Allen’s attention and words of advice to young poets:
Joseph Massey received the above card in the Spring of 1993, after sending him some poems
“Dear Mr Massey, The poems are better than I wrote at your age 15. “Attack” is confusing, sounds like you cut your foot on an icicle? If so describe the situation’s details more clearly. “Crickets familiar chant from/ heavy dark grass beneath/trees silhouetted/ where water choking… flows/ Crisscross vehicle sounds/ dawn hard solid rises/ sudden lapse in blue” – all that has elements of good poem!
Read W.C.Williams (old poet) & Gregory Corso (New Directions Publishing). Best take care of little details. See my “Mind-Writing Slogans” Yours Allen Ginsberg”.
Do see the Mind Writing Slogans – and perhaps also it’s time, once again, to remind people of Steve Silberman’s Celestial Homework – and, indeed, of the Allen Ginsberg Practicum (see here).
Open Culture, the web-site has been pleasingly Ginsberg-centric of late. See their posting on James Franco‘s “dreamy” reading of “Howl” (alongside Eric Drooker images), the meeting of Allen and Bob Dylan at Jack Kerouac‘s grave-site, and a note on some 1981 “Expansive Poetry” Naropa lectures – here, here, and here.
“Most living organisms on this planet are…tied down, encumbered, caged, restrained, shackled, weighed down, confined to the planet by the pressure of gravity…This transmission is designed to free all life forms..” – “The Periodic Table of Energy” (“by far the most substantial and important (Timothy) Leary manuscript to have ever been offered at auction”, to quote the auction house), a 203-page typescript, “illustrated with images and articles clipped from newspapers and magazines”, is being offered for sale by Bonhams in San Francisco in October. Estimated selling-price – between 30 and 50,000 dollars!
Still staying in San Francisco (and free!), check out Al Hinkle (Big “Ed Dunckel” in On The Road)’s tour, and clear-eyed recollections, of his old North Beach haunts (he’s filmed and interviewed by his daughter, Tamara). That video can be seen here.
Time of Useful Consciousness, Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s new book of poems comes out from New Directions next month. The title, an intriguing one, an aeronautical term, refers to that period between the time that you run out of oxygen and the time that you cease to be able to function (the cover, a Ferlinghetti painting, shows the clock at five to 12) – an obvious warning – America, you better watch out!
(an illuminating interview with Lawrence by Michael Silverblatt that aired last night on radio station KCRW may be listened to here)
Anne Waldman – did we mention? – was the recent recipient of the 2012 American PEN Center Literary Award for Poetry (for her epic collection, Iovis, published by Coffee House Press last year) – Congratulations, Anne!