The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 4, 2009

the bone-frame was made for
no suck shock knit within terror,
yet the skeleton stood up to it:

the flesh? it was melted away,
the heart burnt out, dead ember,
tendons, muscles shattered, outer husk dismembered,

yet the frame held:
we passed the flame: we wonder
what saved us? what for?

(from H.D., The Walls Do Not Fall)

dojoji pushes from the ground up and up, s/he, rising,
makes rocket of worlds, they thrust, vector dust
behind them. sullen s/he stops, about to fall; vector
turns to cloud, heaves and hovers, shadow left behind
fades, halo against trim support. you might ask one
or another, fail or falter an answer: these worlds are
left alone, sheave and bone. but an answer: in front
of some dim orb, something seated, or at rest, moves,
and here too something moves, response and nocturne.
dojoji follows suit, follows through, as long as presence
murmurs. hir worlds teeter, turn and wobble, throb:
if any there be, this amazes among no other, this rock,
this rocket, sheave-skin hovered in sky-skin, earth-skin,
sun- and moon-skin in early dawn or dusk, of which,
there is no matter.

accompaniment (electric tenor banjo) (electric tenor banjo) (electric tenor banjo)

To access the Odyssey exhibition The Accidental Artist:

writing under migraine
writing this with eyes shut - the light flashes are brilliant, slight buzz
in the eas, the usual reverse-C pattern is distroted, ragged, for some
reason - not sure - the strokes are identical though - except there are
blue/black/yellow-white - perhaps why I find those colors hideous? in the
middle of the installation mostly pinks and reds, tissue, but yes, an
avoidance of this. convera=sation behind me, loud, we're in a cafe, I
don't want to go out into the sunlight p it would be too much to handle.
coupled with a second a few days ago and coupled further with a crisis
i've been going through, worry abou surviving it the insomnia raging
although last night i took ambien for the first time might be contributing
to the migraine, not sure - reverse C into Z - it's not staying table,
slight nausea  growing a bit this is severe - thinking as Azure says
worried about me for the first time actually feeling as if i'm old, think
that hit after not getting the wvu grants so we're disconnected from that
university - the result is no university affiliation and back in the loft
talking to myself, that kind of garrett writing that doesn't do anyone any
good internet notwithsatnding - so the result - that the writing seeps out
becomes maudlin - that piece i just sent out with the text that was then
modified several times - i think it was yesterday morning - the
modifications are great, the first paragraph hideous - i don't seem to be
able to get byeond the hideous at this point - the Z- has warped into a
blunted v-shaped pattern with wide separation  the geometry's not constant
here - topology is - it's moved to the upper and lower portions of the
visual field with closed eye s- wonder why for me it always opens to the
left - in other words revser C which is non-symmetric - headache slightly
more inthe perfrontal right lobe i think - well fells it's from there, who
knows - on the left side more of a dull beat - breating irregular - every
night i think - i'm going to die soon, i've done nothing, i wont know the
weather the next day, what azure will think or say the morning after,
whether our cat will miss me - well this brings tears to my eyes - this is
totally self indulgent but it's my own personal hell which grows day by
day at thispoint - there's no literature in it - heard Lyotard was
frightened beyod elief before he died - David Bohm almost collapsee d - I
think maybe did collapse -- over insecurity in terms of where he was
living - we're up i the air GIVE US A REASON TO COME AND WE'LL BE THERE,
but who would want to hideous slouching behind azure, the pattern has gone
down to a signnle line or the other is outside the visual field which is
iteresting, there's a color change,  some sortof dull sphere on the lower
right, i have no explanation for this but a pool where the zigzag seems to
be gathering - someone just gave me two advil  well when i began typing
this, perhaps that is making the change, the headache has moved from the
frontal to the right-hand brain top and more to the right-side the left
it's gone away, the nauseua is increasing, slight panic attack coming on i
must look ridiculous typing this i a restaurant eyes closed - i just want
to know i have a few years maybe a decade left - just to keep working -
i'm knowing nothing, the little success i'm having i wish i had decades
ago when i could have appreciated it - now i'm a relic - playing agan
january 25 - this all based on stuff recorded in the 50s at leat they
allow me to record again at times -- i worry aboutesp-disk and its
reputation although at least now they're trying to set things right -
maybe it will work, esp was in an inpossible situation but not as
impossible as the musicians, music pounding into my head although it's
low, something popular, i don't know, i don't know popular tunes - just a
remanant up the upper right, a few flashes and reverberations, vibrations,
that's all, the field is gone, the headache is a bit stronger, isn't that
how it always is, i sho0uld leave here, aking a spectacle of myself, im
not blind, what am i doing typing away, probably mistake after mistake,
sometimes i catch them - for all i know my hands have slipped on the keys
- that's what my life has een like - keys sllippe all over the place - i
regret my regrets, that's about as dead and dull as it gets... will stop
now don't want to bore you, it sounds like someone is singing on and on,
that's on wait, on and on, think i have that right, i'm not breathig
enough - more tests and sleep clinic coming up, alreadyhad xrays and
consultations and bloodwork twice, something is bound to show up, idon't
want to live like this, it burdens mywork, infects it...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2009 00:20:11 -0500
From: Joel Lewis <penwaves@GMAIL.COM>
Reply-To: "Poetics List (UPenn, UB)" <POETICS@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU>
Subject: Gotham Book Mart Holdings Are Given to Penn

from NY TIMESJANUARY 2, 2009, 12:51 PM
By SEWELL CHAN <>Andreas
Brown, the last owner of the Gotham Book Mart, readied vintage photos of
Arthur Miller and James Joyce in 2004 in preparation for a move to a new
location. (Photo: Frances Roberts for The New York Times)

