Venus and the Moon Glimmering on the Horizon

Completeness is the horizon constantly before the eyes of the collector but a place, a state never to be attained. I thought I was approaching the unapproachable in regards to Open Space. From what I could tell I had all the magazines as well as the standalone chapbook publications. In fact, they can all be found on the Mimeo Mimeo blog.

And then Harold Dull's Venus and the Moon come into my orbit. The bookseller's catalog description stated it was associated with Open Space #4. This would be the White Hope Issue not the Taurus Issue. Yes, there were two Number 4s. Open Space is quirky like that.

The publication advertised came from Harold Dull's personal collection so it could be like an offprint for his own personal distribution. Yet Alastair Johnston, author of the White Rabbit bibliography, which features a valuable checklist on Open Space magazine, suggests that there were possibly overrun sheets of the Dull poem and the extras were used to make the above publication, which was printed, like Open Space, "sans serif typewriter litho on cheap bond."

Back in 2006, when Ron Silliman wrote on Dull, he describes this same publication as one of the four Dull items in his possession. As Silliman notes, Venus and the Moon became the opening poem in Dull's 1967 collection The Star Year, "a record of discovery of stars in life and sky, celebrat[ing] the beginning of [Dull's] new life at Drew House with Ila Hinton" (Poet Be Like God). I have no idea how many copies of Venus and the Moon were made or the motive behind it. There is another copy currently available on Abebooks.

All I know is that I had to buy it. Immediately. In order to get one step closer to that ever-receding horizon.



Post a Comment