Saturday, March 22, 2003
I almost never think of
David Shapiro as a
The reason I was thinking of
David Shapiro – beyond of course the pure pleasure of same – was the onset of
Bush’s war, the death of a young woman under a bulldozer in the Gaza strip,
& comments, implications more than statements, that were made on this blog
last October & November that suggested that New York School poetry was
generally apolitical. Thus I’d suggested then that there were aspects of
It’s important to keep in
mind just how remarkable a book such as this was. Shapiro was born in 1947
& is thus one year younger than
This context is worth
noting, because it’s the one in which Shapiro’s work was read by poets at some
The suite itself consists of
18 poems, only one of which extends as far as three pages, in a wide range of
styles – so great that any specific section, singled out, would probably
misrepresent the whole. Shapiro can be extraordinarily lyrical at moments &
yet also uses prose here in ways that extend the possibilities of prose, really
for the first time in poetry since the Williams of Kora or Stein’s Tender
Buttons. Thus “The
On the ship there is an international airport.
Here, their passports are taken away from them.
These walls, these acoustical bricks, protect the man holding an acoustic panel against a wave of shock and sound.
Ordinary microphones don’t hear it, only the microphones with “great surface” permit us to – Walls and closets will not stop it – we will take these sounds to our grave.
Hearts working with determined frequency like twenty hearts, hands black as glands.
The heart contracts to the accompaniment of electric phenomena. Here is a microelectrode penetrating into the heart of a dog.
The allusion to Williams in
that last sentence is no coincidence. Nor is the couplet that leads off the
poem – this is, at one level, a tale of coming to
But if there’s a tale, there’s not a plot. Here is the fourth section, “Statue of a Breeze on Horseback,” just for the sake of contrast:
In a corner of air
On a couch built of air
We make a very little angle
Between “diode and triode lie near together
Are you in the corner of meteors?
You’re in the crust of the earth
You have not yet extinguished the light complex in me
On my languorous couch of air
Air, which is alternately
Black and brilliant and crushed like a coin
That lies under the rocks at Deal
You are here
Here is the debut of culture
Here is your light face which Michelson and Morley followed
Here are the spores.” Sir Alexander Fleming.
Note how those quotation marks work. Note also how Michelson and Morley take us right back to the question of waves from the first poem. But how radically differently this poem feels to be set into quatrains – how much of that determines what we feel about “You” and/or vice versa? And how, or why, does it lead to the inventor of penicillin? One could do a whole little riff of the sonic effects as well, following, for example, the ten instances of a hard c in this poem, nine of which start off words.
It seems clear to me that one cannot sketch out the 18 works into an argument, as such – that’s not their relation. Yet the ways in which these poems invoke history, as well as discourses such as science, make it instantly evident that the social realm is what is at stake – that for me is an almost perfect invocation of the political. Yet it is not the one-dimensional landscape one associates with a Levertov or Ferlinghetti. There is, for example, a running theme in these poems of small creatures: crickets, bees, squirrels, mice – as if Shapiro were anticipating the graphic fiction of Art Spiegelman.
The one overtly political
poem in the sequence is “The Funeral of Jan Palach.” Jan Palach was a
twenty-year-old philosophy student who, in 1969, set himself ablaze in
When I entered the first meditation,
I escaped the gravity of the object,
I experienced the emptiness,
And I have been dead a long time.
When I had a voice you could call a voice,
My mother wept to me:
My son, my beloved son,
I never thought this possible,
I’ll follow you on foot,
Halfway in mud and slush the microphones picked up.
It was raining on the houses;
It was snowing on the police-cars.
The astronauts were weeping,
Going neither up nor out.
And my own mother was brave enough she looked
And it was alright I was dead.
Even the lines that grammatically don’t require end stops have some sort of punctuation right up to that next-to-last line, Shapiro controlling the reader’s breathing & sense of halting rhythm. & again, the question of the microphones, which throughout this work is the question of empathy, which means both compassion & the ability to experience pain.
“A Man Holding an Acoustic Panel,” is a dark & brooding work composed within a genre that has never been known for its seriousness. I have no idea how it must have been received by those close to Shapiro, but I know that at the time, my own response was incomprehension – I simply did not have the critical framework in my head at the time to recognize this work for what it was, and is.
