Sunday, January 29, 2012

What the dogs found and what I'm doing...

 So, what I'm doing as a project to go along with teaching the Workshop this semester is making these one-page-fold books.... I've done that before, and asked students to make them as a first project, before. Ice Breaker.

But now what I'm doing is inspired by 24th Street Irregular Sacramento. I don't remember the name of the guy who runs it/or ran it, as the case may be...but somehow I heard or read that he printed very, very small, as in very, one or two page books of poems that he then distributed by leaving them around, tucked, maybe, in odd places. They would be found, or not. Of course, I submitted a poem, New York Story,The Sixties, about finding a bag of white powder on top of the ice cubes after I'd let a guy and his great dane stay overnight and that he took it away the next day, a funny story, I thought, until someone I told it to said, "Are you crazy? Your daughter could have been taken away" and woke me up from my foolishness. I didn't even smoke dope (the only person who didn't), but why would they  have believed me?

So, anyway, the poems he chose had a political bent, and I was happy that he used one of mine and that it was left in various places...     Now what I'm going to do, with the cooperation of friends who live in different parts of the country, is to have copies of the one-page-fold books left around, hopefully in places where someone will find them and contact me. My friend, E., helped me by suggesting a designated e-mail in the hope that folks are willing to let me know where they'd been picked up.

So, the first book if quite predictable...about me and my photographs. But then I'll  branch out...I have no idea how many I'll do. But here's the first stage.

After I had tea with a friend I hadn't seen in forever, and the dogs found things at Revere Beach, I had 200 copies of the first book made..

Then I went home and was attacked by that rollicking 6 hour flu that totally cleans a person out. I'd heard stories about it.

So, my plan to get the pages folded, and signed and numbered, was put on hold...

and, in the meantime, the time when I was lying in bed, reading, the cat thew up on the bag that they were in, ruining five or six. But that's no matter. I can print them again...

So, today I'll start again... That's the story, starting again.

Note: thanks to this magic of internet!!!
I found that Richard Hansen is still distributing Poems-for-All, and that if you send him a business size envelope, self-addressed, with $1 of postage on it, he will eventually send you some little poems, less than half the size of a business card..
    1008 24th St., Sacramento, CA 95816.
He distributes them with tips, leaves them on buses, puts them in backpacks, etc., something he does between his life -- which seems to be a bookstore?, family, a press? Anyway, he's busy and this is a labor of love... so if you send an envelope, he says it may take a while before you receive it back.


  1. An inspired project. I will prepare and send my envelope to Mr. Hansen as well. Many years ago a friend printed her poetry in pamphlets, handed out like religious tracts on street corners, and as postcards. If I got out and about more I'd happily volunteer for distribution. Alas. I wish you many happy returns in response and look forward to reading about it. xo

  2. thanks, Marylinn...did you take a look at his site? I just love the fact that he leaves them on buses or tucks them in someone's backpack...I have to say that I don't want the folks who distribute mine to be quite that casual because I'm curious about tracking..
    but I truly admire those tiny books..

  3. Melissa, I just now visited. In the language of an earlier time, this is so cool, as is your plan. I cannot wait to have some of the tiny books in hand. xo