Poet, musician, critic, novelist, editor, bookseller and educator” – Garrett Caples, in a recent City Lights post, accurately nails it – David Meltzer is “nothing less than a national treasure”. But at 77, following recent surgery (succesful, it would seem) for the removal of a recently-discovered cancerous tumor on his liver, (and, “as a disabled senior citizen with numerous health issues, surviving on social security with no pension..”), things right now are pretty tough. We’re spreading the word about on-going efforts to raise money for him. An on-line fund-raising project has been initiated and is up and running. For more details and for the opportunity to contribute – see here
[A quick 2015 update on David Meltzer’s health – he’s looking pretty good – hanging in there – the tumor off his cancer removed last September. He got a standing ovation for his reading of Frank O’Hara’s “The Day Lady Died” at the celebration at The Poetry Center in San Francisco, a few weeks back, celebrating the 50-Year Anniversary edition of “Lunch Poems”- Wishing you well, David ]
update; December 31 2016 We regret to announce the passing of David Meltzer
AG: “The amazing thing was he could reproduce my monochordal variations on various Blake tunes that I’d invented note for note playing unison with my voice…He kept saying that he wanted to write Buddhist bubblegum music…He was also interested in the words. He consulted me a lot for phrasing and I kept saying it should be more detailed but as you know the pop idiom is generalization and he was looking for generalization which had a slightly erotic or eccentric overtone..”
still on the West coast spirit but making a rare East Coast appearance – George Herms’ wonderful gallimaufry The River Book is just out. (“Unbelievably, this exquisitely produced, slip-cased, two-volume set is the first comprehensive publication ever devoted to Herms’ work”) – Here‘s George at the Strand Bookstore, a couple of weeks back, discussing life and times, in conversation with poet and art critic John Yau
John Lofton, arch-conservative, “recovering Republican”, and the man who gave Allen one of the most bizarre interviews he ever received (self-incriminating interrogation from a fundamentalist Christian!) – he also famously crossed swords with rock musician Frank Zappa, whom he called “an idiot” died this past month
Speaking of some of Allen’s nemesis –Dinesh D’Souza (influential figure in the ’90’s in the campaign to defund the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts), personal antagonist (“I met Ginsberg at Dartmouth in the 1980’s – he came with his catamite Peter Orlovsky..”), right-wing pundit, author, and sometime filmmaker, was sentenced last month for campaign-finance fraud (he had pleaded guilty, last May, to charges that he had arranged for straw doners to contribute $20,000 to New York Republican Wendy Long‘s failed Senate bid). The judge sentenced him to eight months in a halfway house and probation, and ordered him to pay a $30,000 fine, to be paid up within 45 days.
Does the word hubris have any meaning?
Here’s a wonderful thing – Allen’s hand-written note/listing for the infamous “poets’ pubes” collection, a fanciful fund-raising scheme concocted by Ed Sanders and his Peace Eye bookstore in the “Sixties. Each poet personally notates his contribution (Frank O’Hara: “Mine are more golden than Frank Lima‘s, to tell the truth”). Of those approached, only Kenneth Koch and Barbara Guest refused to be part of the historicizing.
and more Ed Sanders – listen in here (and video too) for Ed’s recent presentation of his Glyphs at the New York City CUNY Grad Center
HOWL(ish) is HOWL(ing) in progress. Drew Taylor and Julia Doogan in Glasgow present snippets of ideas for their epic poem for post-referendum Scotland, using Allen’s poem as their base. It’s part of Glasgay! 2014 and Arches/Live, free, and performances are all this coming week.