Saturday, March 30, 2013

HB Studio Annual Poetry Festival

I attended the HB Studio Annual Poetry Festival tonight and read five of my poems: WHAT WAY TO GO TODAY, NAP TIME and DAWN ON SEVENTH AVENUE (from the collection NAKED AMNESIAC) and DESERTED HOUSES and TO GET TO THIS PLACE (from the STREET POEMS collection).

I arrived at Bank Street at sunset... and in the distance the view of the Hudson River was glorious. The street was quiet, calm, and serene... a perfect setting for a night of poetry. Rasa Allan Kazlas organized the event and she was most gracious. She has vast credits in theater both as an actor and director.

I read my work and mingled with the other great readers and then left and walked home in the gorgeous evening.

I had a great night! HB Studio remains inside me always because it was there, in about 1966, that I studied technique with James Patterson. My acting partner was a very young Robert DeNiro, and we did a scene from "The Diary of Anne Frank."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

San Francisco and Kinston

Neal Cassady, from this street in San Francisco in the top photo, sent 
a postcard to Jack Kerouac, who was living on this street in Kinston, NC, in the second photo.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Road, the film

I wanted to love this film. I waited so long to see it because the company that distributed the film did a terrible job in bringing it to a wide audience sooner. I had to wait until it was up On Demand on Time Warner Cable in NYC. I watched it in HD on my TV, but the "letterbox" format was very small and off-putting on a TV.

 The film is... (in my opinion of course) awful. I don't even know where to begin. It's filmed partly with the hand held shaky cam, I suppose for some realistic or artistic effect, but it is just dizzying. But, what makes this film a huge disappointment is that it lacks "soul." I never got a sense of the spiritual journey "Sal" was on. It's just so superficial and filled with "noise." It is over acted in parts and I never sense any "truth" from the actors who played the real people. The book, On the Road, is haunting. I read it and became obsessed and possessed. This film never even comes close to getting inside me. It seems miscast and the actors seem to have no sense of the material. It's superficial and the actors are so wrong. They just do not get it right.

And, it is not true to text. At the end (of the book) Sal says good-bye to Dean on West 20th Street in NYC. In the book, Dean "rounded the corner of Seventh Avenue, eyes on the street ahead, and bent to it again. Poor little Laura, my baby, to whom I'd told everything about Dean, began almost to cry." In this film, the final scene does not take place at that location or even end that way. That's just disgraceful.

How could this happen? What were they thinking? The film does not inspire and it does not make me want to learn more about Jack Kerouac, the amazing and brilliant writer. We never get any sense of "the man." It's just sad.

I am depressed. I feel sick inside that a book so magical and so loved could have finally been made into a film and, in my opinion, be such a failure.

I shared my review of the film with some "Beat scholars," and today I received a reply from Helen Weaver, a former girlfriend of Jack Kerouac. 

Helen writes:

"Thank you so much for your honesty (Marjorie). I was sure the movie was going to be awful, because how can you make something cinematic about what is essentially a poem? I've had no desire to see it, even before Joyce Johnson read the script and told me it was terrible. I know you're right, and you've absolved me from the duty to watch yet another failure to understand Jack's masterpiece." 

Helen, thank-YOU for your reply. My piece about Helen Weaver appears at this blog here:


The Huffington Post asked permission to use a photo I took of Storme DeLarverie in a piece about her. It can be viewed here:

(scroll down to see it: my name is under the photo and it links back to my blog)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fabbri Mansion

I received a group tour today of this phenomenally interesting mansion. We were enthralled by the history.

Fabbri house

11 East 62nd Street

7 East 95th Street

Friday, March 15, 2013

at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

from the NYPost

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

Selected Highlights

1. Refashioning Figure Painting
2. En Plein Air
3. The White Dress
4. The Black Dress
5. Dictates of Style
6. Frock Coats and Fashion of the Urban Male
7. Consumer Culture
8. Spaces of Modern Life

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shoe Obsession at FIT

I went to this exhibit today and it is phenomenal.

Alexandre Birman, resort 2013

Manolo Blahnik, 2003

Pierre Hardy, fall 2010

Nicholas Kirkwood x Keith Haring, 2011

Christian Louboutin, Pigalle heels, fall 2012

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Players Club

photos of the Players Club

 Today, with a group, I toured The Players Club. we received an educational lecture regarding the history of the club and the interior of the club contains so many interesting paintings and decor.
It was a breathtaking morning and I left filled with an appreciation for Edwin Booth and his remarkable life.

A Certain Club

The Players Club is the former residence of renowned Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth.  The mansion is designed in the Greek revival style and furnished with Mr. Booth’s personal collection of props, costumes, and vast library of theatrical literature. 

The club began in 1888 when Edwin Booth and 15 other incorporators (including Mark Twain) founded The Players.  It was the first American club of its kind, with a purpose of promoting social interaction between members of the dramatic profession with members of other various professions (literature, painting, architecture, music, law and medicine). 

It has come to be known as “a certain club,".... at 16 Gramercy Park South. 

at the Whitney Museum of American Art

John Steuart Curry, Baptism in Kansas, 1928

Robert Diebenkorn, Girl Looking at Landscape, 1957

George Tooker, The Subway, 1950

Thomas Hart Benton, Poker Night, 1948

Ralston Crawford, Steel Foundry, Coatsville, Pa., 1936-1937



I went today at the Whitney Museum and viewed this exhibit which explored topics central to the blues.

"Blues for Smoke is an interdisciplinary exhibition that explores a wide range of contemporary art through the lens of the blues and blues aesthetics. Turning to the blues not simply as a musical category but as a field of artistic sensibilities and cultural idioms, the exhibition features works by over forty artists from the 1950s to the present, as well as materials culled from music and popular entertainment."

"The exhibition’s title is drawn from a 1960 solo album by virtuoso jazz pianist Jaki Byard in which improvisation on blues form becomes a basis for avant-garde exploration. The title suggests that the expanded poetics of the blues is pervasive—but also diffuse and difficult to pin down. By presenting an uncommon heterogeneity of subject matter, art historical contexts, formal and conceptual inclinations, genres and disciplines, Blues for Smoke holds artists and art worlds together that are often kept apart, within and across lines of race, generation, and canon."