Thursday, January 28, 2010



1971:I left the would-be revolutionaries with whom I was associated
when one hailed the murder of Sharon Tate as a sign that times
were achangin'. Never before had I heard such a statement
of such complacency,of such self-righteous stupidity as this.
It made my neck hairs tremble and my toes get cold. I could not find words
for the sensation. But that night I had a dream in which Gandhi appeared, and said nothing,
but had tears in his eyes. And within days, I had packed up and
bid my "cell-group" goodbye.

Why did I not remember this when called upon to review Satyragaha,
Philip Glass' opera about Gandhi? O those theoretical reasons with which
one cloaks imperception, wrongheadness, envy. I intended to say
that the technique was stolen from Bali, more or less, which is untrue.
But that night I once again dreamed of Gandhi; and this time he
said, "Anyone who writes an opera about me is alright,
Phillip." Afterwards, I obtained a tape of Satyaragaha,
which sounded quite beautiful to me.

I told this story a few weeks later to the person who became one
of my closest friends, who worked in the world of foundations.
He laughed and said he was glad, in part because he had hand a
hand in commissioning it.He also told me a story about the Rome
premiere of Satyagraha:the opera house staff was going on
strike ("They're always going on strike," said Howard)
and Glass, whose opera was about to get lost in the fracas
asked why. Because the bathrooms weren't being cleaned
properly. And so he cleaned the bathrooms of the Rome Opera,
averting the strike. Someone said, "but you are the composer! Why
should you clean-up the men's room?" And Glass replied,
" Gandhi would have."

Years after, on returning to North Carolina, I felt need of
psychotherapy. I had lost a large number of people to AIDS
and I could not get out from under it. I went to one new-
age-y fellow who was far too California to me--meaning
that not getting out from under it was not a matter
of finding one's inner child, but of life and death.
I decided on the therapistl when I noticed a quotation
from Gandhi on his wall. A few months later,I told him
the story Howard Klein told me. My shrink
turned out to be Phillip Glass' first cousin.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


ackerly, j.r.:my father and myself
hindoo holiday
angulo, jaime de:indian tales
asturias,miguel-angel:mulata and mr. fly
arendt, hannah:eichmann in jerusalem
the origins of totalitarianism
alfau, felipe:locos, chromos
alain fournier:the wanderer
ashbery, john:three poems
attar, faralladin:the conference of the birds
auden, w.h.:collected poems
a certain world
the dyer's hand and everything else
including a shelf of criticism
auerbach, eric:mimesis
babel, isaac:the collected stories
bachelard, gaston:the poetics of space
barfield, owen:saving the appearances
history in english words

baudelaire:the painter of modern life in addition to the poems
basho:the narrow roads north et al
beckett,sam.:the trilogy et al
beerbohm, max:zuleikha dobson et al
bellow, saul:seize the day
henderson the rain king
the adventures of augie march
berlin, isaiah:the hedgehog and the fox
three essays on liberty
vico and herder
(actually:all of him)
berlioz' memoirs
bespaloff, rachel:on the illiad
bishop, elizabeth:collected poems, prose, selected letters
blake, william preferrably in his own formats:
the illuminated blake from thames and hudson
borges, jorge luis:ficciones
dream tigers
seven nights(a lovelier book of criticism would be hard to imagine)
(all of him)
boswell's johnson augmented with the other accounts
brodsky, joseph:watermark
grief and reason
broch, hermann:the death of vergil
the sleepwalkers
broch's essay on kitsch
bronk, wm.:the collected poems
buechner:lenz, woyzeck, et al
bulgakov:the master and margarita
bunting, basil:the collected poems
byron, george gordon lord:don juan
selected letters
byron, robert:the road to oxiana
cabrera-infante:three trapped tigers
cage, john:silence
canetti, elias:crowds and power
calvino, italo:cosmicomics
if on a winters night a traveller
t zero
invisible cities et al
casanova's memoirs particular the venetian episodes bk 1
carson,anne:autobiography of red
eros, the bittersweet
carpentier, alejo:the lost steps
(one of the great landscapes of all time;
and one of the few great novels about music)
carroll, lewis:the annotated alice (ed. martin gardiner)
chatwin, bruce:in patagonia
the songlines
utz et al
de chazal, malcolm:sens plastique
cheever, john:o what a paradise it seems
the collected stories
chekhov every story every play every letter
cherry-garrard, apsley:the worst journey in the world

