One of the more obscure of Alan Moore‘s works is Technical Vocabularies, a poetry collection he and Steve Moore produced in 2004 in very limited numbers. Now, Alan and Steve have allowed Padraig O Méaloid to post it online on Glycon, his Alan Moore obsession site.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to do this,” says Padraig. “I seem to have, more by accident than by design, become a sort of honorary online publisher to some of Alan’s lesser known back catalogue, which I’m pleased to say he seems to be happy for me to do, as it makes it available for free to people who wouldn’t get to see it otherwise.
“I have a general imprimatur from him to publish the standard unavailable stuff, old comics stories and the like, but there are a number of things I like to check back with him about, and this was definitely one of them.
“The fact that I was also able to check with Steve Moore is a double bonus, as he not only wrote half the poems, he also published it as part of his Somnium Press imprint.”
In the post, Steve reveals the project was a ‘spur of the moment’ thing. “Alan was visiting me for the weekend and the Saturday was 1st May 2004, and we just decided we wanted to do something creative. So we decided to produce a booklet of poems in a single day.
“We decided to use four traditional verse forms … Alan wrote a pantoum and a sestina, I did a sonnet and a villanelle … which explains the title, Technical Vocabularies. That’s actually a quotation from Théophile Gautier’s biography of Baudelaire, where he mentions this in a definition of the Decadent writing style. The sub-title ‘Games for May’ comes from a Syd Barrett song and was obviously applicable to the date we were doing this.
“So we wrote the poems and then I designed and typeset the pages while Alan drew the cover illustration, and we had the whole thing assembled by the evening. It took a bit longer to actually print, of course, and then we had to get together again to sign the copies. So we ended up with a ‘private edition’ of 26 copies to give to our friends, which had silver covers, and a ‘public edition’ of 75 copies with cream covers, which were then sent over to Chris Staros at Top Shelf to market, and they sold out in two hours. We used to do things a bit quicker in those days!”
• Read Technical Vocabularies at: http://glycon.livejournal.com/14748.html