October 31, 2013
October 30, 2013
Except wow things really cost a lot. "Inflation," Johnny snorted. Hey we have Brainards at our house. Johnny also had a little drawing Larry Rivers did as a cover sketch for Johnny's novel Mangled Hands, but he lost it.
Well-chosen excerpts from Ashbery's poems make it homey, as in You Are There in his pad. The show is there till November 2.
October 29, 2013
October 28, 2013
Not just music but the 1950s onward, what it's like to hang with musicians like Furry Lewis and his wife Versie, ZZ Top, and Keith Richards, or go to the funeral of Mississippi John Hurt as a sort of insider (he was asked to speak).
Booth is a good reporter & researcher: for example, this quote from a Memphis pianist about Phineas Newborn Jr: "He had a boogie-woogie left hand, a bebop right hand, and this... third hand." A good writer too, describing Newborn's style as that of Secretariat or the young Muhammad Ali. "He could think of things to do that no one else had ever done, and then he would do them." Maybe my favorite moment is when he says to Fred Ford, "I can't believe I'm sittin' next to the man who barked like a dog at the end of Big Mama Thornton's 'Hound Dog.'" And Fred Ford says, "I was gonna meow like a cat, but it was too hip for 'em."
Elvis, B.B. King, Janis and so many more are respectfully and appreciatively described. He knows his stuff! The Trumpeteers, man!
October 27, 2013
October 25, 2013
Could her dad help it? Alcoholics stop drinking, gamblers stop lighting their money on fire. An interesting take on this is (more…)
October 24, 2013
Luckily, Johnny's a member so the claustrophobia was a little lessened by getting waved through the long lines. I found it hard to be alone with the art when there was so little space to stare & absorb.
Predictably I liked Walker Evans's junkyards & old cars the best. As I've written before, I find shabby to be both soothing & inspiring. (more…)
October 23, 2013
October 22, 2013
October 22, 2013
October 21, 2013
Today is my sister Varda's birthday. She would be my main FC if she were my cousin. And that's as good as I can do.
October 20, 2013
If men rape because they feel entitled (more…)
October 18, 2013
Mag City, Hard Press, Telephone, Big Sky: lots of small press mags. Some much older treasures too: early works by Michael Brownstein, Tom Clark, Ron Padgett. Many I've never seen before. All in good condition.
Now that they've been wrapped in tissue paper all this time, I feel reluctant to put my grimy paws on them.
October 17, 2013
This is so obvious, even if you were barely paying attention, that one wonders how they could be so oblivious. It's amazing how bad at their jobs so many of these guys are. No wonder so many people figure they may as well run for Congress.
There's a book by Paul (Snow Goose) Gallico called Mrs. 'arris Goes to Parliament, in which the parties collude on who they both want as MP so they throw a charlady in as a sure loss. She wins, however, but quits soon after, once she realizes there's more to the job than just being elected.
October 16, 2013
October 15, 2013
A Review, an Interview, and Poems by Andrei Codrescu at the link under his photo, from the LA Review of Books. Go there & read everything, OK?
And a hilarious & deep interview with Sparrow at (sorry, you have to paste in the link) http://metroland.net/2013/10/09/learning-to-be/
I'd say more but I have to go get a manicure—
October 15, 2013
Janey: Being the Record of A Short Interval in the Journey through Life and the Struggle with Society of A Little Girl of Nine, in Which She Repudiates Her Duties as An Amateur Mother, Snares the Most Blundering of Birds, Successfully Invades Grub Street, Tracks the Smallest and Blindest of Gods, Peers behind the Veil of the Seen into the Unseen, Interprets the Great Bard, Grubs at the Root of All Evil, Faces the Three Great Problems, Birth, Death, Love, and Finally, in Passing through the Laborious Process of Becoming Ten, Discovers the Great Illusion.
Janey is by a writer I (thought I) had never heard of, Inez Haynes Gillmore. Turns out she was a feminist leader and political activist, who lived to be 97 (1873-1970). She was a co-founder of the National Collegiate Equal Suffrage League and a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Women’s Party. (more…)
October 14, 2013
October 13, 2013
October 11, 2013
October 10, 2013
The thing about New York is that everything you want is here, with the obvious non-urban exceptions. Sometimes it seems like that "everything" is right on my block. This beautiful church, Anthology Film Archives, celebrity restaurants, Manhattan Mini Storage, Gringers Appliances, the late Boca Chica, East Village Radio, and more—they're all on this one block (1st & 2nd aves between 1st & 2nd streets & vice versa).
October 9, 2013
Born at 1503 S. Summit Avenue, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
When I was 11 or 12, we moved kitty-corner across the street to 812 W. 23rd.
Left at 18 for Snyder-Phillips Hall (part of the residential college Justin Morrill, which was actually pretty cool, even tho I hated college & dropped out ASAP)
The House in Severn, MD, which I shared with a bunch of Air Force guys I met at an antiwar demonstration in D.C.
Briefly back to Michigan & then Sioux Falls, where I bought Ernest, a 1950 Dodge schoolbus, which I lived in for the next year in Sioux Falls, Rapid City (SD), Denver, Boulder & Longmont, Colorado.
Then LeRoy, a 1954 Ford F-100, on which we built (more…)
October 8, 2013
Stevenson, by the way, is a really good writer, who had pretty enlightened politics. Yesterday in Across the Plains, he deplored the prejudice against the Chinese ("Their forefathers watched the stars before mine had begun to keep pigs") and Indians ("a chapter of injustice and indignity such as a man must be in some ways base if his heart will suffer him to pardon or forget"). (more…)
October 7, 2013
October 6, 2013
And I'm happy to be still in touch with so many of my friends from high school (and junior high and grade school). There’s so much that feels rootless in my life, but one thing that can’t be taken away is my past.
Although that's not true if you've been lied to, according to an op-ed in the Times: "Insidiously, the new information disrupts their sense of their own past, undermining the veracity of their personal history. Like a computer file corrupted by a virus, their life narrative has been invaded. Memories are now suspect: what was really going on that day? Compulsively going over past events in light of their recently acquired (and unwelcome) knowledge, such patients struggle to integrate the new version of reality. For many people, this discrediting of their experience is hard to accept."
Hey wait, I'm simply happy to think about the beautiful snowfall: I remember sitting on the porch of the Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, watching a thick but not serious snow falling on the spruce hills across the way, so warm that sitting outdoors was a delight.
It is what it was.
October 4, 2013
I may have gone to Volume 21 (Sord to Texas) to bone up on Terrellas (sadly, not there) but I got, or didn't get, there by way of Tapeworms (yuk), the Stamp Act (George Grenville, 1765), and Tennyson: "He became the victim of a certain 'earnest-frothy' speculator, who induced him to ... invest in a 'Patent Decorative Carving Company'; in a few months, the whole scheme collapsed, and Tennyson was left penniless." Which reminded me of Auden calling Tennyson "undoubtedly the stupidest" English poet, which in turn reminded me of Byron's savage "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," which made me wonder why poets today all get along.
October 3, 2013
Now I live in NYC, with frequent access to farmers markets that sell everything you can eat (emu eggs, purple carrots, heirloom tomatoes, you name it), wool from their own goats, meat, eggs, wheatgrass, maple syrup, honey from the beekeepers, & on & on. It's expensive, no doubt, & what would make it better would be lots more farmers growing lots more healthy food for lots more people.
Well, that isn't likely to happen, according to a piece in the Times. Here's an excerpt:
October 2, 2013
October 1, 2013
Honestly, I don't even know how to think about this in any way that is sympathetic to (more…)