I recently “discovered” Abe Books, which was dangerous. A few clicks later and I managed to fill a few of the holes in my B.S. Johnson collection.
I say a few holes… I’ve now got pretty much everything published by him. And by ordering these I’ve collected some strange version of his final words.
It makes it very difficult to know how or when to start on these three books. By finishing them I somehow close a chapter on Johnson, and for a lot of reasons I don’t want to do that.
Two of these books finish with one particular poem, “Distance Piece”, which as his final printed words are tough to read through.
As Johnson becomes a person I have read I wonder if these words might linger, if that sensation might hang, perhaps in a way I’m sure Johnson would label as “the detritus of the religious feeling”.