Kerouac – On The Road to Desolation

[Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovksy and fellow meditators, blocking the supply rail for Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility, Jefferson County, Colorado, June 1978. photo c. Joe Daniel]

One year on from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (of March 11). Here’s one of numerous news reports (this one from Aljazeera). Here’s Aileen Mioko Smith, executive-director of the Kyoto-based Green Action, speaking on Democracy Now! – Here’s our old friend (much-missed) Nanao Sakaki (in 1999, wise and prophetic – “Stone Age Japanese never knew Atomic Energy./ Now nuclear power plants are/ Poisoning modern Japan to a slow death”). Here … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 119

Harry Smith at Allen Ginsberg's Kitchen Table, New York City, 16 June 1988 / Allen Ginsberg

[Harry Smith – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – Copyright The Estate of Allen Ginsberg – Caption reads: “Harry Smith at kitchen table 437 East 12th Street. Apt 22, he lived in tiny quiet room off to the side of the kitchen, suffered compression fracture of knee, bumped by car on First Avenue corner – so stayed on nine months before moving to Cooperstown for half a year – still drank two bottles of beer in his room, taped ambient sounds of New York Lower Manhattan with a Sony Pro Walkman microphone wrapped in towel on outside window, ledge kitchen and … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 55 (Edward Carpenter 2)

[Edward Carpenter (1824-1929)]

AG: A poem (by Edward Carpenter) that I’ve always liked is “From Turin to Paris”

 He’s riding in the train from Italy to Paris and it’s a long detailed description of the entire train trip. I got turned on to that kind of travel-detail poetry by a book that Kenneth Patchen lent me called “Voyage Trans-Siberian”

  by Blaise Cendrars (which was translated by John Dos Passos in the (19)20’s, actually  – an odd combination). It’s a travel diary poem, a poem … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 54 (Edward Carpenter 1)

[Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) c. 1875]

AG: (Now) we’re on Edward Carpenter – where was I? – Edward Carpenter in relation to (Charles) Reznikoff again. (Let me read you) a Reznikoff poem by Edward Carpenter: “A Scene in London”

[from Towards Democracy (1912)]

– “Both of them deaf, and close on 80 years old, she, stone blind and he nearly so, side by side crouching over a fire in a little London hovel, six shillings a week. Their joints knotted with rheumatism. Their faces all day long mute like statues of all; passing expression. No cloud flying by, no gleam of … Read More

March 26 – Gregory Corso’s Birthday



[Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso – “A Modest Portrait” – Tangier, Morocco, Spring 1961 –   Photograph by Allen Ginsberg, Copyright Allen Ginsberg Estate; Gregory Corso – “Alchemical Poem” – Alchemical Spring (Volume 9 of the unspeakable visions of the individual), 1979, Copyright Arthur & Kit Knight); Gregory Corso, Boulder, Colorado, circa 1978 – Photograph by Cynthia MacAdams, Copyright Cyntha MacAdams; “Rarely, Rarely, Comest Thou Spirit of Delight (Portrait of Keats and Shelley)”- Gregory Corso, c.1994, (31 1/2″ x 35″), oil on canvas board;  (originally collection of Allen Ginsberg);Untitled Drawing – Gregory Corso, 1991 (courtesy flickr (Paul Rickert, Rare
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Written In My Dream…

Allen Ginsberg reads his poem, “Written In My Dream by William Carlos Williams” (included in the collection White Shroud – Poems 1980-1985) in September 1993 at the University of Vienna. Video text animation is by Niklaus Lesnik. The poem also appears on Holy Soul Jelly Roll (recently re-released by Ginsberg Recordings) – Volume 4: Ashes & Blues.

“I hear voices”. There was, of course, the hallucinatory voice of Blake in ’47, providing him, among other things, with his Blake melodies – Allen discusses that incident here. Kubla Khan? “Channeling”? Surrealist experimentation? – and/or, perhaps, … Read More

Ferlinghetti’s 94th Birthday

Lawrence Ferlinghetti turns 94 today – Happy Birthday, Lawrence!  – Chris Felver’s full-length documentary, Ferlinghetti – A Rebirth of Wonder is currently going the rounds and is undoubtedly a must-see. Last year’s landmark art-show – Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti  (at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art) was a singular event, a major retrospective. Lawrence is interviewed about that (and about other matters) here.

Here’s previous birthday-posts on the Ginsberg blog – a links-rich posting from last year, and a salutation from 2011 (including a link to him speaking on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Allen’s Haiku 2

Last week’s postings of Allen’s haiku (from “(21) Haiku composed in the backyard cottage at 1624 Milvia Street, Berkeley, 1955, while reading R.H.Blyth’s 4 volumes, Haiku“ met with sufficiently enthusiastic response to embolden us to post more – these, more recent experiments from 1973 and 1975 (published in 1978’s Mostly Sitting Haiku): Mountain wind slow as breath,/mist drifts over pines -/ I’ve sat twenty days on this same pillow!

Meditation hall silent/ bird slammed into window/ sat brooding half an hour/ Saw Buddha then.

Fog rolling down/ the nountain/ the tram lift towers/above leafless aspen/Clouds part and blue sky … Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 118

An early draft of a segment of Allen’s classic written-under-the-influence-of-LSD poem, Wales Visitation, goes up for auction next month in London at Bonhams auction house, part of the Roy Davids Collection, alongside countless other “poetical manuscripts and portraits of poets” (there’s also, for sale, a rare shot of the poet taken with veteran English poet, Basil Bunting – the sale price for that is between £350 and £400). The manuscript is expected to fetch something between £800 and £1,000 (between (approximately) $1200 and $1500).

Wales Visitation – American viewers will remember this classic rendition of it, … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 53 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 3)

[Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) – photograph courtesy New Directions]

AG: I do want to get back to (Charles) Reznikoff  because, okay, we had a little haiku, and then we had a little sharp fast transcription noticings. Fast transcription. (Guy) de Maupassant. I think de Maupassant got this turn-on from (Gustav) Flaubert. Flaubert told him that if a guy was jumping out the window, he should be able to write a verbal sketch of the way that he fell out of the window (and) the way his shirt was ballooning into the air before he hit the … Read More