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Ada Calhoun “Also a Poet”, Frank O’Hara & Her Father

October 2nd, 2022


Grove Atlantic – “Also a Poet”

Ada Calhoun – Also a Poet (her homepage)

Also A Poet
Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me
“Also a Poet is packaged as a love triangle: father, daughter and O’Hara. It’s actually a tetrahedron from which all kinds of creative characters pop forth. It’s a big valentine to New York City past and present, and a contribution to literary scholarship, molten with soul.” — New York Times

  • Ada Colhoun was named after Ada Katz, wife of Alex Katz who painted many portraits of Frank O’Hara and his wife.

  • (Rembrandt Polish Rider was Frank O’Hara’s favorite painting)

    In “Having a Coke with You,” as in much of his work, the poet admixes life and art. Here, life seems to come out on top: person over portrait (except maybe Rembrandt’s Polish Rider in the Frick). Scroll down to see a video of Frank O’Hara reciting “Having a Coke with YOu’

    “Variations on a Theme” Ada Calhoun’s favorite poem by William Carlos Williams

  • Washington Post interview

  • Author of “Written Lives” Javier Marias Passed away

    September 11th, 2022

    Javier Javier Marias Detail of R. Kipling’s hand on the cover of book “Written Lives”

    Javier Marias passed away (wiki)

    Spanish novelist Javier Marías dies at home in Madrid aged 70 (Guardian)
    Marías, also a translator and columnist, was described as ‘one of Spain’s greatest contemporary writers’

  • “The Man Who Would be King” was the favorite book of both Faulkner and Proust, so we learned from Javier Marias.

    28 snippets of writer’s lives are told according to this author with a mixture of affection and humor, except for three; Joyce, Mann and Mishima, who took themselves too seriously.

    “The idea, then, was to treat these well-known literary figures as if they were fictional characters.

  • Words and Meaning:

    “Spanish writer Javier Marias’s parallel career as a translator taught him how to be a novelist, he tells Aida Edemariam.”

    Marias has said that “in the intellectually mediocre country I grew up in, in which everyone thought Franco was eternal, people like me took shelter in the movies. The American pictures of the ’40s and ’50s were our stimulation”.

    The summer he was 17, Marias saw 85 films in six weeks.

    J. Marias described Laurence Sterne whose novel he has translated thus “He was a kindly, easy-going man, who once tried to “inherit” two children left behind by a poor widow on her death” ” He included a few pages speaking against slavery in the later volumes of Tristram Shandy.”

  • “As of Nobakov, he is a joker who prefers not to aknowledge this openly, which is why his expression is one of passion and discovery. ”

    Djuna Barnes in Silence – “in her youth when she worked as a journalist, it was the activity to which she devoted most of her time – well, that and maintaining prolonged silences. Her silences were both written and verbal.

    The rest of edited excerpts are found here.

  • “This habit of choosing is central to the kind of writer Marías has become, and explains much of what is unique about his work: he has made indecision—the space between two alternatives—the center of his stories. And this indecision is conveyed in the equivocations and qualifications of the narrative voice.” (A MAN WHO WASN’T THERE The clandestine greatness of Javier Marías. by WYATT MASON – from the New Yorker)

    Two entire essays are online.
    William Faulkner on Horseback

    Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampadusa in Class
    Visconti adapted Lampadusa’s novel “The Leopard” starring Burt Lancaster as the Sicilian nobleman with Alain Delon and Claudio Cardinale.

  • Paris Review interview..

  • Kenji Miyazawa – A Poet, Educator & An Agronomist

    August 27th, 2022
  • Kenji Miyazawa cultivated a life as a thinker, a practicing buddhist, a geologist/agronomist, and idealsitic educator and reformer.

    From Who is Kenji?


    In the introduction to his collection of short stories, The Restaurant of Many Orders, he set himself up as an experimental medium for the chaotic processes of natural phenomena. Kenji Miyazawa was born on Aug 27, 1896. Today he is known mostly for writing children’s stories.
    He saw himself as a simple vehicle for reprocessing nature itself. “These stories of mine,” he wrote in 1923, “all came to me from moonlight and rainbows, at places like railroad tracks and fields and forests.”
    Kenji Miyazawa, Rebel with a Cause (collection of essays)

  • He was 37 when he died. (wiki)
    Almost totally unknown as a poet in his lifetime, Miyazawa’s work gained its reputation posthumously,[2] and enjoyed a boom by the mid-1990s on his centenary.[3] A museum dedicated to his life and works was opened in 1982 in his hometown. Many of his children’s stories have been adapted as anime, most notably Night on the Galactic Railroad. Many of his tanka and free verse poetry, translated into many languages, are still popular today.

