I don’t think I’ve ever read Ron Padgett’s poem, “Joe Brainard’s Painting ‘Bingo’”, but apparently, you can hear Ron read it on Daniel Kane’s cd, “All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s”. Track 21 was originally taped on “Susan Howe with Poetry” radio show, WBAI, New York, June 17, 1975.
How did I find this gem tonight? I was moved to search for it after reading a recent poem of Matt Hart’s on H_NGM_N, among other notables. But go there yourself to discover more. And one always wants more, no?
NEW YORK SCHOOL LEAF LETTER
More than a hundred thousand copies. Massive
the piling of leaflets to burn. The cento.
The BINGO. The leaves and the letters.
This is not always so easy. This is not always
so massive. Nor is it more than a hundred thousand
copies. It is not Joe Brainard either. It is not
his painting BINGO. Dear Ron Padgett.
The cento. The aching machine. The
raking the leaves. You may think this is
nonsense or merely a penny, but it isn’t.
Nor is it. Nor leaflets to burn. Liberty’s
Statue proclaiming inferno. Joe Brainard.
Ron Padgett. Heroes both and towering
above me. The raking. The poem. Massive is more
than a hundred thousand copies. Otherwise sold to
a nonsense inferno. Joe Padgett. Ron leaflet
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.