In an excellent interview
conducted by Joanna Fuhrman for RainTaxi, David Shapiro
speaks of brooding on a comment Marianne Moore once made about his work
lacking “adequate starkness.” There is hardly anything inadequate about the
starkness here. Shapiro’s poem, as it turned out, inspired architect John
Hejduk’s monument to Palach in
So it’s no accident, I
suppose, that I’ve been thinking about this poem this week, not only in the
context of the tragedy of Iraq, but also the homicide of Rachel Corrie,
the 23-year-old Olympia, Washington, native who was literally bulldozed to
death by the Israeli army last weekend. Unlike Palach and his American &
Vietnamese counterparts in the 1960s, Corrie did not plan her fate. In the wake
of the media overload over
* A volume that includes not just the usual suspects, but others whose connection may seem more tenuous to the aesthetics of founding papas Ashbery, O’Hara, Koch & Schuyler – John Giorno, Ed Sanders, Tom Veitch – and whose introduction mumbles an apology for failing to include Allen Ginsberg & Charles Reznikoff, but remains silent over its inclusion of only a single woman, Bernadette Mayer. No Waldman, no Notley, no Guest, all of whom would have been reasonable inclusions in 1970.
** Ithaca House was a funky little operation, funded by a writing professor, Baxter Hathaway, as a means of instructing students in what the poetry world was really like. Because David McAleavey had then getting his Ph.D. there, writing what I think might have been the first dissertation on George Oppen, Ithaca House in the early 1970s published first books also by David Melnick & Bob Perelman, as well as Ray Di Palma’s second volume.
*** Howard Moss & Frank O’Hara were jointly awarded the prize that year, O’Hara posthumously.
contrast, the self-immolation of Norman Morrison, a
Quaker father of three, in front of Robert McNamara’s office at the Pentagon
had less of an impact in the
Friday, March 21, 2003
Vázquez is a poet, essayist & fiction writer, a librarian by profession
who is a leader in developing resources on
Park Slope, readers away from the East
Coast might not know, is the section of
The poems – it seems more of a series than a serial poem – are short & deceptively simple:
“Are we inside the fog or outside?” You asked.
“Inside,” I responded.
Like upside-down cats, we snuck away
from the dew and the clouds.
The lamp-post lit the few open bars and
the anxiety in my face knowing that you were recovering.
It is the anomalies that drive this poem, the “upside-down cats” & the “anxiety” rather than relief at the idea of recovery. The whole question of being & knowledge is tucked into that figure of fog in the first line. This is a piece that, in both its density & sharpness, reminds me a little of the writing of Rae Armantrout – the highest praise imaginable.
Translated from the Spanish
by the author & her daughter, Vanessa Acosta-Murray, the poems of Park Slope remind me also of another
At one level, Park Slope is a narrative project – there is a troubled relationship around which so many of these poems turn – yet not one articulated with beginning, middle & end. Rather, each poem seems an intervention, coming at the same set of questions from a wide range of different angles. Some of the most powerful are among the very shortest:
To close my eyes.
Let memory disappear
Let time cease and my sheets never remember.
One word on the translation – there is no facing Spanish, which is a shame, as these pieces in English demonstrate an excellent ear & I’m more than a little curious as to how they might sound in the original. They are in fact so well written I would not have guessed that they were translated if there were not a note to that effect on the acknowledgements page.
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Kirk Johnson yesterday encouraged me to keep going, to provide “something to read in normal circumstances,” though indeed the circumstances today are surely obscene. I’ll try.
Ж Ж Ж
Thinking first of Ken Irby
& then of Paul Goodman & his relationship to the New American poets
this past week sent me back to the second issue of the Evergreen Review, published in 1957. The issue was devoted, as the
blue cover testifies, to the “San Francisco Scene.” Edited by Barney Rosset,
mastermind of Grove Press, &
The issue contains contributions by 16 writers, plus eight photographs of writers by the great Harry Redl. Ten of the 16 will be included in the Allen anthology in 1960:
§ Brother Antoninus, O.P.
