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Sunday, March 31, 2013


Another Hanuman book I'm blessed to have -- thank you, jim mccrary -- is SAFE IN HEAVEN DEAD, a collection of interview-excerpts curated by Michael White. 

Mr. White describes the project in his Introduction as "a brief glimpse of Kerouac tossing a few more words into the void."  I'm glad I was in the way of the tosses, though.  There are gems in this 3" x 4" book.  Some of Moi's favorites come from "The Art of Fiction XLI: Jack Kerouac," The Paris Review, No. 43, Summer 1968:
All my editors since Malcolm Cowley have had instructions to leave my prose exactly as I wrote it. In the days of Malcolm Cowley, with On The Road and The Dharma Bums, I had no power to stand by my style for better or for worse. Malcolm Cowley made endless revisions and inserted thousands of needless commas. I spent $500 making the complete restitution of the Bums manuscript and got a bill from Viking Press called "Revisions." ...

You simply give the reader the actual workings of your mind during the writing itself: you confess your thoughts about events in your own unchangeable way...did you ever hear a guy telling a long wild tale to a bunch of men in a bar and all are listening and smiling, did you ever hear that guy stop to revise himself, go back to a previous sentence to improve it, to defray its rhythmic thought iimpact...he's passed over it like a part of the river flows over a rock once and for all and never returns and can never flow any other way in time? Incidentally, as for  my bug against periods, that was for the prose in October in the Railroad Earth, very experimental, intended to clack along all the way like a steam engine pulling a 100-car freight with a talky caboose at the end, that was my way at the time and it still can be done if th ethining during the swift writing is confessional and pure and all excited with the life of it. And be sure of this, I spent my entire youth rehashing, speculating and deleting and got so I was writing one sentence a day and the sentence had no FEELING. Goddamn it, FEELING is what I like in art, not CRAFTINESS and the hiding of feelings."

What about jazz and bop as influences?
Yes, jazz and bop, in the sense of a, say, a tenor man drawing a breath and blowing a phrase on his saxophone, till he runs out of breath, and when he does, his sentence, his statement's been made...that's how I therefore separate my sentences, as breath separations of the mind...I formulated the theory of breath as measure, in prose and verse, never mind what Olson, Charles Olson says, I formulated that theory in 1953 at the request of Burroughs and Ginsberg. Then there's the raciness and freedom and humor of jazz instead of all that dreary analysis.

And so where shall we "shelve" Kerouac's heavenly book?  Well, why  not on one of the chairs from the diaspora?!  After all, Kerouac was ever ... on the road ...

Sorry, couldn't resist that on the road crack.  But, also, I like how the sunflowers pick up on the yellow and gold on the Hanuman book cover.  Gold -- the Buddhist color for enlightenment...

Saturday, March 30, 2013


A Post For Beautiful Spirits Gayle Romasanta and Ramon Abad

[Related Post: JOY: A GLOBAL PRIORITY, Vol. I by E.R. Tabios]

One of the most joyful books I've ever published through Meritage Press is BEAUTIFUL EYES, a bilingual children's book by Gayle Romasanta and Ramon Abad.  Here's its cover:

The book revolves around a Filipino childhood game where people play peek-a-boo with babies and young kids and when the children open their eyes, the adults typically compliment them with "Beautiful eyes!"

It's such a joy-inducing book that it even inspired cookies!  These were baked by stellar scholar Dawn Mabalon for its book launch!

Entonces, I decided to make my third volume of the snailmail-based series JOY: A GLOBAL PRIORITY (Vol. I is HERE and I will post on Vol. II in the future) a special issue focused on BEAUTIFUL EYES, which is to say its content would revolve around the stamps and other postage information from mail orders for the book.  Below are some of the envelopes from said mail orders -- since these all came in white envelopes, I decided to use pumpkin-orange interior paper to spice up the color and to evoke happy kids (the color evoked for me pumpkins, thus, Halloween trick or treats):

For the cover, I decided to recyle an envelope addressed to Mom -- it was some sort of junk mail whose source I can't recall now, but whose envelope had these sports images that also made me think of children at play. I thought of using the envelope as cover material because two of the images revolve around the use of eyes -- the strike in bowling and the bat hitting the ball in baseball:

Here is the front cover to the 2 1/8" x 1.75" mini-book with its title, STRIKE JOY, partly inspired by the image of a strike in bowling:

You would open the book to see the title page facing on the cover verso the smiling image of a clock.  The clock was excised from a cover letter from one of the people ordering the book:

You turn the page to see the postal evocations of someone from Silver Springs, Maryland who ordered the book:

You turn the page again to see the postal evocations of someone from Daly City, CA who ordered the book:

You turn the page to see some illustrations related to seeing; the "Peeps" were cut-out of an exhibition announcement of an O.K. Harris show of Gina Minichino's oil paintings of comfort food.  I inserted this diptych in the book's centerfold when I realized I made too many pages (haha) for the book...the inserted images work, though, don't they?  Just gotta go with the flow ... 

