Booking around Portland in July, I found a few early books by Aram Saroyan at Powell's, two signed, tho I suspect far after the original 1972 and 1976 dates, respectively. The early minimal poems are somewhat familiar to me, thanks to UDP's terrific, beautifully restored paperback. But this was my first time through O My Generation, a poem that should be carefully considered in dialogue with Leaves of Grass and Howl, crossed my path. It was published by Blackberry Books in 1976 in an edition of 750 with blurbs from Rod McKuen, Robert Creeley, and Rolling Stone. Seriously.

But the book of Aram's I would like to read most may, or may not exist. I've been told that The Letter Book, essentially a minimalist, epistolary poetic response Aram addressed to his father, author and dramatist William Saroyan's 'shit or get off the pot' letter to his son with respect to his current literary activity, was produced in an edition of two or three. Who knows if any copies survive? If in fact they do not, I love the concept anyway, and the concept goes a long way in memory and actuality alike.
Austin, TX


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