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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Senior Editor
Brittany Julious

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Entries in alex carnevale (180)


In Which We Enter The Studio Of The Artist

Studios of the Damned


There are two kinds of painting, hard and soft, with and without the discipline of an imposed dimension. Painting is very difficult. The good painting is the solution of all these difficulties and differences of space, tactile value, and color. Strange how in parts of the world where there is stone you have sculpture, and in the countries of light you have painting.

- Georges Braque

The photographer Alexander Liberman, for his 1960 book The Artist In His Studio, ventured to collect an appraisal of the art and persons of the major painters working at the time, beginning with the deceased Expressionists. There is something almost sociopathic about the result, like reading a yearbook of a senior class that never matriculated.


These grand masters are a bickering, arrogant group of stunted individuals. The World War I veteran Braque in particular sounds like a tremendous asshole. In a 1910 article in The Architectural Record, he said: "I couldn’t portray a woman in all her natural loveliness. I haven’t the skill. No one has. I must, therefore, create a new sort of beauty, the beauty that appears to me in terms of volume, of line, of mass, of weight, and through that beauty interpret my subjective impression. Nature is a mere pretext for a decorative composition, plus sentiment. It suggests emotion, and I translate that emotion into art. I want to expose the Absolute, and not merely the factitious woman." I wonder if he believed this bullshit or if it just sounded a lot better in French.

braquePicasso originally set up a sculpture studio in Boigelsup, outside of Paris, in order to have a discreet place to cheat on his wife Olga with seventeen year old Marie-Thérèse Walter. Eventually Walter met Picasso's other mistress, and not wanting to choose for himself, the two wrestled for his approval. The men of The Artist In His Studio are compulsive and egocentric, in a way that tends to befit their paintings.

This is the opposite problem of the one we regularly have. The vast majority of the time, you have to overlook how horrid's someone's art is so you can respect them as a person. The studio itself, in Liberman's photographs, becomes an explanation for the malformed behavior. It is the idealization of all hoarding, of all self-representation.

pupkaAn artist is rarely a success in his other life. It requires the sacrifice of one's art, to whatever small or large extent, to perfect the day-to-day duties that are required. As he became more famous, the subject of his studio became more dominant in Pablo's work. Increasingly, in his last decades, he viewed the studio as an escape from the rest of the shit he had to deal with.

bonnardLiberman's visit with Picasso is particularly revealing in this context. Picasso shows him a furtive series of portraits of one woman. He comments, "You see this one. I made three of her. In the third one I dominated her, and it is the best; in the others she dominated me. Women devour you!"

Bonnard's 'The Breakfast Room'Such insights into the artist are humorous but a little jarring. It may be folly to verbalize what happens in one cortex of our brain with words from another, to measure visual artist by the inanities that emerge from his limps. Picasso comes off as a paranoid, obsessed mash of a human being. The sight of his hidden cave reduces him to less than he was before his work appeared out of thin air.

matisse's living roomLiberman escaped Paris during the second World War with his babysitter, who he later married. He worked at Condé Nast during its golden years. Throughout his ass-kissing book, he is incredibly unprepared to interact with his own idols and models. Never a gifted writer, Liberman's mastery originates in his photography and, to a lesser extent, his painting.

joan miroThere is a fascination with haunted spaces where the formerly living once practiced their most essential work. At the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and Monet's garden at Giverny, ghosts present paintings, as if by doing so they might entrance the passerby and so become alive again. These are places that no longer exist for the purpose they were intended, and so they must necessarily resemble coffins.

monetLiberman writes of the scene below:

Kandinsky’s Paris studio as he left it at his death in 1944. On an easel next to his painting cabinet, which he called “my keyboard,” stands a large serene composition, Two Green Dots, painted in 1935. The two oils under glass, done in 1911, are among the first abstract paintings. The photograph on the wall is of Kandinsky, taken in 1933.

Like MTV's Cribs and that time you saw where your girlfriend's father lived, entering these private rooms seems a violation. I think we all remember the Redman episode of Cribs where we found out the guy spent all his money and ended up in a two bedroom on Staten Island. I almost cried. In contrast, Master P had a chandelier of solid gold.

bonnard's house

Learning more about such people turns them into pathetic representations of themselves, something like drawn figures in a painting, less real, less solid to the touch. Years ago I worked as an assistant for a writer who resided in a cluttered apartment in the Lower East Side. After seeing his bedroom, where a television lurked at the foot of his bed, paired with a VCR he could barely operate, across from a kitchen where he took his meds, I could no longer take his fictions the least bit seriously.

