The surprising thing about the line from Shelley's sonnet quoted on tonight's episode ("Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!") is not that Mr. Ginsberg knows the poem but that art director Stan, the unremitting philistine, should also know it -- and know it well enough to point out, to Ginsberg and bystander Peggy, that the "rest of the poem" rebukes that hubristic utterance. The line joyously mouthed by the young copy-writer is from the monument Ozymandias, "king of kings," built to his vanity. But the great Oz was not an ominipotent ruler for long. Time has ravaged the statue: "Round the decay, / Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, / The lone and level sands stretch far away." -- DL
I could almost see the words of Langston Hughes scrolling across the bottom of the television screen: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore, And then run?. . . . Maybe it just sags like a heavy load or does it explode?”
In last night’s episode Megan decides that she isn’t going to dry up or fester. Rather she will cut her losses and pursue her childhood dream of being an actress. Although she’s doing well at work, the ad business is not for her. After a failed audition, she reveals her desires and distress to Don: “I can’t explain it, but I felt better failing at that audition than I did when I was succeeding at Heinz.” But Megan is still young enough to have "chaos, fun, and adolescent joy," the qualities a client feels are needed in a piece of music to accompany an ad. Megan’s not thinking of financial security. She’s grateful she has that in Don so she can afford to dream of being an actress. Whereas Don’s days of leaping before looking are over -- as we see when an elevator door opens but there is no elevator, just a long vacant chute to nowhere. If he had walked into the elevator shaft he’d have fallen to his death. Don wants familial security and routine. He may not want Megan barefoot and cooking in the kitchen all the time, but he wants to know she’s close by, either at work or home.
But Peter is a heavy load that’s about to explode. Or about to go from the minor explosions he has each episode into a volcanic eruption. He has a fling with Beth, the wife of a train buddy, Harold, who sells insurance. Within twenty minutes of meeting each other they’re on the floor of her home. While Peter knows Beth is trying to soothe her pain of knowing her husband is unfaithful, he gives into the reckless moment. But he doesn’t fantasize about the affair or treasure the memory as Beth suggests. Instead, he pursues Beth -- on the phone and, when that doesn't lead anywhere, in person, at her home with her husband in another room. Eventually we see him as the jilted lover waiting for Beth in a hotel room forlorn, with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. He throws a glass at the wall, defeated.
Of all the scenes in the episode I audibly laughed when Peggy gave it back to Don at the botched pitch for whip cream, “You’re not mad at me, so shut up.” They’re so perfect for each other, yet I would never want to see them together. Only Peggy can sass Don and leave him unoffended. When he calls her searching for Megan, she switches the roles and asks him if he knew where her boyfriend was, as in ‘Man, I am not your wife’s keeper.’ Anyway Joan tells us earlier of the type of women Don marries, and that type is not Peggy. That type is a long willowy model -- like Betty Draper.
Dreams for Don are not ethereal and visionary, but concrete steps taken to achieve a goal. He and Roger share a generational moment when they say their career choices weren’t lofty ideals but what they were told to do or what were the avaiable jobs. By the time Megan puts on The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” (from Revolver), Don can’t really appreciate it for its motivational lore but its literal suggestion. He’s too busy thinking of Megan and this new deveopment in their marriage. So the best way he knows to “lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void,” is to go to bed. He may well find some answers tomorrow. -- Connie Aitcheson
It seemed to be a night of liberation for the women of Mad Men: Peggy defying expectations and moving in with Abe, Megan bursting with new ideas and even little Sally coming out as a beautiful adolescent, trying to leave the age of innocence, while the big girls also supported and encouraged each other. But then the generations spoke; wisdom, doubt, envy, and truth all echoed to each other -- crashing and crushing the hopes and dreams built up in the women’s fantasies.
