trevogue:







ANNE SEXTON 
It’s in the heart of the grapewhere that smile lies.It’s in the good-bye-bow in the hairwhere that smile lies.It’s in the clerical collar of the dresswhere that smile lies.What smile? The smile of my seventh year, caught here in the painted photograph.It’s peeling now, age has got it, a kind of cancer of the backgroundand also in the assorted features.It’s like a rotten flagor a vegetable from the refrigerator, pocked with mold.I am aging without sound, into darkness, darkness.Anne, who are you? I open the veinand my blood rings like roller skates.I open the mouthand my teeth are an angry army.I open the eyesand they go sick like dogswith what they have seen.I open the hairand it falls apart like dust balls.I open the dressand I see a child bent on a toilet seat.I crouch there, sitting dumblypushing the enemas out like ice cream, letting the whole brown worldturn into sweets.Anne, who are you? Merely a kid keeping alive. 

trevogue:

ANNE SEXTON 

It’s in the heart of the grape
where that smile lies.
It’s in the good-bye-bow in the hair
where that smile lies.
It’s in the clerical collar of the dress
where that smile lies.
What smile? 
The smile of my seventh year, 
caught here in the painted photograph.

It’s peeling now, age has got it, 
a kind of cancer of the background
and also in the assorted features.
It’s like a rotten flag
or a vegetable from the refrigerator, 
pocked with mold.
I am aging without sound, 
into darkness, darkness.

Anne, 
who are you? 

I open the vein
and my blood rings like roller skates.
I open the mouth
and my teeth are an angry army.
I open the eyes
and they go sick like dogs
with what they have seen.
I open the hair
and it falls apart like dust balls.
I open the dress
and I see a child bent on a toilet seat.
I crouch there, sitting dumbly
pushing the enemas out like ice cream, 
letting the whole brown world
turn into sweets.

Anne, 
who are you? 

Merely a kid keeping alive. 

Eye Level: Why I Am Not a Painter: on Michael Goldberg's Sardines

Frank O’Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have 
SARDINES in it.”
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s 
SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it oranges. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called 
SARDINES.


Recording Blake songs at Apostolic Studios, New York City, June 1969. Barry Miles produced the project and was able to get MGM/Verve interested in releasing it and advance Allen fees for the recording. Don Cherry, Julius Watkins and Don Cherry among others joined on as backup musicians. the Album was released as "Blake Songs of Innocence & Experience" later that year.  Photo c. Barry Miles.

Recording Blake songs at Apostolic Studios, New York City, June 1969. Barry Miles produced the project and was able to get MGM/Verve interested in releasing it and advance Allen fees for the recording. Don Cherry, Julius Watkins and Don Cherry among others joined on as backup musicians. the Album was released as "Blake Songs of Innocence & Experience" later that year.  Photo c. Barry Miles.

thephuckery:

“All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head — round and round, continually. What’s it for? What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn’t there. Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything…quiet.”

—  Aldous Huxley

thephuckery:

All the thoughts, all the preoccupations in my head — round and round, continually. What’s it for? What’s it all for? To put an end to the quiet, to break it up and disperse it, to pretend at any cost that it isn’t there. Ah, but it is; it is there, in spite of everything, at the back of everything…quiet.
—  Aldous Huxley
theparisreview:

Things that—according to the students and faculty of the first Ashbery Home School, a new writing conference in Hudson, New York—John Ashbery is “the ultimate example of”: “surrealism, realism, hyperrealism, distance, proximity, translation, tradition, the grotesque, the beautiful, the blind, the all-seeing, the old, the young, the queer, the hetero, the hedgehog, the fox, the human, the alien, the bric-a-brac in the cupboard, the masterpiece on the wall, painting, cinema, architecture, life.” (N.B. the author of this list describes it as “incomplete and incompetent.”)
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

theparisreview:

Things that—according to the students and faculty of the first Ashbery Home School, a new writing conference in Hudson, New York—John Ashbery is “the ultimate example of”: “surrealism, realism, hyperrealism, distance, proximity, translation, tradition, the grotesque, the beautiful, the blind, the all-seeing, the old, the young, the queer, the hetero, the hedgehog, the fox, the human, the alien, the bric-a-brac in the cupboard, the masterpiece on the wall, painting, cinema, architecture, life.” (N.B. the author of this list describes it as “incomplete and incompetent.”)

