Barbara Rubin (1945-1980)

Taken in England 1964

[top image – Allen Ginsberg and Barbara Rubin together at the Albert Monument, outside the Royal Albert Hall, London, May 1965, on the occasion of the First International Poetry Incarnation – bottom image – Barbara Rubin filming in the streets of London – May 1965 – photo by Allen Ginsberg  c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]


Last year’s celebrations at the Anthology Film Archives and at Johan Kugelberg’s New York City Boo-Hooray Gallery (specialists in the occluded and forgotten), suceeeded in shining a little light, perhaps, on the perennial “underground legend”, Barbara Rubin, but not so very much. She … Read More

Mark Ewert

[Mark Ewert – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg  c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]


Mark Ewert’s colorful sexual revelations – “He lost his virginity to Allen Ginsberg and maintained an eight-year relationship with William Burroughs” – hit the internets this weekend with a vengeance – courtesy this article, in vocative, but further flamed and considerably amplified by this provocative header – “Allen Ginsberg Teaches You How To Give A Blowjob” – on that gossip-site par excellence, Gawker. The paragraph excerpted, and the justification for that lead, a direct quote from Ewert, runs as follows:
“Basically he blew … Read More

Kronos Quartet – Howl, USA

Kronos Quartet “Howl USA” [Kronos Quartet – Howl, USA (1996) Nonesuch Records – sleeve design Frank Olinsky]

The Kronos Quartet’s 1996 Nonesuch release “Howl, U.S.A.” (with its distinctive Robert Mapplethorpe cover) has been deemed “a real masterpiece in “modern” music” – “The rendering of (Allen Ginsberg’s) “Howl” is spectacular, but to have three other impressive pieces that tie-in thematically, while presenting varied musical approaches…” (The other three pieces are “Sing Sing” (a “setting” of the FBI’s J.Edgar Hoover – “We are as close to you as your telephone”! )),”Barstow” – Eight Hitchhikers Inscriptions” (a short selection from a longer … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 170

William Burroughs Centennial – We’ll begin with the above, a short biographical documentary put together by the Los Angeles Review of Books, featuring Burroughs’ biographer, Barry Miles – “William S. Burroughs – 100 Years“. [William Burroughs, NYC, 1984  – Photograph c. Kate Simon]

James Parker, in The Atlantic, on Burroughs (and Miles’ Burroughs biography) is well worth reading (as is Davis Schneiderman & Philip Walsh‘s 2004 Retaking the Universe – William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization, now presented with a new preface and  new introduction, and available, in its entirety, on … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 43 (Robert Duncan)

File:Poet Robert Duncan.jpg
[Robert Duncan (1919-1988)]
Allen’s Expansive Poetics lecture continuing…
AG: Now, the natural next one that I’d like to pick up on, the next text, I’d like to pick up on, is a jump almost a century ahead, but, another theosophist (or someone trained (and) who grew up with Christian Science and studied hermetic philosophy, and theosophy, and tarot,and (Carl Gustav) Jung, and medieval learning), namely Robert Duncan, who has a very beautiful poem, which relates to Walt Whitman again, written in the mid (19)50’s – [“A Poem Beginning with a Line from Pindar”]– That would … Read More

Gregory Corso’s Birthday

[Gregory Corso, aged 31, Tangier, Morocco, July 1961 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]


 [An Accidental Autobiography – The Selected Letters of Gregory Corso (edited by Bill Morgan) (2003)]

Kirby Olson has been compiling a “crowd-sourced on-line biography” of Gregory Corso since 2010. He sees John Aubrey’s classic, Brief Lives, as a model, and envisions a multi-faceted, impressionistic, “pointillistic biography”, (“leaving it”, as he declares,” to some later person to connect all the dots”). Here’s Anne Waldman’s exemplary start-up contribution: Gregory Corso

Anne Waldman: “Gregory Corso invaded my shower one day in the little Townhouse apartment I … Read More

Expansive Poetics 42 – (Edward Carpenter 4)

File:Day, Fred Holland (1864-1933) - Edward Carpenter.jpg

[Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) – Photograph by Fred Holland Day]

AG: The other poem of (Edward) Carpenter‘s we might as well do, while we’re on Carpenter, is “The Secret of Time and Satan”. The reason I brought him up is he’s one of the children of (Walt) Whitman and one of the people who applied Whitman’s method of realistic all-inclusiveness, notation in present time, empathy in space, empathy and sympathy going out in space to make notions in present time. (It’s) a more philosophical poem based on theosophical ideas. It has Whitman’s basic impetus and … Read More

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Birthday

Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights book shop  

 [Lawrence Ferlinghetti – Photograph by Barry J Holmes]

An article in The (London) Observer last month on San Francisco and the alarming effects of the boom, “Is San Francisco losing its soul?” paid the obligatory visit to Lawrence Ferlinghetti – “He complains of a soulless group of people, a “new breed” of men and women too busy with iPhones to “be here” in the moment, and shiny new Mercedes Benzs on his street…”It’s totally shocking to see Silicon Valley take over the city.” says Ferlinghetti who still rents in North Beach. “San Francisco is rapidly changing and … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1990 Loyola University reading

A Night With Allen Ginsberg – Allen Ginsberg’s reading at Loyola University, New Orleans, 1990. An eye-witness recalls:  “The overflow crowd filled up the aisles and the outside lobby, so he (Allen) invited audience members to sit on the stage with him. (we see them on the stage there)/ He also (that same visit) did a meditation workshop, and his Collected Poems had just appeared so he spent a whole afternoon signing copies and illustrating each with a drawing”.

AG: So, I’ll begin with music in honor of the President and the great phony war on dope. This is … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 169

Neal Cassady Collected Letters

March 21, in case you didn’t know it, has been officially declared by the UN (by UNESCO) “World Poetry Day” Fanny Wallendorf‘s wonderful translations into the French of Neal Cassady‘s Letters (“Un truc tres beau qui contient tout”)  (“It’s a beautiful thing, with everything in it”) –  (the title, taken from Neal’s 1948 letter to his pal, Bill Tomson) have just been (just this past month) published.  See here and here. ( note – texte en francais) We should point out that the book only covers the years 1944-1950 (a second, concluding, volume is due … Read More