The Collected Books of Jack Spicer
I'd like to make a shout out
to the folks at home, and to
invite them to call and weigh in
on the poem. Contact info
is available on my website:
I am both the studio audience
and the host, and today
we're going to be talking about
just how hard it is to come by
a copy of The Collected Books
of Jack Spicer, edited by Robin
Blaser, published by Black Sparrow
press in 1975 and reprinted
once or twice in the 80s,
but now available only in the
used book market for $40-$450,
depending. Look, I got one, a
dirty, ugly copy, but more than
adequate for reading. Blaser says,
"This book is for Jack's friends,"
and I wasn't one, nor would I
have been—Spicer didn't like Jews,
though I won't let that stop me
from enjoying good poetry.
Are my book buying habits, like
Paris Hilton, now a subject fit for poetry?
Are my music buying habits?
What about the food I like
to eat: anything with green sauce.
One doesn't write because
one has something to say, but
because there's a buildup of unexpressed
speech-energy, and the pipes
need to be cleared so something fresh
can pass through. Anyone
who disagrees is grossly mistaken.
My new thing is deciding
how much or how little
other people know, especially
people I've never met, nor will ever meet,
such as the folks at home.
I'm trying to be more pleasant,
to make more friends, to open
my home to new ideas, new
metaphors, like the sharks off
Jones Beach, though the fact is
I'm already pleasant with plenty
of friends, and if that's not
a metaphor, then certainly
the Donald Allen anthology is.