Bill Berkson reading in Cambridge

While reading Joe LeSueur's "Digression's on Some Poem by Frank O'Hara", having 707 Scott Street (the journal of John Wiener's) in my backpack and remembering a recently scanned old poster of a week up in Orono in April 2001 (antebellum 01) feat an ad for a reading of Clark Coolidge and Michael Gizzi I had the good fortune on this past Friday night to go to the Pierre Menard Gallery... It was a reading by Bill Berkson. He was introduced by lots of friends, including Michael gizzi. And then I got to chat with folks who knew John Wieners really well and were in attandance at the reading, too. How fortunate that I got to meet and speak with people who are somehow affiliated with all the things I'm into reading right now. Boston may be old as the hills, but ycan still a bit of a hub.

One thing I was talking about tonight was that Joe LeSuer's book isn't so much gossipy as it is chatty. I've always maintained that notion since I started reading it (election Nov 08 -- voted for Obama at the library, went to the poety section, found the book, borrowed it, didn't finish it in time for the due date, returned it and bought my own copy instead; have been poking though this past year). I said, "Some people think it's gossipy, but when I read it, I always feel like it's got the same feeling as now," and I gestured to the entire post-reading gathering of folks talking, "only it's written down instead of just conversation." And do you know what? I said that to Bill Berkson, one of the many subjects of the book, who said, "Yes, right, exactly."

There's nothing like a 'yes, right, exactly' from a venerated poet who you've just met but long admired to make you feel edified. More of that happened with other types of stuff after. But, it's not like I read what I read so I can possibly go out and meet the people who work on these things and then talk about it to them. I'd never dream of such a thing. I'm sure if I tried, it'd never happen. Instead it happened so organically, and that just makes nights like this, for lack of a better word, special. A great night.

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