[Sappho (c.630-612BC – c.570BC) – “portrait of a young woman” from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli]
Because it’s too much to say, you gotta pay attention – you can’t do that, you just get self-conscious, so, it’s more remembering what caught your attention when you weren’t trying to pay attention. So it’s slightly subliminal in that sense. So with the normal waking mind, we don’t generally remember what we.. well, except once in a while, everybody does, and then tells his friend, his best friend, “You know what I saw today, walking down the street – a weird scene … Read More
AG: Just writing down whatever you want to write down, what would you come up with? What’s the quality that I’m promoting, that I’m peddling? What’s the feeling of that kind of writing? Well, someone gave me a little pamphlet of poems that were very good samples. I don’t know how they were written but they felt sincere and interesting – “It’s not a death-wish/It’s giving up when your muscles hurt/and that I’m afraid of life”. I had been doing some building-work, and, actually, it’s.. that’s.. a real accurate note. It’s something that’s very personal, and yet everyone knows that … Read More
Student: Do you find that even just transcribing down straight thoughts tends to focus your attachment to your thoughts sometimes? I found that…
AG: Focus your attachment? What do you mean?
Student: Yeah, with journals. I found that keeping journals, I got so attached to thoughts, so aware of thoughts that I would, I think, actually, subtly manufacture more to make a more pleasing journal.
AG: Well, yeah, there’s a certain amount of baroque elegance that can be indulged in, playfulness. If it’s playful enough, it’s alright. Sometimes. Because that’s just sheer abundance and playfulness, but … Read More
Student: Does it always have to do with what you choose to use?, whether you’re typing, or writing, or (using a) tape-recorder (amassing) amounts of material in that way?
AG: Right. Very much so. Yeah. I want to go into that, actually, in about four sentences. I just want to get to the nub of “selection”, because that used to be a big academic argument – the principle of selectivity, and “beatnik” writers being un-selective, and that selection was so important, that you really had to make fine intellectual distinctions between different kinds of thoughts, and only choose the (most) … Read More
The title of the course is “Spiritual Poetics”, which was just a spontaneous title arrived at when we had to have a title, but it might as well be used. And we’re beginning with considerations of breath, considerations of vowel, and the relationship between vowel and intelligence, vowel and soul, I’ll try to define more clearly the words I’m using.
Vowel and intelligence and vowel and soul, as they are etymologically connected as breath and soul have been connected, as with Chogyam (Trungpa)’s teaching – … Read More
Allen Ginsberg Class – NAROPA Institute July 31, 1974
AG: (This) I got from Karma Thinley, who’s a lama, friend of (Chogyam) Trungpa in England – OM, you might want to write it down so it won’t be mysterious: OM (O-m.) SARASWATI (S-a-r-a-s-w-a-t-i) , Sar-a-swa-ti – how many have heard of Saraswati? – okay, Om-Saraswati, HRIH (H-r-i-h), SOWAH (S-o-w-a-h – So-hah), so it’s easy, Om-Sarawati-Hrih-Sowah
[Raja Ravi Varma – Saraswati (1848-1906)]
“Om”, you know – body sound, salutation. Saraswati – is generally pictured with a veena in one hand and a book in the other. Riding, what?. Riding … Read More
It opens with footage of Huncke in the back-seat of a taxi-cab – one rainy evening in Manhattan – fish-eye glimpses of the Chelsea (interiors and exteriors) – Huncke’s genial narrative. Gregory Corso first appears about two and a half minutes in:
“Don’t escalate the hostility, don’t escalate the anger, control your mind, watch what you’re doing, be aware – totally”
“It isn’t love that’s being sought here. It’s not love that’s being offered. What’s being offered, in a sense – or proposed, I mean – is awareness, of what your own feelings are, and of the movement of … Read More
Footage has just emerged of Allen in Finland in 1983 (and of Burroughs too, for that matter) – both snatches of interview(s) and brief glimpses of readings. The footage is from Finnish YLE tv. Allen is seen reading, spiritedly, from “America”- a line at a time, followed by Finnish translation (Burroughs is glimpsed reading sections from A Place of Dead Roads – “and swear to me that you will never wear a policeman’s badge”). The video accompanies an article on the Beats in Finland in that nation’s newspaper and can be accessed here.