Saturday, January 03, 2009

My Inner Sal

or hmm, maybe it was my outer. Taken at Yale Summer Art School, 1970. Fell out of a box I was looking through today. (The picture fell out, that is.) I think people imagine I must look something like this, only a bit older. I think I look a little like Al Jolson here.

Here's a poem I wrote about myself at this time:

"Looking quite so normal-- I am a fairly unsuspected freak...
But the closets of my mind."

Gee guess I didn't look in a mirror that day!


stray said...

Yale Summer Art School sounds impressive!

Linda said...

Funny, a bit of a shock to be sure! and beautiful.

I am a terrible poetry reader. I never can understand poetic language. Seriously now: Did you think you were a freak? Why?

Namowal said...

The picture startled me too, till I figured it was you in heavy makeup.
I'm with Linda on most poetry. If it isn't obvious and on the literal side, I don't get it.
I do think I understand the I look normal am actually unusual poem. I'm certainly more unusual than I appear in photographs.

Sally said...

It's not good poetry, just straight from the diary at the time. Related to the general mode of day: either you were a hippie or you weren't.

Yale Summer Art School is an underpublicized amazing institution. It changed my life. The Summer Art School was endowed by a wealthy woman, who donated her estate in Norfolk Connecticut. It's a summer music school as well.

You apply to get in, and your school has to support your application. They choose rising seniors from schools all over the country, students who are already serious artists, and all expenses are paid for. So you're suddenly living with other students just as intense about their work in this close and exciting environment.

Many working artists were brought in during the summer, to lecture and comment on our work.

All of the artists hanging around this corner would have been prime choices for this honor, but I bet your schools never told you about it.

This picture turned up in the Yale Alumni magazine and horrified my stuffy cousin who was at Yale at the time. But he became an Episopal priest and never spoke to me after I moved to San Francisco and started "living in sin". Before he got so stuffy he was kind of goofy and fun.

Linda said...

What a great school!
So funny about the photo turning up in the Yale Alumni magazine. I'm really curious about your cousin. What do you think led to his sad personality change?

stray said...

Wonder if I could still get in to the summer school instead of three years of grad school? Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't understand poetry. You'd think artists of any kind should understand each other, but....

Sally said...

Linda, taking a trusting leap that my cousin probably detests computers and would never visit a heathen blog like this...

My cousin Charlie, same age as me, loved the ceremony of the Episcopal church. He loved the robes, the organ, the symbolism of the architecture.

It never seemed as if he loved the message quite as much, but that's glib on my part.

We spent some holidays together, since he was far from home in Spartanburg, SC, and my mother and I were struggling with my father's death. Lots of scrabble games.

One time when I came home he'd set up a surprise for me. I went up to my room, and he'd gotten about six Barbie dolls, and taken off all their little shoes, and put them under the covers with their arms sticking out. It was mighty weird. (Or did he take off their clothes but leave the little red shoes on? My memory is unreliable.)

He was a really smart guy, but meant for the 19th century. He married and has grown children, and has moved around the country to various positions. He absolutely shunned me after he learned of my slovenly San Francisco life.

Actually I wrote a short story about him my last year at Smith that won the big cash prize they gave. So I've already endured fear that he'd track down what I write.

Namowal said...

Charlie sounds like an interesting guy. The nerve of him to shun you like that!

Sally said...

Unfortunately, on my father's side of the family (Charley, spelled wrong before), people hold grudges for a lifetime, not just this generation either.