Eric Drooker‘s Moloch image graces the cover of this week’s New Yorker. With Illuminated Poems and Howl: A Graphic Novel, we’re now familiar with the iconography of the terrain. All of a sudden, it just, apparently, got more urgent. He sent in the design “almost a year ago”, according to his wife, quoted in their local paper, Berkeleyside, “but it was ruled too dark”. Now that darkness is increasingly being acknowledged. Leading off with, once again, a shout-out to the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
We continue to solicit encounters with Allen Ginsberg. Here’s a touching one from Eduardo Vega Colon, a sometime sailor deployed on Operation Desert Shield, and posted this past week on Karma of Dove, his web-site [2012 update, sadly, no more]- “Allen Ginsberg placed me on the path (that) I walk today. It all started with his “Sunflower Sutra”..”Almost twenty years later (now), I continue to walk that path”. Colon describes nervously approaching Allen at The Poetry Project at St Mark’s Church to timidly offer his respect (“Hello, Mr Ginsberg”, I said. “Call me Allen”, he said. “Allen, I just want to thank you”, I said. He looked surprised and somewhat confused when he asked, “What for?”
Another feature we like to include in our “Friday Round-Up”‘s – parodies (or, at least some parodies – Len Anderson’s “Beep”, perhaps – “a version of the history of the personal computer rendered in free verse in the manner of Howl by Allen Ginsberg” – or “iKaddish” (for Steve Jobs, 1955-2011) (2018 update – this last is no longer available) Parody is flattery before it is anything else.
Looking ahead to Beat books on the horizon, Gerald Nicosia‘s One and Only: The Untold Story of “On The Road” looks like being a singular and major event. “One and Only..” includes “the never-before-published transcription of the 34,000-word taped interview” that Beat historian Nicosia conducted with LuAnne Henderson, “the woman who started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on their journey” (the original “Marylou” of On The Road – she’ll be played, in the upcoming film version, by Kristen Stewart). It’s also illustrated with 55 “rare archival black-and-white photographs”, (including photographs of Allen), many of which have never been seen before.
Gordon Ball, meanwhile, has been looking at Allen and at the halcyon years he spent at Cherry Valley. East Hill Farm – Seasons with Allen Ginsberg is due out in December from Counterpoint. “An intimate portrait of Allen Ginsberg’s upstate New York farm and its people – a place of communal living, poetic refuge, and interpersonal conflict”. An early review of the book may be glimpsed and savoured here.