Thurston Moore and Alden Van Buskirk

This photo of Alden Van Buskirk was forwarded by his champion Bob Rosen of Woodstock, New York.

I listened to one song, thanks to NPR, of the new Thurston Moore session, “Blood Never Lies” and immediately posted here to pronounce that it could be used in Bob Rosen’s proposed movie about the poet Alden Van Buskirk, who died of a rare blood disease.

edit to add, September 3, 2011: I am working on an event to honor the 50th anniversary of “Lami” which includes a section called “Oakland, 1961” that is, fifty years gone. I have verbal commitments from Matt Gonzalez, who first hipped me to Van, and Jack Hirschman, who taught at Dartmouth when Van was there and we believe was also in part his teacher. I was standing in David Highsmith’s San Francisco/Castro store gallery and archives when I reached Hirschman, whose number Matt had given up a few months prior, but never worked before. Part of this story is that when David Hess and I had lunch at “Just For You” in Dogpatch, Lawrence Ferlinghetti happened to be seated at our table. When I asked the poet if he had ever lectured at Dartmouth, he said he had not been there since 1962 or so when he went to visit Hirschman. Later, when I related this story to Matt, at Smith-Andersen, Matt mentioned Van. I also asked Jack if I could interview him for the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and he at first said he was not interested. But when I put it in context of having also written about Don Cherry’s spell there, he capitulated. He said we could “yammer”. But he is traveling to Europe I think until Oct. 20 so both projects are put off until then.

Thurston Moore is appearing at HSB and Big Sur at the end of September so maybe that augers well for some of these projects, “Lami” and “The Last Picture Waltz” initiative — can you picture Thurston busking at The Varsity???

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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12 Responses to Thurston Moore and Alden Van Buskirk

  1. Speaking of athleticism…..

    “There’s no such thing as a fat person whose in shape.”
    — Charles Barkley

    • Lisa Y. Hunt says:

      I’m quite sure I was with Alden on the day the above picture of him “skiing” was taken. It was a beautiful warm spring day and we were at the top of the “A” trail at Pico (a ski area in Rutland). “Skiing” is in quotes because Alden was actually standing still, posing for what would look like a perfectly executed turn. This was his idea of course.
      Lisa Y. Hunt

  2. markweiss86 says:
    david rattray’s book on jim fleming’s house in brooklyn has a chapter on van buskirk and more

    • markweiss86 says:

      Put together by Chris Kraus just before David Rattray’s sudden death and published in 1992, How I Became One of the Invisible has since circulated as a secret history and guide book to the mystical-poetic-outlaw tradition that runs throughout Western civilization from Pythagoras to the prophetic polyphony of 16th century In Nomine music, to the gang of marijuana harvesters and car thieves of East St. Louis, 1961, who become Rattray’s friends.

      Trained at Harvard and the Sorbonne, Rattray was a poet, translator and scholar, fluent in most Western languages, Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek. Living in Paris during the 1950s, Rattray re-traced the steps of Antonin Artaud and became one of Artaud’s first and best American translators. Published by City Lights Books in 1963, Rattray’s Artaud translations burned through the aura of transgressive chic that surrounded the poet to reveal the core of his incisive scholarship, technological prophecies, and visionary rage. As Rattray later said of translating Artaud, “You have to identify with the man or the woman. You have to identify with that person and their work. If you don’t then you shouldn’t be translating it. Why would you translate something that you didn’t think had an important message for other people? I wanted to translate Artaud because I wanted to turn my friends on and pass on a message that had relevance to our lives. That’s why I was doing it. Not to get a grant, or be hired by an English department…”

      What Rattray did for Artaud, he went on to do for Friedrich Holderlin, Rene Crevel, and the In Nomine music of John Bull, becoming a concert-level pianist to better understand the logic of baroque. He was, as Betsey Sussler wrote in Bomb after his death in 1993, “the most generous of writers.”

  3. markweiss86 says:

    wee bit off the course but dartmouth ski team history project:

  4. Brian Lucas says:

    Alden Van Buskirk: A Tribute

    Hailed by Allen Ginsberg in 1964 as a poet who “felt truth,” Alden Van Buskirk died in 1961 at age 23 of a rare illness. His surviving work, published as Lami (Auerhahn Press, 1965), remains an underground classic of the San Francisco Renaissance. Join Van Buskirk’s friends and admirers – including Jack Hirschman (his teacher at Dartmouth), Matt Gonzalez, John Ceely, Garrett Caples, David Highsmith, Clive Matson, and others – in the first event celebrating the poet’s life and work.

    Tuesday, December 20, 7:30 pm
    Books and Bookshelves
    99 Sanchez St @ 14th, SF

    • markweiss86 says:

      thanks brian. i am producer of the event you mention; that blurb is garrett caples very capable condensation of what i wrote above, plus the news about matson joining event–yeah!! or wah-hoo-wah as we say in hanover…

  5. markweiss86 says:

    In every city the same, this is some science fiction thing — am I there among the senseless? corpses bloating in eddies float back to sea now,
    me carried along in the tide, no I can still dream the sun, the indifferent eye of the sun, earthquakes of crystal, mountains the knees of old gods bellowing thunder, this is not my end

  6. LisaYHunt says:

    Hello friends of Alden,
    I’m quite sure I was with Alden the day the picture of him “skiing” was taken. It was a warm spring day and we were at the top of the “A” trail at the Pico ski area. “Skiing” is in quotes because Alden was actually standing still pretending to be in the middle of a perfectly executed turn! His idea of course.
    Lisa Y. Hunt

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