Other words by B.S. Johnson

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”.

5 thoughts on “Other words by B.S. Johnson

  1. That is beautiful and sad. I’d like to read his poetry.
    ABE is indeed dangerous – but also one of the triumphs of the internet. Book buying is always frustrating in the real world, because you can’t remember the things you want, and then if you do, they haven’t got them.
    I’ve started sending books to people in the way that you might send a postcard. Small books of Orwell’s essays, or Nietzsche’s aphorisms appearing unexpectedly through a friend’s door is a much more meaningful thing than trying to pretend that we, as a generation, ever wrote letters.

    Glad the job is going well too!

  2. Thanks man!
    That’s a really neat thing to do. I did the automated version of that by buying books from Oliver East’s amazon wish list, and in return he sent buyers little paintings of trees. That was very cool, this loop of gifts that kind of continue well after receipt; eithr you’ve got some inspirational words to read or a pretty picture.
    Really really pleased to read that Liverpool went well. Got anything coming up?

  3. Ahh that’s really nice, someone told me about a rapper in America who, if you sent a photo and $10, would send you back a portrait and a mixtape. I always thought that was nice – if creepy.
    Liverpool was great, though so wet and cold that I didn’t have the summer that everyone else keeps talking about. No matter, I’m off to Guernsey with Tim Bowditch to make a film about the outdoor swimming pools on the island, and the night time swimming galas that used to take place there (http://timbowditch.blogspot.com/search/label/Firedive). I’m doing the sound, so I get to wander around with headphones on, recording trees and the like.
    How is your job going? It must be strange not having a string of odd freelance projects coming up…

    And you know, I can send you my address if you ever feel the need to post a book of BS Johnson’s poetry to me…

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