Reaching Toward A Book of Omens
by Karl Young

Of d.a.levy's books, the one that has been closest to me has been The Tibetan Stroboscope. It could as easily have been Cleveland Undercovers or The North American Book of the Dead.

In 1974, I began work on Middle American Dialogues, explorations of consciousness and society based in pre-Colombian, central Mexican sources. As much as the series took Aztec art and poetry as a source, the initial volume also took a basic idea from d.a.levy's use of over inked stencils, particularly in The Tibetan Stroboscope. One of my themes in the series was the interdependence of creativity and destruction, which levy had explored, particularly in The T. Strobe. In First Book of Omens, published in 1976, omens, dreams, and other visions appeared as Roman letters cutting their way through smeared lines, suggested by those levy had used. A sample opening appears below.This was, in part, a continuation of levy's work. For a more extensive commentary on the series, and on levy's contribution to it, go to my essay A Middle American Water Table. Here I simply offer an opening as a tribute, an appreciation, and a memorial to d.a.levy.


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