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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ed Sanders: Light Show of the Gods


Lightning and lava flows over Eyjafjallajokull: photo by Olivier Vandeginste, Sunday 18 April 2010

You don't need me to tell you
that it all might be an hallucination

or some sort of Light Show of the Gods

I mean, take another look at
the 9th book of Plato's Republic

Or you might say that even the
concept of "home" is risible

Maybe all of us have to sing a blues tune
from nursery to nursing:

"Delude me, baby,
Delude me all night long!"


Lightning and lava flows over Eyjafjallajokull: photo by Olivier Vandeginste, Sunday 18 April 2010


ACravan said...

This was unexpected; so was being sent back to the 9th book of Plato's Republic, but the poem required that. From the first time I heard it, I've never forgotten Ed Sanders' voice and the way he occupies a distinctive, brave (he always cuts through) American place that is all his own. Curtis

TC said...

Thank you very much, Curtis, for your memory and your respect. And for testifying.

Your breaking of the silence restores my faith. I had almost begun to fear this post might be stuck with that worst of all blog fates, the shibboleth of Nobody Cares.

They ought to.

Ed Sanders stands out among the poets of my generation for his heroic activism (among his first poetic acts was landing himself in jail after a cold-water protest swim out to a US Navy nuclear-missile-firing submarine), his breadth of arcane scholarship (from classical Greek to Egyptology), his very significant part in lending a piquant sense of humour and a ragged intensity to the folk-rock movement, his long commitment to peace and justice through Investigative Poetics, and, above all, his remarkably consistent dedication to the preservation and perpetuation of the natural wild spirit in all sentient beings. The flame of his original lyric gift has never been quenched, through all these fizzled intervening epochs.

When we first met we were round-the corner neighbours on the Lower East Side.

That was the period before the possession of a plastic-card MFA or a second-hand "theory" talking-point defined a soi-disant "poet". The poets then, the best ones, could actually walk the walk and sing the song. Small wonder nobody in this age of prevailing abstraction and emptiness wants to remember them now, much less revere them as they deserve.

In his time, Ed Sanders introduced a new idiom to the poetic vernacular.

Things were more fluid then. Even that dense unyielding mass called America could be moved.

Ed Sanders on the cover of Life, 17 February 1967

Ed Sanders and the Fugs performing at the Peace Eye Bookshop, 1967

Ed Baker said...

you gotta be kidding!
nobody knows Ed Sanders' ...."stuff" ??
not at least even his Investigative Poetry ?

next thing you'll be telling me is
that noboddhi especially in those Ivory Halls of Acanemia University
that no-body knows Lamentia ... or Ott ?

maybe it is time again to re-contextualize? maybe murder the literal & well as Sanders writes:

"You (lawyers) make law.

"Bards, in a similar way, "make reality," or, really, they
"make freedom" or they create new modes of what we might term Eleutherarchy, or the dance of freedom.>

(this from his 1976 his "lecture prepared for the Visiting Spontaneous Poetics Academy of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colo., summer 1975."

and I bet you $2 (the price of the book (Investigative Poetry) that not one kid going to Naropa
knows either
that Academy OR Ed Sanders

or any 3 people on their list of 657 "friends" on Facebook or twitter or now that new cancer ... google+

just recently saw photo of Ed Sanders at a memorial service for Vincent Ferrini

-a full head of white hair looked like the Fug I remember... but ... sitting down

ACravan said...

I needed to and enjoyed spending Sunday with this -- as I said, it was an unexpected pleasure to read relatively recent work. I can't recall whether I first became aware of Sanders and The Fugs when the older brother of a friend played me their first album (for the humor and shock value, I expect) or when I saw them on David Susskind's televsion show. But you never ever forgot them. And, among many other things I could mention, the fact that Sanders tackled the subject of the Manson Family before anyone else (it's a story that still teaches important lessons) is quite something. "Walk the walk and sing the song." "Second-hand 'theory' defined talking point." Thank you for putting it in a nutshell. Curtis



"Maybe all of us have to sing a blues tune
from nursery to nursing"

("Things were more fluid then. Even that dense unyielding mass called America could be moved.")


blue whiteness of sky above still black
ridge, shadowed green black pine branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

sense that that has elapsed,
and in front of it it

this or that, that this way
perhaps, “fortunately”

grey white of fog to the left of point,
circular green pine on tip of sandspit

TC said...

Thank you gents for adding some bright patches to Ed's sanely-crazy quilt.

Ed Baker said...

hey Tom
thanks for that "sanely-crazy quilt"
which provided me, instananeously
(if not sooner),

with a "shorrttie" that I've been working on for nigh-on-to 70 years:

Krazy Kuilt

what if suddenly
you discovered
that I was the sane one

(now go directly to Krazy Kat, who I feel certain Ed Sanders knows of

mean while the head of the NYC Police Force
just announced that they can now shoot down
airplanes !

(didn't they do this about 10 years ago ? a TWA plane ?

officially "they" said "a spark blew up the gas tank"
but an eyewitness said:

"I definitely saw a missile hit it"

Hells Bells everybody knows that
Ed Sanders threw one of his poems at it
and "knocked it off" !

TC said...

Yes, I heard an interview with the police chief on the radio. He came out of retirement with a Mission. My heavens, he sounded just like a Terrorist!