Cascadia Poetics LAB


Paul E Nelson Sr & Jr, June '09

Paul E Nelson Sr & Jr, June ’09

Charles Olson

Charles Olson

34. Eighty-Seven Remarkable (or Fun) Things about Paul E Nelson Sr. &/Or Charles Olson on What Would’ve Been their 87th &/or 105th Birthdays, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. A remarkable thing is that Pop paid union dues to what was BRAC but became TCU The Transportation Communications International Union long after he retired.
  2. Charles Olson worked for the Office of War Information in FDR’s administration but quit because of censorship of war news.
  3. Would write “The K” about quitting politics and in it said: “The night has a love for throwing its shadows around a man.”
  4. When I told him I was considering joining the army Pop said: “The Army?!? The Army is for someone without a future!”
  5. Olson said in “The K” “There is a tide in a man moves him to his moon.”
  6. Pop would sing with a clear, robust voice, songs like “Mr. Mr. Johnny Rebeck” glee in his voice to sing of neighbor dogs who were tricked into a butcher’s meat grinder
  7. and still able to dance even as canine sausages.
  8. In Projective Verse Olson used “sprawl” as a
    pejorative term for poets whose range is smaller
    than their ego.
  9. Pop taught me to respect elders, but never said
    elders are people who are simply older than you.
  10. Olson knew that when writing spontaneously (he’d
    say “projectively”) that the “stance toward reality changes” both outside the poem (for the poet writing) and in the poem itself.
  1. Pop rooted for the White Sox til he died.
  2. They threw a World Series nine years before Pop
    was born.
  3. They won one World Series while Pop was alive.
  4. Olson called USAmerican society: “filthy,
  5. relativistic,
  6. greedy,
  7. overoccupied
  8. thermodynamic society.”
  9. Pop predicted the Chinese will take over the U.S.
    “without firing a shot” & welcomed my weekly calls.
  10. Never got over the loss of his brothers.
  11. Olson sd the soul was “proprioceptive” and called it
  12. “the intermediary
  13. the intervening thing
  14. the interruptor
  15. the resistor.
  16. The self.”
  17. Olson called the surface self (senses) projection, the
    cavity (organs) archetypes and unconsciousness
    itself, consciousness.
  18. Pop wrote, hit and threw lefty.
  19. Pop said we were all born left-handed but once we
    sinned, “we were forced to use our right hands and
    there are very few non-sinners left.”
  20. Olson wrote about picnics where it got too dark to
    see flies and his flies were baseball flies, not insects
    dead of old age in Jack Kerouac’s medicine cabinet.
  21. Olson’s spontaneous method was similar to
    Kerouac’s spontaneous method, but Olson knew the content changed one’s self and Kerouac might have been scared of his true self encountered on Desolation Peak. Olson never was a fire lookout.
  1. Pop never took peyote, but did like beer, tobacco pipes and cigars until he quit.
  2. It may have been Douwe Egbert’s Amphora that Pop smoked.
  3. Cousin Dan’s photo of Pop with a pipe’s a classic.
  4. Pop borrowed his sister Barbara’s car for a trip to
    King’s Canyon National Park and hit a deer causing a good amount of damage to the now classic Firebird.
  5. Ed Sanders still has the bottle from which Olson drank during his marathon Berkeley reading which Lew Welch gave to Olson.
  6. Pop couldn’t figure out why he was short one beer bottle when taking them back for the deposit return and how, when that bottle months later showed up in an old basement washing machine filled with old books how one empty had been deposited there.
  7. Pop once told me: “You can do anything you want, as long as you get away with it.” (I think he may have been drinking when he said that and it was the only bad advice I remember him giving me.)
  8. Olson’s childhood friend Walter Strong was said to be “so inbred he and his sister both drooled as long as we were kids, and they had to wear bibs.”
  9. Walter Strong became the “sharpest gambler in the city.”
  10. Pop liked the horses, spent many hours at Arlington Park and gave Ma a pony beenie baby which Pop’s last granddaughter now owns.
  11. A granddaughter whose race he said he was unsure of…
  12. A granddaughter who had a name like no other person in the world he said.
  1. Olson said “let me be wholly vulgar when fineness is dullness
  2. brightnesses come a penny a piece,
  3. are an arcade,
  4. when all you are are peep shows,
  5. through the littlest hole
  6. ass or eye.”
  7. Pop hated when I fought with my brother saying he
    wisht he had a brother alive to fight with.
  8. Olson once ended a poem (Issues from the Hand of
    God) with the line:
  9. “And some ate slowly peanut crackers,
  10. and others rushed off into the rain.”
  11. Pop got a 25% railroad employee’s discount on a
    boat to Cuba.
  12. In Cuba he’ d find the woman he’d marry & w/
    whom have 4 kids.
  13. Pop saw Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial in Florida
    Spring Training.
  14. Got 5 weeks of vacation for as long as I remember.
  15. Olson said the death in life is endless,
  16. but meant the waiting for death/the lack of living.
  17. Pop died in his sleep alone.
  18. Both were Capricorns, independent
  19. always there to help
  20. with self-sufficiency often mistaken for coldness.
  21. Pop rooted for the football Cardinals long after they
    left the South Side for St. Louis
  22. and then Arizona.
  23. Olson knew there were no cardinals in Arizona.
  24. Olson saw a blue deer in dreams that talked a
    “negro talk.”
  25. Pop would not tell me in my dream how fast he ever
  1. When I read about Charles Olson drinking and taking speed for his Berkeley reading, I want to drink ginger beer.
  2. I am the same age today as Olson was on July 23, 1965.
  3. Pop’s oldest daughter had been alive then for 108 days.
  4. Pop’s oldest daughter was named after his sister.
  5. Olson felt USAmerican culture was Coca-Cola.
  6. Pop felt Barack Obama was the best President in his
  7. Screamed at the TV watching Hardball with Chris
  8. Never had a tarot reading (as far as I know.)
  9. Olson liked tarot and was making references to
    them as early as the early 40s.
  10. Pop made his own kapusta til the last years of his
    life, featuring variations of a Polish dish of stewed sauerkraut, bacon, mushrooms, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf, sugar, paprika and apples.
  11. Olson felt the “universities are sties”
  12. Olson taught at Black Mountain College
  13. (which doesn’t count)
  14. and SUNY Buffalo which does.
  15. Pop said the “t” in often is silent like the “p” in bed
  16. Would never tell us why you got down off a duck
    and not an elephant
  17. even if you were on the elephant.
  18. Olson said “Your eyelids will reveal your soul,
  19. your mouth will.”

    8:24pm – 12.20.15