RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

02 September 2007

My Edens After Burns. Val Kilmer.


Much sought after and much desired item - because it is by a movie star, and one with a more than usually dedicated fan base. He also probably inherited a few Jim Morrison devotees + some comic book afficionados and even followers of 'The Saint.' Possibly they used to follow Roger Moore... His book of poems is an Ebay blue riband item and, if you find one at a yard sale for a buck, stick a fork in yourself...you're done.

Val Kilmer. MY EDENS AFTER BURNS. Blue Feather Press, Wildomar, California, 1987 ISBN 0932482201

Current Selling Prices
$1000-$1500 /£500- £750


MOVIES / POETRY
Self-published collection of poetry - most of it written between Val's years at Juilliard (including the poem SAND which he read during his interview with Inside The Actor's Studio) and the filming of WILLOW. One of the poems is about his relationship with Michelle Pfeiffer called 'The Pfeiffer Howls At The Moon.' Val emotes - "Poetry is a very subjective and intimate expression. It's literally your heartbeat. Your rhythm. The song of your soul. It's super-concentrated. It's a dense piece of yourself." Strangely Michelle P also enjoyed a relationship with the other and first modern age Batman, Michael Keaton.

The book was originally supposed to be a kind of Christmas present, and available in limited quantities to the public. He quickly decided to buy all of the either 2,000 or 5,000 (numbers vary) copies that were printed and that hadn't been sold, and he only gave those copies to close friends. The rest he has said that he stores in his garage. This is very common with self published books, but the usual reason is that no one wants to read the book or has heard of it. He is said to have given copies away at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in 1988. Can find no samples of VK's poems online and VK fan sites either don't have it or are too respectful to publish them. On Amazon a fan says that she would buy the book (at $1200) but 'I would be intruding into the author's personal life, subverting his original intentions, and violating his boundaries. I have to stick to my values...' Uncommonly noble, almost unique sentiments.

The only thing I could find were some lyrics apparently penned by Kilmer for a loosely knit rock group he occasionally sings with:“One more mortal has let me down/ I’m alone with my rhyming/in an unknown town/alone with poetry and foreign football on hotel/television/and text messages from a troubled kept woman.” Not unworthy of the late great Jim-Jim, bringing to mind his eerie lyric 'Cars Hiss by my Window.'

His creative writing talents were also expressed in a documentary that he made entitled JOURNEY TO VICTORY a.k.a. JOURNEY TO MAGMA . Val describes it as "not so much to do with nuclear weapons as it is to do with people and their hopes and fears for the future. That inevitably has to do with whether there will actually be an earth, but it's not as widely prejudiced like most of the documentaries I've seen on the nuclear issue. They seem to go completely one way or the other, either pro or anti, which makes both arguments as bad as each other. Hopefully, this will bridge the gap a little, and there's a great sense of fearlessness which I hope comes across in the film, as these people have such a strong conviction that there are answers to these seemingly unanswerable questions."

Kilmer is a distant relative of the well known US poet Joyce Kilmer ( 1886 - 1918, a man - Val shares with him a Unisex moniker.) Last year he helped AMERICAN FORESTS plant its 20 millionth tree and gave a reading of his kinsman's deathless 1913 'Trees' poem

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

VALUE? (Updated Aug/2007) You can buy copies, pretty decent ones, even signed, at between $1200 and $1500 although an unfortunate nutso wants $7000 copies for a copy that has been there since before Google was invented. (Now taken down and put away in a skybox with other non existent items.) It has made as much as $4000 on ebay and might do again if an ebay person didn't check ABE or Amazon or the copies there sold. Ebayers frequently do not check anywhere else, and do not know any other book site than Amazon- this leads to freak results and happy sellers. It should be noted that the $1200+ copies have been there for many months and possibly copies sell at less than this on a regular basis, leading to the conclusion that $1200 is the price that it doesn't sell at. Some dealers are always searching for this price, the golden mien, and are mortified if the book sells. The right price is the wrong price. [ W/Q ****]

Bear in mind all the copies in Val's garage. Possibly yesterday's book - a financial graph of recent prices would show a slight downward sweep; but Kilmer is a magic name...want level is high. No copies available now at less than $1200 and oddly all are signed. (Our photo below shows the poet Joyce Kilmer. He was killed at the Second Battle of Marne in 1918 at the age of 31. His 1911 book of verse was called 'Summer of Love'.)

5 comments:

Grace E. said...

Though most of us can't afford poems written by Val Kilmer, at least we can read poems written about Val Kilmer: http://egobeagle.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-first-val-kilmer-nature-poem.html

Brenda McFarlane said...

I have a signed copy of this book, that Mr. Kilmer signed at a book signing at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, CO in 1988 or 89. When I was a teenager it was the most fabulous book, and it gave insight to the elusive "Iceman."

phoenix said...

“One more mortal has let me down/ I’m alone with my rhyming/in an unknown town/alone with poetry and foreign football on hotel/television/and text messages from a troubled kept woman.”

Those "lyrics" are actually from one of Val's poems. Most of the music CD he put out with his musical partner and friend Mick Rossi were based on words from his poetry. This poem can be found in Val's 2nd poetry book titled "Jack's Ghandi" which is a little easier to find and slightly more affordable than My Eden After Burns. I run his official FAN page on Facebook (his own management and marketing team run his personal FB page) and from time to time I post a poem or two from it to leave up for a little while and then I take it back down again. There are some really good ones in there too, so if you get a chance to nab a copy of that book, you should. I don't think I could sell mine unless I desperately needed the money. haha

elyse saragossi said...

this thread is old...however, i obtained this book, signed as mentioned they almost all are...and am wondering then, what is the correct price? Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it...but....as mentioned supply and demand is a factor here...just wondering if anything has changed in the last few years...

Jot101 said...

Price has gone down slightly but they are still good signed, think $600 for a sharp copy but check abebooks.com first...nice find.