Five posts for Cinco De Mayo

Weirdly, I posted five small items today.

I’m gonna reprint them there, back to back.

My starting lineup included Mayor Taylor leading off, Lynn Tolman, Otis Taylor, Michael Carney in the cleanup spot, Beth Custer, Terry Acebo Davis, Paul Celan, Lon Simmons, and in the pitcher’s spot, batting for himself, Yours Truly, from Plastic Alto, Mark Weiss of Earthwise of Palo Alto (

major taylor

My friend Lynne Tolman was instrumental in bringing to fruition a monument to honor Major Taylor, a famous bike race from the early 20th century. I met Lynne when I was summer reporter for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, in 1985, and she was staff per se.


For a minute there, I was trying to put together Lynne’s group with bluesman Otis Taylor, who wrote a song about Major Taylor, for a benefit concert. Not sure it ever came to pass.

Most of the heavy lifting for this project was done in 2008, yet my old friend sends word today, via electronic media, that there is a 24-hour window, in something called Greater Worcester Gives, in which likeminded people can optimize their respect for Major Taylor, Cycling, Worcester and related values by following the instructions here.

edit to add, an hour later: another electronic birdie tells me there is a local version of Worcester Gives, called Silicon Valley Gives, also holding a 24 hour event.

Local-like, this event is sponsored and fruit ionized by Razoo. I wonder if same in Worcester, good not goofy.

edit to add: hearing back from Lynne Tolman of the TAG had me unleashing a stream of consciousness piece about reporters and sources from 29 years ago, and I actually found what looks like a current cellphone from someone truly extraordinary I briefly interacted with for my biggest scoop at the time: wondering about ringing this source and seeing if the ensuing years makes him any more reachable (and having also just posted about Seymour Hersh being so more ballsy than me).

Their eighth release. first single “bullet to brain”

speaking of brain I swear it was just yesterday I stood next to Black Keys wailing away in Austin at Billions party, circa 2004, although I have to admit I sometimes do not pull names from the aether as I once did.

Paul Celan was born in 1920 and died shortly before his 50th birthday, in 1970.

I’m not sure what I knew or had heard of his work, before a somewhat random communication with a musician and writer very into him, recently.

wikipedia — seems pretty longish and completish, last updated about 2 weeks back.

New York Times article
“A Poet At War With His Language” 12.31/00

Poetry foundation website
longish article by Cathy Park Hong that contextualizes aspects of Paul Celan’s work with other poets who spoke multiple languages, “How Words Fail“, 2006

John Felstiner, of Stanford (who I think of in relation to one of his more obscure subjects, Elizabeth Wiltsee, which Bill Rose made into “This Dust of Words”). Felstiner, a Harvard ’58, came to Stanford in 1965, and is emeritus and pretty focused on his environmental work, said to be traveling and making presentations at high schools across the land.

This book is not in Palo Alto Library collection, although a more recent Felstiner is (and other Celan collections per se are in deep storage, whilst we sling bricks around for kicks)

Celan and Heidegger, especially by James K. Lyon at Johns Hopkins MUSE

There is a 3-minute audio clip of Paul Celan reading his most famous poem “Todesfugue” (death fugue) which I can link to .

Mark Anderson

Diamanda Galas (play at your own risk)

In Germany, Gail Holst leans in on Celan.
this is a total red herring, but the search-injuns suggested a recent New York Times blog post by Dana Jennings about a 1950 comic book “Weird Fantasy” because, if I can pretend to comprehend the way this thing thinks, it has a PAUL Kast and the word CLEAN as in “clean prose”. “Clean” and “celan” and anagrams for each other. (Whereas Celan may be a pen name, picked as a version of his actual name Ancel, or a version that once had an “H” and a “ST” which were deleted)

edit to add, two hours later: aha, it occurs to me that I may have seen at SFMOMA a set of Anselm Kiefer paintings that reference Paul Celan and may have noted “Paul Celan” in a handheld device at the time. see also

edit to add, two hours and five minutes later: i struck out on my hunch to try feldman’s books, four blocks away for either celan or felstiner on celan, which reminds me i was gonna put in a good couple hours then retire to the giants game…and somewhere I did to go back and amend “Prince Hal” to the Tigers/Indians hurler Newhouser and not Norse in Jack Hirshman’s “baseball poem”…speaking of poetry projects, which in this space also goes thru Ginsburg, Van Buskirk and supposedly someday Palo Alto’s beat Lew Welch, Al Young poet laureate, but it mostly rather pedestrian stuff, “cowboy chords” as Roland Turner (John Goodman) dismissal of Llewyn Davis in the back of that car, driven by Johnny Five, and it will be five and fifth inning by the time I get to the boob’s already 2-0 giants top of the first bottom of the second I Knew that looked funny in pittsburgh, which is a mixed blessing.

