January 25, 2006

Over on the silliman blog there has been
a recent chant to the tune of the neglected
poet and the dead young poet.

One dead young poet mentioned was my former
wife Helena Bennett who wrote one slim chapbook
you don't have to call me Merle Haggard, (anymore)
while an undergrad at uc san diego in the mid 1980s.
That is where/when I met her and
Steve Evans and Jennifer Moxley
and Douglas Rothschild and Scott Bentley
and John Granger
and older teacher poets that you can probably name.

In the late 1980s, Helena developed a fondness
for a recent arrival to San Diego: one
Alex Smith.
Now Helena had been given David Sheidlower's 'old' letter press
(which Lyn H seems to have owned at one point).
Any way, Helena printed up a version of Alex's
Enigma Variations. She was also interested
in printing Alex's 'snets' (sonnets),
but never got around to it.
Any way, Alex died of aids in 1987
then Helena died of cancer in 1990.
Nice. I still have a few
Enigma Variations left if anyone is interested.
hand sewn. 10 pages. 5"x6". letterpress set in 9pt times.
reverse english press. no date. more like 1987.

The poem is / poems are as the title suggests
variations. slim 9 line lyrics.
repetition of words:
she, he, dress, space, moon, waiter, came.
Here is one:

Landing on the moon
she thought, Only a man
could get where I am
and stay.
She was a waiter,
a red, a cage of
again and again.
She said she could wait
and did, and now came
in outer space,

send SASE and $5 to
Bill Luoma
2127 Blake St
Berkeley, CA 94704

Ben Friedlander notes that
"the press David gave Helena was not Lyn's. It was bought at a police auction in Oakland (he was told it had been confiscated for producing fake driver's licenses). He acquired Lyn's press much later."

Blog Archive