Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 12.1 (James Schuyler)

For Joe Brainard
Schuyler, James
For Joe Brainard

I am not sure that that is the actual title of this chapbook, but it's the closest thing to a title I could find. And it is written on the title page under the author's name, so let's say it is the title. But it could be a dedication to an untitled something or other. It looks like it comes from "The Home Book," which is, I take it, some kind of journal. I'll have to ask my friend Simon Pettet to clarify this for me.

I think I got this when I worked at the Segue Foundation in New York. I have another perfect bound chapbook from the same series by Alice Notley. I have or had a third one somewhere, too, but I can't recall by whom. Peter somebody or other?

Opening it up this morning I realized I had never read it before. I will do so presently.

You may have noticed the tie in this morning's photo. The answer is yes, I have started my new job. I wear a tie to work. I bought two new ones just last week. Calvin Klein, in case you were wondering.

from For Joe Brainard (or whatever it is or isn't called)

August 25, 1968     Fog.

September 24, 1968     The common trumpet vine has vigor. There is little else to be said for it.

I feel vaguely disloyal,
Campsis radicans.

October 10, 1968/Vermont     A light first frost last night and at 7 the grass was crystalized crunch. The sun came up slowly, mist revolved on the pond and the light hit the western slope and lit up the rhapsodic and enflamed trees. "October's bright blue weather" day after day of it–incredible.

November 25 1968     The hateful street with the handsome houses.


rdeming said...

Is that a tie you're wearing? Oh, my, my, my...

Unknown said...

I think the copy of Schuyler's For Joe Brainard you're holding up was published in 1988 by the Dia Center for the Arts. It's a selection of diary entries Schuyler wrote from 1.1.68 to 12.13.69. I've never seen any actual copies before. Very cool. Some of what you quoted was first published in The Home Book (1977) under the title, "For Joe Brainard" and some has been reprinted in The Diary of James Schuyler (1997). The Home Book is a collection Schuyler's poetry, prose, and journal entries written between 1951 and 1970 that were not published in his first two books of poems, or his novel. Living in the Buffalo area for a while, I wonder if you've enjoyed coming across names like East Aurora, or Cazenovia in Schuyler's poems. I know I have.

Michael Kelleher, New Haven, CT said...

Yes, I have enjoyed coming across those names!