John Berryman: “There sat down, once, a thing on Henry's heart.”
Hugh Casey. 75 wins. 42 losses. 3.45 lifetime ERA. 349 strikeouts. 55 saves. Sparred with Hemingway.
"Please leave the room if this will offend you," said Bud Dwyer. On national television.
The Band's lead singer and pianist, Richard Manuel, co-wrote Tears of Rage with Bob Dylan. Richard was fond of Grand Marnier.
Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian poet, said: “I don't recommend it for others.”
Aboard the S.S. Orizaba: “ I’m not going to make it dear, I’m utterly disgraced,” said Hart Crane to Peggy Cowely.
Richard Manuel, on tour, sits in a Florida motel room, looking at the wall.
The wanderer later chose this spot of rest
Where marble clouds support the sea
Alan Turing's last meal was an apple. Snow White was his favorite fairy tale.
“Tears of Rage.”
Would the allies have won World War II without Alan Turing?
Mark Rothko: “The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”
Also Mark Rothko: “We start with color.”
James Tiptree was a woman. Her husband held her hand.
Primo Levi spent 11 months in Auschwitz.
Tadeusz Borowski: Auschwitz. Natzweiler. Dachau.
“I will never bother you/I will never promise to/I will never follow you/I will never bother you”
Cathedral. Painted in 1947. Now hanging in the Dallas Museum of Art.
Place From A Basement on the Hill, in CD player. Play track 14, “King's Crossing.”
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's lover, Gunter Kaufman, smashed up four Lamborghinis in one year. Record?
At 3:08, Elliott Smith sings, “Give me one good reason not to do it.” With one ear bent to the speaker I faintly hear, at 3:09, his partner, Jennifer Chiba, shouting: “Because we love you.”
James Miller parachuted onto Buckingham Palace. He was fined 600 pounds and imprisoned for 42 days. Then banished from the U.K. for life.
Ernie Lombardi pleaded with his wife to not take him to the hospital.
She didn't listen.
“Love will tear us apart.” Inscribed on a stone in Manchester, U.K.
“Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Vaya con dios. Grow up! “ wrote Hunter S. Thompson.
Diane Arbus: "What I'm trying to describe is that it's impossible to get out of your skin into somebody else's. . . . That somebody else's tragedy is not the same as your own."
Also Diane Arbus: "I never have taken a picture I've intended. They're always better or worse."
Silly, but unforgettable. Bumblebee girl in the video for Blind Melon's, “No Rain.”
The wheatfields of Auvers.
Has their reproduction lessened their value?
Kawabata: Snow Country, A Thousand Cranes.
Darby Crash, just hours before John Lennon was murdered, attempted to write "Here Lies Darby Crash," on the wall, but only got so far as “Here Lies Darby C."
In 1977, Darby, of course, co-founded the band Sophistifuck and the Revlon Spam Queens. Which later became The Germs.
Delphine Delamare never read Madame Bovary.
Jackson Pollock drove a green Oldsmobile convertible.
Riding the Staten Island Ferry and thinking of Spalding Gray.
Or, How to hate a body of water.
In a Boston hotel room on August 3rd 1940, Willard Hershberger sat in the bathtub with the water turned off. His batting average that year: .309.
The day before, Willard had filled in for the Cincinnati Reds' starting catcher. In the ninth inning, with two outs, he and his battery mate reached two strikes with each of the next four batters. But they still gave up two home runs to lose the game.
Despite the loss, the Reds went on to win the World Series. Ernie Lombardi was their regular starting catcher that year—he had sat out the game on August 3rd with an ankle injury.
April 1953. San Leandro. Ernie excuses himself to go to lie down in the bedroom.
No one writes, no one calls.
Donnie Moore was one strike away from leading the California Angels to a World Series. But gave up a homerun to Dave Henderson of the Red Sox. “More than likely,” he said, “I'll think about that until the day I die.”
I always thought Mr. Markson should have more baseball in his books.
Would I have written a letter to Van Gogh complaining about the lack of color in his Antwerp period?
Before she wrote poetry, Anne Sexton claimed her only talent was in prostitution.
Captain Charles B. McVay held a toy soldier in his hand.
but an old belonging
a mole that fell out of
one of your poems?
At the court-martial trial, Japanese commander Mochitsura Hashimoto testified that McVay could have done nothing to prevent the U.S.S. Indianapolis from being torpedoed.
Captain McVay was one of that ship's survivors. More than 300 of his men were lost to sharks.
Thich Quang Duc.
