Excerpt from


eviction people arrive to haunt me
      with descriptions of summer’s wildflowers   
            how they are carpet of fierce colors

I bet you hate to see us they say and yes
      I do hate to have to move again especially from here   
            destruction brought to place of love

Anne Waldman at The Museum of American Poetics

Anne Waldman audio at Archive.org

An interview by Jim Cohn at the Naropa Institute

When I worked backstage at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut, I think of that as a really important time because I was what--sixteen--very impressionable. Hearing soundings of King Lear night after night and Macbeth night after night I was infected with that particular cadence.  Some of the actors were brilliant, some were weak, but it was the efficacy and power of the language that always carried. When you die you don't want to lie there for three days. You want someone to read Blake or Gertrude Stein or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to you. This is what Lewis Warsh and I spoke of the other day. He said he was leaving his house to go to the hospital to visit Bernadette Mayer who is in a kind of twilight-state coma after a cerebral hemorrhage. I was saying read to her, read to her!  He grabbed Shakespeare's Sonnets off the shelf and went to the hospital and was reading. It was my old college edition of the Sonnets with all my notes in it. This was meaningful to me because it's a book she loves. It's a book we used to read together, she and I. We don't know where she is, what state she's in, what she might hear or not hear, but from the Buddhist perspective, hearing is one of the last faculties to dissolve.

"Makeup on Empty Space"

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