Louise Nevelson

October 31, 2018

Tags: Louise Nevelson

Fireworks for Halloween. (Not her title.)
Never was crazy about her sculptures but this drawing is terrific. The picture is b&w, mostly black. (The blue is a reflection from a window behind me.)

Not connected, but VOTE. We have a week to make it happen.


October 30, 2018

As I was saying, I'm out of sorts, my thin so skin anyone can look in (if they want to see me). So today I'm irked by this:

I've noticed a few people, in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, say something like (more…)

Monday Quote

October 29, 2018

Tags: Isaac Asimov

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
~ Isaac Asimov

I'm trying to be good-humored about being given unsolicited (& non-relevant) advice. It's amazing that people you barely know feel free to tell you what they decide is your problem (in this case inaccurately) & what you "should" (more…)

Buster soothes all ills

October 28, 2018

No matter how messed up everything is—& it is—I feel better when I watch Buster sleep, eat, run like a madman through the house, stare at invisible mice, rough up his catnip toys, purr the minute food hoves into sight. Today was a good day for having Buster in my life. (And others! Johnny, for one, has an entirely different set of adorable activities.)

Big baby

October 26, 2018

It's just one little tooth.
Why does he have to drill 99 holes in my head?
It's not a root canal.
Why am I so exhausted?

Full moon

October 25, 2018

Tags: Jadina Lilien

Last night's full moon (& Jadina's gorgeous photo) made me think of going to see Joan Baez at the outdoor amphitheater Red Rocks in Denver in I'm guessing 1972. I think we went because we'd heard Bob Dylan was going to show up as much as to see her. I remember her laughing about having been a soprano, & it's true her voice had settled a little by then (she was all of 31). Each row in turn gasped as the giant full moon rose behind her, until she stopped & asked what was going on.

Bob Dylan didn't show.

The only other time I went to Red Rocks was to see the teenage guru Maharaj Ji. For fun & out of curiosity. Someone I met later was envious & said that once I'd been in his presence, I would eventually accept him as my guru. Still waitin'.

The Brainard Museum

October 24, 2018

Tags: Joe Brainard

One of my favorites of the dozen—dozens?—we have in our house of the great artist Joe Brainard. It's fun to have people come over to look at them because then I look at them again. Johnny just put up another 2 or 3, which is also fun.

Suddenly I love art again.

Monday Quote

October 22, 2018

Tags: Edward Foster, Edward Albee

Ed's grand home Wyncote, Northfield, MA, where many of the visiting poets stayed.
If you're willing to fail interestingly, you're likely to succeed interestingly.
~ Edward Albee

Part of what I liked about the Pioneer Valley Poetry Festival this weekend was how experimental the poets were, in their own ways & in many directions. No one played it safe & for the most part I think you could say that they succeeded interestingly.

Also, many conversations, new friends & Ed Foster's tender care made it a wonderful time.

Don't worry

October 19, 2018

My corner.
"Don't worry: everything is going to be amazing" is what the sign says.

I'm off to Amherst, MA, for a few days to listen to & read poetry & get to know the Pioneer Valley.


October 17, 2018

"Made in India. Dump no waste! Drains to waterways."
This was near Bowery and 6th St. It looks like it's been there a while but I don't remember noticing it before, & I certainly never took a picture. I especially like the stamped fish.

It would be fun if people could pay for random useful signs like this—a little money-maker for the city & a little ego tickle to see your name in bronze.


October 16, 2018

The marvel is that they are on the steps of a West 10th Street brownstone & haven't been stolen or vandalized.

My day started with karate at 7:30 then included coffee with a friend from out of town & more coffee with a different friend from out of town. While they don't know each other, they live near one another in northern California. There were lots of walks & stops throughout the day but I'm beat & am going to withhold information. By tomorrow I'll have forgotten all of it, except for this photo.

Monday Quote

October 15, 2018

The conventional view saves us from the painful job of thinking.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

It sure was less work when I merely went along with my friends on issues: "Everyone agrees on XX so I do too." It has taken an enormous amount of educating myself to develop my own thoughts & opinions on things. Sometimes—often—I end up (more…)

Sleep E-Z

October 14, 2018

We bought a new mattress—here's the old one on its way out. The new one is foam, which is a little disconcerting because there's so much give—until you settle in & then you feel totally supported. Yay for home improvements.


