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RIP Michael McClure – A Beat Poet, San Francsico Renaissance

May 6th, 2020
  • Michael McClure helped launch the SF Renaissance dead at 87

    Michael was incredibly gracious, erudite, and totally dedicated to the poet’s calling,” said Elaine Katzenberger, publisher of City Lights, which put out McClure’s works going all the way back to 1963’s “Meat Science Essays.” “He was a sometimes-trickster, most definitely a provocateur, and yet, quite solicitous and patient, a sage who was beautiful inside and out.”

    That first public reading for McClure, then 22 years old, was overshadowed by the introduction of “Howl,” by Allen Ginsberg. But McClure outlasted all of the Beats in a career that spanned more than 60 years. He published more than 30 books of poetry, plays and anthologies, most recently 2017’s “Persian Pony” and 2016’s “Mephistos and other Poems,” the latter anchored by a poem that took him 16 years to write.

  • M.McClure
    via

    Like Snyder and Whalen and Ginsberg and Kerouac, his work has always had affinities with Eastern religion and mysticism, but he brings an emphatic and declarative style to his transcendent, arching, naturalistic vision.

  • The Air

    for Robert [Duncan] and Jess [Collins]

    Clumsy, astonished. Puzzled
    as the gazelle cracked
    in my forepaws/

    The light body twitches/

    A slight breeze moves among whiskers.

    The air curves itself to song
    A trace, a scent lost among whiskers.
    A form carved in the air
    and lost by eye or ear.
    The herd’s thunder or the whack
    of a tail on earth
    evident only in dim vibration
    less than a whirr of brush (and bushes).
    Not a sound in a flat stone.
    (Less than a fly
    about the ears.)
    An object, a voice, an odor.
    A grain moving before the eyes.
    A rising of gases/
    An object/
    An instant/Tiny, brighter
    than sunlight.

    The sound of a herd. The sound of a rock/
    A passing.
    Michael McClure

    A Poem “Corona” by Paul Celan

    April 21st, 2020
  • Rooney
    Roony Mara in “Carol” here.

  • Why I Recite the Same Paul Celan Poem to All My Dates

    Paul Celan reads Corona (Youtube)

  • Corona

    Autumn nibbles its leaf from my hand.
    We are friends.

    We shell time from the nuts and teach them to walk.
    Time returns into its shell.

    In the mirror is Sunday.
    In dreams come sleeping–
    the mouth speaks true.

    My eye moves down to my lover’s loins.
    We gaze at each other and we speak dark things.

    We love one another like poppy, like memory
    we slumber like wine in the sea shells
    like the sea in the moon’s blood jet.

    One heart beat for unrest.

    We stand at the window embracing.
    People watch us from the street.
    It is time people knew. It is time
    the stone consented to bloom.

    It is time it came time.
    It is time.

    The first time I read “Corona,” I perceived Celan’s hope, urgency and romance. I had never memorized a poem before and it occurred to me, after that first read, that his was a poem for committing to memory. Also, I had some time on my hands: I was on hiatus from my waitressing job because I had to temporarily wear an eye-patch.

    “Corona” is an outlier within Celan’s poetry. This poem is quite different from his defining works like “Death Fugue”—“he looses his hounds on us and grants us a grave in the air”—or “Ashglory”—“the drowned rutterblade / deep / in the petrified oath.” If you’re not familiar, Celan’s poetry is pretty dark. Celan’s writing contains explicit ties to the trauma of World War II; he spent his early twenties being forced to burn Russian literature in Bukovia and was later imprisoned in a Romanian labor camp. He was separated from his parents, who were sent to a separate camp, and was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. He would allude to this survivor’s guilt in the thousands of letters and poems he wrote over the course of his life until, at the age of 49, he died by suicide.

  • Todesfuge
    Previous Post (see a video of him reciting Todesfuge.. powerful & moving)

  • November – The Eyes of Many Elves

    November 1st, 2019

  • Photo by Fung Lin Hall

    November
    Besides the autumn poets sing,
    A few prosaic days
    A little this side of the snow
    And that side of the haze.
    A few incisive mornings,
    A few ascetic eyes, —
    Gone Mr. Bryant’s golden-rod,
    And Mr. Thomson’s sheaves.
    Still is the bustle in the brook,
    Sealed are the spicy valves;
    Mesmeric fingers softly touch
    The eyes of many elves.
    Perhaps a squirrel may remain,
    My sentiments to share.
    Grant me, O Lord, a sunny mind,
    Thy windy will to bear!

