I'm not sure exactly when I began receiving mail from the Vigilance Society, but it's been some time. Part of the mystery is that the books are never dated, there no place of publication listed, and there's no website devoted to the publisher. In the wake of the war on terror, the Vigilance Society has complicated what it means to be a reader, to be a receiver, rather than a consumer of poetry, i.e. you can't buy it, it comes to you. Imperfectly printed from battered types and printed on what appears to be offcuts, I can't help but think of the political parallels and material semblance to Wallace Berman's legendary Semina. To make matters more complicated, the books are never mailed from the same address and sometimes the same edition is mailed from multiple addresses. Someday the great bibliographer in the sky will sort this all out for us, but for now, perhaps best to sit back and enjoy the poetry: "we're that preterite where / what appears / that has this fate: / to come within / the strand of light."


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