[William Burroughs. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg ]
William Burroughs on Creative Reading continues
WSB: Any further questions?
Student: What do you think of all these codes in Lord Jim. You know, he’s writing about all these kind of unexplained code and then, at the end, he’s… he’s killed, kind of, by the native’s code, and Brierly’s suicide that’s a kind of code. I’ve been kind of wondering what Conrad was thinking when he put all these open-ended codes of conduct into the book?
WSB: Yeah, well, so he says, faith in a fixed code of conduct. Now, this … Read More
Michael Schumacher‘s collection of miscellaneous Ginsberg interviews, First Thought, as we mentioned last week, will be published very soon. Meantime, it’s worth considering Schumacher’s other titles, his masterly distillation of The Essential Ginsberg (out from Harpers in 2015), his remarkable edit of the Ginsberg father-son letters, Family Business, (2001) and his monumental biography, Dharma Lion (1994,recently re-issued by University of Minnesota Press in an expanded edition, 2016)
A recent review of the latter the new edition … Read More
“Ray Bremser master poet returned to New York after eight years’ absence wrinkle-faced as before, to attend my “Rainbow Body Reading Series” at Brooklyn College & same night read at St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project. Next evening we did two poetry readings shows together for jazz-club Village Vanguard anniversary week celebrations. He left early next morning by bus, for safety from drink, to his upstate New York Utica apartment. Saw him this way the night before all these poetry scenes, at my house, February 21, 1995″
AG: Yeah, well, one thing that I was noticing, which gets introduced here more than before in Donne – contractions – like “find’st” (so you don’t have to say “findest” or “will find”, it’s just “find’st”, so it’s one syllable – “If thou find’st one, let me know” – da-da dad-a da-da-da – “If thou findst one, let me know” – So I get contractions out of that that I make use of in my own poetry. I made a lot of use of the same kind of contraction. Oddly enough, it’s vernacular (it looks literary on … Read More
AG: John Donne – Now begins something different from what we’ve been doing. So far, up to now, I have been getting involved with the lines as kind of rhythmic melody and rhythm (or “cadence” was the word that we finally came to, that I finally wound-up using (from Louis Zukofsky). And I think, historically, beginning with Donne, (but Donne is still sung and people wrote music to Donne), there begins here a kind of stiffening of the verse-form (but Donne still is a melodic genius – but I don’t think Donne wrote his … Read More
Student: It’s a (Joseph) Conrad short-story. And the last half of the movie (version).. It’s straight Conrad – two totally paranoid traders, in the heart of the Congo, have a real Gothic Western shoot-out, They think that they’re leading each other on, (but…)
WSB: No, I haven’t, I haven’t read it yet.
Student: (You really have to…)
WSB: Yeah, but there’s some.. there’s some very … He … Read More
From the publisher’s web-site: “Here, through previously-uncollected interviews, we encounter Allen Ginsberg elaborating on how speech, as much as writing and reading, and even poetry, is an act of art. Revealing, enlightening, and often just plain entertaining. Allen Ginsberg in conversation is the quintessential twentieth-century American poet as we have never before encountered him; fully present in pitch-perfect detail.”
[Gelek Rimpoche, New York City, February 1990. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg)]
It is with heavy heart and sadness that we announce the death today of Gelek Rinpoche, the great Tibetan lama and Allen’s spiritual teacher.
As announced on his Facebook page – “Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, our dear teacher and friend passed away this morning at 6 AM. We will keep him in our thoughts today and every day. Information regarding arrangements will be posted on the Jewel Heart International Facebook Page as we receive it and we ask you to respect the privacy of his immediate family at this … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, San Francisco 1955]
Well, yesterday was Valentine’s Day, let’s make today Valentine’s Day too!. Here’s a letter from Allen to Peter Orlovsky, dated Feb 15, 1958
Got your letter yesterday, was so happy to receive it and your sweet sex talk. I had been running around with mad mean poets & world-eaters here & was longing for kind words from heaven which you wrote, came as fresh as a summer breeze & “when I think on thee dear friend / all losses are restored & sorrows end,” came over & over in … Read More
February 14th, it’s Valentine’s Day! – and here’s, once again (how could we better it), our annual Valentine Day’s posting
The weight of the world
Under the burden
under the burden
the weight we carry
Who can deny?
looks out of the heart
burning with purity–
for the burden of life
but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
must … Read More