The Pacific Nation

The youngest poet of the immediate Spicer circle, Robin Blaser gained editorial experience as an assistant in 1955 for the Pound Newsletter produced by the English Department at the University of California at Berkeley. Blaser was devoted to his friend and mentor Jack Spicer and edited his Collected Books (Black Sparrow Press, 1975), including a long, well-argued essay on Spicer’s work. Blaser shares Spicer’s concern for the structure of language: “syntax is arrangement, it’s all the word means, they way the sentence is arranged. Generally speaking it is subject, verb & object (the way the sentence moves), a sentence is a way of feeling/thinking both (not just thinking which is in your head) but the materialisation of it. Language is the instrument and you are the musician. We all are. It’s wonderful to listen to language in the street.”

After his first two books were published by Open Space [The Moth Poem (1964) and Les Chimeres (1965)], Blaser left the San Francisco Bay Area to teach at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where he started The Pacific Nation.


The Pacific Nation, No. 1, edited by Robin Blaser
mags_pacific01Vancouver: The Pacific Nation, June 1967
Saddle-stapled printed wrappers, 6.25″ x 9.5″, 114 pages. Cover illustration by Fran Herndon.

“I wish to put together an imaginary nation. It is my belief that no other nation is possible, or rather, I believe that authors who count take responsibility for a map which is addressed to travelers of the earth, the world, and the spirit. Each issue is composed as a map of this land and this glory.”

Contributors:
Conlin Stuart – “Sunday February 19, 1967”
Robin Blaser – “Out of the Window”
Jim Herndon – “A Story for the Famous Dead Writer”
Gerry Gilbert – “From Here to Eternity”
Robin Blaser – “The Image (Nation 6)”
Robin Blaser – “The Fire, especially for Ebbe Borregaard”
Jack Spicer – “A Poem to the Reader of the Poem”
Richard Brautigan – “Trout Fishing in America (1-5)”
Karen Tallman – [untitled] “On the beach covered with rocks…”
Charles Olson – “A Comprehension”
Norris Embry – untitled drawing
Jonathan Greene – “A Palimpsest”
George Stanley – “You”
Rick Byrne – [untitled] “This loneliness is something…”
Charles Olson – [untitled] “to get the rituals straight…”
Harold Dull – “Dream”
John Button – untitled drawing
Antonin Artaud – “On Nerval”
Michael McClure – “The Moon Is The Number 18”
Randy Enomoto – “A Recovery of Intelligence”
John Mills – “The Word in a Global Village”
Stan Persky – “California Sociology”
George Stanley – “On Strangers”
Karen Tallman – [untitled] “Under A Layer of Very Hard Frosting…”
Stan Persky – “Orpheus Editor”