Little Odes And The Raptors. Michael McClure.
Little Odes And The Raptors
Little Odes And The Raptors
Little Odes And The Raptors
Little Odes And The Raptors
Little Odes And The Raptors

Little Odes And The Raptors

Los Angeles, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1969. Limited First Edition. Hardcover. Signed & with Original Drawing by Michael McClure. Think of “Little Odes and The Raptors” as two individual “books” compiled into one, not altogether unlike the dual selections that make up Michael McClure's (1932-2020) friend, Jim Morrison's eponymous 1970 collection “The Lords and The New Creatures” [See TMB Item #4461]. It was McClure who introduced Morrison to the work of Wallace Berman and his SEMINA Magazine. This directly resulted in Morrison's poem sequence, “The Lords” later seeing publication as a sheaf of loose pages in an embossed folder (like SEMINA 1), and “The New Creatures” later making it to print in a hardcover, limited edition of 100. Thought of in this origin-considerate fashion, “Littles Odes and The Raptors” is similar--a thematically-sound coupling of two poem-suites gathered under one "bookroof," as Jack Kerouac might've termed it. “Little Odes” was composed between January-March, 1961 and first published by Diane di Prima’s Poet’s Press in 1968. “The Raptors” on the other hand, is a short play—composed in 1957 at the height of the San Francisco Renaissance by the polarizing Grandmaster of Grunt-Poetics, McClure, & first published in the present assemblage. The “arrrrghs!” and “ahhhhhhs!” of the Ghost Tantras are nowhere to be found in this collection, however. It is Pure Ebullience in the McClurean Mode — ‘an essence transmogrified’ from the poet’s deep reading of Charles Olson, & the dyspeptic junkie-surrealist, Antonin Artaud. With a chuckling wink-&-nod, it is safe to say that McClure was “balls deep” in the “Free Love” policies of the Hippie-haloed Haight-Ashbury long before his crowning as “The Prince of San Francisco” in 1967. The author of “Dark Brown” (one of Jack Kerouac’s favorite poems) seldom shied away from-in print celebrations of the flesh. One such example, ripe with exuberant carnalities, is McClure’s “TO THE LOVERS” on pgs. 18-19: “THE DIVIDERS OF SPACE, THE GREAT LOVERS, ARE EVER ABOUT US / … / I FEEL THEIR BUTTOCKS AND BACKS AND RIPPLINGS OF PLEASURE about me. At moments of awareness I feel their / projections. OH THE PLEASURE!! The pleasure / of great natural Lovers! Vast Bodies / in silence / I cannot understand. / MOZART is as real as a feather, and Great Lovers as real / as his spirit. THE SEXUAL, GENITAL, PHYSICAL PLEASURE / OF LOVERS IS REAL! THEIR BODY-CAVE JOINED / to moist cave and writhing / and tossing…Define their exactness!!” “The Raptors” on the other hand, is more ineffable a work. While it certainly resembles (or at least echoes) work from the boundary-breaking "Beard"-period, "The Raptors" reads like a prose-poetic hybridization of the poetry & later plays. It seems an understudied work, deserving of a Beat-Scholarly look. Perhaps one of our Devoted Beat-&-Beyonders will find the prospect of such an investigation alluring! One of 26 lettered copies signed by Michael McClure & with original illustration the poet on leaf directly preceding title page; handbound in boards by Earle Gray with gilt stamping on the cover & spine. McClure signature at colophon in thin, black fountain pen ink, reads: "Michael McClure." This is Copy “O” (#15/26). Book in very fine condition with only mild shelf-wear to fine-edges; minute-to-minor rubbing to front, rear boards & spine; a few faintly-visible, tiny bumps to corners at same--surely the finest specimen of this 1969 Filet of McClure-iana that we've come across. Very Fine / Fine. [Item #4872]

Price: $400.00