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The Poem Steps Harvey Silver Essay

1006 words - 4 pages

Born November 6, 1929, Harvey Silver was always a unique man. As a child he attended many different schools in New York such as James Monroe HS and Theodore Roosevelt HS. Soon after graduating, Harvey served in the US Army Medical Corps from 1947-1948. After serving, he traveled to Israel and worked on a kibbutz in the Ngev for a year. Silver published his first poem in the 1950s and started living the way he would the rest of his life-Through poetry and art. In 1958, his poem entitled, “Steps” was put in an issue of Yugen Magazine. This was the first time he changed his print name to “Jack Micheline, Jack for his favorite author Jack London, and Micheline for adding an ‘e’ to his mother’s maiden name. Jack finally became a beat poet. In 1961, artist Franz Kline payed for Micheline to go to Mexico City, and learn to paint. For these reasons, Jack Micheline became semi-famous and it later earned him a trip on to “The Late Show with Conan O’ Brien.”
It was in mid-1994 when Jack received his invitation to read a poem on the show. He gladly accepted, then immediately began preparing.
“Which one should I read?” he probably thought. Micheline needed a short, quality poem with a bit of humor(because he was on a comedy show). He decided on one of his favorites that many people seemed to think was funny, “Hot Chicken Soup.” It was about a man named Bernie who loved kosher food, blintzes, kasha varnishkes, strawberries and cream and hot chicken soup.
When Jack accepted to go on the show, he knew he needed something more than just reciting a poem. He called up his friend, Bob Feldman, a saxophone player, to perform alongside Jack on “Late Night.” Those two men were friends since 1976, when Jack approached Bob and his friends if they wanted to buy any paintings.
“I’ll give you a good price,” he said, “ two for twenty dollars.” After this night, they became working partners and lifelong friends.
Fast forward to 1994, the day of the show. It is 4 o’ clock pm; Micheline and Feldman are picked up by limo and taken to NBC studios. outside, A production assistant lead the two through the studios. Jack was described to be wearing “baggy pants and a crumpled hat.” by Mr. Feldman in his book, “Hot Chicken Soup.” He was offended when he was asked to change into something “nicer” and even more offended when he found out he couldn’t keep the clothes given to him.
In the hours leading up to the show, Bob and Jack feasted on the high end snacks. The production assistant then came and asked if they needed anything. Of course, Micheline ignored her question and offered to sell some paintings he brought with him. She denied respectfully, and left the room.
Soon after, The producer came in to talk about the show with Jack.
“Surely you must have some funny stories about Kerouac and the Beatniks,” he suggested.
“Funny stories? Who do you...

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