Anne Waldman's Stellar Example

Gregory Corso invaded my shower one day in the little Townhouse apartment I return to in dreams as “Remember Some Apartments”. It was named “Emerson Apartments”. Ralph Waldo Emerson had always been an inspiration for my memory of this place although he would not have appreciated the commune spirit. Gregory was always barging in, rooting around looking for valium or anything palliative and high-making, gesticulating , checking out my books –did I have any art books? – and would I ever be as good as Jane Austen? So there was that, the sense of invasion.

I was soaping my hair with lavender shampoo. We decided we would probably never sleep together. That was a good idea because he was so complicated to think about sleeping with. I mean it wasn’t even an issue or much of a discussion. I was not going to get my transmissions from Beat poets, I proclaimed, by sleeping with them! I said would you be my pal? And will you behave? He hugged me as we were water rats together in the shower.

(This was 1975, Boulder, Colorado during a summer session of

The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University)

Anne Waldman

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Dear Kirby Olson, as per an email from Eliot Katz, July 30th. Wanda Coleman

Copyright © 2006 for Wanda Coleman: For the purposes of internet transmission, all rights to the material below are reserved during electronic transfer for the author, who is transmitting it to the agent, editor or publisher for which it was written and contracted. It may not be used, reproduced, recorded or otherwise stored in a retrieval system without written permission of the author or party to whom this transmission is directed.


Up from Los Angeles, on a late November afternoon in 1981, we cruised the coast in Bruno, our tore-down 1968 Buick Skylark. Exhausted, we spent the night in the forest home of a gracious friend. The next morning, my husband Austin Straus and I snaked into Santa Cruz and miraculously scored the last room available at the St. George Hotel. All the Beats were staying there, partying in "headquarters"—Ferlinghetti's room. It would last a mere 48 hours, but it was the beginning of terminal night for poetry as we admired it then. The last of the Beats, the soul-wrenchers, the delusional illusionists and the glory seekers had gathered. I couldn't think of a better birthday present than being featured among newcomers, like Kathy Acker, at the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, the 13th and 14th. Jerry Kamstra and F.A. Nettelbeck had been central to the crew of Those Responsible. Roaming around the festival site, a school auditorium that seated six-hundred, I did what blissed-out smile-weary neophytes usually do: kissed foreheads, shook the hands of legend after legend (Ginsberg, Kaufman, Everson, I. Reed, et al.) and stammered that I was thrilled to meet them, and timidly passed on a concealed copy of my 1977 chapbook at least twice. As I was giving Jerome Rothenberg the stammering treatment, Gregory Corso was stepping past. Rothenberg reached out, grabbed him by the elbow and steered him into my uh-uh-uh. (If around at such moments, Austin could remember a book or poem title, like "Marriage", his favorite Corso poem. I would simply go blank). We stood there as I attempted to collect myself, thinking 'Mr. Corso sure looks pretty healthy, given the rumors.' I looked at his arms for tracks and saw none. He patiently gave me the once over while I tried to find my tongue. I didn't. He said politely "Nice meeting you," and sailed on, leaving me face-to-face with an amused Jack Micheline.

Wanda Coleman/Los Angeles

Known at "The L.A. Blueswoman," Coleman's Bathwater Wine was winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and her Mercurochrome was a bronze-metal finalist in the National Book Awards 2001; recent books include Ostinato Vamps (2003), Wanda Coleman--Greatest Hits 1966-2003 (2004), and The Riot Inside Me: More Trials & Tremors (2005).

(NB: This was initially sent to me in 2006.  I am so lazy. I have about fifty more of these to put up.  But recently I came across this author's name, and then remembered I have a piece from her. So, here it is, folks! - KO.)