Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The Platonic Blow and My Epitaph by W. H. Auden (1985)
The Platonic Blow and My Epitaph
W. H. Auden
A number of years ago now I had a copy of this tiny booklet containing two poems. It was published in 1985 by Orchises Press which at the time was located in Washington, DC. The Press is now firmly located in Alexandria, VA just south as the river flows. I was taken then as now by the disclaimer on the front cover "Please Read Before Opening - This is a piece of homosexual pornography. If such material shocks or offends you, do not open this book...." and it goes on from there on the inside cover so in order to read the full explanation or apology or whatever the publisher was attempting to say, one needs to actually open the book that they were just warned against doing. Interesting. And, yes, there is porn - in words. The flashing red description of this booklet would suggest PORNOGRAPHY which in most minds would be visual and not in print. I have a book by Stanley Fisher, an obscure bit of mimeo from the 1960s that has pornographic images on the front and back cover. No attempt to hide anything there.
I said I did have - because I mailed the copy I had to a friend and figured I would never see another copy of it again. And I can happily say that I was wrong. For the Auden completist, this is worth having. Orchises has gone on to publish dozens of titles, none as thin or primitive as this one which suggests that it's early in the life of the press.