14. BLUE HEAVEN. New York, NY: The Kulchur Foundation, 1978. 7½x9¾" 128 pages. (P)
Offset, perfect-bound paperback. Cover by George Schneeman. Prospectus with praise from Ted Berrigan tipped in.
“Lita Hornick asked me for this book, as part of her series for Kulchur Books, while I was living in Lenox. It includes many new poems as well as poems that I’d written in New York and Cambridge, like ‘Immediate Surrounding.’ George Schneeman did the cover. I don’t think that’s supposed to be me on the cover, just ‘someone.’ Bernadette and I came in for the book party at the Gotham Book Mart and afterwards went to dinner with Lita and her husband Morty. The book is dedicated to Bernadette Mayer. The last poem of the book, ‘The Secret Job,’ is a flashback to my life in San Francisco, 1971, when I worked all day at a ‘secret’ job and saw almost nobody. I wrote that poem in 1977 when I was living in Lenox, long after the fact. There was a hardcover edition for Blue Heaven, I’d say five hundred paperbacks and about two hundred fifty hardbound." (LW)
Lewis Warsh’s poems are intimate & personal in tone. Somehow at the same time they are large in scale, like much of the best of today’s work, & that they are highly ambitious perhaps has much to do with their scale. He makes use of the devices of the lyric, music, language, nuance, insinuation, plenty of surface; but his language is highly informed with intelligence (it is the pronouns for example who insinuate) and his music is white music, the music of the brain cells. Where the heart is just behind the words in their twists and turns through open and closed lines. Unlike his prose, which reveals everything, as it were, in order to state the mystery, his poems reveal nothing but imply everything. And his hands in your pockets, ah, warm. —Ted Berrigan