Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts, Number 5, Volume 8

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker

Jed Birmingham on William S. Burroughs Collecting

Quite a while back, a heartbroken bookseller offered me a copy of the Mad Motherfucker issue of Fuck You, a magazine of the Arts with the Couch cover for $35. Now realize the bookseller was distraught not crazy. When I received the mag in the mail, I could understand his disappointment. On first glance, it was like a giant zit on the Mona Lisa — the Warhol cover was ripped. In addition the once-tight frame had gone to seed, as the body of the magazine was de-stapled and incomplete. For example, the centerpiece of this issue, Auden’s “The Platonic Blow,” was missing. Still I happily paid the $35 for the Couch cover, which even torn was better than nothing. I could always upgrade, right? As it turned out, easier said than done. Fine copies of the issue with the cover attached have become prohibitively expensive, reaching ever higher into the lower four figures.

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts / Number 5, Volume 8 / CoverAfter I bought it, I scanned the covers and then packed the battered corpse into an archival coffin — where it lay until now. I was sitting this weekend in the pre-dawn, smoking and waiting for the sun to come up, when it came to me out of the fog: Why the hell haven’t I scanned the rest of the issue, warts and all? Reading as I scanned it, I am really glad I finally woke up. Like a fresh, young starlet turned barfly, glimpses of past glory flash from the opened face of the Mad Motherfucker despite years of abuse. The issue remains, even in this damaged and incomplete state, a truly magnificent example of mimeo publication. Over the years I have read quite a bit of Fuck You Press’ output, and I’ll be the first to admit it is equal parts good, bad and ugly. Nevertheless, above and beyond all else, what stands out are the paratexts: the editorial comments, the notes on contributors, the bibliographic asides, the glyph work and illustration. This stuff, the lifeblood of Fuck You Press, is pure Ed Sanders genius. So feed your head on this glorious mess of a magazine.

What is painfully obvious to me is that a complete reprint of Fuck You magazine is sorely needed. Clearly, the time is ripe. The Fuck You Press Archive has proven to be one of the top eyeball catchers on RealityStudio, second only to the Kurt Cobain / William Burroughs dossier. The publication of In Numbers and an upcoming MIT press book on artists’ magazines highlights the fact that interest is there and growing. I look forward to what seems to be an onslaught of critical work on little magazines and the Mimeo Revolution, but, let me tell you, reading about Fuck You is not enough. People need to get access to the magazine itself. Here is a taste. You’ll be hooked.  

On a complete reprint, the question remains: How to do it? The Internet is one option, an option that RealityStudio has fully explored with Jeff Nuttall’s My Own Mag, C Press’s Time, several of Charlie Plymell’s publications, and individual issues of a handful of important little magazines. I love this approach because of its populist nature. It is an open buffet for people to graze as they see fit. But I cannot help but wonder if the prestige of print would have shown My Own Mag, in particular, to greater effect. A hardcover edition forces critics and scholars to comment on its existence and get a discussion going, which personally I desire for this neglected masterwork. To me, it is one of the highpoints of William Burroughs’ career and, of course, the Mimeo Revolution generally. Why I don’t feel that it is enough simply to admire it, I have not fully gotten to the bottom of. But I feel compelled to push this intoxicating publication on everybody. For those who are not interested, in the words of Nancy Reagan, “Just say no,” but I can only say it will make you feel good.

So I wonder, even as we hear daily of the death of print, if hard copy is not the way to go for little magazine reprints. For me, the prototype for such a reprint is the Laurence McGilvery publication of Floating Bear from 1973: a full reprint, an introduction, a complete index of each issue, and footnotes full of information on the contributors and their contributions. Obviously, I would love to see this for Fuck You — Ted Berrigan’s C: A Journal of the Arts also comes immediately to mind as a little magazine desperately in need of a serious reprint — but I would cream my jeans to see a complete version of Jack Spicer’s J or, even better, Dan Saxon’s Le Metro and Les Deux Magots mimeos, as these magazines are close to impossible to assemble on the rare book market. This is not just a question of finances; they are, quite simply, not available. Single issues of these magazines are few and far between, and full runs just do not exist, even in institutions. An institution such NYU, Columbia, or the New York Public Library, just to name those in New York City, would have to step up and offer their magazines for scanning. Not an unreasonable request in my opinion and one that would bring attention to the library’s special collections and their educational value.

