“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Molly Bloom has a note by editor Aidan Semmens and some tributes to Lee.
Locally, in Brighton next Thursday (24th) there is a tribute reading at the Red Roaster coffee house.
Robert Sheppard’s remarks at the Lee Harwood Brighton celebration; plus links to various i.m. poems.
See also several posts between then and now.
I like the style of these two Ukrainian/Russian lads from Luhansk. A couple more links at the end of this, but first you should ride around with them:
The Russian links usually have an English version. The inquisitive mind doesn’t rest. Microwaves, lightning, how to steal WiFi, improvise an arc-welder.
by Christian Hincker (Blutch) — thanks to David Ball
Into the cloaca of political history (one hopes).
photo by Ben Friedlander
1958 – 2015, British Columbia, Canada.
Thanks to Lee Ann Brown for reminding me this morning of Peter Culley’s death last April. I liked Peter, and what I read and saw of his work over the years; though we met at most only three or four times. Anyone who takes the trouble to click on these links will realise our loss. Here’s a quote from him more than a decade ago: “I discovered Lenny Bruce in my late twenties – just out of grad school & dirt-poor in Seattle, I read How to Talk Dirty & Influence People with a growing realization that Bruce was my century’s Whitman, a poet who took democracy seriously. I’ve since had the opportunity to listen to recordings of Bruce in performance & my initial reaction is confirmed: Lenny Bruce was our first performance poet. He’s ahead of David Antin & Patti Smith. Whitman broke through, Bruce broke through. Neither spared himself embarrassment. I think, for myself, after a decade of intimidation by language poets on one side & new freaking formalists on the other, I may have found my way forward in this particular lineage. I won’t call it a tradition. There is a radical middle in American poetry (& politics, by the way) that often is confused with middle-of-the-road, but the confusion is a symptom of sloppy thinking (& political manipulation): pray you avoid it. The dominant culture is busy turning the radical – or its images – into the mainstream; it has to be the business of artists to resist the process & to reinvent the images when they have been drained of their juice & pulse. What Whitman called urge. What Lenny Bruce called truth.”
“I discovered Lenny Bruce in my late twenties – just out of grad school & dirt-poor in Seattle, I read How to Talk Dirty & Influence People with a growing realization that Bruce was my century’s Whitman, a poet who took democracy seriously. I’ve since had the opportunity to listen to recordings of Bruce in performance & my initial reaction is confirmed: Lenny Bruce was our first performance poet. He’s ahead of David Antin & Patti Smith. Whitman broke through, Bruce broke through. Neither spared himself embarrassment. I think, for myself, after a decade of intimidation by language poets on one side & new freaking formalists on the other, I may have found my way forward in this particular lineage. I won’t call it a tradition. There is a radical middle in American poetry (& politics, by the way) that often is confused with middle-of-the-road, but the confusion is a symptom of sloppy thinking (& political manipulation): pray you avoid it. The dominant culture is busy turning the radical – or its images – into the mainstream; it has to be the business of artists to resist the process & to reinvent the images when they have been drained of their juice & pulse. What Whitman called urge. What Lenny Bruce called truth.”
Come Again, by Harry Hoogstraten Barncott Press
Du Bellay — Like Catalan Anarchy, by Philip Terry, linocut by Tim Atkins Crater Press (o.o.p) Crater Press on Facebook
Complete Poems, by R.F.Langley Carcanet Press
Poems to Work On : The Collected Poems of Jim Dine, by Jim Dine Cuneiform Press
A message from Katrine Le Gallou just now suggests I … “might like to share this small report on the ceremony for Stephen at Père Lachaise. It was written by Felix Brenner, one of Stephen’s sons.
Rae Armantrout, Laird Hunt, Jonathan Skinner, Josh Robinson also attended the ceremony.
The cause of his death is unknown, he was found in his studio by our son Dewey (18 yrs old). Horrible scene”.
Stephen’s funeral took place today at Père Lachaise with about 40 people – family, friends and poets from Paris and England – joining us to mourn and celebrate.
On this shining and cooler September day, Dewey, Ben, Katrine and I met his casketed body at 10:00 AM at the Medical Institute along the Seine across from the Jardin des Plantes. We had some moments with him, to be together and say some words, before moving with him by car to the cemetery. During this time, Jackie retrieved a word painting by Stephen (Moet et Moi, Ashes to Ashes, Art to Art) and some of his decorative dresses (those he hung on his walls) from his studio and set the scene of our tribute, actually wearing one of those dresses herself as she had plucked it off his wall in the prior days.
