Friday, January 09, 2015


The window of my hotel room in Philadelphia overlooks the grave of Benjamin Franklin. Ben’s spirit presides over Philadelphia. So does Dante. The Rodin Museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has been here so long it’s almost invisible. Its doors are the Gates of Hell. The thinker atop the Gates and in larger scale outside the Museum is The Thinker. The only garment is Dante’s hat from the only authentic contemporaneous portrait. The Thinker is Dante.

When I visited Yeats grave in Sligo in February 1988, the slab was broken and you could see his coffin. There’s some debate whether that’s really his body in there.

Drunk late one summer night in Amherst in 1972, I pissed on Emily Dickinson’s house.

Everybody hates New York. This attitude is most poignant in Philadelphia, city of brotherly losers. Tomorrow I go to Dirty Frank’s, the artists’ bar at Pine and 13th  across from where I lived in Philly. The Eagles play the Giants at 1:00pm. 

I love the eleven libraries in Princeton. The chapel is as grand as a Gothic cathedral; the art museum excellent; the polite nerdish undergraduates merry. The Frist Student Union offers cheap excellent food and two large televisions. Princeton is no Berkeley. If there are leftover hippies or loony lefties, besides me, I haven’t met them. Princeton is far from New York and Philadelphia. But the farms and woods, the lake and canal are made for hiking and canoes; the campus and country roads are made for bicycles. I’m happy there especially when fresh from Philadelphia. Princeton reminds me of my home town Kingston, Ontario.

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Blogger Rainbow Feather said...

All these years and I never knew there were 2 bars called Dirty Franks! You'll have to let me know where the one for artists is. I dare you to walk in there with a Giants jersey on. Also- fuck you, love Philly.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Michael Andre said...

Here's a more art historical view of this edited by Roberta Fallon -- with pictures!

3:03 AM  

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