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Jonathan Williams Feature

David Annwn

Mustard & Evening Primrose

The astringent extravagance of Jonathan Williams’ metafours


Jonathan Williams’ magisterial No-nonse-nse (Mt. Horeb, WI, 1993) features the subtitle: No-nonse-nse: Limericks (Invented in Ireland c. 1765), Meta-Fours (Invented During the Non-Summer of 1985 in Lower Stodgedale) and Clerihews (Invented in 1890 by Edmund Clerihew Bently [sic]) by a Perdurable “True Descendent of Aristophanes and Catullus” Jonathan Williams.


Certainly, 1985 seems to be a pivotal moment in Williams’ creation of this form. Two years previously, clerihews were JW’s ‘rage’ as witness ‘Les No-Account Contes de Mont le Conte Par J. Clerihew Williams, Who Distills Them’ (1983), 62 Climerikews to Amuse Mr Lear (1983), and The Fifty-Two Clerihews of Clara Hughes, (1983). In Blues & Roots / Roots & Bluets (1985), featuring poetic crystallisations of conversation heard along the Appalachian Trail, hardly a single metafour appears.


Yet, actually, the metafour was no late or fugitive flash in this writer’s poetic pan. As early as June 17th 1963, in Lullabies Twisters Gibbers Drags, this fierce satire surfaced:



from commies and sheenies
and bull-dickied darkies –

good Lord, deliver Us! [1]


And, early on, there’s something which drew the poet to the muscled musicality and stentorian vigour of subversive anti-mottos:




How the ripple-effect of words, the trilling of consonants and drawn-out ‘A’s, kicks in there and the quartet of words fall with instinctive rightness previously, in:


La lune rode up,
          a white slice, right




               GET HOT OR GET OUT


Yet it was clear that by 1987, the form was proving so seductive, it was becoming the focus of small books as in: Two Meta-Fours, Woodland Pattern Book Centre, Milwaukee. And a year later, it is dominating the collection: Dementations on Shank’s Mare, Being ‘Meta-Fours in Plus-Fours’ and a few ‘ Foundlings’ (1988). A year on, the hyphen is dropped in Metafours for Mysophobes (1989) and again in QUANTULUMCUMQUE (1991). The form persists through No-nonse-nse, ‘Amuse-Gueules for Bemused Ghouls’ in Blackbird Dust (2000), Kinnikinnick Brand Kickapoo Joy Juice (2004), ‘Meta-Fours’, to the first section of Jubilant Thicket (2005), and the list is far from complete.


Yet what to make of this quadratic obsession? Pierre Jorris senses that these quadriform inventions are crucial to Williams’ achievement and that he is ‘"the meta-fours” switch hitter’. [2] Jeffery Beam writes revealingly that: ‘Using a new form, of his own devising, the “Metafour", Williams proves there is something new under the sun. And that the new is usually found in the glory of the remaindered old.’ [3] And elsewhere, Jim Cory writes that metafours ‘Typically... offered the poet’s wry take on things banal.’ [4] Michael Hrebeniak judged that Williams’ ‘"Meta-Fours” are exemplary; energies emerge cleanly and conversationally, forging an entire world-vision by transforming nonsense into sense.’ [5] It’s worth dwelling a little on that transformation of ‘nonsense into sense’ since, in the prefatory note for Dementations on Shank’s Mare, the metafourist himself wrote:


The poet’s fascination with his dotty invention, the meta-four continues. Its only ‘rule’ is that each line have four words — all punctuation and capitals are eliminated except for possessive apostrophes. The result (when it works) turns sense into nonsense and gets the mind so off-stride that you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. And you don’t distinguish ‘prose’ from ‘poetry’. [6]


Hrebeniak laudably concentrates upon Williams’ forays into the flux and, that which is commonly called, the detritus of ordinary to forge new lines. Yet, Williams stresses the de-stabilizing and apparently nonsensical nature of the finished articles, not their source.


In Metafours for Mysophobes, he extends his thoughts:


After all these ruinous decades writing ‘poems’, I have had to invent a form that doesn’t seem like poetry at all: the Metafour. It’s crazy, it’s nonsense, it’s the anti-poem, it’s the impure-poem, etc. But it strikes me that it can be read, dammit, because the line is strangely fresh. Count it out: four words in every line. You must be kidding? Say whut? Mr. Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington told us: you got to say it without saying it. I think, actually, I understand that. This is all, at the moment, I can hope to bring to the flensed reader. It allows me to tell little stories; it allows me to move prestissimo from here to there; it affords a formal pleasure that is curiously hard to figure. [7]


By the time of QUANTULUMCUMQUE, (meaning ‘the least that can be said’), Williams is foregrounding that ‘least’-ness, (recalling Niedecker’s condensery), and speed, the prestissimo:


Today’s huckster now has about 15 seconds in which to sell soap — 30 seconds strain the attent of the mobocracy. The wastrel poet...may not have but 5 seconds. He therefore alerts his words: you guys better creep in, crap and creep out, like starting now: DO IT!