The tribute program and readings were as follows:
Show a Little Emotion for the granite – Felix
Welcome in English and French – Felix & Katrine
Cy Gist in French and English – Katrine & Jackie
A Selection of Poems – Dewey
– De poverté, Poem, To A Reader, Electrified World, and an original poem by Dewey that he had never shared with Stephen
– A tribute and reading of a portion of Love Thirty – Benjamin
With the five of us having lived as this insular family for the last ten days, so focused on the emotion and affairs of Stephen’s death, it was hard to know what to expect. We overran our allotted time (as Stephen was always one to close down a party). Not a group to go quietly, as guests were invited up to the casket, many took the chance to utter verse, share a story, and give thanks. John and Val (friends of his from London) provided Fuck Death (another word painting by Stephen) pins for guests to wear. Even our Père Lachaise attendant asked for one afterwards and was seen wearing it as she walked the grounds and met with other funeral parties. Another friend Ian Hunt brought copies of Left Under a Cloud to give. The warmth, balance and love brought by those that joined made for a beautiful day and a fitting Parisian goodbye.
We retired to a cafe nearby to continue the celebration, eating and drinking. With the crowd shrunk to 15 or so, we meandered back through Pere Lachaise in the afternoon light, on our way to Stephen’s favorite cafe – La Fée Verte above Bastille – for additional food and beverage.
Wednesday, September 2nd. 2015
Yesterday’s Desired Haven post brought in a few questions. The title and the bottom text are from the 107th Psalm (the King James’ version, which I prefer). As the Humanities are phased out of education, fewer will recognise what once was basic knowledge. The tragic family’s names were noted by BBC News who had spoken to the children’s aunt.
“Alan set out before dawn that morning in Turkey for the Greek island of Kos with his father Abdullah, mother Rehanna, and five-year-old brother Ghalib. The Kurdis wanted to reach Canada to reunite with Abdullah’s sister Tima, a hairdresser in Vancouver.
His name has been spelt ‘Aylan’ by much of the media, including the BBC, but his aunt Tima told us today that this was a Turkish version of the name given by Turkish officials – his Kurdish name was Alan.“
For context, the current news cycle also covers the rise in the number of millionaires in the UK. Here is a link to the number of second homes in this country whose disgusting governing class think we might possibly stretch to taking 5,000 refugees. I am old enough to remember playing as a child on bombsites, here where rationing continued into the 1950s, in a Europe ravaged by a decade of wars, where millions of what were then called “DPs” (Displaced Persons) roamed or were held in camps. We dealt with that then; as in 1956, we managed to absorb 20,000 (ironically) Hungarians fleeing the Soviet invasion.
Time Dust, by Ian Patterson Equipage, Cambridge ( not yet listed on site)
Taking The Dog For A Walk (Conversations with British Improvisers) N! Vu N! Connu
Stanley Spencer, Letters and Writings, Selected and edited by Adrian Glew. TATE Publishing, o.o.p
Amulet, by Roberto Bolano Picador Books
Steve Noble/Mal Pelo Ten Years After Ping Pong Productions (information from Ping Pong Productions: 9(b) Doughty Street, London WC1N 2PL; tel: + 44 (0) 207 404 2109; e-mail: pingpongcdsATgooglemail.com). Steve Noble has long been my favourite British drummer since Phil Seamen. Luckily he’s soon playing (with Mette Rasmussen) within hobbling distance at the Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival.
Sabots, by John James Oystercatcher Press
Stephen Rodefer, poet and painter
Born Ohio, 1940 – died Paris, August 22nd 2015
Ever among the first to call and offer help.
I see you still in New Mexico light, then asleep on our Chicago couch
while Larry Goodell puts on his muscle suit, later in Cambridge in college gloom,
in Cork sitting on the steps of Shandon Tower in sunlight.
I remember the strangeness of your The Knife, lying on our table in London next to Richard Duernden’s The Fork.
That was fifty years ago.
I can only agree with you. Over there.
Here is what the “creditors” plan for the Greek people. Airports have been sold off: gas pipelines, oil refineries, power, post office, national highways, water are next. There will be no democratic government control of national assets: in charge of everything will be managers appointed by creditors. Note the companies and investors involved, and the countries in which they are based.
The people in the photograph are Richard Cupidi, Lee, Allen Ginsberg and (so the text informs, Peter Orlovsky — though in a manifestation I never saw, looking like a cross between Jeff Nuttall and Eric Mottram).
Having had my head stuck in my own world for many months, it was a sad surprise to find — as I went to write an email to enquire how he was — that Allan Kornblum died last November: my tardy condolences to his family.
This is Allan as I remember meeting him out in Iowa City in 1970/71.
Photo © Morty Sklar
Behind him sits Darrell Gray. Allan was editing and printing Toothpaste magazine. That segued into Toothpaste Press, and eventually along with a move to Minneapolis became Coffee House Press. Those Iowa City days also spawned Actualism.
Dave Morice has some memories of that time and place and his own (probably the first of that genre)Poetry Comics are still sharp in my mind.