Peggy’s uncertainly about her relationship with Abe made her think his request for an urgent dinner must mean he wanted break up with her. With Joan’s encouragement she changes her thinking and believes the dinner might be for a marriage proposal. But Abe doesn’t propose marriage, instead he wants them to live together and Peggy has to readjusts her thinking. When all the talk of cohabitation is finished, Abe asks Peggy if she still wants to eat dinner and she says, “I do.” The sadness on her face implies that this might be the only time she gets to say those words. It Is as though her heart caught up with her mind and she calculated all the pros and cons of living together or not being with Abe: is she settling, how does she maneuver sex-and-the-single-girl territory, does she demand marriage or go with what’s right for the moment? As strong and independent as she is, as determined to move in with him, it was painful to watch her have to struggle with the choice, then to have to listen to her mother’s words, “you are selling yourself short. This boy he will use you for practice till he decides to get married and have a family.”
The Mad world is a constant struggle between reality and illusion. Megan and Don recovered remarkably well from last week. Still blissfully in love but wanting to prove herself, Megan comes up with the winning idea to seal the Heinz deal. Although everyone at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce knows the idea is Megan’s, she downplays her role in coming up with it so that Raymond from Heinz gives Don the contract. Peggy congratulates Megan and she is seemingly on her way to realizing herself as a successful career woman. But Megan’s parents are staying with her and Don, and their unhappiness filters into her life.
Her father, Emile, a leftist intellectual, is struggling with his own professional failure as his latest idea for a book didn’t go too well with the publishers, and his wife, Marie, is unhappy and unloved. Let me digress for a second. It is a little jarring watching sweet, innocent Ormond from Sabrina get typecast as the mother of adult women. She was fantastic in Temple Grandin, but I’m not sure if I want to see her as a mother much more. Maybe just wife or mistress, business woman, politician or Navy pilot, anything else. It takes deliberately awful makeup, with the eyeliner on her top lid so unfashionably out of skew and shadows under her eyes, to make Ormand look old enough to play Megan’s mother. With her hair down she could be playing Megan.
Anyway, leave it to the fathers to see in their daughters what they don’t see in their wives; Don telling Sally to take off her boots and makeup, protecting her virtues -- this after he deserted Megan last week. And Megan’s father giving her a backhanded compliment and beat down, “I’ve always thought you were single-minded about your dreams….but now I see that you skipped the struggle and went right to the end….I hate that you gave up. Don’t let your love for this man stop you from doing what you wanted to do.” Yet at the same time he’s telling his daughter this, his wife's head is positioned between Roger’s legs in a dark room. What dreams did she have or skip; how did her marriage make her stop living her life?
In the end all are sadder and maybe a little wiser, but none as honest as Sally. When she sees the exchange between Marie and Roger she is forever changed. Asked by her telephone buddy how the city is, she has the last word of the night. “Dirty.”
-- Connie Aitcheson
Think of tonight's episode,the best of the 5th season so far, as the Four Twenty Edition of Mad Men with a bummed out Peggy playing hooky smoking a joint with some horny stranger in a dark movie theater watching "Born Free" (I think that's what it was). . . Roger Sterling goes on an acid trip with his wife, Jane, who, it turns out, speaks Yiddish when she is high (Roger thinks it's German). No sooner has Roger announced that LSD ("your product, Mr Leary") is "boring" than he opens a vodka bottle and hears mighty Russian chorale music. You can hear it every time the bottle is uncapped -- and as long as the bottle remains uncapped. The cigarette in Roger's mouth shrinks. In the mirror he sees himself with half his hair gray, the other half black, as in a magazine ad and Don Draper appears over his shoulder and tells him everything will turn out okay now go back to your wife and he does and she says things like "How can a few numbers contain all of time?" In the cab Bert Cooper's face appears on the five-dollar bill. And her epiphany is that he doesn't like her. And his epiphany is that it's going to be easier to get out of this marriage than he thought. "It'll be expensive," she tells him, but he doesn't care, he's free, it's gonna be a great day. . .And Ginsberg, who needs no drugs to establish his extraterrestrial bona fides, finds a witty way to tell Peggy he was born in a concentration camp. And Peggy is smoking more and drinking more Canadian Club and she resembles no one more than Don when she tells off the guy from Heinz who rejects her "Home is where the Heinz is" campaign, though it's, well, awesome ("the fire is primal. . .and it's the beans that brought them together on the cold night at the end of the summer") and she gets taken off the account and that is why she is bummed out enough to go to the movies and get high and fall asleep in Don's office and later she gets a weird brusque phone call from Don, "Did you get any calls? Has anyone called you?" which makes no sense until we go over the same stretch of time from the point of view of Mr Draper himself, who is driving to a HoJo Motor Lodge with Megan (in beautiful orange-striped sweater that goes perfectly with the decor) where they have a blowout fight which ends when he loses his temper and bolts. "Don't you dare pull away. I'm talking to you," she says helplessly as he pulls out and drives off without her. Cooling off, he goes back and looks everywhere for her including the ladies' room. (She took the bus back, furious.) No pot, no acid, but a sleepless Don smoking cigarettes in a period sedan and having odd flashbacks to composite car trips is enough of a high to end on. A brilliant episode. 1966! -- DL
On Mad Men last evening, the new Jewish copywriter comes home, bringing groceries (like farmer's cheese, oy vay), and there's his Papa, tall, with a thick accent, a refugee from the old country, probably a widower, possibly a man with tattooed numbers on his arm, and what does the old man do? He blesses the boy with the traditional blesssing a father gives his son, hands on head. The blessing is in the book of Numbers, chapter six, verses 24-26. In the King James Version:
"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
"The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.
