Mind, Mouth and Page – Intro

AG: …to begin with, the (William Carlos) Williams.. I think I’ll go on from Williams with (Jack) Kerouac – this is just to let you know what I had in mind now – go on with Kerouac’s “Mexico City Blues” when I’m done with Williams, which might take a week or longer. So try and read through Mexico City Blues next week. I want to use Williams as a sort of pivot to go backwards from or go forwards from, but as a central place in the mind, where what Williams is doing is exercising bare attention … Read More

Marijuana Makes.. Specificity – NAROPA 1975 Class Improvisation

More Allen Ginsberg NAROPA lectures. These were a series given, beginning July 21 1975, under the title “Mind, Mouth and Page”. We’ll be serializing them in the weeks ahead. But first, the curious phenomena of the improvised poetic roll-call. A collaborative event Allen would have with the students. You may recall this form from a previous instance – “Death Is..
AG: Now (to) take the roll. What we’ll do with the roll is, if you’re present, I’ll propose a theme, and, if you’re present, will you answer by completing the line? And it’ll
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Daniel Ellsberg, Billie Holiday, and William Wordsworth

We here at The Allen Ginsberg Project have been told, by some, that we are, perhaps, just a little bit overly hung-up on birthdays! – And they’re right, of course!
Today three figures of oblique, but nonetheless, generating, significance for Allen. April 7.

First up, Daniel Ellsberg, “Pentagon whistle-blower”

Second, Billie Holiday, “Lady Day”

Third, “I wandered lonely as a cloud”, William Wordsworth

Here‘s 80-years-old Ellsberg on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! show – on the Chelsea Manning case (on which he’s more than qualified to speak!) (and here’s more recent updated commentary here). [2017 update Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 68

“Should. Should. Should. Should. Should. You keep making this sound, “Should”, I don’t think anybody “should” do anything.” – If you’ve not seen it, don’t miss this account, Richard J McCarthy’s account, of a 1969 encounter with Allen.
Zeitgeist, cultural zeitgeist – Last Sunday, tv-watching America hears Allen get a name-check via Ben Feldman, the latest cast member on the mega-hit tv-series Mad Men, playing the part of junior copywriter, Michael (sic) Ginsberg. (Jon Hamm (Jake Ehrlich, Allen’s defense lawyer in the Howl movie) is Don Draper, his fictional boss).
Wasn’t it just last year that … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Parinirvana

[Allen holding an abbreviated version of his poem “Gone, Gone, Gone” (Gone gone gone / gone with yesterday / gone gone gone /all gone old & gray / Gone, gone, gone /Gone to graveyard play / with spells & / Tombstones Gay!”) January 1997. Photo: c. Richard Nagler, used with permission]


[“Things I’ll Not Do (Nostalgias)” – original Ginsberg manuscript 3/30/1997]

Trungpa’s parinirvana yesterday, Allen’s today (well, in Buddhist terms, not, strictly speaking, a parinirvana, but 15 years to the day, since his passing.

Allen was famously active right up to the last moment, compassionate too, asking
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Chögyam Trungpa’s Parinirvana

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Chogyam Trungpa‘s parinirvana. As we’ve pointed out before, his was, interestingly, ten-years-and-a-day before Allen’s. With every passing year, the sheer wealth of on-line content related to Trungpa has grown exponentially (for more info on him via the inestimable Chronicles Project see here). To commemorate this year we’ll keep it respectfully brief, and open with a tribute by his son (and accomplished filmmaker), Gesar Mukpo, then close with Allen’s poem, from 1991, “Supplication for the Rebirth of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.” [According to Tibetan tradition, Rinpoche was indeed re-incarnatedRead More

The Chantings of Allen Ginsberg

We’ve had several posts over the years about Allen and chanting, and most famously (most infamously?) his chanting of the Hare Krishna chant – “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare“. For a fuller, and more detailed, account of his involvement with this mantra (and indeed his involvement, during the ‘Sixties, with Swami Srila Prabhupada and with the whole ISKCON movement), see here.
Jonas Mekas’ 4-minute film from 1966 is one illustration – here’s another one – an hommage,
straight up on You Tube, by “rose7art” (sic) – reductive, but … Read More

Anne Waldman/Ed Dorn

[Anne Waldman, orator poet directress of Naropa Institute Poetics School at Jane Faigao’s table, August 15th 1985. Robert Frank’s The Americans under her wrist. (Ginsberg caption) photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Anne Waldman turns 67 today. We’d draw your attention to the comprehensive list of links we provided here last year regarding the indefatigable Anne. But one year more, in her case, means a whole host of new links and new projects, new initiatives, new collaborations – she’s a veritable force of nature! To select just a few highlights – a November 2011 visit to Athens, Georgia resulted in two … Read More