Item #6730 Actual Air. David Berman.
Actual Air

Actual Air. Poems by David Berman

New York: Open City Books, 1999. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's photo-illustrated stiff paper wraps.

Poet and singer-songwriter Berman’s first (and only) book, a collection of plainspoken, heartbreaking and funny-as-hell poems charting a journey through shared and unreliable memory at the dawn of the baffling new century. "I can't remember being born / and no one else can either / even the doctor who I met years later / at a cocktail party" (from "Self-Portrait at 28"). Also, "that moment when you take off your sunglasses / after a long drive and realize it's earlier / and lighter out than you had accounted for" ("The Charm of 5:30"). Called a latter-day Wallace Stevens meets a likewise-John Ashbery by the New Yorker, Berman fronted post-Pavement pet project the Silver Jews, and more recently Purple Mountains, before succumbing to his demons, hanging himself in a Brooklyn apartment in 2019 at age 52, days before a scheduled come-back tour. Published by indie small press Open City Books, the book-publishing arm of 90s downtown literary magazine Open City, where a number of these poems first appeared. First printing, with complete number row to copyright page. Minute rubbing to spine-ends and corners, else fine. Rare. Item #6730


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