"The center of the tornado"

"This is an ode to John Wieners and Auerhahn Press

Who have driven me away from poetry like a fast car"

The Auerhahn bibliography states that The Heads of the Town Up to the Aether is arguably "Auerhahn's main contribution to literature." But as Johnston details, the publication of the book blew up a shit storm throughout the Spicer Circle proving once again that all poets are a pain in the ass. Robert Duncan blasted Auerhahn Press in the Valentine Issue of Open Space (not a love letter to be sure): "With the exception that the typography is abominable (titles crammed into the text; explanatory notes for 'homage to creeley' shoved to the bottom of the page, etc) and that the lithographs [by Fran Herndon] lose in reproduction, from these poems and these illustrations I draw increasing sense of what poetry can mean."

When The Heads of the Town Up to the Aether failed to deliver commercially, Jack Spicer accused Hoyem and Haselwood of not promoting the book properly. Citing "[e]vidence of Auerhahn's attempts to promote Heads' sale" in the press files, Ellingham and Killian clear Auerhahn Press of all charges. This publication announcement could be considered Exhibit A.

Putting Spicer on the stand and having him explain why he prevented City Lights from distributing the book and why the Discovery Bookstore was similarly attacked by the Spicer Circle would provide valuable testimony for why the book failed as well. Or you could have Spicer give a reading of the book to a jury, not of his Circle, but of Joe and Jan Public of San Francisco. The blank stares would further acquit Auerhahn. Spicer is an acquired taste. The general reader is busy reading Playboy and the Sunday New York Times, not Spicer. Actually, he was little read outside of a small circle of friends.



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