Amoeblog

francEyE 1922 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, June 24, 2009 05:01am | Post a Comment

Frances Dean Smith
, the prolific Santa Monica poet known as francEyE died earlier this month in San Rafael of complications from a broken hip. She was 87.
 
She was inspired by Charles Bukowski, whom she met in 1963. They began a relationship and soon after moved in together. Their daughter, Marina Louise Bukowski, was born the following year. But her legacy is so much more than being the mother of Bukowski’s child.

She was a winner of the Allen J. Freedman Poetry Prize, and was a frequent contributor to a variety of presses, large and small, like the Saturday Review, Chiron Review, Comet, and Blue Satellite. francEyE also published several collections of her work including Snaggletooth in Ocean Park (Sacred Beverage Press, 1996), Amber Spider (Pearl, 2004), Grandma Stories (Conflux Press, 2008) and Call (Rose of Sharon Press, 2008). Smith can be seen in the film Bukowski: Born Into This (2004), GV6 The Odyssey: Poets Passion & Poetry (2006), and other documentaries about the LA poetry scene.
 
francEyE was affectionately called the Bearded Witch of Ocean Park (a Santa Monica neighborhood where she had lived since the early 1970’s) because of the wispy gray strands of hair flowing from her chin. Bukowski fondly referred to her in one of his poems as Old Snaggle-Tooth. Here is some of her poetry:
 
(UNTITLED) "I WANNA KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DIE ..."
I wanna know what it's like to die.
Will I see Skye? Will I really
fly? Will I never be able to taste tiramisu again
and are there pleasures after death greater than taste? Soon I'll find
out,
of course, but I'd like to know about it while I'm still
alive. This little pain in the middle of my chest
annoys me; is it trying to tell me not to worry? Well, really,
worried I'm not; I'm inquisitive. No
answers in sight, I believe, so I think I'll lie down and
close my mind to all that, think about
Leonard Cohen.
(Thursday, March 26, 2009)
 
SO LONG, WHOEVER YOU ARE
Today's the day I saw you die. It's
the day Obama won, so now I'll always remember,
Oh yes, I remember when Obama won, it was the day
I saw that woman die. We were sitting in the hall
across from each other in our walkers, resting. We
made eye contact, peaceful in the sort of eventless
afternoon when it seemed the only thing
happening was on
TV. Obama was winning, we were resting, our heads supported by
the backs of our chairs. Then yours wasn't, it fell forward til your
face
hit your chest; I gave a yelp; nurses came. Here, and then not here,
just like that. Mystery woman, I'll remember you, and honor you every
year on the day Obama won, 4th
day of November, 2008, his
victory day and your
yahrzeit.
(Tuesday, November 4, 2008)
 
FOR MY BIRTHDAY SOME DAY
to N.H.B. Sahoo

please,
make me a book
of pictures of dragons,
pictures of all the dragons that you know.
I would like to see a picture of the dragon of sunrise,
and I would like to see a picture of the dragon defender of all frogs and toads
and I would like to see a picture of the dragon of mercy
and one of the dragon of no mercy, too,
and above all I need a picture of
The Dragon of Everything and if there is a Dragon of Nothing
I need that one,
and then to end the book I think there should be a picture
of a dragon of excellent birthday parties and
one of
sweet sleep. Especially yes, I want to see with my own eyes
a picture of the dragon of sweet
sleep.
(Tuesday, August 15, 2006)
 

The strange bedfellows of Hugo Ball and Marie Osmond

Posted by Whitmore, February 22, 2009 07:56pm | Post a Comment

Today is the anniversary of the birth of one of the creators of Dada, Hugo Ball -- Feb 22nd, 1886. In 1916 he co-founded the Cabaret Voltaire club in Zurich along with the likes of Jean Arp, Emmy Hennings, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, and Richard Huelsenbeck, where the anti-art movement of Dadaism began. The same year Ball wrote his poem Karawane, which consists of nonsensical words, I like to think they’re German nonsensical words. Another poem, Gadji beri bimba, was later adapted by David Byrne and the Talking Heads for the song entitled "I Zimbra" on their 1979 album Fear of Music.
 
Marie Osmond is of course a member of the legendary show business family the Osmonds. She has also had her share of hit records like “Paper Roses” besides working with her big brother, Donny, on the hit TV variety show Donny & Marie back in the 1970’s. Most recently she’s been a spokesman for the Nutrisystem brand of weight loss meals. And to be perfectly honest I think she’s looking pretty good -- a side note, I think she also got hosed on Dancing with the Stars back in 2007 (sure she received the lowest scores ever in a Dancing With the Stars finals history, but her ridiculous attempts were sort of ...dadaistic. Well, anyway ...)
 
But once a long time ago, in a distant galaxy, in a bright neon yellow bathrobe befit for perhaps Arthur Dent on Xanax washed down with a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Marie Osmond was also a spokesman for the Dada Movement. Believe it or not, here is some footage of Marie talking art history, Dadaism, good ol’ Hugo Ball and reciting his sound poem Karawane. First, a warning-- don’t look too closely into her eyes...
 
Happy birthday Hugo, and a happy gadjama affalo pinx gaga di bumbalo bumbalo gadjamen back to you....
 
Gadji beri bimba (1916)

gadji beri bimba glandridi
laula lonni cadori  
gadjama gramma berida
bimbala glandri
galassassa laulitalomini  
gadji beri bin
blassa glassala
laula lonni cadorsu sassala bim

gadjama tuffm i zimzalla binban  
gligla wowolimai
bin beri ban  
o katalominai rhinozerossola
hopsamen laulitalomini
hoooo 

gadjama rhinozerossola
hopsamen  
bluku terullala blaulala loooo

Spirit Records & Francis Thompson

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 26, 2007 02:23pm | Post a Comment
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter ...
                                                                                                                 Francis Thompson

A misfit Catholic from a time and a place where just being Catholic made you a misfit, Francis Thompson lived a down and out life in London's late 1800's.   An opium addict, failed doctor and failed priest who found his savior in many forms, down many an odd avenue, his story is simply fascinating.  He died Nov 13th 1907 from TB, his later years spent nursing himself after  the disappearance of his muse and savior, a prostitute who had been housing and supporting him.

 



The Catholic Poetry Society of New York issued this LP of his works in what I'd pin as 1964. Very cool laminate cover & nice label design.  Check out the notes on the back for bits of info on the poet, label &  orators ...










Label Focus...Caedmon Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 25, 2007 11:20pm | Post a Comment

                     

                          THE ART OF CAEDMON RECORDS
                 (click on any image for full size and better detail)




A personal Favorite of mine, the Caedmon record label was started in 1952 by Barbara Holdridge and Marianne Roney.  In my last blog I covered their wonderful version of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum.  The releases spanned the worlds of legitimate theatre, poetry, oration, kids stories, literature and anything in between. Singlehandedly, the ladies kick started the book-on-tape business.  Poking around on sites like discogs, it's amazing how few of the label releases are listed.  From the innersleeve catalogs in my personal collection of Caedmon releases, their output was immense. Check out our spoken word section sometime and you'll find at least a handful of Caedmon treasure. I've always enjoyed the utilitarian aspects of their packaging and the tastefulness of their art.  The blue, green and white label design is an absolute classic...



For links to comprehensive overviews of Caedmon's history click on either Dylan Thomas LP pictured below.  He was their first signing...                                 


 
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