    Miyazawa Kenji anime

    Kame neko (oven cat- a sample story by Kenji Miyazawa)

    Miyazawa Kenji
    Drawings by a buddhist/poet/geologist/agronomist/socialist

  • The World of Kenji Miyazaki

  • Julio Cortazar (26 August 1914 – 12 February 1984)

    August 26th, 2022
  • Mexico – high in Julio Cortazar’s list
    (“Mexico is one of the countries on my list, but the years go by without me having time to visit it,” Julio Cortázar.)

    Julio Cortázar or the writer who saw the world turn upside down

    He is considered one of the most innovative and original authors of his time, a master of history, poetic prose and short story in general and a creator of important novels that inaugurated a new way of making literature in the Hispanic world by breaking the classical moulds through narratives that escaped temporal linearity.

    Julio Cortazar
    (“I love Hopscotch.and a film Antonioni made based on my story.. how cool is that.”)

  • Julio Cortazar named his cat Theodore Adorno.

  • Rolling Stones Journalist Ben Fong Torres – See a Documentary of His Life

    May 10th, 2022
  • One of the most captivating documentaries about a journalist I’ve seen in a long while. If you are parents of teenagers, show this film, they can learn important history of America, not just Rock’n Roll.

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    (Ben Fong-Torres (left) and Art Garfunkel (right) mimic a famous album cover)

  • Ben Fong Torres wiki

    He conducted interviews for Rolling Stone of entertainment figures including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, comedian Steve Martin and Linda Ronstadt’s first cover story in 1975. He also profiled Marvin Gaye, Sly and the Family Stone, Bonnie Raitt, Paul McCartney and Rodney Dangerfield. A Fong-Torres interview with Ray Charles was awarded the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.

    Fong-Torres was also a rock DJ for San Francisco radio station KSAN-FM in the 1970s. He later hosted a live, weekly entertainment and talk show, Fog City Radio, on NPR affiliate KQED-FM. On television, he is the five-time Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of the Chinese New Year Parade broadcast on KTVU (Fox) in San Francisco.

  • Parker Posey – You’re On an Airplane – A self mythologizing Memoir

    January 26th, 2022
  • Columbus written, directed by Kogonada

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    Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud in Broken English (Z. Cassavates directed)


    (House of Yes)

    (She also played Mary Boone in Basquiat)

    She is the Party Girl! (youtube trailer)
    The Best in Show (Previous post – Best in Show and a memory of a bike ride to garage sale)


  • Rip Torn and Parker Poesy.
    (Happy Tears)

  • The Passing of Our Wise Seer, Joan Didion

    December 23rd, 2021
  • EPSON scanner image
    Joan Didion Documentary shows the warmer side of a cool Icon

  • (See a full film on youtube)

    (Directed by Frank Perry, starring Tuesday Weld and Anthny Perkins, Play as it lays, written by Joan Didion)

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    New Yorker –

  • The Center will not hold

    1aaDALeibovitz
    Photo by Annie Leibovitz

  • Joan Didion wrote the White Album (previous post)

    “We tell ourselves stories in order to live” is the first sentence of this collection of essays written by Joan Didion.
    “The White Album” includes her essays on Doris Lessing and Georgia O’Keefe.
    “I WILL BE HER WITNESS.
    That would translate sere su testigo, and will not appear in your travelers’ phrasebook because it is not a useful phrase for the prudent traveler.’ Another beginning sentences from her novel “A Book of Common Prayer”.

  • Joan is the wise seer with a fragile exterior and migraine headaches and Harrison Ford built this deck at Joan Didion’s home’

    Remembering Joan Didion: ‘Her ability to operate outside of herself was unparalleled’

  • Paris Review interview

  • A Memoir, The History of Bones – by John Lurie

    December 14th, 2021

  • (Happy birthday John Lurie – December 14)

    John Lurie’s father used to take him to fishing. John Lurie is a hard working, self taught artist in music, acting and in painting. Basquiat painted and slept at his place. Basquiat was a close friend that Lurie wrote a lot about in this memoir.
    John Lurie is a world traveller.
    He wrote about Africa, one of many places Lurie visited. He wrote.
    “I had been depressed for a long, long time. I could not get out of it. Africa saved me. You can feel life started there.

  • More paintings at his Gallery with great soundtrack from John Lurie’s Strange and Beautiful homepage

  • Strange and Beautiful John Lurie (previous post)

  • Listen to his playing here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_864xjMQY8)

  • John Lurie: ‘I wanted to break into Martha Stewart’s house and change the curtains. My lawyer said no’
    (He’s hung out with Warhol and gone ice fishing with Willem Dafoe, but the Fishing With John man’s new series stars just him and his canvas)


  • (A man, a bull and of course, the Soldier Bunnies. – John Lurie)

  • Robert Bly – (December 23, 1926 – November 21, 2021)

    November 22nd, 2021
  • Things to Think

    Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
    If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
    Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
    Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

    Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
    Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
    Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
    A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

    When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
    To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
    Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
    Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.
    Robert Bly


  • A Billy Moyers – Gathering Men, Robert Bly

  • Mark Rylance How Robert Bly Changed My Life

  • Robert Bly – Poetry Foundation

  • Robert Bly wiki

  • Jakucho Setouchi – (15 May 1922 – 9 November 2021)

    November 12th, 2021


  • (Hagiwara Kenichi or known as Sho-Ken and Jakucho Setouchi – from the Magazine Jakucho 2009) Hagiwara Kenichi and Jakucho Setouchi were very close, she was his surrogate mother. In this magazine their trips to Yokahama and Kyoto and their daily conversation were recorded. Hagiwara Kenichi passed away a few years ago.


