I had wanted today to read Philip Lamantia (what was I thinking?), because he understood living more than I (and probably you, Internet, but that might be presumptuous) ever will, and because he’s now dead, so a tribute seems fitting. But, that said, I don’t think I can read his poetry, because I don’t think it will convey anything at all as it’s supposed to, and besides, Miette’s Bedtime Poetry Hour PodCAST is another project, isn’t it? But you should pay your own tribute to Lamarkin, on your own nickel: go here. And here too.
So then, since I couldn’t find anything I felt comfortable reading by Lamantia, I next thought naturally I should read Breton. I once had a copy of his prose poem “The Verb To Be,” but can only find it in French. Ah, but I know! (this is Miette’s inner voice speaking) I’ll commit a most selfish act and read the last chapter of Nadja! Which is redolent with the central tenets of surrealism that made Lamarkin swoon (“beauty will be convulsive or not at all.”), when it involved a deep awareness of the unconscious, before it became a synonym for indolence and an excuse for the dirty word of indifference. That would be perfect. But I can’t do that. Sure I can give away the last sentence; I just did. But I wouldn’t dare spoil it all for you– the obsessive spiral of desire and despair and embattled demons of hope that torture
us all most of us. Instead, I think I’ll read just the first few pages, which can stand alone as a Quick Sunday Afternoon Naptime Story Podcast, I suppose, and maybe you’ll read the rest yourself. You can buy the book, if you want, here. It’s short, this bedtime story podcast, so you can go quickly and read Lamantia afterward.
PS: Thanks for sound quality suggestions. Miette is not much of an audiophile, as you might imagine, and this is admittedly a ghetto production for the time being. I’ll see what I can do.