As I have writ in moments of elation and despair, I have long sought a literary legacy. At moments I was sure I actually had one, being foster-papaed by Yip Harburg, in my opinion the best we had of lyricists, screwed by Frank Loesser in several senses of the word, having been born on Irving Berlin's birthday(May 11th) in Stephen Foster's birth city, which most will be stunned to find out was Pittsburgh, Pa., his having never, except in song, and for one boat ride, made it truly into the deep South, and living not very long, thirty-seven years, for all his marvelous output.
But during one of my parents' ferocious reconciliations, when my mother told me to call the police, and when they came, from half-hid from behind the door to apt. 12D I think it was, so they couldn't see her blackened eye, she told them "It's my daughter: she's crazy." And so it began, the mythic part of my life, because I can't conceive of my reputation going downhill any earlier than eleven.
All of this remembered because the building where I lived at the time, where that took place was 255 West 84th Street, on which there is now a plaque that reads, in brass, "On this site Edgar Allen Poe wrote The Raven." And on this Saturday, matinee time, I am going to see the confused but brilliant poet himself in his artistic rendering at least, in a play downtown.
It is truly about time I went to see some theatre since I am about to leave New York. But I have not been sufficiently moved to do much of that since coming back to New York, with the exception of the Frank Loesser revival of Most Happy Fella for obvious reasons I have written about in this blog-- why do they call it that? The mere pronunciation of the word is an affront to the English language. Oh well.
Anyway, I look forward to seeing the Poe this Saturday all the way downtown, and going to London the 8th of May, where I shall see Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit. My once neighbor on Central Park South Simon Jones is in the show, and as it's England, I assume they still speak the language. After that I go to Scotland to visit my lovely friend Rosemary Milne, from my Quaker Meeting in Paris. My schedule is open-ended, since I have no plans for the future, besides my hope of having one.
I am still upset for Stephen Foster, but he did have music in his life, as short as it was.