When William Burroughs mailed Alan Ansen a copy of Naked Lunch on its publication in 1959, he dedicated it to “one of the few who understood Naked Lunch before I did”, testifying to the unique role Ansen played from the start of Burroughs’s career as collaborator, promoter, critic, friend and author of three essays written across three decades. A Burroughs Triptych pieces together for the first time the backstory to Ansen’s three essays which were previously edited into a composite volume in 1986, in order to do justice to the special part Ansen played in making the Burroughs legend. As editor Oliver Harris observes in the introduction: “For all his insights into Burroughs, Ansen’s vision had the seductive quality of one who has been seduced, as in the alluringly enigmatic portrait that is worth the entrance fee alone: ‘A tall ectomorph – in Tangier the boys called him ‘El Hombre invisible’ – his persona constituted by a magic triad of fedora, glasses and raincoat rather than by a face, his first presence is that of a con-man down on his luck”.
Who was Alan Ansen? “There is a certain kind of ghost”, observes William Lee, the deadpan narrator of Burroughs’s debut novel Junky, “that can only materialize with the aid of a sheet or other piece of cloth to give it outline. Gains was like that. He materialized in someone else’s overcoat”. Alan Ansen is like that kind of ghost, haunting the margins of someone else’s biography and the footnotes of other writers’ literary histories. Read more & order →
Slowscan Vol. 52 is a collection of 10 recordings of varying length released on cassette in a hand made and silkscreened wooden box. Produced in an edition of 50 copies only (of which 10 hors commerce), this box set is an exquisite Slowscan edition and sheer collector’s delight. Among other things the inserted table of contents mentions:
COLLECTION OF ABORTED, DELAYED AND/OR CANCELLED PROJECTS. FIRST AND ONLY EDITION OF 40 COPIES + 10 HORS COMMERCE. PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2022, ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH, HOLLAND.
TAPE 1: SARENCO / ORI / MARCUCCI – GRUPPO 70 (1972)
TAPE 2: HENRI CHOPIN INTERVIEW (1972)
TAPE 3: AUDIO TRANS ART INC. (1979)
TAPE 4: GLENN BRANCA INTERVIEW (1983)
TAPE 5: JOHN GIORNO (1969)
TAPE 6: MICHAEL MCCLURE / WILLIAM BURROUGHS INTERVIEWS
TAPE 7: DIAL-A-POEM POETS (1973)
TAPE 8: VITO ACCONCI (1969)
TAPE 9: RICHARD FRIEDMAN (1967/69)
TAPE 10: DENNIS OPPENHEIM INTERVIEW
We were both using the same
at the Phoenix Bookshop in 1963
you for C Magazine
I for Fuck You/A Magazine of the Arts
The opening lines of Ed Sanders’s poem For Ted Berrigan recall the origin of the friendship between the two poets on the Lower East Side, where Sanders had moved from Kansas City and Berrigan from Tulsa via Chicago in the early 1960s. The poem is one of two that have been printed in the joint Moloko & Sea Urchin edition In Honor of Ted Berrigan by Ed Sanders, which also contains glyphs and contact prints from Ed’s archive with photos taken on 29 January 1964 at Café Le Metro, New York. Originally created as a PDF for Ron Padgett in 2009, Sanders’s Berrigan tribute has now been redesigned by Anneke Auer into an intimate and loving tribute in print to a poet who, according to the author, was “as tall as Apollinaire, tall as his times”. Read more & order →
John Wieners (1934-2002) was a Beat poet who studied at Black Mountain College under Charles Olson and Robert Duncan from 1955 to 1956. Originally from the Boston area, Wieners moved to San Francisco in 1957, where he befriended Wallace Berman and, via Berman, became part of the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Like that of many other Beat poets, Wieners poetry mainly dealt with sexual and drug-related experiments and freely took inspiration from jazz as regards rhythm and improvisation. His first book The Hotel Wentley Poems was published in 1958, which was followed by numerous other poetry and prose compilations, such as Ace of Pentacles (1964), Nerves (1970) and Cultural Affairs in Boston: Poetry & Prose 1956–1985 (1988). Wieners returned to the East Coast in 1960, where he was committed to psychiatric hospitals several times, lived with Herbert Huncke, and found employment at the University of Buffalo. He was active in anti-war and gay liberation movements until he died at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 2002 after having collapsed a few days earlier.
A selection of 15 of Wieners’s poems has now been published by Moloko Plus on CD and, in both English and a German translation by Pociao, in the accompanying 44-page booklet. On the CD Wieners’s poems are read and put to music by acclaimed British poet Jeremy Reed and musician Itchy Ear, who together form Jeremy Reed & The Ginger Light. “There are poets who live poetry, and others who write it tangentially to a career, and their psychic realities are radically different”, concludes Jeremy Reed on the final page of the booklet. Order now →
“The only solace is: to be sad. When sadness degenerates into despair, you should become grotesque. You should go on living for the hell of it. Should try – recognising that existence only consists of brutal and vile hoaxes – to find uplifting.” Speaking is Kuno Kohn, Alfred Lichtenstein’s alter ego, who featured in Lichtenstein’s poetry and prose to mock life, society, colleagues and, not in the least, the poet himself. Lichtenstein’s merciless and expressionist Kuno Kohn poems were compiled and published as ‘Die Gedichte des Kuno Kohn’in 1914, only months before the poet died in World War I. Überfall, now published in English as Raid, was one of those poems.
Alfred Lichtenstein was born the eldest son of a textile manufacturer in Berlin in 1889. After having finished grammar school in 1909 and having started law studies, he saw his first poems published in Herwarth Walden’s expressionist magazine Der Sturm and later also in Franz Pfemfert’s Die Aktion. In 1913 he finished his studies, published Die Dämmerung– his first and best-known poetry compilation – and volunteered for the army that same year. Lichtenstein was consequently drawn into World War I from the very start. Barely 25 years old, he was killed on the Western front several months later in September 1914.