You turn the page to the postal evocations of the last example of someone ordering a book. a peep who lives in Anaheim, California

You turn the page then to more cut-out images from the envelope mailed to Mom; again, I inserted these just because I had set up too many pages in the mini-book (goin' with the flow...):

You then close the book for the back cover image of a bat hitting a ball -- excuse the cheese but BEAUTIFUL EYES, after all, is a homerun!

If you remember my post about doing a mini-book on Juliet Cook's POISONOUS BEAUTYSKULL LOLLIPOP, I had loved the idea of comparing the mini-book with the "real" book and seeing how different they are -- click on link and scroll down to see the difference between the mini-book and the "real" book.  Here's a similar comparison for Vol. III of JOY: A GLOBAL PRIORITY and BEAUTIFUL EYES:

And so we "shelve" this mini-book on the warm teak bench chosen because its length hopefully will contain many volumes of JOY! 


And also among the "Ebay 30" acquisition is this cheerfully-painted rocker!  Cheer is always welcome!

[Prov.: "Ebay 30."  Size: 5" height, 2.75" width, 1.5" depth]

Friday, March 29, 2013



Ahhhh those Bukowski imitations.  A genre on its own! 

I'm not saying "To The Editor Whose Name Will Appear on My Next Rejection Slip" by G. Murray Thomas is merely an imitation of another poet.  But it is the subject of another Poems-For-All booklet sent by curator Richard Hansen to the ever-grateful SitWithMoi.  Here's what the 1 5/8" x 2" book looks like, starting with the front cover:

This is the book's text, the poem itself -- which is good for quite a few chortles:

To The Editor Whose Name Will Appear on My Next Rejection Slip

I sat up all night
drinking beer
and going over my
unpublished poems
searching for one written
in the cheap, Bukowski-imitation style
your magazines seems
to like so much.
At 5 a.m. I gave up
and wrote this one.
Here's the last page of the book, which notes that this poem is from Thomas' selected poems collection, COWS ON THE FREEWAY (Writers Club Press, 2000).  I even chortled over that title!

Where shall we "shelve" this wit?  Where else but with Charles Bukowski's LUCK himself on The Bukowski Chair


It was inevitable that an Adirondack chair would make it into SitWithMoi's chair collection.  I chose this one to be the first because of the painting on it -- that full moon over the Adirondacks.  For the moon, of course, is a classic poetry presence:

[Prov.: Wilcor / Scale: 1:6]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013



"The Truth" by Ted Joans is one of the 38 Poems-For-All booklets sent to Moi by PFA curator Richard Hansen.  As soon as I read it, I knew I had found the book to "shelve" on the mini "Director's Chair."  Because the poem is a directive of sorts ...:

if you should see
a man
walking down a crowded street
talking aloud
to himself
don't run
in the opposite direction
but run towards him
for he is a POET!
you have NOTHING to fear
from the poet
but the TRUTH

Here's the cover of the mini-book:

You open the book to see the emphasized "you have NOTHING to fear from the poet but the TRUTH":

You then open to the centerfold which presents the poem itself:

And this is the back cover, which reiterates part of PFA's wonderful mission:

scattered around town -- on buses,
trains, cabs, in restrooms, bars, left
along with the tip; stuffed into a
 stranger's back pocket. Whatever. Wherever.

I'm pleased several PFA booklets made it to SitWithMoi as part of their "Whatever. Wherever."  Here, then, is Ted Joans' 1 5/8" x 2" poem-book "shelved" on the Director's Chair:


Stopped by Barnes and Noble in Corte Madera this weekend to cash in some Barnes and Noble gift cards received for the holidays.  Guess what I got?  But of course: bookends!  Cast-iron ones:

Naturally, these book-end some of the books related to SitWithMoi's chair collection! Here they are right behind The William Allegrezza Bench:

I was so happy to discover them, given that they're even the right targeted scale for SitWithMoi!  And while they're bookends, they, too, are looking forward to seeing which mini-books shall be shelved on them!

