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This index is one way of discovering the patterns in Hannah Weiner's visionary experimental work, Clairvoyant Journal. The index is of the 1978 Angel Hair publication, edited by Bernadette Mayer and Lewis Warsh, and typeset by Barrett Watten. It is accessible online at


Hannah Weiner says, on the first page of Spoke, "count the names," so I did. Counting first and last names as distinct instances of names, there are 1311 names in total. Of these, 515 are in all capital letters. As Weiner explains in "Mostly about the Sentence" (in Hannah Weiner's Open House, edited by Patrick Durgin, Kenning Editions 2007), the all-capitalized words appeared on objects in Weiner's field of vision, and gave Weiner orders. Words typed in mixed-case letters described Weiner's own thoughts and actions, and include 556 name-instances. Words typed in italics gave comments, and include 240 name-instances. Nearly 24 instances of either first or last names occur on average in each entry, peaking and remaining near 50 in the crowded pages of the entries for April 18-26, 1974.

This index attempts to be informative without imposing any particular interpretation. I do not want to impose any interpretation except that which a poem itself demands. Clairvoyant Journal is a radical work, and refraining entirely from assigning any references to names would be a radical approach to indexing. An index that does not interpret the names as referring to persons, however, would be less informative. There is a tradeoff.

This index, then, assigns a reference to a particular person when a first or last name occur in proximity in the same journal entry, as indicated by green spreadsheet cells with boldface numbers. Then the scope of this reference depends on context. If there is no conflict with other reference assignments, as based on other first and last name combinations, then one such combination establishes a rule of reference for those names. Conflicts require caution. For example, "Jana Fisher" and "Jana Haimsohn" both occur in distinct journal entries establishing two distinct references. Then there are also instances of "Jana" alone. This situation suggests that there might be three people named "Jana," or possibly "Jana" lacks determinate reference.

By this method of counting, there are references to 184 people in the Clairvoyant Journal. The first named is Joe, possibly referring to Joseph Ceravolo, and the last is Diane DiPrima. There is an average of three and one-third new people per journal entry. The first entry of February 28, 1974 introduces 12 people, the highest number. The new references appear along the diagonal of spreadsheet "Total." The rate of new references slowly declines toward the end of the Clairvoyant Journal.

Rhys Chatham has the most name-instances, with 207. Bernadette Mayer is second, with 64, and Charlemagne Palestine has 63. Donnie, whose last name I do not know, has 55, and Phil Niblock has the fifth greatest number of mentions, with 51.

The indexer thanks the librarians at the UC San Diego Library's Special Collections & Archives.


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Sorted by order of introduction of persons referred to, or by names when the reference is unknown or indeterminate. Sort by first name for purposes of checking references against context.


Copyright Aaron Lercher 2022.

Clairvoyant Journal Index.docx (20 kB)
Clairvoyant Journal Index methodology