I met the poet Aaron Belz in a bar in Santa Monica for a drink, in January 2011. I was in Los Angeles for the Modern Languages Association annual conference, where I gave a couple of papers. Aaron and I talked about fountain pens, naturally: I showed him mine, a Namiki Pilot Capless I had bought in San Francisco a few days before. (Later I dropped it and broke the nib.) He showed me an old fountain pen he had rediscovered which he liked, though the nib was scratchy.
Later I emailed him about a fountain pen repair shop not far from where he was living then, in Pasadena. He went there a few days later and the nice old guy who ran the shop fixed his scratchy nib for ten bucks, right there and then. If ever you’re in the neighbourhood of Pasadena with a scratchy pen, drop by: F. Krinke; 2640 S. Myrtle #12; Monrovia, CA 91016-8204, USA. Or check out the Internet site.
I thought about Aaron when I came across a good review of his latest book of poems, here. Some time before that, he had kindly reviewed a clutch of fresh US poetry titles for me in Jacket 18. When his review arrived, I saw it was in the form of a movie script, in which Demi Moore (or an actress playing the part of Demi Moore) talks to Spalding Gray (or ditto) about some new poetry titles out from Flood Editions. What a smart idea! Check it out here. The opening looks like this: