reading, feeling ill, listening online

Barney Rosset, Grove Press Publisher, Dies at 89 –

Grove Press was a publisher I admired as a kid.

Often I looked at the spine of a book I was reading (William Burroughs, Samuel Beckett) and saw its imprint.

I didn’t know much about the press itself other than the fact that many of the books I pulled off of book store shelves to purchase and read had its imprint. So I was interested to read the obit of its founder yesterday.


After the Ash Wed service this week I came home and fell into bed feeling like a body cold or flu was coming on.  For 48 hours, it really got no better or worse. Yesterday I did the ballet class, met with my boss and had a piano trio rehearsal feeling like any moment I would be really sick.

My piano trio read through my composition and that was fun. The violinist seem to like it. We are playing it as the postlude Sunday and that will also be fun. I am still trying to learn the piano part.

I came home and basically sat in a chair for five hours until Eileen got home.

I tried to read but basically just sat there. Finally I went to bed and listened to stuff online.

I went over to the Desert Island disks archive at BBC. I listened to a bit of the one that featured Roger Waters (Pink Floyd dude). I was appalled that they only played a chorus of his first pick and not the whole thing.

But I guess that’s the attention span thing.

His first choice was “Helpless” by Neil Young. Well I like both Pink Floyd and Neil Young but was basically bored and annoyed with this approach so I queued up the 2008 show that featured Randy Newman. It was much more interesting.

I guess I’m more interested in Newman than Pink Floyd.

Got up this morning (feeling much better) and played through a couple of  Shostakovitch preludes and fugues after listening to Newman’s choice of Shostakovitch’s 15th symphony as one of his desert island disks.


The Emperor’s Messenger Has No Clothes: Belén Fernández Dresses Down Thomas Friedman | Truthout

I try not to dwell in my own echo chamber of sources that I’m pretty sure I agree with. But I was impressed that Fernandez has written a book that seems to agree with my assessment of Friedman ever since the Iraq war.


I surprised myself this morning when I turned the last page on the second volume of the collected poems of William Carlos Williams. I have enjoyed reading his poetry. I think I am drawn to American voices. I am reading the rest of Allen Ginsberg’s volume of “Kaddish and Other Poems.” I also read the first twenty or so of John Berryman’s Dream Songs.

Nice lines in Berryman’s sonnets:

My psychiatrist can beat up your psychiatrist

Rilke was a jerk

Dream Song 5

Reading Ginsberg and Berryman is a return to the loves of my youth.


Volunteers Offer Salamanders a Chance to Mate –

I learned a new word in this charming little report:

“herpers — those people engaged in the act of searching out amphibians or reptiles —”


Guantánamo Suicide Suit Disallowed –

America continues to turn its back on itself.


Mother of American Sentenced to Death in Iran Visits Him –

One wonders if this guy was actually doing something illegal. Nevertheless I hate all states that detain people like this.


The American Century Is Over—Good Riddance – by Bacevich

Bacevich continues to knock it out of the park for me. I gave one of his books as a retirement gift to the Rev Hendry Idema this week. In this article he re-reads a Life article entitled “American Century” which appeared in the Feb 1941 issue.

“Luce’s essay manages to be utterly ludicrous and yet deeply moving. Above all, this canonical assertion of singularity—identifying God’s new Chosen People—is profoundly American. (Of course, I love Life in general. Everyone has a vice. Mine is collecting old copies of Luce’s most imaginative and influential creation—and, yes, my collection includes the issue of February 17, 1941.)” Bacevich from the linked article


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