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Colony Day

I love my office/studio but familiarity means that sometimes I can't get anything done here, despite building (well, Albie did) an Elfa shelving system that includes a second desk in the middle room, where I don't have internet and do have my poetry books at hand. It's where I work on art as opposed to work-work in the front room but at times I just can't get started.

Not long ago, my friend Maggie & I were reminiscing about how great it is to be at artist colonies, where we can devote ourselves to art with no distractions (no errands, cooking, email, and on & on). From that we came up with the concept of Colony Day, where we take half a day or so & reproduce the leisure and expansiveness of time at a retreat. The best part is that we allow ourselves to explore, not just Get Stuff Done—to read, think, & feel like we have all the time we want to do what really matters.  Read More 
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Never waste a virgin

This postcard from Jeff Wright's Hard Press, series 7, was published in 1978
Never Waste a Virgin

to be an artist you have to live in a little room and subsist on rice
cold-water flats are about as rare as tuberculosis
small time, hard pressed, underground, experimental
small time, hard pressed, underground, experimental

young artists are starving
the starving artist

Send $ Read More 
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Birthday magic

And happy birthday today to my only brother & my husband's only brother.
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Williams redux

Noticed that the firehouse on 14th St has a reproduction of the Charles Demuth painting "The Figure 5 in Gold" high up on the east wall. I love that painting; I love the Williams poem "The Great Figure" that inspired the painting; I love how both obvious & private the writing is on the painting: the name BILL at the top, along with "WCW," "Carlos," and "Art Co"; and I love that Williams had so many childhood & college friends who were also artists. It's a sort of collaboration, riffing on your friends' work. Is all inspiration a form of collaboration?  Read More 
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Someone in the building where Johnny works is moving to Florida & gave him a fur coat. Of course he has no idea what kind of fur, what size, what shape it's in, what style. He was pretty surprised when I didn't shudder in horror. I'm a little surprised too. I remember an ankle-length fur coat I must have gotten from a thrift store that I had in my 20s. I wore it for years till it fell off me in disgusting little pieces. It was so heavy, like wearing a sleeping bag with a friend. I'm kind of excited to have a fur coat & kind of horrified that I'm kind of excited. Can I justify wearing fur? Do I have to justify wearing fur? Will my cat freak out? Will my friends freak out?

Update: It's giant & long and a little busted up, maybe because Johnny brought it home stuffed in his backpack—he was afraid he'd get paint thrown on him. I got one "yuk, dead animal" but everyone else was fine with it.  Read More 
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From A to V

Spent a bit of the afternoon on a bench in the sun, reading aloud Ammons' A Tape for the Turn of the Year with Johnny. Looking forward to hearing Kevin Varrone & Pattie McCarthy tonight at the Poetry Project. It makes me happy to have so many favorite poets.

Especially when they share my birthday, as Ammons does  Read More 
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Sad to hear about Carolyn Cassady's recent death at the age of 90. She was a charming, intelligent, adventurous, sometimes prickly friend. I knew her best in the '90s, after Alexandra Neil & I filmed her for a documentary about Jack Kerouac. I stayed with her in London a few years later, where we had a "theater orgy," as she called it. Another time, we went to a Yankees game: her first ballgame since the '40s. I took the FDR Drive up the East Side of Manhattan, a road that has caused more than one passenger to turn green with fear—I used to drive it every day, fast & careless, so I had no hesitation. As befits the wife of the best driver ever, Carolyn was as serene as a clam.

Almost the only time she snapped at me was once when I said drugs saved me— Read More 
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Saw this much-recommended Chinese movie, forgetting that I don't like subtitles, don't like sound effects, don't much like martial arts in movies at least not when they're so dark you can't see what's going on, don't like when all the dialogue is in aphorisms, don't like when I can't figure out what's going on, don't like my husband shouting out random comments, don't like no car chases. I did like the credits, though.  Read More 
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One Night Stand

I can't remember hearing Sam Cooke (1931-64) for the first time. As a kid, we didn't do gospel, & his pop was before my time (still his music I care for least). But I have had him on constant play for at least 30 years, especially him with the gospel quartet Soul Stirrers. Along with having one of the most compelling voices in popular music, he wrote "A Change Is Gonna Come," "You Send Me," "Twistin' the Night Away," produced, pioneered & still managed to be murdered at age 33.

Possibly my all-time favorite record (not songs but a record as a whole) is One Night Stand: Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club (which is in Miami, not New York, by the way). It has King Curtis on sax & Sam singing free and dirty somewhere between  Read More 
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Dancers in NYC

Across 23rd Street, on the 2nd floor, in a loft empty but for a ladder, a couple waltzing. A man & a woman hearing their song.

In Union Square, Tango on the Square. Music seemed modern-classical not Spanish. Several couples danced in the pavilion, one on the pavement. [Wed & Sun, 6-9, beginners class 7-8]

On 9th St, a few young people spilling out of a bar.

I should mention that Robyn noticed all these before I did.  Read More 
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