Merry Christmas

The Christmas Issue (No. 28) of Floating Bear in 1963 was the first issue to have a separate cover.  Al Lesile did the honors and Diane Di Prima was quite happily surprised by the results.  The image above was cut onto a stencil and mimeographed.  No offset here.

It is a great cover that captures the spirit of the New York art and literary scene in the East Village in 1963.  I especially like that Locus Solus and Evergreen Review are grouped with Hudson Review and Partisan Review at the bottom of the toliet, which itself is tagged as The Foundations.  Not surprising that Evergreen Review is linked with the poetry establishment.  Locus Solus, a magazine fashioned after French models and edited by John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler and Harry Mathews (who financed the mag), must have been deemed too academic and serious.  The absence of Frank O'Hara as one of the editors highlights what Locus Solus lacked:  a sense of leisurely play and insouciance.  If Locus Solus attempted to be playful, like in the Collaboration Issue (No. 2), it came off as a mental excerise with purpose and not a carefree romp in the sandbox.

So Merry Christmas.  For many it has been a shitty year, but Mimeo Mimeo #4 is in the works, so to paraphrase Carl Spackler in Caddyshack:  You have that going for you. 


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