Undecided Now

It’s Winter in New York

and I’m flyin’ the friendly sky

and I can’t seem to make up my mind

O my melancholy baby

I’m undecided now

for you took away my heart

and left me with the hesitation blues

Can’t seem to make up my mind

you know you know

you could be my jazz baby

beyond the blue horizon

you could even be my satin doll

until I wouldn’t even know what time it is

O baby you stir my fire

I’m just sayin’ gimme time gimme time baby-face

’cause I’ve got the hesitation blues

and this poem is for you

You could be my Tokyo

even by my Janis my Billie

and bayybee I could be your Bobby McGee

but I’m still tryin’ to tame the lion for real

doin’ the money-musk farewell to whiskey

and stompin’ at the Pink Pony

so even tho the heat is on

and I’m moanin’ buried alive in the blues

afraid but thinkin’

of a second time around

I just can’t make up my mind

knowin’ there’ll never be another you

it’s as simple as that

just one of those things

like blues in the nite

I think I’ll have to get outta town

go about 500 miles away

all boogied out and bewildered

so for now I’m just sayin’

I’m undecided now

but remember

love can move mountains

and this poem is for you

Herschel Silverman

Herschel Silverman, a Beat Poet Immortalized by Allen Ginsberg, at 85

REAL OLD BEATNIKS NOW: 1959 BEAT GENERATION

“One of the universe’s greatest injustices is that poets, whose minds dwell far beyond the middling realities of the mundane world, have to worry about making a living. Poetry—even more than other arts—is a notoriously unprofitable endeavor, and in recent history great poets have spent their weekdays working as dreamy doctors, unlikely insurance salesmen, disaffected journalists—the list goes on. It’s probably safe to assume, however, that among them there was only one candy store owner, and that’s Herschel “Hersch” Silverman, who is turning 86 this year.” (via Tablet Magazine).

Van Gogh’s Madness Reconsidered

''Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1st version)'' 1890 ...
”Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1st version)” 1890

‘It is hard to pinpoint when exactly Vincent van Gogh crossed over from being a mere titan of modern art to a general symptom of our culture—a painter whose name adorns bottles of vodka and whose supposedly liberating madness is regarded with worshipful reverence. Twenty-five years ago, his paintings ushered in the era of stratospheric prices for leading Modernists, with the sale of “Sunflowers” for $39.7 million and “Irises” for $52.9 million—at the time, three- and fourfold increases over the previous world record for any work of art. Not long after that, Japanese industrialist Ryoei Saito set a new mark again by paying $82.5 million for “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” and then suggested that he might have it cremated and buried with him.

But despite continual invocation in exhibitions, movies and books, little of the legend of mad Vincent withstands serious scrutiny. If anything characterizes Van Gogh’s intensely felt landscapes and portraits, the critic Robert Hughes long ago observed, it is lucidity, not lunacy. And the scrupulous recent biography by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, while continuing the tradition of viewing the artist’s work as an expression of his “fanatic” personality, nevertheless concludes that his untimely death by a gunshot wound was more likely an accident than a raving suicide. What is perhaps more surprising is that almost as many questions surround the art as the life. In the past two decades, museums around the world have quietly downgraded some 40 works formerly attributed to the artist, and doubts have been raised about even highly sought-after paintings like the record-breaking “Sunflowers.” ‘ (via WSJ.com).

What Money Can’t Buy

 

Leslie Banks as "Count Zaroff" in Th...
Leslie Banks in The Most Dangerous Game

The Moral Limits of Markets: “…[H]ow long will it be before a severely cash-strapped government will be tempted to sell people-killing licenses? There are sure to be people out there who would pay to shoot, say, a condemned murderer. One could add to the fun by setting the the murderer free in the fields, and the shooters could go after him in helicopters — an updated version of the Roman circus where gladiators dispose of those already given the thumbs-down. Come to think of it: what about creating a market in killing Taliban, allowing people to buy an opportunity to do so from a drone-control center in the safety of Texas? The variations and possibilities are legion. But if (as I hope we do) we think these are horrible suggestions, then we think that there are moral limits to markets…” (via The Barnes & Noble Review).