Greenpoint, October, 2015

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Smoke and Rearview Mirrors

I was tipped off to Edward Dorn's "101 poems" (for the California's U.S. Rte. 101, of course) by the British writer, Iain Sinclair, in his new book American Smoke: Journeys to the End of Light. Sinclair covers a lot of ground, investigating and reimagining the intersecting lives of writers Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Malcolm Lowry, Lew Welch, Gary Snyder, Tom Clark, and others.

Beautiful cover, folds out into a placemat. Strange that it only has one car, Neil Cassady's '49 Hudson, hovering up around Jack Kerouac's Lowell, when so many of the stories have to do with cars. How could it be otherwise...

Olson in Gloucester
Here's a good one about Charles Olson, the thundering prophet of Projective Verse and biographer-mythologist of Gloucester, Mass.:

Olson's car didn't do reverse. When a friend, sent out from the upstairs apartment with the great veiw, on the point, right over the Inner Harbor, to fetch cigarettes and whisky for another all-night session, sandwiches even, asked, with some trepidation, how Charles managed this thing, navigating the icy streets in a defective motor, the poet said: 'Never go backwards.' Arm raised--so!--gloved fist clamped to the fence, Russian cap and trailing coat. 'That way. Always that way now.'

More to come...

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