June 15, 2010 / Brooklyn news / Brooklyn Heights / Brooklyn Is Awesome

Celeb photo of the day: Bill Murray loves poetry!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Poems about Brooklyn obviously aren’t lost in translation for comic actor Bill Murray.

The legendary star of stage, screen and “Saturday Night Live” walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday night, reciting works that pay homage to our borough as part of the 15th annual “Poetry Walk.”

With the bridge and East River as his backdrop, Murray entertained a crowd of about 300 people with Yonkers-native Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s classic “A Coney Island From the Mind,” Allen Ginsberg’s “Supermarket in California” and Denise Levertov’s “The Rights.”

Murray has made prior appearances at the Brooklyn poetry event.

“He’s a big fan of poems and literature,” said Suzanne Weise, a spokeswoman for Poets House, which organized the walk and readings. “He’s been to our events a few times.”

With his son and gal pal at his side, Murray was nothing like the odd-ball characters he in portrayed in movies such as “Caddyshack” (but then, that’s probably a good thing). In anticipation of the arduous walk across the fabled span, Murray first stretched his 59-year-old legs, then chatted with fellow attendees and even signed an elderly woman’s leg cast.

Other noteworthy participants included the borough’s poet laureate Tina Chang and poet Galway Kinnell, who may have stolen the show with his reading of his idol (and one-time Brooklyn resident) Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” at the Fulton Ferry Landing.

And let’s not fail to put in a plug for our editor’s favorite poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose poem, “Brooklyn Bridge,” a tribute and an attack on capitalism, was also read (even the part where Mayakovsky mixed up the Hudson and the East rivers. What are ya gonna do with these Soviets?).

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Carl Spackler from Bushwood Country Club says:
A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me?

The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says?

Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga.

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know."

And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.
June 15, 2010, 2:18 pm
Jwitty from 8500 ft. says:
Country Club poets club a little lama back
save him the suffering of slithering belly wise through
chemically treated toxic green blades
and the Buddha knows some shades of green just ain't natural
and the small American who lives inside that Lama's head knows not all blades were meant to be sharpened,
some blades even grow only so that other blades may cut them down
that tiny American who lives in that Buddha only wants to find a comfy couch somewhere inside,
to have a sit down, maybe a t.v. that he can tune to a channel which speaks diazapam directly into his soul
kick them soft calf leathers up to rest on something softer than manicured greens
watch tiger swing his shame away
12 steps from the heart of that small American living in God's head, who missed the connection between
golf courses and cemeteries,
never saw the two things as the same thing,
one place to walk those old bones and
another place to rest them.
June 16, 2010, 4:17 pm
Fact-Checking Cuz from Jersey City (!) says:
Hey, I'm not even a big poetry buff-- but isn't the poem "A Coney Island OF the Mind?"
June 17, 2010, 7:54 am
Fact-Corroborating Bro. from Colorado says:
Correct, Coney Island OF the Mind.
June 18, 2010, 4:10 pm

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