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June 20, 2020


What memories this post brings up! So wonderful to see you and Paul Violi, Larry Zirlin, Chas Haseloff, and so many others as they appeared at your Party of Immortals, which I could not attend because of our three months in the south of France -- mostly Vence, about ten kilometres north of Nice, 22 east of Grasse, and easy driving distance to Villefranche, Valauris, Cagnes-sur-mer, Menton; and one day "we went to Italy for lunch," a sentence I savored. In Paris we leased a Renault 12, drove down the Loire and made side trips to Lyons and Nimes before arriving at our amazing destination. In addition to your party, we missed the blackout of 77, Son of Sam, and "Star Wars." But we had Perrier, coq au vin, olive trees and cypresses, bougainvillea, Auden's poetry and Eric Ambler's espionage novels. -- DL

You got the better of the deal. The only good moment of Son of Sam was when the News (or Post) ran the first police sketch on the front page, and a stand-up comedian opened his act by holding up the newspaper next to his remarkably similar face. And just stood there. Your trip sounds exquisite, and I've reread your comment many times, savoring each vicarious pleasure. Did you stop at Amboise? It was the first place we had real French chèvre--the waiter was skeptical when we ordered it, saying it might not be for our American taste. I quoted Hunter Thompson: "We're not like the others."

Yes, we stopped at beautiful Amboise -- also Blois, site of a major medieval massacre of Jews. I miss you, man. -- DL

It was a great party, and nice seeing all these old friends before they got old.

Mark Weiss

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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