Monday, August 31, 2009


Of course Jackson Pollock had only been channeling Garrett Caples, as this resounding read as a feature over at PhillySound reveals!

To celebrate this wonderful article, Meritage Press is pleased to announce a September special for Garrett's Meritage Press book, COMPLICATIONS. Normally retailing for $16.00, you can order it direct from Meritage Press for 50% off and free shipping within the U.S. Good through the end of September, make $8.00 check out to "Meritage Press" and send to
E. Tabios
Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574

How can you not want to take up this offer when Garrett's feature includes this excerpt:
"Mildred Begley" was my great-aunt who died in her 80s. She was a wonderful person and I was sad because she's the type of person who slips through history, making her mark on her immediate friends and family but leaving nothing behind. I thought maybe I could preserve something, even though it's not a very straightforward elegy at all and doesn't give much sense of her as a person. I also enjoyed using her name as a title-it sounds like an Anthony Trollope novel. As for the older poets: "Dub Song of Prufrock Shakur" is dedicated to both Philip Lamantia and Robert Creeley, who died within a few months of each other. Mostly Philip-inspired, as we were pretty close, but Creeley is certainly in there. I remember telling Barbara Guest I liked Creeley's work, which she really hated, as it turned out. But I told her that my interest was largely formal, which is true; obviously our vocabularies and sensibilities are quite different. She approved of this, saying something like "That's very wise," a typically dual-edged type of Barbara statement. Barbara is the subject of "A Young Girl Recalls Meeting Erich Von Stroheim," as well as the speaker. It's based on her actual experience and, being a huge Von Stroheim fan, I couldn't resist writing it after she told me the story. She was still alive when I wrote it and I showed it to her; she approved, thank god. Really it's kind of audacious writing a poem in the voice of a living master, but again, I couldn't help myself and I'm very glad I wrote it as it was one of those stories that she never got on paper and it deserves telling. "‘I Have Seen Enough'" is another one about Philip but dedicated to Nancy Joyce Peters, the co-owner/publisher emeritus of City Lights who was married to Philip. I got to know her only after he died, when I helped her put his papers together for the Bancroft Library. This was basically the beginning of the process by which I eventually started editing for City Lights, so it was a real pivotal moment in my life. That poem was one of the few that was actually written more or less in the time it takes to read it. Everything in it-the strange encounters with birds, etc.-really occurred.

Nifty, eh?

(As an aside, Philip Lamantia once wrote in my journal. He wrote by drawing in a bird...)

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