Posts by tag: Ohio

The Journal of Albion Moonlight (excerpt)

We are now in a little town in Ohio. Here and there among the houses, which are certainly comical in their structure, all towered and pillared and trellised, like a child’s drawing of a hous, we saw strange, shell-like cellars extending deep into the earth. Our inquiries brought the information that these were originally designed as roasting pits for the preparation of human flesh. Upon consulting a history book, I learned that cannibalism was prevalent in the Middle West as late as 1924. These pits are now the scene of dog-baiting and cock-fighting. This region is up-to-date in the extreme: it is not at all unusual to see other sights in these diggings — women cohabiting with sheep, pigs, and dogs; men masturbating stallions with greased inner-tubes; surgeons performing cancer operations; local election rallies featuring the castrating and lynching of Negroes — all this is done to acquaint the public with a new cosmetic or tooth powder, or to open a new movie palace or church. I do not wonder that this state ranks second in the number of sons it has contributed to the White House.

– from Kenneth Patchen’s Journal of Albion Moonlight (New Directions, 1941)

Greene County Ohio

A field in Greene County, Ohio, 2015

T Morrison’s The Bluest Eye banned for incest

Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terhar wants all mentions of the Toni Morrison novel The Bluest Eye removed from state guidelines for schools teaching to the new Common Core academic standards. She thinks the book is “pornographic.”

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Joe Brainard remembers Dayton

(This is an update to the post Dayton in books: a collage.)

Joe Brainard’s I remember (1975) is an incredible book, touching, intimate, and beautiful. It consists of more than 1,000 brief entries that begin with the words “I remember.”

Joe Brainard's I remember cover image

Brainard was from Tulsa, Oklahoma, went to New York City where he remained friends with Ron Padgett, and met Kensward Elmslie, John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, and others of the New York poets of the 60s and 70s. He’s remembered as both an artist (painter, sketch artist?) and as a writer of about ten other books.

Just a few excerpts on Brainard’s brief stint in Dayton, Ohio, where he had a scholarship through the Dayton Art Institute:

I remember when I won a scholarship to the Dayton, Ohio, Art Institute and I didn’t like it but I didn’t want to hurt their feelings by just quitting so I told them that my father was dying of cancer. (53)

I remember in Dayton, Ohio, the art fair in the park where they made me take down all my naked self-portraits. (53)

I remember a girl in Dayton, Ohio, who “taught” me what to do with your tongue, which it turns out, is definitely what not to do with your tongue. You could really hurt somebody that way. (Strangulation.) (153)

UPDATE: The amazing PennSound archive has a 1/2 hr. recording of Joe Brainard reading from this work.

Dayton in books – a collage

Though it’s no literary capital, the city of Dayton, Ohio crops up in the work of Toni Morrison, Joe Brainard, Ralph Ellison, Vladimir Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, and others. Let’s compare.

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