Wednesday, November 15, 2006

H.L. Mencken & the Citi what never naps

I’m hoping the new film, Fuck, will outdo Borat at the box office. Fuck is the first etymological flick. Wouldn’t it be lovely if Hollywood saw Webster for what he is--the greatest of plotmeisters needing the merest sprinkle of star power and a less than an indie-level production budget to fleece up the ass for an entire weekend that adolescent who is in fact every American? H.L. Mencken’s skull smiles happily in the grave.

The only thing cheerier in the news is Citi Field. Citibank is giving the New York Mets $400,000,000 to have their new ballpark called Citi Field for twenty entire years. By then, of course, Citibank may be gone, a victim of a misapprehension of how customers might interpret such a shrewd transaction. I know I’m withdrawing my money. Do people know the value of words? Or was it Mencken who advised, Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Indie Show at Bowery

“Indie Press Open Call--Instant Reviews and InstantPublication". Bring your books, zines and poems to bein LIVE MAGAZINE. Join Unmuzzled Ox editor MichaelAndre and former Cover Magazine editor Jeffrey CyphersWright as they read poems and review small press books by Richard Morris, Harry Smith, Richard Kostelanetz, Warren Woessner, Harvey Pekar, Hal Johnson, Kirby Olson and mo, mo, mo!


Bob HolmanProprietor, Bowery Poetry Club (
308 Bowery (Bleecker-Houston, across from CBGB)
NY NY 10013 212 614-0505
Visiting Professor, Columbia School of the Arts (

Friday, November 03, 2006

Elodie Lauten's Orfreo

Although I can’t sing a note I’ve been involved with opera for 25 years. I edited and published a libretto of Carlo Goldoni translated by W.H. Auden. The composer Elodie Lauten had set some of my poetry to music. Finally she asked me to write a libretto about a female Orpheus. I tried.

Unfortunately the opera director Jason Buzas told me there had been over 200 operas written about Orpheus. Was Eurydice to be a man? A Lesbian? I tussled and tussled until I finally thought of Ray Johnson. Orpheus had invented music; Ray had invented “correspondance (sic) art.” Ray was gay and had committed suicide in the Age of AIDS. I was working with Gregory Corso’s Italianate spelling of Orpheus, Orfeo. One day I heard a new word : OrphRAYo. Orfeo plus Ray equals Orfreo.

And so I wrote the libretto, with Elodie as dramaturge. It was produced by Elaine Comparone at Merkin Hall. And they made a film. And now the film’s sound has been newly enhanced, and the film will be screened tomorrow Saturday 4 November 5:30-6:00pm at New York Studio Gallery 511 W. 25th Street, #607.

If you’re free, come by.