Ginsberg Rare Video Footage Addenda

Following on from yesterday’s posting of Allen in Scotland in 1973, there’s a fourth and final video that we omitted, but include today just to give you the complete picture.  It consists of documentation of a press-conference (but with considerable intrusive ambient sound interference, not to mention amateur camera-work, making it almost impossible – indeed quite literally impossible – to transcribe – Listen hard and you can, perhaps, glean a few of the highlights.   Approximately sixteen minutes in, that conference concludes, and the focus shifts to Allen in a performance of the popular Hindu mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, accompanying … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Glasgow, Scotland, 1973


More vintage video today (courtesy the CCA (Center For Contemporary Arts), Glasgow), documentary footage of Allen’s reading at the Scottish Arts Council Building in Blythswood Square, on August 10 1973, divided into three parts. Part One – [Be aware of the technical difficulties at the very beginning (for approximately the first minute), but audio and video soon emerge] and Allen is seen close-up, in mid-song, ecstatic joyful, playing the harmonium, accompanied by two young Scottish guitarists, (Allan and Victor), and repeating the refrain from William Blake’s “Spring” poem (from “Songs of Innocence“) –  “Merrily, merrily, we welcome in the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 199 (William Blake’s Birthday)

[ The cottage of William Blake in Felpham, Sussex, England]

Today is William Blake‘s birthday. Next Thursday, William Blake – Apprentice and Master, a major exhibition opens at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum (through March 1, 2015). More on that exhibit here and here  Meanwhile, crunch-time for the Blake Society’s plans to try to buy Blake’s Felpham cottage. If the goal of  £520,000 is not reached by today, the real-estate agency, Jackson-Stops & Staff, which is handling the sale, will put it back on the open market. Money and the market-place (but also, and more importantly, creativity exonerated and … Read More


Well, it’s become something of a tradition itself (an alternative dyspepsic tradition), and in the year of the Burroughs Centennial, we sure as heck weren’t going to miss out on this one – William S Burroughs lays down a wry litany of reasons-to-be-grateful, the United States of America celebrates its own shameful history of exploitation and consumption.  Happy Thanksgiving!

For John Dillinger

In hope he is still alive Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986Thanks for the wild turkey and the Passenger Pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts thanks for a Continent to despoil and poison – … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 11

[Jean-Marc Barr as Jack Kerouac in Michael Polish’s 2013 film adaptation of Kerouac’s 1962 novel, “Big Sur]

AG:  What?  Did you…? 

Student:  Yeah.  This is making me nervous, but I wanted to say how it [Samatha Vipassana meditation] was different from (Jack) Kerouacs sketching.  Like when you lose yourself, like when he went down to the sea  AG:  Um-hmm. Student:…and then you’re aware that you’re listening to the sea, or that you’re listening to the wind, rather than just having it come through, and not… you know?… I wanted to (know)… AG: What’s … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 10

[Buddhist Practitioners (students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) – Shambhala Training – Land O’ Lakes Seminary, 1976, Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin]

Student: I just wanted to know…like you’re a famous poet, okay? AG: You’re day-dreaming Student: I’m day-dreaming, yes, okay.. AG: You see, I hadn’t thought about that, amd maybe most of the class.. Student: I’m thinking… AG: ..was involved in the subject, I think, at this point.. Student; I’m thinking of the stimulus. I’m thinking about you as a stimulus to come out, you know, you create, you create with your words, you create imagery. You take things that happen. I

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Meditation and Poetics – 9


[Allen Ginsberg, 1980 – Photograph by Jan Herman]

Allen’s class on meditation and poetics (from July 1978) continues

AG: For the purpose of what we’re doing in the class, there may be a Dante-an structure that somebody might want to work with, later. But right now we’re reducing everything right down to the first breath.  The first thought.  To bear attention to what is called Samatha Vipassana in Buddhist meditation.  Samatha  – bare attention ,or attentiveness, or mindfulness, or tranquilization of mind –  and Vipassana — insight.  The Vipassana part is the insight that comes when your mind

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The Cassady-Kerouac “Joan Anderson letter” – “the seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation” rediscovered


Catalog cover for the upcoming (December 17 2014) auction of the Golden Goose Press Archive Collection at Profiles in History, Calabasas, California

The legendary Joan Anderson letter (the Beat Generation’s so-called “holy grail”)  has emerged! – in its entirety! – after a sixty-or-more year hiatus! 

AP’s John Rogers reports today that the “16,000 (word) amphetamine-fueled stream-of-consciousness” note to Jack Kerouac from Neal Cassady will be part of a December 17 auction at Joe Maddalena‘s Southern California auction house, Profiles in History.

 “It’s the seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Maddalena is quoted as saying, “and there are … Read More

William Burroughs and Ken Kesey – 1978 at Naropa

William S Burroughs

Ken Kesey

Vintage audio – William Burroughs and Ken Kesey reading at the Naropa Institute on July 19, 1978 Kesey begins/reads first click here


Ken Kesey: This is a piece calledAbdul the Bulbul. [Editorial note –  published as “Abdul and Ebenezer”] It was published a while back [March 1976] in Esquire. It’s a piece from a work that I’ve been doing for some time called The Demon Box. The Demon Box is a way of trying to write a novel, and keep your mind scattered upon raising four teenage kids,

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 198