My friend Sasha gave me her copy of Diane di Prima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik for my birthday. I think she bought it at a secondhand store during her freshman year in college. There are marks in the margins, which I completely adore, even though they’re not Sasha’s. She’s a relatively new friend who’s recently learned about my little writing projects and it touched me that she came up with, really, the perfect gift for me.
I’m sort of in love with di Prima, having read her poetry since I was very young. I’m not much for memoirs (now called blogs, by the way), as such, with exceptions being made for Katharine Hepburn and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, because duh, they didn’t have blogs and they actually had something interesting to say. And yes, a lifelong love affair with Spencer Tracy is interesting.
But seriously, stuff like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers can kiss my ass. (ooh, snap.) Whatever; the kids seem to like it. Of course I like di Prima because she writes amazingly lyrical and lovely things (do your beat poet research), is smart and real and her attitudes about sex and love in this work have a very familiar ring.