[Warren Beatty and Madonna at Francesco Clemente’s New Years Eve Party, 1990-1991 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – courtesy the Allen Ginsberg Photography Collection at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library a tthe University of Toronto, Canada]
AG: There’s another interesting poet almost as old as (Jack) Kerouac, that was part of the..what was called San Francisco Renaissance – Philip Whalen. Anybody ever heard of him? [a show of hands] – a few – He’s… Now, as you know, there is some interest n Buddhism and Zen – Kerouac’s Dharma Bums – and Philip Whalen was a prototype for Kerouac’s character, [Ben Fagan in Big Sur] Warren Coughlin, in Dharma Bums.
Jack Kerouac on Allen Ginsberg. We’ve been featuring Ginsberg on Kerouac, but here‘s a pretty candid Kerouac-on-Ginsberg notebook entry. Jack writes:“Ginsberg – intelligent enuf – interested in the outward appearance and pose of great things, intelligent enuf to know where to find them, but once there he acts like Jerry Newman [sic] the photographer anxious to be photographed photographing. Ginsberg wants to run his hands up the backs of people, for this he gives and seldom takes – He is also a mental screwball – *(Tape recorder anxious to be tape recorded tape recording) (like Seymour Barab anxious … Read More
AG: I have three twenty-nine [looking at the clock]. I brought, as I said, those papers and so we will distribute them. There’s two sets two different things. Maybe if we… they can pass them out themselves, if we just hand them.. Or we can put them in two piles here and people can pick them up as they leave, maybe? That might be the easiest way.
AG: Next thing. Gregory Corso-esque method,. Now Gregory’s method is, having accomplished some grounding (whether or not we did it, we’ll say we did it, so we’ll go on to the next stage), having accomplished some grounding, and assuming that we’re able to talk about real things and present some kind of real things. and assuming that we can get up on our feet and pronounce syllables into the great horn of space that will echo throughout the universe, pronouncing our consonants clearly, so that the geniuses of Mars can hear our thoughts vocalized, the next thing would be
[The Glenn Miller Ballroom at the University of Colorado in Boulder (recently newly-renovated) was the location of the 1981 Ginsberg workshop] The presentation at Naropa of three-line student poems continues (see yesterday’s post). Allen continues to be frustrated by student’s projection and comprehensibility – “The reason I’m trying to, dictatorially, trying to enforce vocal clarity is because that will lead to visual clarity”Student: “My big desk/filled with papers/I don’t know what to do”.AG: Your what filled with papers?Student: “I don’t know what to do”AG: Your what?Student: “My big desk – My big desk/filled with papers..”AG: I still cannot…Student(s): “My big desk!”AG: “My … Read More
Continuing from Allen Ginsberg’s July 25, 1982 Naropa workshop, and following up on the previous day’s writing assignmentAG: So I think what I would like to do now, if we could, would be to have a fast anthology (you each should have six poems, altogether). So I what I would like to do is run along the.. let us say, beginning on this side, over there [Allen points in one direction], run along the first row, and coming along that way, then going along that way – each one, fast, get up and deliver their haiku. No apologies, no explanations, no side-comments, please … Read More
[“Portrait of Jack Kerouac w/ Brakeman’s Manual in Pocket, 1953” – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
We’ve been featuring transcripts this past week from Allen Ginsberg’s 1982 Naropa poetry workshop at the gathering there that year celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. We continue with the follow-up class, July 25th. Beginning in media res, Allen is presenting (as he was here), several pithy slogans (later, gathered together and codified as Mindwriting Slogans)AG: “No ideas but in..facts”, “The natural object is always the adequate symbol”, “Things are … Read More
A great spirited reading of the Moloch section of “Howl” (from circa 1989) on the CBS News Nightwatchprogram – “Well, it’s the climax and actually the definition of the poem” declares Allen. “What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?/Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars..” – Reaction shot(s) from fellow-guest Christopher Buckley (William Buckley‘s son) and a seemingly unfazed host
Here’s an intriguing little memoir (from back in 2012 – don’t know how we missed it) of Allen-at-Columbia and the early days – by Charles