These were collections of what were for Nichol his ‘occasional poems’ – hand-drawn visual poems, typewriter poems, pataphysical poems of his “Probable Systems” series, experiments with the comic strip panel. They were poems he could complete, file away or publish without involving himself in a long-term project. Toward the end of his life he is reported to have been filing such work under two more titles: “ox, house, camel, door: a book of higher glyphs” and “truth: a book of fictions.” The new titles extended the wordplay of the three earlier ones. A collection titled Truth: a Book of Fictions, edited by Irene Niechoda, was posthumously published in 1993 by Mercury Press and is still in print.
Voyce writes that there is archival evidence that Niechoda cannibalized the manuscript of “ox, house, camel, door” in order to help give the more arrestingly titled “Truth” the length needed by the publisher. That’s quite possible, but in any case Voyce knows that this kind of collection was in Nichol’s mind an irregularly continuing series, with each volume to be published by a different publisher (10). Had Nichol lived longer there likely would have been more than