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Michael Lally

Ted Berrigan on the 38th Anniversary of his Death: Posthumous Pick of the Month [ed. Terence Winch]

© Mark Hillringhouse Photography




















© Mark Hillringhouse Photography


New Personal Poem

to Michael Lally

You had your own reasons for getting
In your own way. You didn’t want to be
Clear to yourself. You knew a hell
Of a lot more than you were willing
               to let yourself know. I felt
Natural love for you on the spot. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Right.
Beautiful. I don’t use the word lightly. I
Protested with whatever love (honesty) (& frontal nudity)
A yes basically reserved Irish Catholic American Providence Rhode
               Island New Englander is able to manage. You
Are sophisticated, not uncomplicated, not
Naïve, and Not simple. An Entertainer, & I am, too.
Frank O’Hara respected love, so do you, & so do we.
He was himself & I was me. And when we came together
Each ourselves in Iowa, all the way
That was love, & it still is, love, today. Can you see me
In what I say? Because as well I see you know
In what you have to say, I did love Frank, as I do
You, “in the right way”.
That’s just talk, not Logos,
               a getting down to cases:
I take it as simple particulars that
               we wear our feelings on our faces.


Ted Berrigan was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 15, 1934. He attended Providence College for a year before joining the army in 1954 at the age of 19. After serving in Korea he received a BA in English from the University of Tulsa in 1959 and an MA in 1962. Berrigan moved to New York in the early 1960s where he edited and published C Magazine and C Press Books, wrote art criticism, and collaborated with writers and artists Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard, and Anselm Hollo. Berrigan taught at the St. Mark's Poetry Project and was writer-in-residence/visiting poet at the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Yale University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Essex in England, Northeastern Illinois University, and the Naropa Institute. In 1979 he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Berrigan was a central figure in the second generation of the New York School of Poets, which included Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Jim Carroll, and Anselm Hollo. He was the author of more than 20 books, including The Sonnets (1964), Bean Spasms (with Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard) (1967), Poems, In Brief (1971), Red Wagon (1976), and A Certain Slant of Sunlight (1988).  Blue Wind Press published So Going Around Cities: New & Selected Poems, 1958--1979 in 1980. The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (edited by Alice Notley with Anselm Berrigan and Edmund Berrigan) came out in 2005 from the University of California Press. [bio mostly from]. Ted Berrigan died on July 4, 1983.

Michael Lally blogs at Lally's Alley.   [Also check out this post on Michael from 2008.]


Alex-Katz-Ted-Berrigan-1967   web                                            Alex Katz,Ted Berrigan,1967.


Ted Berrigan Tim Dlugos  Penny Milford  Michael Lally  Caitlin Lally 14 Feb 1982              Ted Berrigan,Tim Dlugos, Penny Milford, Michael Lally, Caitlin Lally (profile) at Michael & Penny's wedding, NYC, 14 Feb 1982.



July 14, 2020

July 12, 2020

January 27, 2018

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That Ship Has Sailed
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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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