Let’s move on to the question of who would scan such rarities. A quick look through the news will tell you that public and university libraries are in deep trouble. They cannot adequately preserve their holdings let alone promote and utilize them. I do not know if the project would be profitable for a commercial publisher. There is always the university and academic press, but I would not mind going back to the Floating Bear reprint as a model. I would like to see a return of the rare bookseller as publisher. Once upon a time, booksellers did not just sell books; they printed them. The Wilentz Brothers’ 8th Street Bookshop and their Corinth Books are my favorite example with chapbooks by Leroi Jones, Jack Kerouac, Philip Whalen, Frank O’Hara, and others. As the McGilvery Floating Bear shows, bookstores also printed reference books. For the past four or five years, I have heard rumblings from various booksellers about issuing a chapbook of some sort or another. Nothing has been released yet, but the interest is there.

What if NYU or UCONN gave Dan Gregory of Between the Covers access to a complete run of Fuck You to photograph? What if the institution or Sanders threw in mock-ups and stencils of the issues? Let’s go crazy and add correspondence related to the magazine’s day-to-day operations, distribution, and reception. Bear with me as I go even further: What if Ed Sanders wrote a lengthy introduction and provided bibliographic and biographic details on the contents and contributors of each issue? What if there were essays on all aspects of the magazine — the mimeograph machines used to print it; how the technology, the ink, and the paper all influenced the design of the magazine; behind-the-scenes information on certain iconic contributions, like Auden’s gobblefest or Nelson Barr’s flowery prose and poems. What if…? Well, shit, that would be one Mad Motherfucker of a publication and I would buy it in a second. I can dream, can’t I? But for now, there is RealityStudio and a quickie version of the Mad Motherfucker issue. Coitus interruptus, for sure, but at least you can get your tip wet and your appetite for more whetted.

Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts

Number 5, Volume 8

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts / Number 5, Volume 8 / Cover

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Cover


Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts / Number 5, Volume 8 / Interior Cover

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Interior Cover


Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts / Number 5, Volume 8 / Title Page

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8


Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts / Number 5, Volume 8 / Title Page

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Title Page


Talk of the Town

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Talk of the Town


Talk of the Town

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Talk of the Town


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, To Fuck Is To Love Again

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “To Fuck Is To Love Again”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, To Fuck Is To Love Again

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “To Fuck Is To Love Again”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, To Fuck Is To Love Again

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “To Fuck Is To Love Again”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, To Fuck Is To Love Again

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “To Fuck Is To Love Again”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, To Fuck Is To Love Again

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “To Fuck Is To Love Again”


Michael McClure, Poisoned Wheat

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Michael McClure, “Poisoned Wheat”


Michael McClure, Letter to Ed Sanders

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Michael McClure, Letter to Ed Sanders


Michael McClure, Cutout Cards

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Michael McClure, Cutout Cards


Michael McClure, Cutout Cards

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Michael McClure, Cutout Cards



Michael McClure, Cutout Cards

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Michael McClure, Cutout Cards


Leroi Jones, Words from the Right Wing

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Leroi Jones, “Words from the Right Wing”


Leroi Jones, Western Front

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Leroi Jones, “Western Front”


Ed Sanders, From the Gobble Gang Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ed Sanders, “From the Gobble Gang Poems”


Ed Sanders, From the Gobble Gang Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ed Sanders, “From the Gobble Gang Poems”


Ed Sanders, From the Gobble Gang Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ed Sanders, “From the Gobble Gang Poems”



Ted Berrigan, Four Sonnets from The Sonnets

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ted Berrigan, “Four Sonnets from The Sonnets”


Ted Berrigan, Four Sonnets from The Sonnets

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ted Berrigan, “Four Sonnets from The Sonnets”


Ted Berrigan, Four Sonnets from The Sonnets

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ted Berrigan, “Four Sonnets from The Sonnets”


Ted Berrigan, Four Sonnets from The Sonnets

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ted Berrigan, “Four Sonnets from The Sonnets”


Friends of Gerard Malanga

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Ronnie Tavel, “Friends of Gerard Malanga”


