Friday, June 13, 2008

Rothenberg and Mac Low

Jerome Rothenberg has a new blog, and one of his first entries is about his relationship with Jackson Mac Low. Here's part of Jerry's entry:

I met Jackson Mac Low in 1960 or 1961, through the intervention, as I recall it, of Diane Wakoski. She had come to New York with LaMonte Young & there was clearly a connection between Jackson & LaMonte through an avant-garde that was centered on John Cage’s presence in New York & the international connections delineated by Fluxus. My first response to Jackson’s aleatory/chance experiments was a degree of puzzlement but a sense beneath that that something real & important was taking place. I fell for him first at a reading in which he introduced the first several of his Light Poems, impressed enough by those so that whatever else he did entered at once into the realm of my possibilities. And this was enhanced still more when he drew me into performing with him (as he did with many others) or, conversely, when he gave himself willingly to my own early attempts (circa 1969 or 70) at fusing poetry with performance. I often performed with him in his Gathas, & he was one of my performers (along with David Antin & Rochelle Owens) in a staged & recorded presentation of “primitive & archaic poetry” (circa 1967) that was the direct forerunner to Technicians of the Sacred.

There's more there, and here's the link to the rest of the entry.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

poet says: extremism is no vice

The line that would put Barry Goldwater far to the anticommunist right in '64 was the same uttered by the popularly revered poet Kahlil Gibran (1883- 1931) in a book published in 1960 called "'Narcotics and Dissecting Knives,' Thoughts and Meditations":

"In battling evil," Gibran had written, "excess is good; for he who is moderate in announcing the truth is presenting half-truth. He conceals the other half out of fear of the people's wrath."

Monday, June 2, 2008

attended Greenwich Village University

Susan (Suze) Rotolo graduated high school in 1960. Her parents were communists (her dad dead by then, her mom quite active still although heading toward alcoholism). Suze didn't really think seriously about college. It was the time: she began subwaying in to lower Manhattan and eventually didn't take the return train--just stayed. Met Bob Dylan in '61 and was with him, mostly on but later on and off, until late '63. A working-class Italian girl, few prospects - but she was bright and artsy and game, and directly but mostly, alas (she admits to having been a "minor character"), indirectly had a major intellectual impact on the 60s. Much more here.