It is always a mistake to expect anything of anyone you admire.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He tumbls here and twitters here. He last wrote in these pages about the Showtime series Nurse Jackie. You can buy The Artist In His Studio here.

the last studio cezanne built for himself in 1902Content is a glimpse of something, an encounter like a flash. It’s very tiny — very tiny, content.

- de Kooning

"Rock Center Paranoia" - Ford & Lopatin (mp3)

"Channel Pressure" - Ford & Lopatin (mp3)

"Emergency Room" - Ford & Lopatin (mp3)

The new album from Ford & Lopatin, the duo formerly known as Games, is called Channel Pressure and will be released on June 7. You can pre-order the album here.



In Which Nurse Jackie Looks Strange In This Light

The Faces of the Saints


Nurse Jackie
creators Liz Brixius, Evan Dunsky & Linda Wallem
Showtime, Mondays at 10 pm

The finest American theater is a niche experience most people will sample once or twice in their lives on a visit to New York, if at all. To attend The Book of Mormon you need to take out a mortgage and hold your paper tickets in a gold vault until showtime. Fortunately, all the pleasures of the stage are brought to life on weekly basis in the best acted show on television.

The casting on Nurse Jackie has ascended past good into the stratosphere. Not only is every character completely believable, the performances themselves are so classically perfect that it's difficult not to feel you're sitting in the dark, watching the facials of Laurence Olivier, or his lesbian-looking sister.

Edie Falco so seamlessly slipped into the role of the mob wife it's easy to forget that she's not a nurse named Jackie Peyton, either. Mrs. Peyton is addicted to painkillers, big blue ones, and she will do anything to get them. It is hard for most people to lie, but it is impossible to pretend to lie, which is what Falco accomplishes every week. Her face is an elastic jumble of concealments, so much so that it is worse when she tells someone the truth than when she is making things up, because we know the truth has far more consequences for her.

When she cheats on her husband with the hospital pharmacist, her orgasms are an enlightening anticipation of her deception. She screams because she is surprised to be feeling something, and not pretending to feel something. Everything is about the deception, for without this deception she cannot continue to exist, and the lie itself becomes as elemental to her being as the truth she is hiding. Every pleasure that comes along with the deception, like a reverse parasite, must either add to her hypocrisy or perish from its difference.

Jackie's husband Kevin confronted her once about her drug use (he found out by finding her pharmacy receipts in a secret PO Box at the end of last season), and has accepted her contention that she is trying to stay clean. He is the kind of person it is easy to deceive, who prefers a darker sort of partner because it stands in the place of his own hatred of himself.

Dominic Fumasa plays the role of Kevin, and it is a star-making performance. Like every Italian husband, he is sometimes frightening without meaning to be. His facial contortions are spasms of a deeper self, subsumed by his desire to care for his family. When the dad on The Wonder Years asks him whether he thinks he should take a break from his marriage, he laughs it off, because it would mean becoming himself for the first time. A man who does not know his own wife is a fucking time bomb.

Kevin did not confront Jackie alone. Jackie's closest friend at All Saints Hospital, Dr. O'Hara (Eve Best), also showed her concern over Jackie's over her drug use, albeit it at the insistence of Jackie's husband. Over time, she has regretted choosing her friend's health over her friendship. Pauline Kael analysed everyone by their appearances, which is something we all do, just not as openly and as often as she did in her reviews. I don't know what she thought she saw in them. Of Marlene Dietrich she once wrote

The contrast of her high, rounded forehead and Madonna-like face with her low, uncouth voice provides an extraordinary sexual charge; her torso is sturdier than in her later movies, and her upper arms look full and strong, yet her face seems more ethereal than perhaps at any other time.

I can't imagine anything that describes Eve Best better, although I'm not sure it ever described Marlene Dietrich all that well.

In a world of repressed adult sexuality, where men and women only hug each other in order to exchange drugs or money, Jackie's protege Zoey (the glowing Merritt Weaver) remains uncorrupted by what surrounds her. Weaver is a trained stage actress, and her buffet of reactions to the world around her comprises a litany of looks, glances, pre-suppositions, hints, taunts and teases.