§ Robert Duncan
§ Michael McClure
§ Jack Spicer
§ James Broughton
§ Gary Snyder
§ Philip Whalen
§ Jack Kerouac
§ Allen Ginsberg
The four creative writers who won’t be included in the New American Poetry are every bit as intriguing as a list:
§ Kenneth Rexroth
§ Henry Miller
§ Josephine Miles
§ Michael Rumaker
According to Allen’s introduction to his later book, he excluded poets who were already firmly established, which presumably would have included Miles & Rexroth. Rumaker, only 25 in 1957, the same age as McClure, appears to have been seen strictly as a fictioneer, thus excluded along with Miller & Bill Burroughs when it came time for Allen to cobble together his epochal collection of verse.
While Rexroth writes the introduction to this issue, two other critics also appear. Ralph J. Gleason contributes an essay on the San Francisco jazz scene, while Dore Ashton, then the art critic for the New York Times, has a piece on the “San Francisco School,” notably Rothko, Still, Diebenkorn & Sam Francis, with a nod at the end toward David Park, Elmer Bischoff and the “return, four years ago, to figurative painting.”
Some of the individual contributions from the poets & novelists are worth noting as well:
§ Ginsberg’s Howl, Part I (a reprint from the City Lights Book)
§ “October in the Railroad Earth” by Kerouac
“This Place, Rumord to Have Been Sodom” & the start of “The
Structure of Rime” by
§ Seven pieces by Jack Spicer, including “Troy Poem,” “Psychoanalysis: An Elegy,” and “Berkeley in Time of Plague,” easily his most important publication in the 1950s, possibly the most important magazine appearance of his life
§ Selections from Coney Island of the Mind & the whole of “Dog Poem” by Ferlinghetti
Whalen’s “Homage to
That is a huge slice of the great writing of one decade to show up in the pages of a single issue of just one magazine. Just imagine: with the exception of Howl, all of those works came into print on the same day & in the same binding. American writing is a completely different animal by sunset.
The longest piece in the issue is Rumaker’s story, “The Desert.” Its 41 pages are the reason why one can’t usefully do the math of 16 contributors, 160 pages & expect an “average” of ten pages per writer.
Gleason, a polymath & San Francisco music critic since the 1940s* – his column for the San Francisco Chronicle was syndicated by over 60 newspapers nationally, and, in his spare time, he was a vice president at Fantasy Records, host of the TV series Jazz Casual, contributed to Ramparts (the radical antecedent of publications like Mother Jones, The American Prospect & In These Times), & cofounded Rolling Stone with Jann Wenner which Gleason was active in editing until his death in ’75 – alludes to Rexroth & Ferlinghetti reading poetry aloud to jazz. Gleason’s piece doesn’t quite do justice to the degree to which the “modern” SF jazz scene, centered around Dave Brubeck & Vince Guaraldi, came out of the colleges, with Brubeck studying under Darius Milhaud under the GI Bill at Mills while Guaraldi attended SF State. But it’s a decent portrait of a world that will soon be washed over as if by a tsunami by the likes of the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead & Big Brother.**
Ashton, whose article
contrasts the “San Francisco School” with her own local “New York” one, could
have written her piece without crossing the George Washington Bridge – her most
direct observation comes from a letter by Hubert Crehan
that Ashton quotes in full. Both imperious & slovenly written, a bad
combination, Ashton’s “Eastern View of the San Francisco School” is most
noteworthy in that, in addition to Rothko & Still, she pays attention to
some relatively forgotten but wonderful painters, Ernest Briggs
Dugmore. Ashton’s one small concession to her
work appearing alongside poets is to mention Rimbaud & Baudelaire! One
might assume that Ashton’s article is placed at the end as a counterweight to
Rexroth’s introduction – Gleason’s piece comes roughly in the middle
(immediately ahead of Redl’s photographs) – but I
think the real reason is one of embarrassment. The thought of framing all this
new writing with three essays, one on the poetry, one on the surrounding music
scene, and one on the associated art world, must have seemed like a great idea.