The record for most stolen bases in a season by a pitcher is 9, accomplished by Winifred (Win) Mercer. Win's popularity with female fans led the Washington Senator's manager to pitch him on Tuesdays and Fridays, stadium designated “Ladies' Nights.” After the umpire ejected Win from one such game, women stormed the field, attacked the umpire and broke windows and seats in frustration.
On January 12, 1903, Win Mercer checked into the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, California. And wrote the following on the hotel's stationary: “A word to friends: beware of women and a game of chance."
About the Occidental Hotel: it is where the first Martini (then called a Martinez) was poured.
And, coincidentally, where Mark Twain sat alone, on his hotel room bed in 1866.
“Many times I have been sorry I did not succeed, but I was never ashamed of having tried,” he wrote.
John O'Brien, sat in thought on his own bed, at his Los Angeles home, two weeks after his novel was optioned for film.
But one year before Leaving Las Vegas, the movie based on his book, was nominated for four academy awards.
A Confederacy of Dunces.
John Kennedy Toole.
Rory Storm—lead singer of the Hurricanes. And his mother.
"I don't like it at home," said Nick Drake, "but I can't bear it anywhere else."
The inventor of nylon? Wallace Hume Carothers.
How does one begin to explain Yukio Mishima?
Body-building freak, military wanna-be, homosexual, world-renowned author. . . .
Roy Raymond felt embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife. So began his own business: Victoria's Secret.
“Happy Together,” by Wong Kar Wai starred Leslie Cheung, born in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Kowloon. Also where Barbara Yung Mei-ling was interred. Tony Leung served as a pall-bearer. Tony also starred alongside Leslie Cheung in “Happy Together.”
As his gay lover.
And delivered the following line: “Turns out that lonely people are all the same.”
Another hotel room. Marc Potvin. Played in 121 National Hockey League games. Left behind two children: Dianne Hannah Potvin (age 11) and Justin Potvin (age 6).
And his wife Maria Potvin.
''All poets' wives have rotten lives,'' Delmore Schwartz once said.
Martha Gellhorn. A vastly superior journalist to her husband, Ernest Hemmingway.
If I was asked.
"Are you a war correspondent, or wife in my bed?" wrote Ernest in 1943. The letter arrived too late, Martha had already left for Italy.
In Ms. Gellhorn's own letters: “I daresay I was the worst bed partner in five continents.”
John Patrick was born John Patrick Goggan. Abandoned by his parents when he was young, he wrote the screenplays for Love is a Many Splendored Thing, High Society, and The World Of Suzie Wong.
And he preferred a plastic bag.
Roy Combs. . . .
Chris Farley rearranging his pants.
On a Greyhound bus, forehead pressed against the rain-streaked window. Thinking of Ratso Rizzo, myself travelling, coincidentally, to Florida. Of course, thinking of the movie Midnight Cowboy. Not the novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy.
Thinking of that novel now.
Ron Luciano: The Umpire Strikes Back.
"I was an umpire, but beneath my chest protector beat the heart of a fan," said Mr. Luciano. Ron umpired the 1974 World Series between Oakland and Los Angeles. And once ejected Earl Weaver of the Baltimore Orioles twice on one day during a 1975 doubleheader.
But on January 18th sat alone in his garage.
Surrounded by the tools of his trade, I like to imagine.
“If you get hung up on everybody else's hang-ups, then the whole world's going to be nothing more than one huge gallows,” wrote Richard Brautigan.
Abbie Hoffman on the lecture circuit: cleverly revealing how the CIA covered up their murders.
“I am still in transition, I know. I can’t tell what tomorrow will bring about," said Alfred Maurer, quoted in a 1908 New York Times article.
And went on to paint Fauve Landscape and The Florentines despite general disdain.
For sixteen days after his father's death, Alfred Mauer wandered through the 43rd Street apartment he had shared with his dad:18 years, 16 days of which he was exiled to the garret.
"I must now prove that I even exist." Jerzy Kosinski.
Not all the disdain was general. “Keep that trash (and yourself) in the garret,” being how I hear it.
And Mark Lombardi? Who may have the distinction of being the only noteworthy artist to focus on white collar crime as a subject? And whose work Narrative Structures charted out social relations and lines of influence stretching right out to this very page?
Edwin Armstrong invented FM radio when he was just a junior at Columbia University.
Twelve years later, thinking FM a complete failure, Edwin put on his best evening wear and stared down at the street from the window of his 13th floor apartment.
Liam Rector wore a tuxedo.
“I think of life as that tragic and embarrassing thing that takes place between the poems, films, and the songs I inhabit," he once said.
Most of us abandoned each other a long
Time ago and we’d have to face that
If we had any hope of getting it right
Thinking, why aren't there any rappers here?
“There are many things I should like to write you about, but I feel it useless,” wrote Vincent Van Gogh.
