INTRODUCTION PETER MACCHIARINI SPEAKS DANIEL MACCHIARINI SPEAKS JILL CRAWFORD SPEAKS PHOTO GALLERY
J i l l C r a w f o r d s p e a k s:
poem written in honor of Peter Macchiarini's 90th birthday
September 26, 1999
l a f e t e m a c c h i a r i n i
Having just returned from the city of the Grateful (and ungrateful) Dead
for the fete Macchiarini,
I am renewed. (As if my subscription has lapsed!)
Like a scene from Satyricon, this somewhat bewildered but blissful man was
the streets of North Beach in a rickshaw holding flowers, accompanied by cheering bakers, artists
and cross dressers; a parade and procession, all of whom may or may not have had any
comprehension of this event. For this shimmering sunswept moment he was a delirious king with a
black beret crown smiling down serenely upon his adoring subjects. They whispered - Who is this
king we have not seen before?
Oh horrors, those annoyingly tenacious Crawfords, the kamikaze squad of
arrived from their last blitzkreig shopping campaign, just in time to be interviewed by
channel 4. They were asked to respond OH SO SERIOUSLY to probing and
provocative questions about art, jewelry, collecting etc., that will be broadcast to
Macchiariniophiles in the area. And lunatics they were as is manifest in their ultra complex
and twisted responses and mad ape-like gesticulations.
But the light on the face of the artist gleamed prismatically and danced
about as he
responded so gently, with his 90 years of childlike unfiltered and uncompromising
perceptions of his art, while the cameras rolled. (Ginger Moro assiduously taking notes
in the background). To set the record straight for posterity, it was truly Macchiarini's
moment to speak on Macchiarini.
Later there was great jazz, Italian bar mitzvah musak, terrible noise,
coma-inducing heat, great laughter, and a cast of North Beach characters that had been
hiding underground since the sixties - all combined into one deafening but festive moment.
Finally, the day closed in a smoky bar called the Black Cat, where this
humble man of the old neighborhood had taken refuge through the years from the
fantastic vision that stalked him, mingling and mixing with the locals, as if he could
obscure his genius in the depths of this cavernous darkness and anonymity,
and contain it within his gentle laugh and smile.
Thereafter followed a Macchiarini slide show, almost like the old days of
Fillmore, accompanied by the reading of perplexing fortune cookies by his
pre-raphaelite granddaughter Emma (third generation in a succession of
Macchiarini artists who incidentally had swam across the San Francisco Bay),
and her mother Joan (who is famous for her renditions of clowns, circus characters,
Strindberg, Shakespeare and other intruiging roles) who sauntered and
slithered among the guests. And there was Danny Mac, softly and enigmatically
smiling, while he quietly watched this fete that he had so meticulously planned
unravel its mystery and reveal itself, as he reveled in this sublime moment
and the joy of his father and great friend.
Oh what a panoply of witnesses in this Grand Theatre, and what an
absurdly surreal, yet utterly real, romantic, wonderful day!
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