Distribution Automatique

Sunday, May 11

Saddened by the news about Ted Joans. We were introduced a few years ago by Charles Borkhuis in Paris. Ted immediately arranged for a wonderful reading for the three of us in the magnificent old Parisian villa and garden of a friend of his. An unforgettable evening that included a surprise performance by Phoebe Legere whose sultry accordian playing and singing has haunted me ever since. I learned that Ted loved to travel and frequently did book tours and readings including many in Africa. Ted liked to tell stories of his beat days, he was easy going and lots of fun to be around. He called one his favorite publishers "Nude Erections" (*New Directions*) I saw Ted once more a couple of years ago. We spent the day together going to some bookstores. I had told him about some signed books by him I had purchased from the Skyline bookstore downtown around 17th and 5th, and the owner, of course, knows Ted.Then Ted wanted ice cream and we went somewhere and they happened to serve blue ice cream.. Ted immediately named the day our "blue ice cream day." I've never forgotten that moment, and I realized that Ted knew something important about memory and imagery that I had planned to discuss next time I see him. Toni remembers another occasion when she and I went out with Ted and his companion, the warm and very lovely Laura Corsiglia to one of Ted's favorite Village coffee houses, the "Figaro." Ted gave us some drawings in exchange for some books.Toni just located a terrific photo of Ted, Laura Corsiglia, Charles Borkhuis, Toni and myself in an outdoor cafe in Paris. Ted Joans died one or two days ago at the age of 70.

(The photo referred to above, through the kindness of Charles Bernstein, is now available on my Home Page at the Electronic Poetry Center. Scroll down to the section marked *Images*)