While compiling my last collection, The Elastic Dome, I began a series of poems titled “The Radio Odes” using various cut-up techniques. Some of those surrealist works were included in the book. They were composed by arranging excerpts from feature shows and news reports from a popular broadcasting station. I wrote down the snippets that struck me, rearranged and tweaked them, and added a few lines of my own. Some turned out well; others didn’t pass muster.
I’m turning to cut-ups again, and plan a collection further on. Some are traditional, but the majority have my own spin. My source material at the moment is radio, newspapers, magazines, journal entries and excerpts from correspondence. The ones pictured were mined from a torn photocopied letter, a character sketch and a copy of Mark Twain’s On the Decay of the Art of Lying.
The Third Mind is the title of an out-of-print book by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. It features cut-ups, popularized by Burroughs and Gysin in the ’60s.
The print edition of my new poetry collection, The Elastic Dome, is now available from Amazon, along with the Kindle edition. Those who pre-ordered should expect copies within two weeks.
All the poems were typewritten, and several talk about typewriters and the writing life. The book features 38 poems. Seventy were written in a six-month period, and I chose what I consider the best. Several were published in national reviews.
My goal for this edition is to have 50 or more downloads, and at least 50 more for the print edition. The average chapbook sells 50 copies, so that would be an overwhelming success. However, I’m offering free downloads through Monday in an effort to get it into as many hands as possible. If you read it and have thoughts to share, please leave a review in Amazon.
Edwin Feliu is an author, journalist and artist. He studied and taught in Rome, Italy, where he collaborated with other artists and was mentored by Irish poet Desmond O’Grady. His poetry and prose have been published nationally and abroad. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and lives in San Diego.
This Underwood No. 5 is my rarest typewriter. It’s in exceptional condition, and I dated it to the ’30s at the earliest judging from its cosmetic shape. The serial number, however, dates it to 1915. The body and chrome is the best I’ve seen on a No. 5, and the platen is good, with slight indentations on the backup sheets. The basket and other parts are shiny and devoid of rust, unlike my other Underwood 5s. It only needed a cursory cleaning, since none of the keys stuck, and a new ribbon. It used to belong to an elderly lady in the apartment building of the seller.
I did a double-take when I looked at the keyboard: it had keys that I mistook for Czech symbols. Baffled, I consulted forum members at Typewriter Talk and a sharp-eyed contributor declared them–get this–scansion marks, or symbols that denote stresses and caesuras in poetry. I never imagined such a thing existed.
What endears it to me is that I am a poet and have turned more to classical forms such as sonnets and rhymed syllabic verse, all which are decidedly unpopular these days, at least with publishers. Not one for words poured into a formless mold, I have gone ahead with my penchant for rhymed structures, publishers be damned.
Scansion marks are most useful to a teacher, since contemporary don’t usually mark the stresses in verse. That, however, would have been useful to a poet writing in the rhymed verse of earlier period. Adhering to classical meters was an essential part of the challenge of poetry at the time. Some things never get old.
The Bitchin’ Kitsch recently published this poem, included in my latest poetry collection, The Elastic Dome. The book, printed in letterpress, will be available here and in Amazon in a few months. In an effort to increase readership, it will sell for $7 shipped, half the price of a conventional chapbook.