HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Straight and slender
Love shows the way
And never says nay
Light and gentle-
Tones sing & play
Guitar in bright day
Sing sad, & say
Whatever you may’
Drives woes away,
Gives Love to cold clay
( Allen Ginsberg – Tubingen, December 16, 1979)
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AG: Yes. (John) Dryden. “In Memory of Mr. Oldham” [“To The Memory of Mr. Oldham“] by John Dryden, is just one single poem that gives you his quality. There is a long poem, the name of which, I’ve forgotten, which ends “Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall/ And universal darkness buries All”. [Allen is confused here, this is actually the concluding couplet of Alexander Pope‘s “The Dunciad”] Do you know what that is?
Vachel Lindsay, only nineteen people (in this class) have read. He wrote a poem called “The Congo”. How many here know “The Congo”? How many don’t know of “The Congo”, have never heard of “The Congo”? We don’t have it here, but, basically, it’s a powerful rhythmic thing that everybody would enjoy. They used to teach it in grammar school, but…[Allen quotes from the poem to show why, unsurprisingly, it’s fallen out of fashion] – “Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room/Barrel-house kinds, with feet unstable..” (continues down to) “Listen to the yell of Leopold’s ghost burning in … Read More
Allen’s 1976 annotated reading-list continues with comments on Antonin Artaud, Ted Berrigan and Philip Whalen.
AG: Antonin Artaud. The text I like best is “To Be Done With the Judgement of God” – Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu – in which he describes his experience in a bug-house, and how he died on the (electric) shock table. (It) contains among the first mantric, pure sound syllables to be screamed as part of recitation. In other words, he finally gets to a speech that transcends any common sense and gets into pure sounds. “Da kiss ka … Read More
It’s that Ginsberg mis-spelling thing again! (see here) – but, as with Trent Harris’ Allen interview clip, this brief clip on You Tube of (Barry) Miles “telling the tale” of the infamous 39th-birthday encounter seemed/seems eminently worth re-posting, notwithstanding.
(We’ve actually featured it (the story) on an earlier occasion here).
Miles: “When he was staying with me, he had his 39th birthday and he wanted to have The Beatles come to his birthday-party, so, I knew the address of NEMS [Brian Epstein‘s Company], that was about all, but some friends of Allen’s drew some very beautiful … Read More
In a move that would no doubt have bemused Cassady, Denver Mayor, Mayor Michael Hancock made official proclamation of (a) “Neal Cassady Day”, and, last week, in honor of it, and of Neal, Denver Beat historian Mark Bliesner, hosted, (at the Mercury Cafe down on California Street), the (now 4th) annual “Neal Cassady Birthday Bash”.
More mayoral intervention.
The late Mayor of New York, Ed Koch, was, it seems, a big Allen Ginsberg fan. Here’s an interesting document, … Read More