So yesterday afternoon with Robert Kelly’s 82nd birthday in the back of my mind I happened by chance — was looking for something completely different — to come across the picture below: Robert reading to me from a now unidentifiable ms. in Paris (only one of two occasions on which we met outside the US) in about 85/86 in my “red all over” Paris apartment. An hour later again … Read more Happy Birthday, Robert Kelly!
Happy 80th birthday, Robert! Below the clickable cover of the Festschrift for the occasion that Metambesen publishes today, and below that my own festish Schrift piece for Robert. A Memoir: for Robert at 80 I came to America in late August 1967 with a Karl May-fantasy of Apache and Comanche landscapes in one eye and a West Coast dream of San Fran & Bob Kaufmannian be-bop, Ginsbergian Howls & Kerouacian California Railroad … Read more Happy Birthday, Robert Kelly!
Ian Dreiblatt just posted a longish blog post on drunken boat that starts with a review of A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly. I am reproducing the opening section below; you can read the whole piece here: Stone Stair New York, Part 1 by DB Guest Blogger Ian Dreiblatt contra mundum press has just published a voice full of cities, a heaping anthology of … Read more Review of Robert Kelly’s Collected Essays
!OUT NOW! It is no exaggeration to suggest that Robert Kelly may well be America’s most prolific poet, and certainly one of the most singular and ceaselessly innovative writers the country produced in the 2nd part of the past century. To date, he has published more than 70 books of poetry and fiction — books that reveal a breathtaking range, from freshly minted trobar clus and contemporized sonnet forms, … Read more A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly
□ To my delight, the chauffeur was a girl, a tall young lesbian soft-skinned under her green silky mannish uniform. I thought of the softness of her calves inside the boots, & went so far as to insert a finger. She smiled in a business-like way, but made me sit in the back. I could watch her through the glass partition. She would not talk, but did answer specific … Read more Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (10)
□ It was in front of the cathedral that the lepers gathered, the same in every city. They were the imperfections of the system, hopefully consigned outside it, segregated, wished to death. They showed themselves to men while men were on the steps of the place they went to show themselves to God. Heal me cries the burnt tree. Heal me, the new-born lamb. □ The phone rings twice … Read more Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (9)
□ I’m me, that’s the point of it. I am at your disposal. □ She was at the door, I know it, wrote her letter to me, sealed it in the wood of the door with a kiss, has gone away. We are at the disposal of everybody. □ The books give different numbers for the phases of the Work. The books appear to contradict themselves. In such a … Read more Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (8)
□ I hold this one’s breasts & this one’s thighs & press myself on this one’s mouth & ask each one in turn: What is it that happened between us at the Pinner in Wakefield, three hundred years ago, September? We learned the secret, & it cost us our deaths. Back, far down in my blood, an orchestra tunes up. My dearest wife, I will hear you forever & … Read more Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (7)
□ A lifetime supply of goose-quills. Ocean of ink. First lessons in chancery cursive. Have an erection. Keep it. There’s your college of the spirit sank, she said, keep talking big boy. □ It has been my intention to banish all learning from these pages. Only what I have stood under will serve our purposes, gentlemen. Say the blessing &, we will begin. When in the course of human … Read more Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (6)
The third time, she tells me, is the Charm. I try again: Hoping to learn by a sign how the Work prospers, I look out into the morning & see a black hen, her white chick. □ What does she do now she is naked? Is this anti-climax? What did I do when the el train rolled on? What was that kingdom of my Consequence? Climax & anti-climax. The … Read more Robert Kelly: An Alchemical Journal (5)