Great Dime Store Centennial, The

Great Dime Store Centennial, The

Don Byrd

This book is a guide book to the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, seven long solos in a jam session with the dead, an answer to the four great philosophic questions of Immanuel Kant, the song of a barbaric horde, an eavesdropping at the borders of contemporary history, an account of an apocalyptic disco….And the presiding beings are Beethoven, Napoleon, Sousa, Frank Woolworth, Buddy Bolden, Charlie Parker, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. You are invited to participate. R.S.V.P.

“This powerful act of language is at once a celebration and a moan of dismay. Its theme is the advent of the “Information Society,” and its roots are in both the Western Intellectual traditions and American forms of life. The poem’s seven sections are devoted repsectively to the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, marking the strange persistence of ancient categories of the enigmatic and awesome in the contemporary world.

The accident of the centenary of the founding of the F.W. Woolworth chain provides both the poem’s formal occasion and a “principle” for organizing its detail—a delirious proliferation of artifacts - useful and absurd - arbitrary, fanciful and pragmatic in their arrangement.” – Charles Stein

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