Daniel Davidson

ISBN 1-928650-13-9
126 pages




Daniel Davidson (1952-1996) came to writing late, emerging from punk music in the late 1980s as a poet of singular talent and originality. culture was Davidson's own title for his "collected books," a poetical critique of productivised social relations. One question was foremost in his mind: just how far can experimental poetry be construed as direct political action? While individual sections and books have been previously issued in small editions, the entire culture is here published for the first time. "Product," "Bureaucrat, my Love," "Image" and "Anomie" are printed in book form. "Desire," "An Account" and "Transit" may be read here:


Gary Sullivan, Davidson's literary executor, in his insightful afterword to culture writes: "He approached the book almost more like a method actor than a poet--the book for him being more of an event or conceptual art project in many ways than "pure poetry." That, in part, may have been a "Bay Area thing"--it seemed like everyone there in the early 90s had a long project they were always in the middle of. But Dan took his to extremes."

Politics for Dan Davidson was a site-specific performance art. Not street theater, but the street theatricalized--except that "street" is too narrow, too nostalgic a word for the many places, both public and private, where he gave new twists to an old plot. In stores and offices, factories and bedrooms, Dan found avenues for action undreamt by the revolutionaries he admired. Calling the plot culture, he originated a role I'll never forget, improvising an ending I'll never forgive. This book is his masterpiece.

--Benjamin Friedlander