  • Mario Ambrosieus posted the sad news of the passing of Jakucho Setouchi at 99 years old.

    Distant Rain Jakucho Setouchi and Tess Gallahar
    (I would like to read this.)

    Distant Rain records a conversation between the eloquent American poet Tess Gallagher and the renowned Japanese novelist and Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi that took place in 1990 at Jakuan, Setouchi’s home temple, in Sagano, Japan.

    Gallagher had recently experienced the death of her husband, Raymond Carver, an internationally renowned short story writer. In a frank and at times humorous exchange, the two women trade observations about love and loss, and about the role of writing in coping with grief.

    Their words, reproduced in both English and Japanese, unfold accordion-style across the rich colors and striking imagery of artist Keiko Hara’s wood-block and stencil prints. Complemented by the exquisite lettering of typographer Maki Yamashita and under the guidance of master bookbinder Atsuo Ikuta, Distant Rain is not only a moving tribute to the sustaining power of love but also a stunning example of the art of book design


    (For Hagiwara Kenichi, the last time he visited Ten Ryu Mon in Kyoto was 25 years ago)

    Albert Camus The Plague, Leonard Cohen & Joni Mitchell – Nov 7 2021

    November 7th, 2021
  • William Hurt and Sandrine Bonniare in Plague (youtube)

    Albert Camus

    Camus albertmaria and Maria Casarès

    Camus and his women

    Camus had met Maria Casares, later star of Cocteau’s Orpheus but already an established actress, in 1944. Daughter of a rich Spanish Republican, a refugee from Franco, she was a passionate, wilful, intelligent woman. She was probably the only one of his lovers who had a relationship of equality with him. In addition, Todd says, ‘If he was a Don Juan, she was a Don Juana’.

  • (Albert Camus and Viggo Mortensen)
    Far from Men Viggo Mortensen

  • Leonard Cohen archive (Cohen died on Nov 7,2016.)

    Happy birthday Joni Mitchell
    <> <> <> <>1aJoniMitchell

  • Hannah Arendt – Lesson from Life

    October 18th, 2021
  • How the facts of Hannah Arendt’s life read like fiction

    Lesson from Life – Hannah Arendt

    As her friend Mary McCarthy once said, Arendt was “a magnificent stage diva”. Focusing on only one episode in Arendt’s eventful existence, Margarethe von Trotta’s dull 2012 biopic Hannah Arendt didn’t show the half of it. Time, surely, for the 12-part HBO drama series. Having read Ann Heberlein’s lyrical yet lucid On Love and Tyranny, I suggest Episode One end with the young Arendt declaring, “I can either study philosophy or I can drown myself”.

  • Raul Hilberg, the first historian to document the banality of Nazi evil, nursed a lifelong grudge against Arendt. who borrowed from and popularized his work without crediting him.

    Hanna Arendt never did the research, she popularized the idea that Nazis were primarily bureaucrats. Here is a book about the man whose research Hanna used without attribution.

    Hilberg was not happy either. After toiling for thirteen years on his book, he was being eclipsed by someone who had worked for little more than two years on hers. “Who was I, after all?” Hilberg asked bitterly in his autobiography. “She, the thinker, and I, the laborer who wrote only a simple report, albeit one which was indispensable once she had exploited it.”

  • Hannah and Her Admirers by David Rieff (Susan Sontag’s son)

    Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic of Hannah Arendt is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them.
    Arendt had relied, by her own admission, on Raul Hilberg’s magisterial history of the Shoah, The Destruction of the European Jews, published in 1961. Most valuable of all to her was Hilberg’s account of the role of the Judenräte during the Shoah, and to what degree the leaders of these councils had in effect collaborated in the Jews’ extermination. Her conclusion was that had the Jews been leaderless and unorganized, there would have been chaos and misery, but nowhere near as many as 6 million would have been murdered. It was this position, far more than her thinking about the banality of evil, that had set so much of the official Jewish world against her. And while Hilberg did not agree with her, as he makes clear in a few icy paragraphs of his memoir, The Politics of Memory, he nonetheless defended Arendt publicly during the controversy.

    It is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them. Despite her immense talent as a director of actors, perhaps with Hannah Arendt von Trotta is not so far from those late Rossellini films after all, and is nowhere near being as diligent or trustworthy.