Lenore Kandel ( 1932-2009)
We’ve been meaning to feature this and come to it a few months late, perhaps (it was published in the Spring by North Atlantic Books, and launched with a memorable reading at the Beat Museum this past May (highlights from that – Brenda Knight, ruth weiss, Gerald Nicosia… – here, here and here).
First, a tip of the hat to Don Wentworth and his comprehensive review/overview on Issa’s Untidy Hut.
Here’s Lenore, reading from the opening section of the book – her ground-breaking spiritual-erotic celebration from 1966, “The Love Book” – “Love poems, which”, as she points out, “had a very strange effect, since they were arrested by the police!”
Here’s another beautiful interview-document. Lenore, from 2007, two years before her death, (in conversation with the Spaniard, Carlos Fresneda – and gorgeously and tenderly illustrated with a lovingly-compiled slide-show by Isaac Hernandez) – “My only desire is to have no desire..” – “I’m serious but I play” – She reads “Beast Parade” (part of her poem, “Circus”, from Word Alchemy (1967)) – “love me, love my elephant”.
“If my head is holy, my asshole is holy” (recalling “Footnote to Howl”)
Here’s her obit note in the San Franciscan papers (and here’s a pleasingly-extensive one from the London Independent)
We’ll conclude with this charming memory of Lenore from her neighbor, Stephanie Salter – “I did suspect…that she’d been a bohemian in her day. I had no idea how much of a bohemian until I read her obituary”.