AG: “Grim Skeleton” (“Grim skeleton come back & put me out of Action/looking thru the rainy window of the Church wall..”…”Agh! Who I’ll read this to like a fool! Who’ll applaud these lies”)
and, last [before the break] a chain-poem written with Ron Padgett, 21 April, 1981 – I’m paraphrasing a Sapphic ode by Catullus –
“tunditur unda” is the Latin – “where the wave thunders underneath” – “If you go way beyond, where the wave thunders, there are the Asia Minor shores. Go tell my old girlfriend, if you see her before I do, that she can go suck off all those.. three hundred characters on the Broadway street corner.. (if) she wants to. As far as my love’s concerned. it’s nothing but a broken flower, cut by the plough, at the field’s edge..” – That’s a paraphrase of the Catullus poem. “tunditur unda” is the Latin for the wave thundering underneath, so the title of this is -“Thundering Undies” – Thundering Undies!
At approximately forty-two-and-a-half minutes in, Allen declares: “We’ll take a break. We’ll take a break, ten minutes or so, and then David’ll come back, read fifteen, twenty minutes, and I’ll come back with a symphony orchestra [Editorial note – not a symphony orchestra, just a few accompanying musicians], and sing three songs.”
[tape continues with David Henderson, catching him, in media res, reading from his poem, “The Exiled”] – (“…about a man without a country/that story/about this white dude who did something to America/something that made him have to sail the seven seas/never to touch land/never to have a country…”… “….to something farther away,/ materially across continent and water/ to nothing/ to nothing so real in its utter presence/ as to make him tremble/ at the scent of memory”)
Speaking of Loa (which is a Voodoo term for Gods), there’s a woman I alluded to in the poems about New Orleans. Her name was Marie Laveau – and she was quite famous in New Orleans from the beginning of the19th century and almost until the end, a lot of interesting stories about her. This is a couple of ballads – “Down in the Old Town, Old Mary, she know..”…”When there’s fire on the shore/Mary, don’t you weep no more”) –
“There was a photographer in North Beach who passed away recently who, actually, was lost out in the middle of San Francisco Bay and his name was Andre Lewis, and what was particularly important to me about Andre Lewis was that he was a person who made me feel very much at home in North Beach in San Francisco. He was an Afro-American photographer,, and he had a lot of.. (well, he still has) a lot of marvelous photos (especially of Bob Kaufman) and.. anyway, this is a poem written to the memory of Andre Lewis, Afro-American photographer of North Beach, San Francisco. It’s called “In Greeting..”, “In Greeting or Farewell” ( “He handled his camera like Nat Love“… “..captured so much, and maybe each other in greeting or farewell‘)
“Okay, this is the last poem I’m going to read and people have told me, out in California, they said, “Well, you never write many poems about California”. So I wrote a poem about California. It’s called “California Thirteen” – I lived near a highway that was called California Thirteen and was actually Ashby Avenue, for any of you who know Berkeley”
[David Henderson concludes with a long poem]
(“To rise with the rulers of the world..”…”into another world, into a third world, .Baha continuum of California town”]
This is followed by a version of “Capitol Air” (” I don’t like the Government where I live”..) and “Broken Bones Blues” ( “When you break your leg, there’s nothing to stand on…” ) with, as before, (see his rendition of “Birdbrain”) improvisation – (“…my soul is a whore, my soul is no more”).
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-one-and-a-quarter minutes in, and concluding at approximately ninety minutes in, at the end of the tape]