Saturday, August 25, 2007
read the intro to A Book of PROPHECHIES by John Wieners from Bootstrap Productions and began a short memoir of Creeley by [author name here] from Pressed Wafer, 2 of the recently dead/dearly departed. I 'met' Creeley 35 years ago at Franconia College, a stirring tale that, tho I must've recounted it here before, bears repeating. those who didn't turn out for other readings showed for this one. it was something of a homecoming for Creeley, who lived a few miles away back in his chicken tending days when he began corresponding with Olson. I didn't think he read especially well as I didn't when he read in Boston in 2000. he read a considerable chunk of a prose piece, which I've never read except for the chunk published in This. I believe the idea of Creeley writing prose excited me then but I'm not sure I absorbed much of the work. after the reading was a party at Robert Greniers, and rather than just the school's student writers, much of the school's community attended. during the course of which Grenier attempted to introduce me to Creeley. 3 times Grenier said something like Bob, I'd like you to meet... then someone would speak to Creeley, or he'd suddenly wonder what was on the record player or whatever. this amused rather than upset me as Creeley was clearly in another state. as was I, adrenalized by the event and, oddly, a commanding sense of myself as a writer. at some point Creeley sat near me. he was full of energy. he managed to make the record player skip, which set him to doing that intentionally by stomping his feet. this evolved into hand clapping. I joined him in the clapping. we syncopated quite intently. intently as well he looked at me, which I returned. an odd little meeting, I daresay. no words were exchanged. Wieners I never met. he brings the Venn diagram of art and illness into a perspective. note that I said a.a clinician would regard Wieners differently from how a poet would regard him. both views, or neither, are 'true'. the ravings of madness are often poetic, but poetry isn't madness. with Wieners, one faces the border of that, the shared space of the Venn balloons. I mean, with Wieners, the sense of that is strong. Creeley's interesting behaviour that night owed something (I'm totally guessing) to drugs or alcohol, but I imbibed neither yet was running on some transporting energy too. somehow after the party I ended up with several people I hardly knew. we 1st climbed onto this rock ledge overlooking Profile Lake (above which the Old Man in the Mountain used to loom) called the Poet's Seat or something like. full moon over the lake, as my memory wants to hold it. and after that, an all night trip to Montreal, and back. hm. yesterday we took food and ate dinner at Walden. the water level had finally receded so that the lower paths were open again. Erin had a disposable underwater camera that he wanted to try out. mallards floated hither and yon. some teens were throwing pebbles at the ducks not out of meanness but because they freaked them out. imagine! a woman called out, I'm swimming with the ducks! I don't know why I connect our latest visit to Walden to those poets. I hadn't thought of that view from the Poet's Seat in a long while. and the Old Man is gone, as is the school, both the institution and the building. Thoreau isn't there, but we remember him. some of what we remember is a craziness, likewise how we recall Dickinson, most writers. I shorely don't want to diagnose. we treat of the expressions and how those expressions grow and make sense. had an intro gotten thru to Creeley, the conversation, my part, would be something like, um, I like Pieces, etc. clapping hands to "Can You Hear Me Knocking" maybe is more a meeting, not to say Creeley had a 2nd thought about it. it all matters.