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Vachel Lindsay: With the Submerged April 30, 2012: At a library book sale recently, I came across a copy of the 1925 Macmillan edition of the Collected Poems of Vachel Lindsay, with illustrations by the author, for a measly $3. Score! It’d been a few years since I’d read Lindsay, and, as I was absorbed into the riot of weird symbolist drawings within the book’s pages, I was reminded of how [...] by

Creeley on Acid April 27, 2012: There’s been a rash of stories in the news lately about LSD, in relation to its possible effect on alcoholism and on the fear of death in the terminally ill. I was struck by the timing of these stories, as I’d just been discussing both topics with Tony Sargent, a retired biophysicist who had worked in nuclear medicine at the Lawrence Berkeley [...] by

A Plea for Kevin Opstedal and Blue Press Books April 25, 2012: The following news comes courtesy of Noel Black and Patrick James Dunagan. Noel Black: Dear Friends, the great West Coast poet and publisher Kevin Opstedal (Gas Magazine, Surf Zombie, Blue Press, etc.) is in a pretty major financial pickle right now and needs our help. Please go to www.bluepressbooks.com, buy as many of the amazing [...] by

Kerouac as Poet: A Response to Cedar Sigo April 20, 2012: In high school, like many-a lad before me, I thought Kerouac was greatest writer ever. Back then I didn’t read poetry, but when I started to, I turned to his and found it wanting. Or put it this way, the poetry didn’t seem to merit the extravagant praise heaped on it by Ginsberg and others. Ginsberg would speak of Kerouac like he was the [...] by

Collaborating with Humpty Hump April 18, 2012: One day in 2006 I was driving around Oakland with Dontrell Mayfield, a.k.a. DOT, or Dotrix4000, or 4Rax. Dot is half of the production duo The Mekanix, having helped launch the careers of such Bay Area luminaries as J-Stalin, Eddi Projex, Stevie Joe, Shady Nate, and G-Stack. More recently, he and fellow Mekanic Kenny Tweed even managed to land [...] by

Ancient MFA Program Discovered April 13, 2012: I’ve been ill for much of this week, so I devoted an even greater portion of it than usual to lying in bed reading poems. Illness seems to have brought me back to the motherland, which in my case is 1000 Years of Irish Poetry (1947), edited by Kathleen Hoagland (NY: Welcome Rain, 2000), wherein I found the following: The File or Ollambh [...] by

Laurence Weisberg and the City Lights Blog April 10, 2012: Periodically, when no one better is available, I find myself taking on the role of being Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s personal assistant at City Lights. This usually consists of opening mail—which could come from anywhere from the Vatican to Tuli Kupferberg—answering emails, and occasionally fielding phone calls. A couple of years ago I was [...] by

The Watts Towers as Poetry April 6, 2012: If I have one complaint about poets, it’s that they complain too much. These complaints usually boil down to I don’t have (enough) readers or I don’t get paid (enough), whereas it’s always struck me that if you’re looking for large amounts of readers or money, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you want to get paid to write, write [...] by

SINCERELY, BRUCE CONNER: A Final Work-in-Progress? June 29, 2011: As has often happened in my encounters with great artists, I had no idea who Bruce Conner was the first time I met him in the mid-’90s. I’d driven an art critic I knew to Conner’s house in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco for an interview and just ran the tape recorder while Conner told stories stretching back to the first [...] by

The Poet and the Means of Production June 22, 2011: For a brief period, around 1992, I brewed beer, which in retrospect amazes me, because I’m not a handy fella, nor do I like to cook, and but for the fact the end product was 5 gallons of delicious intoxicant, I wouldn’t today believe I undertook so labor-intensive a project. I mention this because it occasioned my first encounter with [...] by