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At Powell’s Books, I plodded up and down the aisles of the Blue Room, looking for out-ofprint, small run editions of post-war American poetry. I didn’t find anything I was looking for, but did pick up a wonderful little pocketbook of Edward Dorn’s Songs Set to a Two-Count and another old City Lights edition of Diane DiPrima’s Revolutionary Letters. Then I thumbed through of copy of Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems, thinking of Olson’s letters to the Gloucester Times, of his desperate “Scream to the Editor”: Bemoan the present which assumes its taste, bemoan the easiness of smashing anything

[...]

oh city of mediocrity and cheap ambition destroying its own shoulders its own back greedy persons stood upon, stop this renewing without reviewing loss loss loss no gains oh not moan stop stop stop this total loss of surface and mass... I think I’m not crazy to love these little objects, these events in space and folio. In a time when the future is ever encroaching on the present and all but threatening to annihilate the past, a small press may be a lifeline. Ω

Propeller 2.4  

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