"The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
An Italian greyhound being "stacked" prior to a going-over by the judge.
The 136rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is going on right now at Madison Square Garden. Purebred dogs of all shapes and sizes compete to be judged "Best in Show" and have their names engraved on the big trophy. It may seem confusing - how do you compare a chihuahua and a Great Dane? - but the dogs aren't really judged against each other. They are measured by their breed standard, compiled by the breed's parent club, which describes the ideal specimen of that dog. The closer a particular dog gets to perfection, the higher the chance of being chosen "Best in Show." But there are also those indefinable characteristics of personality and sparkle, that make the judging so exciting. It isn't always about the numbers.
2011 Best in Show Winner: Scottish Deerhound Grand Champion Foxcliffe Hickory Wind. (Hickory to you and me.)
The annual WKC show also introduces new breeds to the American audience. Of course, most of these breeds aren't "new" at all; in fact, many have been around for thousands of years, but they may be unfamiliar here. To be a recognized breed in the US, the parent breed club must make an application to the American Kennel Club, proving a sustainable US population with responsible breeding practices. There are six new breeds this year: the American English Coonhound, the Cesky Terrier, the Entelbucher Mountain Dog, the Finnish Lapphund, the Norwegian Lundehund, and - take a deep breath before attempting to pronounce this one - the Xoloitzcuintli (left). The "Show-Lo," as its called for short, can be traced back to the ancient Aztecs and is the national dog of Mexico. You may know it as the "Mexican hairless."
All dogs begin in their breed competition. The winners of each breed go on to their group competition. Groups are made up of breeds with similar purposes or jobs. The AKC recognizes seven: the Terriers (self-explanatory), the Herding Group (German shepherds, border collies, corgis, etc.), the Working Group (mastiffs, Rottweilers, etc.), the Hounds (everything from dachshunds to Irish wolfhounds); the Sporting Group (setters, spaniels, and retrievers); the Toy Group (little guys bred solely for companionship); and the Non-Sporting Group (everyone else who doesn't fit into any of the other groups). The winners of each group go on to the Best in Show competition; the winner here is literally the top dog.
One of the fun parts of watching the WKC show is hearing the dogs' registry names. Like the names of racehorses, these names reflect the ancestry of a particular dog. At Westminster, they are proceeded by the word "Champion;" to be a Champion, a dog must have earned at least 15 points (depending on placement) at AKC sanctioned dog shows. Only dogs with this distinction can be entered at the WKC show. But all of these dogs are also family pets. It's kind of impossible to holler, "Come back here, Champion Oreo Cookie of Royal Nabisco," so of course, all the dogs have "call names." Sometimes they are diminuitives of their registry names (like Cookie or Biscuit for above); sometimes not (like Sport or Butch). For example, growing up I had a registered German shepherd. His registry name was "Conrad Von Dornberg." We called him Atlas.
