Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words (2015)


Eating the Colors is a sprawling collection of Mayer’s early works from the 1960s and 70s, including selections from seven out-of-print texts, and one previously unpublished book. The collection holds a vast body of work, work which often broke “every rule about well-made poems”. Mayer’s early books originally found audience among second-generation New School poets, precluding her later success and influence in avante-garde circles. Eating the Colors is published by Small Press Distribution, and gives new life to Mayer’s early poetry, which, in the words of Anne Waldman, “changed and challenged the landscape of what was possible with the word, the sentence, the book, and daily consciousness.”

This collection includes poems from: Ceremony Latin (1964), Red Book in Three Parts, Story, The Old Style Is Finding Out Something About A Whole New Set of Possibilities, Moving, Poetry, Eruditio Ex Memoria, and The Golden Book of Words.

[These] poems are irreverent and sacred, jocular and aching, gentle and tough, erotic and reflective, rigorously fashioned and off the cuff—a poetic skill, intelligence and generosity scaling the heights