    Emily D on November and Norway
    (By Sadie Stein – Paris Review)

    Emily Dickinson’s: “November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

  • The Passing of a Killer Poet/Muse, John Giorno

    October 12th, 2019
  • Art news obit

    News
    John Giorno, Storied Artist Who Expanded Poetry’s Possibilities, Is Dead at 82

  • Do the Undone – John Giorno Installation at Sperone Westwater.
    (5 September – 26 October 2019, Sperone Westwater, New York)

  • John Giorno

  • Keith Haring, William S. Burroughs and John Giorno, photo by Tseng Kwong Chi.

    via Digitized by Backstage Library Works

  • William Burroughs, Laurie Anderson & John Giorno photographed at Giorno’s loft in New York City in 1980.
    Giorno as Muse

    JOHN GIORNO AT HOTEL CHELSEA, 1965. PHOTO: WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS.

    Federico Garcia Lorca – “As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.”

    June 5th, 2019
  • El Pais

    Dalí and Lorca’s games of seduction

  • “As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.” Federico Garcia Lorca


  • One more clip..


    lorca21 (via)

    The story goes that Federico Garcia Lorca (the pilot here) erroneously believed that the film by Dali and Bunuel Un Chien Andalou (an Andalucian Dog) referred to him, coming from Granada, having recently fallen out with his surrealist friends. This to my mind seems doubly pained paranoia if you have seen the film. And who needed Dali as a friend anyway? (Walt Disney actually).

    Lorca garcialorca born on 5 June 1898

  • Visiting Havana

    Federico Garcia Lorca described his arrival in Havana in the spring of 1930 in exquisitely poetic terms…
    …the smell of palm and cinnamon, the perfumes of the Americas with their roots, the Americas of God. But what is this? Spain, again? Andalusia again? It is the yellow color of Cádiz with a more intense shade, the rose of Sevilla almost red and the green of Granada with a light fish-like phosphorescence.

  • Jonathan Mayhew lorcaJonathan Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch

    One reader of my blog pointed out to me the word APOCRYPHAL is a perfect anagram of HAPPY LORCA. I took this as a sign that my examination of the apocryphal Lorcas of American poetry and poetics was ultimately a felicitous one.

    Lorca’s manuscript discovered

    “I offer myself to be devoured by Spanish peasants,” writes the poet Federico García Lorca in a newly-discovered manuscript of a poem from his portrait of the United States during the Great Depression, Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York).

    Walt Whitman- When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom‘d

    May 31st, 2019

  • via

  • Julian Schnabel’s Walt Whitman IV

  • Whitman and Boys (Boston Review)

  • Paul Hindemith – Work of the week – When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom‘d

  • Gary Snyder – Poet of Deep Ecology at 89

    May 7th, 2019

  • Gary Snyder (Photo by Allen Ginsberg )

    Happy birthday Gary Snyder (May 8 1930)

  • “I feel ancient, as though I had
    Lived many lives.
    And may never now know
    If I am a fool
    Or have done what my
    karma demands.”‘ Gary Snyder

  • “Range after range of mountains.
    Year after year after year.
    I am still in love.”
    ― Gary Snyder

    “Clouds sink down the hills
    Coffee is hot again. The dog
    Turns and turns about, stops and sleeps.”
    ― Gary Snyder, Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems

    Reality Insight (poem on youtube)

  • Paris Review Interview here.

  • Poetry foundation

    ”Poetry a riprap on the slick rock of metaphysics”
    “Once Only almost at the equator almost at the
    equinox
    exactly at midnight from a ship the full moon in the center of the sky.”

  • Iain Sinclair meets Gary Snyder (The Man In the Clearing)

  • Snyder on Kerouac

    The dialectic that I observed in Jack, which was kind of charming, really, and you see it at work in his novels, was that be could play the fool and he could play the student very well. “But see, I really don’t know anything about this. Teach me!” “Wow! You really know how to do that?” and lead you on. ‘I’hat was balanced by sometimes great authoritativeness and great arrogance, and he would suddenly say, “I am the authority.” But then he would get out of that again. It was partly maybe like a really skillful novelist’s con, to get people to speak. And be uses that as a literary device in his novels, where he presents himself often as the straight guy and he lets the other guys be smart.

    I much appreciated what he had to say about spontaneous prose, although I never wrote prose. I think it influenced my journal writing a lot, some of which would, say, be registered in the book Earth House Hold. I think that I owe a lot to Jack in my prose style, actually. And my sense of poetics has been touched by Jack for sure.