The registry names can be pretty pretentious. With this in mind, Slate has posted a little quiz. Can you identify which of these is the real name of a WKC group winner and which is a real line from Allen Ginsberg's Howl? I got 15 out of 15 (I teach Howl regularly, so I had an advantage). No cheating - and let me know how you did. Make your puppy proud.
Tune into the USA channel tonight at 8pm to watch the last three group competitions and root for Best in Show.
I first heard this song two weeks ago while watching a certain period drama series and now I can't get it out of my head. Here's a clip of the same song being sung in the 1944 British film Immortal Battalion. Isn't it terrific? -- sdh
Since I was not able to see High School Confidential until my early thirties, the image of the poet influenced me via my mother's interpretation: What she found pertinent became my experience. But now I giggle when I read the poem from the film and wonder how many teenagers took it to heart.
More recently, in Billy Bob Thornton's film Sling Blade (1996), the character Morris writes lyrics for a song that seem to be descended from beatnik genes. In the scene, redneck Morris and his band are drinking when they begin to discuss their future as musicians:
Of course, Thornton intends the men in the band to be laughable, but I wonder how many viewers might find that the image is an accurate portrayal of a poet.
Like other anglophiles who spent a few years in England and understands the heroic significance of World War II (Dunkirk, blackouts, Hail Brittania! pomp, circumstance, and the bulldog at Ten Downing Street!) to the English sensibility, I am a sucker for period dramas that English TV wizards put together for delighted consumption on both sides of the pond. I enjoyed the inaugural season of "Downton Abbey" on PBS last winter and, knowing that the second season played to even greater acclaim in London, look forward to its arrival in the States starting in a week or two. The last episode of season one left us in a garden party interrupted by a telegram announcing that "we" are now at war with Germany. The arc of the first season has taken us from the Titanic to the guns of August, and we're ready now for the endless war to end all wars. All well and good, but BUT and it's a big but please, I beg of the fates, do not allow the producers to do anything as cheap as they did in season number one when they shamelessly lifted a great scene from Mrs. Miniver, the 1942 movie starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon that won the year's best-picture Oscar. When Maggie Smith as the dowager garciously, and against her own egocentric impulses, gives the award for best locally-produced rose to a commoner, she is repeating Dame May Whitty's gesture at a climactic instant of Mrs. Miniver. It was the cheapest act of unacknowledged plagiarism that I have seen in many a day . . . unless they plan to make such acts of theft a recurrent feature of the feature, in which case I guess we can chalk it up to postmodernism in action. In any case, here's the theater trailer for Mrs. Miniver, which you should see. -- DL
Why did it irk me so much, the high-handed dismissal of Mad Men by Jenny Diski in the January issue of Harper's? I am a fan of the series, true, but I don't expect everyone to agree with me. No, it was the smug, knowing voice that got my goat -- that, and the substitution of bias for reasoning. Consider:
The style of the Sixties in Mad Men is so relentless and polished in every detail that it actually deals a death blow to authenticity. It is caricature, not authenticity, and although that, in a David Lynch sort of way, can be thrilling and effective if you subvert the style to darker devices, Man Men isn't sure whether it wants to be pastiche or historical realism. It wants it both ways, and for me, it is this indecision, which feels muddy and expedient as opposed to subtle or sly, that is Mad Men's self-sabotage.
This is double-think -- as the "actually" in the first sentence concedes. Notice that approval is withheld not only because of too much accuracy but because Mad Men does not "subvert" and is not "dark" enough. These are code words. Again Diski's rhetoric gives her away. Reread the passage and ask yourself what David Lynch is doing there. How does exactness of detail compromise authenticity? And what does it mean to say that some alleged trait of the series "feels muddy and expedient"? Only two words in the passage stand up to the skeptical reader's close gaze: "for me."
But perhaps one shouldn't be surprised by the resentment that the popular success of a culturally ambitious television series will arouse among theoretically-correct (TC) critics. Jenny Diski, the author of a bad-girl-in-the-1960s memoir, exemplifies here what Susan Sontag called the perils of "interpretation." It is, in Sontag's words, "not simply the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius" but also "the revenge of the intellect upon art" and "upon the world." -- DL.