clampitt, amy:collected poems
clark, eleanor:rome and a villa
cioran, e.m.;the temptation to exist
cocteau, jean:les enfants terribles
colette:the pure and the impure
earthly paradise(ed.phelps)
cheri (she recorded the final scene quite beautifully)
connell, evan s:manuscript found in a bottle in carmel
conroy, frank:stoptime
constant, benjamin:adolphe
comptom- burnett, ivy:more women than men
cortazar, julio:hopscotch
the winners
blow-up and other stories
clough, arthur hugh:amours de voyage
croce, arlene:as good a dance critic as Edwin Denby
seven greeks
the geography of the imagination et al
daumal,rene:mt analogue
denby, edwin:collected dance criticism
diderot, denis:jacques the fatalist
rameau's nephew
the nun
dick, phillip k:ubik
dickens, charles:nicolas nickleby
great expectations
bleak house my favorite three
de lillo, don:white noise
dinesen, isak:seven gothic tales, winter's tales, out of africa

dostoyevsky: all of him esp:the brothers karamazov
the demons
notes from the underground
duffy, brian:the world as I found it
elkins, james p.:the object stares back
eliade, mircea:the two and the one
cosmos and history
endo:the samurai
fargue, leon-paul
firbank, ronald:five novels
focillon, henri:the year one thousand
the art of the west
flaubert, including the correspondence
von frisch:the dancing bees
frye,northrop:fearful symmetry
frobenius, leo:african genesis
frost, robert:collected poems
fowles, john: the magus
the ebony tower
fuentes, carlos:where the air is clear
gass, wm:on being blue
genet, jean:our lady of the flowers
the plays and the astonishing essay on rembrandt
gerhardie, william:futility
goethe:the fairytale from conversations of german refugees
the poetry
faust two
and all the rest
gilbert, jack:best living American poet?
gunn, thom:collected poems
grahame green eric ambler john le carre
graham, a.c.:poems from the late t'ang
hannah, barry:airships
hawkes, david(trans.);the ch'u t'zu or the songs of the south
heidegger:the essay on technology
the early greek thinkers
hesse, hermann:the glass bead game
e.t.a. hoffmann
hofstader, doughlas:godel escher bach
metamagical themes
I am a Strange Loop
et al
holderlin, friedrich:poems and fragments(trans hamburger)
holmes, richard:shelley, the pursuit
herbert, zbigniew:collected poems
george herbert
herr, michael:dispatches
hoffmannstahl, hugo von:The Tower; Andreas Fragment; Colors
hollinghurst, alan:the swimming pool library
the folding star
the line of beauty
hildesheimer, wolfgang:mozart
the icelandic sagas and the elder edda
ibsen:peer gynt
issa:a year of my life
hardy, thomas:selected poems
james hogg:the memoirs of a justified sinner
(this is the great novel of Calvinist antinomianism and
a template for a lot of bad behaviour in Evangelical circles)
hopkins, gerard manley
jacob, francois:the logic of life
the statue within
henry james:the europeans
the bostonians
the ambassadors
the golden bowl
the wings of a dove
letters essays criticism about travel books et al
randall jarrell:poetry and the age
pictures from an institution
johnson, ronald:arc
johnson, samuel:lives of the poets, preface to shakespeare, rasselas, et al

jones, david:in parenthesis
the anathemata
kafka:let me put in a plug for joachim neugroschel's superb translations
kapucynski, ryzard:the last emporer
the shah of shahs
the soccer war
kawabata, yasunuri:snow country
the master of go
the house of sleeping beauties
the palm of hand stories
keats,john:poems and letters
kerenyi, karl:the greek gods and the heroes of the greeks
athene, hermes et al
the concept of anxiety et al
kincaid, jamaica:at the bottom of the river, talk stories et al
kleist, heinrich von:the stories and plays
de laclos, chodelos:les liasons dangereuses
lawrence, d.h.:the stories
the poems
laxness, haldor:independant people
laye, camara:the guardian of the king
leguizamma lima:paradiso

