AG: You remember different things from me
GC: Well I remember you telling me about…
AG: Yeah, Gregory, myself, Peter Orlovsky and Jack Kerouac, all went to see Williams one afternoon. 1957
GC: ..about that.
AG: Yeah. Jack went into the kitchen with his wife, and his wife told him all about how she and Williams were young in Vienna when he was studying to be a medical student and they went to beer-gardens and there were lilacs or flowers all over, flower petals falling in the beer. Jack sort of romanced up his wife, Flossie, because Jack was used to his mother, so it was like relating to the older woman. And what did he say to you?
GC: Well, when I was in Paris I wrote him a letter for money
AG: Oh you did?
GC: And he sent me back a postcard saying, “Be careful where you buy your meat, on what street”. So I answered him with a little postcard saying, “Well, all I wanted to do was buy a crazy white hat”. Not too top class, but that was about the connection I had with Williams. I loved him. He was a doctor too
AG: [quoting Williams’ vernacular] – “I’ll kick yuh eye”
GC: He brought babies into the world.
AG: I finally sat on the edge of the couch and said, “Well, Dr Williams, here we are, all assembled, what immortal words do you have for us?”. So he pointed to the curtained window, looking out on the main street of Rutherford, and said, “There’s a lot of bastards out there!”
GC: He liked Peter’s work.
AG: Yeah. He was one of the few people to immediately pick up on Orlovsky’s peculiar, awkward, reality, and he said that Peter was the best of the lyric poets among the young
(a very odd, and sort of classical, category for Peter).
Audio for this Allen Ginsberg-Gregory Corso exchange may be found at
http://www.archive.org/details/Allen_Ginsberg_class_The_history_of_poetry_part_19_June_1975_75P021 – approx 28 minutes in