Sunday, September 13, 2009


Nice evening yesterday with Francesca Rosa and Michael Calvello, the latter's new poetry book "Saxophone Blue" having just appeared with Ithuriel's Spear. We went to a couple gallery openings in the 400 block of Valencia and then retired to the Cafe Trieste at Market & Gough, where we emptied a couple bottles of good Italian red wine and reminisced about fifties jazz and poetry in North Beach.
I am otherwise sequestered for the weekend, writing an essay on Claudius' accession to the imperial throne after the assassination of Gaius Caligula. This is one of the most famous stories in Roman history, perpetuated in Victorian lithographs and paintings (Sir Lawrence Tadema), and in the BBC-TV mini-series adaptation of the Robert Graves novel "I, Claudius," reportedly the most famous historical drama in tv history. The most detailed account of the story is found in Josephus Flavius, although Suetonius' account is better known.

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