800 copies (yowser!) and printed on a typescript, which is deliciously tactile. I ran my fingers over the red lettering of the capitalized titles of each poem and of the name Jack Spicer embossed on the first entry page into the book that looks something like this:

     A BOOK
  Jack OF Spicer

I want to begin making precious books. Something really hand held significant. Something to brush your palm against, or, your face. Imagine a room full of small pressers smoothing books to their cheeks. It should be done. Feel what's between the covers. I also have to investigate where to get my hands on some printmaking equipment. I used to do that sort of thing, and I want to get back into it. Use some of the cuts for book covers and the like. Etching too. I miss that anxious still while staring into a bath of pure acid eating away at your impression. ha.

More to write, but god this post is already long enough.

Ok, one more thing. I'll elaborate later, but so far "After Lorca" seems fucking brilliant. In fact, I don't even know who published the damn thing, only says "printed by Marco Polio for the Government". ha. Ooh, this will be fun to read. What a character that Jack must have been.


Blogger Razovsky said...

I haven't thought about After Lorca for many years. I used to love that book. It's a lovely little book. Was it printed at Coach House? Just a theory I have, trickling out from some long-buried memory kernel.

Thanks for writing about Jack Spicer.

11:06 a.m.  
Blogger MissWanda said...

Thanks for the note, S. I'm really enjoying explorations into Spicer material. His writing has been a special gift, as if he was right there reading it aloud.

Not sure about it being printed at Coach House. In fact, the spine imprint is merely cone symbol and the book boasts it being simply "typed on an IBM Selectric blah, blah, blah, by Robin Cones and printed by Marco Polio for the Government, with a cover from a photo by blah, blah, blah, in March, 1974." Very cute in any case.

It's such a very lovely little book on so many levels. I would love to find a copy to make my very own one day.

On another note, you should listen to what I'm listening to: Vladimir Vysotsky.

2:57 p.m.  

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