Saturday, June 11, 2022

When can I go into the supermarket...


And buy what I want with my good looks?

This is my long-time friend, Iris Levy. We met at Bard College in 1973 and we've been friends ever since. She introduced me to Allen Ginsburg. Well, not the man himself, but his poetry. First, with Howl, then with Kaddish, then Reality Sandwiches. And honestly, the words in the poems, the lines, the images, the surrealist-meets-zen-meets-Dada-meets-Situationalists--well, it changed my life forever. I often quote from his poem America and I cannot go into a supermarket without asking--when can I buy what I want with my good looks?  

Iris went on to switch majors from literature to psychology. At the time, I thought it was a terrible betrayal. But now, I am simply grateful that she was my friend, my teacher, my muse, and that she introduced me to The Beats. Not only did this influence my writing, but my fashion choices--and so began my penchant for wearing black turtlenecks and black berets and quoting Nietzsche.  (Actually I never quote Nietzsche. I just thought I'd sound cool if I said that.)

Creative friends---your assignment is to go into your local supermarket and fill your cart with what you want and then go to the check-out and tell the clerk that you forgot your wallet and that you'd like to pay for everything with your good looks.

No! Don't do that! Really. Kidding!

Rather, I would like to suggest that you create something in response to this phrase. Dance to it. Imagine a world where you could walk into the supermarket and pay for whatever you want with your good looks. What would you wear? What would you say? What kind of a dance would you do in homage to your groceries--your avocados, your pot roast, your fillet of flounder, and your Ben & Jerry's?  

As  Nietzsche would say, "You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star."

Finally--create, love, appreciate--and hold onto your friends. They are the family you choose and they have so much to teach us.

As always, have fun.



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