Repost: Pride Month Interview with a Fellow Blogger & Friend

from Life of an El Paso Woman, an interview with Rob Goldstein

Life of an El Paso Woman

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing an interview I did with fellow blogger and friend, Rob Goldstein. I did the interview exactly one year ago today. I thought it would be nice to share it with you again because June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month in the U.S. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Rob last June in San Francisco. By coincidence, my boyfriend and me traveled there during the city’s Pride events. El Paso will be celebrating their Pride events throughout this month.

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is going well! Today’s interview is with fellow blogger and friend, Rob Goldstein from Art by Rob Goldstein. Since meeting Rob here, I’ve always been interested in his art, photography, writing and creativity. Rob’s lived an interesting life. His interview intrigued me. It also made me shed a few tears. Since June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender…

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An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 4: This is going to be Psycho Drama

In this short clip Norse and I are completely relaxed and
in animated conversation.

Norse answers the question I posed at the close of part 3 by
reminding me of a discussion we had before I moved in.

“I said Rob, this is going to be Psycho Drama; not literature class’

My voice in section 4 of the Interview is younger and I detect
a Southern accent.

It’s Bobby’s voice.

It’s odd to hear an alternate’s voice.

It’s also odd  to read an account of an evening I spent
in 1987 with writer, Darell Yates-Rist .

Rist was traveling the United States to write Heartlands,
his book about being gay in America.

I agreed to give him a night tour of San Francisco.

Rist published Heartlands in 1992.

He describes the Cottage I shared with Norse on Albion Street.

Rist died from HIV in 1993.

Part four of the interview with Norse picks up where part three ended.

It’s brief and ends when Norse leaves to feed a parking meter.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 4.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 2.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1, Section 3– Saints and Self-Destruction

I ask Norse about his drive to write poetry.

He feels like a man without category.

He is not from the élite and he is not entirely of the poor.

He is not working class but he is not rich.

Norse was 53 in 1969, the year of the Stonewall Riots.

He was 60 when he published Carnivorous Saint and became
the poetic voice of the gay liberation movement.

Norse discusses recently published letters he received as a
young writer from W.H. Auden.

Auden advised Norse to accept the locked doors of the
literary world as a sign of his true calling in life as a saint.

Screenshot of an of W.H. Auden's letter to Harold Norse from the Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series in which Auden tells Harold Norse to accept locked doors ihn the literary world as a sign of his true callling as a saint
A section of W.H. Auden’s letter to Harold Norse from the Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series

When Norse speaks of a politically correct left, he means an academic
élite that restrains the use of a certain kind of language even when it’s
essential to the work.

Section 3 of the interview closes with a question of identify:

“It seems to me that you’re making more than a writer when you take
an illiterate and give him the ability to express himself with a self
conscious understanding of his real social and political position. That
is an extremely powerful thing to do and it can be devastating.”
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Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1 Section 3- Saints and Self Destruction

 

Scan of a typewritten note from Hal the Difficult to Rob the Impossible concerning a vast tureen of nearly finished chicken soup in the refrigerator
An interoffice memo left on the fridge one day.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1 section 2:  The Pain of Becoming Literate

An Interview With Harold Norse, Part One, Section 1: The Art of Teaching
Header image is a flyer for a production of Bobby.  The figure is a shaman.

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An Interview With Harold Norse, Part One, Section One: The Art of Teaching

In 1992, I interviewed my friend and literary mentor, Harold Norse.

I moved in with Norse in July of 1984 and moved out in August of 1989 .

Scan of the Harold Norses Signature in my copy of Carnivous Saint
Norse signed my copy of Carnivorous Saint a few months after I moved in with him.

I spent two years in Los Angeles where I did some free-lance writing
for the gay press.

I moved back to San Francisco in the spring of 1992 and invited Norse
over to see my new digs in the Tenderloin.

Norse and I spontaneously decided to do an interview that turned into a
frank discussion of the work we did together as student and teacher.

Most people in San Francisco’s gay lit scene thought my relationship
with Harold Norse was sexual; it wasn’t.

We had a passion for each other, but it was not sexual.

In retrospect, we had an affair of the intellect.

There is a rhythm to the interview as Norse and I adjust to our relationship
as equals.

In this first section, we discuss who I was when we met and how Norse approached the task of being a teacher.

There is a moment of silence as Norse reads a short poem by someone
I was teaching.

I open this section of the interview by mentioning the power of his poems
Karma Circuit and Addio.

Scan of Addio from Karma Circuit, 1965, by Harold Norse
Addio by Harold Norse

When Norse and I mention ‘The Cottage’, we are discussing a two-bedroom cottage on Albion Street in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Photograph of Fall leaves on Albion Street
“Get the unconscious going without fear of criticism.” Harold Norse, 1992, on writing.

An interview with Harold Norse Part 1, Section 1, The Art of Teaching

To hear part two click here.

Interview and photograph of Albion Street (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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