The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Known during his life primarily as an artist associated with the New York School of poets, Joe Brainard (1942–1994) was also a wonderful writer whose one-of-a-kind autobiographical work I Remember (“a completely original book”—Edmund White) has had a wide and growing influence. It is joined in this major new retrospective with many other works that for the first time allow the full range of Brainard’s writing to be savored in all its deadpan wit, nonstop goofy inventiveness, self-revealing frankness, and generosity of spirit. Collected Writings gathers journals, jottings, letters, stories, one-liners, comic books, mini-essays, and playlets, much of which exist in print only in expensive rarities, if at all, to create “one of the most dazzlingly minute autobiographies ever written” (Harper’s Magazine). “Brainard disarms us with the seemingly tossed-off, spontaneous nature of his writing and his stubborn refusal to accede to the pieties of self-importance,” writes Paul Auster in his introduction to this collection. Assembled by the author’s longtime friend and biographer Ron Padgett and including fourteen never-before published works, here is a fresh and affordable way to rediscover a unique American artist.
pastel hats that made the sermon go a whole lot faster. None of which—alas—has much to do with my new plant, but . . . SUNDAY This particular rainy Sunday (since you know how I feel about Sundays, you can imagine how I feel about rainy Sundays) finds me torn: torn between wishing I was spending the day in bed with someone cute and cuddly, and probably blond, or—then again—some horny hot butch piece of meat. However, what I am in bed with is Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, which is awfully good
most records. I remember Delancey Street. The Brooklyn Bridge. Orchard Street. The Staten Island Ferry. And walking around the Wall Street area late at night. (No people.) I remember a very old man who lived next door to me on Avenue B. He is most surely dead by now. I remember that “no two snowflakes are exactly alike.” I remember felt jackets from Mexico with felt cut-outs of Mexicans taking siestas on the backs. And potted cactus plants on the pockets. I remember the 4th of July.
with one quick yank. I remember fancy little bathroom towels not for using. I remember two years of cheating in Spanish class by lightly penciling in the translations of words. I remember No. 2 yellow pencils with pink erasers. I remember some teachers that would let you get up to use the pencil sharpener without having to ask. I remember the rotating system of seating where, every Monday, you moved up a seat. I remember in wood-working class making a magazine rack. I remember “droodles.”
don’t have a typewriter. Ron—Ron is hard to explain. And my fingernails are getting horribly dirty. I don’t have a typewriter. But I shall try anyway. That good ol’ college try, you know. Personally, I went to art school. Four of them. I had a scholarship for two of them. Honest! I hated them all. Ron goes to Columbia University. I could say more. And I really should say more. I will say more. (“More!”) Ha! That might be funny, but I’m not sure. It’s important to be sure. Maybe that’s why I’m in
a “Demolay.” I wish I could remember the secret handshake so I could reveal it to you. I remember my grandfather who didn’t believe in doctors. He didn’t work because he had a tumor. He played cribbage all day. And wrote poems. He had very long ugly toe nails. I avoided looking at his feet as much as I could. I remember Moley, the local freak and notorious queer. He had a very little head that grew out of his body like a mole. No one knew him, but everyone knew who he was. He was always