Thursday, January 11, 2024

Firecracker Soup, Cinco Puntos Press, 1990 - Review by Roy Durfee

Hello. Some poets love to lavish their listeners with language but Placitas, New Mexico writer Larry Goodell prefers the simpler wonder of working with words. Those words may be stacked together in columns up and down the page or constructed into higher literary form but however he chooses to arrange them those words are responsive to eye ear mind and the environment of the New Mexico high desert where he has lived for most of his 55 years. Goodell’s often musical words are drawn from an enthusiastic awareness of as many roles in life as son nephew husband father bookseller poet publisher gardener homesteader neighbor and lover of life on this planet. With the publication of Firecracker Soup by Cinco Puntos Press Goodell has drawn together the first book length collection of his work in over 20 years, giving us a sampling of the word play in theater that makes his work unique. Even though the new book is folio, traditionally bound and full of words carefully arranged on the pages, the role of many of those words in performance is made clear by stage and costuming directions in the margins and photos of Larry in full performance regalia. In one instance a hand drawn staff provides a couple of measures of music with which to intone “O Fair New Mexico.”
Left Right Center - photo by Lenore Goodell

While Goodell is very much in touch with his times and unafraid to launch poli
tical tirades he is most comfortably rooted in the New Mexico soil that provides food for his table, wood for his fire and shapes to please his soul while feeling clearly alienated for much of what he reads in the paper, sees on television or experiences in the encroaching suburbanization of his mountain town. Goodell recognizes fully his place in a community of artists friends and family and his book is liberally provided with poems dedicated to those cherished people. As for the community of poets, Larry recognizes John Milton and Robert Duncan but balks at cowboy poets, coyote poets, nature poets, language poets and just about any other product of packaging. Larry Goodell has insisted on being himself this long. He's not likely to stop now. While much of his best work is performance based Firecracker Soup is more various than that. Goodell's sensibility can leap from the page and linger in the mind. While I presume Firecracker Soup is available at quality bookstores everywhere I know there's a big stack on the counter of the Living Batch on Cornell where the poet occasionally works. Thanks Larry, I enjoyed it. This is Roy Durfee for KUNM, Evening Report. 1990

Roy Durfee's reviews on KUNM-FM in Albuquerque were some of the best aired - reviews of jazz, poetry, performances of all kinds, He voiced his careful writings to a very responsive and considerable audience informing us all of notable events in Northern New Mexico. He provided me with the recording of this review and I easily transcribed it using Microsoft's OneNote. Thank you, Mr. Durfee.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Albuquerque / May of '67

 Allen Ginsberg Reading In Albuquerque, At the Thunderbird Bar
in Placitas, At the San Felipe Feast Day Corn Dance

Letter to poet Ronald Johnson (author of The Green Man) from Larry Goodell, Placenta (Placitas), NM May 23, 1967

Ronald . .

Ginsberg gathering after his reading at the U[niversity of New Mexico] was a glittering affair – out here at the Thunderbird [Bar in Placitas] no less, packed with hippies & other type love seekers, great reading [in Albuquerque] packed house, love I swear everywhere, Keith Wilson (from Las Cruces) with just [about] all his students came up [after] the reading and so they and I split from the Thunderbird and my God there was an entourage to my place and party of mostly strange friendly faces here. I love Allen’s American Journal things, right up to his arrival in Albuquerque and Emmet (the chief Digger) read some Kirby Doyle things, don’t know where they came from, then Larry Bird, the Santo Domingo Indian friend of Snyder’s and Ginsberg’s, DELIVERED a long poem abt the hunter, hunted, eagle, prey, flights unforgettable to me and Ann (Quin) and Bill (Latif Harris) and I guess just abt everybody there. Then Allen, back to read some more, a good sex poem that is where he is now folks.

AND at the San Felipe [Pueblo] Feast Day May 1st windy day, corn dances, Ginzy was there with short-haired Peter (Orlofsky) and Julius (Orlofsky) and othees. I sat and talked with him awhile, he really dug the dance, two clans at one last point out there dancing at once, counter-rhythms (I told Allen a little about [my listening to] Ives, & hearing the two marching bands at once), and the little kids got tickled every time they came around, dancing in front of Allen, I guess all his hair and sitting there moving to the drum beats. ///God is it dry here, they danced the corn dance over Sunday. 

/// So, just bits here, hope to see you June 8th or 12th, for example. Ken Irby had THE GREEN MAN, liked it, read out to us a couple beautiful parts, so hello and love from me & Bill [Latif Harris] also . . . 

Yes, Larry