George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak company: “My work is done. Why wait!”
“This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed,“ said Walter Benjamin.
“Well, the truth is, we can only make our pictures speak,” Van Gogh went on to say.
Walter also once began a literary journal. In 1940. While imprisoned by the Germans at Versuche.
Malcolm Lowry once compared the dorms of St. Catharine College to a barracks and the dining hall to a mortuary. And was mentored by Conrad Aiken.
William Aiken: Conrad's father.
September 26, 1940. Walter Benjamin checked into the Hotel de Francia.
June 26, 1957. The birthday of Paul Fitte.
Who met Malcolm on the above-mentioned campus and became his roommate.
“No one is stopping you, Paul. . . . ”
A campus Malcolm also described as: “A dream jealously guarded: Keep off the Grass. And yet whose unearthly beauty compelled one to say: God forgive me.”
Malcolm did not forget.
Christine Chubbuck: "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first.”
The camerawoman thought it was a prank.
Anna Teresa Ossolińska gave her son, Jan Potocki, a sugar bowl—one year after he published The Manuscript Found In Saragossa. Jan had a bullet made out of its silver knob. And then had the bullet blessed by a priest.
Jan's novel was, of course, made into the acclaimed 1967 movie: The Saragossa Manuscript.
“Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins.”
Also Walter Benjamin. His italics.
Thinking about. . . .
George Arthur Crump.
Crump's Folly. Also known as Pine Valley Golf Club.
No hole should be laid out parallel to the next. No more than two consecutive holes should play in the same direction. Players shouldn't be able to see any hole other than the one they are playing. Players should use every club in their bag.
I like to think of these rules in the abstract sense.
“A good walk spoiled,” Mark Twain called golf.
Thinking: percentage of time humanity has spent in hotel rooms—as compared to time spent in their own bedrooms.
Mr. Brad Delp. Lead singer of the band Boston. “Je suis une âme solitaire.”
Amount certain businessmen are willing to pay to play one round at Pine Valley: $10,000.
In1984, David Von Erich won the world heavyweight wrestling title from Richard Morgan Fliehr, a.k.a. Ric Flair. David's brother's name was Mike. David had another brother named Chris. David had another brother named Kerry. Previous problems, respectively: narcotics, toxic shock syndrome, lack of success, amputated foot.
Interesting to note that Markson, in rare public sightings, likes to recount the visit he had to Malcolm Lowry and Margerie Bonner's squatter's shack outside Vancouver B.C.
Love notes were found pinned to nearby trees.
Why notes, when the lovers lived together and shared the same bed?
David, Mike, Chris, Kerry. That's four.
Thinking of the etymology of the word: wrestle.
Heinrich von Kleist first burned his unpublished works. Including “The Story of My Soul.”
November 11th 1811, Heinrich left the Inn at Wilhelmstadt on the banks of the Kleinen Wannsee, in the company of Henrietta Vogel. They were last seen drinking tea together.
Another hotel. The difference between inn and hotel meaning little to me now.
This, twelve years after Kleist wrote that it was, “incomprehensible how a human being can live without a plan for his life.”
But only one year after he wrote: “For still one is always, even surrounded by all of one's friends, alone.“
Leicester Hemingway's best selling book was My Brother, Ernest Hemingway. He used the money earned from the biography to finance his creation of an independent nation—a raft built of steel and bamboo. He anchored his little nation off the coast of Jamaica by tying off to the engine of an old Ford and dropping the engine to the ocean floor.
Ketchum, Idaho. Margaux Hemingway trying to read.
Eventually discovering she was dyslexic.
Margaux changing her name to Margot because she gave up drinking.
And Ursula. Ursula Hemingway.
Ursula, Leicester, Margaux, Ernest, Clarence.
Love notes pinned to trees in the Canadian wilderness.
A cabin in British Columbia.
Sylvia Plath left cookies and milk at the bedside of her sleeping children. Then she stuffed damp towels under the crack of their bedroom door.
Assia Wevill, brought a mattress—with her sleeping child on it—into the kitchen.
What type of cookies did Sylvia Plath place at the bedside of her sleeping children?
Allen Ladd as Jay Gatsby. Although he was only 5 feet 3 inches tall.
"The thing most feared in secret always happens.” Cesare Pavese.
you I could hold/when all fell away from me. Paul Celan.
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross. Arihiro Hase.
Is this a love note?
"Some of these days, Martha, we are going to break into one of these buildings and find that it was one in which the last of these people died. Then we will learn the story of the end of this civilization." Written by H. Beam Piper.
Also Mr. Piper: “I don't like to leave messes when I go away, but if I could have cleaned up any of this mess, I wouldn't be going away.”
