Howard Hart

Howard Hart & Raymond Foye, by T. Walden

SOME LINES FOR YOU
WRITTEN UNDER A REDWOOD IN THE CITY PARK
NOT YET THREE MONTHS SINCE YOU DIED IN MY ARMS
IN OUR HOME ON CHESTNUT STREET, SAN FRANCISCO

Drawn to the Temple where you worshipped
I slink along the edges of the city like a cat

Hawk family nesting in our Autumn Garden
Turning overhead like something out of Yeats’s Second Coming

Marble Angel still holding her bowl of sacred water
Is that you?! Sitting in the shadow of the Weeping Willow?

— t. walden

angel at the entrance of St. Peter & Paul where Howard Hart attended mass every day. Photo by T. Walden.
angel at the entrance of St. Peter & Paul where Howard Hart attended Mass every day.
FOR HOWARD HART

Heavenly
Oranges
Will
Announce
Rewarded
Deliveries,

Heart’s
Arcade
Remains
True.

Howie
Otherwise
Would have
Arranged
Retrospective
Delirium—

Helium
Artfully
Reigns
Thrones.

— Roderick Iverson

Selected Bibliography:

books:

  • FOUNTAIN SQUARE. New York: Pennyeach Press, 1954
  • THE SKY OF ORANGE WHISPERS. New York: Gallery: Gertrude Stein, 1964
  • THE APPLE BITES BACK. Mill Valley, CA: Klook Press, 1974
  • CHARMELLE AND THE WHITE SMOKE. San Francisco: Despair Press, 1980
  • SELECTED POEMS: SIX SETS 1951-1983. Berkeley, CA: City Miner Books, 1984
  • ICE FREEZES RED. Alexandria, VA : Deep Forest, 1987
  • BEAUTY. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1988
  • DJANGO. Alexandria, VA : Deep Forest, 1989
  • AND THE AUTUMN LEOPARDS CAN RINSE THEIR PAWS. (CD) San Francisco: Privately Published, 2000
  • ONE THIRD INN. San Francisco: Deep Forest, 2001

plays:

  • NOONTIDE, based on Paul Claudel’s “Partage De Midi.” Produced in New York, 1961.
    Very favorably reviewed in the New York Times, June 2, 1961.
  • “THE GRAND VIZIR” and “CAYENNE PEPPER” both by Rene de Obaldia, adapted by Howard Hart & directed by Robert Cordier, were also produced in New York & received excellent reviews in the New York Times on Dec. 13, 1961.
  • DEEP EVIL. A one act play performed at The Judson Poets’ Theater, 55 Washington Square South, NYC, 1961.
  • REVENGE ON LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE.
  • BETWEEN TWO THIEVES. A translation from French of Diego Fabbri’s “Trial of Jesus.”

music:

Played drums with the John Benson Brooks trio’s album, Avant Slant (One Plus 1 = II?) — a Twelve-Tone Collage; Decca Records DL-75018. Avant Slant John Clellon Holmes wrote the liner notes, and describes the album as a “collage-in-sound, in which fragments of poetry, pop tunes, radio broadcasts, and Feiffer-like babble intermingle to form an aural history of Right Now.” Holmes notes that the music contains “…that black humor which is so often our last defense against the confusion and sheer noise of a technological civilization that seems increasingly to measure its nerves in decibels…”

Howard studied musical composition with the famous composer Charles Mills who set Howard’s poem “Wail For Our Dead Guitarist” to piano music.

also of note:
Jazz performances with Jack Kerouac, Philip Lamantia, and David Amram in New York, 1957 & 1958. The first of these, at 1957 Handbill - Kerouac, Amram & Hart the Brata Art Gallery, was the very first jazz-poetry reading in New York.

Later performances were at the Circle in the Square. David Amram’s recollection of these performances, first published in Evergreen Review in 1969, is available on his website.

To see the reproduction of the handbill for one of the Circle in the Square gigs at full size, click the image at left.

Howard Hart wrote theatre & book reviews for the Village Voice, 1959-1961. Those reviewed included Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Thelonius Monk, Jack Kerouac, Albert Camus, Eugene Ionesco, & Marguerite Duras.

Resources:

Thanks

Many thanks to Tisa Walden, who graciously supplied the photos & nearly all the information for this page.

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