Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Meeting With Jodee

October 13, 2015

My Meeting With Jodee at the Hummingbird Cafe

Jodee was so interested in how I got to Durham…selling the house, the earthquake, the hurricane. , my first visit to ADF in 1978 at Page Auditorium…my life in Sitka, birth of my son, divorce.  Moving from Tarboro, how I got here to Durham.   Like therapy speaking to her.  I read her my poem about Stewart Singer, Dynamic Possibilities,  The War Inside Your Body about Jesse Z.  She was really encouraging about me send my poems off to Brookline to the contest.  The Amy Lowell prize…such esteemed poets have won that I almost didn’t bother sending in my stuff.  But you never know!  I conveyed to Jodee how much I LOVE ADF.  She was totally cool about me observing classes.  She said the instructors love it!  She contacted Adele Myers and got a DVD for me of “Einstein;’s Happiest Thought.”  I mentioned how it inspired me to go ahead with knee replacements.  Fear of falling…no more.

 How INSPIRING ADF is!!!  Treehouse Around Stonehenge, talking with students from VCU in 2013.  Meeting Twyla Tharp’s assistant.  Oh wonderful!!  I’ve seen a lot of dance companies…It was cool that when Kelsey came down with the DVD by Adele that she had on a shirt of the Alvin Ailey dance company.  I saw them in Richmond in the early 70’s.  Judith Jameson wiping the stage with her skirt.  Unforgettable.

Meeting Stewart Singer, Jesse Zaritt, Stephen Petronio, Adele Myers.  Jodee is amazing.    We talked about Stuart Singer, Stephan, Jesse and Jodee.  From Colorado, small college in NY then NYU.  Charles Rheinhart was her mentor.  Wow.  No wonder she’s good!

When I saw “On Their Bodies” in summer of 2013, I wondered about the genius behind the planning of it. That’s Jodee.  Took me a while to figure it out:  “on their bodies,” i.e. their body of work.   Three older dancers dancing their own dances.  Doug Varone spoke of how he didn’t think he could do it.  But he did, and beautifully!  Stephen Petronio gave me a hug when I told him his work was ground-breaking.

Our time went by quickly.  Joeee’s interested in interviewing me for the ADF newsletter – cool!
 We spoke about how some people in Durham do not even know about the American Dance Festival. Pretty amazing!  I suggested a documentary, or a book, a book that would end up on the NYT bestsellers' list.

One thing that impresses me about dancers is their supportiveness and non-competitiveness.  So sweet.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Music of That Place

The Music of That Place

I woke up that morning to the sounds of humpback whales
breeching, their dorsal fins slapping the waves.  
My usual wake-up  call, so miraculous and playful.

The Great Land had called me, and I obeyed,
just taking my backpack and stayed for
six years,  through childbirth and divorce.  

On that day, the Glacier Princess was taking
Sitkans to Glacier Bay for an overnight stay.
No charge!  My baby is safe on the island with Mimi
and I'm whisked away on a catamaran to Glacier Bay.

This place, so primal yet spectacular
Puffins, eagles, 
mountain goats posing on ledges.
Orca play in our wake.
The passengers are sunning themselves,
soaking up rays to combat the long days
of rain and grey skies.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Friday Noon Writers' Group

     Who--whee!  The Friday Noon Chapel Hill Writers' Group is really something!  It's been going on about 20 years and the moderator is David Manning.  My favorite poem was "Stuff Happens," pointed reference to the callous remark made by Jeb Bush in regard to the Oregon shootings.

     In the group was professor emeritus Conrad Neumann, recently returned from Martha's Vineyard, his home.  He shared a news article about the return of his fishing cap with the group:  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The War Inside Your Body

The War Inside Your Body

There was something about you
that I noticed in the studio
in the way you spoke to students.
Compassion, yes
you saved one or two.

There is something about your
how your ancestors fled Belerus
after World War II,
Why, the devastation still shows
in your face,
so serious
full of anguish

Transformed by the
image of the strong, powerful
Jewish man,

you dance your Jewishness
in every gesture
every movement
reflecting belonging
and pride.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Yoga in the Moon Glow

Yoga in the Moon Glow

Vinyasa flow

under a full moon

with 100 souls

honoring Mother Earth.

Sweetness and sweat



as we find our potential

in soft summer breeze

barefoot in the courtyard

amongst magnolia trees

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Another God-Smack

Another God Smack

I was just in Harris Teeter in the spice section,
A small boy brushed against me and was admonished by 
his dad,
and I felt a little ticked 
not at him
but at how crowded Aldi had been
and getting my flu shot
at Rite Aid
(and how ridiculous the drug stores are here
in comparison to the ones in Paris
that are entirely holistic)
and at the silly music playing in 
the grocery store.

Not wanting the little boy to
think I was cross with him,
I turned around and saw he had a 
cookie sheet,
and said,
"Oh good, you reminded me to 
get a cookie sheet!"

He was adorable.
I found a cookie sheet to roast vegetables on.
The little boy and his dad moved on down the aisle.
I looked carefully at the father.
He looked like...
the writing instructor at Duke whose 
course i wanted to take.

"Excuse me...
do you teach a writing course at Duke?"
It was him, John Evans,
who introduced me to his son,
Zachary, age 7, fluent in French.
John and I spent a while chatting by the spices.
I told him I had been thinking about taking his course.
Starts soon.

I just mentioned this to someone yesterday,
Abbie.  At the Lakeside Y.

