Thinking this morning of Lisa: and not forgetting Malcolm X half-a-century ago on the same day.
Lisa Nichole Raworth
January 17th. 1961 (London) – February 21st 1996 (Cambridge)
Austin, Texas, 1974
You’ld be proud of Cato, here he is at 26 with Matilda
Bognor Regis, December 2014
and a thought for two more old friends who didn’t quite make it through the year:
Jim Koller (May 30, 1936 – December 10, 2014)
Tomaž Šalamun (July 4, 1941 – December 27, 2014)
Good wishes for Christmas and the New Year
I emailed this out yesterday and was fascinated both by how many mails bounced back from I assume defunct addresses…. and how many names, as I scrolled the list of contacts, were of the dead. If anyone wondering why they didn’t get one, passes by here; that’s what happened. Almost three months in hospital and “rehab” has my mind elsewhere than online, particularly now we learn from the surgeons that though they eventually got all of the (much larger than they’d thought) tumour, it had metastasised. Further surgery is impossible, and chemo is too risky given my “physical condition”. Nevertheless there’s another battery of full blood tests and CT scans before Christmas… and then, I suppose, the massed ranks of oncologists in the early New Year. I’ll try to add something here when I’ve the energy.
Enjoy the break!
Last note. At the end of August Tom gave me access to post to this page as some of the few people who occasionally look at it had begun to write enquiring about Tom's health. It seemed a reasonable idea as both Tom and I detest Facebook and all the other “social media”. This is simply to note very briefly what has been happening. On September 1st Tom had the first high-risk surgery. The surgeon managed to cut out all (they hope) of the awkwardly-placed tumour. But further work was impossible because of two cardiac events and a massive hemorrhage. Another member of the surgical team said he'd never expected to see anything like it in his life. The wound had to be stuffed with swabs and sponges, and Tom came-to on a respirator in the Intensive Care Unit, surrounded by machines and blood transfusions, in the dark.Two days later there was more risky surgery to remove the packing and to see if other originally-intended work could be done. No. So Tom was moved between two High Dependency Units for several days. The main surgeon when he telephoned me said “You have one really tough person there.” He needed to be, as current hospital research indicates that more than 48 hours in those environments produces the equivalent of major post-traumatic-stress disorder. Tom's stomach still did not function, so he could neither eat nor drink. After twelve days with no nourishment except sips of water, a new complicated line was sewn in and he began to receive low volumes of i.v liquids and then nourishment. A contrast CT scan two days ago shows blockages, adhesions and scar tissue. So yet more surgery is indicated. Just this morning I learn that this is urgent and Tom has been put on the C list, which means any time between now and noon tomorrow. I really do not know if he has the strength for a third major surgery within two weeks. I thank good friends like Miles and Jenny for disseminating news in the middle of their own busy lives.
But Tom and I feel all is now a matter simply for family and for the friends we would normally be in touch with at such a time. As Tom cannot even read, let alone write at present, and as I have many things to deal with, I cannot envisage any further posts here. Thank you. Val
I should add to the above that Tom will have no access to any emails sent to his addresses. V
i’ve always had time for Heathcote Williams, since his book The Speakers in the early 1960s. I’ve a clear memory of a typescript both black and red ribbon used, in my hands, of his remarkable play AC/DC. Years drift and my next glimpse is of him entertaining me for hours in his room with a fine magic and conjuring display (featuring much flash-paper). He is the only fellow-worker I have been on strike with…. when we withdrew our labour from the B.B.C over their censorship of poetry. I regret I cannot be there for this.
Piano Sonata No.3. 3rd and 4th movements Alexander Scriabin Piano Roll
Bernie’s Tune Earl Hines Trio Here Comes Earl “Fatha” Hines
Blue Lake Don Cherry Blue Lake
2003 Version – Scherzo Jaap Blonk Ursonate
Inner Cities 7-5 (for Trisha Brown) Alvin Curran Inner Cities
LBJ Orders Pants August 1964
Little Eddie Blues Robert Cage Robert Cage Can See What You’re Doing
Rhodopsin Blues Locatelli, Carriero, Grossi private recording
The Servile State Hilaire Belloc Out of print.
