Gregory Corso continues:
GC: Oh yeah, back to the ’50’s. The 50’s answered Death, definitely. (The) Atom Bomb and all that – and Death was checked out, and it was checked out to be a gimmick, it was checked out to be a Big Con, and it was laid on to people in their culture and society. Everyone, they all went, millions and millions went (and they went physically, they went through pain, they went through what is called “suffering” – (by) Buddhists and all that). So, therefore, they got stuck on Death. The Egyptians show you that and it’s just a big con. I said the other day, someone could come up with a bullet and say, “Here Gregory, you’re dead”, and it doesn’t make no difference – I don’t die. See, when I’m dead, I won’t know it ever. You got it? See, so I don’t know what death is, and I’ll never know. Others will.
Alright, ‘5o’s hang-up, Death, I think that was answered. I think the rebellion came because.. then you got your ’60’s, which is an extension that handled two other biggies – Love and God. God is Love. Love is God. Those were biggies. They’re big words. So it proves, now, in the ’70’s, that Love ends up a bummer and (that) there was never a God for this nation (America). See? So both suck, see?.. So why they suck is so you’ve got Truth in the ’70’s, and you’re at the top shot right now (you’re in the middle of the decade – ’75 – because all the changes came at the middle of the decade – ’45, the War was over, ’55, the Beatniks came with their “Death” shot, ’65, you got your flower-children and all that, and now you’re into ’75, and you know there’s a change). Huh?
Anne Waldman: I said there were other moments too.
GC: I know, there were The Carpenters [The Carpenters were the number one selling music act of the 1970’s], and everything else.
Anne Waldman: No, I understand.
Allen Ginsberg [nominally, who’s class it is]: Well, there was a change in poetry in ’55.
Anne Waldman: Right, right.
GC: Don’t interrupt my class!
Allen Ginsberg: I’m just defending you!
GC: Let me teach you something again today. I gave you firsts on things, I gave you first geomancy, of divination, I gave you the first man, right?, I gave you the oracles, right?
Do you remember who the first man was?
GC: Yeah, and what about his first depiction on the cave wall..
Student(s) : Shaman
GC: Shaman of what? Of what cave?
Students: Trois freres.
GC: There you go, Alright, What I’ll give you today, we’ll built upon that, because, remember, the first thing I said to you guys when I came into this classroom, I said to you, “I know all there is to know, because there ain’t that much to know”. And to prove that to you, I was going to give you your shot in your three days. And this is the last day and your shot is ending. I gave you sources (where you can check out from there). (You’ll ramify.. all (of) your variables in life..) And that, to me, makes sense. It’s not nonsense (that) you’ve got in your head, like how many baseball stars there were that hit home-runs, all that shit, but you get this real basic shot from your sources, human life. ‘Till right now, ’75, there was (is) a change happening now (it’s a very mellow, a very cool one).
Alright, so the last one I’ll give you is a game. Now, I won’t say that’s the way the game’s played, but it makes sense to me. Alright? Now I’ll give you the names of it and I’ll show you the most difficult thing – none of you can do it, but I can – I can do a seven-pointed star. Can anybody here do it? Zap. And I’ll show you how the game is played and draw a seven-pointed star, and (then) I’m going to go home and take a shower and fuck my woman and go and have supper. We call it “Friday the 13th”.
Okay, here’s your seven-pointed star [Gregory begins to draw] – Right? Seven points. We give the first guy.. what’s the first guy? – the Phoenix? What’s the Phoenix? What’s Phoenix? – that’s all your re-incarnation myth, right? Right?. What’s the second one? It’s The Wanderer, it’s a goodie, nice, there’s your Wanderer [Gregory continues drawing] – Who’s he? Who’s that? Who’s The Wanderer? Do you know? – Alright, then you get this tough fucker..
Allen Ginsberg: No, who’s The Wanderer?
GC: I’m gonna give it to them later. I’m gonna give them the shot first. Give ’em The Wanderer? – they should know who The Wanderer is – Yeah, there you go, thank you. I mean they should know that. These kids are not nineteen years old, they’re in their late twenties and thirties..
Student: C’mon Gregory..
GC: I said maybe in their twenties, not in their teens – there was only one teen here the other day. How many teens here today? There you go. In that corner, they hang out.. Alright, The Knight is next, the third shot, because The Knight is the tough fucker, right? The Knight goes.. he lies to the woman (and) says, “I will kill you a dragon” (and she believes it!), and he goes out and says, “I killed your dragon”. Great. She never saw it happen. There never was a fuckin’ dragon he killed! – So then comes The Hermit. Now The Hermit you know who he is? – that’s the person who goes on retreat, right?, (he) says, “Spare me” (he doesn’t want to be bothered). One, two, three, four, Gregory – Now the fifth is a funny man, he’s The Player. Who’s The Player? Hey, yuk yuk, when you get to the other two, see who’s The Player?
GC: Oh wow! Really? Bullshit! Watch it – See who comes next – The Joker. Who’s The Joker? Watch this shit. Who’s The Joker?. You give me “Player”, you don’t give me “Joker”, who said “You”?
Student: I did
GC: Who is it? And you don’t give me “Joker”?, you don’t give me “Joker”? – Alright, here’s the last act. (The) Dealer, right?. He sets it all up. Who’s The Dealer? – Now that game tells you (that) the ball-game is over. So you start anew, right? – It’s not a geometrical sum, it sucks. The whole game sucks, right? The whole game sucks, but that’s the shot and that’s what happens in life, I believe. It’s all going under, going over, it’s all this bullshit. Because really The Knight is in there. Remember I told you he fucked up he always fucks up? Between The Wanderer and The Hermit you get The Knight. The Dealer thinks he’s a big deal because he plays the shot. He ain’t no big deal. So that’s the last thing I think I’ll give you under “the Occult”. Now we’ll get to poetry.
Allen Ginsberg: Wait a minute.. The Player? What’s The Player?
GC: The Player..is playing..
Allen Ginsberg: The one who got involved.
GC: I think the Player is The Joker and The Dealer. I think they encompass this shot, in fact encompass the whole number (but it’s out of queue, Al, it’s not geometrically so..)
Allen Ginsberg [perplexed] : Did you make this up, or what?
GC: That makes a Player of me, right?
Allen Ginsberg: Wait a minute
GC: Am I the creator of this? (this ancient game) – Yuck! Erase it, erase the whole thing! It’s all Occult shit.
Allen Ginsberg: Okay.
GC: It’s all Occult bullshit.
Audio for this can be heard at http://www.archive.org/details/Allen_Ginsberg_class_The_history_of_poetry_part_3_June_1975_75P004 beginning approximately nine-and-a-half minutes in and continuing until approximately nineteen minutes in.