October 31st – Halloween Post

Ok – just this once – and only this once – we’ll go there – Warning: No Ginsberg Content! – Happy Halloween everyone!

Actually, for the gesture itself I suppose, we ought to go here:

tho’  let’s get to the root of it

Like we say, Happy Halloween everyone!… Read More

Ezra Pound’s Birthday

October 30 is Uncle Ez’s birthday (see our detailed birthday post last year here on the occasion of his 116th – It’s his 117th today). It’s his publisher, supporter and friend, James Laughlin (1914-1997)’s birthday also. And, November 1, in two days time, 40 years since his (Pound’s) death.

“I stayed several months in Rapallo at the “Ezuversity” learning and reading”, Laughlin has recalled, “before Pound said it was time for me to go back to Harvard and do something useful. Being useful meant that I should publish books…” – and publish he did (establishing the remarkable and pioneering modernist New Read More

Scribd Beats

[Paul Carroll with Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg,and Peter Orlovsky at the time of the Big Table benefitreading, Chicago, January 1959 (photo-booth image –Photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Allen Ginsberg, Irving Rosenthal (once Chicago Review editor & founder of Big Table)  Peter Orlovsky, 1959. courtesy Allen Ginsberg Collection]

Presuming that folks are familiar with Scribd – “a digital documents library that allows users to publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents in various languages” – Allen and William Burroughs’ classic 1953 correspondence, The Yage Letters, for instance – and two brief letters, five years later, from Allen to … Read More

William Burroughs Home Movies

Yesterday, we featured William Burroughs being interviewed by Kathy Acker (in 1988). Today we continue a Burroughs weekend with the legendary, cinema verite, Lawrence, Kansas, home-movie footage shot by Wayne Probst (and edited by Michelle Tran), in, as the date-stamp shows, August of 1996 – Burroughs in retirement, with, as it turned out, less than a year left to live (August of the next year he would pass away).

Old Bull discusses the usual – guns and ammunition, weaponry (shows off his blackjack), Allen appears approximately five-and-a-half-minutes in (head dips into the (left hand) corner of the frame) – … Read More

Kathy Acker Interviews William Burroughs

[Kathy Acker – photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Two mod (post-mod) icons. Kathy Acker interviews William S Burroughs in London in 1988, on the occasion of the opening of his inaugeral show of his shotgun paintings, at the October Gallery. He discusses both his writing … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 97

Gelek Rinpoche from Lhasa & Ann Arbor unwrapping Tibetan text & beginning to chant it, Tokdhan Rinpoche handling brass lightning-bolt and bell, Sonam former chanting-master of Gyutö Tantric College idling behind them at picnic table outside lodge shrine-room after lunch, “Just fooling around rather than having a ceremony.”  Sonam came in from Chicago, Tokdhan from Eastern Tibet to give oral transmission of one volume short form Prajnaparamita Sutra to Gelek’s students.  Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!  Our annual summer retreat, Yankee Springs State Park, Michigan, August 27, 1993. Gelek Rinpoche, Allen’s East 12th St apartment, NYCFebruary 23, 1990. Photo… Read More

Picasso’s Birthday

[Pablo Picasso – Self-Portrait, (at 90. June 30, 1972)]

Allen had a magazine reproduction of this (Picasso‘s late self-portrait) taped to his refrigerator in his old East 12th Street apartment. He also had this (Bellini’s St Francis in the Desert) but that’s a whole other story. Recognitions of self? Glimpses of (im)mortality?  Today we celebrate Picasso’s birth, October 25 1881 in Malaga, Spain.

There’s the older, and then there’s the younger, Picasso – This, (from “At Apollinaire’s Grave”) – “…the absent hand of Max Jacob/ Picasso in youth bearing me a tube of Mediterranean..” and … Read More

Allen Ginsburg [sic] Talking to Fools

Allen Ginsburg?, Allen Ginsberg! – we’ve spoken of this one before – the perils of spelling! Behind this undeniably foot-shooting error, (on You Tube), there is something of substance, however – video from 1985 (from WUFT), by Stephen Robitaille (directed by Alan Saperstein) – Allen as the master poet – poetic teaching, poetic instruction.

Student: Long strips of crocheted.. what do you call that stuff?

AG: Don’t stop to think of the right words..

Student: Anyway, I just put a line in there, and..

AG: Could you let me finish my sentence?

Student: I’m sorry

AG: Don’t stop to think … Read More

Remembering Philip Lamantia

[Philip Lamantia (1927-2005)]

It is – or would have been – the 85th birthday today of the great American Surrealist poet, Philip Lamantia. We would draw your attention to our comprehensive posting on him last year here.

Garrett Caples’  apprenticeship and generous custodianship of Philip is recounted here and here.

We look forward with great interest to his edition of  The Collected Poems (due out, when we last heard, from the University of California Press, sometime towards the end of next year).

Meantime, just as a taster, and courtesy City Lights’ “Abandon All Despair Ye Who Read More