Tuesday, November 23, 2010

opening the day with anselm hollo

i fell asleep last night reading the poet's notebook [norton, 1995], a compendium of just that, poets and their jottings. consider it blogging but in paper form. i bought the book at the university bookstore because i liked some of the poets caught between two covers, such as yusef komanyakaa, charles simic, and a few more of the usual suspects readers of the new yorker find sometimes, oftentimes, in that magazine. i bought it too because i like reading notebooks, especially the journals of poets because poets are often, no matter their schooling, auto-didacts and seem always like they are trying to catch up so their noodlings are treasure chests of cool finds and their curiosity about the world and its subjects can be quite infectious.

the real find for me in the book, the one poet i've returned to again and again is anselm hollo. hollo writes using a mac and his lower-case stylings with a zen detachment married with great humor is both, at least to this reader, marvels of clarity and sanity. hollo is for me a poet who takes great pleasure at being in the world and has created a language of balance. i can't qualify that at all except to respond as a reader and fellow word-worker.

a few years ago i found in a used bookstore hollo's selected poems sojourner microcosms [blue wind press, 1977]. i think i might have written a bit about this book before. i pulled it off the shelf this morning and read about a dozen poems to gird me for the day. reading hollo is as eye-opening and bracing as a good, strong cup of black coffee. after reading this translation of catullus and hopi :

love-i --thou-- me-off-pissest

i was ready for whatever the day would throw at me.


At 6:47 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Richard,

So totally cool that you mention Anselm Hollo as one of your all-time favorites. I did not know him personally (Jim probably did, though) -- and I only saw him read once, at "The Lab" (San Francisco) I think it was, he read with David Bromige, I think I recall(maybe around 1989?), and of course David, and also Bob Grenier and Joanne Kyger and so many others, were very tight with A.H.

But here's a very recent, and for me super-exciting, thing that happened: I met Josephine Clare, who was Anselm's wife, and I did not know the evening that I met her that she was his wife or that he was her husband (I could also say it, and should, that way).

Well, WOW! It was like meeting a dear relative from another planet after being excruciatingly lonely for years and years here -- this one called earth being the actual "alien" and alienating one. She was, IS, absolutely FANTASTIC and the sweetest and neatest woman there could be! Just so happens that she lives in Geneva, about 12 miles from where I'm sitting at work right this moment. We met after a reading by David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg at FLCC (local junior college). Everybody went to a local bar/restaurant after the reading (when/where all the fun starts, often), and she and I got seated next to each other, as so happens purely by chance in those situations, and thus of course introduced ourselves and started a conversation, not knowing anything about each other. Well, by golly, twenty minutes later we were laughing our heads off as our conversation took us to heights and elevations of joy and hilarity and like-mindedness and delight that neither of us saw coming earlier that evening. AMAZING! We developed INSTANT and ETERNAL comaradie and I love her! She's thoroughly special and wonderful!

Indeed, I didn't learn until weeks afterwards that Anselm Hollo was her husband or she was his wife! No surprise, though! Same WIT, Openness, Purity of Spirit. Amazing! I consider myself or my life thoroughly Blessed having been graced with the serendipity of making her acquaintance and having that heavenly, angelic, ecstatic sweet hours with her that night. :)

Josephine Clare, poet: Born in Southern Germany the year the Nazis seized power. Fast forward: Academy of Music & Drama, Stuttgart, 1954-1956. Left for Vienna, continued education in drama & acting; member of Austrian Actors’ Guild 1958. Married, moved to London 1958. Three wonderful Children, all paid for by the National Health Service. Worked for the BBC, translating British poets into German. Performed BBC radio plays. 1969 move to Iowa City, Iowa, performing in Beckett & Brecht plays. 1973 joined faculty at Hobart & Wm. Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y. Later taught at Syracuse University, Goddard College, FLCC, Ontario County Jail. Books: DEUTSCHLAND (Morgan Press); DEUTSCHLAND & OTHER PLACES intro. Fielding Dawson, Black Mountain writer & artist (North Atlantic Books); MAMMATOCUMULUS (Ocotillo Press); TWELVE (Potato Clock Signatures); TRAIL NEWS (editing, interview) Ludovico Sculpture Trail, Seneca Falls; INTERCHANGE; SCULPTURE FOR A CHANGING LANDSCAPE (essay) Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia N.Y.; TRANSLATIONS INTO GERMAN a. o. w/Anselm Hollo: PATERSON by W.C. Williams (Goverts, Stuttgart), GASOLINE, Gregory Corso (Limes, Wiesbaden), KADDISH, Allen Ginsberg (Limes, Wiesbaden)

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Ed Baker said...

Richard... this just might add to your ...Anselm Hollo discovery..


At 8:26 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

whoa, steve, that's wonderful intro to a poet!

ed, thanks, hermano, i just finished reading that review. said everything i was trying to say.


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