Digital Dharma

Jewel Heart is pleased to announce the launch of its new website: “The new site features a significant visual makeover, a new streamlined user-friendly interface and, most importantly, a growing library of Gelek Rimpoche’s teachings available through downloads and streaming, both live and on demand”. “Digital dharma”, they call it, “audio and visual dharma through digital downloads, transcripts of Gelek Rinpoche’s teachings spanning back to the mid-80’s”.… Read More

Plutonian Ode

Owen Plotkin’s film on and of Allen’s 1978 poem, Plutonian Ode, remains, regrettably, cautionary and timely. “Radioactive Nemesis were you there at the beginning black dumb tongueless unsmelling blast of Disillusion….I dare your reality! I challenge your very being! I publish your cause and effect!..”… Read More

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[Allen Ginsberg, QE2, Albany, NY 11/29/90 – photo by Dan Wilcox]

Dan Wilcox is the host of the “Third Thursday Poetry Night” at the Social Justice Center in Albany, upstate New York, and is a member of the poetry performance group “3 Guys from Albany”. As a photographer, he claims to have “the world’s largest collection of photos of unknown poets”. That may or may not be true, but he also has fine snaps of some familiar faces. Numero Cinq on-line magazine graciously showcases his Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti and More” portfolio.Rick Schober in Massachusetts is working on an interesting project. He … Read More

Allen’s Jukebox: The Country Blues

[The “photo-booth self-portrait” of Robert Johnson from the early 1930s, one of only two known photos of Johnson made public. from the Granger Collection, New York.]

Since we spotlighted “Allen’s Jukebox” last week, we thought we’d re-post Allen’s Country Blues mixtape that we first posted in 2009, but this time with a few more links to the tracks and some minor corrections.

Back in the late ’80s, Allen made a handful of blues collections for a Brooklyn College course he was teaching. They were pretty much collections of his favorite blues songs from over the years, and, usually, were … Read More

An Eastern Ballad and A Western Ballad

“All fees for Mr Ginsberg’s poetry and image are donations to The Poetry Project, Jewel Heart and Shambhala Meditation Center of New York”

Lost perhaps in the rest of the advertising copy of Ralph Lauren is also this encomium: “Arguably, one of the most influential poets of all time, Allen Ginsberg’s work is marked by a spiritual grace, potent political voice, rhythmic energy and a razor-sharp sense of humor. A leader of the legendary Beat movement, Allen redefined the boundaries of art for all future generations..” “An Eastern Ballad” – and, as we reported on earlier, “A Western Ballad,” … Read More

“The Arab Beat Generation”

“This year has been the perfect time for Allen Ginsberg to recite his poem “Howl” inside my mind. At times, I’ve had to scream with him “Moloch! Moloch! when watching scenes of protesters being killed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of revolting countries, seeing them opening up their chests for a ticket to the heaven of freedom. What an expensive ticket the soul is!” (Mona Kareem, 24-year-old Kuwaiti journalist and poet, quoted this past weekend in the Toronto Star

“We”, she goes on to declare, “are the Arab Beat Generation, yet we have no face; we’ve already set … Read More

Guru Blues

Videoheads, an artist’s video collective, now based in Amsterdam, made several video recordings of Allen over the years, in London, Amsterdam, and Paris. This is a snippet from his performance (with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky) at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 1979. The spirited rendition of “Guru Blues” is introduced by, (unrelated) Allen, en francais noting that the children of

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (Robert and Michael Meeropol) had written a book ( We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (1975)), about their experience growing up as the children of the famously executed pair. … Read More

Happy Birthday Jack

[Jack Kerouac, late 1944 or early 1945 New York City. Allen Ginsberg]

Jack Kerouac would have been 89 today. His birthday might be celebrated here any number of ways. We thought best, on this occasion, to point you towards Allen’s wonderful essay, “Negative Capability: Kerouac’s Buddhist Ethic” (recently made available on-line. A Buddhist and a Catholic and a Humanist, and, first and foremost, a writer. Happy Birthday, Jack! – Long may your books be read and your beneficial (beatific!) influence reign!… Read More

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[photo/ephemera collage by Althea Crawford for Holy Soul Jelly Roll box set insert]

Bibliographic Notes

The current presence of Howl the movie has summoned up a few complimentary bibliographic articles. Gilliam Orr in The Independent

proposes a reading list that begins, as everybody would suggest, with the poem itself, followed by such titles as, James Campbell’s overview, This Is The Beat Generation, Ronna C Johnson & Nancy M Grace’s Girls Who Wore Black, and Harold Chapman’s photographic documentation, which, as they carefully note, is “currently out of print”

An equally maverick selection was proposed last year by … Read More

Allen’s Classical Jukebox (Notes on Music Notes 1)

[Birds on Wires via Arksinspace]
Following up on yesterday’s post, here’s a few additional notes to the auctioneer’s notes and a few further superficial notations.
So, Clement Janequin (1485-1558) and his “Chant des Oiseaux” (Song of the Birds). Allen is drawing here on his knowledge of Ezra Pound’s work on early music and sends the reader to Pound’s Canto 75 (“Out of Phlegethon!/out of Phlegethon,/Gerhart/art thou come forth out of Phlegethon?…” – ”Phlegethon”, from Greek mythology, one of the five principal rivers in the realm of Hell (Hades). It flows with fire and burns but does not consume. … Read More