Elazar Larry Freifeld Tel Aviv 1988 Interview

[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall.  Photograph by Steven Taylor]

Allen Ginsberg in Israel.

This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.

LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].

AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More

Steven Taylor – 2

[Steven Taylor, Allen Ginsberg & Lawrence Ferlinghetti,  New York City, 1985. Photo: Hank O’Neal]

Continuing from yesterday – a Steven Taylor weekend. What a range of music to hear!

False Prophet – Field Notes From The Punk Underground  (a must-read) is still very much in print

“From 1988 through 1993, guitarist/vocalist Steven Taylor toured the U.S. and Europe with the alternative rock group False Prophets, keeping a detailed journal with the intent of documenting the role of musicians in the international anarchist youth movement. His field notes form the core of the book, accounting with honesty and aplomb the sometimes … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1985 Naropa reading

[Allen Ginsberg in 1985]

Continuing from yesterday’s Eric Mottram-Philip Whalen reading

Allen Ginsberg  (following some brief announcements of upcoming readings by Anne Waldman)

Anne Waldman introduces Allen Ginsberg:;

AW: Allen Ginsberg – Guggenheim Fellow and member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters, the author of Howl, Kaddish, Planet News, The Fall of America, Mind Breaths, Plutonian Ode, Poems 1977-1980. His Collected Poems was published in January 1985 by Harper and Row. He has recently returned from China where he has been lecturing at the invitation of the Chinese Writers Union. He’s sung with Bob Dylan and The Clash,Read More

Reassembling Perception

[Pablo Picasso. Skull and Leeks 1945]

AG: So you assemble, you reassemble, all these objects and you get the sensation that you had at the time. So it’s almost like a precise science.. won’t you believe it?

Student: Well, it seems like you’re taking a real classical approach that these things that come in on you can be.. can all be put in an organized sentence, in an elegant way.

AG: Okay

Student: But after…   I mean, don’t you think a..  I mean, a McLuhan-esque term, “the mosaic thinking”,  that just sometimes just lists of images would  be more accurate … Read More

More Haiku Thinking

“Old pond/Frog jumps/kerplunk!”

continuing from AG’s 1980 Naropa class – see here

AG  It’s [Trungpa Rinopoche’s tri-partite philosophy of the haiku] real interesting.  It got me onto noticing what was wrong with a lot of my haiku(s), and so I found that most of my haiku(s) just had, you know, a flash, and then some location or picture. or comment, or flash and recognition, but no zappy comment, that zapped the whole thing out, that made it, So, in other words, haiku, three short parts. Does that make sense?

Student: Yeah, It’s interesting to think of a … Read More

On The Composition of Haiku

[Heaven-Earth-Man Calligraphy]

continued from yesterday,   1980 Naropa classroom –  Student is refering to another student’s writing that Allen has just analyzed

Student:  For a while there, it seeemed like, like she was saying, it seemed like,  I don’t know how many syllables there were, but they seemed they were pared down, to the length of haiku,  almost

AG: The way she did it? – Yeah.  Yeah, but it didn’t work. It was sort of like awkward haiku(s) and no single one of them made a big deal except maybe, “the rhythmic twang of the steel cord slapping against the flagpole”,  … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 3 (Classroom Notation)

[“Rhythmic twang of steel cords slapping against the flagpole”]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Then, the other thing we came to, she [sic] had a poem that was a discrete series of code-word observations, one after another in a row, and it sounded, like, too choppy, or much like she was doing an exercise sketch of the ….”One lady lifts up her big leg over the…or big boot, and takes it off” – [ to Student] – What are the three images? – What’s the first one? there was…

Student: “Holding the attention”,,

AG: What?

Student: “Holding the attention..riding a bicycle, … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 2

AG: Then another thing formulated with Rachel today [sic] was, in terms of condensation, if you can find three or four different ways of saying, of arranging the same words, generally, the spoken arrangement that is the shortest has the best rhythm and is the most vivid. [To Rachel (sic)] – Do you happen to have that poem with you? that one poem where we really discovered it. You remember the line?

Student (R)…”There’s not enough time to..”

AG: What’s the next line? There’s not enough time

Student (R) …”There’s not enough time to write all the notes down”

AG: … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading at The Intersection, San Francisco, 1971

[Allen Ginsberg, 1971]

Another archived reading today (courtesy the irreplaceable PennSounds) – Allen Ginsberg reading at The Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco in 1971

AG: I’ll begin. Most of what I’ll read tonight is poetry from the last twelve months (sic), but I want to begin, prefatory, by a poem written in 1949, part of a book called Gates of Wrath, which will be published by Four Seasons Press, “Stanzas Written at Night in Radio City”      (“If money made the mind more sane…”…”Man runs after his own shadow”) – “Gary Snyder Reading Poesy Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – Q & A)

Following on from last week’s “Buddhists and The Beats” video -the Q & A, the final segment.

Do we have time for questions.?

AG: Yes, sure

Q: You said that your poetry is a practice as well, so..is it..do you meditate every day? do you use poetry as a practice?

AG: It’s a form of practice. I sit now about forty minutes to an hour every day. There have been long periods where I’ve sat for an hour, two hours, every day, and there have been long periods where I have been on retreats where I would sit all day, … Read More