The Shrouded Stranger (Three Renditions)

The Shrouded Stranger

Last weekend we featured two tracks from the Michael Minzer-Hal Willner-produced Lion For Real – “To Aunt Rose” and “Lion For Real”, this weekend, a couple more –  First, the very early lyric (from 1949) –  “The Shrouded Stranger” Shadow Death From Nowhere.jpg

The Shrouded Stranger Bare skin is my wrinkled sack

When hot Apollo humps my back
When Jack Frost grabs me in these rags
I wrap my legs with burlap bags
My flesh is cinder my face is snow
I walk the railroad to and fro
When city streets are black and dead
The railroad embankment is my bed… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 202


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[Allen Ginsberg, 1994, San Francisco – Photo by Jay Blakesberg]

Jay Blakesberg’s wonderful photograph of a pensive Allen. It was Robert Frank‘s advice to Allen, the photographer (advice that he always took to heart and would tell other people) – always, in portraits, if at all possible, include the hands.

[Allen Ginsberg and Robert Frank, 1986, New York City – Photograph by Peter Hale]

News from the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa – the 2014-2015 Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow has just been announced, and it will be – Kevin Killian – Kevin’s visit will begin, on … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 24

AG: So there was the first Imagist school which said, “Sight is where the eye strikes”, “Direct treatment of the object” (that’s from (Ezra) Pound‘s little easy, “How To Read” – “Direct treatment of the object, with as few fuzzy words as possible. As we concentrate on the breath, or as we’re one with the breath, so one is absorbed in clearly seeing a situation, a person, a look, a broken flower in a vase – or “so much depends/ upon/ a red wheel/ barrow/ glazed with rain/ water /beside the white/chickens” – you know that? (William Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 23

[“I Saw The Fgure 5 in Gold” Charles Demuth, 1928 (after the poem by William Carlos Williams) – oil, graphite, ink and gold leaf on paperboard, 35 1/2 x 30 ins – included in the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]

Imagism. So. In pursuit of similar focus and concentration and presence and prescience and perception and awareness that we’ve been discussing the last three months here, there was a similar breakthrough of awareness around the turn of the century, connected with the minds of the Dadaists and the Futurists, … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 22


Student: What was that again? AG: The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry – by Ezra Pound (or, edited from the papers of the late Professor Ernest Fenollosa by Ezra Pound) Student: (And also) “Visions of Ordinary Mind” AG: Huh? Student: “Visions of Ordinary Mind” AG: Oh yeah. Another reference – somewhat similar, but parallel – long-winded, a typescript of a lecture I gave here [Naropa] two years ago [1976] called “Visions of Ordinary Mind” (which you can get in the library – I think it must be in the library here, or down.. [to Student] – … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 21

Allen Ginsberg’s 1978 lectures on Meditation and Poetics at Naropa resume with this July 24th, 1978 class AG: I wanted to start off on (Charles) Reznikoff today. How many here have read Charles Reznikoff? Just since this term or before? How many have read it before? [to Student] Where’d you get to read Reznikoff ? (I forgot your name). Student: Where? AG: Yeah Student: In libraries. AG: Where?

Student: And bookstores. New York. AG: How come? Student: Because I try to read all I can. AG: What led you on to him? Student: Interest. And I try to read … Read More

The Lion For Real – (Three Renditions)

Another from Michael Minzer and Hal Willner’s The Lion For Real – the title track. The musicians on this one – Arto Lindsay, guitar, Michael Blair, guitar (& glockenspiel), Gary Windo, tenor sax,  Rob Wasserman, bass, Beaver Harris, drums – sound effects by Richard Fussco. Allen’s sleeve note:  [“Soyez muette pour moi, contemplative Idole”] – “Be mute for me, Contemplative idol’, epigram from Tristan Corbiere‘s last stanza, “Rhapsody of a Deaf Man”.[“Rhapsodie du sourd“] –  Retrospective account of a “mystical experience” 1948 described elsewhere (Paris Review Interviews – Writers at Work … Read More

To Aunt Rose – (Three Renditions)

One of Allen’s most accomplished early poems is our spotlight today – “To Aunt Rose” –   “A memory flash 1958 Paris. My favorite Aunt Rose (1900-1940) took care of me weekends when my mother was ill – Books named are my late father Louis Ginsberg‘s. It was a big event to publish a volume of poetry in those days! –  Rose Gaidemak died of septicemia..” This audio is taken from a reading at San Francisco State University’s Poetry Center on April 27, 1959. It was written in 1958 and published in 1961, included as part of the collection, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 201

The big “Beat” news – So The Joan Anderson Letter auction scheduled by the auction house, Profiles In History, for December 17  has been “cancelled indefinitely“, following threatened litigation by the Kerouac Estate and a counter-claim by the Neal Cassady Estate. Both argue that the letter is their rightful possession. “The Kerouac and Cassady Estates are not working together and have not contacted each other regarding the dispute”, the San Francisco Chronicle pointedly notes..Here’s the same story via AP in The Denver Post and via Reuters – “The reserve price for piece, at which serious bidding would … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 20 (More Williams – Samatha-Vipassana)

AG: “(H)igh school French spoken in a loud voice?/Parsley in a glass,/still and shining,/brings me back.”  – He’s spaced out, spaced in, spaced out, come back. “I take a drink/and yawn deliciously/I am ready for bed”  – “Yawn(ed) deliciously” – He appreciated it all.

Well, I would categorize that, classify that in Buddhist terms, (as) the extension of samatha – concentration, calming, tranquilization of mind, emptying of mind, then the extension of awareness, at that point, out into noticing, or insight into detail. And the noticing of the luminosity and precision of forms, sounds, and smells existent  Traditionally, that’s supposed
Read More