Did anyone else watch PBS Sunday evening at nine pm to see David Hare's much ballyhooed all-star-cast British drama on the fashionable subject of intelligence and espionage? The weakness of the play is the McGuffin. It is out in the open -- the playwright did not have the Hitchcockian good sense to keep it concealed or to bury it in the plot. What is the shocking secret that could bring the Prime Minister to shame, and that forces him him to avoid being blackmailed by promoting a Home Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister? It is just that the heads of His Majesty's government (read Tony Blair) knew that the arrogant cowboys across the Atlantic were obtaining vital information by tortuting prisoners in camps. The suppressed info is not all that shocking on the one hand and on the other it lacks the moral urgency and clarity of the secret that, for example, haunts Joe Keller in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons." What are they pissed off about, those who would be righteous in England's green and pleasant land? Is it that the Yanks are using torture? Or is it that the info obtained therefrom, including possible terrorist activity in England, was not properly shared with the Brits? If you answer with the former you can't also be bugged by the latter without quoting Emerson on a foolish consistency, blinking and downing your Scotch and soda. All that talent -- all those fine actors, Michael Gambon, Judy Davis, Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz -- with so little to show for it. -- DL
Back in the day, before the Internet and five million cable channels and YouTube and Netflix, television viewers were pretty much at the mercy of network programmers. Of which there were then three: ABC, NBC, and CBS. In the late 1960s, they were joined by PBS; in the early 1980s, by CNN. CNN, however, being an all-news channel, there was little chance of getting emotionally attached to any of the programming.
Otherwise, every season television viewers ran the risk of becoming deeply involved with a show, only to have it canceled after 13 or 26 weeks. (Yes, dear readers, once upon a time, a season was half a year long.) And canceled meant canceled: shows disappeared into the ether, never to be seen again - until the Web arrived to save the day, as long as the master tapes hadn't been erased. (This almost happened to Monty Python's Flying Circus. The BBC were getting ready to pitch the originals when Terry Gilliam, no fool he, bought them for almost nothing.)
One such show was Our World. Broadcast on ABC during the 1986-1987 season, it was a news magazine hosted by the journalists Linda Ellerbee (right) and Ray Gandolf (below left). Each program featured a short but significant era in American history, and explored the historical, political, artistic, and pop culture context of the time with interviews, film clips, music, and commentary. Ellerbee and Gandolf were wonderful hosts - old-school journalists who eschewed spin, but humorous, warm, and cognizant of their audience's intelligence. It was a terrific show, stylish, smart, fun, and informative. It also had the misfortune of airing opposite one of the most popular programs in television history: The Cosby Show.
It is difficult to know what goes on in the minds of television programmers. Our World got rave reviews from critics, educators, and viewers alike, but it could not compete with the juggernaut that was The Cosby Show's audience. News programs always have smaller audiences than entertainment programs; ABC must have known that and known that Our World would never match Cosby's numbers. In fact, over the course of the season, Our World did not lose any viewers; those who loved it, loved it and stayed loyal. But instead of moving Our World to a different time-slot and maybe building its audience, ABC canceled it after one season.
I've been pissed at them ever since.
I thought Our World was gone forever, until a couple of weeks ago, when I found it on YouTube. The only reason it's there is because a YouTuber uploaded it from old VCR recordings. (God bless you, vistavuelounge.) Below is part 1 of the first episode: "The Summer of '69." You also get the benefit of some vintage '80s commercials (no such thing as DVRs back then), but they're fun, too. Then I've included the links to the rest of the episode - you can find other episodes by following them back to YouTube. (And no laughing at Linda Ellerbee's ginormous glasses. I bet you had a pair just like them.)
I wish ABC would release Our World on DVD. It's the least they could do. I've been waiting almost 30 years.
During a conversation with Samantha the other day, it was suggested that my next post simply be about things that make me happy. Below, you will a find a harum-scarum list of some of the things that happen to make this crazy cat smile. This one is for you, Sam.
