My real name is Chinover Minny III. At least that's what it says on the smudged birth certificate from Boston, dated 1934, which I have before me. I didn't learn this until I was 35 years old, and living as Henry Gould, in Galveston, TX (I worked there as a post-avant oil-rigger for many years, before an iambic injury to my left foot left me penta-traumatized). I spent my early childhood in an orphanage near Glencoe, IL. In my seventh year, I was adopted by a dysfunctional School of Quietude family, a large chaotic household of carefully-numbered "stanzas" (play-rooms & cribs) watched over by the Gould couple, my "parents", who, I learned, many dismal years later, had taken me in for only two reasons : 1) the money, and 2) the captive audience. Love had nothing to do with it : they wanted me to listen to them recite reams of repressed brainless Quietuditties. You know what I'm talking about : all those "lyric poems", all those "personal confessions", all those "free-verse implosions", all those bathetic I-centered "sonnets"... ghghgaaaahhh... ! Those people never attended a political rally in their lives. They never questioned the underlying post-structural hierarchies of hegemony or the rhetorical sleight-of-hand and slabs-of-meat which maintain the corrupt system in all its flourishing false consciousness. They never went to St. Mark's in the Bowery or St. Pete's by the Bay; they never listened to the live-chicken New Americans (forerunners of the contemporary spasm of genius and intellectual probity which today we name "post-avant in its generations"); they never knew what hit them in the magazine rack until it fell, literally, over their repressed little Quietude hats. Plus, they never studied linguistics, so, unlike those of us who have "been around the block", they tried to listen to poetry and language "directly", whatever that means!
This is the sordid and pinched environment in which I struggled to grow as a person and a social function of identity-otherness. Lucky for me, I was pulled up from my dessicated literary roots literally by my hair, one day : one fateful afternoon in San Francisco. I was walking down Telegraph, with my meek balding little Prufrock head stuck in a book of poems by Waldo Princk (an early Joyride Migraine imitator, I gather), when I was struck by an airborne vehicle (a blue sedan of unknown provenance). I must have been unconscious for a mere 15.4 seconds, but when I awoke, I found myself on a "joy ride" across southern California and the Baja with a group of amazing poets called The New American Post-Avants. They were led electronically from a workstation in Philadelphia by one Ron Silliman, their "guru" (though he prefers to be known as Top Gun in post-av circles, at least).
The p-a Magic Bus Tour, needless to say, changed my entire life and literary orientation. I became intelligent and intellectual, for one thing : I learned, eventually (after many years of study with Top Gun), that there is a linguistic basis to poetics, and that words don't necessarily refer to what the letters stand for (especially in the Boston Globe, for some reason).
How this adventure instigated my literary investigations and divagations down the long winding trail to discovering my true name and genealogical tree (the Minny Family were Old School of Quietude aristocracy since before the Sunflower landed in Paterson NJ)... well, that's a tale for another blog-dog day.