And whew, what a spectacular full moon it was: moon at perigee and in Cancer (whose sign she rules, no less; and my sign, yes, I confess).
Busy days here in Rome: many many polyglot parties. I think I've figured out a path toward instant improvement in my conversational fluency in Italian: try to speak French! It seems to work: try to speak a language that's been billiarding about in your head for what, 35 years now, and Hey presto, the one you sputter around in, day in and day out, often frustratedly, turns out to be the default. Really, in my next life, I'm going to be a neurophysiologist and draw up a map of where all this stuff happens in the brain: This is your brain on French. This is your brain on Italian. This is your brain on poetry. This is your brain on Kant.
Right now, this is my brain on tired and busy, if happily so. We Baltiromans are exceedingly happy that the only pro football team that's named after a poem is moving right along in the play-offs. (And I've been teaching Damiano how to say GO RAVENS in a Baltimore accent. He almost has it.)
And really, as promised, Massimo Gezzi's interview with John Ashbery from POESIA. Soon. Meanwhile, buon anno!
(Though I guess we're feeling somewhat blessed to be inundated with water rather than with fire, as has been happening in Greece.)
Tomorrow there will be another general strike: trains, buses, postal services, schools, pretty much everything will be completely shut down for four hours. Air traffic, however, will be unaffected, in case you're planning to fly over here.
But in tomorrow's manifestazione, there will also be a literary presence: lo "sciopero dell'autore" -- the authors' strike.
Additionally, please come join us this Friday, December 5th in New York City for an SLS Party. SLS NYC Party. No specific agenda: it's a party. Come meet the SLS people, including its founder, its leadership, its coordinators and assistants, many among its illustrious past faculty and participants… the works. Meet old friends, make new ones. Ask the SLS people questions about the SLS's past and future, about the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia and the difference between the two (if any); about Italy and Lithuania and Kenya and… all the rest of the places SLS might be planning to go to in the future. Stay until the wee hours of the morning on the time-hallowed premises of the venerable KGB Bar.
Some among the SLS people, back during the day of pre-modern history, had an unlovely opportunity to familiarize themselves with the inner décor of the non-NYC-based KGB – one has in mind, specifically, the stunningly ugly edifice on Kalyaeva St. 4, right off the Liteyny Pr., in old Leningrad-St. Petersburg – and you can count on this being a much more pleasant, festive, friendly occasion. Feel free to spread the word and bring your friends.
Additionally, good friends of SLS from The St. Petersburg Review will be on hand with copies of their second issue. As well, Programs Coordinator Mike Spry will be there with copies of his new collection of poetry (JACK, Snare Books).
KGB Bar 85 E 4th St. New York, NY 10003 (212) 505-3360