What would have been Philip Whalen‘s ninety-first birthday (grand old sensei, venerable master) – celebrated today.We await with eagerness David Schneider‘s long-in-the-making definitive biography (from the University of California) due out next year (tho’ the cover may already be glimpsed – see above – and some advance selections from the book may be read here)Check out also our earlier posts on Philip on The Allen Ginsberg Project here, here – and also (Philip reading) here
It also happens that Phil shares a birthday with another friend of ours (and friend of his) still happily very much … Read More
“So I came and saw him [my father], and he dragged me to my uncle the doctor. My uncle supposedly discovered I had some kind of a problem with my kidneys. They put me into the hospital. After the hospital, they made me go see a psychiatrist who was a friend of my uncle. The psychiatrist says to me, “Look, I can’t help you because your father can’t afford to pay me, and besides, I think what’s … Read More
Gerd Stern – Here’s an interview with the truly extraordinary Gerd Stern – Gerd Stern, who, allegedly lost that legendary Neal Cassady manuscript, Gerd Stern, artist, poet and multi-media visionary, at eighty-six years old – what remarkable stories he has to tell! – his oral history, From Beat Scene Poet to Psychedelic Multimedia Artist 1948-1978 was published, and is available on line from University of California, Berkeley. We’ll be quoting, tomorrow, salient paragraphs from it – But first, this.(Those with an interest in modern music should, also, on no account, miss this – Stern’s vivid first-hand memories of the composer Harry
[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Marc Geller]A wonderful Ginsberg issue (for all of you who read Portuguese – and even those of you don’t, (including several pictures of Allen that we’d, frankly, never seen before) – 7faces
is an elegantly-designed review that includes poems, commentary, interviews, translations.Contributions from Claudio Willer, Cesar Kiraly, Evaldo Gondim, among others. For more (including an on-line viewing of the journal), see here.
AG: ..they were Italian fish-peddlers (except they were sort of cultural heroes of their day). – What’s the story do you remember?Student: They were accused of anarchist bombing in a… I don’t even know if the bombs went off, but they became symbols, and there’s a lot of evidence that … Read More
[AG: Onward!.. Skipping over (Ezra) Pound (except one little thing. because we don’t have much (time)… I want to skip over Pound – we’ll come back to Pound)…]
AG: Jaime d’Angulo (1887), was a friend of Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound and a great crank, a hero… Gary Snyder’s hero. Jaime d’Angulo is Gary Snyder’s hero. If you want to know Snyder’s origins, you go to Jaime d’Angelo. D’Angulo was born in Spain and educated in Switzerland, and went to the Wild West and worked as a cowboy, and was a great philologist and linguist, and … Read More
The poet E.E. Cummings was born on this day, October 14
December 20, 1956 – Allen Ginsberg, writing from Paterson, New Jersey
“Dear Mr Cummings,
Came to your door. You were out. I am writing , will be in NY for a month, then leave for Europe with 2 other poets – Jack Kerouac and Gregory Corso. Came from San Francisco where we held big crazy drunken poetry readings. I sent you my book, Howl, from there, to 4 Patchin Place, did you get it, did you read it? Have manuscript of Corso, Kerouac, (Gary) … Read More
William Carlos Williamswe’ve done a lot, on and off, in and out – everybody knows Williams – does everybody know some Williams? Is there anybody here who has not read any Williams? …Well..actually, lets just do “To Elsie”( “The pure products of America go crazy”) because that was a..that was my choice for “heroic poem” of Williams. When I had to think of one poem of Williams that was heroic Americana, national heroics – Do you know that one at all? – “The pure products of America go crazy”) – It’s great. It’s
AG: ..all the artists in New York got together and put out a big petition…
WB: To which saying?
AG: ..saying Lenny Bruce should be protected, to which the police did not yield, to which the district attorney did not yield, to which the lower courts did not yield, to which nobody yielded for yearrs and years until the poor man was dead!
AG: Wallace Stevens is a great poet, but metrically not that interesting, I don’t think, philosophically interesting, so as a tiny little sample of Wallace Stevens, I just took one very late poem (from The Rock), when he was an old man – he was a friend of (William Carlos) Williams and he wrote the introduction to Williams’ first book…first Collected Poems [Collected Poems, 1921-1931, published by the Objectivist Press in 1934].– called “Lebensweisheitspielerei” – does anybody know German? – “Lebensweisheitspielerei” Student: Life..Life…”Leben” is life and “Spiel” is play.AG: So “Weisheit” ? what is Weisheit?… Life’s true game.. … Read More