The Odd Couple

Let try this again.

Here is a copy of Floating Bear 26 that was sent to poet Bill Deemer. I know almost nothing about Deemer except that Auerhahn published a particularly beautiful limited edition of his Poems in 1964 in a hard bound edition of 25 copies, when Deemer was only 19 years old. Ron Silliman wrote a blog about Deemer years ago that categorized Deemer as a Zen Cowboy poet associated with Coyote Journal and Press.

As the mailing label shows, Deemer lived in Oregon and his poetry is associated with the West and a life of rural contemplation. What is remarkable is that this issue of Floating Bear was guest edited by Billy Linich aka Billy Name of Warhol's Factory and it is very inside on what was going on in the New York art scene in the Fall of 1963. Warhol is quoted, as are Leo Castelli and Larry Rivers, Fluxus is featured as is the avant garde music scene of LaMonte Young, Angus MacLise, Tony Conrad, and Marian Zazeela. Such material seems far away from the poetry and locale of Deemer. Then again Bill Thomas's Toad Press out of Eugene would publish Deemer in an issue of Intransit guest edited by James Koller. Thomas also published the Andy Warhol/Gerard Malanga Intransit Monster Issue. Coincidence?? Is there a relationship between Deemer, Oregon, and the Warhol scene?

I wish I was more familiar with Deemer's poetry and his book of poems published by Auerhahn just months after he received this issue of Floating Bear. Maybe his Zen came by way of John Cage, a pivotal influence on Fluxus and avant garde music or maybe Deemer wanted to keep his distance from such seductive influences from the Big Apple. I would like to learn more but a study of issues of Floating Bear suggests all sorts of literary paranoia: connections real and imaginary.



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