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 One Section Two: The Pain of Becoming Literate

I moved in with Norse in 1984 and spent my days writing and studying
film and literature.

Norse was drafting his memoirs.

We lived in a creative stew under the strain of the most devastating years
of the AIDS epidemic.

We both had good reason to think our lives would soon be over.

The pressure I placed on myself brought on the symptoms of florid DID.

My alternates were coming out and writing and Harold was responding
to them as ‘characters’.

A written critique of a collection of poems.
Norse gives me a rundown of what he liked or hated about a collection of poems I left for him one week in February 1985. He calls me ‘Bobby’ in the note and uses ‘Bobby’s’ accent in the opening. What I loved about Norse and his critique was that I always knew I was getting the truth.

In the 1992 interview, I describe the emotional pain of becoming
fully literate.

I asked Norse if that was difficult for him.

“Every day was difficult.” he said, “It was the most difficult period
of my life.”

“Why did you do it?”

“What a question! “ Norse laughed and paused, “I almost never
question that.”

“I think it’s a fascinating question.”

“It is,” Norse replied. “It is. It’s one of the few that’s ever
stopped me cold.”

Part two of the interview picks up where part one ends.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part Two: The Pain of Becoming Literate

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

Photo of Rog Goldstein cropped from the original photo
by Nina Glaser taken May of 1985. I have no idea who
those other people are. I’m the guy in the middle.

Interview with Harold Norse (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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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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