Thursday, July 31, 2008

I just found out that my letters to Cid Corman are now archived at Indiana University , which reminds me of my usual rant about the advent of e-mail and how it has contributed to what probably amounts to the loss of a large portion of the recent historical record of poets in correspondence. Cid’s responses were brief of course but filled with such incredible insight; I can’t imagine that we would’ve labored over e-mail the way we obviously gave thought to writing letters. I’m glad the letters exist now somewhere for safe keeping. In an extreme example, I used to get letters from Charles Henri Ford painted on rice paper. Painting letters on paper made of rice made opening them an occasion that can’t be compared to receiving e-mail. Convenience has cost us something and this is another instance when it seems that technology has trumped posterity. It's interesting to see who else Cid was in correspondence with and when.

drive—he sd

Aram Saroyan's memory of a conversation with Robert Creeley about his poem "I Know a Man" casts the poem in an entirely new light (and shows us the importance of punctuation).

I Know a Man

As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for
christ’s sake, look
out where yr going.

—Robert Creeley