When she blogs on her website, Nursing It Yo, a certain cast comes over her face, not unlike the pursed concentration of protobloggeurs Moe Tkacik or Tracie Egan in 2004. Weaver is startlingly beautiful, made more so because she is clearly the youngest person in the cast and the only one not guilty of one sin or another. The Nurse Jackie writers gave her a likeable EMT love interest which completely backfired, as no one wants to see Zoey with a schlubby EMT. Even Dr. Cullen himself may not, in fact, be good enough for a woman of her talents.

When the hospital drama died, it was resurrected and re-murdered by Shonda Rimes, who I prefer to call Rhonda Shimes. It is hard to imagine yet another show that takes place in a hospital could even be halfway decent, let alone this entertaining, without becoming wildly implausible. And in fact when Nurse Jackie focuses on the patients, the whole show falls apart and you expect Zach Braff to walk in on a cloud. A sick person has ceased to be interesting, but a sick person who treats another sick person is enough of twist to make us care about them both.

In case we forget what really makes good television, Nurse Jackie reminds us by using actors trained in the theater to bring the concept of dramatic irony back to life. The people in this milieu work as hard as they possibly can to get what they want, which was David Mamet's definition of good theater before he started throwing rocks at Palestinians in a reverse Edward Said-type situation.

In last week's episode, Jackie went to the home of her drug dealer against her better judgment. (She can't get it through legal-illegal channels since she dumped her bald pharmacist boyfriend.) Her dealer lives in a building with distinctly eerie gargoyles situated on top, and he emerged to meet Jackie outside. They stared at each other across the street. One of the statues broke off and shattered on the pavement, and her drug dealer stepped out to look where it had fallen from. He was struck by a bus and killed. Without so much as a gasp, Jackie wandered off from the scene. We recognized what she thought from the look on her classically trained face: it should have been her.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He is a writer living in Manhattan. He tumbls here and twitters here. He last wrote in these pages about the life and letters of the poet Anne Sexton.

"Snow Frog vs. Motor Cobra" - Morning Teleportation (mp3)

"Expanding Anyway" - Morning Teleportation (mp3)

"Crystalline" - Morning Teleportation (mp3)

The latest album from Morning Teleportation, Expanding Anyway, was released in March and you can purchase it here.


In Which We Have An Astonishing Amount Of Attention To Give

The Jumping Catfish Love of Anne Sexton


The great theme is not Romeo and Juliet. The great theme we all share is that of becoming ourselves, of overcoming our father and mother, of assuming our identities somehow.

from Anne Sexton's early introduction to The Double Image

Anne Gray Harvey didn't start writing poetry until she was 28. Before then she was a model with Boston's Hart Agency. In 1948, at the age of 20, Anne ran off and eloped with Kayo Sexton. After she'd married Kayo, they sent along the same telegram to each of their parents. The Sextons tosses theirs away in a fury at the union, although they would later grow closer to Anne than her own parents. Anne's parents preserved the telegram for posterity:

Living off Kayo's parents and then with her husband supporting her, Anne began to pursue her poetry, taking her first class with the mercurial poet John Holmes. Her complicated relationship with Holmes' aesthetic was later superceded by Robert Lowell. By the time she met Lowell, she had already made her first suicide attempt. She wrote this letter to get into Lowell's class at Boston University.

September 15th, 1958

Dear Mr. Lowell:

What a fine letter you wrote me. I am considering framing it to prove to all comers that poets are people. I am so pleased that you think my work shows promise, that I shall need no new proof for possibly a month.

Since receiving your letter I have been busy begging money from old fat relatives. Today, with 90 dollars in my fist, I called the registrar's office. However, it seems they are not bouncing with joy at the thought of "special students" with no particular degree. A Mr. Wilder said I would have to wait until after registration and see if there were too many students in the class. I forward this information to you because I gather he will present you with the problem.

I hasten to add, since he may forget my name, that I am one of the vagrant applications that awaits your decision. He asked me if I were connected with any publication. I am not. In fact, I am totally disconnected from everything. I did not mention my slim list of credits, thinking he might wonder WHAT I was talking about. I am supposed to call him on Friday morning at eleven.

If this doesn't pan out I can always try for the second semester. I am even tempted to sit watching your lovely letters of praise and forget all about the work and criticism and growth that I would enjoy working with you.

I am more than a little shy of the great factories of humanity, like B.U., and it will take considerable moral courage to get on with this complicated application, registration, and these new hurdles. Somewhere, I hope I will get to a classroom where Robert Lowell is talking about poetry. I don't want the three credits, I am not sweetened with a background of knowledge, am even defensive saying ("I don't know anything.") — but if you can squeeze me in, I will be there.

You do not need to answer this letter. I just wanted to let you know the meanwhiles and if so's. If I do not make it I will surely meet you sometime.

Yours sincerely,

Anne Sexton

bob lowellAnne had a complicated relationship with her parents, but they were as much raw material for her existing troubles as the source of them. Whatever happened with her and her father (he got rich selling various goods during World War II), Anne was predisposed to mental illness from the first, and spent most of her life on medication (specifically the antipsychotic thorazine) and under analysis. Her manic qualities are obvious from her letters, which represent an extraordinary output of energy. Anne's writing began as a way of coping with her illness, and her letter writing was the best kind of therapy. Her relationships with poets like Maxine Kumin and W.D. Snodgrass are preserved in this form.

November 28, 1958

To W.D. Snodgrass

Dear passionflower tender,

I was just looking out the window at the truck that was delivering two bottles of whiskey and it was, yes it was, snowing. I am young. I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all little and white and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything. Christ is in his manger and Santa in heaven.

I am a good girl and the man left two bottles of booze because my mother is rich and she ordered them. She is staying with us because my father is ill, in the hospital with a stroke. My mother keeps telling me that soon I will be rich because they will be dead (she is greedily wordy about this) and I listen to her and think about a poem by you about a mother...she is like a star...everything MUST center around her.

anne's self-portrait
And I write in a hurry because it is snowing and because this morning I received a letter from you and I because I would rather write to you this moment than sleep with Apollo or even go outside and measure the snow on the walk. I write to you because you understand my letters and do not take them TOO seriously or too casually. And because, after all, I love you and you are my best god anyhow.

Did I? Why do I forget everything! send you a complete copy of my "Double Image" poem the other day? I sent it someone that I cared about. But was it you? Who else could there be, that I care about - about reading it??? I think I did. If so — read it. If not — let me know.

I also received a nice letter from Jim McConk taking two poems for Epoch (it's about time) and saying such nice things about my work and when was my book coming out (I didn't believe that, but it looked nice on the page) and all. That sweet ladypoet from Rochester took two poems for Voices (don't know why I sent there — but did —) one of the ones was a new one, "Obsessional Combination of Ontological Inscape, Trickery and Love" ... why am I rambling on? Now I know why I am really writing you so promptly. I have a question —

diane russo's reimagining of anne sexton

How do I go about applying for Yaddo? Would John Holmes be enough of a recommendation? Who else could I find? Would Nolan Miller (he thinks he discovered me) help? Or Hollis Summers (he writes me letters) — I might be able to go. I think the first thing to do is see if I could get in — do you think, perhaps, it would be better to wait a year (in view of that fact that I'm such a "new" writer)...

John Holmes is having a small party for John C. Ransom next Wed. night and has asked me so maybe I will meet someone who will decide to discover me. I will be on the lookout for a possible famous soul who can recommend me.

skinny dipping in Newton 1962
But how do you go about it, dear night clerk; the future is my own. I am trying to steer. I paddle my own craft with toothpick oars. Thank you for quoting my letter. I will write you dozens more someday. I doubt if I can use it in a poem (but there is lots more where that came from). I am a romantic and am full of tiers of tries of all that.

let me know about Yaddo —

yours Anne

Success came quickly, and while the accompanying confidence kept her going through her constant bouts of anxiety and depression, it also exaggerated her considerable alienation. At times she could be deft about how she pushed herself on other people, but she was often extremely intrusive, even on the lives of her own husband and daughters. Her boundaries weren't too spectacular.

Anne's best book, her 1962 collection All My Pretty Ones, was roundly celebrated. It was even nominated for the National Book Award, the second time Anne would receive that accolade. The one exception was a negative review by James Dickey that appeared in The New York Times Book Review. Anne carried the clipping around in her wallet:

It would be hard to find a writer who dwells more insistently on the pathetic and disgusting aspects of bodily experience as though this made the writing more real, it would also be difficult to find a more hopelessly mechanical approach to reporting these matters than the one she employs... Her recourse to the studiedly off-hand diction favored by Randall Jarrell and Elizabeth Bishop and her habitual gravitation to the domestic and the "anti-poetic" seem to me as contrived as any poet's harking after galleons and sunsets and forbidden pleasures.

Anne was fairly good with criticism; in fact it is rumored she was the last person to take criticism well in this country. After reading the review, she wrote Dickey a letter and befriended him. In short order he was eating out of her hand. She did this with most of her antagonists, the mark of every disturbed disposition.

one of anne's early effortsAnne's letters also show why she was renowned as a capable, albeit wildly erratic, teacher. She did feature, as all great instructors do, the exact right combination of total self-involvement and magnetic empathy that drew students to her in the classroom. She had an astonishing amount of attention to give, and as a poet she was as engaged with her critics (of which there were many) as her admirers. She was so manic in the way that she interacted with people that were if not for the relative stability of her husband, she might have gone completely off the rails.

The quintessential volume of Anne's letters is Anne Sexton: A Self Portrait in Letters, edited by two women who knew Sexton intimately, Lois Ames and Anne's daughter Linda. Anne's number one correspondent was her husband, especially when she was separated from him. In one letter, Anne quotes John Ciardi's phrase that "a woman marries what she needs." The following letter to her husband Kayo is perhaps proof of this. Anne was on a long European trip that had started when she and her travelling companion had all their possessions stolen. The flood of ensuing letters were wild beacons across the Atlantic.

Sept 7th, 1963

Dearest Kayo,

I want, though not often, to write you a letter of your own...i.e. a love letter. It can be a drag to have to speak publicy (to all, the girls and whoever, sometimes I feel to the whole neighborhood) ...when I often long for you and wish to speak only to you. Naturally the news goes on, the road moves, the travelerama continues and with it, with each time I type, are these almost unspoken words of love for you. Kayo, my darling, I miss you terribly. Each food I taste that I think worthy of your taste I miss you more. And more! Oh, Boots, there are times, despite the excitement of the buildings, of the food, of the people, when longing for you wells up in me... and I want to be home beside you in the bed looking at t.v. or at the kitchen table drinking a martini...(for God's sake now Sandy is talking and talking and all day she has been silent but when I start to write, well then she talks...) enough complaints. Actually we get along pretty well, except for a fight last night that didn't last long. I was typing out the list for Kazan and asking her how to spell and she sounded irritated and I barked back and told her to go to hell, etc. She went out of the room in huff and went to the john and smoked a cig. Good for me I sez...might as well speak up and clean the slate off once in awhile.

Kayo, the night before last I dreamt you were having an affair with someone and I woke up crying! Awful. Please keep loving me! I love you so much and feel you are here with me all the time...miss you more than I had thought possible. True, I am terribly busy what with losing everything! And all. The shock of losing it all just doesn't sink in. I lost all the books! Even nana's letter from Europe and grandfather's too.

with kayo in spring of 1968I did value and love those two books...but they are in the thief's wastebasket I guess...and life must go on not backward (just this fact makes me feel better, the trouble with therapy is that it makes life go backwards) and I am so tired of that old suffering. I want life to go forward even if I have to lose all my books and clothes to keep it going in that direction. And in a way, life is flowing toward us...you and me...and the life we have, for each day that goes by brings us nearer and each mile does it too.

in capri 1962I feel, sometimes, as if I were actually driving upon the map in our kitchen! I know I am here and you are there and yet, and yet, not quite. The sound of the ocean reminds me of the night in front of the house we rented on the Cape. (Do you remember that night on the beach?)

I keep missing baked beans. Do you think you might send me a care package of baked beans? It is the first meal I think of and long for. Tonight in Knokke at our hotel (meals with room...a nice summer out of season hotel ... typical dutch bourgeois resort, very nice) we had tiny, two or three inch, lobster as a start and then steak and marvelous sauce and french fries. The french fries all over Europe are wonderful. I have become a lover of french fries (not frozen, not HoJo)...

with maxine kuminBut you know, Kayo, I always did I have a "wanderlust" and it wasn't JUST A NEUROTIC wish to flee responsibility...but to see new things. And I do love that. I don't have the time or energy to get depressed or anxious. If I get anxious I seem to have four miles of walking in front of me and that takes care of THAT. Tonight we are supposed to be at the Poetry Festival Ball (for which I bought that damn expensive new dress in Brussels) but which I don't feel like going to. The sea has undone me. To hell with the ball. The dress I will wear on New Year's Eve and you will fall in love with me. That's what I want the dress for.

Meanwhile, I'll wear the few rags I have left. We have a copy of what we sent to Kazan as a list and will send it later, perhaps from Amsterdam (right now using mailers) for you to check. I wrote it out quite correctly, be sure to check with him and see what's up and tell him clothes all new from trip and not to devalue them as "used" ... some never worn. Kayo, my boots, keep loving me. It is hard to go so long without letters from you. Every night before sleep I read the ones I got in Paris but then you had never heard from me...the time lapse is painful (that's why the cable). You hear from us more regularly, but it is hard to wait this long, I become fearful and afraid, afraid I'll lose you. I know that IS silly, but there it is, and in all its little ugly unsureness and with its open love. Europe is fascinating. I am truly interested and excited but I miss you very much and love you with all my heart. Usually I must write the large common letter. But tonight I must say my special say which goes for always but must be said once more. I love you.


Later in the month, she sent the following telegram:


To me, Anne seems the living embodiment of something that is in all of us; in Anne it was the entire thing. She could not live, was not able to survive, without chronicling her life, without remedying the errors she had met and explaining them, often to large audiences, in order to set them right. She is a reminder that while we can change, a part of us never does.

anne's report card
As she got older and struggled more with her illness, alcoholism too began to take hold. Her breakdowns had led to several hospitalizations, but her writing continued. She distanced herself from many of her oldest friends, and her letters become evidence of a closer relationship with fans who randomly connected to her poems than those who knew her best. Her clipped bursts of enthusiasms toward her admirers are both sweet and chilling at the same time. Anne received a letter from Dorianne Goetz, who wrote her from a mental hospital, and sent back this postcard in June of 1965:

in her study, spring 1966Dear Doris

Thank you so much for your note. I'm so pleased you like my work. I hope you can get a chance to see the new poem out in Harper's this month (June) called "For the Year of the Insane." It is only for a few people.

I would like it if you could be one of them.

I wish I were nineteen. Not that it's better or worse to be me at 36 but it gives you so much more time to grow. Inside I'm only thirteen and outside I have wrinkles and a family and many who depend on me. How silly all this is when you are actually 13. That's what I mean "I wish." Time to grow — it's so needed. Hope you still find Hillside "a wonderful place." I've been in so many that aren't. But that's another story...Please send poems. I'd like to see them —


Anne Sexton

Before filing for divorce from Kayo, she accompanied him on a safari to Africa, one of his long-terms goals. She was really grossed out by the bloodshed as a lifelong vegetarian but suffered through it for him.

Anne killed herself on October 4, 1974 after a day of lunch with Maxine Kumin and time spent proofing her new book. In 1969 a letter to her daughter Linda, who would become her literary executor, anticipated her death:

Dear Linda,

I am in the middle of a flight to St. Louis to give a reading. I was reading a New Yorker story that made me think of my mother all alone in the seat I whispered to her "I know, Mother, I know." (Found a pen!) And I thought of you — someday flying somewhere all alone and me dead perhaps and you wishing to speak to me.

in front of their weston home with linda, 1966And I want to speak back. (Linda, maybe it won't be flying, maybe it will be at your own kitchen table drinking tea some afternoon when you are 40. Anytime.) - I want to say back.

1st I love you

2. You never let me down

3. I know. I was there once. I too, was 40 with a dead mother who I needed still.

This is my message to the 40-year-old Linda. No matter what happens you were always my bobolink, my special Linda Gray. Life is not easy. It is awfully lonely. I know that. Now you too know it — wherever you are, Linda, talking to me. But I've had a good life — I wrote unhappy — but I lived to the hilt. You too, Linda, Live to the HILT! To the top. I love you, 40-year old Linda, and I love what you do, what you find, what you are! Be your own woman. Belong to those you love. Talk to my poems, and talk to your heart — I'm in both: if you need me. I lied, Linda. I did love my mother and she loved me. She never held me but I miss her, so that I have to deny I ever loved her - or she me! Silly Anne! So there.



Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He tumbls here and twitters here. He last wrote in these pages about Gene Wolfe's Home Fires.

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"Sandy" - Nancy Wilson (mp3)

"Secret Garden" - Bruce Springsteen (mp3)

"Momma Miss America" - Paul McCartney (mp3)

I am, each day,
typing out the God
my typewriter believes in.
Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.

from anne's modeling portfolio