instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

NauenThen

For Ted Berrigan

Vase by George Schneeman, collaboration by George Schneeman & Ted Berrigan, Valentine's Day 1966. 

For Ted Berrigan

 

We were afraid of everything except kindness. We made a cult of generosity. We slapped them silly who weren't witty or lovely. We wanted better boots, better polish, better hair. We thought about country diarists without leaving our rooms on 23rd Street. We bought one expensive handcream that someone else paid for. We knocked down screens to see a woman wash her back. We ate Krishna feast. We found soft wool undershirts on the street & said they were Patti Smith's. We called her Patti. We said Bob, & people were supposed to know we meant Dylan. We won prizes & forgot to pick them up. Our teeth broke. We checked into the hospital to rest. No one we voted for won. We were Black Jacobins. We recognized beauty & nothing else. Nothing else mattered.

 

11/15/2018

Be the first to comment

Ted & Johnny

I’d only had a copy for so long that I’d forgotten what this wonderful shade, painted by Tim Milk, really looked like. It was nice to feel Ted in the room & of course nice to see Johnny with his big laugh, enjoying himself with Joe Carey & his girlfriend Stacy (who shares my birthday AND has many other wonderful qualities). 

Be the first to comment

More Ted

Nick Sturm sent me this page from a notebook of Ted's in his archives at Emory University. Where'd he get the picture? (He snatched it, for sure: no way he asked for it.) Where was it taken? (Rockaways or Florida.) Did he know I'd be perplexed 35 years later? Probably! That man was a mixer, that's for sure—someone who stirs things up! I bet he grabbed it one time when he came over to help me find some pills I'd hidden so well they were lost for a long time. If Ted Berrigan can't find pills, you know they're well hidden! (Ask me where they finally turned up.)

Now I'm remembering once trading baseball cards with Anselm, who was about 6 at the time, & Ted made us trade back because he thought I was taking all the good cards & leaving Anselm with the duds. I probably was, although I was more interested in cute than stats, & Ans didn't care. I wanted Jim Palmer, the Orioles' handsome Hall of Fame-bound pitcher who later on posed in his underwear. A dreamboat!

Be the first to comment

Ted

Tim Milk did this wonderful window shade painting of Ted Berrigan. I don't remember who had it or where it ended up. I found this xerox the other day & it made me think of what a great poet & life force he was.

I often send these lines to people who are grieving:  Read More 
Be the first to comment

The present now will later be past

In his storage space, Johnny found this amazing never-sent letter Ted Berrigan wrote to Joe Brainard back in 1982, so beautiful & heartening about poetry, art, & love, & it made me miss not just Ted but that whole era so much. Feels suddenly like so much is ending & that there's almost no one left from the really  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Happy birthday, Stanton

We found so many things while clearing out Johnny's storage space.

We threw out a lot too.

Not this!

It's full-length, down to the ballet slippers he is wearing, & signed: Ted Berrigan, 1981

I hope you appreciate how much blood & sweat not to mention magical eliadic mind-power over matter bulk it took to compress 425 lbs of beautifully-aged crispy-sweet jelly-pork major-poet self-taught American mortal-coil flesh (meat!) into this dingbat-suit Oscar De La Renta whipped up personally for me to wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY in, Stanton!
 Read More 
Be the first to comment