COLUMN FORTY-ONE, JANUARY 1, 1999
(Copyright © 1999 Al Aronowitz)
THE N WORD
From: "Hill, Andrew P" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 17:26:31 +0100
Still reading col 38 but a few thoughts on Manuel. I have to say that I find his comments on black people shocking, particularly coming from someone who has been tortured for his political beliefs. How can a man who has been through so much & seen so much of the worst of mankind---at the hands of his own brothers, no less---harbour such an irrational hatred? If he is going to write off such a huge section of society he could at least give some kind of sensible explanation instead of a load of gibberish about crack babies. It made me feel sad & confused that a man whose writing has brought tears to my eyes could entertain such hateful thoughts about a whole race of people.
He is also wrong to criticise you for the e-mails of his you have posted (even if he may be 'goading' you on this point). I loved reading his e-mails & I think that you must have realised that many others would too. Manuel has a wonderful sense of self deprecatory humour---and I've found his writing most lively when he is talking about himself in this way. The description of him discovering the work of Dylan, for instance, & taking a sick day to listen to it is just wonderful---I've rarely read anything that captures that feeling of temporal release & wonderment that discovering an important piece of art (music, literature etc. . .) or an artist, who becomes personally meaningful, can bring to an individual. In any case I can't see any other immediate outlets or publicity vehicles that Manuel will have for his writing, apart from your auspicious space on the Web of course.
Please feel free to include this e-mail in your usual correspondence section if you wish. I'm not sure if I still have an e-mail address for Manuel but please forward this to him if you wish---it's only fair that he should know what others think of his words. I would also like him to know that he is free to call me anytime & he has my number. I would love him to fill me in on George Bush's war record - that's got to be worth a pint or two of lager, isn't it?
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Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 02:16:25 EST From: TVNatFans@aol.com
Michael Moore's newsletter
Subject: A Message From Michael Moore
. . .Paid another visit to the Impeachment hearings and interviewed the Clinton-obsessed Congressman Bob Barr about the whipped cream he licked off two women's chests at a fundraiser in 1992. We wanted the impartial Judiciary Committee member to show us how that was done. . .
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BANANA REPUBLIC STUFF
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 13:40:57 -0600
Subject: Re: Thanks
From: email@example.com (Cordley G Coit)
Kay Johnson is KaJA of the Beat Hotel (Woody in Annie Rice's tomes) I knew her in New Orleans. She introduced me to Jack and the rest of the Beats. She was fine painter. Now homeless in Berserkerley. . .the Beats mistreated women. . .
About Morgan thing, my mother was part of the J.P.Morgan spin-off of in-laws and they were great criminals. Isobelle Kemp bankrupted Chrysler, traded with Hitler (her partner was Onassis) and was honored by the French Government. Gladys Kemp exposed Hitler for what he was in the late twenties fought the good fight and was murdered for her trouble.
When in Paris I got to fight fascism and learned "to never forget." The Morgans believed in eugenics and I am a failure in that regard. The Coits had a lot of Indian in them and tend to do their own thinking. H. Coit [Henry Coit, late city editor of the late Newark News?] had something to do with Olin my grandfather a lovable rogue. The conspiracy is real but these are incredibly foolish people. One of my teachers was Morris Cohan who showed me how the mob and the old money made the world a little more intolerable for the poor.
A guy like Clinton is made for people to manipulate. I met him in London late sixties and found him to be arrogant and very smart. I often wonder what happened to smart part. He handles politics like something out [of] Dick and Jane these days, hubris.
Neil Bush left a trail of bodies out of Colorado. Ex cops, writers, a bunch of dope people, usual suspects, guys like Ben Reis, Bill Stevens and Vinnie the Blade Terrenova. But the cover up held, the money was poured into Richmond Homes and out again. There was a lot of crossing of party lines and blurring. Like the mob from Chicago runs Boulder, not Aspen. That's Kansas City and New York turf. Joe Bananas came up from Az after giving Don Bowles the moxie. And did a bunch of stuff for Michael Wise at Silverado. Now a real estate guy in Aspen etc. The dance goes on.
