Auburn, Ca: The Auburn Journal, 1922. First Edition. First Edition. Octavo, publisher's original dark maroon cloth titled in gilt on front panel. 152 pp. Copy No. 481 of 500 numbered & Signed copies. This copy is inscribed on the title page by Smith to his uncle, E.C. Gaylord: "For E,C. Gaylord - Happy Birthday Wishes, from his Nephew, Clark. Apr. 23rd, 1934." The book is also signed by Smith on the limitation leaf. There are several corrections to the text in the author's hand, including one full line crossed out and re-written in the poem AVE ATQUE VALE on p. 34. Inner hinges cracked (common with this book), some foxing on end papers. The front cover has a few spots of soiling, and the bottom right corner at spine shows a small area of damp staining, though it is not visible in the volume's interior. Some fading to extremities. Corners and spine are bumped and a bit frayed. A very good, sound copy. While not an uncommon book - batches of unsold, new copies showed up in the mid-1970's at the Auburn Journal Office and were available for a while from Serendipity Books in Berkeley in brown-paper wrapped bundles of five (!) - personal, inscribed copies are quite scarce, and family copies are almost unknown. Smith's own annotated copy of this title resides at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. Item #311753
¶ The best and most important collection of Smith's early poems, including the first appearance in print of THE HASHISH-EATER; Or, THE APOCALPSE OF EVIL, and twenty of his evocative and memorable prose-poems, including IN COCKAIGNE and FROM THE CRYPTS OF MEMORY. E.C. [Edwin] Gaylord was the brother of Clark's mother, Mary Frances ("Fanny") Smith (nee Gaylord). Edwin Gaylord was a state senator and was part-owner of the Kilaga Mine in nearby Lincoln, California; it was the soft rock from his uncle's mine that Smith used for his carvings of macabre figurines. Clark was very close to his parents, living alone with them in a small four-room cabin near Auburn, California for a great many years.