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Vincent Ferrini, Poems

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Vincent Ferrini, Poems


Harry Fainlight, Street

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Harry Fainlight, “Street”


Gregory Corso, At the Big A

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Gregory Corso, “At the Big A”


Gregory Corso, At the Big A

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Gregory Corso, “At the Big A”


Claude Pelieu, Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Claude Pélieu, “Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks


Claude Pelieu, Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Claude Pélieu, “Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks


Claude Pelieu, Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Claude Pélieu, “Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks


Claude Pelieu, Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Claude Pélieu, “Four Shriek Pages from Liquidation of Stocks


Al Fowler, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Al Fowler, Poem


Al Fowler, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Al Fowler, Poem


Al Fowler, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Al Fowler, Poem


Elise Cowan, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Elise Cowan, Poem


Elise Cowan, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Elise Cowan, Poem


Elise Cowan, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Elise Cowan, Poem


John Keys, The Relationships

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
John Keys, “The Relationships”


Robert Kaye, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Robert Kaye, Poem


Robert Kaye, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Robert Kaye, Poem


Robert Kaye, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Robert Kaye, Poem


John Francis Putnam, Mythology

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
John Francis Putnam, “Mythology”


John Francis Putnam, Freebie Peek at Remaindered Girlie Mags and All Saints Day

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
John Francis Putnam, “Freebie Peek at Remaindered Girlie Mags” and “All Saints Day”


Carol Berge, Thank You

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Carol Berge, “Thank You”


Carol Berge, Thank You

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Carol Berge, “Thank You”


Carol Berge, Thank You

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Carol Berge, “Thank You”


Bill Fritsch, Poem

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Bill Fritsch, Poem


Al Katzman, Directions I

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Al Katzman, “Directions I”


Al Katzman, The Bloodletting

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Al Katzman, “The Bloodletting”


Gerard Malanga, In the Pores of His Forehead the Hairline Had Weakened

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Gerard Malanga, “In the Pores of His Forehead the Hairline Had Weakened”



Gerard Malanga, Some Thoughts on Jean Shrimpton

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Gerard Malanga, “Some Thoughts on Jean Shrimpton”


Gerard Malanga, Charles Olson Amid the White Trees

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Gerard Malanga, “Charles Olson Amid the White Trees”



Nancy Ellison, That Which Comes into the World to Disturb Nothing Deserves Neither Respect Nor Patience

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Nancy Ellison, “That Which Comes into the World to Disturb Nothing Deserves Neither Respect Nor Patience”


Nancy Ellison, That Which Comes into the World to Disturb Nothing Deserves Neither Respect Nor Patience

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Nancy Ellison, “That Which Comes into the World to Disturb Nothing Deserves Neither Respect Nor Patience”


Nelson Barr, Guernica

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Nelson Barr, “Guernica”


Notes on Contributors

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Notes on Contributors


Notes on Contributors
Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts #5 Volume 8
Notes on Contributors


Written and scanned by Jed Birmingham. Published by RealityStudio on 7 March 2011.

14 thoughts on “Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts, Number 5, Volume 8

  1. …if only more people dreamt like you do, Jed…hopefully somebody will make those dreams come true…and I’ll surely buy my copy…the kind of dreams I like…not exactly wet…are they?… :D

  2. A few years ago, Ugly Duckling Presse put out a huge reprint of Vito Acconci’s and Bernadette Mayer’s mimeo, 0 to 9. The photo-offset was done warts and all; it’s even on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. This should be the model reprints aspire to.

  3. Scott,

    The 0 to 9 is a great reprint. I have the trade edition. As you know the deluxe edition has become quite a collectible in its own right, pushing four figures on the rare book market. But the trade is affordable at around $30 or so. 0 to 9 is extremely important in literary and art circles and given how difficult it is to acquire original issues and how expensive, a reprint was needed.

    That said I think the Floating Bear reprint still serves as a model to be followed as well. Clearly, the Floating Bear lacks the production values of the award-winning Ugly Duckling Presse edition but like the 0 to 9, there is an introductory essay by the editors (Di Prima), and, even more exciting to me, the Floating Bear has the additional indices/footnotes at the end which really sets it apart.

    So the ideal model would combine the extra information of the Floating Bear and the presentation of the 0 to 9 reprint. I would say of the deluxe edition but unfortunately the resulting edition would be out of reach of the majority of those interested.

