Allan and Allen’s Complaint

Another video from the Stanford Archives this weekend – Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kuboto’s 1982 experimental video  “Allan ‘n’ Allen’s Complaint” (the twin subjects are Allan Kaprow and Allen Ginsberg), both sons of patriarchal fathers. The film explores that complex relationship.

“People are always talking about Jewish mother and nobody talks about Jewish father.”

AG: (So perhaps the father) is more withdrawn,  more vulnerable, less pushy in his emotions and relationship

AK: And there’s another side to it, (and) that is, the father tends to be the one who openly suffers, or is consecrated to some kind of suffering … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 334

[Patti Smith and Allen Ginsberg, c. 1977]

Patti Smith‘s new book Devotion has just come out (from Yale University Press) to mixed reviewsHere‘s Michael Lindgren’s review in The Washington Post .Here‘s Megan Volpert at Pop Matters. The book is an expanded version (though not so expanded) of her 2016 Winham-Campbell Lecture at Yale (for a section of that lecture – see here)

Grant Hart, drummer, vocalist and songwriter, who died a little over a week ago, on William Burroughs from an interview from back in 2000 for The Onion AV Club:

Interviewer:   … Read More

Apollinaire’s Calligrammes & Metrical Conclusions

[Guillaume Apollinaire ( 1880-1918) by Picasso]

Continuing from yesterday

AG: … Then. Willliam Apollinaire (Guillaume Apollinaire), the Frenchman also did Calligrammes (so that would be.. the French name for that form is a calligramme – design on the page). He has one called “il pleut” which is …   “From the eaves… ” –  From..  (F-r-o-m. t-h-e-e-a-v-e-s -t-h-e-g-l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g-d-r-o-p-s -o-f -w-a-t-e-r-f-a-l-l-o-v-e-r – t-h-e-w-h-o-l-e-c-i-t-y) –  I don’t know  [Allen offers a translation] – “From the eaves the glistening raindrops falls down and drains over the whole city”.  You know and it’s all..  the lines are let down in strings from the … Read More

Pattern Poems – 2 (Dylan Thomas)

[Portrait of Dylan Thomas (circa 23 years old) by Augustus John

AG; So Dylan Thomas did them even funnier – [Editorial note – “pattern poems” in Vision and Prayer  (1945)] –   He’s got one that (goes)…   “I turn the corner of prayer and. burn/ In a blessing of the sudden/ Sun. In the name of the damned/ I would turn back and run/ To the hidden land/ But the loud sun/ Christens down/ The sky./ I..” –   ( so, there’s just one little bar-line in the middle –  “I’) – “Am found./ O let him/ Scald me and drown/ … Read More

Pattern Poems – 1

AG: And then we have George Herbert  (that we got to.. ) [Allen begins searching in. the anthology] –  (now) where does he begin? – he begins after  (Henry) King... )  – “Easter Wings” – and, the Easter Wings, I guess you know  (or do you?)  that Dylan Thomas wrote things like that? – your friend, Dylan Thomas? – He wrote diamonds  [diamond-shaped poems]. He has..  Dylan Thomas has a series of poems that look like that – ever seen them? – and then, (like “Easter Wings”) – he was actually imitating Herbert – he also had … Read More

Henry King & Transience (continued)

AG : I had xeroxed a couple of other lines of his, of  Henry King, but..  there’s one that’s pretty...“The Dirge”, in the fourth stanza, talking about life. Well, it’s another thing like that – “What is the existence of man’s life?” – Is it “war”?,  is it “a storm”? is it “a flower”? is it “a dream”? is it “a dial” (a sun dial)? –  It’s another of those logical comparisons. That’s why they call it  metaphysical-type poetry, because they make a logical comparison (and) shake it up. – “It is  a dream whose seeming … Read More

William Carlos Williams Birthday

William Carlos Williams birthday today. We celebrate with his reading on January 27, 1954 in New York at the 92nd Street Y.

We begin with the poem that leads off the 1956 Collected Later Poems – “A Sort of Song” – “Let the snake wait under/his weed/and the writing/be of words, slow and quick, sharp/to strike, quiet to wait,/sleepless./– through metaphor to reconcile/the people and the stones/.Compose. (No ideas/ but in things) Invent!/Saxifrage is my flower that splits/the rocks.”  – followed by  “Burning the Christmas Greens” ( “Their time past, pulled down/cracked and flung in the … Read More

After Lalon & Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

This weekend we present the first of what we hope will be many many more posts – a look into the extraordinary collection (now digitalized and made available on line) via the Stanford University archives. Though there’s a breath-taking two-thousand plus audios, we’re starting with some of the video materials, and thought to start with this one – a 1993 recording of  Allen reading his poem “After Lalon”, (followed by a discourse by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, in the company of Allen and Gelek Rimpoche)

[Lalon-Sha (c.1772-1890) – the only portrait sketched during his lifetime – Indian National Museum] … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 333

Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network –  “The Transcultural Beat Generation”  is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”.  The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.

Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by … Read More

Edmund Bolton’s Palinode – (2)

[“Temperance” from “The Allegory of Good and Bad Government” (c. 1338) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, Italy]

A PALINODE

As withereth the primrose by the river, As fadeth summer’s sun from gliding fountains, As vanisheth the light-blown bubble ever, As melteth snow upon the mossy mountains: So melts, so vanishes, so fades, so withers The rose, the shine, the bubble and the snow Of praise, pomp, glory, joy – which short life gathers – Fair praise, vain pomp, sweet glory, brittle joy. The withered primrose by the mourning river, The faded summer’s sun from weeping fountains, The … Read More