Following up from yesterday’s post (on Michael McClure‘s birthday), here’s two great San Franciscans, Michael and the beloved Diane di Prima (for more on Diane’s current health crisis – see here), reading on the 30th Anniversary of 1967, the fabled “Summer of Love”.
Michael begins with a brief haiku – “NOTH/ING/NESS/OF/Intelligence;/silver/sunlight/ through/ closed/ eyelids”.
Allen’s face stares up at me from a dozen newspapers.
Never to give his stiff and upright form another hug!
No more vegetarian concoction dinners at Varsity Town Houses!
No more lucid, humorous analysis of puzzling political climate!
Not to be buddies again on some committee to spring a friend from prison or raise bucks for yet another civil liberties trial!
No more late hours in punk dives reading poems together for lamas or dharma centers, or expounding Buddhist theory 2 a.m. into green room mikes for Pacifica Radio!
No time to fuss that he doesn’t take care of himself!
No more presentation copies with funny drawings of flowers, suns, and Buddhas!
No chance to meet next generation of pretty boy poetry groupies, borrow coffee on Boulder summer mornings!
No one to ask me about my sex life, my kids’, my grandkids’ sex lives!
No more that warm, deep, beautiful voice coming between us poets and our Troubles–real or mind-created!
No rich, funny gossip, latest literary news from around the world, grandfatherly unlooked-for and unused poetry advice.
No warrior of outspoken directness, unabashed songs of the most detailed, embarrassing and personal moments of all our lives.
She concludes, reading a “rant” from the on-going “Revolutionary Letters”. (“The only war that matters is the war against the Imagination/All other wars are subsumed in it”) – and Michael takes her up on that in his reading, “Poem Beginning with A Line By Di Prima”, “The only war that matters is the war against the Imagination”.