Five Poems by Andy Frazee

from Index

Nature is a haunted house—but Art—is a house that tries to be haunted
                    – Emily Dickinson

Alba, re: aubade [NOTE] [All this, I think,
in the published version]: Buster Keaton:
I don’t want to be autobiographical.
B. K.’s Shadow: No [TRANSCRIPTION] Along
the right side of one page [PERSONAL NOTE:
the edge nearest the world], a stain
that erased some blue of the page’s lines [NOTE]
Another coffee stain, in the curve of a cup
or saucer, geometrical, the concave arc
holding the two lines of poetry [NOTE]
Answer: No [PERSONAL NOTE] The arcs of parens
and the arcs used to show where new lines are
spliced [NOTE: re: “18th century biology”
(check quote)] [PERSONAL NOTE] At the top
of the other (white) flyers: a box containing
some birds and the following: “For Three Days
The Flight of Billions of These Pigeons
Obscured the Light of the Noonday Sun
And Now the Species Has Entirely Disappeared”
[NOTE] At the top of the page: “difficult if
[or “of”] unrewarding luck [or “lack”]” [note]
At the top of the page: “Hieratic {robins / swallows}
/ Smuggle in the summer” [This also may be
labeled a transcription] [NOTE]
Backs of the crumpled pages like landscapes
where the sky is most folded [NOTE] [Box 9:1;
Books; After Lorca – Alba; 1957] [Box 9:2;
Books; After Lorca Notebook; 1 of 7; 1957]
[Box 9:3; Books; After Lorca Notebook; 2 of 7;
1957] [Box 9:3, continued] [Box 9:4; Books;
After Lorca Notebook; 3 of 7; 1957] [Box 9:5;
Book; After Lorca Notebook; 4 of 7; 1957]
[Box 9:6; Books; After Lorca Notebook; 5 of 7,
1957] [Box 9:7; Books; After Lorca Notebook; 6
of 7; 1957] [Box 9:8; Books; After Lorca Note-
books; 7 of 7; 1957] [Box 9:9; Books; After Lorca
Typescript; 1957] [Box 9:10; Books; After
Lorca – Contents Page; 1957] [Box 9:11; Books;
After Lorca – Publicity; 1957] Buster Keaton: This
is the wrong side of the moon. [TRANSCRIPTION]
Call Tanya at 6 (ET), 3 (PT) [PERSONAL NOTE]
Capacity, etymology [PERSONAL NOTE] Consider
amendment to methodology: the quadrants of
the page [phases of the moon; forehead expression]
[PERSONAL NOTE] Cover: Brown, almost replicating
leather in look; burnished metallic stripe at top
and in lettering; it reads: {“The Spiral”} in a kind
of Greek script, or Roman, as if carved into a
marble column; then a large circle, the logo [“Logos,”
I think, “lowghost”] in the center, a large “S” in
the background leather brown, and a spiral bisecting
the whole (the circle, itself the burnished metal,
and the “S”) horizontally; then it reads, in the metallic:
“THEME BOOK”; and then it reads, in the metallic,
in much smaller type: “WIDE MARGINAL RULED
/ 11 x 8 ½ / 1958”; and below that, in still smaller
font, in the metallic: “REG. U. S. PAT. OFF.”; in
the lower right corner, a circle: {25¢} [NOTE] Creases
on the lower right corner, and dirt in the creases [NOTE]
The cross of the “t” in “enters” doesn’t cross the t [NOTE]
DAY 2; May 28, 2009; 1:05 pm;
Bancroft Library, Univ. of California,
Berkeley DAY 3; May 28, 2009; a
Friday; 1:15 pm; Bancroft Library,
Berkeley, CA] Deep in the horror of
the chest
                          sandbox                 heart
                          edge of the sand
[TANSCRIPTION] A description of
the handwriting: in pencil; leaning as
if written left handed [was he] [I feel
I should know] [who knows these
notebooks] [to have access to hand-
writing, one should know] [note]
The Dickinson quote that art is
a house pretending to be haunted
[insert explanatory note with actual
quote] [NOTE] The draft of the
letter to Blaser [personal note: I
imagine Blaser going through the note-
book, seeing the “Dear Robin”
(I imagine the “dear robin” hovering
in the top margin)]; it ends “Dishonestly,
Jack” [NOTE] Due to time constraints,
today a different tack [REMINDER]
Each page in various stages
of creasing and wear; the rusty-brown
tint along the edges sometimes [NOTE]
Earlier I washed the blue ink off
my hands [PERSONAL NOTE]



*  *  *


A note on the text:

Index consists of notes taken during a three-day stint with the Jack Spicer notebooks at the University of California, Berkeley. Notes were first written in longhand in a notebook; entries where then typed and alphabetized by first word, and then lineated and put into sections. [Square brackets] indicate my designations and notes (made during the original writing in Berkeley); {braces} indicate instances where phrases originally written vertically in Spicer’s notebooks are now type-set horizontally on the page. All the text presented here has otherwise been transcribed as-is from my original, handwritten notes. Lines, sentences, and phrases labeled “transcription” are taken from Spicer’s notebooks for After Lorca, housed at the Bancroft Library, Berkeley. (Reference information: BANC MSS 2004/209 box 9, Jack Spicer Papers; After Lorca Notebooks, 1957).



Andy Frazee is the author of The Body, The Rooms (Subito Press, 2011) and a chapbook, That The World Should Never Again Be Destroyed By Flood (New American Press, 2010). His poems have appeared recently in Otoliths and 1913, and he regularly reviews books for The Quarterly Conversation, The Kenyon Review Online, and Verse. He lives with his wife and daughter in Athens, GA.

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