An autographed signed poem (and accompanying signed letter) by Allen, from 1971 -“On Neal Cassidy’s (sic) Ashes” – goes up on the auction block (Bonham’s, San Francisco) later this month. Estimate $800 – $1200. Stephen J Gertz writes about it on Booktryst here.
Another piece of Allen ephemera recently posted by “Melanie” at “The Poisoned Ink Well”:
“One of my most treasured possessions”, she notes.
The “very funny” poem of hers (“Your Dick”) that he refers to can be seen in its entirety here (scroll down) – “Your dick was so fine/Your dick was circumcised/Your dick was a gun without a holster/Your dick had a Star of David painted on the end…”
Dane DeHaan (Lucien Carr), Daniel Radcliffe‘s co-star in Kill Your Darlings: “Sex is a part of life, and to shy away from it would not be very truthful, especially if it’s a movie about Allen Ginsberg and the Beat poets. I mean, to me, it’s a part of becoming who you are as a person. The first time you have sex is a very important part of every person’s life, so I think, when you’re making a movie about Allen Ginsberg becoming Allen Ginsberg, probably the first time he had sex is a very important, defining, moment in his life.”
The Local East Village, (the web-site of the NYU Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute in collaboration with the New York Times – 2018 update – and now no longer available), last week, featured this intriguing memoir, by novelist Porochista Khakpour – “On Crashing Allen Ginsberg’s Funeral” [sic] – “Just an empty meditation room with a casket and a few skinny Tibetan Buddhist monks”, she writes. “On a sort of zombie autopilot, we took each other’s hands and walked into the room and sat on the meditation cushions…”.. “And we sat. And we sat. And we sat..” “It was the strangest silent night of my life.”
(Further accounts of those final hours (and, indeed, some of the earlier hours) from two other, very different, perspectives, may be read here)
and then, of course, there is Jonas Mekas‘ “Scenes From Allen’s Last Three Days on Earth As A Spirit (you can view the whole thing on UbuWeb – 2018 update, regretfully, no longer, but excerpts are available)).
It was The Local East Village that spotlighted our good friend Bob Rosenthal‘s exhaustive and illuminating close-up memories of working as a secretary alongside Allen – See here – He’ll be reading this coming Thursday at the Sidewalk Cafe in New York (this event is a reschedule from a Hurricane Sandy cancellation)
You probably did miss this – from the New York Times Real Estate section, no less! – Poor Christine Bean and Kirk Wilson having to take a bath in a “child-size” bath! – and having to put up with all those “screaming pedestrians”!
Strongly recommended – Giving Everything – Dale Smith‘s thoughtful piece in the L.A. Review of Books on Diane di Prima – “She’s not considered to be a relevant force on the literary scene now, nor is she particularly a household name. But her presence in American poetry and culture remains significant because she has shown so many younger writers how to participate in a literary life, one that is devised to achieve artistic integrity, if not institutional success”.
We note this week the passing of two great European spirits George Gruntz (jazz maestro – his “jazz opera”, Cosmopolitan Greetings, in collaboration with Allen, was performed by the Hamburg State Opera in 1988, directed by Robert Wilson – and was later recorded live and released as a 2-CD album) – and, our beloved Anselm Hollo (see our comprehensive note on him here – The “Summit of Joyful Old Savages“, referred to at the end there, was indeed a memorable event, (readings now up on You Tube, Anselm’s can be accessed here).