Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 5.34 (Charles Olson)

Collected Prose by Michael_Kelleher
Collected Prose, a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.
Olson, Charles
Collected Prose
Ed. Donald Allen and Benjamin Friedlander

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books. My orange post-it index markers still stick out from the sides of this one. Most are curled up against the edge of the pages. Lot's or markings on the inside also. The book is starting to show it's age. A couple hours' reading and pages will likely start to come away from the glue in the spine. It's a great collection, but I've always had a bit of trouble with the sans serif font used throughout. I find it very frustrating to read. The words all want to float off the page and disappear.

Collected Prose came out right around the time I came to Buffalo. Ben Friedlander was my classmate the first two years I was here, and I remember being kind of wowed by the fact that a grad student had already tackled an editing project of this magnitude, not to mention having already edited and published Larry Eigner's prose. I was doubly impressed that the co-editor of the volume, Donald Allen, had been responsible for putting together the collected poems of Frank O'Hara, my idol at the time.

I can remember around this time sitting in Ben's office in Clemens hall. Either Ben had left the room or I was daydreaming or something. Not sure, but Ben is not in the picture. I can see the all sorts of notes and things pinned to the wall above his desk. I remember a Red Sox baseball cap and a note reminding him to call Don Allen, with the latter's phone number written below his name. I remember thinking that was pretty cool.

from Collected Prose

from "The Present is Prologue"

My shift is that I take it the present is prologue, not the past. The instant, therefore. Is its own interpretation, as a dream is, and any action–a poem, form example. Down with causation (except, see below). And yrself: you, as the only reader and mover of the instant. You, the cause. No drag allowed, on either. Get on with it.


mongibeddu said...

I detest the Red Sox--was a Yankees fan as a kid (switched to the Giants when I lived in the Bay Area). I suspect that hat was for the minor league team in Buffalo, whatever it was called.

Wish I'd had a chance to meet Don Allen. We just talked a few times on the phone. Most of our communication was by FAX!


Michael Kelleher, North Haven, CT said...

That's funny -- being a Yankees fan myself, the image of the Red Sox cap really stands out in my memory. Maybe it belonged to an office mate or something.