Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Blisteringly hot here in Ithaca, but the trip to Vegas helped to inure me somewhat. The air conditioning here at the Bookery also helps. Slept nearly till noon catching up today, then went to another air-conditioned bookstore that shall remain nameless to resume work on my Pound chapter. I think I'm just ten pages away from finishing the draft now. Still trying to decide if I can leap straight to Johnson for chapter 3, or if it should be a combined Zukofsky/Johnson chapter—which would be insanely ambitious, even if I confined myself to 80 Flowers. Speaking of which, I want to thank Ben Friedlander and Carla Billiterri for the sublime little edition they published of Robert Fitterman's 1-800-FLOWERS, a gorgeous poem in its own right. I forgot to bring it to work with me so I can't quote from it, but it's physically beautiful inside and out, with Fitterman following the eight-line stanza, five-words-per-line format of Zuk's poem, and makes explicit some of the utopian/pastoral gestures of the original. There's not a whole lot out there on 80 Flowers, with the notable exception of Michelle Leggott's book, so maybe I'll end up citing it.

Also deserving a thank you is Steve Evans; the latest issue of The Poker was waiting for me when I got home and inside were Evan's latest "Field Notes," which include an appreciative mention of this blog in their sharp-edged survey of present-day poetics. Though once again I've been tagged for my earnestness; clearly I need to start taking stronger insouciance pills.

Lots of shelving tonight. On Tuesdays I'm in the nonfiction section so I browse different things. Tonight I'm planning to glance at Daniel Bell's The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism and a collection of thoughts and aphorisms by an eighteenth-century (1754-1824) litterateur named Joseph Joubert. I'll keep an eye out for quotables.

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