    Our interchanges on Buddhism were on the playful and delightful level of exchanging the lore, exchanging what we knew about it, what he thought of Mahayana. He made up names. He would follow on the Mahayana Sutra invention of lists, and he would invent more lists, like the names of all the past Buddhas, the names of all the future Buddhas, the names of all the other universes. He was great at that. But it was not like a pair of young French intellectuals sitting down comparing their structural comprehension of something. We exchanged lore. And I would tell him, “Now look. Here are these Chinese Buddhists,” and that’s how we ended up talking about the Han-shan texts together, and I introduced him to the texts that give the anecdotes of the dialogues and confrontations between T’ang Dynasty masters and disciples, and of course he was delighted by that. Anybody is. ‘I’hat’s what we did.

    Viva Rebecca Horn & Lawrence Ferlingetti -March 24 2019

    March 24th, 2019
  • Happy birthday Rebecca Horn and Lawrence Ferlingetti
    (Underwear, Unicorn body suit – previous post)

  • Rebecca Horn, Body, Art installations

  • <> <>
    Dreaming Stones – Rebecca Horn.


  • Lawrence is 100 years old today!

    Little Boy (LA Times)

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s ‘Little Boy’ reveals his life before the San Francisco beat scene

    The Passing of Poet, Tireless Traveler, W. S Merwin at 91

    March 15th, 2019
  • Merwin Conservancy.org

    Pulitzer Pris winning poet W.S. Merwin passed away at 91


  • (With his wife Paula)
    Photo via

    FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF MY DEATH

    Every year without knowing it I have passed the day When the last fires will wave to me
    And the silence will set out
    Tireless traveler
    Like the beam of a lightless star

    Then I will no longer
    Find myself in life as in a strange garment
    Surprised at the earth
    And the love of one woman
    And the shamelessness of men

    As today writing after three days of rain
    Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
    And bowing not knowing to what

    — W.S. Merwin

  • New Yorker -The Final Prophecy of W.S Merwin

  • W.S. Merwin 1ws-merwin
    Paris Review (Obit)

    “The kind of writing that matters most to me is something you don’t learn about,” Merwin tells Edward Hirsch in his interview. “It’s constantly coming out of what I don’t know rather than what I do know. I find it as I go. In a sense, much that is learned is bound to be bad habits. You’re always beginning again.”

  • Art of Poetry (Paris Review)

  • The Ascetic Insight of W.S. Merwin (New Yorker)

  • James Merrill (March 3, 1926 – February 6, 1995)

    March 2nd, 2019

  • James Merrill, Stonington, Connecticut, June 1973; photograph by Jill Krementz
    (photo via)

    James Merrill (March 3, 1926 – February 6, 1995)

    Log

    “[…] Now and then
    “It is given to see clearly. There
    “Is what remains of you, a body
    “Unshaven, flung on the sofa. Stains of egg
    “Harden about the mouth, smoke still
    “Rises between fingers or from nostrils.
    “The eyes deflect the stars through years of vacancy.
    “Your agitation at such moments
    “Is all too human. You and the stars
    “Seem both endangered, each
    “At the other’s mercy. Yet the gem
    “Revolves in space, the vision shuttles off.
    “A toneless waltz glints through the pea-sized funhouse.
    “The day is breaking someone else’s heart”

    ~ birthday celebrant James Merrill.

    Thanks to Chris Schneider for the poem above.

  • Poetry Foundation

  • Elizabeth Bishop & Robert Lowell – Turning Pain into Art

    October 6th, 2018
  • Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop – Tragic Muses

  • Elizabeth Bishop
    February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979

    Biography 0f Bishop 2017 (Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
    by Megan Marshall)

    One Art – see her painting + many great links (previous post)

  • Reaching for the Moon – Brazilian film on Elizabeth Bishop (trailer)

    RIP Tom Clark, Poet, Biographer & Beyond the Pale Blogger

    August 20th, 2018
  • Tom Clark, 2010. Poet – photo by John Sarsgard

  • Beyond the Pale an extraordinary blog by Tom Clark.

    Tom Clark Renowned Poet and Biographer dies in North Berkeley traffic collision.

    Jacket Interview
    (Tom Clark thought Ron Padgett was a far superior poet of my generation.. )
    Ron Padgett and Paterson – (scroll down)

  • Samuel Beckett – My Family with extraordinary photos from Jakarta Indonesia here (from Tom Clark’s blog)