leopardi:opera morali
lessing, doris:the golden notebook
levi, primo:if this be man
the periodic table
other people's trades
(actually all of him)
levi strauss, claude:triste tropiques
the savage mind
the raw and the cooked
lichtenberg:the aphorisms
lichtheim, georg:collected essays
lightman,alan:einstein's dreams
lopate, phillip:against joie de vivre
lowes, john livingston:the road to xanadu
(an astonishing reconstruction of Choleridges' processes
from his literary sources)
luria, ar:the mind of the mnemonist
the man with the shattered mind
machado, antonio
mac donald:the golden key
lilith and phantastes
the princess and the goblins
(the great forebearer of the INKLINGS)
mack, maynard:alexander pope
mandelstam, nadezhda:hope against hope; hope abandoned;mozart and salieri
mandelstam, ossip:the criticism in particular the essay on Dante
(trans. sidney monas)the prose(Trans. Brown)
(the egyptian stamp!)
malaparte, curzio:kaputt
mann, thomas: lotte in weimar
joseph and his brothers
matthews, harry:the sinking of the odradek station, tlooth,et al
mendelsohn, edward:early auden and late auden
mc elroy, joseph:plus
the smuggler's bible
merrill, james:the collected poems
metcalf, paul:apalache
melville:moby dick
billy budd
benito cereno
michaux, henri:selected writings(trans ellmann)
a barbarian in Asia
miserable miracle

moore, marianne :collected poems
collected prose
selected letters
moorehead, alan:the white nile
the blue nile
montale:the collected poems(I lean towards Arrowsmith--)
the butterfly of dinard
montague, lady mary wortley:letters
moseley, nicholas:hopeful monsters
milosz, czelaw:the captive mind
bells in winter
milton, john:paradise lost
mishima, Yukio:the sailor who fell from grace with the sea
murasaki, lady:the tale of genji
(I flitter between the translations of waley, seidenstacker, tyler)
murdoch, iris: a severed head
under the net
nabokov:invitation to a beheading
the gift
the real life of sebastian knight
pale fire
the collected stories
the pushkin commentaries et al
naipaul vs:guerrillas
the house of mr. biswas
a bend in the river
the return of evita peron etc
nerval, gerard:aurelia et al
niezchte:the corpus
orwell:george:the essays et al
o' connor, flannery:collected stories
panofsky, erwin:perspective, studies in iconology et al
parra, nicanor:antipoems
pasolini:the indian journal
peake, mervyn:the gormenghast trilogy
peacock, thomas:the novels and music criticism
poe, edgar allan
ponge, francois:things
polyanyi, michael:personal knowledge
pope, alexander
porchia, antonio:voices
potocki,count:manuscript found in saragossa
pound, ezra:confucius
powell, dawn:the golden pavillion
the letters
powers, richard:the goldbug variations
prokosh, frederick:the asiatics
proust as a lifetime avocation
and contre saint-beuve plus the correspondence and the
painter and tadie biographies, shattuck, et al
pushkin:eugene onegin in sir charles johnson's translation
and with nabokov's annotation
purdy, james:malcolm
radin, paul:african folk tales
the trickster
the road of life and death
raine, kathleen:collected poems
blake and tradition
read, herbert:the green child
renault, mary:funeral games
rexroth, kenneth:his various translations from the chinese and japanese
rosen, charles:the most pertinent and detailed musical analyst I know
ross, alex:the rest is noise(our best present-day critic)
roth, phillip:the zuckerman trilogy
portnoy's complaint
(actually a large portion of his work, as I think of it, with two or three
cataclysmic missteps, but hell!)
rothenberg, jerome:technicians of the sacred(in the original edition)
riding, laura:a progress of stories
the collected poems
and, as laura(riding)jackson:the telling
rumi I read in as many available versions as I find
rushkin:the king of the golden river and sesame and lilies,
the stones of venice
the praeterita
sacks, oliver:awakenings
the man who mistook his wife for a hat
seeing voices et al
salter, james:a sport and a pasttime
salzman, mark:iron and silk
lost in place
seth, vikram:the golden gate
simon schama:citizens
landscape and memory
shattuck, roger:the banquet years and many luminous essays on such subjects as
stravinsky and michel tournier
shaw, bernard:the music criticism in addition to the big plays
shei shonagon: the pillowbook
spackman, wm.:an armful of warm girl
spark, muriel:the prime of miss jean brody
memento mori et al
stead, christina:the man who loved children
letty fox
stevens, wallace:the collected poems
stevenson, robert louis:the weir of hermiston
the new arabian nights
sewell, elizabeth:the orphic voice
strindberg:An occult diary
isaac singer:satan in goray
the collected short stories
jonathan spence:the question of hu,
the memory palace of matteo ricci
god's chinese son
sutherland, donald:on, romanticism
suzuki, dt:essays on zen buddhism
zen and japanese culture
tanizaki, juniro:the makioka sisters
seven japanese tales
the tale of the lord musahi
in praise of shadows et al
thackery, william makepeace;the rose and the ring(A children's book funnier
and eviller than lemony snicket)
thomson, vergil:the music criticism
the thousand and one nights
tolstoi: childhood boyhood and youth
the cossacks
the stories and fables and plays all of Tolstoi
(I needs must admit that I love him above all others but two,
whose names I will leave you to guess)
tournier, michel:the ogre
friday et al
traherne, thomas:the centuries
trevor-roper, hugh:the last days of hitler(as he prepares to commit suicide
to Wagner, the servants play American jazz)
turgenev, including the correspondence
turner, frederick:the new world
tutuola,amos:my life in the bush of ghosts
twain,mark:life on the missippipi
letters from the earth
letter to king leopold
valery:poems in the rough
the dialogues
vallejo, cesar:poemos humanos
vidal, gore:myra and myron breckenridge
robert walser
woolf, virginia:the waves is my favorite, and I have read a good part of aloud;
to the lighthouse and mrs dalloway,
and then all the novels, essays, diaries, and correspondence
wordsworth, william: the prelude
wright, austin:the morley mythology
white, edmund:caracole
forgetting elena et al
he repeats himself a great deal yet remains indispensable
wheelwright, phillip:his criticism and his translation of heraclitus
yates, frances:one of the boldest authors in Renaissance studies and its related field of hermetics and the occult; "the art of memory" is the book to begin with
yeats, with some pleading for the plays and a
rembrance of A VISION with unmitigated dread
yourcenar, marguerite:hadrian's Memoirs
The Dark Brain of Piranesi

