Friday Weekly Round-Up – 128 (Whitman’s Birthday)

[Walt Whitman (1819-1892)   c.1867-70 – Unknown photographer (probably William Kurtz) via The Walt Whitman Archives]

Whitman’s birthday today!  (for Whitman-birthday celebration on The Allen Ginsberg Project see here and here)

and Allen’s birthday beckons!  (Monday June 3rd)

Howl Festival celebrations open tonight in New York, (inaugurated, as usual, with the regular“group-reading” of “Howl”, co-ordinated by poet-impresario Bob Holman (Bob Rosenthal and Eliot Katz, among those taking part in the event) – and there’ll be readings and performances taking place around the park (Tompkins Square Park) all day Saturday (more details here)

and Splab’s … Read More

Celebrating Peter Orlovsky

[Nude With Onions (Portrait of Peter Orlovsky) by Robert LaVigne (1954)]

Peter Orlovsky, Allen’s long-time partner died on this day in 2010. He was 77 years old. First glimpsed by Allen in the portrait above by Robert LaVigne

Our previous Peter Orlovsky postings include here and here.

Here’s a little photo portfolio. We fondly remember you, Peter

[ Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg in Lee Forrest’s room, Hotel de Londres, Paris, December 1957 – Photograph by Harold Chapman]

[Peter Orlovsky, Allen Ginsberg, (and Michael McClure) – Photograph by Larry Keenan]

[Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky, Boulder Colorado 1978. Photo … Read More

Harry Smith Would Have Been 90 Years Old Today

Here’s Dizzy Gillespie, in 1947, playing “Manteca”. – click here

Here’s Harry Smith‘s transcription of the tune. Each paint stroke represents a musical note

Here’s another of Harry’s extraordinary art works, an Untitled work, pastel on paper, from circa 1978, based on a series of 12 Zodiac designs

Harry, the painter, Harry, the film-maker (so far ahead of his time!). Here are the first of his “Early Abstractions”

Here’s another manifestation of the man, celebration of his exemplary collection of “string figures”

[Harry Smith – Photo by Job Palmer – courtesy Harry Smith Archives]

Here is Richard “Rabbit” … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 81 (Form Is Just An Extension of Content)

AG: ..In this case, the form is no more than an extension of content. Got that? Form is no more than an extension of the content? Does everybody understand that in this case? Does anybody not understand that. In this case, the form is no more than an extension of the..

Larry Fagin: I don’t understand that and I want a complete explanation. I’ve never understood it and I don’t believe you!

AG: You don’t understand it in this case?

Larry Fagin: No

Student: Oh, yeah

AG: I was talking about this case. I was talking about this

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William Blake’s Laughing Song

Laughing Song by William Blake

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy And the dimpling stream runs laughing by, When the air does laugh with our merry wit, And the green hill laughs with the noise of it.

When the meadows laugh with lively green And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene, When Mary and Susan and Emily, With their sweet round mouths sing Ha, Ha, He.

When the painted birds laugh in the shade Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread Come live & be merry and join with me, To sing the

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Friday Weekly Round-Up – 127

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[Apparition of the young Allen Ginsberg in the window of the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco – Photograph by Steve Silberman]

Beat Memories, Allen’s photo show opened yesterday at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Organized by Sarah Greenough, Senior Curator and Head of the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the show arrives in the Bay Area after a hugely successful run at the Grey Gallery, New York. Reviews and appreciations of that (which were manifold), and of the original DC exhibition, may be read here, here, here

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On Bob Dylan’s Birthday

[Bob Dylan and  Allen Ginsberg in Albert Grossman’s kitchen, photo: c. Douglas Gilbert]

Raymond Foye has generously provided us with this account (that first appeared in the 1990 Dylan anthology, Wanted Man (edited by John Bauldie). The Allen Ginsberg Project today celebrates Bob Dylan‘s 72nd birthday

The Night Bob Came Around 

Late one night I sat in Allen Ginsberg’s East 12th Street apartment with Allen and Harry Smith, the eminent ethnomusicologist and folklorist. We were looking at a new batch of photographic prints delivered that day by Brian Graham, a freelance printer who had been working for Robert … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 79 (Ed Marshall)

AG: I got turned onto that partly by Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, which were divisions of thought into the spaces of a notebook page, but for larger draughts of thought, or larger breaths of thought, I got turned on to this form of open-page broken phrasing arranged in series out on the page by a long poem called “Leave the Word Alone” by Edward Marshall, which is [was – sic] in the Don Allen anthology, and was, I think, the first, about 1958, breakthrough of this kind of block form, where thoughts were spread around on the page … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 78

[Walt Whitman – selection from an original ms for “Song of Myself” from Leaves of Grass, courtesy the Humanities Research Center, University of Texas]
Allen Ginsberg, Summer 1976, on “Spontaneous Poetics”, continues.

So there is an element of the writing material that determines your poetry shape. For study of short notebook forms, I would recommend (Jack) Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues and a few texts of my own, particularly a poem called “Laughing Gas” (in Reality Sandwiches, I think), because that was written, while taking nitrous oxide in a dentist’s chair, with a small pocket notebook, and the condition

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