WTM #1064: The Dead Go Their Own Way


wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3

Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

29 June 2009 // 17.00-19.00

Rebeat it > Ichael Ackson

Sea Soundscape > Mathew Adkins [[60] Project / Empreintes Digitales]

Schick Speed Razor > Farah Fawcett

Sustain a Rift > Si.Cut.db [From Tears: Beach Archive / Bip-Hop]

Sea Soundscape > Mathew Adkins

O Tzitzeras O Mitzeras > Demetrio Stratos [Concerto all’Elfo]

They Follow Me > Jichael Mackson

Urban Soundscape > Mathew Adkins

I’m Not a Man > Harold Norse [Of Course / Ins&Outs]

Eddie Woods reports: The audio recording of Harold’s 1984 reading at Ins & Outs Press, Harold Norse Of Course, will soon be re-released as a CD and an LP (10″-vinyl, double album, 4 sides). This is a joint venture of Ins & Outs, Amsterdam and Swindell Productions in San Francisco. In other words, stay tuned. Once these are out, you’ll be hearing about it!

Time Machine > Yann Tomita

Ambient Instrumental > Mathew Adkins

Segmenti 3* Demetrio Stratos

Tryptique Russe > Jacques Tremblay [Chroniques d’une Seduction /  Empreintes Digitales]

Reve Libanais > Jacques Tremblay

We Bumped off Your Friend the Poet > Harold Norse

Selling Shampoo > Farah Fawcett

Jij Hebt ‘t Helemaal > Olleke Bolleke [Olleke Bolleke / Dureco]

Haiti Troubadour > Jacques Tremblay

In a Cafe Bar [trans. of Paul Verlaine poem] > Harold Norse

Nox Sale > Farah Fawcett

Poem to Jack Kerouac > Harold Norse

Abstract / Ambient > Mathew Adkins

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough > Michael Jackson

Concrete / Experimental > Mathew Adkins

Whiskey Lied > Olleke Bolleke

FF Ultra  > Farah Fawcett

Espresso Esprissivo > Jacques Tremblay

Sniffing Keyholes – Beat Hotel > Harold Norse

Sine Wave Assasin > Pussy Galore [Pussyfoot records]

Haiti Troubadour > Jacques Tremblay

Free Love > Barry Adamson

Alarm- Beat Hotel Harold Norse

Le Sirene > Demetrio Stratos

Haiti Troubadour > Jacques Tremblay

A Question of Identity > Harold Norse

Into My Bed > Jichael Mackson

Marilyn Monroe: The guy buried above MM in the columbarium is about to lose his dream position on top. He had purchased top dog position from Joe Dimaggio and had been on top of MM for many years but now his wife needs the money in the mortgage crush and sold his vault position to someone else for $1.2 million. Ashes to ashes and coitus in the dust.

• I’ve been paying way too much tribute to those who have died. I hate retrospectives of artists especially if they had been all but forgotten in their last years of life. I don’t mind it if the person was celebrated in death as s/he had been in life. There is something catholic about retrospectives, something about purging guilt for having ignored him/her when they were still living.

• I know M. Jackson was a troubling presence but he was also a troubled soul, a victim of not only an opportunistic father but of an entire system that rewards and punishes based on the wave-like activities of the stock market. MJ who had once been the single most famous person in the world just couldn’t handle it. He is not the first to go the way of weird… It is only through my daughter who has no idea about his questionable behavior and Youtube that I rediscovered some of his greatest moments, which really are hugely entertaining. That he may have been murdered by his own doctor [never mind all of the blood-sucking advisors, aids, agents, financial wizards] is something daughter Paloma cannot even comprehend. And refuses to. She also still believes in Sinter Klaas [Dutch Santa Claus]. There was a period about a year or 2 ago when she believed in EVERYthing including Easter bunnies, Santa Claus, every religion and deity but now she’s a bit more cautious. The Ichael / Jichael pieces are my own deconstructed remixes…

• Farrah Fawcett also died around the time that MJ did and  it was hard for someone under 40 to comprehend how famous she was and for how little she was actually famous for: a face, hair style and a poster. I remember arguing about my father who was a FF fan. I proposed Chrissie Hynde and Lizzie Mercier Descloux and Maria Schneider [Last Tango] as all being much more interestingly beautiful… He only laughed as he shared in her triumph as she got all of the commercial endorsement deals to do with hair and such, obvious to one and all that my father was right.

• I have listened with great joy more than once to the excellent cassette “Harold Norse Of Course” on Ins&Outs. I say more than once because he is a compelling poet with a gift to wrap dangerous revelations/stuff in a warm, cozy  shawl perfect for protection against the cold but also capable of strangling someone or hanging yourself. The cassette was produced by another wonderful poet Eddie Woods, American ex-pat.

• In June 2009 EW wrote the following:

Dear Friends, Harold Norse has passed on. Exactly four weeks short of his 93rd birthday. He went peacefully, knowing for himself that it was time to go. His very last words were, “The end is the beginning.” I intend to write about Harold. An appreciation of a truly great poet. And a magnificent human being. Also about how we met, the times we spent together. And so forth. There is so much to tell. But later, not now. For the moment the best I can do is pass on the three mailings I received this morning. From his dear San Francisco friends Todd Swindell, and Jim Nawrocki. So good that Harold had them close by. Despite my tears, knowing that made the news easier to bear.

