23 May 1963


PZ recounted to a number of people the initial incident behind this movement: on observing a potted flower on their apartment terrace being blown about by a strong wind, PZ observed it was hardly a fair contest. Scroggins notes that what appears to be the original draft or a copy of it was interpolated into LZ’s working notebook immediately above an entry dated 8 May 1963 concerning violent police action against civil rights protests in Alabama, to which has also been added a later note dated Sept. 1963 referring to the murder of four African-American girls in a church bombing. These incidents and notes were used in “A”-14.318.22-319.3 (HRC 3.16); see Scroggins, Bio 359. 

This movement first appeared on the back cover of the last number of  Cid Corman’s Originsecond series, which featured LZ in all 14 issues. Corman’s own small poems and his deep interest in classical Japanese poetry (see 14.325.7-326.31) may have influenced LZ’s minimalism here.


276.1    An / inequality: Scroggins notes that this echoes the opening of “A”-15: “An / hinny” (Bio 391). See headnote: in his notebook LZ explicitly links racist violence and civil rights protests in Alabama with this opening phrase. 

276.3    wind flower: anemone, a widely distributed genus of herbaceous perennials, chiefly the wood anemone; the flowers are showy, readily varying in color and becoming double in cultivation. Etymologically derived from Gk. άνεμώνη, the wind-flower, < άνεμος, the wind (= L. anima, breath, spirit; cf. animus, mind) + –ωνη, fem. Patronymic suffix (CD). See 17.377.3. In Greek mythology the anemone supposedly sprang from the blood of Adonis, beloved of Aphrodite, when he was killed by a wild boar.