Keep it Light, Henry Miller, and a New York City song,

“Keep it light, that’s my advice.”

“Yeah, but what exactly do you mean by light?”

“Like light. As in not heavy.”

“Uh Huh.”

A long pause here ensued.

The young man examined the scenery: the street, the cars rushing by on the boulevard. The old man sat quietly and sipped his cappuccino.

“Is that it? Is that all you have to say?”

“I guess.”

“Just keep it light?”



Always merry and bright!

Thus begins Henry Miller’s short story The Tailor Shop. It was his father’s shop in mid-Manhattan where young Miller worked for a while “Always merry and bright” was his father’s motto. Miller’s disdain for “always merry and bright” burns the pages.

The story is in Black Spring. As a young man I was captured by Miller’s prose, his power. He is still great to read.  If you haven’t checked out Henry Miller and his wild accounts of early 20th century NYC, Well…

Meanwhile here’s this song called Westside Drive

12 thoughts on “Keep it Light, Henry Miller, and a New York City song,

  1. Found my ‘yellowing’ copy of “My Life and Times” (1972). I love the photo of HM playing ping pong with a naked blond and his quip “No matter how important or glamorous my opponent may be I never let him or her distract me”. Wonder if he could publish it today?

  2. Another lawsuit on the way. Great song. Vaguely reminiscent of Cat Stevens, or, if you are up to date with his current appellation, Yusuf ‘always merry and bright’ Islam).

    1. Definitely. Miller was brilliant, a phenomenon. His books are unabashedly autobiographical (his ego is unabashed and unrelenting), and fascinating. He is a great story teller and word master (he loves words, he loves to talk, and he’s full of piss and vinegar).

        1. Perhaps Bumba confused you with the alter ego stuff. I was just on another person’s computer and wasn’t signed in so it turned out anonymous. As for Miller, think tropical. Tropic of cancer,/Tropic of Capricorn/ Black Spring trilogy. Capricorn is in NY.

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