We cream the scar to fade our atlas of living—what itched its way to a silver road, what shadow constellation of pox. Syrian women beg wearing black gloves. Before the government turned to kill its people.
Melody Lee is a word artist who weaves thoughts, fantasies and realities into a myriad of themes, from Melody Lee's first book of poetry and prose, Moon Gypsy, has been a worldwide success, . What struck me from the very first poem This Is How I Know is how beautiful Lee's imagery is: 3 people found this helpful. Bestselling poet Melody Lee brings us her third book, Season of the Sorceress. of the Sorceress brought me heart-deep into the kind of poetry and prose that.
What incites that internal blaze? What says it is me I will take or not me but those whom I claim? We are claimed after meditation. We are walking an empty street after pretending to play drums. After I recognize the heather in air after we swim in a pool surrounded by azaleas after your mother smiles observing us after we sleep in her house fields of sunflowers.
What will you hold? What will you see beyond your hands? Streets lined with jacarandas that morph to pines to a self beneath ice that wolves trample silently? Someone still begs.
Someone still believes in our innate generosity. You are waiting for me but refuse to say it. You believe in returns. You believe in what I doubt. Myronn Hardy In order to stop resisting, I must not attempt to stop resisting.
I must believe there is no need to believe in thoughts. Oblivious to appetites that appear to be exits, and also entrances. What is there to hoard when the worldly realm has no permanent vacancies? My shadow these days is bare.
It drives a stranger, a good fool. Nothing can surprise. But Dylan had transformed those traces completely, as he transformed everything. Dylan had hardly come to the Beats in search of a new political cause; rather, he was taken as he had been before he left Minnesota with their play of language as well as their spiritual estrangement that transcended conventional politics of any kind. In this sense, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and the others served Dylan a bit as rock and roll did—as something he had picked up in Minnesota, returned to, and absorbed anew after he had passed through the confining left-wing earnestness and orthodoxy of the folk revival.
He was above and beyond politics in an interesting way. In , a resourceful entrepreneur, master carpenter, bohemian, and lover of poetry, John Mitchell, opened a coffee shop at MacDougal Street, near Bleecker, in what was once a coal cellar and which more recently had sheltered a subterranean gay hangout, the MacDougal Street Bar. Emerging as something of a neighborhood celebrity himself, Mitchell opened a Parisian-style coffeehouse, Le Figaro, on the corner of MacDougal and Bleecker, saw it become an instant hit with the locals as well as curious tourists, then sold it at a handsome profit.
Mitchell soon had his eye on the space at MacDougal, which was dank and cramped but perfectly located for another! Unable to raise the ceiling, he lowered the floor and opened for business, featuring sweet drinks and dessert items as well as coffee. Having a boozeless menu reduced costs and avoided the hassles with the police and the Mob that went with securing a liquor license—and it catered well to those bohemians whose drug of choice was marijuana, not alcohol.
In any case, drinking customers could sneak in bottles stuffed in brown paper bags, or repair to the Kettle of Fish. Mitchell invited the growing legion of Village poets who broadly identified with the Beat movement to recite their material and entertain his customers, in exchange for the proceeds collected in a basket handed around the audience. He called his new coffee shop the Village Gaslight, and among the poets who would read there was Allen Ginsberg.
Ginsberg, who had spent in Morocco and, later, Paris, returned in June to the United States, where Manhattan would remain his main base of operations for most of the rest of his life. The New York Beat scene of bars and coffeehouses flourished in the s along the main thoroughfares of Greenwich Village west of University Place.
Neighborhood rents climbed so high as a result that artists and poets, Ginsberg included, took up residence across town, east of Cooper Square. By the early s, Sundays in Washington Square had become the focus for folk-music enthusiasts from around the city. Pete Seeger and his wife, Toshi, obtained the necessary police permit for playing music in public, and in time flocks of folk instrumentalists and singers of every variety crowded the dry fountain at the center of the square.
Despite the blacklisting of Seeger and the Weavers, a New York folk scene had persisted with roots in the Popular Front cultural radicalism of the s and s—although it was also to prove more eclectic than its forerunner. The Weavers proved resilient enough to enjoy a reunion concert at Carnegie Hall, under the professional hand of their former manager, Harold Leventhal, late in And the New York folk-song scene would always have a strong leftist bent, which deepened when the southern civil-rights movement began making headway in the late s.
But at almost every level, a growing portion of the folk-song community had no strict or formal political connections and demanded none of its artists and performers. Moe Asch, the founder of Folkways Records, was the son of the important Yiddish writer Sholem Asch and came to the United States when he was still a boy. Although best known for his folk recordings, Asch also worked closely with jazz musicians, including the pioneer of the stride-piano style James P. An aspiring bookseller and square-dance enthusiast from the Bronx, born in , Young had developed a passion for folk music and had struck up!
In time, Young decided to rent a storefront on MacDougal Street for selling folk-music records and books. In order to cover the lease, he cashed in a thousand-dollar insurance policy. He called the place the Folklore Center and opened for business in March Fiercely independent in his leftish politics, Young prized music over ideology. His store—located a few doors down from the cellar where John Mitchell would soon be showcasing the Beat poets—became a clearinghouse for musicians, record company men, scholars, and enthusiasts.
Young was also something of a concert promoter. Soon after, John Mitchell, having also noticed the trend, switched from using folksingers for turning the house between recitations by Beat poets to hiring folksingers regularly. By the time Bob Dylan arrived in January , the Gaslight was the premier showcase for folksingers on MacDougal Street, and Dylan considered himself fortunate to break into the Gaslight lineup.
But it was still a long way from the Village clubs to musical stardom. Relations between the folkies and the Beats in New York were not necessarily close or even harmonious.
The folkies were hardly uninterested in the jazz they heard all around them, on records as well as in the clubs. By , the Beats and folkies also shared MacDougal and Bleecker streets with herds of tourists who would come to town to see the weirdos perform and get a whiff of bohemian danger. But the Beats did not entirely disappear from MacDougal, even as the tourist trade burgeoned. At the Folklore Center, Israel Young, an utterly indifferent businessman, would bolt the door when MacDougal got too crowded, to permit the folksingers to chat and to perform their songs for each other in peace.
Some of the poets turned into showmen, giving the customers all of the espresso and all the black-bereted soulful and titillating verse they could want. The writings of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were already in his brain, though his search for Woody Guthrie was foremost on his mind. And, although it might have seemed different in some of the other clubs, there were signs that, just as the folksingers were getting popular, the Beat phenomenon was running out of steam.
It was, coincidentally, a moment of national trauma. The inauguration of President John F. Three weeks later, receiving an award from the established left-wing Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, Dylan expressed his deep discomfort with the well-dressed, older audience—well-intentioned people, he perceived, who were on the sidelines and who wanted to change the world but at a safe distance.
He identified more, he said, with James Forman and the young activists of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who were putting their bodies as well as their goodwill on the line in the southern freedom struggle.
Gasps, then boos and hisses followed, and Dylan stepped down. Unable to articulate his feelings any better than that—some reports say he had drunk a good deal of wine to fortify himself before the speech—Dylan seemed to be at loose ends. Dylan, unfazed, invited Ginsberg to join him on a flight to Chicago, where he was scheduled to play at the august Orchestra Hall the following night. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give.
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