In addition to the poems I have cited, Selected Poems contains three examples of his ‘pomenvylopes,’ which are poems and commentary Moore typed onto envelopes and sent to friends and acquaintances. In one of the “pomenvylopes” reproduced in Selected Poems, he writes, among other things:
“We also listen to The Supremes and we sure
do think Mary Wilson characteristic
soul bon-femme of the Noo World.”
Mike and Boris Pasternak
Who knows how many of these exist? According to Rudolf, “Over the years Nicholas Moore sent me 100 ‘pomenvylopes,’ which sometimes contained letters, sometimes were the letter. These cherished envelopes are covered with poems, jokes, quotes, etc.” I imagine that Peter Riley also received a large number of “pomenvylopes.” In these works, Moore shares something with another inveterate correspondent and isolate, the mail artist and collagist, Ray Johnson.
This is the first stanza of Moore’s late poem, “A House of Words”:
The words themselves have taken on
Their own personalities, like bricks or slates,
Or the quiet roofs of the villages,
So far Moore’s Selected Poems is the best record of the remarkable journey undertaken by this poet in words, and, during the last twenty years of his life, about words, growing old, and much else.
Selected Poems (2014) is published by Shoestring Press, and available on Amazon and other online booksellers.