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"What's Happening": David Shapiro in memory of Kenneth Koch

Kenneth Koch 70s
What’s Happening

(“Write 19 lines under that heading and I’ll post it” – DL to DS)

  1. Mostly decathected as they say in analysis: forget forget!
  2.  I pause don’t dance don’t leap. "I rarely dance."
  3.  I don't own the four volumes of Herzen just a sliced bio like his bio.
  4. "Bankers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse"
  5. What's better? Alain Delon and Monica Vitti loiter at stock exchange.
  6. Someone dies, a minute of silence grows, then the beasts roar back.
  7. I love stringing beads in a bead store in New Orleans. Beads in trees.
  8. I wanted a random necklace to give to a random friend.
  9. I was attacked for randomness. It was indeed too expected.
  10. The critic's glasses are flying, and also a Mondrian flower torn apart.
  11. "I am afraid of nothing. I have BEEN to Mexico."
  12. Spinoza the lovable philosopher fried spiders and watched: what?
  13. Don't overcome obstacles, find easiness. KK's motto from VL
  14. What's happening? What am I thinking? "Do you actually think?"
  15. Ron Padgett: you don't actually think I will read all this, do you?
  16. Don't ever use the past tense in discussing physical beauty.
  17. My friend said he was sinking into the white spaces between letters.
  18. Whitman said "Leave the best unsaid----------------------------------
  19. How do you end a poem? With the proper sense of endlessness.

in memory of KK

-- David Shapiro [March 31, 2009]

from the archive

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December 17, 2021

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November 16, 2020

November 13, 2020

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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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