New Years Eve – A Quick Retrospective

[Janus – The (Roman) God of Looking Forward (to the Future) and simultaneously Backwards (to the Past)]

Bidding adieu to 2014, we look back on some of the Allen Ginsberg Project posts of the past year. Well, they’re all important (you should spend quality time in our archives), but here’s (and they are, we stress, admittedly, kind of random) a few “selected highlights”:  January saw Allen’s class on John Wieners, Robert Creeley’s Selected Letters, Fernando Pessoa, Pete Seeger, and that photo-sale to the University of Toronto

February  – William Burroughs’ birthday (well, the whole year actually, it … Read More

Patti Smith’s Birthday

Patti Smith‘s birthday today.  Patti Smith, who has done so much to spread the word about Allen.

For starters see here, here and here.

Here’s our note on her last year’s birthday – here  A “renaissance woman”, as Variety recently described her.   Tonight sees the second night of her annual New York City date (a second night – sold out, naturally) – in the East Village at Webster Hall  Fresh back from a meeting with..

  and much-reported-on gig singing for..  the Pope, Pope Francis, at the Vatican Patti Smith incanta al concerto di Natale tho’,
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More Lion For Real – Gregory Corso’s Story

[Gregory Corso]

Another Lion For Real sampler. How about “Gregory Corso’s Story“?

Allen’s description –  “A little anecdote the poet (Gregory) Corso told me around 1951″, “Bill Frisell‘s delicate setting turns around  this memory of buried innocence.”  Bill Friesell, guitar, Marc Ribot, banjo, Ralph Carney, clarinet, Steve Swallow, bass

Gregory Corso’s Story

The first time I wentto the country to New Hampshirewhen I was about eightthere was a girlI always used to paddle with a plywood stick.We were in love,so the last night therewe undressed in the moonlightand showed each other our
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[Eric Drooker – illustration for The Ballad of the Skeletons, as it appeared in The Nation, October 23, 2012]

More Lion For Real amplification.  More early Ginsberg lyrics  – today’s offering – Refrain

To hear his 1989 version, see here Sleeve note:  “Among the earliest writings in this suite, echoing late Yeats style. “Shadow changes into bone,” was my Kerouackian motto, 1948, intending to say that eternal prophetic poetic intuition (shadow) will turn out to be real (bone). Having heard (William) Blakes voice I was headed for the booby-hatch for a season. Michael BlairRead More

Complaint Of The Skeleton to Time

Continuing with our re-visit and amplification of the Willner-Minzer  Lion For Real – see here, here, here and here

1997 - The Lion For Real









here‘s another early (1949) lyric – “Complaint Of The Skeleton To Time”

Sleeve note – “1949 lyric influenced by Thomas Wyatt’s “My Lute, Awake!“ & Wm Butler Yeats‘ “Crazy Jane” – part of The Shrouded Stranger of the Night concept conceived same time as (Jack) Kerouac’s Dr Sax. Gary Windo‘s free jazz sounds a variant of drunken Mexican Day of the DeadRead More

Christmas – William Burroughs – The Junky’s Christmas



William Burroughs’ centennial draws to a close but not without the necessary December treat of  The Junky’s Christmas.    You can watch The Junky’s Christmas here This story originally appeared in the 1989 collection, Interzone and in the 1993 recording Sparse Ass Annie and Other Tales.  Burroughs’ reading on that occasion serves as the narration for a film from the same year (directed by Nick Donkin and Melodie McDaniel and produced by Francis Ford Coppola), essentially claymation, but Burroughs appears in live-action footage and the beginning (with a book – those haunting facial close-ups!) and at … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Christmas Gift

Documents handwritten by Einstein on his visit to Japan donated to Keio University library


XMAS GIFT I met Einstein in a dream Springtime on Princeton lawn grass I kneeled down and kissed his young thumb like a ruddy pope his fresh face broad cheeked rosy “I invented a universe separate, something like a Virgin” – “Yes, the creature gives birth to itself,” I quoted from Mescaline We sat down open air universal summer to eat lunch, professor’s wives at the Tennis Court Club, our meeting eternal, as expected, my gesture to kiss his fist unexpectedly saintly considering the Atom Bomb I didn’t mention, New York, December 14, 1972 Allen Ginsberg – from Mind Read More

Ginsberg – Scribble

[Kenneth Rexroth  & Edith Piaf]











Here‘s the very first poem that opens “The Lion For Real”  (published in Reality Sandwiches) – Kenneth Rexroth and Edith Piaf – a brief but poignant lyric, Scribble     

Steve Swallow‘ s on piano, Michael Blair on guitar, Ralph Carney on clarinet. Allen’s sleeve note – “Casual note, a long melancholic affectionate 1956 thought about the late irascible Bay Area anarchist Poet, Kenneth Rexroth, might be 4 A.M. in the soul that Michael Blair’s music mirrors”

Rexroth’s face reflecting human            tired bliss … Read More