The Vermont Notebook – John Ashbery and Joe Brainard (1975)

1960s: Days of Rage

The Perils of Just Aimlessly Sitting “Although parts of this book were originally published in Kenward Elmslie’s ZZ Magazine and first published in book form by Black Sparrow Press, this reviewer was pleasantly surprised to find this collaboration waiting in the mailbox in a fine new volume published by Granary Books. Joe Brainard passed from this life May 25, 1994, but he will be remembered always for his writing and visual art, infused as it is with a refreshing almost naïve wisdom, which is a contradiction in terms made possible by Brainard’s deft touch. John Ashbery’s name is familiar to art aficionados as a poet, critic, essayist and wizard, having won too many literary awards to count. This mélange of Ashbery’s writing and Brainard’s drawings makes total sense, not simply because of their reputations as members of the first and second generation of New York School poets respectively, but because…

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