Collage made as a proposed cover for “Memorial Day,” a long poem by Anne Waldman and Ted Berrigan.
“Ted Berrigan was the first in the circle of poets around the Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church to ask me to design an announcement mailer for one of his readings. He encouraged others to do the same. In the late sixties, I designed a number of flyers and covers for mimeographed poetry books. These gave me the first public exposure for my work. Ted and I saw one another off and on for about five years. In the spring of 1970, we lived together on Saint Mark’s Place in the East Village, until June, when Ted went to teach a course in Buffalo. I moved into the artists Rudy Burckhardt and Yvonne Jacquette’s loft on East Fourteenth Street while they summered in Maine. Ted stayed with me for a number of weekends that summer, and he proposed that we undertake a collaborative book. As I remember, I began the collaboration by making drawings with empty word balloons. I’m pretty sure Ted provided the project’s title at the outset. Ted would take the drawings—I think I made them in batches of four or five—back to Buffalo, where he began to fill in the words. We went back and forth this way, sometimes in person, sometimes by mail. I had forgotten all about this collaboration by the time Ted Berrigan’s youngest son, Eddie, contacted me in the summer of 2018. He wanted to bring me something his father and I had done together, which had recently turned up. As I looked at sixteen pages of my drawings and Ted’s handwritten words, the memories came back. These diaries describe some of them, along with the artistic milieu I was in in New York at that time—which included the painter Martha Diamond and the poets Bernadette Mayer, Michael Brownstein, Anne Waldman, and John Giorno. The summer of 1970 was a turbulent time in our relationship. … I had kept mine over the years, and now here was Ted’s. In the end, Ted and I remained great friends. …”
The Paris Review