The Unknown: The Red Line.
  In Hawaii, we celebrated the successful release of our first children’s book, The Unknown Play Nice, with illustrations by Katie Gilligan, by giving a reading at the Hawaii Children’s Book World Multicultural Resource Center and then went to Bernadette Mayer’s birthday conference. By coincidence, the Oulipo were in the same hotel. Every ten years they take a five day vacation together in a country they detest whose language they do not speak. It is a custom that was introduced by Raymond Queneau.

I was a little bit confused by all the Oulipo books next to all the mystery massmarket paperbacks in the hotel gift shop (because the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry books were confusing enough) (Michael Palmer the poet’s books next to Michael Palmer the novelist’s) but figured it all out when I got stuck in the elevator in-between floors with a man who turned out to be Jackson Mac Low, who explained it all to me. He said that our hypertext novel was the only hypertext novel he had ever read that seemed, rather than purporting to be at the cutting edge of a technological revolution whose moral nature required no clarification, nostalgic for print text. “Good old books.”

I ended up buying copies of Bernadette Mayer’s Utopia and Sonnets and a few more copies of The Formal Field of Kissing and all of Harry Mathews’poetry and Truth and an admirable translation of Ulcerations (how do you translate an anagram? or a lipogrammatic novel for that matter) and by chance a Calvino anthology with a translation of “An Adventure in Real Estate” and Blake’s Newton and Lyn Hejinian had a bagful of leftover Tuumba press chapbooks and all on the same day. Thereby ensuring that the book tour would be a money-losing venture. I didn’t leave my hotel room after that (I never really had a good time at conferences) and thought that I might retire, having gotten already everything I ever thought I wanted.

And to work on my French.


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