The evening began with Jerry and Jeffrey sharing the stage to quote from a few individuals about the effect of Romanticism on the 20th and 21st century writing, including remarks by Breton, Paz, Duncan, and Lyn Hejinian, the latter who wrote:
If in the 19th century, as Gertrude Stein said, people saw parts
and tried to assemble them into wholes, while in the 20th century
people envisioned wholes and then sought parts appropriate to
them, will the 21st Century carry out a dissemination of wholes
into all parts and thus finish what the 19th century began?
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the
most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving,
namely the production of higher animals, directly follows.
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers,
having been originally breathed into a few forms
has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity,
from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful
and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Eschochomo, lawassa, schibboda.
—Harlem! Erie: Central! Pennsylvania!
= Million! hundred million!! ten digits!!!
—Young is Grant! Jackson,
Vanderbilts, Jay Goulds are midgets!
Hearing what?—like when boys baffle boys—
—The keys still resisting
The source of their yearnings unsung
They softly push back on their own
By eighths—then by fifths—
And murmuring: "He—has started to play?
Or uncaring—cast us aside?"
You try to stick to it like a fly on rice
but the rice is rotten. You slave like the maid,
but without pay. If I had known how it would go
I think I would have lived alone.
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,—
"how pleasant to know Mr. Lear!"