May 25

Up 8.

Finished the art critic interviews - Lynne Tillman, Michelle Williams, John Yau.

Spent an hr. on email (some progress, inbox hovering around 100), listened to some links to Puffy Aniyume songs Andrew H. sent. About the same on McClennan interview (don’t want to go too long on some of these questions).

Left later than I should have for Brooklyn, but arrived in the second hour of a memorial tribute to Joseph Jarman (AACM/Art Ensemble) at Roulette. (Ate some chicken wings and greens from a street fair en route) Moving testimonials from Thurman Barker, Patricia Nicholson, Muhal Richard Abrams’ widow, and Jarman’s; also from a student at his aikido dojo. Performances by Leo Smith w/ pianist, a quartet w/ Amina Claudia Myers on Hammond, and other musicians and can’t name w/ certainty (I couldn’t score a program). Ended at about 4, talked to James McNew and family (inc. 7 month old sun Abraham, whom I didn’t know about) on the way out.

Stopped in the Center for Fiction for a coffee, wrote briefly in notebook, didn’t buy anything.

Walked about 15 min. to a birthday party for a Canadian writer I know slightly (enough to be invited anyway); moved from stoop to rooftop. Mainly a millennial cohort (I turned down a microdose of acid!!), and I only knew one other (also older) person previously, but I felt comfortable enough to stay from about 6-9:30, and had interesting conversations about Grimes, Wyndham Lewis, and Dory Previn. 

Unnameable Books was too close not to stop at. Picked up Music and Cultural Theory, ed. John Shepherd and Peter Wick, Craig Dworkin Motes, and Robbe-Grillet Recollections of the Golden Triangle (b/c it’s not one of the ones that stays in print) used, and Jen Tynes Hunter Monies + a chapbook of Corinna Copp’s new. Very tempted by A Handful of Shells, a new history of West Africa.

Probably made it through 20 or so p. of Rogin over the course of the day.

Home by midnight, didn’t stay up long.

May 24

Up around 8.
Got a quick coffee, had to be back for the scheduled window (10-2) for bookcase delivery while Bree was out.
Spent an hr. or so getting the songs for States of Country together from various emails. Also proposed Luckey Roberts’ and Andy Razaf’s “Massachusetts” for one of our singers, Danhy Clermont. Cleared some other misc. email. Read interviews w/ Schjeldhal, Schwabsky, Paul Chaat Smith (Native writer/critic whose work sounds intriguing), and Roberta Smith.
Called my dad around 1:30.
The delivery came just after 2, well after Bree was back, but they didn’t know anything about the assembly we’d signed up for, so I got on the phone w/ customer service. They’re refunding the assembly charge and arranging for a 3rd party company to come out and do it. Not a bad outcome, esp. money-wise, but it won’t happen until the 2nd piece is delivered late next week, and it’s annoying to have hung around the house for nothing - essentially gave up my writing day.
Felt pretty lethargic in the afternoon - half-watched a completely pointless TV movie remake of Dial M for Murder, w/ Angie Dickinson in the Grace Kelly role, that i found on YouTube. (Had tried to watch something more substantial earlier, but the internet/MUBI was slow to load.)
Finally left about 6, listened to Wyatt and read Rogin, picked up the books I’d left at Strand + found Devon Johnston’s new book for $2 outside. Met Andrew Hultkrans and Dan Fox for drinks and then Japanese food. Just catching up. Dan has to go back to England for some weeks/months while his new visa is processed; Andrew’s going to Havana w/ his gf Regan Good for a literary festival she was invited to.
Hung out ‘til 11, came home - listened to Indian philosophy podcasts on the train. Lights out 1 am.

May 23

Up for a while 5-7, but went back to bed until 10 or later.
Read quota of Earnest (Perl, Rose, Saltz).
Rearranged books, boxes, etc. to prep for bookcase delivery tomorrow. Another side of Milburn.
Pretty dead in afternoon, to be honest; long tail of cold doesn’t help, but it’s unfortunate that I didn’t get out before 6.
Read a bit of Rogen on train. Went to the Strand to hear Stephanie Burt talk about his new book Don’t Read Poetry (deceptive title) with Monica Youn. He’s become a really good, ecumenical advocate. Talked to Karen Weiser (who’s becoming a psychoanalyst) for a while after. Bought 2 Robbe-Grillet novels, a older used copy of Greenberg’s Art and Culture (I have a caricature of what I don’t like about his criticism, or maybe its influence, in my head, but haven’t actually tried to read him for a long time), and a 2016 book on the Art & Language group I hadn’t seen — but I checked them in the store when I went outside, and forgot to collect them (will go back tomorrow).
Called my cousin Lynda, who’s in town w/ her husband on vacation — she’d texted me just before the event. Odd that I hadn’t heard from them a little further in advance, but Bree and I will see them sometime next week, and I told them about Laura’s show Wed. (Not many of my relatives have seen me perform as an adult, unless playing the piano at Christmas counts.)
Went out w/ Steph, Monica, and another poet (Cat something - we talked, but weren’t really i.d.’d to each other). 2 rounds.
Home 11:30, lights out shortly thereafter. Glad I went to the reading and hung out, but otherwise not a very productive day.

May 22

Up 6.
Got out of the house by 10. Listened to some of the 1st disc of a Robert Wyatt, Different Every Time. Matching Mole’s “Signed Curtain” is Relevant to My Interests: “This is the chorus, or it could be the bridge, or just another part of the song.”
Spent an hr. or so at a coffee place in the West Village, working on email. It’s piling up - an hr. a day may not be enough, esp. when I take the time to unsubscribe. Tried a couple more people to join me on the 6/8 show - Greg Peterson from The Scene Is Now finally accepted, later in the day.
Worked about 12-3:30 at a new Spacious location, nearby. Better than yesterday: wrote a good-enough transitional graf I’ll go back to, and picked through the ontology and intellectual property sections of the preface (introduction?), adding and cutting bits here and there. Not the last pass, and I’m lazy about polishing the footnotes, but I got to around p. 16.
Saw Last Year and Marienbad (Resnais, 1961). I have no deep thoughts about this movie; just pleasurable, and a little ridiculous - it’s perfectly executed, to the point of rendering parody pointless. I read a mid-career Robbe-Grillet novel (Topology of a Phantom City, c. 1977, at least that’s when the translation appeared) recently — so porny, though he does a better job than some postmodernists (Coover) at convincing you that the “material” an irrelevant vehicle for the formal play. Probably less true of the films he directed - which I don’t plan to watch. That aspect is less pronounced, or at least not the whole of the law, in Marienbad. Thought a bit about strategy for the match/card game (Nim) played in the movie.
Got back into Rogin, Blackface, White Noise, read about 30 p. on trains over the course of the day. Once home, tidied up some, put on that Amos Milburn compilation again - interesting R&B version of Billy Hill’s “The Glory of Love,” a huge mainstream hit in the ‘50s, though written in ‘32.
Laura C. came over 8-10 to run some songs for States of Country - worked on “Come all Ye Fair and Tender Maidens,” from the Baez repertoire. Pretty tired out/done after she left, lights out by 11:30.

May 21

Up around 8.
Idle morning; difficult to get in gear. Watched most of a subpar U.K. musical with Diana Dors. Spend an hr. on email but didn’t feel like the inbox was any smaller. Trying to find someone else for the 6/8 show; both David Nagler and Pete Galub are busy.
Went to workspace near MoMa from 4-7:30. Spun wheels on the preface. Did not feel good about the end of the session.
Home not long after 8; watched the first 30 min. of an inexplicable sorority-girl murder mystery, Nine Girls (Leigh Jason, 1944) with Bree.
No significant reading. Weak day. Lights out 11.