Samantha Zighelboim holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her poems, translations, and book reviews have appeared in Maggy, Thumbnail, TheThe Poetry Blog BOMB, Rattapallax, and The People’s Poetry Project. Recently, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize on behalf of Thumbnail. She received an honorable mention for the 2010 Bennett Poetry Prize at Columbia University, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Currently she’s working on her first collection of poems, and lives in New York City with her cat, Buddha.
So last night was the season premiere of the Food Networks 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and our great friend Gabriella Gershenson (above, right, with host Scott Conant) is one of the judges. To mark the occasion, Belinda Chang, wine director at The Modern, and John Winterman, Maitre D' Hotel at Daniel, hosted a party in Gabi's honor. I could probably stop right there and tell you that however you might imagine the gathering to have been, you would fall short. We stepped off the elevator and all we had to do was follow the sounds of a great party in progress: talking and laughter punctuated by the regular "pop" of a champagne cork. The buffet was set with platters of smoked fish, cured meats, terrines, and generous slices of foie gras, my favorite food in the world. Belinda and John kept glasses filled and circulated with tubs of caviar that they invited us to eat in the manner of the pros: with one fist slightly closed, put a half ounce on the soft skin between the first knuckle of your forefinger and the first knuckle of your thumb. Then slurp it up. More, please.
A highlight was catching up with photographer Noah Fecks, who with partner Paul Wagtouicz maintains the stunning and highly entertaining The Way We Ate. More on Noah and his various interests and enterprises to come. And we met Christine Deussen with whom David traded fond recollections of Kenneth Koch, their former Columbia professor. (Deussen Global represents France's Alsace region, home of the Strasbourg Cathedral, dry Riesling, and tarte flambe.)
But the main event was 24 Hour Restaurant Battle so at the appointed time, we gathered around the TV to watch the premiere. The competition follows two teams of aspiring restaurateurs as they conceive, plan and open their own restaurants, all within 24 hours. Gabi, whose experience as a journalist and editor covering the New York City food scene for Time Out New York and who is now a senior editor at Saveur magazine, weighs in on the likelihood that a contestant's restaurant would make it in the bare-knuckle restaurant world. The premiere episode features teams of ex-lovers who try to put aside their differences so they can make their culinary dreams come true. ( From the teaser: "as tensions -- and lobsters -- boil over, one team discovers their flame hasn't quite been extinguished.")
No spoilers here. You can watch a rerun of this first episode on Saturday at 4:00 pm and future episodes on Thursdays at 10:00.
Last week in London I met with Mark Ford and concurred enthusiastically when he said that a cable TV station dedicated to the New York School would be a good idea. Jenny Quilter would serve as anchor at NYS headquarters and would moderate "Breakfast with James Schuyler" among other shows.
Some programs immediately come to mind as ideal for their time slots. "Lunch Walk" with Frank O'Hara (theme music from Poulenc's "Perpetual Motion"), "Happy Hour" with John Ashbery (theme music from Elliott Carter), and the aforementioned "Breakfast with James Schuyler" with Guests such as Barbara brought to you by Tiptree Gooseberry Preserve. Lewis Saul will compose music specially for the opening and closing credits weaving in fragments from JS's poem "June 30, 1974." Also, we plan to air "Gardening with Jimmy," at 3:30, hosted by Susan Baran and Marc Cohen with visits by C. North, E. Myles, et al, "Morning Prayer" with Anne Porter daily at 7 in lush interiors depicted by her husband, and "Fairfield's Opinions," Sundays at 11 AM, in which, against a backdrop of incredible seascapes, the painter airs his views on subjects ranging from cancer cures to risk-averse investment strategies. Maureen Owen will host "Telephone," with each show devoted to a phone call of note. Bonus feature: the poets' answering machine announcements and selected messages.
The "Harry Mathews Wine Hour," "Looking at Lookiing" with Jane Freilicher, and "Looking at the Dance with Edwin Denby" (hosted by Anne Waldman) are in the works. I have not yet consulted with Ron Padgett to determine whether he will produce and star in "The Tennis Court Coach" in the pilot of which Ron explicates Ashbery's The Tennis Court Oath in relation to the historical events preceding the actual tennis court oath in Paris in 1789.
