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IMAGINE CRUISING DOWN THE AUTOBAHN WITH 256 HP UNDER THE HOOD, TOP DOWN, FIFTH GEAR, ENGINE WIDE OPEN, SCENERY A BLUR. THAT’S THE FEEL OF INTERNET ACCESS THROUGH THE NEW EDEN MATRIX. L4/47 LviLie? ea..;Ge Q te s t 6ioe. DIAL-UP ISDN ACCESS FOR JUST $18.50/MONTH FULLY DIGITAL PRI PHONE LINES WIDE OPEN CAPACITY TECH SUPPORT WITH A PULSE The Eden Matrix www.eden.ann 106 E. SIXTH STREET, SUITE 210 AUSTIN, TX 78701 VOICE: 512.478.9900 FAX: 512.478.9934 /6,tei y q,e,e SUBSCRIBE TO THE TEXAS OBSERVER 307 West 7th Street Austin, Texas 78701 conspiracy to destroy underground journalism, free thinking, and the youthful revolution that almost took place. The same thing at the same time in Prague, in Minsk, in Mexico City, in Tokyo. The fingerprints of the state all over it. Throughout the days there, a stream of poets and other friends to his door, several needing money for rent or for travel to a reading. His generosity was legend. I could hear him in the front room, talking as if he were merely the fortunate one among equals. And one night over pizza loaded with red chile pepper in my tiny fifth-floor walkup, my wife and sister holed up in our 8′ x 6′ bedroom so as not to give Allen Ginsberg their flu, we went over the structure of my report, the facts, the order, the argument. He was like a copy editor for the Times, a copy editor who still had an ear and an imagination. On second thought, probably not like a copy editor for the Times. When the report came out, we ate dinner downstairs in the literary clubAllen and Peter, my wife and I, Ed Sanders, a few othersthen Arthur Miller came in. Two lions of the literary American ’50s. Seemingly so different, but not. Many of the same scars, the same wars lining their eyes. Two young Jewish writers flaunting their sensuality in the repressed ’50s. Both showing grace and humility rare among the glitterati. Each would introduce himself by name when meeting a stranger, never assuming you’d know who they were. A few years later, on the steps of the old Observer office at West 7th and Nueces, Allen Ginsberg recited his “Plutonium Ode”appropriate for the home of Pantex. He talked about the importance of the Observer and similar publications, the importance of the quest for truth: “We don’t have to be ashamed of our own sense of humor; we don’t have to be ashamed of our own spirit; we don’t have to be ashamed of our own humane aspirations. We don’t have to be ashamed of the world of our own imagination….What’s left when cancer gets us in our bed or the nuclear bomb comes, that’s what is left of us, what is most basic, Which is what everybody thinks in bed at night.” He stayed at our house in Austin. He ate my chicken soup, saying I was not old enough to care that I should drain off the fat, but that I would be soon. He ate my mother’s coffee cake. My wife was pregnant with our first child. He bid welcome, good health and happiness to my imminent daughter. I wrote him several years ago, sent him a poem I’d written. He sent back a note, marking my poem with suggestions, telling me where he’d traveled, apologizing for not having been in touch. I must have been one of thousands and thousands he did this for. His generosity of spirit. A few months ago he gave a reading at an Austin bookstore. Afterward, he apologized for not having time to talk. Said he was tired and not feeling well. Mentioned congestive heart problems. Thin. He said this would be his last whirlwind tour. Said it was killing him. But he was working on a song with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, nonetheless. He read a little, talked a little, then was gone. Father Breath once more farewell Birth you gave was no thing ill My heart is still, as time will tell. “Father Death Blues” Poet Geoff Rips is publisher and former editor of the Observer. ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 512-453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip Bea The Observer is currently seeking volunteers to help organize circulation projects and fundraising events. If you can donate a little time as a Friend of the Observer, please call Amanda Toering at 512/477-0746. JULY 4, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31