Charles Bernstein

Jerry Back Then by David Antin

[on Jerome Rothenberg's 80th birthday]

I met Jerome in the Spring of 1950 at a small party given by a Francophil professor, where seven or eight of us sat around with wine glasses under a modest collection of School of Paris paintings, making awkward conversation about modern art and poetry, when I noticed a short noble -browed guy in a green suit sitting across from me, his green eyes blazing  with the kind of disapproval I was feeling myself. This was not what we were looking for in modern art and poetry.  Some time in the fall we met again, realizing we were both trying  to become poets, and we started to hang out together, searching for signs of a living experimental scene, listening to folk music and jazz, and  checking out modern dance and music in a culture that believed artistic experiment and exploration were over. And it wasn’t till the late 50s that we caught up with cool jazz, Abstract Expressionism, John Cage, Wittgenstein, Fluxus and Pop.

George Kuchar’s Otherworldly Humanity

by Charles Bernstein & Susan Bee (Brooklyn Rail Dec/Jan 2011)

photo: Felix Bernstein

full article from Brooklyn Rail

. . .  In his films, Kuchar is always poking fun and always having a good time, in an apparently sweet and charmingly self-deprecating way. Yet this court jester of avant-garde cinema had a sardonic edge that was as sharp as an editor’s blade. His vision bubbled out of the cauldron of his gay, Catholic, working-class childhood. This led to his lifelong tango with the high, and often dry, seriousness of the art world. . . .

You Can’t Evict an Idea: the poetics of Occupy Wall Street

A Conversation between Jane Malcolm and Charles Bernstein

Rogelio Lopez-Cuenca

 Jane Malcolm: How would you characterize your involvement with Occupy Wall Street (OWS)  and the Occupy movement?  I've seen the footage you've taken as part of the crowd, and I imagine that as a New Yorker you must have especially strong feelings about it.

Circumfluent time: Sampling mescal in Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano

Lift up your eyes unto the hills, I seem to hear a voice saying. Sometimes, when I see the little red mail plane fly in from Acapulco at seven in the morning over the strange hills, or more probably hear, lying trembling, shaking, and dying in bed (when I am in bed at that time)—just a tiny roar and gone—as I reach out babbling for the glass of mescal, the drink that I can never believe even in raising to my lips is real, that I have had the marvellous foresight to put within easy reach the night before, I think that you will be on it, on that plane every morning as it goes by, and will have come to save me. Then the morning goes by and you have not come. But oh, I pray for this now, that you will come. On second thoughts I do not see why from Acapulco. But for God's sake, Yvonne, hear me, my defences are down, at the moment they are down—and there goes the plane, I heard it in the distance then, just for an instant, beyond Tomalín—come back, come back. I will stop drinking, anything. I am dying without you. For Christ Jesus sake Yvonne come back to me, hear me, it is a cry, come back to me, Yvonne, if only for a day.

 "It's mescal with me... Tequila, no, that is healthful... and delightful. Just like beer. Good for you. But if I ever start to drink mescal again, I'm afraid, yes, that would be the end," the Consul said dreamily.