May 20, 2024

Anne Waldman’s A Dark Flower For The End Times (Roger Green)

In times of crisis, we turn to art. Today, Meep Records in Denver has released A Dark Flower For The End Times. This week, as many of us sit at home amid an international pandemic, we at The New Polis invite you to listen to Waldman’s words commenting on our times.

American poet, Anne Waldman has been pushing boundaries in various realms of art and activism for over fifty years now. Author of more than forty books, her website details her vast amount of work.

[Waldman] was one of the founders and directors of The Poetry Project at St. Marks’s Church In-the-Bowery, working there for twelve years. She also co-founded with Allen Ginsberg and Diane diPrima the celebrated Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, the first Buddhist inspired University in the western hemisphere, in 1974. Ginsberg has called Waldman his “spiritual wife.

Commenting on the recording, Waldman says,

city in lockdown.  planet in lockdown. muscles at ready to rise up. stray on the street. person or animalia? people leave to sequester. people stay & say to those prone, o there now there now, dear body, dear body stay warm now. speak your time. what is it you love?  what is lasting your love?  the word may  well be a killer virus, WSBurroughs, leadership in egoic lockdown no words of wisdom, but listen to your selves, many whispers of yourselves in empathy. in communitas. not alone.
shout out to SUN RA for the spinning that continues, dear angel.
mind inside. mind inside. hold your consciousness, can’t take that away from you. creation a little jewel so many centuries and the razor wire. you’ll cut cut cut the way through.
I love the sound here, roger & adam.  bending that day of rain & wind when you can be isolate in a special realm of sound & poetry given grace & time. we face the impossible so we’ll continue the survival dance. with glow and glower and that is the leeway the legacy of heretical antithesis reality.  

Blending deep ecological critique, spirituality, physics of entanglement, Waldman’s poetry is saturated with different dimensions even as she sutures them before our eyes and ears.

Anne Waldman and Ted Berrigan read their poem, “Memorial Day” in the early 1970s

The New Polis editor, Roger Green, has been fortunate enough to collaborate as a musical accompanist to Waldman in recent years. Some of these recordings have been archived by the University of Pennsylvania’s national poetry archive.

Roger Green is general editor of The New Polis and a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  He is the author of A Transatlantic Political Theology of Psychedelic Aesthetics: Enchanted Citizens.

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