Some lines of poetry I’ve been quoting that I thought were by Yevtushenko , I’ve now found in an early diary from 1973 and there they were attributed to Robert Kelly. Who? I had to think a bit – I’m glad I did. I’d googled them in various versions but found no hits. Then it all came rushing back. Kelly’s poems were often published in Richard Grossinger and partner Lindy Hough’s literary journal Io . I bought each new edition (at The Source Bookshop in Bourke Street I suspect) and held them close to my breast back then. Io introduced me to a number of ideas and people that are part of my ‘learnings’ today, lots of West Coast and New York School poets and writers but there were also articles from film makers like Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas.
The line that Kelly actually said was
“Oh my first love, forgive me that I can call you first.”
Which is much better than I remembered with the addition of ‘can’.
Here’s a video with Kelly made by artist George Quasha who did a number of these intense ‘speaking portraits’ you’ll find on YouTube.
The description on YouTube says “Edited by George Quasha from two hour-long separate conversations with Kelly, one between RK and GQ, the other between RK and Alana Siegel. Recorded in Barrytown, New York, January 25th, 2009.
It was created for, and shown in, “The Logic of the World: The Poetics of Robert Kelly: Celebrating His 75th Birthday & His 50 Years Teaching at Bard College” at Anthology Film Archives in New York, sponsored by The Brooklyn Rail, on May 7th, 2011, curated by Kimberly Lyons, presented by Jonas Mekas, and hosted by Phong Bui.”
There’s a nice section about remembering at about 11 mins.