deluxe rubber chicken #6
editor's note


I'm extremely proud to bring you this, the sixth issue of Deluxe Rubber Chicken, which also marks its second anniversary. This issue consists of parts of David Daniels' epic poem THE GATES OF PARADISE, a smaller piece entitled FIVE DELUXE TELEGRAMS and all the parts David has written so far of his autobiography YEARS.

As Michael Basinski writes elsewhere in this issue of David, "He has a life and an art." A few words on the life:

"I am 66 years old. Besides writing poems I water 100 bonsai every day, drive my step daughter to college, feed my dog, and meet with friends to discuss everything under the sun."

THE GATES OF PARADISE is one of those books, you know, books like THE COLLECTED WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, ULYSSES, or Kenny Goldsmith's No. 111 2.7.93-10.20.96, books that seem to contain and rename "everything under the sun"--the whole word as it were, as it is. THE GATES OF PARADISE, which is available in its entirety on David's homepage, was written "every morning from 8AM to 11AM, 7 days a week for 12 years from 1987 to 1999 in Berkeley, CA." The titles are poems in themselves, titles like THE CLUB HA HA GATE and THE TRANSFORMATION OF A MISSIONARY INTO A FORTUNE COOKIE GATE and THE TRANSFORMATION OF A STERN NUTRITIONIST INTO A COLLOSSAL ROMAN LUNIC TUNIC BRAINED HOT FUDGE SUNDAE TRIUMPH GATE. Each gate IS a gate–to parts unknown! Glorious visual verbal human energy–

Of his writing process, David says:

"What happens is I wake up at night, 2 or 3 am with a visual and word idea. I write it down on a piece of paper next to my bed. 2 or 3 half sentences. I put it on my desk the next morning. In a few hours or days or weeks I look at the idea on the piece of paper put it down and I start writing. I like to make things up. I kind of write and shape variations of the theme written on that paper. It might take me a few days or weeks. The picture tells me what to write and the writing tells me what to shape."

YEARS is a radical, visual--and deeply moving--autobiography unlike any ever written. The closest reference point might be Raymond Federman's most visual novels such as Take It Or Leave It and Double Or Nothing. Like Federman, Daniels revels not so much in his life per se but in telling the story(s) of his life:

"I began these YEARS as proem interludes in THE GATES OF PARADISE maybe twelve years ago. Then they became diversions when I needed a rest from making things up. These YEARS for me are like writing music to words someone else, in this case my life, has already written."

It's an honor and a pleasure to bring you this work.

Mark Peters


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PS–

I'll be reading work for issue #7 throughout the summer. Send writing to: petersm@acsu.buffalo.edu

Or:

Mark Peters
130A-2 Garden Village Dr.
Cheektowaga, NY 14227


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That's life–you can't live without it.

–David Daniels


Pub. May 2000

DRC