Meanwhile, as Todd Swindell says below, let us celebrate a life well lived. Knowing full well that Harold’s poetry will itself live on thru the ages. And yes, God bless The Carnivorous Saint: Harold Norse, of course.

Om Kali Shakti Om,


Eddie’s story “Remembering Harold Norse” is now available on the Exquisite Corpse.

ps Two of Harold’s very many poems are appended below in Todd’s mailing. I have added to that by attaching what is probably my favorite Harold poem, “Follow No Leader.” Which will appear in JN Reilly’s forthcoming anthology Venus Rising. And which I intend to read tonight at de Kring, Amsterdam.


My dear friend Harold Norse passed away this morning after a noble and beautiful dance with death, Tough Queer Brooklyn Jew until the end. I do not mourn his passing, I celebrate. Harold Norse lived of pure creativity sorely lacking in our material world of Samsara. His life force will shine on for eons. The important task now is to read his work, to speak his words, to speak our own innately poetic voice.

In the next couple days I will launch http://www.haroldnorse.com as a memorial tribute. Also there will be an obituary. Do you have photos of Harold? If so, let me know. Please spread this information far and wide. Text it to your co-workers, spray paint it on the cafeteria wall, scratch it on your arm with a fountain pen.  There is more work to do getting Harold’s books reprinted, unpublished works to an appreciative audience and deposit his archives according to his wishes. Anyone in the San Francisco area who is interested in helping, keep in touch with me. There will be a celebration of his life at The Beat Museum in early July. Does anyone know how to navigate wikipedia? If so, let me know as Harold’s page is woefully lacking in substance.  Harold last words were “the end is the beginning.”

IN MEMORY OF RONNIE BURK who introduced me to Harold because he was sick of cleaning Harold’s kitchen and felt a youngin should do it, seeing as he was an old poet himself. Help out old artists who should be creative rather than doing housework. You’ll learn so much!  A bottle of wine nearly finished and John Coltrane’s Selflessness on my

ipod, I bid you all adieu.

Love Conquers All,

Todd Swindell <swindell@davidbowie.com>

Carnivorous Saint

we dig up ancient shards

clicking cameras

among the dying cypresses

choked by Athenian smog.

yet cats continue basking

in the hazy sun

the chained goat sways in ecstasy

the Parthenon looks down from creamy heights

lichen and rust nibble the pediments

and tourist feet break the spell

of antiquity’s vibrations

the grass hits

as I look at rusty orangeade caps

thinking Who needs nuclear Apollo?

thermonuclear Minerva?

Nike crashing to grand finale?

we need the anti-Christ

who is probably playing football around the corner

the sweet boy who used to be called Eros

and wants us to be happy.

bring back the carnivorous saint

whose mother is no virgin

she’s Our Lady of Peace Movements

to ban the bomb and clean up the air

she’ll wave her umbrella and change the world.

ah yes, when the grass hits

old worlds burn down and new worlds form

in clouds of brown monoxide morning.

Athens, Jan. 1964


I’m Not a Man

I’m not a man, I can’t earn a living, but new things for my family.

I have acne and a small peter.

I’m not a man. I don’t like football, boxing and cars.

I like to express my feeling. I even like to put an arm

around my friend’s shoulder.

I’m not a man. I won’t play the role assigned to me- the role created

by Madison Avenue, Playboy, Hollywood and Oliver Cromwell,

Television does not dictate my behavior.

I’m not a man. Once when I shot a squirrel I swore that I would

never kill again. I gave up meat. The sight of blood makes me sick.

I like flowers.

I’m not a man. I went to prison resisting the draft. I do not fight

when real men beat me up and call me queer. I dislike violence.

I’m not a man. I have never raped a woman. I don’t hate blacks.

I do not get emotional when the flag is waved. I do not think I should

love America or leave it. I think I should laugh at it.

I’m not a man. I have never had the clap.

I’m not a man. Playboy is not my favorite magazine.

I’m not a man. I cry when I’m unhappy.

I’m not a man. I do not feel superior to women

I’m not a man. I don’t wear a jockstrap.

I’m not a man. I write poetry.

I’m not a man. I meditate on peace and love.

I’m not a man. I don’t want to destroy you

San Francisco, 1972


Hi Eddie,

I am very sorry to have to tell you that Hal passed away this morning

(Monday, June 8) at around 7:30. For about the last week he  deteriorated rapidly, and became very weak. I visited him this past Saturday…he was in bed when I got there, his voice at a whisper, and it was difficult to understand him. He drifted in and out a bit…but he did see me and our eyes met and I knew that he knew he was at the end. We had a good visit, all things considered. I guess it was a chance for us to say our goodbyes. It was just the two of us. Toward the middle of my visit he said he wanted to get up, and so, with the help of two nurses, we put him in a wheelchair and brought him to the dining room, where I sat with him as he ate a little…very little. It was a bright, sunny day. He sat there looking out at it with me through the big sliding doors. I had to help him with the fork and spoon he tried to hold. He trembled a lot. But…he was there. He had his facu lties right to the end. I left him there in that bright room, promising to come back again soon, but it was, it turned out, the last time I saw him.

I don’t know if anyone else has contacted you about Hal, but I wanted to let you know. I’ll keep you updated on the memorial gatherings. I’m sure there will be a few. And I can send you copies of his obituaries, etc.  I hope you are well. I am sorry to have to share such sad news.

Jim <j_nawrocki@sbcglobal.net>


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