Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Apollinaire! Apollinaire! 

A few years ago, Veronica Corpuz was reading at La Tazza. A table of Euro-trash
came in for dinner during her performance. They talked a little too loud,
spilled some drinks & made a mess of themselves & their area. As Veronica
finished, I was on the brink of fury- prepared to tell them to respect or exit.
Corpuz’s set was applauded, & the table of four all raised their glasses &
shouted, “Apollinaire! Apollinaire!” Wow. What a compliment.

This morning(which is Guillaume’s birthday), I came across an Everyman’s Poetry
collection- Robert Chandler’s translations of shady GA in Robin’s Bookstore.
This is quite a stretch for the folks at Everyman, since I’ve only seen poets
like the English Romantics or those dead for even longer. I certainly didn’t
expect a volume of avant-garde poetry from a quasi-porn peddler, participant in
the theatrical absurd & a suspect in the theft of the Mona Lisa.

Of course, it’s a slim volume & the poems are cramped together on the pages(an
Everyman trademark). But it’s great to know that someone thinks the genius of
Apollinaire is fit for everyman.

from ALWAYS:

And so many universes are forgotten
Who then are the great forgetters
Who will know how to make us forget this or that part of the
Where is the Christopher Columbus to whom we will owe the
    forgetting of a continent

           To lose
But to lose truly
To make way for the lucky find
To lose
Life and find Victory

Apollinaire’s poems for everyman! I can hear the SEPTA drivers reciting them on
the subway loudspeakers. The crazy lady that puts her lipstick all over her
face mumbles them. The trashmen, the police & the drug dealers all raise their
glasses with the Euro-trash today. I join them, shouting “Apollinaire!

Frank Sherlock

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