zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Bill Murray reads Emily Dickinson

Bill Murray reading poetry to construction workers finishing up the building of the new Poets House in Battery Park City, New York.

Poets House – About Us: Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Our poetry resources and literary events document the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, and stimulate public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture.

Founded in 1985 by poet Stanley Kunitz and arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, Poets House has created a home for all who read and write poetry. From 1990 to 2007 that home was located in an intimate loft at 72 Spring Street in Soho. As rent increases began to make Soho an impractical location, Poets House was fortunate to be designated by the Battery Park City Authority as a rent-free tenant in a new building on the banks of the Hudson River. In the summer of 2009, Poets House moved to its permanent home at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City and opened to the public on September 25, 2009.

One of the poems that Murray reads of which I am particularly fond (thanks to another marvelous poet, Denise Lawson) is this, by Lorine Niedecker:

Poet’s work

advised me:
Learn a trade

I learned
to sit at desk
and condense

No layoff
from this

The poem is itself a wonderful example of the process of “this condensery” and of the tradecraft of poetry that is its subject. (Note that this is not a faithful reproduction of the poem; the lines should be indented in a particular way which adds to their force and effect.)

You can read more by and about Niedecker here:

(Thanks to Roger Ebert (ebertchicago) on Twitter for bringing the video to my attention.)

Filed under: Feel Good, , ,

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



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