These are guys behind the Christian Soldiers.
We the People was set up by Chuck Harder and Pat Choate. Harder put together a network of two hundred stations fighting "Lemon Government" or the Bush boys. Choate bought him out and went over to Perot. And never paid Harder for his stations. Choate said the money was from U.A.W. What they did in fact is cancel out a strong voice against corruption and . . .
This is all banana republic stuff like Ollie or the G Man.
Out West we have a sanguine view of current events it's our blood they write their history in. I had Neil the Bush boy draw down on me once, not fun.I was shot at by the Crested Butte Independent dope dealers Asso. I had the "boys from Chicago" try the same in Boulder. It made me a Second Amendment kind of guy and a lot of liberals cannot understand that. I remember Don Victor, the Latino Guy in Brooklyn etc. and we owe it to our readers to attempt to stay alive.
Yes it sad and even criminal what happened to Clinton but remember republics are rough and tumble places to live. . . Be well we are listening and writing.
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Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 05:54:09 -0400
From: Steve Knighten
Subject: Best I can write this time
Thanks. I believe you sent me printout copy of the MENENDEZ saga, that I read it also. I saved a collection of copies of your writings; they're in a package envelope on my bedroom library bookcase.
I've occasionally wondered about DEEP THROAT, intrigued by the name. Whoever he is, he probably used to get lunch at Tysons Corner. That was where---now, I've been sure this is true, want only to tell you the truth---saw Bill Clinton with a bodyguard. He was shopping at Tysons, where, like me, no one is unnecessarily surprised to see him or other important such people. The only people in view to each other were me, Clinton, and his security man, by the multi-level parking lot on the northwestern side of the shopping center.
I lived with Charles Isley (I hope I spelled his name right), for a way in an group home for adults. He said he was a White House aid during the Johnson presidency. He was interesting, humorous, and enjoyable to befriend to me.
Also, while I lived in that place they once shampooed everyone in the building with "Quell," the vermin treatment you once described to me in a paper.
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Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 17:40:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Correspondence with Poetry Swami/Guru Bob Holman re: Lexington, Kentucky Poetry and Gun Show... From: LOU::PAUL "Paul McDonald, TeleReference LA, Main Info Services" 2-NOV-1998 13:35:59.02
What a wild-ass blow it out yer sphincter SHUT THE FUCK UP kids runnin' nekkid in the yard packin' heat for jesus of a night it was for Jewish snake handler's of all stripes. A friend of mine said you reminded her of a David Byrne Henry Miller Hybrid. It was real. It was smokin'. It was authentic Kentucky Poetic Hillbilly Centrism.
It doesn't get much better than that.
Be well; do good work and keep in touch. . .
Subj: Re: Lynaghs Firing Range
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 14:33:10 EST
Subject: Re: Lynaghs Firing Range
As Mammy Yokum sez, "I has spoken."
only in this case it is us, and we is everybody, especially poetry we is.
you were mfhot, bro.
congrats all round.
Report from the Front: Society of Underground Poets Festival, Lexington, KY,
>From the opening words of the first poet at the 7:00 open mic ("The Schlock of the New!" Tom Maxedon) to Bob Holman's hoarse "Write your own damn poems!," aimed at the bar patrons who, 1:30 am, still would not shut-the-bleep-up, this year's SoUPFest in Lexington, Kentucky was a stunning example of poetry's continuing engagement with the daily life of the nation's citizenry.
First-ever poetry reading at Lynagh's Music Club, premier boite in this basketball-crazed university town, on a Friday night, yet! drew around 300 folk. Troy Teegarden, editor of ace po'zine "Stovepipe" and monstertruck DJ for Society of Underground Poets radio show station at WRVG, home of Public Radio Reinvented, in Georgetown, KY, blended up a nourishing brew----over 60 poets read, from high school virgins Carey Neal and Chris "Johnny Got His Gun" Robins (Lafayette HS in Lexington has one of the country's best poetry programs, directed by Carolyn Johnston, who was en la casa) to Captain Kentucky hisself, the renowned Ed McClanahan, reading a hilarious piece 'bout the first time he met Neal Cassady, from his new collection, My Vita, If You Will: The Uncollected Ed McClanahan, (Counterpoint Press). And the Sweetheart of Harlan, George Ella Lyon, was also very much in attendance.
