14 May 2007

Real Ephemera

I love Prince George but the one thing that I crave that it can’t provide me is used book shopping. Every time I get down to Vancouver now the only thing that redeems the traffic and high-falutin’ tude is McLeod’s Books at Pender and Richards downtown. Last year I had the privilege of spending time with Barry McKinnon there. At one point I picked up a David Philips chapbook and Barry got misty eyed. He told me after a minute that it was the first chapbook he had ever made. Last week when I was down I had the chance to flip through books with bookseller, publisher, and poet Jay Millar. It was great to have a sharp price checker there beside me! I found a signed Scalapino (Considering how exaggerated music is), Charles Bernstein’s A Poetics (my former copy had disappeared with a student a couple years ago), Towards a New American Poetics: Essays and Interviews (with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Gary Snyder, Robert Creeley, Robert Bly, and Allen Ginsberg), and a 1978 special issue of Boundary2 on Creeley. Probably the coolest thing I found was a strip of photobooth snapshots. It fell out of a Jerome Rothenberg book Pre-Faces and other Writings:

1. A revolution involves a change in structure; a change in style is not a revolution.

7. A change in vision is a change in form. A change in form is a change of reality.

(Second Series)

1. Revolutions are preceded an accompanied by a breakdown in communication.

4. This breakdown in communication is first articulated by a poet & carried on by other poets.

--from “Revolutionary Propositions” (1966)

Worth spending time with. But the pictures! They were of Roy Kiyooka. There are three frames: one smiling, one somber, one an exaggerated comic appraising look. I asked the store manager if they had Kiyooka’s library and he thought so. The book also had a receipt from the UBC bookstore 1981. So, I am imagining, Kiyooka had slipped a few of these goofy pics in his books to pass along. I have Pacific Windows on my desk along with Creeley and Rothenberg. The intransigent reader and the ephemeral used bookstore of life.


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