He will still be re-working and dovetailing these words re. metafours fifteen years later. Compression, speed, seeing the new in the old, that repeated ‘nonsense’ (we must remember his dada tendencies), de-familiarization of the language, disorientation, (partly created by the dropping of most orthographical referents ) and formal pleasure all stay at the front of his mind.


Around the time of QUANTULUMCUMQUE, he summed it up to me thus: ‘Francis Bacon the painter said, “What I really want very, very much to do is the thing that Paul Valéry said, ‘To give the sensation without the boredom of its conveyance.’” And I think that’s why the things I do are usually so abbreviated and quick.’ [8]


Like Bacon then, he sought to short-circuit our appreciative processes. These poems, like Bacon’s work as Louise Cohen has described it, ‘arrive straight through the nervous system and hijack the soul.’ [9]


In the wake of Joyce and Stein’s achievements, American poetry during the 1940s and 50s abounded with experiments in unpunctuated verse and poetry, some of it in lowercase, some of it using four words to a line. We think of W.C. Williams, (JW’s ‘spiritual father’), Zukofsky, e. e. cummings:


mr u will not be missed
who as an anthologist...


and Don Marquis:


i heard a spider
and a fly arguing
wait said the fly
do not eat me...


All provide examples that might be said, at first glance at least, to resemble Williams’ invention of the metafour.


Perhaps a closer exemplar might be glimpsed in James Laughlin’s signature typographic metric, an achievement Williams linked to the poetry of Catullus, Martial, Propertius and Ovid. Laughlin’s formal experimentation led to couplets measured by sight, in which the second line is no more than two typewriter spacings distinct from the line that precedes it. These free-flowing lines, mainly unpunctuated, often remind one of the ‘back and forwards’ flickering of meanings in metafours:


Some People Think

that poetry should be adorn-
ed or complicated I’m

not so sure I think I’ll
take the simple statement

in plain speech compress-
ed to brevity I think that

will do all I want to do.


Yet each of these examples, are, in their own ways continents away from Williams’ mature work. Witness:


this revelation to be
stamped on a grapefruit


When I heard him read this poem from Metafours for Mysophobes at the October Gallery, London, what struck me was the intense passion in his voice, his fierce and tender emphasis, as, his open hand pushed down miming the ‘stamping’, and he read the third line four times, each time with a different set of stresses: first ‘CONTENT’ as that which is contained, then as being fulfilled, sated, and so on. The varied reiteration was giving an auditory equivalent what we couldn’t see: the poem as verbal and graphic object combined, a series of signs for our complex engagement, for our eyes to flicker backwards and forwards over. It sent my mind back to his publishing of the first Maximus poems:


one loves only form
and form only comes
into existence when
the thing is born


It was a statement of ‘revelation’ and the poem is a wonderful ‘at-one-ment’, Williams’ reiteration revealing each segment of inherent thought glittering. In his search through ordinary ideas and words he was always looking for ‘fire-points, the garnet crystals’. [10]


There is no precise typology of metafour other than their four-ness and ebullience; by their very nature they are multivalent, roiling and hybrid lexical forms but one can remain attentive towards different tendencies and lights inside the crystal.


In The Loco Logodaedalist in Situ, the poet reminds us of his own and his then partner, Ron Johnson’s, addiction, from at least 1963 onwards, to the kind of word games: anagrams, palindromes, acrostics, cut-ups, Tom Philips-like ‘cut-aways’ and concrete works of Ian Hamilton Finlay and Dom Pierre-Silvester Houédard. Some notable results of this immersion are Johnson’s Io and the Ox-Eye Daisy, Eyes and Objects and Radi Os. In writing of Williams’ QUANTULUMCUMQUE, Jeffery Beam called the work ‘concrete poetry with the concrete elasticised.’ Precisely. Such a poem is ‘this revelation...’ [11]


To reprise: ‘Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington told us: you got to say it without saying it’.


up the flue up
the flue you’re going
up the flue and
then you get judged
i really believe that


