Love, a Footnote
- The KGB Bar off 2nd Avenue in New York’s East Village was a gathering place for the Ukrainian Communist Party, which explains the curious décor but not the frequent readings.
- Red is evoked by the longest wavelengths of light discernible to the human eye. Red is long; long and slow. The curtains in the KGB Bar are not so much red as a history of red.
- “Podium,” from the Latin, often confused with “lectern.” One stands on a podium. One leans one’s elbows or sets one’s beer, beaded with condensation, on the lectern.
- In ventriloquism, the speaker’s voice seems to come from elsewhere. This doesn’t explain why he called his poem “The Ventriloquist.” Maybe something about the poet and the reader, but I don’t like trickery, anyway.
- We associate red with heat, energy, and blood, and with emotions associated with heat, energy, and blood—such as anger or love. Ezra Pound makes his ideogram of “red” with four signifiers: rose, cherry, iron rust, flamingo. I would use: bark, blood, cardinal, sex. Sex because, like red, it occurs in long, slow waves.
- You sat next to me, though I didn’t know you at the time. It was red, dark and red, and there was so much smoke you could see the air moving around people as they moved.
- I love words that can inhabit more than one part of speech, as in a match or to match. The phosphorous smell of a just-lit match. Enough light for two faces to share.
- Wallace Stegner’s comment about art as the communication of insight appears in various incarnations in his work, but my favorite is in Angle of Repose. You acted surprised that I had such a thought. I took it as a compliment at the time.
- In Plato’s Symposium, Diotima tells Socrates how to experience the ideal form of beauty through love. From our desire to possess one body, we sense eternity.
- An “angle of repose” is the slope at which granular materials come to rest at, say, the base of a sheer rock face. In Utah, owing to iron rust, the rocks are often red. The process is long, and slow.
- As with “match,” one can be patient, or one can be a patient. I have been both, but never at the same time.
- Veselka is a Ukrainian diner in the East Village, near St. Mark’s Church. Very good pierogi. Many of the customers have chic glasses, cases for musical instruments, and dirty hair. I like to sit at the counter.
- Sake is produced by multiple fermentations of rice. Sometimes it tastes like heavy moonlight, sometimes it tastes like a neon sign that’s just been turned off. In Japan, sake is drunk from small cups called choku. In certain friends’ Lower East Side apartments in December, it is heated in a microwave and drunk from chipped coffee mugs that say things like “Happy Secretary’s Day” and “#1 Dad,” even though the person who lives there is neither a secretary nor a dad.
- Feeling is a way of knowing what you’re going to think about something. Example: I felt the thought, I could want you. Emotion as premonition. It is a mystery. It is the ideal form of beauty.