But why go to
Yet Rexroth’s introduction
is nearly as strange – he declares right off the bat that the last thing he
wants to write about again is the
What I like about this “The
San Francisco Scene,” which I’ve owned for years, is how it contextualizes the
community at a particular moment in time – unlike the Allen anthology just
three years hence, there is no division here between the San Francisco
Renaissance, Black Mountain and the Beats, although all are represented in the
issue. The presence of Rexroth, Miller & Miles offers an ag
Also worth noting is who is not included here – Lamantia, as Rexroth
so pointedly remarks; Bob Kaufman; Robin Blaser; Helen Adam; Lew Welch;
Madeline Gleason***; Richard Duerden; Kirby Doyle; Bruce Boyd; Ebbe Borregaard;
Peter Orlovsky; Ron Loewinsohn; John Wieners; David Meltzer – all but Kaufman
turn up in the Allen anthology three years later & were extremely visible
in the San Francisco writing community. Indeed, Wieners Hotel Wentley Poems is one of the classics of the City. Presumably
George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & Harold Dull were too young in 1957 – one
could argue about their absence from the anthology in 1960, especially in light
of the presence of Boyd & Doyle. But Creeley was in
So it’s a
Forty-six years later, I
believe just three of the contributors to the magazine are still alive. Yet the
world they shaped, and which
* In 1968, Gleason lifted the San Francisco Scene line from this issue of Evergreen Review for a book on the 1960s rock music scene.
relationship between poetry & jazz and poetry & rock is a study worth
pursuing in its own right. Jazz was the most popular music in
*** Special thanks to Alan Brilliant, who just sent me Gleason’s Concerto for Bell and Telephone, published by Brilliant’s Unicorn Press in 1967.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
No message for today. I’m
too sick at heart at the impending onset of the war. It really is the end of a
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
What my kids know about Paul
Goodman is that their father regales them with a few lines of “The Lordly
Hudson” every time we cross the
Yet I have personal evidence that the New Americans took Goodman seriously. In 1965, during the Berkeley Poetry Conference, one of the largest and most well-attended parties – my memory tells me that it occurred the same night that Ginsberg gave his reading of Kral Majales in Dwinelle Hall – was an affair given in honor not of Ginsberg, but of Goodman, who was not a participant of the conference at all, but happened merely to be in San Francisco and Berkeley that week on some other business. As a hanger on at the fringes around Ginsberg, I dutifully trooped off with the King of the May and maybe 50 other souls from the campus to the nearby Victorian – the party as I recall spilled over through multiple units in the house and into the “in-law” cottage in the rear as well. I was frankly puzzled at the idea that this older guy was somehow more of a big deal than Ginsberg, but that certainly was what I picked up from Allen’s deference to him.
That turned out to be the only time I ever saw Goodman and the question of his relationship to these younger writers – Ginsberg was born the same year as my parents, so he didn’t seem that young, although until least 1970 everybody in that whole scene was being valorized in the media for their very youth – hasn’t crept up that often since. Michael Magee appears to be out to change that.
Since I never read Magee, poetry or criticism, without learning something of value, I pay attention. In the new No, he has a short essay entitled “Personal Poems: Pragmatism from Paul Goodman to Frank O’Hara.” In it, the argument Magee makes is that O’Hara’s Personism joins the peripatetic lunch poet’s interest in black culture to the history of American pragmatism and that, thereby, the coy manifesto “Personism” is in fact “an unrecognized ‘classic’ of American pragmatism.” That is a large claim to make for a document that is all of six paragraphs long. Strategically, it’s a somewhat circuitous argument, in that Magee uses comments O’Hara made about Goodman in order to justify his thesis for O’Hara as a philosophic mind, even while what Magee is really doing – particularly in the context of No – is using O’Hara as a mechanism for relegitimating the relatively neglected Goodman.
It’s worth examining the text in question. One could characterize “Personism: A Manifesto” as four paragraphs debunking the theories of meaning and literature that underpinned modernism, one paragraph mostly debunking abstraction* and one that serves as a swift getaway. As in O’Hara’s poetry, the brilliance lies far less in what he’s doing than in the way, in the most immediate sense, that he does it. Certainly the poem that O’Hara is describing in the manifesto is itself far from his own best work, not the sort of thing you would normally think to build your most important critical statement around:
we don’t like Lionel Trilling
decide, we like
Henry James so much we like Herman Melville
Not the most unusual lunch gab to share with a friend, perhaps, but, as a critical process, actually existing Personism seems a lot like the gate keeping one used to associate with Studio 54.
Magee makes the case for Goodman’s impact on O’Hara forcefully. The number of out-of-the-closet intellectuals, especially during the 1950s, was still in single digits, a significant number of them poets, such as Ginsberg and Duncan. And one can surely hear the echo of the New Americans in some of Goodman’s poems, such as “April, 1962”:
My countrymen have now become too base,
I give them up. I cannot speak with men
not my equals. I was an American,
where now to drag my days out and erase
memory of the
how can I work? I hired out my pen
to make my country practical, but I can
no longer serve these people, they are worthless.
