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Clark Coolidge’s The Act of Providence is the first book since Ashbery’s Flowchart to remind me of the particular pleasure reading once was. It is as if Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac danced together in the cemetery of Spoon River in the light of a projected image of Joe Brainard flickering on fleeting clouds, while teaching the intricate steps to the ghost of Maximus. You’ll track it down, although the URL on the copyright page appropriately takes you to General Cosmetic Surgery Information. ISBN 0-9708763-5-1, or Mike Magee ( is what I have, although he’s not listed under English on the RISD site now) 7 Old West Wrentham Road, Cumberland RI 02864 might help.

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