Teegarden's great skill at organizing included bringing together poets from Louisville's classic garden party variety, the Green River Poets headed by led by Mary O'Dell ("I'm not so much intimidated by it/as I am past it") to the tender punches of Affrilachian poet, Jude McPherson, (love's taxicab blues revisited, just out frpomBlacoetry Press), who truly came into his own this night while representing Black Appalachian experience. Several poets' bands shredded the dense haze, Frank Messina, lone wolf poet who flew in from NYC on his new CD, Biting the Tongue (Neptune), who rocked with El Diablo, yes, backed up by the Devil Hisself! And the Tennessee "alternative bluegrass" of Felix Wiley. Universal local hero and progenitor of of the literary renaissance Ron Whitehead brought the crowd to a mad, shooting, hooting crescendo with his sex epic, "Dangerous Places To Have Sex in Kentucky: The Black Mink Ballet." Night after night we danced on dynamite, as i says at such moments.
High point: surprise appearance by great visual artist Ralph Steadman, cover artist for Hunter S. Thompson, who was in Lexington promoting his new book, Gonzo: The Art (Harcourt Brace) and found at SoUPFest the coolest spot in town to tell tales.
Glitterati in the Crowd: the Sweetheart of Harlan, George Ella Lyon, our favorite writer, her presence very present.
The controversy of he evening was the eternal freedom of the beerguzzlers who pay the rent vs. then tendresse of the poems yearning for earshells to lay eggs in. I've been through this a lot recently, as poetry cuts the edge off the local tavern and plunks down art. Two weeks ago, in Bruxelles, at the Beursschouwburg Cafe with the Mouth Almighty "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Poetry Tour" same same: audience of 300, split into thirds. A third seated up front, all ears for the poem. A third in the back, smoking and drinking the bar, disinterested in po, would talk through anything until music gets loud enough to drown conversation, then maybe listen. Middle-third grazing both ways. After Wammo let 'er rip from the tabletop, after I'd taken the mic 50 yards to the back of the room to confront the rude in Bruxelles, Derek Woodgate, editor of "Fringecore" (http://www.fringecore.com), suggested I play to those whose lives were cocooning in front; good advice! Gradually, and in Lex, too, the middle third swayed into poetry's house.
Among many other SoUPFEST highlights:
*J. Kennedy Mabry frappe-ing Bluegrass Angst with great guitarist Matt Rogers;
*Paul McDonald, whose review of spoken word CD's graced the pages of The Louisville Courier-Journal on the day of SoUPFest, knocking the audience's socks into wash, only to be metaphorically shot by a starter's pistol for exceeding dumb time (limit);
*Jordan Green (Murkland, Hozomeen Press): "Spit it out like raw catfish;" *Kate Teegarden, in Uma wig: "Sometimes I pretend I'm your mistress;"
*5 piece fusion band backing Michael Campbell, also in wig (his, Cher's): "5-years-old and they make her pee in a cup/Don't want no doped-up senior citizens/Mopping the floors in mensware, do we?;"
*W. Loran Smith (Night Train, Plinth Books), backed up by Dan O'Brien on sax: "the sun is going down/and the waves are lapping gently over the dog food cans;"
*The Last Chances, rocking with poets Joseph Bialek (new chapbook! I need one!) and Michael Crossley;
*Bum rushing the stage, Ellen Hager stopped time altogether with her Poem, "New Rebel Yell."
Great goodnights to Gina and Robert who own and book the club -- satisfied that poetry can hold its own, be back soon. Afterparty at Continental---Messina and Wiley in pool at 3am.
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