“Resign! resign!” the word rings in my soul
-- is it for me? or shall I make a sign
and picket the White House blindly in the rain,
or hold it up on Madison Avenue
until I vomit, or trudge to and fro
gloomily in front of the public school?
Draw a Venn diagram around the various poetic impulses in O’Hara, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg and something like this might in fact emerge.
Less clear in Magee’s
overall schema is the role of black culture. Both O’Hara’s essay and “Personal
Poem” take as their point of origin a lunch that O’Hara had with the then-LeRoi
Jones at Moriarty’s on
* O’Hara’s example seems almost deliberately aimed at the work of Barbara Guest.
** The impact of post-war jazz does seem pretty minimal in Ashbery and Schuyler and Ted Berrigan’s collection of Arthur Godfrey records hardly demonstrates an ear for the nuances of Mingus or Monk.
Monday, March 17, 2003
When I was but a pup, still
in high school or just barely out of it, I would frequent the South Campus
environs of the
It would be several years, literally, before I would muster the courage to introduce myself to that poet – he seemed so much older, at least 25, & his sense of concentration amid the chatter, sound of dishes & coffee house music – the Med in those days favored classical – was truly awesome. It seemed as though he were contained in a bubble of perfect focus. His name, it turned out, was Kenneth Irby, and he had some sort of grad student or post-grad job with the University, operating, if I recall correctly, a mimeograph machine.
It also took me awhile to understand fully what a wonderful writer Irby was. As was evident even with his early books from Black Sparrow, Irby was completely persuaded by the poetics of Projectivism, perhaps because he came to it with the most exquisitely tuned ear of any poet I have ever encountered. It was as perfect a marriage between a poet’s gift & his practice as one might imagine.
For all of his obvious &
intense devotion to the process of poetry, Irby never did demonstrate much of
the anxious attention to publication, fame or the “career of the poet” that, in
fact, enables many a lesser writer acquire a far wider reputation. Plus, Irby
was part of a difficult generation, too young to have appeared in the New American Poetry,
too close in age to really separate out fully from those older guys into
something identifiably new & marketable. While some of the poets from that
“tweener” generation did go on to establish
themselves in their own right – Ronald Johnson, Kathleen Fraser, Joanne Kyger,
John Taggart, Clayton Eshleman – many, such as David Schaff,
Seymour Faust, Jonathan Greene, Gail Dusenbury,
Harold Dull or Robert Parker, dropped out of sight entirely while others
transformed their aesthetics in some dramatic fashion, as did Daphne Marlatt & David Bromige. Some, like Irby and George
Stanley, have continued to produce excellent work, but have done so at a
considerable distance from any major scene: Irby has been in
So when I found a poem by Ken Irby in the new issue of No, adrenalin rushed through my system. The poem, “[Record]” – the brackets are part of the title – recounts, as I read it, a dream in which Irby confronts the dead, specifically his mother & Ed Dorn. While Irby has always liked dreaming as a source for his poetry, “[Record]” is in some ways an unusual work for him, using a good deal of the parallel construction one associates more with the Beats:
And when you die, or when you think you’re dead, or when you dream you’ve died
your feet are turned backwards and your legs and loins but not your waist
and your arms embrace your head and backwards too and one of them waves goodbye to the air in the air
and the dancer on your belly whirls and reaches to regenerate the sun
and rides your body like a boat curved on into the sun
holding all you’ve ever done up like a ticket from amongst the snakes
and blossoms sway to tickle your navel, the entrance and the exit, the swivel and the plug, the cast and the release, and the call
That’s just a taste, just one of the poem’s eight sections, but typing it up here, reading it aloud as I do, makes me want to holler with excitement. The rhythms capture perfectly an otherworldly sense of ecstasy, death not as loss but as passage. Whether or not this should be what eventually greets us – or greets us only in dream – is to a large degree not relevant, because Irby’s use of rhythm makes it credible, one hears it in the body as well as in the mind.
* Some of the terminal hipness of all this drained away when a high school teacher of mine, Ken Davids, published a novel with Grove Press about life at the Med, The Softness on the Other Side of the Hole. Having come full circle, Davids now writes about coffee. I, on the other hand, haven’t had a cup in 13 years.
