WNET (Koch and Ashbery) – Kenneth Koch

Another of the WNET poetry films that we’ve been featuring. This weekend – Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery  – Today, the young  Kenneth Koch

KK: There’s an awful lot in my poems that I don’t understand at the time of writing them and if I understand them as I write them it’s usually a bad sign but I don’t think that’s ever happened.

“There are certain constants in my work and one is this interest in juxtaposing one thing against another in such a way that it’ll be dramatic and beautiful and funny and interesting. Incidentally, my work … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 352

Opening this past week, and on through April 27, at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library  – Fleeting Moments, Floating Words, and the Beat Generation – The Photography of Allen Ginsberg.


from Thomas Marks’  interview with the Italian painter  Giorgio Griffa  (in Apollo) – (Griffa’s current one-man show at London’s Camden Arts Centre, currently up, is up until the 8th of April):

“The work of Allen Ginsberg has also provided a touchstone; Ginsberg’s elegy for his mother, ‘Kaddish’, is … Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

[Neal Cassady (1926-1968)] – Photograph by Herb Greene via The Grateful Dead Archive Online]

Neal Cassady‘s birthday today, born February 8, 1926 in Salt Lake City.

In Denver tomorrow, the David Amram Quartet will headline the 9th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash at the Mercury Cafe, featuring music, poetry and reminiscences celebrating the life and the legend of Neal Cassady,

The following day, February 10th, at the Alamo Drafthouse/Sloan’s Lake, there will be a special screening of the film Magic Trip  (2011) detailing Cassady and Ken Kesey’s 1964 adventures (Cassady driving the bus with the Merry Read More

The Wisdom of the Crazy – Tom O’Bedlam

[”From the hag and hungry goblin/that into rags would rend ye/All the sprites that stands by the naked man/In the book of moons, defend ye..”]-  (image from Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne de Boulogne – Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine) (1862),] 

AG (from 1980):  We’ve been going through these poems of such persons as the Tom o’ Bedlam anonymous lyric, Marlowe, Wyatt, Donne, Marvell, Herbert, Shakespeare, Milton   (and I’ve been recommending everybody to get the rhythm in their bones and learn the stylistics).

And so now I want to… I mentioned that when I was beginning to study … Read More

Burroughs’ Birthday

William Burroughs’ birthday today

Here’s a guest-posting from our good friend and Burroughs aficianado, Oliver Harris

“How does Burroughs manage to stay so young? After all, he’s 104 and has been dead for over 20 years, and yet he still seems to have more life in him than most so-called living writers. Is it because he was always more than a writer? I’m thinking of a remark he made to Paul Carroll in June 1959, the same week that Maurice Girodias asked him for a manuscript of Naked Lunch and so launched his “career”; that he was carrying out “research … Read More

WNET – Frank O’Hara & Ed Sanders – Ed Sanders

[Ed Sanders in 1965]

WNET  USA -Poetry – continuing from yesterday (this section begins approximately sixteen minutes in)  –  Today – a 1965 profile of Ed Sanders. He begins with a definition of his ethical options (and a reference to L.Ron Hubbard!)

ES: Well, I’m going to get a cream-gilded yacht and I’m going to communicate with my neophytes through ship-to-shore phone. No, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I will probably… I will sell out, No, I don’t know what I’m going to do but I hope I don’t. No, see, the temptation of money. … Read More

WNET – Frank O’Hara & Ed Sanders –  Frank O’Hara

Vintage WNET USA-Poetry continues. This weekend – Frank O’Hara and Ed Sanders (starting with Frank O’Hara) . This priceless footage (O’Hara died a few weeks after the shooting of the film) includes footage of him reading his ebullient, witty poem for Allen – “Fantasy (dedicated to the health of Allen Ginsberg)”.

The film begins, however, with a reading of “Mozart Chemisier” – (“Mozart Chemisier” is a poem I wrote after visiting David Smith, the great American sculptor, in his house in Bolton Landing and it’s really called.. (Chemisier”)  and the Mozart comes in because he was his favorite … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 351

Next week, Neal Cassadys birthday.,   On Friday and Saturday, next week, they’ll be the big celebration in Denver (with special guests, Jami Cassady and David Amram – for more information on those celebrations – see here).

Monday,, it’s another Beat birthday – William Burroughs. There’s a celebration of that tonight – Three Rooms Press (publishers of the upcoming Don’t Hide The Madness – William S Burroughs In Conversation with Allen Ginsberg) present, at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe (starting at 6 o’clock), a William Burroughs Birthday Tribute, featuring Anne Waldman, Steven Taylor, and … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 3

[Michelangelo – The Creation of Adam – detail of  fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, painted c.1508-1512]

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” continues

Student:  I don’t understand.  (In the last part [of Marvell’s poem, “The Garden”], I think I don’t follow the argument)

AG: Okay… which are we speaking of? –  the next-to-last, or the last stanza?

Student: (In the last two stanzas…)

Such was that happy garden-state,/ While man there walk’d without a mate;/ After a place so pure and sweet,/ What other help could yet be meet!/ But ’twas beyond … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 2

Allen Ginsberg continuing – on Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden”

“How vainly men themselves amaze/To win the palm, the oak, or bays,/And their incessant labours see/Crown’d from some single herb or tree,Whose short and narrow verged shade/Does prudently their toils upbraid;/While all flow’rs and all trees do close/To weave the garlands of repose.”

AG: That is to say, all these people struggling in the city (it’s the beginning of the city again, and it’s..  he’s paralleling that poem that we read before by (Abraham) Cowley about “the crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,/Of this great hive the city.” – “Ah, yet, ere … Read More