I asked Zachary if he could come over and play
with my cat.  While I write.
John invited me over to bake cookies.
Zac slipped in 4 boxes of Jello even
tho he didn't eat it the last time John made it.

John moved to Durham in 2012.
He partly inspired me to also.
That and ADF
And Duke.

And so I'm here, too!
Two knee replacements and one published
book later.
I'm here.

Thank You.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Brenda Pippin, Where Are You

Brenda Pippin, Where Are You?

Brenda, it was just 16 years ago
But seems like more.

September, 17, 1999
the day of the flood.

You, in the Pender Room of the library
Temporarily homeless
Cots set up
And enough supplies.
I’m wondering what that was like for you.

pissed that you didn’t come to work that day.
Didn’t believe the weather reports,
That you were flooded out.That half the town was under water.
Miss Management,
Typical tyrant,
Refusing to do what’s best for employees,
Opened the library anyway

When everything else was closed.

A causer of hardships.
Where is she now?
Who cares?
I need to hear from you,
To know that you are all right.

(Sixteen years ago last month, a "500 year flood" came to Tarboro, North Carolina and completely flooded the nearby town of Princeville. We were all without water and power for 2 weeks. The library was turned into a temporary shelter, for library employee, Brenda Pippin and her husband. I'm wondering where she is now.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015


BAUHAUS   ---   notes from my class  Oct. -- Nov.  2015


Gesamtkunstwerk    (total work of art)

1. Characterized by cosmopolitan feeling:  free, worldly, sophisticated, well traveled

2.  Avant Garde:  forward thinking, fringe

3.  Bohemian:  "fringe," cigarette smoking and coffee drinking, sexy, edgy

Gropius:  1911, he gets his first commission, in his 20's.  Had an affair with Mahler's wife.  They had an affair in New York while she was nursing Mahler.

MUSIC:   SCHOENBERG -- not a master or student at Bauhaus but his influence was signifcant.  His expressionist paintings are shown beside work by Kandinsky's.

He was also a painter.  Contemporary of Kandinsky.  Kandinsky was also musical.

Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972) taught music at Black Mountain College 1952-1956.

GRAPHIC ARTS:   Herbert Bayer

Gunta Stoltlz   (weaver)     influenced by Kandinsky

Gertrude Arndt   (photographer)

New Designs for the Bauhaus, sure Gropius would not have appreciated it.


Bent chair (Viennese)


Abstractionism -- the return of basic forms and primary colors to remove societal symbolism and realism while reiterating formational inherent emotions.

Kandinsky -- major painter (children's book:  "Sky Blue")

MIES VAN DER ROHE  (this moves me)
Considered one of the pioneers of modern architecture, along with le Corbusier and Gropius.  Called his architecture "skin and bones".   Coined the terms "less is more" and "God is in the details."  Light and space were characteristics of his architecture.

He designed a cantilever chair.

Immigrated to U.S. in 1937.  Designed the          University in Chicago.

The Barcelona Pavilion was built for an exhibition.  Torn down and re-built in 1983.

He designed  the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he taught.  Phillip Johnson was one of his students.

The Farnsworth House was built for his lover.

For more information:

In his teaching, he was known for his criticism, telling students to just "start over."  (Bad teaching).  He himself criticized his teaching.

In 1952, there was a lot of catching up to do because of the war.  A major trend was the rise of suburbia, the baby boom.

"Art and architecture have power."  My favorite:  Rembrandt as a young man -- this was at the Rembrandt exhibit at the NC Museum.  The local government for the Bauhaus forbid the use of upper and lower case letters.

Rosenburg, Minister of Culture for Hitler, was ordered to close the Bauhaus.  In actuality, the Masters closed it.

Mies designed Nazi symbols for the Cultural Exhibit.  Lily put his affairs in order; she was sent to work in a labor camp.

The Green Bridge -- Ferdinand Muller -- at NC Museum of Art

Emil Nolde -- 1,000 of his paintings were taken down; some were burned, some were sold.

Lawn Road Flats:  built in furniture

Skandiam   see Prichards Archives

see the chaise lounge :  "built to relax every part of your body"

Penguin Donkey:  very cool bookcase

1937 - Gropius offered head of Harvard's design school.  His house was built near Walden Pond, in Lincoln, MA, it is referred to as the "Gropius House" and was willed to the Commonwealth of MA by Mrs. Gropius.  It's about ____ miles from Boston.

He was involved in building of a campus in Baghdad, toward the end of his life.

Note the house that he built for the Franks.  12,000.  Curved glass.  In Massachusetts.  Dance floor on the roof.  Near Lincoln, MA.

He also built a resteurant and hotel in Argentina.

St. John's Abbey in Minnesota where he design the chapel and glass.

1958 UNESCO building in Paris.


Van der Rohe built his house.   The McCormick house was one of only 3 houses that van rohe built in the U.S.    It was thought of as being flexible; had cleats so that a wall could be opened.  The house was moved by the Elmhurst Museum.....Eleanor King Hookham was the director ....  the house then incorporated the museum.


Never more than 50 students at a time.  1200 students went through there.  The Oxford Method was used there.  The emphasis was on oral presentation.

Albers was known as being authoritative.  Rachenberg had him as a teacher.


****  Look up Erlich and concentration camp design   (Franz Erlich)

NCMODERNIST.ORG    fabulous website on houses designed by famous architects in NC.
NOTE:  see Master's Gallery on this site

Otti Berger -- wonderful weaver and rug designer, influenced by Klee's paintings,

good book:  The Bauhaus Group:  Six Masters of Modernism