  4. BigCrux,

    I was happy to see the McClure intact. Looking through a Peace Eye catalog I saw that Sanders was selling individual pages of Berrigan’s C A Journal of Poetry as standalone pieces. It got me to wondering if certain mimeos like Fuck You or C will ever be sold like illuminated manuscript pages cut out from the original magazines. This has occured with the Mad Motherfucker issue and the Couch cover. As the issues get rarer and rarer this just might happen.

  5. So instead of working to build a complete run of a little mag, you will first have to work to complete a complete little mag…at least you will be fully occupied for the next century…

  6. Jed, your report inspired me to order a reasonably priced copy of Fuck You, No.5/Vol.6, April/May 1964 that is missing the cover and 1st page. Although I have a copy of the FY WSB’s Roosevelt After Inauguration, I don’t have any other FY publications, so having even a rough copy of FY, A Magazine of the Arts will be a treat. Maybe you could help me get a scanned copy of the missing cover & 1st page. I totally agree with you on Floating Bear. I have about half the original run and the McGilvery edition, which is great for both reading and reference. And, while I would purchase a complete basic reprint of C: Journal of the Arts in a heartbeat, I doubt whether a basic black and white reprint of the My Own Mag run would due justice to Jeff Nuttall’s eccentric publication with its colors, cutouts, burn holes, inserts, etc. Although I would prefer a reprint of FY that includes pages printed on colored paper, I definitely would pick up a basic reprint for its content alone. Unfortunately, these three runs have high page counts and would be expensive to produce in a nice edition like the McGilvery Bear (500+ pages and 4.6 pounds), especially with such a limited audience in this day and age. Believe it or not, Laurence McGilvery still has copies of his 1973 print run of the Bear available for sale today. Nevertheless, I think what could make such productions more viable is if they also produced digital versions of these publications that are available as downloads. For example, some people would rather pay $30 for a download of Semina Culture than pay $50 for the book, and now that copies of the book sell for $150, the digital version would be even more attractive these days.

  7. A real feast, Jed, and the McClure is fascinating, part of a ’60s and ’70s philosophy and aesthetic of grids, games and cut-outs. Over the years I came across a number of copies of SEED (Harmony Books, 1973), edited and produced by Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee, but the 480 reversible photo cards and the 64 reversible paper hexagrams in the GAMES section were always incomplete, having been partly punched out or cut out. I finally found a complete edition. Likewise, I eventually acquired a copy of Do It Yourself Fluxfest Presents Yoko Ono & Dance Co., created by Ono and George Maciunas, with a grid of 20 images designed by Maciunas, which appeared in Fluxus Newspaper No. 7, February 1, 1966, to be used either as a fold-out poster or cut up and used as individual cards – the latter was often the fate of the 20 images by Maciunas and the 58 sections of the accompanying grid of the ‘Propositions For One Page By Ben Vautrier 1965′. The actual PHYSICAL cutting out of material is related to Gysin and Burroughs’ cut-up technique – you have to DO IT, not just think about it. The SEED games and Ono’s grids (the Dance piece would be seminal for her work) were treated as creative play, inspiration through permutation, and so too with McClure’s Cut-Out Cards – the poem as Tarot deck, a set of samples for the creation of many poems. Of course, to really get the point and engage with such processes was to destroy the original work – the invited, participatory entropy of scissors. Ciao, Ian XXXX

    P.S. By the way, my Yoko Ono is framed on the wall – the very opposite of what was intended by the
    grid instructions and the format. And I’ve seen another original version hanging in a gallery –
    the most transitory of publications may mutate into a recognized art work.

  8. marvelous – thanks for scanning and posting – i didn’t know ferrini was a contributor – i used to give him his mail in gloucester

    liberate the xerox machine, eh?

  9. To quote Carol Berge, “Thank You”!

    I’ll just throw in my 2 cents by saying that I’d buy a FY collection reprint in a minute. Maybe a couple of minutes if it winds up being really expensive…

  10. hi — I was really looking forward to seeing some of the poems from Fuck You – No 5, Vol 8 . Have they been permanently taken down? Is there any possibility of you emailing me one in particular? thanks for your consideration!
    Susan Doran
    San Francisco

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *