During WWII, my father, 1st Lt. David J. Read, served as a forward air observer in Battery B, 551st Field Artillery Battalion, under the command of Gen. Courtney H. Hodges, whom Gen. Eisenhower referred to as the “spearhead and the scintillating star” of the US advance into Germany. (notice “the bulge” in their advance)
Prose grows out of inklings such as this: the widespread adoption of the emoji is evidence that most people long for a return to third grade, when everything they did, they did good enough to get a star from teacher.
Here is a prose sketch that seeks to tell why or how it took me so long to get my poetry thing on:
The Muse and Me
You could park a double-wide in the gap between my initial poetry performance and my decision to go all-in with the muse. In year years, the gap is forty-seven.
Late in 1969, shortly after a two month stint in Yosemite National Park, I was the helper assigned to the hosiery guy at Kennedy’s Mens Store, across the street from the more famous but less fancy Filene’s (the one with the basement), in Boston.
Six months earlier, I’d flunked the draft physical, about six weeks after being run out of B.U. for over-cutting class! How could this communique have gotten so out of hand that all I’ve managed so far is to back-fill?
There were 4 or 5 college-age kids on the Thanksgiving through Christmas temporary full-time crew in adjoining departments at Kennedy’s and each of us had some urge to show off or to perform or to entertain or to make you laugh so you wouldn’t fret at the fact that before sunset 3 or 4 more American kids would wind up dead in Vietnam.
continue reading The Muse and Me.
By Appointment of His Royal Bobness
Team Dylan controls access to Bob Dylan the same way access to the Angels is wholly mediated by the Chief Commander, Dylan’s nickname for God, as he revealed to Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes in 2004, when CBS got The Interview for the release of Dylan’s book Chronicles, Volume One.
For the Juneteenth* release of Rough and Rowdy Ways, which seems bound to raise as much of a ruckus as Chronicles did, TV historian Douglas Brinkley and the Old Grey Lady herself got The Interview, published June 12, under the headline of the millennium: Bob Dylan Has a Lot on His Mind.
Bob Dylan created Bob Dylan to protect Abe and Beatty Zimmerman from the trials and tribulations of their first born son, who fled to the City, to see Woody, and to see what else is afoot. Having stolen all the records he could get his hands on at the University of Minnesota, Dylan’s January 1961 trip to NYC was as much a record-raiding party as it was a Woody Guthrie pilgrimage.
read the full piece and plenty more Dylan-related material at NewBerkshire.com (Because of its Dylan content, references and links to NewBerkshire.com appear in various Dylan fan gathering places around the world.)