In this metafour from QUATULUMCUMQUE, the elliptical slide sets in with the run-on ‘up / the’ repetition. Reading backwards and forwards, trying to get a footing, we find no intro, no contextual clue to where or when or how, and no subject nor object other than ‘you’ and ‘flue’. It reminds us of Williams’ referencing of Judith Thurman’s words: ‘Start as near the end of a poem as you can.’ [12]


To re-visit, ‘ to say it without saying it’ : The poet’s take on Ellington’s words might strike one at first as an insouciant Scaly Mountain Zen koan, comparable with the jazz musician’s inexpressible swing and esprit expressed only in the throes of music. In its original context, (Music is my Mistress), the phrase has two different senses. William Morris Jr. thought Ellington’s Deep South Suite, performed at Carnegie Hall in 1946, much too timid in its protest about the suffering of black communities. Morris made a plea for clarity on this score but Ellington thought it ‘good theatre’ and, in reply, made the statement about saying without saying. [13]


Of course, ‘up the flue’ says it all the more effectively for keeping its criticism subliminal. The speaker in the poem is confounded, is judged, by their own unselfconscious and simple-minded expression, the flatness and atonality of ‘i really believe that’ after the chimes of ‘you’ and ‘flue’. There is, additionally, a very soft but insistent subliminal resonance: ‘up’, ‘flue,’ ‘you’re’, ‘you’, ‘judged’, like an ‘invisible’ image emerging from a Magic Eye ‘deep vision’ painting , and the shape that sound assumes finally is ‘jew’, especially taking the soft German ‘j’ as in ‘juden’ into account, and the fate in ‘flues’ for millions. Think back on Williams’ anger against the Anglo-Saxon prejudice against ‘commies and sheenies’. The poem flares, saying it with sonic undertow rather than openly and all the more powerfully for that. Additionally, the holocaust is just where the speaker’s outrageous, fairy-tale-telling doctrines have led in the past. Ellington writes of the story-telling impulse behind creating music and that ‘the audience didn’t know anything about it but the cats in the band did.’ [14] And Williams again on the metafour: ‘It allows me to tell little stories.’


The two flowers which give their titles to this study both answer to the rule of fours. When the seeds of the quadri-petalled and sepalled mustard flower are ground, they create an astringent; in food this provokes and excites the palate (like amuse-gueules, those bite-size hors d’œuvre selected by the chef). The petals are typically arranged either like the chiasmus of ‘X’ or ‘H’. Regarding the Evening primrose family (Onagraceae), too, most of its anatomy occurs in ‘fours’ — four petals, four sepals, etc. This is the family of the Sundrops and other yellow-flowered evening primroses. [15]


When a really hot mustard kicks in, you concentrate. After-effects are as important as first taste and burn. Which is the best? Gourmets differ: Maille Dijon; Gulden’s Spicy Brown or Inglehoffer’s Original Stoneground and, then again, others say the best and hottest is Russian. Williams, in his Old Testament prophet mode, never tired of telling us: GET HOT OR GET OUT. It seems an irony of the first magnitude that No-nonse-nse should have been produced in Mt Horeb, WI, home of the Mustard Museum and the world’s foremost collection of mustard memorabilia.


The Museum also is home to hundreds of items of great mustard historical importance, including mustard pots and vintage mustard advertisements. [16]


Creation and reading in depth demands strenuous effort: the heat of effort and complete commitment in the words. We remember his chastisement of Richard Brautigan’s poems:


It’s too thin. Off to a Vic Tanney gym, words! And a few months of Mr. Rexroth wouldn’t hurt you either. Then, if you insist on coming on quite so simple, do it in a way that might interest people who have listened to the beautiful clarities of Scarlatti and Schubert... [17]


He liked words to work for their keep. With the cutting of most punctuation, no clause remained ‘subordinate’ to other, no personal name privileged over the world of things: all parts of the poem are to strive equally for attention, flowing, flickering and rippling back and forth, and, with each flex and re-arrangement of syntactic structure, new discoveries.


The metafour was whelped out of travail and discontent with the prevailing literary cultures of the U.K. and U.S in the 1980s. ‘Poetry,’ Williams told us, ‘seems to have got out of whack. I want poetry that’s ‘got a whang in it.’ ‘Whang’ as in:


1. A thong or whip of hide or leather.
           a. A lashing blow, as of a whip.
           b. The sound of such a blow.
3. Vulgar Slang. The penis.

tr.v. , whanged, whang·ing, whangs.

