Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 185


A must-read piece to start off this Friday’s Weekly Round-Up,  Stevan Weine, professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in Critical Inquiry – “Allen Ginsberg’s  Magical Evolving Visions” – “Ginsberg used his experiences with visions to devise a radical new way of depicting madness“, he writes, “not as a singular unitary construct but, in multiples – as

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Expansive Poetics — 95 ( Q & A – Classroom Scraps)

[Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)]

Classroom Scraps – Here’s some Q & A at the end of Allen’s August 11 1981 Naropa Class –

AG: Well, I’ve been talking steadily [about Russian poetry, about Guillaume Apollinaire and Cubism and twentieth-century modernism] , so now I’ll shut up. Student: Did (Vladimir) Mayakovsky and his group.. were they familiar with “Zone”? AG: Well, now I think not. Maybe not. (They) might have. Some would have. There was a French influence on Osip Brik, Mayakovsky’s friend, and on (Nikolay) Gumilev and the Acmeists, but I don’t know. I know the … Read More

Diane Di Prima’s 80th Birthday

 [Diane Di Prima with poet Ted Joans, at The Poetry Project, St Mark’s Church, New York City, 1994 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. Allen Ginsberg Estate] 

[Diane di Prima and Allen Ginsberg]

The great poet-activist-wise-woman-scholar, Diane Di Prima is 80 years old today!  –  Happy Birthday Diane! She, in the past year, has been teaching a course (at the Bay Area Public School) – “The Dream of Pre-History” From her catalog note: “This class explores the beginnings of what we call “human” – the fall of Neanderthal and the rise of Cro-Magnon culture – the beginnings, dominance, … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 94 (Blaise Cendrars)

[Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961)]

[cover of 1913 edition of   “La prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France” by Blaise Cendrars, with illustration by Sonia Delaunay]

Andrew Mayer [a student in the class] translated a couple little short poems from various different people – (Blaise) Cendrars, (Philippe) Souplault, and others, and they have the same swiftness (as Apollinaire) – non-punctuated swiftness – “At the 5 Corners” – (“Aux 5 Coins“) –  “I dare to make noise/color movement explosion light is everywhere/Life blossoms in sunlit windows/which melt in my mouth/I am ripe/I fall translucent … Read More

Expansive Poetics 93 – (Apollinaire & Frank O’Hara)

André Salmon

[Andre Salmon (1881-1969)]

[Frank O’Hara (1926-1966)]

Guillaume Apollinaire en novembre 1913 lors de son procès à Paris.

[Guillaume Apollinaire (1889-1918)]

AG: So the last thing we had in the anthology was a poem read (by Guillaume Apollinaire) at the marriage of Andre Salmon, and the reason I put that in is that, in addition to inaugerating double-sight Cubism juxtaposition modernity (of psychological modernity, as well as bellowing buses and tramcars and electric wires), he also inaugerated that “Personism“that Frank O’Hara writes of (as) his basic theory of poetry, which is that because the poet is the maker of the word, anything that happens to the consciousness of … Read More

Hum Bom

We featured one yesterday, so here’s another poem from the collection, Cosmopolitan Greetings – Poems 1986-1992   Inserted here without comment (and for all the obvious reasons)                                                     



Whom bomb? We bomb’d them! Whom bomb? We bomb’d them! Whom bomb? We bomb’d them! Whom bomb? We bomb’d them!
Whom bomb? We bomb you! Whom bomb? We bomb you! Whom bomb? You bomb you! Whom bomb? You bomb you!
What do we do? Who do we bomb? What do we do? Who do we bomb? What do we do? Who do we bomb? What do we do? Who do … Read More

Thoughts In Fort Lee


dekHarry Helmsley
[Leona Helmsley (1920-2007),  and Harry Helmsley (1909-1997) – Manhattan real-estate developers – “Diane and Roger Napoleon”?]

A previously-unpublished Allen Ginsberg poem? -No, not really, as it turns out, but even so…
Marc Olmsted, in his freshly-published scrapbook/memoir, Don’t Hesitate – Knowing Allen Ginsberg, notes, “To my amazement, in editing this book, I realized this particular poem [“Thoughts In Fort Lee”]  had, to my knowledge, never been published, not even in Allen’s posthumous revised Collected Poems”.
There are, of course, a number of such uncollected texts – “The Collected Poems”, one must always remember, is not … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 184




[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky on Cape Breton, 1992 – Photo – Phyllis Segura] 


“…Peter was a taciturn and rugged man with a gruff exterior and a submerged explosive intensity. To (Allen), he may have represented an opportunity to merge (as (Walt) Whitman put it) with the “landscape of the common world’. Like Herbert Huncke or Neal Cassady, Peter expressed the Beat notion that writing is not the exclusive province of an aristocratic, university-educated elite, that a more vital resource than the library or museum may be the idiom and lessons of the street and

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