Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 3.1 (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)

Faust, Part One
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
Faust, Part One

Purchased at the Niagara Falls Outlet Mall Discount Book Store for $2.00.

I had a dream last night that digging through a drawer I found a rare volume of essays by Frank O'Hara. It had the name "Mirakove" written in cursive on the front cover. I opened it to read what was inside, but the pages all started falling out, so I closed the book in order to keep it together. I was trying figure out how to read the book without someone else finding out that I had found it. I felt very secretive and very excited.

I also dreamed that Chinua Achebe had returned to Buffalo for another performance in the Babel series. He agreed to do a special student discussion at Kleinhan's music hall. Thousands and thousands of students came to the reading. When I walked on stage to get set up, the balcony had swollen to such a size that it had begun to take over the stage itself. I went downstairs to a dressing room and prepared. I tried to think of how to introduce Achebe. I walked upstairs and he had already been deposited on stage -- without his wheel chair! In fact, he had no arms or legs at all, and the stump of a body sat in a little circle on the floor. The circle seemed protective somehow. His body sat so far back on the stage that he could not be seen by the audience. I knelt down in front of him and asked if he had brought his wheelchair. He said yes but that his handlers were worried he would roll off the stage. I turned around and now all I could see was balcony. No audience, just balcony. The balcony had taken over the whole auditorium.

Not quite sure where the O'Hara book came from, but I feel like it has something to do with Bill Berkson. I feel like I made a mental note to myself to go back and re-read some of O'Hara's essays when Bill was here a couple of weeks ago. I have never met or read Carol Mirakove, so not sure about where the name came from, but the handwriting was definitely Creeley's. My neighbor recently bought five books from the Creeley library collection from Granary books, including Creeley's first edition of Naked Lunch. He let me look through the books over the weekend. Each one had Creeley's signature in the upper right hand corner of the first page, followed by the year of acquisition. I think the drawer referred to the book of poems by my friend Jimmie Gilliam that Lori and I found in a kitchen drawer while looking at this house.

Not sure why Achebe appeared in my dream, other than as a figure of anxiety -- we had a massive sound system failure when he visited a couple of years ago. However, Salman Rushdie is coming to town next week and there will be a student portion of his visit, so this must have been some kind of dream rehearsal for that event. The balcony portion must have been a sort of wish-fulfillment. We're very likely to sell out the lower portion of the theater, and I have been asking myself at what point we should consider opening the balcony to seating for this event.

from Faust, Part One

I HAVE, alas! Philosophy,
Medicine, Jurisprudence too,
And to my cost Theology,
With ardent labour, studied through.
And here I stand, with all my lore,
Poor fool, no wiser than before.
Magister, doctor styled, indeed,
Already these ten years I lead,
Up, down, across, and to and fro,
My pupils by the nose,--and learn,
That we in truth can nothing know!

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