Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 13

Berrigan, Anselm
Integrity & Dramatic Life


I was about to write about not remembering how I acquired this book, and then I remembered. Anselm came to town for a reading in 1999. I am pretty sure he was on his own, though he also came up once to read with Alice Notley, his mother, and Edmund Berrigan, his brother. I think he was by himself. After the book came out, we spoke on the phone and he asked for my mailing address b/c he wanted to send me a copy. Months passed, but the book never arrived, and I never bought it b/c I was waiting for it to arrive in the mail. When Anselm came to read six months or so later, I told him I was still waiting for the book to arrive. He had run out of copies and did not have one to give me, but promised to send me one when he got back to the city. While he was here we spent an afternoon prowling around Talking Leaves...Books. On our way out the door, Anselm walked over to the shelf, grabbed a copy of his own book and bought it for me!

I like Anselm.

The inscription says, "To Mike, in memory of the vegetarian/meat restaurant." I am having trouble recalling the reference (and the restaurant), but I can probably find it again if I dig real deep...no...nothing. O well.

This is the first poem in the first book by Anselm Berrigan:

My poem

There's a giant crystal pyramid under the Great Pyramid
& a giant crystal ocean under the Pacific Ocean
& a giant crystal briefcase under my briefcase
& a giant crystal question mark under my question
"Why do I have a briefcase?" & there a tiny crystal
cigarette butt under every cigarette butt
in front of the Public Library on 42nd St. which stands
on a giant crystal library that stands
on a giant crystal library standing
on a giant crystal library inhabited
by a funny looking dwarf who used to be an alien
but recently became a citizen

No comments: