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We’ll Miss You – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

February 23rd, 2021
  • The Last Word (obit)

    SF Gate Ferlinghetti dead

    Farewell to Ferlinghetti – Paris Review

  • I didn’t get much sleep last night
    thinking about underwear
    Have you ever stopped to consider
    underwear in the abstract
    When you really dig into it
    some shocking problems are raised
    Underwear is something
    we all have to deal with
    Everyone wears
    some kind of underwear
    The Pope wears underwear I hope
    The Governor of Louisiana
    wears underwear
    I saw him on TV
    He must have had tight underwear
    He squirmed a lot (excerpt from Poetry Foundation)

    Photo by Elsa Dorfman

  • Bob Dylan and Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    See paintings by Ferlinghetti

    Lawrence as the statue of liberty

  • Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
    and whose shepherds mislead them.
    Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
    and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
    Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
    except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
    and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
    Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
    and no other culture but its own.
    Pity the nation whose breath is money
    and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
    Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
    and their freedoms to be washed away.
    My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti

  • Louise Glück awarded 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature

    October 8th, 2020

  • (via)

    Louis Gluck

    The American poet Louise Glück – awarded this year’s NobelPrize in Literature – was born 1943 in New York and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Apart from her writing she is a professor of English at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
    Glück seeks the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works.
    The voices of Dido, Persephone and Eurydice – the abandoned, the punished, the betrayed – are masks for a self in transformation, as personal as it is universally valid.
    Louise Glück is not only engaged by the errancies and shifting conditions of life, she is also a poet of radical change and rebirth, where the leap forward is made from a deep sense of loss.
    In one of her most lauded collections, The Wild Iris (1992), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, she describes the miraculous return of life after winter in the poem “Snowdrops”:

    Louise Gluck Weebly com

    You will hear thunder and remember me

    October

    Louise Glück – 1943-

    Is it winter again, is it cold again,
    didn’t Frank just slip on the ice,
    didn’t he heal, weren’t the spring seeds planted

    didn’t the night end,
    didn’t the melting ice
    flood the narrow gutters

    wasn’t my body
    rescued, wasn’t it safe

    didn’t the scar form, invisible
    above the injury

    terror and cold,
    didn’t they just end, wasn’t the back garden
    harrowed and planted—

    I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,
    in stiff rows, weren’t the seeds planted,
    didn’t vines climb the south wall

    I can’t hear your voice
    for the wind’s cries, whistling over the bare ground

    I no longer care
    what sound it makes

    when was I silenced, when did it first seem
    pointless to describe that sound

    what it sounds like can’t change what it is—

    didn’t the night end, wasn’t the earth
    safe when it was planted

    didn’t we plant the seeds,
    weren’t we necessary to the earth,

    the vines, were they harvested?

  • TP Meditation Taylor Mead Haiku Robert Hass Translation

    September 17th, 2020
  • Lockdown – Coronavirus


    Taylor Mead

    My Arm for a pillow
    I really like myself
    Under the hazy mooon

    Yosa Buson

    Translated by Robert Hass


  • (Senior Trip)

  • Michael Ondaatjie

    September 12th, 2020
  • (Happy birthday Michael Ondaatjie– Sept 12)

    See photos of him from his life here
    In Ceylon

  • 76 facts you might not know about on Michael Ondaatjie

    31. Ondaatje calls his novels “cubist,” by which he means that he eschews linear narratives and experiments with the form.

  • See a photo of Ondaatjie and Ralph Fiennes here.
    Breaking the Rules

    One of his beloved books “Coming Through Slaughter” is a fictional story of New Orleans, Louisiana about 1900, very loosely based on the lives of jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden and photographer E. J. Bellocq. Winner of the 1976 Books in Canada First Novel Award.
    New Orleans and vicinity at the turn of the century is the setting for the novel. Consider the places where the action occurs: N. Joseph’s Shaving Parlor, the river, Shell Beach, the Brewitts, Webb’s cottage, the streets of Storyville, Bellocq’s studio, Bolden’s home with Nora and the children, the mental hospital.

  • Willem Dafoe interviewed Michael Ondaatjie
    He has given many interviews but the interview with William Dafoe, Michael became more open and revealing. He said, “I went into a tailspin after The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. I won an award for it in Canada and I went into this hole. So I wrote Coming Through Slaughter, which was a huge fury about fame. It was on a very small scale, but it was big enough. I mean, the thing is to continue to avoid being self-conscious. To write and forget that you wrote other books.”
    “I have a tendency to remove more and more in the process of editing. Often I’ll write the first chapter last, because it sets up the story. The last thing I wrote in Coming Through Slaughter was “His geography,” almost like a big landscape shot, with buried clues you can pick up later. ”

    On the genesis of plane crash image for English Patient:

    “WD: Where did you get the central image of the plane crash, do you even remember?
    MO: I just got the image and it was there. The artist, Joseph Beuys, was in a plane crash in the far north, not in the desert, but I already had this image in my head. It was one of those things where I’d heard about Beuys and his obsession with felt and that worked its way in too. That was enough. I didn’t need to know anymore. The medicine man… ”
    He then continues to talk about Herodotus, Charles Olson and Robert Creeley.
    “MO: I had already read some of him. Then there was a reference to him in one of the explorer’s desert journals; one guy who said, “I was responsible for our library on one of our expeditions. But our library was only one book, Herodotus” And I thought that was great, because he was an historian writing about a place where these guys are many hundreds of years later. The idea of a contemporary history and an ancient history that links up… These explorers in the 1930s were out of time. I love the idea of them checking out sand dune formations. I love historical obsessives. And I kept thinking of writers like Charles Olson and Robert Creeley in some odd way. Creeley in his toughness, brittleness and lovely guarded lyricism was a clue for me about the patient, Almasy. And this wonderful, heroic era of exploration that was then ignored, while the twentieth century became more mercenary or mercantile. Also Herodotus’ sense of history is great because it’s very much based on rumor. “

    The End Judges Everything by Herodotus (with original greek text)
    The world according to Herodotus
    Herodotus’ Histories

    Michael O. shares birthday with these two historical figures.
    Lorenzo di Medici
    9/12/1492 – 5/4/1519
    Florentine ruler (1513-9)

    Francis I
    9/12/1494 – 3/31/1547
    French king and patron of the arts and scholarship (1515-47 )

    Comic Cat, Lit Cat, Film Noir Cat – 2020

    August 8th, 2020

  • Edward Gorey loved cat and Balanchine (previous post)

    The Cop and Peter Cook the Comic Genius

  • Doris Lessing
    Doris Lessing archive here.

    Herman 1HermanHesse
    and the Cat.
    . another photo from writing & the feline muse.

    Herman Hesse – The Glass Bead Game

  • Yuichi Hibi – Neco hibineko

    Kay Ryan
    A CAT/A FUTURE

    A cat can draw
    the blinds
    behind her eyes
    whenever she
    decides. Nothing
    alters in the stare
    itself but she’s
    not there. Likewise
    a future can occlude:
    still sitting there,
    doing nothing rude.

  • Patricia Highsmith (archive) 1patriciaJeannette

  • <> <> <> Samuel-Beckett-waits-for-the-Dog-and-Cat

    Samuel Beckett Archive

  • 1artChase,-Louisa
    Louisa Chase

  • 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.