Saturday, March 31, 2012


Two new books I (and others) have waited decades for.

Waited even before they were written ~ that good!

You'd rather read, than sleep, with either of these books ~ that good!

You're happy to have one lamp, or sunshine by a window with these books.

Ideal for train rides, long long train rides. I've done them. Both books will take you across.

Both writers died too young. Damn!

Both books were published by The Library of America. I like that place. Now.

UPS delivered my books ~ never left the woods!

UPS are corporate devils and deliver books and other things = you weigh the scales.

There is absolutely next to nothing on television but the TCM channel, even poor IFC has commercials. So what is your excuse? Two books. Two fisted hams. Two guns. Twin peaks. Double barrel. Curl up and read.

Do men curl up and read? Women couldn't look better than curled up with a book.

Done scribbling ~ I'm reading.

[ BA ]

I remember wondering why, if Jesus could cure sick people, why He didn't cure all sick people.

I remember when twins dressed alike.

I remember when girls wore cardigan sweaters backwards.

I remember being shown to my seat with a flashlight.

I remember changing my name to Bo Jainard for about one week.

from "I Remember" by Joe Brainard

The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard,
(beautifully) edited by Ron Padgett

David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s & 50s,
edited by Robert Polito

(The Library of America 2012)

It was a tough break. Parry was innocent. On top of that he was a decent sort of guy who never bothered people and wanted to lead a quiet life. But there was too much on the other side and on his side of it there was practically nothing. The jury decided he was guilty. The judge handed him a life sentence and he was taken to San Quentin.

~ David Goodis
from Dark Passage

It really is beautiful, Vermont. Makes so much sense to live
here. (If only life made so much sense.) But it doesn't.

~ Joe Brainard
from "Wednesday, July 7th, 1971
(A Greyhound Bus Trip)"

Joe Brainard, like Lorine Niedecker, is brilliant on first blush, and Emily Dickinson, beyond brilliant. Frank O' Hara. There's an honesty and vulnerably very few could live with themselves by. Nothing fragile about it at all, just asking to bottle sunrise. Can't do. One won't find this sort of writing anywhere else in the world: it comes from the underpinnings of an Empire. Where 'little people' speak remarkably.

I read Joe B. until late into the night on his one man show bus trips from NYC to Vermont where he was lover with Kenward Elmslie and spent the summers here in the state. Elmslie is a grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, and a somewhat intriguing poet, dramatist and publisher. Joe was a gay wunderkind Huck Finn, gifting his art work to all poets and their publications, and forever wondering alive (scribbler into notebooks) what made himself tick. An incredible presence in this book.

Goodis could become the greatest of them all crime writers — such a depressing and low life. Breakdowns, living back and forth with his parents, failed relationships, some Hollywood time and money and minor fame, the French grabbing after him (Truffaut) and of course the early demise. Very few photographs of him, or 12 variations on the one. His main prose characters (male) are rinsed out and hung out to dry. This one volume from The Library of America will be an instant classic.


book photos © bob arnold
bottom photo: Joe Brainard's studio