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today Il remember those rare moments
when justice became more beautiful than beauty. When Nelson
Mandela was freed. When Apartheid ended. The Fall of the Berlin Wall.
In each instance it was as if a discordant note had resolved, as
if we had moved into the realm of the natural--the just--
from the un-natural. And that the resolution of justice, real
justice, also relieved us of our burden of helpless complicity.
Just for a moment. Just for a moment the apprehension
of what a just world might be like. Just for
a moment the recognition that if an injustice is done you,
it done to me. Just for a moment, without fear or irony,
the hope for a transfigured world .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010


A small relief-painting. The two collages
which follow it--from 1998--are
called "Nightlight" and "Volleyball."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Unless this painting appears as the most
vivid grass-green, it is not accurate; and
there are always in reproducing a
screen-painting many cherished details
which regrettably evaporate. This
particular painting features an interplay
between fishes I have scissored out
and those I have painted. The brushstroke
is like moss. The Coral Garden motif
comes from a time when I was in love with a big blonde;
we seemed to be swimming in a celestial element
and diving through heavenly grottos.

Periodically, I will do a Coral
Garden in Blonde remembrance.
Four-layered painting, the two
in-most elaborately shaped.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Study for a stage set;

an eleven sided painting


Halfway between
Nike of Samothrace and a
Totem;the final photo,
on a black backdrop,
gives another take
on the color scheme;
both Flying Figures
are interwoven with
colors which, alas,
do not reproduce

Friday, January 8, 2010


A small relief painting made of
twelve cut and painted pieces,
it casts highly unusual shadows

Thursday, January 7, 2010


eleven small panels of aluminum screening
painted and sewn together

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


"A stalactite points
a stalagmite points
--Bill Bryson;
this is made of nine
folded components, each
a different size and painted
on both faces, inside and out;
I think of it as a synthesis of a
stalactite with a bat
as both hang upsidedown. In the first
picture is a hornet's nest which I
have hanging from my rafters.