Remembering Robert Creeley

[Robert Creeley (1926-2005) – Photograph by Michael Romanos]

Robert Creeley would have been 87 today. We celebrate him always. We draw your attention to our previous Creeley birthday postings here and here.

An early shot and a late shot – Here’s a 1954 Black Mountain College studio recording (from the incomparable trove at Pennsound). A twenty-eight-year-old Creeley reads “The Rites”, “The Crisis”, “The Immoral Proposition”, “For WCW”, “The Carnival”, “The Charm”, “The Pedigree”, “The Dishonest Mailman”, “Apple Upffle”, “The Revelation”, “The Operation”, “For Irving”, “The Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 77 (Typography – 2)

AG: In that area (typography) (William Carlos) Williams is interesting. And Charles Olson, in a way, is a champion typographer, in the sense that he’s making use of the scattering of the lines on the page, very literally, to indicate breathing, breath-stop. Here typography and breath-stop come together. I read a few samples of Olson and I haven’t prepared any for today because I just wanted to go on, but some of you are familiar with it, and just take a look at his page in (the) Maximus (Poems). He also adds that the typewriter as a … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Diane di Prima Reading Naropa 1974

[Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman ]

Another vintage Naropa audio, following on from this and this. This, arguably the earliest – from 1974 – Allen, Anne Waldman and Diane di Prima at the nascent Naropa Institute, July 30, 1974 – in two parts.
“Can you hear in the back? – Raise your hands if you cannot.”
First part: After introductory remarks, the reading-order and format is established. Anne Waldman: “I’m going to start, and then Allen will read and then Diane, and then I think we’ll have a short break, and then we’ll go round quickly again. First set … Read More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 126

The DVD documentary – Jerry Aronson’s The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (2008) was re-released this week by Docudrama. What can we say? – If you still don’t have it, an essential item.

Michael Kammen’s essay on Jack Kerouac in the L.A. Review of Books, “Jack Kerouac’s Restless Odyssey and His New Life ‘On The Road'”, (reviewing, among other things, Joyce Johnson’s recent biography), has had some tongues wagging.

Speaking of L.A, here‘s Elaine Woo’s obituary of Taylor Mead in the L.A.Times (more memories and obituary notices on Taylor can be found here, here and … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 76 (Typography – 1)

{[ [A manuscript page of an unpublished Ginsberg poem” – to illustrate the 1966 Paris Review interview]
AG: Typographical typography – topography – Typographical Topography – I invented that category! – Topography – the way it looks on the page, the map, the map of the words on the page (or, that’s probably the wrong word, but, anyway, the typographical arrangement of words on the page) is another 20th Century trick, or technique, or piece of shrewdness for arranging the lines on the page. This is for the eye more than for the tongue or the mouth. And for … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 75 (“This Is Just To Say”)

[William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say”, displayed as a tattoo]

July 2, 1976, Allen’s summer lecture at Naropa continues

AG: I’m going to continue with the different considerations of mindful arrangement of open verse forms, the original subject I was on before, which is how you arrange your mind on he page. We have covered the echo of syllabic count the impulse of accents, the tone-leading of the vowel, the breath-stop as a measurement of the line, measurement of units of phrasing from the mouth as a division of line, divisions of mental ideas (as parts of … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 74 (Deep Stenography)

AG: Well, I still want to get back to where we started which was, what’s your phenomenology of mind? What’s the phenomenon of what we call consciousness? or what we call language? How does it arrive to you? and what’s the best way to notate that? Can you be a good secretary of yourself? Can you be a good stenographer? (And the difficulty there is between superficial stenography and deep stenography, in discerning what’s actually going on, and not accepting some of the trash that’s thrown up to the social brain. There’s a social brain while writing, and then there’s … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 73 (Universal and Particular)

[William Blake – Albion Rose from “A Large Book of Designs” (1793-6)]

“..everyone has language moving within them, everybody has secret thoughts and direct, absolute, perceptions, big as any Buddha. It’s simply that the mind becomes limited to thinking that the proper mode of discourse, or the form that is socially appreciable, is “Jack and Jill went up the hill..”

AG: So, from this point of view, everyone is, as (William) Blake says), a vast world of thought-forms, everybody’s a poet, that is, everybody has a consciousness, a Buddha-mind, everyone has a Buddha-nature, everyone has all the insights of

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What The East Means To Me – Allen Ginsberg at Kyota Seika

Yesterday’s transcription of Allen’s Q & A at the Kyoto Seika University, Japan, on November 2 1988, is followed today by footage (and transcription) of the full lecture – “What the East Means To Me” – Katagiri Yuzuru is once again the accomplished interpreter/translator. Our thanks, once again, to videographer, Ken Rodgers.

AG: So.. the subject is “What the East Means To Me”. So I will give a chronological account. One of my first memories was of the Pop figure, Pop art figure, kitsch figure, or comic-strip figure of a sinister Oriental, a Chinaman, Fu Manchu. He had a long … Read More

Allen Ginsberg at Kyoto Seika University 1988 Q & A

Footage from Allen’s 1988 visit to Japan – the Q & A following his lecture, given on November 3rd, 1988, at Kyoto Seika University on “What The East Means to Me”. Allen stands in front of a packed lecture-hall and delivers a number of clear and trenchant observations on ecology and on the process of composition. Katagiri Yuzuru provides simultaneous translation. The video is by Ken Rodgers for the Kyoto Journal.

Student: If the East means nothing to you, what does the West mean to you?

AG: Hyper-industrialized aggression. Just as there has been an exchange of nothing from East … Read More