For "Koch and his Circle," Kenneth Koch and friends will collaborate on poems and act in Koch's plays and skits such as "Keats and His Circle" set in Hampstead Heath in 1819. Harvard and Columbia students will receive course credit for regular viewing.
Larry Rivers and the Climax Band will play sets on weekend evenings at 9:30, 11, and 1 AM. We have been encouraging David Shapiro to bring his violin, Charles North his clarinet, and Larry Fagin his expertise on great girl singers of the Big Band Era, such as Louanne Hogan.
Vincent Katz will host a weekly "Studio Visit" featuring such painters, artists, and collage makers as Trevor Winkfield, Joe Brainard, Alex Katz, Joan Mitchell, the late Nell Blaine, the late George Schneeman, Jim Dine, Darragh Park. New work will be displayed by Star Black, David Shapiro, Susan Wheeler, Marjorie Welish, many others.
James Cummins will executive-produce and serve as chief writer on a brand new series of "PerryMason" courtroom dramas where everyone speaks only in sestinas.
Special consultant: Paul Violi (see his poem "Triptych"). Bureau chiefs: John Tranter in Sydney, Pyotr Sommer in Warsaw, Amy Gerstler in Los Angeles, David Trinidad in Chicago, Alice Notley in Paris, Terence Winch in DC, James Cummins in Cincinnati, Paul Hoover in San Francisco. Denise Duhamel wil report from Miami, Karin Roffman from West Point, Tony Towle from the taxi, and Nin Andrews from the AWP Conference. David Shapiro will be himself. These are just preliminary thoughts. More to come. This is as they say in French a "work in progress." (Like Finnegans Wake.) Suggestions welcome. -- DL
"What is a lyricist except a poet who has the possibility of making cash?"
Steven Colbert to Stephen Sondheim, 12/14/2010
Rachel Menkin the Jewish heiress (Bloomingdale's?)
Suzanne Farrell (the schoolteacher not the dancer)
Betty (January Jones)
the bohemian painter who becomes a smack addict
the blonde rich girl in the back of the cab
the prostitute who knew what he wanted
the prostitute who cost $30 when Lane Pryce and Don were alone at Xmas
the comedian's wife
the secretary who quit
I rooted for the Jets to good effect
though I had to switch channels
when the score was 14-0
to learn that Don would tell
his secret to Fay after G-men
visit Betty on a routine security
check and the week's anxiety
is diminished only temporarily
when the two tickets for the
Beatles at Shea Stadium
on 15 August 1965
make him a hero again to
daughter Sally, who is just
like Don in crucial ways, and
meanwhile Joan (or her fictitious
daughter) has an abortion
and Roger loses the Lucky
account and Pete has to
give up the aviation account
and Pryce's girlfriend is
a black Playboy bunny and (listen
do you want to know a secret)
his father is a monstrous brute
so I found out only later that
the Jets won the Mets beat
the Phillies and the Yanks smote
the Red Sox at the last possible
moment, proving God exists
Peggy and Draper:
Companions in misery,
Sleeping on the couch.
A mouse, roach, vomit,
a fight. Just another night
at Sterling Cooper (Draper Price).
Drunk Duck’s love story.
We were in love. She’s a whore.
Just like the others.
It's Peggy's birthday.
Duck calls her a whore, and Don
Swings wildly, too drunk.
"I got rid of him."
So fix me a drink and we'll
Sleep in the office.
Clay knocks out Liston.
Listen: Roger talks too much.
Not Miss Blankenship!
Put mouse in suitcase?
Lovely ghost in green dress and
Green suitcase walks in.
A suitcase means you
Will take a long trip. A great
Ad is a knockout.
Kyra Sedgwick, what
the hell? Connie Britton, you
were robbed, football muse.
Betty slaps Sally
Children are playing outside
Don drinks in the pain
EMMY AWARDS THIS WEEKEND
Jane Lynch will win prize
Great glee splurge through cameras
If Conan wins, too
--Wandrers Nachtlied (1780)
Over the hills
Comes the quiet.
Across the treetops
No breeze blows.
Not a sound: even the small
Birds in the woods
Just wait: soon you
Will be quiet, too.
from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman
THE RULE OF THUMB
Ringfinger was nervous
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.