Poems and Pictures

Over the years, Kyle Schlesinger has become more to me than a brother-in-arms, he has become family.  The development of this relationship has been the single most important result of Mimeo Mimeo.  Not surpising since little mags are all about establishing such connections.  I talk to him more than my own brother, which I am not proud of, but all the same I would have a hard time switching things around.  I do not want to turn a brotherly hug into a circle jerk or a reacharound, god knows Kyle's work stands on its own.

That said Poems and Pictures is an essential gathering of the work of the Mimeo Revolution.  Looking upon the Mimeo Revolution in terms of art, design and typography is the greatest development in the study of this area since the Clay and Phillips exhibition.  Kyle has been at the forefront and is one of the leading spokesman of this area of study.  What makes Kyle all the more authorative is that he can actually run a printing press and that he intimately knows the history of print.  It is a rare combination, but then again Kyle is part of a rare and dying breed.  Unlike Marc Antony I come to praise Kyle not to bury him.  Sorry for the eulogy.

After you are done with Poems and Pictures (and you are never finished with it as you refer to it again and again), download a copy of Kyle's The Typography of Robert Creeley.  Kyle studied with Creeley at Buffalo and nobody I know has more intimate access into the life and work of Creeley.  Kyle's essay is one of the best I have ever read on publishing in the Mimeo Revolution and when I read it what seems ages ago I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about all the magazines I owned.  I wrote Kyle a gushing letter and happily he turned that letter into a correspondence and a friendship.  It is that spirit of openness and sharing that makes Kyle's critical work special.  All the great academics have the same quality.  Olson had it; Creeley had it.  I was happy to find out that Oliver Harris has it.  That is why their work inspires as it teaches.  You want to follow in their footsteps; you want to make them proud; any time you have an idea you want to get in contact with them and play that idea out.  What is remarkable and special is that they will take you and that idea to place you've never been and are thankful to go.



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