Sunday, May 26, 2013

Reading Lawrence F.

In 2012, Lawrence Ferlinghetti published "Time of Useful Consciousness" which is a remarkable tour de force. Yes, it owes homage to Allen Ginsberg and Ed Sanders (and Walt Whitman and Matthew Arnold and a few others) but this quick history of America adapts what's in the air artfully, like a blues. It might be a career capper, but, on the other hand, 90-plus-year-old L.F. may keep on keeping on. Here on Memorial Day 2013 I read a small portion. It follows a riff on Jack Powers, a major Boston poet and nice poet mentor and guy in the last half of the 20th century (and somewhat thereafter). Ferlingetti resets some earlier poems in new context, but it all flows. He riffs on "Jacks" quite a bit, which is okay with me. - Jack Vaughan

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