West Coast Beat and Beyond

West Coast Beat & Beyond

Of all the films coming out of the 1982 Naropa “On The Road” 25th Anniversary Celebrations (notably Costanzo Allione’s Fried Shoes and Cooked Diamonds, and Robert Frank’s freewheeling documentary footage, This Song For Jack (1983)), Chris Felver’s West Coast Beat and Beyond (1984), (filmed also in the Bay Area too, as its title might suggest), may be the most passed-over, most unfairly neglected. Rare footage, not just of Ginsberg-Corso-Ferlinghetti et al, but also, Philip Lamantia, Howard Hart, Harold Norse, Bob Kaufman, Jack Michelene, Jan Kerouac, Joanne Kyger,

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 61

Leading off with the sad news, this week, of the untimely death of Christian Ide Hintze, poetic and multi-media experimentalist and founder and director of the remarkable Schule fur Dichter (Vienna Poetry School). Here’s the obituary notice (in German) in derStandard. Here’s another local (Viennese) report. Pierre Joris, on his always admirable Nomadics blog, quotes Anne Waldman‘s fond remembrance of him – “I remember Ide’s visit to the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University in the 1980’s with other brilliant poets and thinkers, [fellow Austrian poets] Christian Loidl and Christina Huber, how (he) sat at the feet … Read More

Keith Haring (1958-1990)

[“Long Skulled Keith Haring Lawrence Kansas September 9, 1987 Passing thru Burroughs Fiesta” (Ginsberg caption) Photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Keith Haring ‘untitled, figures representing the aids virus’ May 13, 1989. Water color and ink on paper.]

Twenty-two years ago today, the artist Keith Haring passed away. We send you, of course, to the Keith Haring Foundation – “The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989 to assist AIDS-related and children’s charities, and maintains the largest resource of archives on the late artist..”. Check out also their blog here for further updated information.

Green Valentine


I went in the forest to look for a sign

Fortune to tell and thought to refine;
My green valentine, my green valentine,
What do I know of my green valentine?
I found a strange wild leaf on a vine
Shaped like a heart and as green as was mine,
My green valentine, my green valentine,
How did I use my green valentine?
Bodies I’ve known and visions I’ve seen,
Leaves that I gathered as I gather this green
Valentine, valentine, valentine, valentine
Thus did I use my green valentine.
Madhouses and jailhouses where I shined
Empty apartment beds … Read More

Patti Smith’s Howl Spells

Dave L Stevens of Stevens Internet Productions has generously uploaded to You Tube this stunning performance of “Spell” a.k.a.“Footnote to Howl” by Patti Smith and her band, with Philip Glass on piano, and back-up “vocals” by saffron-robed Buddhist monks (the recitation was in honor of a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama). As Stevens himself notes, “Not seen for more than a decade. I directed and produced this interactive webcast. When Patti Smith begins “howling” on her clarinet, it’s sublime.”

Contrast for production values, this next rendition, recorded in Florence, Italy, in 2009 (hence the Fernanda PivanoRead More

Renaldo and Clara

Remarkable what you find on the Internet these days, isn’t it? If you’ve got a spare three-and-a-half hours plus, here’s Bob Dylan’s epic legendary Rolling Thunder Review movie, Renaldo and Clara, in, as Marc Campbell on Dangerous Minds puts it, all “its uncut shambolic glory”.
Allen is, of course, all over this (notably, on the famous trip, accompanying Dylan to Jack Kerouac’s grave in Lowell, Massachusetts). We’ve featured some sections of it on this blog before (notably, here), and even reported on its checkered and complicated distribution. So much more we could say, but, hey, why don’t we … Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up 60

We at The Allen Ginsberg Project, we love our “Ginsberg tattoos” – they’re among the most popular posts, curiously – or maybe not so curiously. So here‘s another – “I wake to see the world go wild” – the line is from “An Eastern Ballad”. “Lauralemon” explains: “My obsession with and love for Allen Ginsberg began when I was thirteen years old and picked up an anthology of modern American poetry from a garage sale. I read “America” and immediately became obsessed…and here I am six years later, finally bearing a small tribute to my favorite … Read More

(More) Perfect Wisdom Sutra (for Arthur Russell)

The Perfect Wisdom Sutra, the Heart Sutra, the Prajnaparamita Sutra – “Form is not different from emptiness, emptiness, not different from form” – We posted, last year, a post spotlighting several readings of this by Allen (notably, this one, at a memorial gathering for Carl Solomon) – along with reproduction of the text (Allen’s own pioneering translation, authorized and validated by Shunryu Suzuki).
We now add another one. This is Allen, at a memorial for Arthur Russell (sic), succinctly and clearly, and compassionately, reciting the sutra (“It’s one that Arthur and I performed, touring, very … Read More

Happy Birthday Neal Cassady (1926-1968)

[Neal Cassady … young & vigorous age 29…. surveying North Beach used car lot, he needed new wheels. Bay area Johnny Appleseed of pot from early 1950’s, he worked as conductor on Southern-Pacific Railroad, averted train crash as brakeman years earlier, breaking his ankle, collected insurance, bought his family a ranch-house in Los Gatos down the peninsula, gambled madly & disastrously at horse racetrack, wrote painfully in pencil on his “The First Third” autobiographical manuscript, visited me overnight in rooms on Polk and Montgomery Streets, San Francisco. Sometime March 1955. (Ginsberg Caption for similar image) photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate] … Read More