The first section of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism exhibition in 2013-14.
The last poem I wrote for Grace before she died.
I never managed to find a way
for you and me to live at the ocean
that and a thousand other dreams
I never managed to realize.
So now I drive up Highway One
through foggy landscapes–
you always loved them the best–
gathering the images of lupin in seas of grass
cedars and cypresses, sheep and cows,
barns and tacky vacation homes
all soft in their gray splendor.
I stop and walk along the Sonoma shore
pausing for you at the edge.
The sun breaks through the winter fog
shining the waves breaking up around black rocks
shimmering the water’s backwash
into flashing electric pulses
rushing to me through the milky air.
I know you’d know that vision
like you seeing your own true self in a mirror
like me looking into your clear bright eyes.
I produced this sound montage in 1963 to follow an interview of Jessica Mitford on her book by the same title. She commented to Trevor Thomas on her devastating critique of the funeral industry in the US. I assembled the sound montage from ads in the industry press, military contractor ads in Scientific American, and music to highlight the commercialization of death.