December 1969, Lewis Warsh was living at Doss's house on Brighton Avenue in Bolinas. Margot was sort of the literary salon keeper in those days. She had poets read at her houses in both Bolinas and San Francisco - Brodey, Waldman, etc. - and was/is very close with Joanne Kyger, Philip, Don Allen . . . I came to visit Lewis and Tom and Angelica Clark in Bolinas over Christmas and New Year. I distinctly recall Lewis's showing me the room Philip lived in before leaving for Kyoto - the same room Lewis was staying in then - and that scroll on the wall. Lewis, who has no recollection of the scroll on display in the Doss house, remembers that Philip when he vacated had given it to Joanne who in turn gave it to Lewis, who then held onto it all these years.
Also, stored under a window seat at the Doss's, there were some small silkscreened broadsides that Whalen and John Armstrong had made: one said, "It's National Stop/ Listen/ Look Out the Window Day." At Whalen's & McClure's birthday lunch October 20 this year McClure started talking, as he will, of Mallarmé's "white" poem, and I interjected how I remembered that scroll in Philip's room, so beautifully lettered & all but I couldn't recall whether it was in an English (Daisy Aldan?) translation or the French.* Thereupon Philip smiled cryptically. This was before I saw your listing.
Best, as ever,
The text is in French only.
Bill Berkson is a poet, art critic and professor of art history at the San Francisco Art Institute. Of his eleven books and pamphlets of poetry, the most recent are Lush Life (Z Press) and Start Over (Tombouctou). He is a corresponding editor for Art in America and a regular contributor to Modern Painters, American Craft and other magazines. He lives in San Francisco, California.
You can read two poems by Bill Berkson in Jacket # 5.