Little White Bull John Muckle Shearsman
The General’s Son Miko Peled Just World Books
Whatnot A Talk with Philip Whalen David Meltzer The Beat Scene press
Diary Of The Dark Years 1940-1944 Jean Guéhenno, translated and annotated by David Ball OUP
XIVLiners Tom Raworth Sancho Panza Press
Life Elizabeth Arnold Flood Editions
Red Mavis Merrill Gilfillan Flood Editions
ARK Ronald Johnson Flood Editions
hoyoot, Collected Poems and Songs Tom Pickard Carcanet
Selected Essays Hilaire Belloc out of print
Weekend Wodehouse P.G.Wodehouse out of print
Death Puppet Jim Nisbet The Overlook Press
Sonnets Jim Nisbet Provendor
A series of perceptual failures and reckless reckless cutting Frances Cruk crater 29 Crater Press
Abilene! Abilene! Variorum Edition with appendices and commentary. Edward Dorn (Part 1 and Part 2) Kyle Waugh , editor CUNY Lost and Found
Tono Sarah Kelly Crater 28 Crater Press
I’d like to (and shall) remember Joe: a valued and dear friend; and one who saw my heart. Our sympathy and condolences to Marjorie and all their family. love, Tom & Val.
Yesterday we heard that Tom’s surgery is now scheduled for Monday September 1st. Though still more than two weeks away there is stuff to be done in the interim, drug doses to be adjusted, tests to be monitored, and a whole day (August 21st) of “pre-operation assessment” at a more distant hospital. But it is good to feel something is moving. Yesterday evening the surgeon called to ask us to a special meeting with him tomorrow, Friday, at noon at our local hospital so we hope to get some specific information and, we hope, answers to a cluster of questions. Tom continues quite frail, and although feeling generally exhausted has a very disturbed sleep pattern. He has not been able to get out much, but a few days ago our son Lloyd came by and drove us up to Ditchling Beacon the third highest spot on the South Downs. The evening was sunny and there was both a breeze and a fine view across the Weald. He finds his general clumsiness and in particular his great difficulty with typing very frustrating. Again he asks me to thank friends for their messages, both digital and real-world. This drawing by Ella in Finland and sent by her father Fergal, cheered him this morning….. especially its title Two hands fighting a thermometer. Thanks, Ella and Fergal. Love, Val
“I’ll tell you what is harder than dying in Gaza by an Israeli missile deluxe. What is harder is that you get a phone call from the Israeli army telling you to evacuate your home because it will be bombed in ten minutes. Imagine; ten minutes; and your whole short history on the surface of Earth will be erased.
Gifts you received, photos of your siblings and your children (dead or alive), things that you love, your favorite chair, your books, that last poetry collection you read, a letter from your expatriate sister, reminders of the ones you loved, the smell of your bed, the jasmine tree that hangs off your western window, your daughter’s hair clip, your old clothes, your prayer rug, your wife’s gold, your savings; imagine; all this passes in front of your eyes in ten minutes, all that pain passes while you are struck by surprise.
Then you take your identification papers (passport, birth certificate, etc.) which you have ready in an old metallic candy box, and you leave your home to die a thousand times, or refuse to leave and die once.”
-Mahmoud Jouda, Gaza
“Oh rascal children of Gaza. You who constantly disturbed me with your screams under my window. You who filled every morning with rush and chaos. You who broke my vase and stole the lonely flower on my balcony. Come back, and scream as you want and break all the vases. Steal all the flowers. Come back…Just come back…”
– Khaled Juma, a Palestinian poet from Gaza
Glenn Greenwald’s post today on The Intercept
The Norwegian emergency surgeon Dr Mads Gilbert on his return home to Tromsø, Norway from 15 days treating the wounded in Gaza.
Both of us are touched and heartened by the very many messages we have received this past week from friends and acquaintances around the world — some not seen for years. To all who have thought of Tom at this difficult time, thank you. I know he would have liked to respond himself, individually, and still intends to; but apart from his poor general health, his proprioception — or at least his balance— seems affected, leading to several falls; and he has developed a weakness and numbness in his left hand which is limiting what he is able to do: he says it is like trying to type with a bunch of clumsy and insensitive sausages. We continue to wait for a date for further surgery. The surgeon took the trouble to telephone a few days ago to say he’d put Tom on the”Urgent Acute List” which he qualified with “that used to mean something”. Of course everything is now in the hands of the cupidous and moronic specimens who govern us and whose aim is to destroy the Health Service. Waiting for anything is always difficult, let alone for surgery you’ve already been told it is likely you won’t survive. But all is not gloom. We are fortunate to have friends nearby, generous with their time and help: thank you Sara, Sam, Daniel and Jenny; and some family live not too far away — last weekend our two granddaughters visited. Such visits, like your messages, brighten the days. Thank you again, Val.