October 12, 2018

Tags: Anthony Caro

I found this in an envelope but have no idea how I (Johnny?) acquired it. He thinks it may have been a premium from the Poetry Project but I don't think so. I do kind of feel like it did have something to do with the Project but I don't know what. Most people who have seen it have thought it's by the British sculptor Anthony Caro. It does look like his work but I have never seen anything on paper like this from him. It's an original, which you maybe can't tell from the photo, a collage of bits of colored paper, and signed.

Bill Kushner

October 11, 2018

Tags: Bill Kushner, KOFF

22 poets, 65 minutes of Bill Kushner's poems & good-humored presence last night at the Poetry Project. Kudos to Peter Bushyeager, Ed Foster, and Lewis Warsh for a lovely selected, Wake Me When It's Over.

An underrated poet: why? Because of his friendliness & modesty? Who has written anything better than "My Father's Death"?


October 10, 2018

What we as a country need is something totally outside politics that we can all agree on or at least get behind: a scrappy racehorse, the World Series, a baby in a well. Those have done it in the past but there doesn't seem to be even a possibility of it these days.

Around the corner

October 9, 2018

Abetta has been here longer than I have—for a month or a hundred years, I don't know.

But it was easy to find out: Established 1929. Date in Location 1949.

I don't think I know one single person who works there by sight. When I was young, you didn't walk on First Street, & if you did, they were the guys who would hoot & holler. So I got in the habit of never glancing their way, & even though I'm invisible now, I still don't. They were possibly the only business on the block, aside from the Catholic Worker & a lot of people selling heroin. I used to think everyone on my block worked at night because there were guys hanging out all day, playing bocce (that area is now a semi-fancy park). I used to think all those teenage girls were obliging babysitters.

Monday Quote

October 8, 2018

Tags: Upton Sinclair

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
~ Upton Sinclair

No commentary needed.

Can you guess where I live?

October 7, 2018

The nexus of the universe! My home block for 40+ years can ya believe it.
Look closely... look closely at the signs....

The picture might be too small so here are hints:
First & First Finest Deli (red)
One plus One (nail salon) (green)
one and one (bar) (green)


October 5, 2018

A bar on the Bowery.
How can I talk about this without having a stroke? How can I say those words I don't want to utter?

Maybe I'll quote Robert Browning (1812-89):

My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee that pursed and scored
Its edge at one more victim gained thereby.

The long view (Dred Scot! Plessy v Ferguson!)... the art view (see above)... the enraged activist view... the reminder that it's not just us it's John Paul Stevens & hundreds of law professors ... the cute cat view—naw, just can't do that one today.

Tree wave

October 4, 2018

I leaned over Johnny to take a picture of the beach house atop the building on the corner of 1st & 1st & got something very different.

David Bromige

October 3, 2018

Tags: David Bromige

Ron Silliman, one of the editors of the giant new "essential" Bromige, from afar at the reading.
I like to write about events as close as possible to when they happen, but in this case I wanted to read some of the book before I talked about the west coast (by way of England & Canada) poet David Bromige (1933-2009). I don't remember ever meeting him or hearing him read. His name was always on my radar but I'm not sure I ever read more than a poem or 2 in a magazine.

I'm making up for lost time! He's an amazing walk through every style & philosophy of contemporary poetry. A lot is better than a little so I'm not sure any excerpt can give the flavor, & that's probably why the few poems I read along the way didn't strike me much. Like Whalen or Kyger, you need immersion to appreciate his mind and impact.

Second visit

October 2, 2018

I like this painting because of the snowman.
Not a whole lot more to say after my second visit to the Wojnarowicz show at the Whitney.

I caught more of him talking & his writings this time around. I caught the dissonance of looking out at the piers where he spent time from the giant window of a half-billion-dollar art museum. I hoped there's a young Wojnarowicz (more…)

Monday Quote

October 1, 2018

Johnny the other day on the roof of the Whitney.
It's the rough side of the mountain that's the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn't have anything for you to hang on to.
~ Aretha Franklin

My smart kind funny sharp husband. I heart Johnny. It kills me how I've been in love with him for so damn long. Even when I can't stand him, I'm weak-kneed around him.