[Prov.: Barnes and Noble, Corte Madera.  Size: 8" height, 3.75"width, 3" depth]

Monday, March 25, 2013


What a fabulous snail-mail of a day today!  Today, I received 38 -- I know! 38! -- mini-books for SitWithMoi's "Books on Chairs"!  Here's a fabulous picture of them all (plus one by Ed Baker from the same series):

These gems are booklets from Poems-For-All curated by Richard Hansen.  As their website notes about Poems-For-All, the books are
... scattered around town -- on buses, trains, cabs, in restrooms, bars, left along with the tip; stuffed into a stranger's back pocket. Whatever. Wherever. Small poems in small booklets half the size of a business card. A project of the 24th street irregular press, which cranks them out to be taken by the handful and scattered like seeds by those who want to see poetry grow in a barren cultural landscape.
The series has been releasing these books since 2001, and are perfect for SitWithMoi since they're slightly less than 2" x 2".  The 38 books I received comprise just a small portion of their list (which you can see HERE). I'm so grateful to Richard for sending me these.  And thanks, too, to Ed Baker who turned me on to Poems-For-All by sending a copy of his 2007 PFA book, BETWEEN TWO HOUSES, for SitWithMoi, and thus also raising the PFA count to 39 books.

I can't wait to start engaging with the books as part of "shelving" them on the SitWithMoi mini-chair collection! How FUN!

Meanwhile, here then is the list below of the Poems-For-All booklets currently in SitWithMoi's mini-book collection (if any of you readers have any others and want to send them over, I'll be grateful and promise to give them a good home as well as blather about them on the internet; email Moi at  As I blog about each title, I will update the list to incorporate the link:


#002: THE TRUTH by Ted Joans (2)
#007: FIRST CATCH THE RABBIT by Jack Spicer
#91: RICHARD WRIGHT by Steve Dalachinsky
#102: FOUR BUTTONS TWO HOLES FOUR BROOMS by Jean Arp with illustration by Marc Snyder
#116: CONCEPTION by Angela Boyce
#153: BARE BRANCHES by Gail Ghai
#167: EDOUARD'S NOSE by Greg Boyd
#352: THIS, AFTER AN ARGUMENT by Dese 'Rae L. Stage
#407: THREE KISSES by Arthur Rimbaud
#475: THE COMPACT EDITION OF THE HEAD by Andrew Paul Sullivan
#507: THE WAR by Scott Wannberg
#508: WE DO IT BECAUSE by Scott Wannberg
#531: MUSIC TO YOUR EARS by Brian Beatty
#572: RIMBAUD POEMS by Sean Finney
#590: THE MORNING AFTER by Murray Thomas
#615: OTHERWORLDLY by Karyne de Contreras
#636: FIG by Albert Garcia
#778: BETWEEN TWO HOUSES by Ed Baker
#870: THE SHY CARTOGRAPHER by Kevin Jones
#871: A MECHANIC'S PROVERB by Adam Deutsch
#900: I'M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU? by Emily Dickinson
#948: ALCINOUS TO ODYSSEUS by Ken Cockburn
#950: 16th & VALENCIA by Alejandro Murgula
#1026: FIRST FIG by Edna St. Vincent Millay
#1027: THURSDAY by Edna St. Vincent Millay
#1041: A RIDDLE by Edwin Morgan
#1042: SMUGGLER by Norman MacCaig (2)
#1046: MOM-- by Craig Cotter
#1082: IDLENESS by Douglas Dunn
#1098: IS THIS A POEM? by Karen Patricia Hoyt
#1112: HAIKU by Colin Will

Dear Richard: THANK YOU! Not just for the booklets but for your wonderful idea!


Here are two more chairs courtesy of my friend Rocio who had a relative send them to the U.S. for me.  This relative travels for business and he apparently found them in a shop in the Yucatan.  What's interesting is that they're made in the Philippines!  Since Mexico has its own furniture-making (including mini-furniture making) industry, I was intrigued as to why Philippine-made chairs would be over there.  Further adding to the mystery is that one of the chairs bears a sticker on the back indicating it once was for sale in a store in San Francisco.  Entonces, I consider these diasporic chairs -- that, and the fact that they're purty -- made Moi welcome them into SitWithMoi's chair collection:

[Prov.: Rocio's relative in Mexico -- a store in the Yucatan, by way of somewhere (another store?) in San Francisco (as gleaned from a partial sticker on one chair's back), but exported from the Philippines.  Size: 16"height, 6" width, 6"depth]

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I do lists.  I've done tons of poetry projects revolving around The List (especially since the list-as-autobiography is a long-held concern)  So it seems inevitable that, somehow, I'd create a mini-book -- and, as it turns out, it will be a series -- revolving around the list. 

