BERKELEY If you phone poet Michael McClure, you'll not hear a formulaic "leave a message" or a slice of "Mercedes Benz," the song he co wrote with Janis Joplin. Lawrence, Diane di Prima or Philip Lamantia.
A new poem gets a trial run to end the interview, traveling an improbable, sensory laden journey from "Colors are the deeds and actions of light" to "imagining a dump truck, loaded with the odor of debris, causing wonder or grief in our noses."
"Poetry is an art, it's not literature," he insists. "It's not divided from music or dance they're one thing. We divide them for convenience of our practices and for people timid about our orchestrations."
It's a small miracle or a sign of the deep conviction that still rumbles from his belly and his words that McClure didn't Nike Thea Black Leather
But he adores releasing his poems from the "ball of silence" from which they spring, fully formed, onto the page.
Although he doesn't plan to write an autobiography, McClure says he would like to see his plays "The Bear" and "The Victims" republished.
McClure will read from his new/old book at Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave. Wednesday.
"I want to let audiences hear the light in my voice that will bring them pleasure and Air Max Thea Purple Smoke
And just when the flotilla of sounds threatens to overwhelm both poet and audience, he grounds the incantation with a Middle English accented Chaucer selection and an unnamed poem he calls forth entirely in Spanish.
"Oh, I love that. Yes, these poems are both," he exclaims, launching into mantra 51's "I love to think of the red purple rose."
On Christmas, 2013, he and his wife, sculptor Amy Evans McClure, visited a nearby, unprotected beach. "I had a copy of Ghost Tantras and started reading them aloud, above Nike Air Max For Ladies 2015 the roar of the waves. I realized I was finally learning how to read them less timidly," he says.
drop public performance. "My first poetry reading was a curious one: There were congo drums and a belly dancer," he recalls. "There was no poetry reading history."
There'll be no roar of lions or the sea.
deeper, broader consciousness," he says. "Karl Schlegel said all art must strive to be science and science, to be art. Poetry and philosophy should be the same thing."
In 1955, McClure rode the crest of the Beat Movement, reading from Ginsberg's "Howl" at San Francisco's Six Gallery with four fellow poets.
Poet and longtime friend David Meltzer (they met in a North Beach record store in 1957) says McClure's works blend science and lyricism and that the playful poems "dance and inspire." Asked to characterize "Ghost Tantras," Meltzer calls it "an extraordinary work of invention and inspiration, bold and adventurous writing, and a fusion of the romantic exaltation with avant garde adventures in expanding the possibilities of poetry."
like a darkly varnished butterfly."
McClure's signature, muscular reading style shifts into gear and next, he's reciting a poem he wrote on the day Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. Then it's 31 and "reem 'ptah: grooh gaharr" and "Chair Nike Thea Boots
Today, while reading (Craig Venter's "Life at the Speed of Light," Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Laon and Cythna," Science Magazine) and writing ("That's a given," he says), McClure claims he's "no expert on the vast scene" of Bay Area poetry events.
McClure values his "genius type teachers," remembering in particular the "love, light, and myriad possibilities of consciousness" he learned from Dylan.
A metaphor suspended in a question suggesting his mantras are both old and new, like the unexpected wrinkles he now finds on his face delights him.
"We were speaking out for the liberation for the individual. People were being brainwashed by '50s consciousness. We put our toes to the line," McClure says. "We were looked at as if we were canon fodder. When we first started telling people about the environment, they would boo and hiss us."
Beat era poet blends old and new works in latest book
The recent republishing of "Ghost Tantras" (City Lights), a collection of 99 poems McClure first self published in 1964, offers appreciative listeners an opportunity to hear the 81 year old Oakland resident call up the past.
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