The following poem is from one of Jack Spicer’s notebooks, written around 1964. It is reprinted as the epigraph to Robin Blaser’s essay “The Practice of Outside,” which is a part of The Collected Books of Jack Spicer, published by Black Sparrow Press in Santa Rosa, CA (I have the 1999 version). (One of my most prized, most weathered and beat-up books).

With fifteen cents and that I could get a
subway ride in New York. My heart
Is completely broken. Only an enemy
Could pick up the pieces.
“Fragments of what,” the man asked, “what?”
A disordered devotion towards the real
A death note. With fifteen cents and real
Estate I could ride a subway in New York. No
Poet starved. They died of it.

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