There's a particular type of list that interests me.  It's a list of mundane stuff that ends up being more than the sum of its parts, that ends up not being mundane.  It's a list that effects something that transcends its (lowly) material.  I'm in the midst of preparing right now for a year-long list project; I won't go into details of that yet, but just note it to say that lists are on -- and always on -- moi mind. 

So, my latest mini-book to discuss is the 2.25" x 2" Volume I of JOY, A GLOBAL PRIORITY -- a visual listing of the postage and other postal materials that brought me mails containing joy. (I don't always succeed but I always hope that joy is a focus of my work.) I enjoyed making the first book so much I decided to create a series around the concept. 

Volume I's impetus was three sources.  First, there was one of the holiday cards I'd saved for its useful cover card-stock:

I also decided to throw in at random a sticker floating around the studio (cough) which I long suspected would be useful for something related to mini-books.  I didn't know, at the beginning of making Volume I, how it would play a role.  But I like throwing in as many "random" elements as possible in creating.  So, I tossed it into the mix:

For interior content, I chose to use what I could from five mailed envelopes that brought me joy:

I ended up with a front and back cover as follows:

The message above is self-explanatory.  I believe joy to be a priority for the world.  But the front cover itself is not as obvious joy often requires effort, work.  So, by looking only at the front cover, I wanted the reader to not immediately know what is being posited as a priority for the world .

You'd open the front cover to see

Note above the repetition of the themes by utilizing the postal notations of "priority mail" and "For domestic and international mail."  Part of what I'd cut out from the same postal receipt was the section that stated "To" with a space for the recipient.  I turned that into the next page's dedication page ... and I confess it amused me to dedicate this mini-book to Moi!

You then turn the page to the first of the five pieces of mail that brought joy to Moi.  Throughout the book, I always glued in the stamps on the right-hand page.  Each stamp is faced by a reference to the sender and the mail's contents.  So the first mail is from Leny Strobel and it brought Moi joy for delivering two blank mini-books inspired by SitWithMoi (I later filled in/fleshed out one of the mini-books with THE WHISPERS OF SHE WHO CALLED ME HERE by Leny M. Strobel).

You turn the page to the next contribution, mail that brought "Happy New Year" wishes from some friends:

You turn the page to the next contribution, mail that brought an order for a book published by moi teeny press, Meritage Press, accompanied by a check!

You turn the page to the next contribution, mail that brought an invitation for an Easter lunch (this Sunday):

You turn the page to the next contribution, mail that brought the first mini-book by an e-peep, Tom Beckett's THE CHAIRMAN SPEAKS:

Last but not least, you turn the page to the next contribution, mail that brought an art monograph on Max Gimblett's latest exhibition.  I love this monograph -- not only are Max's paintings superb but the monograph contains one of the best monograph essays I've read in years, written by another artist Matt Jones. 

And, and, and!  The monograph essay features an epigraph of a quote I've actually been looking for (as I plan to use it as a monograph for my poetry collection forthcoming in 2014) -- a quote from Michelangelo, to wit:
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
So the above mail also was useful to me in helping cut down on the research time my forthcoming book requires.  I am appreciative for any type of help in living my life!  Moreoever, you may have noticed that the color of the interior pages is yellow-gold.  I chose the color since gold symbolizes enlightenment (recall what I said earlier about the sum of mundane details being more than mundane, i.e. uncovering insight) and perhaps discovering that long-searched-for Michelangelo quote is the resulting insight.  Also, I only had yellow paper around the studio at the time ...

Entonces, joyfully Moi asks: "Where shall we shelve Volume I of JOY: A GLOBAL PRIORITY?"  Well, I am opting to shelve it on this warm teak bench because the structure of the bench (i.e., the bench as a shelf) will be useful for holding a series of mini-books, which I am hoping for JOY.  Indeed, I am hoping for the sources of joy to be ... infinite ...

Friday, March 22, 2013


is a favored breed by Moi.  And this reminds me that Moi's got chairs as not just chairs!  Here's a watercolor by Allen Bramhall that graces la casa:

I enjoy having this painting around and hope you, too, enjoy its image.  Last but not least, let this post be a reminder for Moi to point you to Allen's wonderful poetry which includes the magnificent two-volume DAYS POEM.  Allen also has an amazing and one of the most ambitious contemporary projects ongoing over at ANTIC VIEW with Jeff Harrison.  Check him out and enjoy!