Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
by Stephen Dunn
The year I owned a motorcycle and split the air
in southern Spain, and could smell the oranges
in the orange groves as I passed them
outside of Seville, I understood
I’d been riding too long in cars,
probably even should get a horse,
become a high-up, flesh-connected thing
among the bulls and cows.
My brand-new wife had a spirit
that worried and excited me, a history
of moving on. Wine from a spigot for pennies,
langostinas and angulas, even the language
felt dangerous in my mouth. Mornings,
our icebox bereft of ice,
I’d speed on my motorcycle to the iceman’s house,
strap a big rectangular block
to the extended seat where my wife often sat
hot behind me, arms around my waist.
In the streets the smell of olive oil,
the noise of men torn between church
and sex, their bodies taut, heretical.
And the women, elegant, buttoned-up,
or careless, full of public joy, a Jesus
around their necks.
Our neighbors taught us how to close up
in the afternoon,
the stupidity of not respecting the sun.
They forgave us who we were.
Evenings we’d take turns with the Herald Tribune
killing mosquitoes, our bedroom walls bloody
in this country known for blood;
we couldn’t kill enough.
When the Levante, the big wind, came out of Africa
with its sand and heat, disturbing things,
it brought with it a lesson, unlearnable,
of how far a certain wildness can go.
Our money ran out. I sold the motorcycle.
We moved without knowing it
to take our quieter places in the world.
“Wild” by Stephen Dunn from Loosestrife. © W. W. Norton, 1996. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
The aviator and screenwriter Harriet Quimby was born on this day in 1875 in Michigan. She became a journalist in San Francisco and New York and went to an aviation tournament in October 1910, took flying lessons and got her pilot’s license.
In September 1911, wearing a purple satin outfit with a hood, she flew over a crowd of 15,000 spectators on Staten Island on a moonlit night. That same year, 1911, she wrote seven screenplays for silent films directed by D. W. Griffith. The next year, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. In the summer of 1912, flying her new monoplane near Boston, the plane unexpectedly pitched forward, ejecting Harriet Quimby and her passenger, who fell to their deaths in the ocean off Dorchester. She was 37 years old.
It’s the birthday of surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, born on this day in 1904 in Figueras, Spain, who once said, “The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.”
He had a long waxed upturned mustache and long sideburns, and wore flamboyant clothes. He sometimes walked down the street ringing a bell so that people would look at him.
He said, “In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob.”
And, “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure — that of being Salvador Dali.”
His painting “The Persistence of Memory” showing melted pocket watches hanging from trees is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
On this day in 1858 that the state of Minnesota was admitted into the Union.
On this day in 1812, the waltz was introduced at Almack’s dance hall in London. It was the first closed-couple dance the English aristocracy had ever seen. Men and women embraced one another as they were dancing, and the men lifted the women over their thighs as the couples turned. Some people called it “disgusting,” but it caught on.
It was on this day in 1942 that Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner (books by this author) was published. It was a group of interrelated stories set in Yoknapatawpha County, and the stories trace members of the McCaslin family from pre-Civil War slavery days until the 1940s. The central character, Isaac McCaslin, rejects his family’s estate, which has been passed down for generations. He is disgusted at his family’s arrogance in thinking that they could truly own the land or own other people as slaves.