Updated, 4:50 p.m. | About 200,000 items from the Gotham Book Mart, which
closed in 2007 after 87 years as a New York literary haven of international
stature, have been
donated<> to
the University of Pennsylvania.

An anonymous donor purchased the store's inventory and donated it to the
university, which announced the donation on Dec. 18. The holdings �
primarily modern and contemporary poetry and literature, but also including
works on art, architecture, jewelry, music, dance and film � will go to
Penn's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which is known for its collection
of antiquarian materials from before 1850. Citing experts, The Philadelphia
Inquirer reported on Thursday that the collection was valued at several
million dollars<>,
but most of the store's inventory was bought at an auction by its landlords
for $400,000 in 2007.

"We're honored to steward the collection and give it new life as an academic
resource," H. Carton Rogers, vice provost and director of libraries at the
University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

The collection includes first editions, experimental literary magazines and
books from small presses, including "outsider literature" published by Black
Sparrow Press and poetry published by St. Mark's Church, the university

The collection includes "proofs, advance copies, pamphlets, photographs,
posters, reference works, catalogs, broadsides, prints and postcards," the
university said. There are books from the personal libraries of Truman
  and Ana�s Nin<>,
as well as items signed by Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Robinson
Jeffers, Woody Allen, Wallace Stevens and John Updike.

The Gotham Book Mart was founded on West 45th Street in 1920 by Frances
It was the haunt of literary figures like Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos,
H. L. Mencken, Arthur Miller, John Updike, J. D. Salinger and Eugene
O'Neill. Itexhibited<>
works of the artist Edward Gorey. Its customers included George and Ira
Gershwin, Charlie Chaplin, Alexander Calder, Stephen Spender, Woody Allen,
Saul Bellow, John Guare, Katharine Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
At various points, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones and Tennessee Williams (for a
day) worked as clerks there.

Under Miss Steloff, the store twice moved to larger quarters, but stayed
within a two-block area, settling in 1946 at 41 West 47th Street. Miss
Steloff sold the
1967 to Andreas Brown, another book lover, but continued to live in an
apartment on the third floor, above the store, and remained as a working

"Along with its fame and reputation, the Gotham was also a very carefully
operated book business," Herbert Mitgang wrote in an
  of Miss Steloff<>,
who died in 1989 at age 101. "As the owner and the person who paid the
salaries, Miss Steloff was demanding, irascible, unwearying and unable to
understand why no one else was willing to put as many hours or as much
concentration into the store as she did."

Beloved as it was, the bookstore had many problems over the years. In 1997,
Mr. Brown agreed to pay $1.4
Joanne Carson, who had turned over $640,000 in savings to him in 1988 and
1991 to help him buy and repair the brownstone that houses the store. In
1995, she decided she wanted her loan back with interest, and filed
The Gotham Book Mart's final home, at 16 East 46th Street. (Photo: Tina
Fineberg for The New York Times)

Mr. Brown said he would pay the money back in 2000, after selling the
building. But the sale did not occur until 2003, when Mr. Brown sold the
a town house in the heart of the diamond district, for $7.2 million. In
2004, the store moved <> to
the former H. P. Kraus antiquarian bookstore, at 16 East 46th
which had closed in 2003.

It later emerged that two benefactors who had wished to remain
anonymous � Leonard
A. Lauder<>,
the cosmetics heir, who has an interest in antique postcards, and Edmondo
Schwartz, a real estate developer � had purchased the East Side building for
$5.2 million and leased it to Mr. Brown to save the Gotham. But by 2006, he
had fallen behind<>
his $51,000 monthly rent and owed at least $500,000 in rent, taxes, interest
and other fees, and the landlords moved to evict him. The store was on its
last legs.

In May 2007, many of Gotham's possessions � including books signed by Mr.
Updike, letters from D. H. Lawrence, and Andy Warhol's wig rack � were sold
at auction <> to the
landlords, who bid $400,000. The store's workers had never finished
unpacking the books from the 2004 move.

The university said that it knew the identity of the donor but that the
donor had insisted on anonymity.

Mr. Lauder, former chairman of the Est�e Lauder Companies, graduated from
Penn in 1954 and is an emeritus member of its board of trustees. Jonathan J.
Faust, a lawyer for Mr. Lauder, declined to comment on Mr. Lauder's
involvement with Gotham Book Mart.

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