New Work In Progress:
Oedipus in the Backseat
Little Known Operas
The lush, lexically gorgeous and emotionally complex poems of Little-Known Operas guide us through the terrain of love, sex, same-sex marriage, illness, death, and art.
“MARIA CALLAS WENT TO HAMBURG” from Little-Known Operas
In 1959 when Maria Callas went to Hamburg her hair
was still neoclassical. In the film she emerges at 0 minutes:
7 seconds, silk legs the clapper of an underwater bell.
But the moment I need to tell about is at 42:30, prelude
of the Pirata aria, when resting her left hand
on the conductor’s cage, head down eyes closed, cloistered,
thirty seconds forty fifty, she doesn’t know us, we are nowhere and no one,
descending figure, strings distressed, dissonant, trembling, swelling,
(remember Mom in the ‘60s? her door closed sometimes till noon—)
Karen Chase is the author of FDR on His Houseboat: The Larocco Log 1924-1926: In the midst of the Jazz Age, while Americans were making merry, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken by polio and withdrew from public life. From 1924 to 1926, believing that warm water and warm air would help him walk again, he spent the winter months on his new houseboat, the Larooco, sailing the Florida Keys, fishing, swimming, playing Parcheesi, entertaining guests, and tending to engine mishaps. During his time on the boat, he kept a nautical log describing each day’s events, including rare visits by his wife, Eleanor.
And: Polio Boulevard: Karen’s memoir is a truly remarkable piece of history.
– Olympia Dukakis
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.