1. To beat or whip with a thong.
2. To beat with a sharp blow or blows.

v. , whanged, whang·ing, whangs. To strike so as to produce a loud, reverberant noise.
v.intr. & n. To produce a loud, reverberant noise. [18]


In looking for poetry with whang, Williams, like Pound, Olson, Robert Duncan, Dahlberg, and Guy Davenport, often re-visited the archaic: Martial’s epigrams, Juvenal and Aristophanes’ satiric jibes against his contemporaries — all these have whang. For Richard Owens, the metafours specifically cast our minds to the Classical satirists:


Looking at only the range of his work as a poet, the achievement is broad in scope, the earlier work marked by a gravity informed by Olson, and the later work — especially the Meta-Fours — saturated with the scathing wit of a Juvenal or Martial. [19]


In Aristophanes’ comedy, The Acharnians, when we fist meet the hero, he has a bad case of the blues; his delights have diminished to four (τέτταρα), but his reasons for outrage are so multitudinous, they beggar description and so he creates a word to convey this (ψαμμακοσιογάργαρα), literally ‘sandhundredheaps’. [20] Compound words used as a dramatic device often feature in the plays and Williams’ use of portmanteau and compound words, (indebted also to Joyce and Rabelais), ‘Climerikew’, ‘Logodaedalist’ etc. is striking. Williams also loved exploring weighty German compounds such as ‘Südstaatenschriftstellerin’ in ‘A Subtle Mississippian Riposte’. [21] But it is chiefly in the mustard-hot invective and ironic anger that we hear Aristophanes:


glory be to god
for jesse helms jesse
hates fags jesse hates modern
art now that one
thinks about it jesse’s
just like most people
in north Carolina and
everywhere else...


The rage grows until:


he has the law
on his sidewinder snake
in the grass that
he is whether he
will brake for us
poets and artsnakes is
another matter thank you
jesus thanks a bunch


In the final eight lines, the reader is thrown and thrown by three ellipses, the first seemingly sliding sinuously, seamlessly, into sideways glossing on Helm’s character but incorporated into the one curve of the poem, to that mock ambiguation of the Janus-faced ‘thank you’ and the stinging rebuttal of the Christian far right.


Above all, Williams finds whang in spades in Catullus’ Carmena; one of the metafourist’s favourites was LXXXV:


Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.


The Latin doesn’t use end-rhymes. Its syntax is far more flexible than English. Catullus relied on techniques like hyperbaton, anaphora and chiasmus for structure. In the lines above, four verbs compete for position, vie for dominance in sound. ‘Chiasmus’ refers to the crossing-over effect that this causes.


In the special edition of Metafours for Mysophobes, there is a holographic metafour written inside the endpapers:


if Michelangelo had used
a roller he would
have gotten the ceiling
done quicker reckons kitaj


It is, naturally, an irreverent joke and provocation — a slap in the face — for all bourgeois art-lovers. In terms of an up-date of chiasmus, one need only note the ‘Mi’ of Michelangelo and the ‘aj’ in kitaj, the relation between ‘if’ and ‘kitaj’, the verbs ‘used’ and ‘done’, the slight off-chime between ‘would’ and ‘done’, ‘roller’ and ‘quicker’, the velars of ‘got...’ and ‘’ and ‘the positioning of the two artists’ names. This is without mentioning the quick master’s staccato of distinct ‘o’ sounds, stretching the resources of language: ‘...lo’, ‘roll...’, ‘gott...’, ‘done’ and ‘reckon’., that almost demonic whiplash, that ‘whang’, in the tail of the poem with ‘qu’ ‘ck’ ‘k’.


As Eric Mottram wrote:


Williams concentrates in making music and speech rhythms work with visual coordinations and disjunctions. His urge, increasingly, is to condense to the satire of epigram (his longer poems are often branches of epigrams)...brief acts of what Joyce termed the verbivocovisual on the word. His ear for people’s speech — ours as well as theirs — enables him to record impulses to idiosyncrasy he finds around him into poems of discovery rather than acceptance. [22]


It’s that poem-as-discovery as well the whiplash of scornful satire and an almost instinctive mastery of technical skills outside the Anglo-American orbis that I want to emphasize in my relation of the metafour to the archaic.


