9. LONG DISTANCE. London, England: Ferry Press, 1972. 7¼x9" 64 pages. (P)
Offset, smyth-sewn paperback. Black-and-white cover and illustrations by George Schneeman. Author photo by Evann Irons. Colophon states, “All of these poems were written in Bolinas, California (October ’69–September ’70….)” 300 copies including 26 specially bound and signed by the artist and the author, and containing an additional holograph poem.
“Andrew Crozier, the publisher of Ferry Press, in England, asked me for a book when I was living in Bolinas. We had been in touch when I was living in New York and we met briefly when I was in England summer 1969. George Schneeman’s excellent collages add a great deal to the feel of it all. I was on the phone, ‘long distance,’ almost constantly when I was in California, so the title made perfect sense. The final poems in the book, ‘Long Distance,’ ‘Ways of Saying Goodbye’ and ‘Definition of Great’ seem to mirror the feeling of closure I felt when I left Bolinas in September 1970, never to return. The book is dedicated to my parents—it was the first time I had ever lived away from New York, and away from them. I made most of my long distance calls from a phone booth outside the community center on Elm Road in the dead of night and afterwards the operator would call me back asking me for more money. I can still hear that phone ringing on the empty road.” (LW)