I do not like broadsides. Never have. I must admit that I find the Oyez/Auerhahn Signature to Petition on Ten Pound Island Asked of My By Mr. Vincent Ferrini by Charles Olson very tempting. Every summer I stop by Gloucester and drive around Fort Square, get out of the car and gaze at Ten Pound Island with my wife and breathe in the salt air. In fact, I might buy it tomorrow. I could use a bit of that air right about now.
But this is a moment of weakness. I like posters and I love handbills, probably because they do something, as Olson would say they are of use. Broadsides just hang there and look pretty. Unless they do not, like the Ginsberg Who To Be Kind To, which is ugly as sin in my opinion.
The Olson broadside also stands out because it is just about the only Oyez first series broadside that is remotely interesting to me. Bob Hawley managed to gather all the Bay Area related writers I do not care about.
Michael McClure - Two For Bruce Conner: I can dig Conner, but McClure not so much.
Brother Antonius - The Rose of Solitude: Brother Antonius and William Everson. Never got into either although I find myself intensely interested by Waldport.
Josephine Miles - In Identity: Madeline Gleason, Josephine Miles, and Helen Adam, the three fates of San Francisco, while they are spinning, measuring and cutting verse, I am sawing wood.
Robert Duncan - Wine: I really want to drink deeply of his poetry, but like hard liquor I cannot stomach it.
Robert Creeley - Two Poems: Despite faking it for Kyle, I am not the Creeley fan I proclaim to be. I am actually more drawn to him as a publisher and editor. I absolutely love Black Mountain Review, Divers Press and The New American Story Anthology.
David Meltzer - The Blackest Rose: The interview with Meltzer in Mimeo Mimeo is the most interesting thing I have read by him.
Denise Levertov - City Psalm: I am dedicating my summer to given her a fair shake. I have showed her the hand for so long without really reading her that it is a personal embarrassment.
Gary Snyder - Hop, Skip and Jump: I do not like being preached to, unless you do not take yourself seriously. Good Ginsberg does not; Snyder always does. If Snyder tries to be one of the guys, he fails.
William Bronk - The Cipher: I honestly would not know this guy's work if I was wiping my ass with it. Probably my loss because I read an essay recently on Bronk and his exclusion from Allen's New American Anthology that was very interesting and even made Bronk's poems so as well. He is on the summer list with Levertov.
All these broadsides were commissioned by Hawley in 1964 and printed by Auerhahn Press in editions of 350. There was all kinds of Hoyemesque (this is an official bibliographic term for small press frills and nonsense designed for generating some extra cents) BS involving complete set portfolios and Mrs. Hawley scrapbooking and hand made or mould made papers, which further turns me off to these broadsides.
The Rose of Solitude above was never folded as it was designed to be. I have the feeling that if I was in the room with all these broadsides, I would be smitten and maybe even seduced. The Olson broadside had me at hello. I flipped though Lee Bartlett's biography of Everson and the story surrounding this poem happens to be one of great passion and desire, which I would not mind learning more about. Put that book on the summer reading list as well. It is getting to be a busy summer. I am looking forward to seeing Ten Pound Island.