Remembering Elvin Jones

[Elvin Jones with The Elvin Jones Quartet (Elvin Jones, drums, Dave Liebman, saxophones and flute, Steve Grossman, saxophones, Gene Perla, bass) – live on French television circa 1973 – The Children/Merry-Go-Round (Keisho)}
Elvin Jones (1927-2004) was among Allen’s many musical collaborators. Hear the two together in Allen’s “The Little Fish Devours The Big Fish” (1984 – remixed by Hal Willner in 1993). And it’s him drumming fifteen years earlier on Allen’s recording of William Blake’s “The Grey Monk” (from the MGM recording of “Songs of Innocence and Experience”). Here‘s Jones being interviewed on the radio (WKCR) in 1971. HereRead More

Cold Summer Borscht


Yesterday we mentioned Allen’s Cold Summer Borscht Recipe.
Here it is (a tentative transcription)
Dozen beets cleaned & chopped to bite size salad-size Strips
Stems & leaves also chopped like salad lettuce
All boiled together lightly salted to make a bright red soup,
with beets now soft – boil an hour or more
Add Sugar & Lemon Juice to make the red liquid
sweet & sour like Lemonade
Chill 4 gallon(s) of beet liquid –
Serve with (1) Sour Cream on table
(2) Boiled small or halved potato
on the side
i.e. so hot potatoes don’t … Read More

AG E-Bay Miscellany

Trawling through the Ginsberg materials available on E-bay (as occasionally we do), we came across this (the recognizable scrawl!) – a postcard Allen sent to Diane Di Prima, Fall of ’81/early ’82 (back from a European tour – and the reference to a visit to the sick-bed of Peter’s father further dates it – Oleg Orlovsky died at Cabrini Hospital, New York City, later that year, November 13, 1982, aged 84).
Writing from New York City:
“Dear Diane, Yes, fine about PEN reference [sic]. I did nominate you for a reading grant which never came thru (it … Read More

Kevin Courrier ’80’s Interview

An interview from the ’70’s, an interview from the 90’s, here’s an interview from the ’80’s, Allen Ginsberg speaking with Kevin Courrier, in 1982, on the radio in Toronto, on “the legacy of the 60’s”, “with cultural change in mind” (altho’ Allen keeps it firmly in the right-now).
“When I met him in 1982”, Courier informs us, “he (Allen) was in Toronto to give a reading and perform some songs he wrote with the local punk band, The Diodes. He was also promoting a book that addressed the demise of the underground press, once again speaking … Read More

Nicanor Parra

[Nicanor Parra and Allen Ginsberg at the St Mark’s Poetry Project, New York, 1987 – photograph by Vivian Selbo]
The great physicist, mathematician and “anti-poet” Nicanor Parra turns – believe it or not! – 97 today. Celebrate the birthday of one of the world’s great living pataphysical geniuses.
Allen, speaking at a reading in Boulder, Colorado, in July of 1990, sandwiched between readings by Nicaraguan poet, Daisy Zamora (with English translations read by Margaret Randall) and Lawrence Ferlinghetti: “Nicanor Parra is an old friend of (Lawrence) Ferlinghetti and myself. In fact, Ferlinghetti published his first book in the … Read More

Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) was born on this day

“Antonin Artaud’s holy despair breaks all old verse forms…Artaud’s physical breath has inevitable propulsion toward specific insight on “Moloch whose name is the Mind”

“I had been fascinated”, Ginsberg recalls, “by the thought and the poetry of the French maudite, anti-physical, mystical poet, Antonin Artaud, who had died toothless, and, it is said, mad, in Paris in 1948, only seven years before our Six Gallery reading

It had been Carl Solomon (his companion in “the bug house”) who had first turned him on to him – “I’m with you in Rockland/

Read More

Ciao Manhattan/Naked

Recently-released out-takes from the film Ciao Manhattan show Allen wandering naked on the set (such set as there was!) Memorial Day Weekend, 1967, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Old Palisades Road. As directors David Weisman and John Palmer, point out, it’s in the grounds of “The Castle”, a rambling, eccentric mansion, rented out and loaned to the company by artist Peter Max. Ciao Manhattan was, of course, a vehicle for fated Warhol star, Edie Sedgwick, Allen’s cameo, only a very minor part of it. He does, however, manage to stand out!
“Starving, hysterical, naked..” – the role and … Read More

Friday ‘s Weekly Round-Up 39

We’ve directed you before to the Schule Fur Dichtung (Vienna Poetry School)
and its instigator, Ide Hintze. Here is “poe:tik revolu:son”, an hommage, featuring the recorded voice of Allen.
Here’s a cosmic evocation of “Footnote to Howl” from Galician Spain (“dous fragmentos de “Musica para un Ouveo””). Poet-translator Xoan Abeleira joins composer Borja Costa (with improvised piano accompaniment by Jose Ramon Garcia Vasquez)

Here’s the famous William Buckley, 1968, “Firing Line” t.v. appearance, acted out with sock-puppets (that’s right, acted out with sock-puppets!)
An all-videos “Friday Round-Up” this week on The Allen Ginsberg Project.… Read More

William Blake’s Ah! Sunflower

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;
Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go.
(William Blake – from “Songs of Experience” 1794)
Ray Uzwyshyn’s accomplished visual meditation also utilizes Arvo Part‘s “Spiegel Im Spiegel“.
“And I was living (in 1948) in Harlem, East Harlem, New York, on the sixth floor of a tenement. There was a lot of theology books around, … Read More