I read Toujours l’amour by Ron Padgett recently. I thoroughly enjoyed the poems, but that is not why I feel compelled to return to the Mimeo Mimeo blog after a long hiatus. As is often the case with me, my interest stems from the peripherals, from the margins, rather than from the main text itself. Last things first. I could not get over Padgett’s author photo taken by Jacob Burckhardt on the back cover. Ron looks great! Part pimp, part don, part disco. It bears mentioning that this was definitely a look circa 1976. Padgett as Martin Scorsese as the Passenger in The Taxi Driver. Toujours l’amour to be sure.
And if we are talking about New York City in 1976, one must touch on graffiti, and my copy of Toujours l’amour has a touch of that as well. In the presence of a bookplate. For what are bookplates but a form of tagging. Personally I hate bookplates. Some people love them and even collect them. In fact one of the most consistently praised book blogs is one dedicated to bookplates: Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie. I would suspect that Jon Lawson Buller’s bookplate would be collectible just as kitch or bad art has become increasingly collectible. If Padgett with this beard is channeling Scorsese or a member of the hirsute Bronx Zoo (the Yankees that is), Buller calls to mind nobody less than the Hulkster with his defiant fading glory hairdo. As for the cat, I like to think, with a nod to Baltimore ambulance chaser and media icon Barry Glazer that Buller is one of the urinated upon, because like the cat, Buller is clearly marking his territory with his bookplate. His book indeed