Thinking about. . . .
Alphonse Pénaud: rubber band planes.
“Because we love you.”
Dave Garroway liked to file news reports for KDKA radio from a hot air ballon. Did not continue to do so when hired by NBC in 1951 to be the first host of the Today show.
Balloons: Garroway, Giffard, Potocki, Dumont.
Petrópolis, Brazil. Name of Dumont's house on a cliff there: La Encantada.
Houses on cliffs.
Dumont at a desk, staring out the window, poised on the ledge, gluing feathers onto his bare arms.
Harold Ault in the Hotel St. Regis. Got a cut and shave across the street before sunset. His wife had a maid up to the room to do her hair. At half past midnight the couple ordered a bottle of champagne from room service. Harold penned a note to his brother, George.
George Ault: Landscape View from Brooklyn, Road to Stony Grove, Bright Light at Russell's Corners, From Brooklyn Heights, Thinking of Jumping.
If on a cold winter's night, must burn Ault's painting for warmth?
George Ault. Harold Ault. Donald Ault. Bill Ault.
Douglas Ault. No relation. On April 7th 1977, Doug hit the first homerun ever for the Toronto Blue Jays—despite the unseasonably cold weather that left snow piled upon the stadium roof.
Clara Blandick played Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz.
“Why don't you find a place where there isn't any trouble.”
Clara played another aunt, four years later: Aunt Polly, from Huck Finn.
Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
“Well, Hare,” she said. “You old sleepy-head. What do you ever get up for?” Krebs looked at her. He liked her. She was his best sister.
It's a cold winter's night now.
“we can't go,” wrote Virginia Woolf.
"Back by noon, Sunday," wrote Stuart Adams. As well as: Dreams stay with you/Like a lover's voice/Fires the mountainside.
O Sylvia, Sylvia
Capucine's real name: Germaine Lefebvre. Films include: What's New Pussycat; Satyricon; and The Pink Panther. The name Capucine having nothing do with coffee, but French for nasturtium.
Capucine also starred in L'Incorrigible with Jean Paul Belmondo, the star of Breathless. Whose co-star in that film was Jean Seberg.
Jean Seberg. Slumped over in the back seat of her Renault. But in my mind, always walking down the Champs de Elysee, wearing a short-sleeved New York Herald Tribune sweater.
“I begin,” wrote Virginia.
Romain Gary, Seberg's second husband, gained some notoriety by winning the Prix de Goncourt, France's top literary prize, twice. The rules only allowed a writer to win once. He fooled them by writing under a pen name: Émile Ajar.
Romain first lay a menora down at the foot of his bed.
M.A.S.H. David Arkin as Staff Sergeant Wade Vollmer: “Me? I can't catch a pass.”
After a fake snap, Vollmer hides the football under his shirt and walks nonchalantly towards the goal-line to score the winning touchdown.
“and I shan't,” wrote Virginia.
Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway.
John Smith. John Berryman's father.
In front of young John's window.
In front of his window.
“once,” wrote Berryman.
Hem. Hemingway. Papa.
“I owe all the happiness,” wrote Virginia
notes pinned to trees
“we have been,” wrote Virginia.
“I owe,” wrote Virginia.
“I can't read,” wrote Virginia.
James Tiptree was a woman.
Together, she and her husband, Huntington Sheldon, lay on their bed in their Virginia home.
Her husband was blind. But he did not need to see to hold his wife's hand.
“Me, I can't catch a pass”
Ernie, I am . . .
"La tristesse durera toujours"
Bones, I adds them all up?
“I could smell the curves of the river beyond the dusk and I saw the late light supine and tranquil upon tide flats like pieces of broken mirror, then beyond them lights. . . .”
Quentin Compson. April Wheeler. Yutaka Taniyama. Seymour Glass. Vashel Lindsay—Sara Teasdale. Autumn Landscape at Dusk. Cathedral. Pray you, love, remember. Ernie Lombardi's nicknames: Lumbago, The Schnozz, Cyrano of the Iron Mask. Vollmer hiding the ball. Jim poling down the river. In the pines/the pines. Richard Farnsworth, Cheyenne Brando, Jaques Mayol. . . .
“Each time I dive into the sea it cradles me”
. . . going mad
I've pushed off from the pier
“It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess.” Jackson Pollock.
Number 18, 1950.
“The interesting thing is why we're so desperate for this anesthetic against loneliness.” David Foster Wallace
Lota De Macedo Soares
Because we love you. . . .
February 18, 2006.
A desk, a light, a window.
Ay me, how weak a thing
The heart. . . .
pinned to pines
now now now now now
a light a desk
I'm sick of myself