Williams’ metafours remind of Gustaf Sobin’s words concerning an ancient Ionico-Massalian potter:


... the potter was giving free play not to his own whims or fancies but to the vibrationary flow of yet unregulated energies...[his lines] rise, plummet, exult — a freshly released creature. If anything, they seem alive. Here we’re very close to a vision of existence that, after being rapidly suppressed, would have to wait two and a half millennia to see itself reasserted...We might be reminded, too, in the realm of modern aesthetics, of Klee’s definition of art as Gestaltung: as form in the perpetual process, or act, of formation.


We remember Williams’ words:


Charles Olson made a vigorous effort long ago to teach me… poetry is a process, not a memoir[23]


Indeed, Sobin continues:


Or Olson’s interpretation of the poem as a ‘high energy construct’... These indeed are archaic canons...Within that vision, the world...erupts continuously out of an irrepressible point of origin. An iridescent chaos, as Cézanne once put it... [24]


The metafour form is alive and unpredictable; it’s supremely suited for the kind of free-play, exultation, high energy process and flexible control which such impulses bring into being.


It might be tempting to write that Williams brought the verve, play and lubricity of popular forms like clerihews and limericks to the intense formal acuity of Objectivism and Minimalism, as if he was a card-carrying member of either movement. Certainly this poet mentioned the limerick most often in relation to the metafour:


The meta-four, like the limerick, is a form that seems to provoke a certain lubricity. [25]


Such postmodern usage of traditional forms reminds of John Ashbery’s homages to Edward Lear; it has also prompted some unwisely to christen Williams’ work as ‘minor’ or ‘miniaturist’, the which terms reveal a poverty of critical attention. Even in using the limerick, a form seemingly shaped by its metrical hook, this poet has always subtly broken metrical constraints. Williams’ impatience with the sense that English speech can be scanned in regular iambics is revealed in his disagreement with John Wain in The Loco Logodaedalist. If, as readers, we’re into metrical scanning, rather than the counting ‘it out’ that the poet advises, the metafour finds itself as seamlessly at home with variable feet as with stentorian anapests and with simple trochees as sprightly iambs. More, Williams, just as Zukofsky subverted the norms of received prosody, uses the metafour to disrupt each of these measures and, hence, catches our reading minds off-stride. Consequently, just like the ‘young bugger from Dent’, in reading the metafours, we often don’t know whether we’re coming or going.


If I have dwelt too long upon the vituperative and strenuous aspects of metafours, their satirical mustard-hot bite, one shouldn’t forget their humour and awe. Guy Davenport writes:


Look hard at the satires in this volume: their pungency and sass are not irresponsible, nor their wit flippant. [26]


If there is enough serious humour and exertion in Williams’ metafour for anyone’s taste, there’s also affection, melancholy and, occasionally, querulous peace after long struggle.


was that a golden
eagle on the power
line checking the audubon
almost had to be
I’ve waited 60 years


There are the explosive quips, explosions, ‘foundlings’ and one-offs:


home sweet sweaty home




one move you’re chutney


and, like the sudden rise of a grace-note that lingers on the ear, there are the serene ‘why-try?’ lines, the ease of givens, the precisely beautiful:


bucket of blue smoke


At such times, William’s words on remembering Basil Bunting are recalled:


solid, common, vulgar words

the ones you can touch
the ones that yield

and a respect for the music...


Meta—indicating change or alternation, transcending or going beyond, occurring or situated behind or drawing from that which follows. The directional ambiguity is arresting; that metafour’s pun with ‘metaphor’, the sense that signified and signifier are calmly one, just as a green thought resides inside green shade, these should need no gloss.


The evening primrose opes anew
Its delicate blossoms to the dew;


Thus John Clare, the man of his generation to bring the poet’s eye back to the soil and sedge, to notice the growing particularities. Williams knew about Clare’s attention, his marking the nightly extravagance and delicacy of the flower opening, each of his syllables a bud.


Mustard and evening primrose; to bring their names together might seem an oxymoronic bibelot. Mustard provokes. Evening primrose, in its turn, soothes and placates mood and swelling. Yet both flower-words can be nouns and adjectives simultaneously. They can be shades, plants and colours at once. There’s even a plant which combines them: Mustard evening primrose, (Camissonia californica).


Ubi sunt..? As his metafour spells it out:


post modern gardening is
me and the weeds!


Like the four-petalled Camissonia, a plant of opposites combined: No postmodern poet so polyphonous: so riddling and clear, so beautiful and savage, so uproarious and enigmatic, so tender and taunting all at once and all the more felt for that. His words were ‘wielded like scalpels to rid minds of debris and dead wood.’ [27] Master maker. Lord Electric-Eclectic. Colonel Mustard of the Yorkshire Dales — we can only approximate the truth.


