If I had been asked who would be the main attraction of Saturday night’s Carnegie Hall mashup between the poet and the composer, my guess would have been Gorman. I would not have guessed it would be the cellist Jan Vogler. As it turned out, however, his performance of three of Bach’s cello suites, more or less interrupted by Gorman’s rap-inflected poetry, made him the star of the show.
In a rare poetry reading organized by Efe Balıkçıoğlu and Sibel Erol and focused on often unacknowledged voices in contemporary Turkey, the works of three dissident authors are to be presented as a serious Turkish delight.
The presentation at NYU on Feb. 23 — both in person and on Zoom — will feature the feminist poet and artist Sevinç Çalhanoğlu, the gay Kurdish poet Fırat Demir, and Nicholas Glastonbury, who has translated the work of the late queer leftist poet Arkadaş Z. Özger.
“A face long unloved will at some point grow ugly,
As unkissed features untended will as with an unkempt
Garden grow wild . . . ”
— David Erdos
“Vivian Gordon went out before midnight in a velvet dress and mink coat. Her body turned up the next morning in a desolate Bronx park, a dirty clothesline wrapped around her neck. At her stylish Manhattan apartment, detectives discovered notebooks full of names—businessmen, socialites, gangsters. And something else: a letter from an anti-corruption commission established by Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt. … Had Vivian Gordon been executed to bury her secrets?” — Union Square & Co. (the publisher)
If ever there were a question that political posturing is show biz, Nikki Haley settled it at a rally in South Carolina. She was doing an anemic imitation of a mesmerizing George C. Scott in the opening scene of “Patton.” Missing were the medals and martial music, thank god, which contributed mightily to Scott’s classic performance. Of course Trump has been doing his stale imitation for years.
At last a first-class appreciation of the recently published ULTRAZONE. When I first read the novel in proof copy, it had me doing cartwheels . Naturally, I wondered how it would be received elsewhere. Now I know.
This ‘deformed sonnet’ was written in memory of Carl Weissner, a great one who was so rudely interrupted 12 years ago today.
She’s also smoking a fag, as a Brit might say. Her touch — feathery and liquid both — is sublime. When I listen to her trills, I hear birds singing.
Dancing lights at night as photographed from the window.
Before it disappears too far into the distance, let me just say how much I enjoyed Adam Gopnik’s recent take in The New Yorker on the relationship between Pissarro and Cézanne: “How Camille Pissarro Went from Mediocrity to Magnificence.” Not least, it gives me the chance to post an etching of the two of them made in the early 1980s by Gerard Bellaart, who has for many years seared into my brain his love of both painters.
That is a key question posed by Jascha Hannover’s “The Books He Didn’t Burn,” a documentary to be featured in its U.S premiere at the Jewish Film Festival on Jan. 15 at Lincoln Center in New York. Its relevance to the beliefs of today’s white supremacists and rightwing Christian nationalists is stunning.
‘… and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?’
The end of the dismal year 2023 brings Hamlet’s soliloquy to mind.
This card from 1968, designed and printed by Graham Macintosh, shows a little mag’s lineup and the subscription-cum-ad rates at the time. Demi Shaft Raven obtained the card from Kevin Ring, editor of Beat Scene, and posted it on Facebutt.
“Shadow words / that beat like hammers.”
“Four hundred years ago yesterday saw the first printing of one of the great wonders of the literary world: Shakespeare’s First Folio. Published in 1623, seven years after he died, it was the first printed edition of the collected plays. Without this achievement, half of Shakespeare’s dramatic work would have been lost.” — Folio 400
It is widely acknowledged that Shakespeare lacked a university education — there is no record of it — unlike his contemporaries or near-contempories, such as Marlowe, Greene, Jonson, Nashe, Beaumont, Fletcher, so forth. Despite that, he was a greater writer than any of them, and pilfering was part of his toolkit. As Anthony Burgess notes in his biography of Shakespeare, he not only took plots and stories for his plays — this too is widely acknowledged — but also “filched” entire passages (plagiarized them, if you will) and in the process improved them immeasurably.
The world Mark Terrill sees is “essentially forlorn, if not absurd, if not entirely hopeless. But his poetry is far from hopeless.” — Lawrence Ferlinghetti