Gelek Rimpoche (1939-2017)

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[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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 302

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[Neal Cassady and Jack  Kerouac]

[Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac – The Joan Anderson Letter via Heritage Auctions]

The legendary Joan Anderson letter is back in the news again. “The seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Neal Cassady’s epic letter to Jack Kerouac, which, for almost sixty years, was thought missing and then was miraculously rediscovered and put up for auction (only to, surprisingly, fail to reach its asking price) is up for auction again.

The auction date is March 8. Bidding begins approximately February 17th (next week). Full details may be found at Heritage Read More

More Shakespeare (Prospero’s Farewell Speech)

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[Prospero (a fragment from “Prospero, Miranda and Caliban” (1789) – Henry Fuseli  (1741-1825)- via York Museums Trust]

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,                                                                               The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979

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[Allen Ginsberg at the Atheneum Bookshop, Amsterdam, November 1979. photo: Hans van Dijk / Dutch National Archives]

Allen Ginsberg Reading At Warwick University, 1979  (continuing from yesterday)

AG: I’ll begin since – oh we were discussing the subject . I’ll begin with a song dedicated to another fellow in prison, David Solomon who’s in Brighton…in Bristol jail, as he was sentenced to ten years as part of that big LSD conspiracy bust about a year or two ago – what was the name of that? Julie Operation Julie

[Allen sings a version of “Dope Fiend Blues”- “Dope Fiend Blues Shuffle”]… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 297

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[Daniel Radcliffe as the young Allen Ginsberg in “Kill Your Darlings (2013)”]

Film Friday -Remember Daniel Radcliffe‘s portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in John Krokidas‘ 2013 film, Kill Your Darlings – Krokidas’ revelations about Radcliffe’s Allen and playing a “sex scene” have been getting a bit of traction.

Krokidas:

“Growing up with queer films, there was always some sort of stigma attached to gay characters or gay sexuality, and I didn’t want the sex scene to feel like that in any way. I wanted the arc of the scene to go from nervousness to a place of pure enjoyment … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore 1978 – 2

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[Mind Breaths: Poems 1972-1977, the volume of poems by Allen Ginsberg published in 1978 by City Lights]

continuing from yesterday

AG: So, actually, I was in the hospital and I actually went out of my skull, I was full of antibiotics and fever and it seemed like it was about time to take a meat axe to that dirty Jew’s skull or something, (that was what I was telling my poor Jewish brother about Kissinger). So, finally, I wound up in a sort of state of punk ecstasy. So two poems about sickness, one a description and one a … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore -1969

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Allen Ginsberg at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, November 1969

A few weeks back, we featured Allen, in 1973, reading at the Maryland Institute. Here’s another recording, from 1969, four years previously, where he presents a little mantra, a little William Blake and a substantial selection (some still in early draft) of his epic “poem of these states”, later incorporated in  “The Fall of America

The reading begins with a very brief introduction, welcoming Allen back (sic)  ( “It seems to me most appropriate because this reading comes between All Saints Day and … Read More

Tichborne’s Elegy

Chidiock Tichborne (c.1562-1586)

AG: One thing we forgot was  Chidiock Tichborne‘s elegy (on page one-three-two). That has a really pretty tune. I overlooked it last time – (one-thirty-two of the Norton (anthology)). Written in his own hand, in the tower, before his execution. So, he only had a few.. like..  that day to live. So what did he have to say? – It’s really great and it’s on the same line as Sir Walter Raleigh’s “The Lie” (remember we did that.. “”Tell men of high condition,/That manage the estate,/Their purpose is ambition… give them all the lie.” – … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 290

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today – from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography: ” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.

And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what … Read More

Walter Raleigh’s “The Lie”

   
The Buddha teaching The Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit Astasahsrika Prajnaparamita Sutra   manuscript, written in the Ranjana script,  Nalanda, Bihar, India, circa 700-1100 CE

AG: I’d like to go with  (Walter Raleigh‘s) “The Lie” because that gets into the heavy-metal suffering – The First Noble Truth – when people really are on the verge of death and seeing life as a maya, samsara, evidence of shadow, even in Elizabethan days. So it’s First Noble Truth. Second Noble Truth, suffering, transitoriness. However, the Third Noble Truth, un-atman – the Buddhist notion of un-atman (no soul, … Read More