I have written many Concrete Visual and Shaped (CVS) poems over the years. Most of them were designed to be broadsides or poster poems, large and impressive by their size and presence. Most of them, however, were never published commercially because the cost of the artwork and print runs were too expensive for me. It is also difficult to find printers who want to set up and run a limited edition of 500 or fewer broadside or poster poems, especially if they require careful color registration and special printing and paper. The only poem that was printed in the manner I envisioned and planned was "Lonely Nights & Wild Women Auto Poem State Four." This I printed under the imprint of my own press, Light ٠ Gravity, which I founded in 1970. Artwork and camera-ready versions were also completed for two other poems included here, "Elbow" and "Voyageurs Metropolitains." Ten of the CVS poems in this collection were privately printed and distributed by me in 2006 in a special edition I prepared for my friends under the imprint of my own press, Light ٠ Gravity, Berkeley, California. That was their first limited public appearance.
Friends who knew about these CVS poems requested that I provide copies for them, which I did. Some of the recipients of the limited edition are listed in the acknowledgements to this edition. For the privately printed edition. individually numbered and signed, I selected ten CVS poems that I created and designed entirely myself, and provided a brief history and background for each poem and an essay on “How to Read,” which I have also included here. This commercial edition includes four additional poems previously published in my other books of poems, but which I think important to add to this collection of my CVS poems.