Sunday, February 13

3 Postcards

  Plotinus      c

  All-Stars II:  p      Cobb

  Mozart      cf


A note regarding The Postcards…..

The 3 Postcards are by the artist Paula North, and are based on her husband Charles North's "Lineups" poems, the first set of which was published in the early 1970s. An example:

Wittgenstein lf
Heidegger 2b
Aristotle 1b
Kant rf
Hegel cf
Hume ss
Sartre 3b
Plotinus c
Plato p

Another example:

Frog 3b
Lightning Bug 2b
Cat lf
Dog cf
Hamster 1b
Turtle c
Rabbit ss
Alligator rf
Parakeet p

In "No Other Way," his book of selected prose published by Hanging Loose in 1998, Charles explains how he got the idea to arrange all sorts of thing in the world into baseball lineups, which really means locating each item according to two coordinates--field position and position in the batting order. Baseball fans, he writes, have an intuitive feeling for what sorts of players bat, say, 5th, and what sorts of players play, say, shortstop. He adds, "Once after a reading someone I respect complimented me on the three lineups I had included, and then inquired about the “little letters and numbers” following the names. I guess I’ve always known that these list poems can’t possibly make sense to everyone. But for those like me who grew up with indelible feelings and memories connected to baseball, there remains a shape and a tone, a timbre, to the very notion of shortstop, as there is a timbre not only to the lead-off and cleanup hitters but even to the #5 and #7 'holes' in the order." Some of the lineups are wackier than others. The range of things in the poems includes vegetables, diseases, philosophers, parts of the body, Wordsworth poems....

"Lineups II" was published in North's "The Year of the Olive Oil" (Hanging Loose, 1989) and reprinted, along with almost all the other lineups, in his "New and Selected Poems" (Sun & Moon, 1999). A further extension of the idea appears in "No Other Way."

The images are © 2004 Paula & Charles North, and were originally published by Pressed Wafer, Boston, MA

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