Perhaps it is counter-intuitive to add music to a poem by John Giorno since his delivery is so musical to begin with, but here is Giorno reading “Eating With Sky” with the musical accompaniment of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. I remember my brother, sister, and I buying this record for my mother for Mother’s Day in the early eighties. This was quite an improvement over the Jean Nate perfume sets she was used to receiving.
Giorno is well-known as the creator of the record label Giorno Poetry Systems, as well as Dial-A-Poem, in which listeners called in to one of 15 telephone lines to hear fresh poems from the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Joe Brainard, and Bernadette Mayer.
The artist and writer Joe Brainard’s book, I Remember, is a favorite of mine. Brainard seemed unafraid of being a sentimentalist, which to me is refreshing in an environment where sarcasm and cynicism are constantly masking our true emotions. I’m not trying to make any big statements there. Brainard died of AIDS-related illness in 1994. Below is a picture of him in his studio, and one of his biggest artistic subjects, comic heroine Nancy.
Lastly, a Dial-A-Poem excerpt from I Remember :