Rebis Press, 1975. Item #3494
9 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. Sailcloth wrappers, with twine binding hand sewn through grommets and tied with a sailor's knot. Per the colophon, "hand fed Vandercooked on Moisty Rives All Rag at Rebis from Van Dijck." Printed in an edition of 326 copies, of which 26 were signed and alphabeted. This from the regular edition.
Drucker recalls "The nautical motif in images and binding combine with the stippled ink drawings to produce an effect that suggests a children's book, at first glance. The text is dense, rhymed, complex, almost unreadable in any straightforward sense. Thick with double entendres, allusions, puns, it is the story of a failed New Year's party I attended with my parents in what must have been the winter 1974-75. Betsy Davids had applied for and received funds from the NEA for a series of book projects, and she had invited me to be one of the artists. That invitation literally changed my life, since I moved back to the Bay Area from Santa Cruz, where I'd been living since 1973, in order to print the book with her in summer 1975. The result was that I got to know the emerging, vital book arts community, found my way to the West Coast Print Center, became part of a literary publishing and poetry scene, and in a very formative period of my life, was able to be in contact with a group of peers whose work and ideas pushed my own. As for this book, it remains one of the best produced of my works, particularly in that early period, thanks to Betsy's expertise, patience, and experience. The is somewhat baffling, impenetrable, an opaque textual object. The writing is shifted into a more fantastic register by the images than it might have been on its own, but unrelieved, the text would have been unreadable. Still, it was quite typical of the writing I did at the time, heavily knotted and turned inward on itself, but tightly structured, highly rhythmical, intricate. Likewise, the drawings have that obsessive naivete that was characteristic of my ink drawings in the early 1970s." (Johanna Drucker, Artists Books Online.)