December 1, 2010 / Rick Moody / David Lehman

At QuickMuse, we love Bob Dylan. So when we saw that the 14th Street Y had put together a fascinating live event on December 5 — Bob Dylan and The Band: What Kind of Love Is This? — we knew we had to contribute.

We borrowed a rare photo by William G. Scheele — who, as the equipment/stage manager for The Band and Bob Dylan from 1969 to 1976, had an interesting angle on our subjects, and whose work is featured at the 14th Street Y event--and sent it to two Rick Moody and David Lehman. We asked them to improvise written responses. Thing about the picture: it showed Dylan and The Band jamming with, of all people, Cher. Cher!

Here's Moody's piece, which is, in our opinion, a superlative piece of musical criticism. Analysis. Appreciation. Whatever you call this real-time composition, it resists any goofy attempts at classification.

This is Lehman's fine new poem, in which an annoying journalist in a "Jerk mask" interviews first Cher, then Robbie Robertson, and finally Dylan. Want to know what happens when the journalist encounters the artist? Click and read, friend.

QuickMuse for Pesach 2010 / Dara Horn / Elisa Albert / Jonathan Wilson

A diverse little congregation of Passover-themed writing this year. Dara Horn spins an extremely short story from some sentences by Lawrence Kushner. Elisa Albert addresses freedom, without the benefit of capitals: "so go. or stay, so i can rail against you. or go, and i can be glad you're gone. or stay. i don't care. unless i do. wait, maybe i do. is it too late? you decide." Finally novelist Jonathan Wilson writes a nifty poem that recalls "the long, long journey/up the desert's spine."

Passover, 2009 / Phil Schultz / David Lehman

In celebration of Passover, David Lehman improvises a few phrases on Elijah’s violin, and Pulitzer Prizewinner Phil Schultz bids goodbye to the “dear Prophet of absence” and asks that he “once again” fails to appear at the door.

All Hallows Eve, 2008 / Iris Bahr

Yes, Valentine's Day gets all the love, but we don't know why Halloween shouldn't get a bit of its own poetry. Iris Bahr agrees.

September 9, 2008 / Julianna Baggott / N.E. Bode

We might be stepping all over a deep dark secret here, but guess what: novelist and poet Julianna Baggott has a secret identity. N.E. Bode isn't just the author of Complete History of Prunes and president of The Fraternal Order of Sprinkler Head Installers. He's also her, in part. So we thought we'd contact both of them, and pit them against one another like some sort of schizophrenic death match. Hope you like.

Julianna Baggott

N.E. Bode

August 14, 2008 / Paul Hoover

A poetic conversation. We think we've come fairly close this month to providing just that, as we jabbed Paul Hoover with a little Charles Bernstein and then waited fifteen minutes to see what came out. And what came out was some pretty meaty, topical stuff. Read it while it's hot.

July 14, 2008 / David Lehman

We've always loved the moment in George Steiner's memoir, Errata, in which the critic admits regretting his decision not to drop acid. What we couldn't have expected was that poet David Lehman's experience and Steiner's overlapped so nicely (or that Lehman would, when pushed, rhyme "Steiner" and "vagina"). Check it out.

July 14, 2008 / Site Update

Never fear — you didn't type the wrong URL. The new home page you see here is the first in a series of steps toward the long-promised QuickMuse 2.0. Enjoy!