Fishing The Street
A heavy, punishing rain beat down on the streets outside the Bowery Poetry Club yesterday where a respectable and respectful crowd came to hear and cheer Marianne Shaneen and Anselm Berrigan, introduced by Gary Sullivan and Nada Gordon. Each of these young poets read, with witty, charming and quiet force, a combination of new and earlier works to appreciative whistles and applause from the drenched audience. Marianne has a new chapbook from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs [click here]; Anselm spoke about his father, Ted Berrigan's new Collected Poems [click here]. Reading over the blurbs, I noticed that two are by poets who recently died, Robert Creeley and Lorenzo Thomas. Anselm mentioned that the latter, who died this year on July 4th, passed away on the same date as Anselm's father, 22 years later. Anselm, who was 10 when his father died, read several great poems by Ted I never heard before. As I've mentioned previously on these pages, I attended my first poetry workshop with Ted Berrigan in 1967. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to state how fond I was of this man, who, like so many people, was what I call a 60's victim, in relation to his early death, anyway... As I write this I realize that there are many others, like myself, who survived the 60's, who were also its victims (and its beneficiaries). In my case maybe you can't see the wounds, maybe you can, but I can often feel them, especially when I think of Ted. For a taste of the real 60's see the Scorsese documentary about Dylan and read Ted. Especially read Ted. As I turned to leave, I spoke briefly with the maestro, Bob Holman, who, by the way, is performing on Wednesday night at 10 pm at his own club, the BPC with the Billy Bang Trio. Bob mentioned how you could hear, at times, that Ted Berrigan lilt in Anselm's voice. Yes, I heard and loved that, and also the way Anselm couldn't stop laughing at one of his father's poems as he read it- the one about a truck and fish all over the street.
Ted Berrigan Reads
Listen to Ted, thanks to Al Filreis and Charles Bernstein at Penn Sound,
and Alice Notley.
Ted Berrigan at Penn Sound [click here]