Our thanks to Jim Cummins and Denise Duhamel, the first two of the eight guest bloggers we've lined up for the week leading to Valentine's Day. All eight are represented in the new collection, THE BEST AMERICAN EROTIC POEMS. Coming next are Lisa Williams, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Catherine Bowman, Ross Martin, Jenny Factor, and Sarah Manguso. The subject is Eros. The freedom is total.
On Monday night February 11th at the Museum of Sex (27th Street; entrance east of Fifth Avenue), Sarah Arvio, Star Black, Laura Cronk, Michael Quattrone, Paul Violi and Maggie Wells will read their contributions to THE BEST AMERICAN EROTIC POEMS. At 7 pm. Come!
What kind of place is the Museum of Sex? A few of us attended an opening there last week. Exhibits of dildos in bright pastel colors, toys, masks, dungeon paraphernalia, observers furtively checking out other observers while attempting to stay focused on "Venus in Furs" or the life of Casanova -- just what you'd expect to find, though you wouldn't have expected anything as recently as fifteen years ago. Two women handing out leaflets for an alternative drawing school wore ostentatious collars. One had her private parts covered with furniture tape rather than clothing. "My master will untape me when i get home," she said. The hors d'oeuvres and the sparkling wine were excellent. "We did have," as Ted Berrigan would have said, "a very nice time."
On TV as I type is "Voyage of the Damned" about the ship full of Jewish passengers that was denied entry into Cuba and was forced to return to Europe. The voyage turned out to have been a propaganda stunt perpetrated by the Nazis. A very 1970s movie: lavish costumes and make-up, a soundtrack modulating from Strauss waltzes to "Deutschland Uber Alles," with stops along the way for "Frenesi," "Amapola," and "Blue Moon." Oskar Werner, Faye Dunaway, Lee Grant, Wendy Hiller, et al., are as glamorous a group of refugees as was ever doomed to suffer in the limbo of an ocean liner crossing and recrossing the choppy North Atlantic under the sign of the swastika.