Getting Through January

Archival Floor Spool Footage (January 2011)  (n.b.: Prima-esque lower case)

“well anyway it was a way to get through january. to get through january in manhattan is hard, to get through january and february the same year almost impossible.” (“What I Ate Where” from Dinners and Nightmares, by Diana di Prima)

Hard to imagine i was walking in gramercy in a paraguayan weave shirt on my first night in new york always first nights always such promise always such innocence that i can still feel that means i’m still alive that i can feel the street’s beat that i can walk back to the house of someone i barely know with a six of pacifico and a six of tecate that i can meet the amused and curious and ironic eye of a woman eating thin-based pizza at the corner pizzeria that is all-terrace no one eating inside if it were argentinian summer the huge rusted fans would be groaning in the corners of the restaurant as they were on my second night in buenos aires on my first night like the female character of colm tóibín’s book the south i was too nervous to leave the hostel but on the second night went to eat steak in this restaurant to the groan of the huge rusty fans first night last night twelfth night on earth first night in new york the girl’s glance buoyed me (did i imagine it?) and i walked back to martin’s place with the beer like a bartering even though i was paying him a fair rent for five days before i found my own place, but hard to look back in january and think we were all wearing t-shirts in nyc’s infernal heat, crazy.

now it is another january. glad to not be eating what Diana Di Prima called menstrual puding: ketchup mixed with mashed potatoes. uggh. For the female perspective from within the Beat Generation, Joyce Johnson’s Minor Characters is wonderful. Diana Di Prima is very good, and interesting.

Diane di Prima giving a reading at UC Berkeley’s “lunch poems” series with a not-bad introduction by someone whose identity is unspecified in this Youtube clip: