Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Hearing Diane di Palma Read
One of the highlights of my trip to San Francisco was hearing Diane DiPrima read her poem "For Amiri Baraka." It turns out that halfway up the hill to Joel and Sarah's apartment is a wonderful small San Francisco bookstore, Bird and Beckett (in the Glen Park neighborhood). Walking home from the market, I stopped in for a moment and heard the redoubtable feminist beatnik poet giving a reading. She is very frail and had to sit to read, but the poem was moving--written after Baraka's death earlier this year. He was her lover long ago, and they had a magazine together as well as a daughter. The poem is about some of what really matters after all the dust of controversy and sex and political battles settle.
Here's an of her poems available online: Song for Baby-O , and an article about her from the Los Angeles Review of Books.