Sunday, March 16, 2003
I want to give a hearty Yes to No, the new book-sized journal from Lost Roads Publishers, edited by Deb Klowden & Ben Lerner. It’s a rich panoply of writing & visual art, packaged in a binding sturdy enough to go through the mails without a cover or package & arrive in perfect shape.*
No is also a reminder that pumping money into the design process isn’t the same as good design. The publication goes out of its way to make it hard to figure out who its contributors are. The pages containing their work list only the last names along the bottom – which is fine if your name is Armantrout or Lauterbach, but a problem if it’s Wright or Johnson or Nelson or even Waldrop. The table of contents only makes matters worse, listing works – with two exceptions – only by their titles, although – a test to see how unreadably busy a contents page can be – putting contributor’s notes under each such listing.
The two exceptions to the no-name in the boldface table of contents listing belong to graphic artist Che Chen, whose work appears in four-color glossy format in different spots of the journal as well as on the Jasper John’s homage of a cover, and Keith Waldrop, whose booklength contribution, Songs from the Decline of the West, is published on gray chapbook stock quite different from the eggshell white of the rest of the journal.**
The editors would do well to take a look at Kiosk, noted here previously for an example of what elegance in publishing can be. But even Conjunctions, the publication that No most closely mimics in look & feel, stands as a perfectly good model of how a table of contents page ought to function. The self-indulgent cutesy approach undercuts the seriousness with which the rest of the issue is produced.
And the content, once you get
past the packaging overkill, is terrific. Not too surprisingly for a
publication that has its roots at Brown (even if the editors live in New York
City), the core of No is ellipticist:
virtually everybody associated with that term save for Jorie Graham – at least
I couldn’t find any work by her in
the issue – is represented. But, if ellipticism is it’s core, No extends outward in quite a few
different directions, some of them surprising, to make what editorially is a
significant argument for its literary vision. Thus we find John Taggart,
Michael Harper, Jean Valentine & even
One person whose work made me terrifically happy to read it here is Michael Davidson. Davidson doesn’t publish a lot of poetry & that has combined with his geographic distance from the rest of the literary scene to keep him from becoming nearly as famous as he deserves to be. His poem is entitled “Bad Modernism”:
“Suddenly all is / loathing”
– John Ashbery
and there’s plenty to be unhappy about
if I can just get the reception area festooned
in time for their arrival, paper cups
and those little plastic whatsits so that,
gorged on meaning,
they troop through the glass doors
seeking interpretation, first floor
mildly historical, second door on the left
desire matrix, parents accompany
their indiscretions straight
to the penthouse and someone
hands them a phone, “turtles”
they’re called, heads bobbing
as though they had a choice
to be party favors, deep structure
on your left follow the clicking
to a white cube, we only work
part time the other part
we illustrate profound malaise,
I like these cream filled versions
so unlike what we get at home,
having said which
we rewind the tape,
slip it through a slot marked “aha”
and take the El home,
the smell you smell afar
is something boiling over.
Langpo historically is
supposed to be a far cry from the
The title “Bad Modernism” is worth thinking through more carefully. The body of the poem itself is a full deck of postmodern devices, or at least of devices that get associated with postmodernism. I think it seems evident enough that Davidson’s own relationship to both text & title is significantly bracketed by layers of irony (i.e., I don’t necessarily believe he really does “like these cream filled versions”), but at what level does he appear to be saying that one definition of the postmodern might, in fact, be “bad modernism?” Davidson carefully doesn’t answer that, but rather leaves it for us to decode.
Is this a sign that literary
formations are starting to gel for the first time in over 20 years? I still
don’t see the evidence. Like Stefans’ theory of Creeps, Ellipticism has been
more of a description of impulses than an engine of collective behavior. It may
be, however, that No will have an
impact on this. Younger poet/editors can do that at times. Tom Clark was far
more militant in his advocacy – and border patrol – of the
* Kenneth Warren, take note.
** Thus it’s Rosmarie who gets the “bottom of the page” last name treatment for her work. Actually, the clearest roster of who is included in the issue is the arty-but-alphabetical way they’re incorporated into the design of the rear cover.
*** Do you think George Plimpton realizes that the most significant thing he ever did in the poetry world was to hire Tom Clark? We suspect not.