Anne Waldman and Vincent Katz recording “Fantastic Caryatids” fall 2014. Alystyre Julian, Outrider film
by Vincent Katz
At the opening, at the gallery, at the poetry reading, at the concert, at the meeting for the avant-garde theater company, at yet another fantastic party at her place where everyone mingles in a way they couldn’t anywhere else, at a million readings in diverse settings from spirit centers to political armies of like minds, houses of poetry, bastions of culture, classrooms, radio stations, from city to mountains, to beach, to desert, to the tip of the island that extends perpendicularly from the other island, the one you grew up on and still frequent,
Through galaxies of poetic ferment, “revolution in the air,” experimentation at frontiers
I always thought of you as a wise child of intellectual social physical
Development, which is also engagement
From MacDougal Street to Washington Square, downtown and up, all of it accessible, Friends, The East Village
Howard Nemerov – a name not often cited these days – a teacher at Bennington, who used, as epigraph to a poem of his, a quote from St. Augustine:
Insaniebam salubriter et moriebar vitaliter
I was losing my mind healthily, and I was dying vitally
You kept your sanity through all, now, lead us onward
Where/How must we go?
All is confusion, all is bliss
Where bliss comprehends the act of suffering, of dying, of being completely confused, out of sorts
We honor you, we celebrate you!
And we ask, what should we do?
We are terrified, confused —
As with your dear partner in poetry, Allen, we look to you for guidance
Now, and always
Northport/Lincolnville, Maine, June 30-July 5, 2020
Vincent Katz (http://vincentkatz.net/) is a poet and translator. He has published translations of the Roman poet Sextus Propertius and is working on a translation of Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days. He is the author of the poetry collections Swimming Home (Nightboat Books) and Southness (Lunar Chandelier Press). His most recent publication is a book of poems, Broadway for Paul (Alfred A. Knopf).