Thursday, August 20, 2009

Steve McCaffery

Several people have suggested Steve McCaffery's Carnival, Second Panel 1970-1975, on the Coach House archive. An amazing resource, as all things Coach House are. For me, the must have is Seven Pages Missing, the two-volume collected, a formidable publication. You can read a discussion of this text by Christine Stewart and T. Byrne over at Poetic Front. You will find Every Way Oakly in Volume 1, but you can also find it newly released from BookThug:
Every Way Oakly is Steve McCaffery's homolinguistic translation of Gertrude Stein's monumental Tender Buttons. Originally published in an edition of 100 copies (for a class at the University of Alberta in 1976) and issued, as a photocopy, on letter-sized sheets stapled along the spine, it has long been unavailable.
I really, really, really wanted to include some of this in Open Field, but it just didn't work out. Next time. Meanwhile, here's one of my favorites. McCaffery's version first, Stein's following.

a method of a cloak

perhaps you should read the
poem poem poem backwards reverse
the descent to where the top
forms a beginning as
your end so that

you end as you are start in
a swapped limp to the edge of

margins margins.

margins to jump or

to look at the time

loc locating its mechanics in
locating the atmosphere

resign and win

(these words are (these words are clouds'

in a met in a metallic midnight.


A single climb to a line, a straight exchange to a cane, a desperate adventure and courage and a clock, all this which is a system, which has feeling, which has resignation and success, all makes an attractive black silver.


Chris said...

Seriously. I got ridiculously excited over Every Way Oakly when I read Seven Pages Missing last year, and was pleasantly surprised that, after such unavailability for so long, it was coming out soon on Book Thug. I still haven't done a committed double-reading of the texts; seems like something best done with a partner.

Ross Brighton said...

I (heart) Steve. I want him to me my surrogate grandfather. Have you seen/heard the reading from Carnival on Youtube?