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NauenThen

Hoarders vs. Collectors

J.P. Morgan didn't read any of the 200,000 books he owned, but they are all available now to researchers.
What's the difference between a collector & a hoarder?

Money.

Money means you can buy better things & a place to store your treasures.

Well, I guess collectors hoard stuff people are interested in, while hoarders collect stuff that no one else would ever want.
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Giant night

50th-anniversary logo, projected
The Poetry Project's first-ever gala was last night, honoring Anne Waldman. Performances by Laurie Anderson (who told a story while playing a tiny electric violin), LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs (sound poem: singing & reciting to a track), Yoshiko Chuma (her muscular, humorous dance). Toasts from Eleni Siklianos (Anne's niece) & Ron Padgett.

What a wonderful night. Flowers, food, atmosphere—all fantastic. We raised $100,000 to sustain the Project in the lean times ahead.

I never appreciated more how tireless Anne has been on behalf of poetry. Many poets are tireless on behalf of themselves (& their pet issues, maybe), but she has done the hard organizing work, without complaint.

Rosemary Carroll & I  Read More 
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Brooklyn is for Virginia

Wonderful night: First a stop at my friend's 33rd-floor apartment with a wonderful view of Brooklyn. A new building, with no crazy electric boxes randomly nailed to the wall. (OK, I'll get over my ridiculous landlord's cheapo projects one of these days.)

Then we went to a fundraiser for Chris Hurst, a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, who was very impressive in his passion & his speaking (a former broadcast journalist).

I even won a "Virginia is for lovers" t-shirt, although naturally I was hoping for the grand prize of a weekend at an estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Read More 
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The Economist

I feel like the best thing I have done in six months is subscribe to The Economist. Sober, well-written, fair-minded, and if there's an agenda, they make it clear: You know where they stand. Whatever they write about ends up fascinating me, even the abstruse financial stuff that I skip in every other publication.  Read More 
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Sinclair Lewis, car guy

Being the car guy that I am, or was, I'm surprised that I had never heard about Sinclair Lewis's early novel Free Air, (1919) "one of the very first novels about an automobile-powered road trip across the United States," according to an article in The Public Domain Review.

As I'm sure you know, Lewis (1885–1951) is enjoying new popularity lately, thanks to his 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here, about an authoritarian American president. And I'm sure everyone has read, seen the movie, or knows about Main Street, Elmer Gantry, Arrowsmith, and Babbitt, and that he won a Nobel & a Pulitzer. But that he was an early adopter of the automobile was new to me. He also wrote about pilots & aviation, and traveled widely. His appreciation of big city  Read More 
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April 24

I always like to arrive at this date, because on April 24, 1971, my friend Beth & I hitchhiked down to D.C. for the last big anti–Vietnam War demonstration. She woke up smiling on the lawn in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the young man who happened to be sleeping next to her fell in love, & thus we fell in with The House, which has been my tribe and lodestone for 46 years now.

I've written about The House so much, today it's just a tip of the protest sign to these men & women I love & always will.  Read More 
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Inger Christensen

Johnny and I have begun our summer read: Alphabet, by the Danish poet Inger Christensen (1935–2009) (trans. Susanna Nied). It's based on the Fibonacci sequence, although I can't quite see it. It's intensely lyrical & intensely fierce—not often a poet can do that simultaneously. Also, a kind of heavy yet lilting Anglo-Saxon alliteration pulls it together.  Read More 
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Among the Romans a white stone marked a joyful day

All I can think about is snow

And titles for my book about snow

Which is a lot shorter than I expected

Now that I've shoveled away all the technical excess

And made a nice clean path

Into whatever it is I might turn out to be talking about




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A little more baseball

Aw y'know, just so perfect & eternal & beautiful.
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Days off

Staggered through the last of Passover & am happily eating chametz again.

Ended the holiday at a baseball game. Yankee stadium opened on this date (April 18) in 1923. This was the "new" Yankee stadium we were at, of course. A crisp 2-hour game against the ChiSox that ended their 8-game winning streak. A chilly 50°. I thought I wouldn't bother keeping score but once they started with the lineup I quick drew a card in my little notebook. It's how I watch a game. I used to draw scorecards on scrap paper on the way to the ballpark before someone gave me a fancy wire-bound scorebook.

All baseball is the same game & not like anything else ever. That's what's so great about it. Read More 
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