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Toni Morrison, Nora Ephron, and Dozens More Offer Advice in Free Creative Writing “Master Class”

If you’re anything like me, you yearn to become a good writer, a better writer, an inspiring writer, even, by learning from the writers you admire. But you neither have the time nor the money for an MFA program or expensive retreats and workshops with famous names. So you read W.H. Auden’s essays and Paris Review interviews with your favorite authors (or at least PR’s Twitter feed); you obsessively trawl the archives of The New York Times’ “Writers on Writing” series, and you relish every Youtube clip, no matter how lo-fi or truncated, of your literary heroes, speaking from beyond the grave, or from behind a podium at the 92nd Street Y.

Well, friend, you are in luck (okay, I’m still talking about me here, but maybe about you, too). The Washington, DC-based non-profit Academy of Achievement—whose mission is to “bring students face-to-face” with leaders in the arts, business, politics, science, and sports—has archived a series of talks from an incredibly diverse pool of poets and writers. They call this collection “Creative Writing: A Master Class,” and you can subscribe to it right now on iTunes and begin downloading free video and audio podcasts from Nora Ephron, John Updike, Toni Morrison, Carlos Fuentes, Norman Mailer, Wallace Stegner, and, well, you know how the list goes.

The Academy of Achievement’s website also features lengthy profiles–with text and downloadable audio and video–of several of the same writers from their “Master Class” series. For example, an interview with former U.S. poet-laureate Rita Dove is illuminating, both for writers and for teachers of writing. Dove talks about the aversion that many people have for poetry as a kind of fear inculcated by clumsy teachers. She explains:

At some point in their life, they’ve been given a poem to interpret and told, “That was the wrong answer.” You know. I think we’ve all gone through that. I went through that. And it’s unfortunate that sometimes in schools — this need to have things quantified and graded — we end up doing this kind of multiple choice approach to something that should be as ambiguous and ever-changing as life itself. So I try to ask them, “Have you ever heard a good joke?” If you’ve ever heard someone tell a joke just right, with the right pacing, then you’re already on the way to the poetry. Because it’s really about using words in very precise ways and also using gesture as it goes through language, not the gesture of your hands, but how language creates a mood. And you know, who can resist a good joke? When they get that far, then they can realize that poetry can also be fun.

Dove’s thoughts on her own life, her work, and the craft of poetry and teaching are well worth reading/watching in full. Another particularly notable interview from the Academy is with another former laureate, poet W.S. Merwin.

Merwin, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, discusses poetry as originating with language, and its loss as tantamount to extinction:

When we talk about the extinction of species, I think the endangered species of the arts and of language and all these things are related. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. I think poetry goes back to the invention of language itself. I think one of the big differences between poetry and prose is that prose is about something, it’s got a subject… poetry is about what can’t be said. Why do people turn to poetry when all of a sudden the Twin Towers get hit, or when their marriage breaks up, or when the person they love most in the world drops dead in the same room? Because they can’t say it. They can’t say it at all, and they want something that addresses what can’t be said.

If you’re anything like me, you find these two perspectives on poetry—as akin to jokes, as saying the unsayable—fascinating. These kinds of observations (not mechanical how-to’s, but original thoughts on the process and practice of writing itself) are the reason I pore over interviews and seminars with writers I admire. I found more than enough in this archive to keep me satisfied for months.

We’ve added “Creative Writing: A Master Class” to our ever-growing collection of Free Online Courses.

Josh Jones is a doctoral candidate in English at Fordham University and a co-founder and former managing editor of Guernica / A Magazine of Arts and Politics.