Not sure what to say yet, but couldn’t help but hit “reblog” function…I heard Seymour Hersh give a long lecture re-telling the story of My Lai massacre at a student investigative journalism conference in New Haven in 1985 or 1986 and did or do have a really poor quality tape of that. I remember him saying he would go door to door in some dorm going “Calley!?…Calley?!” trying to imitate someone who knew what he was looking for, a bluff. GQ 2-GQ-ES01.12And eventually heard the “yeah?” he was striving for, his tenacity I was stuck by, (although not enough to have attempted much as ballsy as all that…I also, for what it’s worth, have a copy of Esquire Magazine with Calley on the cover, that I spared from my recent burn pile and downsizing.
Dan Kaufman writes for the New Yorker and New York Times, covering politics, perhaps especially about his home state Wisconsin, though based in Brooklyn and records for Tzadik and researches Paul Celan, The Spanish Civil War and other deep-thinking-of-Democracy-Culture-and-the-our-Diaspora topics, and puts most to music, although I mistook him for a member of a polka band, but not Tweed Funk.

Kruk and Kuip said that something tonight — Bowser Blasts in Pittsburgh — remind them of Lon Simmons’ calling Willie Mays’ 600th home run, which was supposedly “Bye Bye Baby Bonanza”. I paused the game to go back to magic box and check all that and struck out

I got a 56 second video of Russ Hodges Giant’s theme song, with which I will outro.

I got Rich Lieberman and his readers saying at a $1M per year the Giants’ broadcasters are overpaid.

I got someone pointing out that K/K call, that’s also on a KNBR t-shirt, got the number of years wrong since the Giants had previously (in NY) won the pennant, 56 versus 52.

And I got this ripped picture of a Leroy Nieman print of Willie Mays (edition 300) worth about $5,000.



Someone said the “bonanza” line was a sponsor tie-in.

edit to add, moments later — ben valdez is probably right: Lon Simmons said “you can tell it goodbye”

edit to add, again (afraid to check on the giants, who looked pretty ugly): my fellow wordpressian 30onthefly explains that a Pirate home homer was a bucco blast (for buccaneer) but now due to a sponsor called Bowser the 16 homers so far are Bowser Blasts. D’oh.
During this second game, we discovered that home runs hit by the Pirates were counted as “Bowser Blasts”. These used to be called “Bucco Blasts”, since the Pirates are also known as Bucs or Buccos. In my opinion, Bucco Blasts seems like a much cooler name, but I’m assuming the term was changed due to sponsorship by a company named Bowser.

a chain of gm dealerships.

which sent me to find the Ellis Brooks jingle,

which sent me to find Lorne Greene (Mr. Cartright) and the cast of…wait for it…Bonanza with a 5-minute clip of commercials for the 1965 Chevy line-up. Huh? Coincidence, plastic alto, or commercial conspiracy?

Hopefully going back to the game, fast-forwarding thru commercials, the Giants will meanwhile catch the Bucs…(edit to add: giants won 11-10 in 13th inning: recap)

edit to add, exactly two weeks later, or Los Diecicinco de Mayo:

I ran into filmmaker Bill Rose today at 1:10 at Coupa Cafe — notable since we were both longtime Printers Inc regulars — and as he was rushing back to his work I mentioned “I thought of you recently in that there was a sad case, like Elisabeth Wiltsee”. He said “Oh, yeah? What is it?” and perhaps due to the 90 degree Farenheit heat I said “I cannot think of it, but I will send you a link.”
(to this page)I sent him a link to a recent post within a post or five about my correspondence with a Brooklyn based musician and writer named Dan Kaufman who created a suite of music in response to the writing of Paul Celan, who was a Holocaust era poet. John Festiner is the world expert on Celan, and also wrote the article about his former student Elizabeth Wiltsee, that was the basis for Rose’s excellent film “This Dust of Words”.

I am or was scheming to become more of a Celanist and also drag or lure Kaufman and or Felstiner and maybe Rose into my net. I know Rose well enough to know he also has a good ear for music, and it gives him ideas.

Mark Weiss
Earthwise Productions
and Plastic Alto blog
live from Coupa Cafe Palo Alto 1:17 p.m. Thursday i.e. moments later


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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