Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 138

Introducing the Holy Litany Project. M.L.Kejara and Akina Rahman Khan hit upon the  interesting idea of perhaps updating Allen’s classic “America” for the 21st Century. They’re sending out an open call (0n Facebook) for new lines, new strophes – “We will try to emulate Ginsberg’s style..and update his work with our burning thoughts (contemporary thoughts) expressed in our own words.”…”Issues like the Zimmerman trial, environmentalism, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, healthcare, information-privacy etc”, could, they suggest, “be best communicated by poetry, in the way that Ginsberg voiced his own frustrations (in the ’50s) in (the poem) “America”..”..”The (new)
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Spontaneous Poetics – 114 (Whitman – 6)

[Carte-de-visit portrait of   Walt Whitman, 1864 via Library of Congress]

Student: So a lot of this (late Whitman) was influenced by the Civil War, and a lot of his…? AG: Yeah. I read (to you from) the early Leaves of Grass, but I didn’t read “Drum Taps“, or the many poems of the Civil War – love poems to soldiers whom he took care of in hospitals. Actually, what I presented was his early universal-love, adhesiveness. identification-with-all, empathy, proposition, and then turned to his old age to see how he fared with that kind of … Read More

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Diane Di Prima‘s 79th birthday today. We draw your attention to our 2011 post –  and Dale Smith’s piece in the L.A. Review of Books this past December – also to our post last August 6th announcing, Diane’s on-going health crisis.

Here’s an up-date (from fund-raising coordinator) Amber Tamblyn:

“If you are one of the many people who donated to the Diane di Prima Fundraiser last year. THANK YOU SO MUCH. We were able to raise over $10,000 for her relief which was incredibly helpful. It’s been a long and difficult road for Diane health-wise, in part because she … Read More

John Giorno & William Burroughs At Naropa 1976

Continuing with our treasures from the Naropa Archives. Here’s another early (July 1976) reading – John Giorno and William Burroughs (the introductions are not by Allen this time, but by Michael Brownstein).

The reading is divided into two sections. After Brownstein’s introduction, Buddhist-practitioner, Giorno, reads first, reading two colorfully-titled pieces – “Drinking the Blood of Every Woman’s Period” and “Shit, Piss, Blood, Puss and Brains” –

Michael Brownstein on John’s Buddhist aesthetics: “(that) his poems are not Buddhist, as such, from the outside-in, like an anti-war poem would be, for example, or a love poem, using these things

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 137

[Beat Merchandizing –  Ginsberg is God sweater by Bella Freud]

Comedy Central’s “roasting” of the actor James Franco takes place this month in Los Angeles (and will be aired on that (television) channel on September 2nd. Upcoming Ginsberg mockery? (Boxer, Mike Tyson, it might be recalled, gave Allen a surprising, and curiously-respectful, name-check in an earlier roasting)

Ginsberg and cats. We’ve been wanting to publish this shot forever</s


and now we have an excuse – Liz Acosta’s erudite article (sic) – “Burberry” as Jack Kerouac?, “Dorothy the cat as Allen Ginsberg?

Elvis Costello has some explaining to do … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 112 – Whitman 4)

File:Walt Whitman - George Collins Cox.jpg

[Walt Whitman in New York, 1887, aged 68, photograph by George C.Cox]

AG: (Late Whitman) – “Songs of Parting”, now, however… [Allen begins by reading Whitman’s “As the Time Draws Nigh” – “As the time draws nigh glooming a cloud/ A dread beyond of I know not what darkens me/  I shall go forth/I shall traverse the States awhile, but I cannot tell whither or how/long/  Perhaps soon some day or night while I am singing my voice will/suddenly cease./ O book, O chants! must all then amount to but this?/ Must we barely arrive at the … Read More