O One

An Anthology

Leslie Scalapino, Editor

1988 • 192 pp. • $10.50
ISBN: 9780917588181
Poetry, Prose, Essays.

Out of Print

The collection of seventeen writers is an investigation of the form of extended poem, series, sequence, or the idea of the ‘book’; an entire book of Larry Eigner’s, Anything on Its Side, is included, as well as an entire book by Alice Notley: Parts of a Wedding. The collection contains commentary on the writings of those included, or poets writing commentary either as poem or essay on their own work; there are essays by Robert Grenier, Nathaniel Mackey, Lyn Hejiinian, Michael Palmer, Alan Davies, Charles Bernstein, and Abigail Child.


Leslie Scalapino (1944 – 2010) is the author of thirty books of poetry, prose inter-genre-fiction, plays, and essays. Granary Book just published a collaborative book by artist Kiki Smith and Leslie Scalapino, titled The Animal is in the World like Water in Water. Scalapino’s It’s go in horizontal/Selected Poems, 1974-2006 was published by University of California Press at Berkeley in 2008. Other books of Scalapino’s poetry include Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night (Green Integer), a collection of eight years; Zither & Autobiography (Wesleyan University Press), The Tango (Granary Press), Orchid Jetsam(Tuumba), Dahlia’s Iris—Secret Autobiography and Fiction (FC2 Publishers); a reprint of the prose work Defoe (Green Integer); and It’s Go In Quiet Illumined Grass Land (The Post-Apollo Press).


Charles Bernstein
Abigail Child
Alan Davies
Larry Eigner
Robert Grenier
Lyn Hejiinian
Nathaniel Mackey
Alice Notley
Michael Palmer

and more…



Take it
every atom of me
belongs to you
across distances
one space
a photograph
or a morgue
or hospital
or anything
on its side

Looked out the window
bird was
the wing


Fate: “That which has been spoken”
about you, will lie down on
the ground with, any time,
day, any weather, there in that
park, or any other Earth, I
I was born in the sensational
autumn of this day
Woke up and waking each night
first word I think of very distressed or free-like
Chaos Earth Love Night
Were before the Fates
(As I was)
should be really
And the sensuous history of the
bitter dying universe play to
against the window
memory fill
a fillet for the head, of what
on the map of the floor
These are fairly
light-hearted dreams:
I sit with you with
our feet up
talking & smiling
get from one moment
to the next, how you always
like color
well why what? why can’t
Bringers forth Portions Spinners
“your credit’s a lot colder
you’re not so much in captivity”

Nathaniel Mackey, From: Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbol

What I wish to do is work Sound and Sentiment together with Sound and Symbol in such a way that the latter’s metaphysical accent aids and is in turn abetted by the former’s emphasis on the social meaning of sound. What I’m after is a range of implication which will stretch. to quote Stanley Crouch, “from the cottonfields to the cosmos.” You notice again that it’s black music I’m talking about, a music whose “critique of our concept of reality” is notoriously a critique of social reality, a critique of social arrangements in which, because of racism, one finds oneself deprived of community and kinship, cut off. The two modes of this critique which I’ll be emphasizing Robert Farris Thompson notes among the “ancient African organizing principles of song and dance”:

suspended accentuation patterning (offbeat phrasing of melodic and choreographic accents); and, at a slightly different but equally recurrent

level of exposition, songs and dances of social allusion (music which, however danceable and “swinging,” remorselessly contrasts social imperfections against implied criteria for perfect living).

Still, the social isn’t all of it. One needs to hear, alongside Amiri Baraka listening to Jay McNeely, that “the horn spat enraged sociologies.” but not without noting a simultaneous mystic thrust. Immanence and transcendence meet, making the music social as well as cosmic, political and metaphysical as well. The composer of “Fables of Faubus” asks Fats Navarro, “What’s outside the universe?”