NY: Film Culture, 1964. First stand-alone edition, having appeared earlier the same year in Film Culture #33 (Summer 1964). Signature-bound in printed blue wraps. Quarto, 10-1/2 x 8-3/8 in. 91pp. SIGNED and inscribed by Kuenstler to Michael Silverton on the front endpaper, where also is written "NY 65" in what appears a different hand—presumably Silverton's. Very good, with fading to spine and along tops of front and rear covers.
First book by the iconoclastic New York filmmaker and poet, an assemblage of paired words and word-fragments joined by periods and arranged in paragraph-like blocks of text, which Kuenstler apparently spent a decade compiling, having begun the work in 1952. Hermetic and endlessly allusive, Lens is reminiscent on the one hand of the complex linguistic gaming of Finnegans Wake—puns underpin the structure of the work—and on the other of the more experimental gestures of Language poets such as David Melnick. Silverton, the present volume's inscribeé, was a participant in the New York avant-poetry scene of the 1960s and 70s, having produced readings for various local radio stations. Here he has made one annotation to the first page of text, a bracketed margin note—"Me?"—opposite a pair of Kuenstler's lines reading, "The man on the train is M. / The man on the train is S."