As the man himself would have known, (‘amen and then some’), the night between the 25th and 26th January is sacred to Saints Timothy and Titus, of St Amarinus, martyr, Apollo the hermit, and the wonderfully-named Poppo of Stavelot, Prejectus, bishop of Clermont and Polycarp of Smyrna. (He loved the unwieldy, ridiculous and incense-encrusted names and once spent five minutes asking me about the Welsh saint, St Cybbi and repeating ‘St Guppy’ over and over to himself, laughing in disbelief.)

Over that 25th night of January in 2009, lost somewhere between the year of the Pig and Ox, my mind cast abroad in troubled sleep, I dreamt that someone had introduced a bunch of roving delinquents into our house and that they were running amok: breaking, shattering, smashing. Family and friends were blaming me for my anger at the havoc. Unaccountably, there for the first, perhaps only, time, I noticed, standing off to the side, the unmistakable, tall figure of Jonathan. He was busy signing the back of one of the shattered pictures, and adding for good measure a metafour which, I realised, no-one had seen and, unless I could get to it, no-one ever would, and which I was desperately trying to read and memorize as I woke.


 [1] Lullabies Twisters Gibbers Drags (à la manière de M. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Late of the City of New Orleans) [Presented by] the Macon County North Carolina Meshuga Sound Society, Jonathan Williams, musical director, Highlands, (NC): The Nantahala Foundation, 1963.

 [2], accessed 29.01.09.

 [3] Rear flyleaf, QUANTULUMCUMQUE, French Broad Press, Asheville, N C, 1991.

 [4] - 18k, accessed 29.01.09.

 [5], accessed 29.01.09.

 [6] Dementations on Shank’s Mare, Truck Press, New Haven, 1988, p.1.

 [7] Metafours for Mysophobes, North & South, Twickenham and Wakefield, 1989, p.5.

 [8] Prospect into Breath, North & South, Twickenham and Wakefield, 1991, p.55.

 [9] Louise Cohen, The Times, September 9, 2008.

 [10] The Loco Logodaedalist in Situ, Cape Goliard Press, London, 1971, p.34.

 [11] Rear flyleaf, QUANTULUMCUMQUE.

 [12] Jubilant Thicket, Copper Canyon, Washington, 2005, p.4.

 [13] See Bret Hayes Edwards, ‘The Literary Ellington’, Representation 77, Winter, 2002.

 [14]xiv -, accessed 29.01.09.

 [15], accessed 29.01.09.

 [16] -accessed, 29.01.09.

 [17] The Magpie’s Bagpipe, North Point Press, San Francisco, 1982, p.78.

 [18], accessed 29.01.09.

 [19], accessed 29.01.09.

 [20] - accessed 29.01.09..

 [21] See Louis Zukofsky, Or Whoever Someone Else Thought He Was, North & South, Wakefield & London, 1988, p.37.

 [22] Professor Eric Mottram in Niches Inches, Dentdale, 1981, p. 3.

 [23] The Loco LogoDaedalist in Situ, London, Cape Golliard, 1971, p.32.

 [24] Gustaf Sobin, Luminous Debris: Reflecting on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc, University of California, 1999, p.141.

 [25] Jubilant Thicket: New and Selected Poems, Copper Canyon, Washington, 2005, p.4.

 [26] Guy Davenport Jonathan Williams, Poet, The Asphodel Bookshop, 1969, p

 [27] Lullabies Twisters Gibbers Drags (Nantahala Foundation, Highlands, 1963 p.1.

David Annwn published JW’s Metafours for Mysophobes, wrote foreword and poems for Catgut and Blossom, Jonathan Williams in England and interviewed Jonathan at length for Prospect into Breath, North and South’s, anthology of poets in conversation. He also published JW’s tributes to Louis Zukofsky and Eric Mottram, and convened and introduced the filmed readings of Jonathan’s, Thomas Meyer’s and Simon Cutt’s readings at the October Gallery, London. Annwn is a recipient of the Cardiff International Poetry Award and a Ferguson Centre award for African and Asian Studies. Amongst his books are the collaborations: It Means Nothing to Me, (with Geraldine Monk), and The Last Hunting of the Lizopard, (with Alan Halsey.) His poem, Tabula Rasa, has been made into a book of calligraphy by Thomas Ingmire for the San Francisco Libraries Collection. His most recent collection of poems, Bela Fawr’s Cabaret, (Westhouse / Ahadada), was published in 2008.

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