Tom asked me to add this personal note: Norma thought of and sent the blue, Trevor saw it in a dream.
The surgery Tom was due to undergo last Monday morning was cancelled at the last moment just before he was to be wheeled into theatre. The surgeon and anaesthetist felt the risks were too high given his current health which is very poor. He has in addition to everything else developed renal failure. The surgeon tried a different but less risky procedure on Monday afternoon which sadly was not successful: the tumour is too large and awkwardly placed. However Tom has decided to undergo the original surgery, risks notwithstanding. The surgical team has agreed and there is, in truth, no alternative. He is remarkably calm and stoical, is grateful for the many messages (to which he cannot reply at the moment), and sends love. So we must wait for another date, in theory within the next week. I will keep you up to date on any progress. Love from me too, Val
I have some serious surgery ahead. It was to have been today, but is now to be 7am Monday. Whatever, I’ll be in hospital a while and am not sure when I’ll be active here again: though I plan to be. Until then, etc.
Goody Goody Frank Sinatra Inside Brass
Jean-Luc Godard Portland, October 1972
Vulcano Kiss Air Music for Museum
Rabbit Steve Lacy, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski Threads
Blue Lou Wardell Gray Way Out Wardell
Genghis Khan Nico French TV 1979
‘Round Midnight Gene Roland w Sims, Cohn Swingin’ Friends
Goody Goody Frank Sinatra Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass
Sun Ra UCBerkeley 1971
Auld Lang Syne Joe Maini The Small Group Recordings
Direct download: aswen.mp3
Pictures Of Adolf Again Bill Fay Time Of The Last Persecution
Frozen Jim O’Rourke United Red Army
I Was a Maoist Intellectual Modus Tender Pervert
Raga Lalat Michael Snow The Last LP
The Weight The Band Music From Big Pink
Scriabine – Etude Op. 42, n° 1 Nikita Magaloff Scriabine, Moussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev & Stravinsky
Smile! No One Cares How You Feel The Gothic Archies The Tragic Treasury: Songs From A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Body and Soul Sam Most Musically Yours
Alien Britney Spears track before AutoTune
Direct download: adol.mp3
I prefer cats to dogs and can’t understand anyone who’d follow an animal picking up its shit (even if it warms your hands in the winter); but there are exceptions to any general dislike and Rowan was one of those few (another was Macho, Pio Fontana’s dog, long dead in the TIcino mountains). He was a rescue dog, a greyhound beaten and mistreated because he refused to race. Our daughter-in-law saved him and for more than a decade I never heard him bark — though he did kill his one deer, a sick one of the herd, so he lived a hound’s life. To save him pain he had to be put down last weekend.
Yesterday we had a welcome, though rare and too brief, visit from our old friend John Higgins who has lived and taught in South Africa for more than 25 years. His Raymond Williams Reader is still in print: and his recent Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa, published there by Wits Press will shortly be published in the US. Part of John Coetzee’s preface to that book is here.
I mentioned S.Clay Wilson’s situation a couple of times back in 2009. You can catch up on the latest news from Lorraine’s post a couple of days ago. The donate button works: so why wouldn’t you?
J.H.Prynne, Concepts and Conception in Poetry, Critical Documents/Plantarchy
Fresh illuminations for grasshoppers. Conflates the Trinity with the centrefold and a hat-tip to Rosa Parks.
Tim Atkins, Collected Petrarch, Crater Press
Pet Rock lost its edge? More than 500pp of Petrarch could help. One of the best produced Lulu books I’ve seen.
Conversation Max Roach And Booker Little Deeds, Not Words
Ishwar Allah-VmusiQ.Com Sujatha Mohan, Anuradha Shriram 1947 Earth
Twilight in Turkey Raymond Scott Manhattan Research, Inc.
Everybody’s Talkin’ Harry Dean Stanton Partly Fiction
It’s You Or No One Max Roach And Booker Little Deeds, Not Words
Conversation Raymond Macdonald/Marilyn Crispell Parallel Moments
Direct download: flux.mp3