Meditation and Poetics – 58 – (Whitman 1)

AG:  So to Walt Whitman  – “When I Read The Book” – so this is some statement of his opening.. (I’m reading from Whitman now, from the Modern Library (edition) of Leaves of Grass, page (twenty) eight – “When I read the book, the biography famous/ And is this, then, (said I), what the author calls a man’s life?/ And so will some one, when I am dead and gone, write my life?/ (As if any man really knew aught of my life;/ Why, even I myself, I often think, know little or nothing of my real life;/Only a few hints –
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Jack Kerouac – The Northport Tapes


Audio of Jack Kerouac is priceless and so we’re very happy to feature this weekend (courtesy of Counter Culture Chronicles and the remarkable Ubu Web) – “The Northport Tapes”.  As Ubu Web notes: “Counter Culture Chronicles has released on cassette a rare recording of Jack Kerouac at home in Northport, (Long Island), where he lived from 1958 to 1964. We hear Kerouac reading from his work while getting drunk and occasionally singing along with Frank Sinatra records that are being played in the background. Kerouac is clearly having a good time and takes the listener on a … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 211

Legendary film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy MountainSanta Sangre, Dune etc), recalls his meeting with Allen Ginsberg (he speaks in Spanish with Italian translation) – An English translation of Jodorowsky’s comments follows here:  AJ: “I see Allen Ginsberg arriving [in Paris] in winter with a small t-shirt, ripped jeans, wearing espadrilles and with mad hair and no luggage – nothing! – He was staring, like this  [Jodorowsky imitates Allen looking around, searching] – “Hey, I know’re Allen Ginsberg” – “Yes” – “What are you up to?” – [Allen] – “The thing is Fidel CastroRead More

Théâtre de Poche – (AG on Stage Nudity)

Roger Domani founded the politically engaged Théâtre de Poche in Brussels (Belgium) in 1951. Allen was on hand in 1976 for the  25-year celebration. The Théâtre de Poche had famously produced a stage adaptation of his Kaddish in 1967 
                                          [Stage Nudity – The Living Theatre – Paradise Now, 1967]

Allen is seen (and heard) here chanting – “AH” – and making the following declaration: What seems strange and shocking perhaps in 1945 or (19)55 seems usable, workable now as, for instance, … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 57 (Some Mahayana Ground)


AG: Okay, the Bodhisattva Vows and the Prajnaparamita Sutra or statement are the basis for ZenBuddhism, which is Mahayana, and Tibetan Buddhism, which is Mahayana. (The Prajnaparamita Sutra) probably should be understood both as a piece of poetic literature, which it is, and also a general philosophy, and also a basis to understand this area of poetic mind. It’s the Prajnaparamita or Highest Perfect Wisdom, no less – highest perfect wisdom. Does anybody else have the chutzpah? Yeah, it’s actually an insight akin to much poetic insight that you’ll run … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 56 – (Clear Seeing)

AG: (But) to begin with, you’ve got to begin somewhere, so that’s why you begin with the breath – or (William Carlos) Williams might begin with the Red Wheelbarrow, or, in his old age (a very interesting thing, he’s got his old age poem [“The World Contracted to a Recognizable Image“] about how he’s lying in bed and his mind’s fastened to a picture on the wall, like a fly clinging to a wall. As his consciousness was fading, he kept focusing just on this one picture on the hospital wall, from his hospital bed).

I would … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 55 – (Sunyata)

[A 19th century Tibetan mandala, in the collection of the Rubin Museum of Art, New York] 

[Japanese Zen Enso Symbol]

[The Messier 80 global cluster in the constellation Scorpius, located about 35 light years from the Sun – via NASA Hubble telescope] AG: The other aspect of the Mahayana, Mahayana style, as Reggie (Ray), I guess, may have mentioned, is the notion of  sunyata – did he get into that?.. In modern Existentialist terms that’d be “the void”, the big bad..  the big black wolf of the void, or, depending how it’s seen  In modern,

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