Saturday, January 14, 2017

DAVID MELTZER, 1937-2016, R.I.P.
[Found a post from Joseph Murray on the Jack Kerouac site this afternoon. Mr Murray's preface, "David Meltzer, one of my favorite beat poets died today after suffering a major stroke. This article was written last year." But it's disappeared from my page in the hours ive been elsewhere. Will attempt to rewrite what i had put up... ]

Sad to hear that David Meltzer has died. His name's been in my head for decades. Probably first found him in Donald Allen's The New American Poetry (1960; my copy the tenth printing, purchased in 1967). I have a memory of seeing his magazine Tree in Nat Tarn's library late '69 or '70, must have been '70 +, and also at favourite bookseller Nick Kimberley (Compendium Bookshop)'s place either '70/72 or in '75 when i was back in England from Melbourne again. Wherever & whenever, a great era of widening, deepening sources & corollaries for the new poetry, including Meltzer & Rothenberg's work with the kabbalah. 
R.I.P. David Meltzer, 1937-2016

Further : Alongside Ron Loewinsohn, Meltzer's the youngest poet in the Donald Allen anthology. How the years fly; 79 now. Four poems there, 2 of his Ragas series, and a lovely thing, Prayerwheel / 2 (for John Wieners). Reading it now, as tho for the first time, I hear both New York & San Francisco in it. Start of it recalls Lee Harwood (r.i.p.) --maybe a Boston thing then! For example, "Don't worry about growing old. / When we talk / it is the sea I see from your mouth. / The winds, the wee fish (silver / parasites) feeding on the whale's white hide. / Why not die alone?" He refers to the "gone Bond sign -- once high / above Broadway. That's it. / What I mean, when I talk about poetry." And the beautiful last lines of the final stanza, "Somewhere, without mind, / Love begins. The poet begins / to examine the dissolution of Love. / The sea continues. We continue / talking, growing nervous, drinking / too much coffee." The magic is in that glint of true feeling off the contemporary poetry of the era's sardonic play... Must look in the catalogues now for the poetry & maybe the music too...


[January 2nd, 2017]

Click "culturecountermag" and find David Meltzer in the index...

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