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Larry Eigner: Sacred Materials

The Cloud House Poetry Archives is distinguished from any other by the comprehensive depth of its audiovisual collection and the high fidelity of its field recordings. It is a week-by-week, month-by-month, and decade-by-decade living record of the avant-garde practice of poetry in the San Francisco Bay Area. It represents entire communities of poets and affiliated artists that we identify as the “poet genome” of Northern California/Pacific Rim.

The project now before us is to establish in real space the San Francisco POETMUSEUM Research Center, a cultural laboratory and time machine of the recorded expression of San Francisco Bay Area poets from 1948 to the present. It will conduct cultural archaeology and display essential research on the minute particulars and interrelations of the post depression/post war “New American Poetry”. Here the muses will be rediscovered as we explore with original recordings the poetic DNA and breakthroughs of our poet subjects contextualized to their time & place, related to specific locales and habitats through mixed media exhibitions which focus and envelop the senses on the immediacy of poetic experience.

Our mission is to preserve and transmit the “poetic genius” of all the diverse and yet undiscovered San Francisco Bay Area Renaissances.

Our experimental and operational paradigm for this museum is Upper Paleolithic Cave Art, the sites of Chauvet, Lascaux, and Altamira. We are acting on Rimbaud’s May 15, 1871 letter of the Voyant. We welcome young researchers, scholars and poets to participate in our endeavor.

As the actor/writer Peter Coyote said, “for Kush, poets are his Yosemite—the representatives of pure ‘wildness’ of mind, an imperiled geography which he has taken as a personal mission to correct.”

William Blake Breathes Here as we open Golgonooza the eternal city of the imagination where all the artists who ever lived are now alive creating their essential works. Emily Dickinson & Gertrude Stein Breathe Here as we are a real sanctuary for those called to the endless study/perception/exercise of unique poetry. Walt Whitman Breathes Here as we invite you to join our adventure, our gang of Kosmos.

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Last Public Reading, November 17, 1995

Eigner reads from Gertrude Stein's Three Lives at the 1995 Gertrude Stein Marathon, Berkeley, curated by Lyn Hejinian. Read Kush's account, and Stein's text, here.

Jewish Ground Ceremony, February 6, 1996

Writing Environs, February 6, 1996

Camerawork/Production: Kush* Cloud House Field Unit

Post Production: San Francisco POETMUSEUM

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2011 Kush Cloud House and the Estate of Larry Eigner. Used with the permission of the Estate of Larry Eigner. Distributed by PennSound.