Tag Archives: Pacific Rim

Fundamental (Revisited)

cover of 1982 edition

Fundamental, Toy Poems, was published in 1982 by Doris Green Editions. The title says it all: elementary cerebral entertainment. The poems were a selection of Pat Nolan’s minimalist poems that had been published in Rolling Stone and various literary magazines in the early seventies. Produced as a mimeographed book, each page was typed onto a stencil, printed on a clunky hand crank mimeograph machine, cut into half sheets, collated, and stapled in an ink smudged intensive labor of love.

The four original illustrations were drawn by the late Michael Fisher directly onto the wax surface of the mimeograph stencil as a kind of self-referential pun: stencils on stencils (quite meta for its day). The original covers from a design by Michael were printed by George Zastrow at Guerneville Graphics in Guerneville, California. 


 Approximately two hundred copies of the book were printed although not all were sold or given away. The remaining inventory and unbound covers were long forgotten in boxes in a closet. After shuffling them around for almost forty years, the dilemma was whether to toss them or do something with them. A reissue of Fundamental as a limited fortieth anniversary edition whose purpose was to utilize the remaining unbound covers was deemed appropriate. In another recycling coup, a nearly full case of pin-feed newsprint paper for an old dot matrix printer had been hanging around waiting for just the right opportunity to be utilized as the text pages.

BELOW ZERO

A passing dog
touches me with his nose
the bite in the air

Unfortunately, the plan to use the unbound covers proved to be a problem. Many of them did not survive storage intact and were marred by unsightly foxing (paper rust). The alternative solution was to create an authentic edition befitting Pat and Michael’s collaborative genius, limited to 26 copies, lettered A through Z. Supplementary handmade stencils created by the author were utilized in the printing of the end papers and covers, each unique, emphasizing the use of “stencils” (the original pun) as a “fundamental” concept.

unbound back cover

unbound front cover

unbound original stencil end paper
unbound original stencil end paper

Along with the recycled text paper, the cover stock utilizes repurposed commercial cardboard inserts. The end result is a unique “California Funk” edition bound in the Japanese style and highlights Michael Fisher’s collaboration on a genuine literary objet d’art.

The limited edition Fundamental, Toy Poems is available by subscription for $100 US each. All proceeds from sales go directly to Michael Fisher’s family. See How to Order for details.

The original four stencils of the 1982 edition were augmented with additional designs by Michael Fisher especially for this limited edition. The designs were realized as actual stencil prints this time with new designs made over the last couple years of his life. 

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS

Picture me
pen poised
above the page
what I was going
to write down
gone forever

FOR TOMORROW

That bottle
of wine’s
for tomorrow
I’ll only 
drink what’s
in the neck

Michael Fisher was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1944.  He was a multi-talented illustrator, artist. musician, raconteur and actor as well as a beloved preschool educator.  He lived in Monte Rio, California much of his adult life, and in Todos Santos in Baja, Mexico.  He passed away in December of 2019 from complication due to liver cancer.

Pat Nolan was born in Montreal, Canada in 1943.  His poetry has been published in numerous literary magazines and publications in North America, Europe and Asia.  As well as being a poet, editor, translator, and novelist, he is also a print and book artist. He has been a resident of Monte Rio since 1973. This special edition is a tribute to Michael’s genius.

Handwritten Typewriter

HANDWRITTEN TYPEWRITER

The title of this volume of Pat Nolan’s selected poems, So Much, references the seminal (and most divisive) poem of modern American poetry by William Carlos Williams about a red wheelbarrow, chickens, and rain. The poems in this selection were actualized and finalized beyond their handwritten originals on a typewriter hence the designation of this twenty year span from 1969 to 1989 as Handwritten Typewriter.  In memory of Ted Berrigan, adherent to Whitman’s maverick impulse and O’Hara’s Personism, under the guidance of Schuyler and Whalen, with a nod to early 20th Century French poets and the sages of the East, and esteem for Anselm Hollo and Alice Notley, Pat Nolan’s poems hit all the right post-Beat, California School of New York Poets, Pacific Rim demotic notational ephemerist notes.

“If I have any purpose as a poet it is to remove myself from the musty authority of an entrenched academic conservatism and approach the word in its current state of utter mutability.  The poems selected here are representative of an acquired esthetic sourced outside of the doctrinaire Anglo-American literary tradition.  They do not aim at rhetoric nor do they seek to persuade.  Their primary intent is to present the fine distinctions of a perceptual identity in a uniquely spontaneous improvisational manner to the ear as well as to the page.  Sound and sense, discordant or melodious, over meaning equals poetry. The poems are also particularly anti-social in the implication that the forward progress of culture increasingly encapsulates individuals in their private auras. As such there is a specificity to each of the poems unique to my sensibility and experience as a poet that is not necessarily universal and insists that an effort be made to cross over into an extraordinarily unexceptional reality. Their reliance on chance operation corresponds to their reliance on chance appreciation.” —from So Much More 1969-1989


 Praise for Pat Nolan’s poetry:

“Pat Nolan is one of the poets, Ted Berrigan once said, that you have to always keep an eye on because he can do unexpected startling things that leave you eating his dust.”
— Andrei Codrescu, author of  So Recently Rent A World: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2012.

“Descriptions of nature so translucent we can only marvel how he weaves us into them, onward, around that eternal share of misfortune, bitter realization, and expectations gone wrong. This is Nolan’s secret power.  He engages us in magical transformation and will not let us look away.”
— Maureen Owen, author of Erosion’s Pull and Edges of Water

“. . .reminded me of James Joyce in that brief moments can become long & engrossing & turn the page for you despite any wishes thoughts & warnings you may have about more . . . .” —Keith Kumasen Abbott, author of Downstream From Tour Fishing In America, A Memoir.

“Reading a book of Pat Nolan poems, I tell myself to breathe, to be mindful, because everything is here, from the Zen moment that never ends to the surreal architecture we live within.”  —Bart Schneider, author of Nameless Dame


Pat Nolan’s poems, prose, and translations have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in the US and Canada as well as in Europe and Asia.  He is the author of over a dozen books of poetry and two novels.  He also maintains Parole, the blog for the New Black Bart Poetry Society, and is co-founder of Nualláin House, Publishers. 


 

Selected Poems Volume I
SO MUCH
Handwritten Typewriter
1969-1989

by Pat Nolan

April, 2018~176 pages~$16~paper~ISBN 9780984031061

order now and receive free shipping

(offer good through April, 2018)

See How To Order for details