Tuesday, November 20, 2007



As November wears on the memory: of having just finished up working on the dish washing line in the cafeteria at Beloit College and hearing the news that the President had been shot. JFK. That night I walked alone to the library while many students went to the chapel. I simply then and still to this day do not really understand how people could be so moved.

Yeah, I know in a intellectual way why people are moved but...

I was thinking, as I remember it now: one less politician.

A few years ago in EAT AT JOE'S a pizza joint on Second Avenue in Manhattan between Fifth and Fourth Street a guy was saying: they should dig up JFK and shoot him again and that goes for his brother too.


Writers I have known who are now dead: Chad Walsh, W.H. Auden, Bink Noll, Kenneth Rexroth, Stephen Spender, Patrick Kavanagh, John Jordan, Francis Stuart, Jakov Lind, Hannah Green, Michael Hartnett, Edward Dahlberg, Jorge Luis Borges, Brian Higgins, Frank MacShane, Richard M. Elman, Julian Green, Malcolm Cowley, John Currier, Liam O'Flaherty, Anthony Burgess, Nina Berberova, Philip Hobsbaum, Tillie Olson, Kay Boyle...

And there are those who should be dead....

or are dead but don't know it


Do not search for truth-- But seek to develop those forces which make and unmake truths.
---Paul Valery


In Clair Wills' very good book THAT NEUTRAL IRELAND, a broad, clearly written description of Ireland during World War Two there is a delicious moment when she is describing a popular quiz program QUESTION TIME and the host asks a contestant for the name of the world's best known teller of fairy-tales. The expected answer was of course Hans Christian Anderson but that was skipped over in favor of "Winston Churchill."


Anthony Burgess once told me the reason Churchill got tossed out of office as fast as he did in spite of his so-called heroic role during WW2 was because it was the first election when the many veterans of the British army could vote and everyone of them hated Churchill because of the cigars he was always photographed smoking. The ordinary soldiers had to make do with roll-your-owns or Woodbines and here this fuckin bastard had been puffing cigar smoke into your face every day of the war...