Art and poetry on page and stage

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Michael McClure


HOW I LOVE TO LOOK AT OLD WARHOLS. The creepy sleaze of a field of Marilyn’s lips is as sweet as a dark blue electric chair. I’m moved by the flush of aging yellow hair etched with patterns of dark shadows in which I smell the stench of the subway. The “Car Crash” amazes me again and again with its childlike delight in the obvious. These doodled dollar signs are as close as one comes to pastoral innocence. Mickey Mouse stares, with the big smile and lip-hanging delight of a five year old, at the face of someone getting a blowjob. The green and blue patinas of the puddles of someone’s piss in a pool on the canvas are gentle and classic contrasted with what I believe is hidden just under the eyelids of many whom I see in the smoky streets. There are others that I hear in movie theaters making a high-pitched braying with their eyes bulged out like giant pollywogs as they watch some unspeakable act wrecking human flesh and belittling what it means to be A BEING OF CONCIOUSNESS.

At the age of 22 Michael McClure gave his first poetry reading at the legendary Six Gallery event in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl. At 83, McClure is more active than ever, writing and performing his poetry at festivals, and colleges and clubs across the country.