Meditation and Poetics – 71 – (Whitman 14 – Respondez! 3)

[from Walt Whitman’s expurgated poem from Leaves of Grass – “Respondez!”]

AG: I mean, I’m a… (“Respondez!”) –  I think that’s where he’s ultimately… he (Whitman) really reveals himself… that he’s got this ultimate (doubt and despair).

Gregory Corso: Is he into it at the time of  (Friedrich) Nietzsche? Is he (writing) at the time of Nietzsche?
AG: Probably, yes.
GC: Alright, they both had the Death-of-the-God shot. He’s saying, “Let there be no God!”. 
AG: Yeah, well, get the line (previous) – “Let the earth desert God, nor let there ever henceforth be … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 70 – (Whitman 13 – Respondez! – 2)

                               [from Walt Whitman’s 1867 publication of the poem “Respondez!”]Okay.. [Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso continue reading and reviewing Whitman’s Civil War poem, “Respondez!” ] – “For not even those thunderstorms…”GC: Go ahead

AG: “..nor fiercest lightnings of the war, have purified the atmosphere;)/ – Let the theory of America still be management, caste, comparison! (Say! what other theory would you?)”
GC: There you go. Revolutionary fuck-ups..
AG: “Let them..”
GC:  ..finally opening up..
AG: “Let them that distrust birth and death still … Read More

(Tuesday April 7) Billie Holiday Centennial

















[Billie Holiday (1915-1959), New York, 1949 – Photograph by Herman Leonard]

Today, April 7, 2015 is the Billie Holiday Centennial

Billie Holiday was born, Eleanora Fagan, in Philadelphia exactly one hundred years ago today.

Allen Ginsberg, writing in 1947: “Billie Holiday is well-known in jazz circles as an amazing great woman. Little Jack (Melody) and Vicki (Russell), who know her, promised to arrange for me to meet her. I had long hoped and expected to meet her one time or another. … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 69 (Whitman 12 – Respondez! – 1)

[Allen Ginsberg’s August 1978 Naropa class on Walt Whitman continues.  Gregory Corso and Allen today examine the poem “Respondez!”]  

AG: Yes
Gregory Corso:  (Walt) Whitman had a darkness that they didn’t put in Leaves of Grass. He had a Poe-ian hit once and it was “down with everything”.  You know that poem?
AG: Yes.. Yeah, Don’t think it’s in this edition. What is it? “Respondez!”?  What was it called? “Respondez!”… Yeah – Does anybody have an edition which has that?
Student: I have it.
AG: Yeah, do you have it in that?… Read More

Sunday April 5 – Allen Ginsberg Parinirvana

It’s Allen Ginsberg’s parinirvana today, the (eighteenth) anniversary of his passing. Here’s Herbert Huncke, “godfather of  The Beats”, on “the invisible body” – on witnessing funerals (“I’m inclined to think it was Hindu, but I’m not sure”) – burning ghats, Indian ritual (Huncke footage, courtesy documentarian, Laki Vazakas)  

[Herbert Huncke at the Chelsea Hotel]

Here’s Allen on the burning ghats (from an interview, 1994, with Suranjan Ganguly)

“SG: What was your experience of the burning ghats [of Benaras/Varanasi] ? AG: I went there several time a week … Read More

Remembering Jack Kerouac – 3

[Jack Kerouac 1922-1969]

continuing from last weekend‘s two posts

Gregory Corso: Al Aronowitz.  Is Al Aronowitz here…Al Aronowitz is not here. okay, well then that’s it, so why don’t you guys rap back and forth. We’ll begin with the ones who, originally were on the stage to begin with, and end it.

Paul Jarvis (from the audience): Can I speak about… Gregory Corso: You can ask a question. Paul Jarvis: I want to share my experience with (Jack) Kerouac in Lowell Gregory Corso: Okay but it’s got to be toute de suite. Come on. AG: Okay, yes,

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 215


Next week (next Tuesday) is  Hal Willner’s LA “Howl” extravaganza.

The following day is Earth Day – courtesy WNYC’s Spinning on Air, in New York, at The Greene Space  there’ll be an Earth Day Special with Patti Smith, Anne Waldman, Laurie Anderson and others – A live web-cast of the event will be available here.    The following day –  Thursday April the 9th – (for all you poètes maudits) is Charles Baudelaire‘s birthday.

Tomorrow (April the 4th)  Chogyam Trungpa‘s Parinirvana.

This Sunday at City Lights, Marc Olmsted reads (in honor … Read More

Anne Waldman’s Birthday

Anne Waldman‘s (70th) birthday today. We direct you to some of our earlier Anne Waldman birthday posts – here, here, here and here Here is Anne at the Academy of American Poets in 2013, discoursing on “Reading and Writing Long Poems”  

Here’s Anne from November last year (with her son, Ambrose Bye) performing at Lake Forest College (in the context of the William Burroughs Centennial). She begins with some comments on Burroughs (including a reading of his “Cold Lost Marbles“), before launching into some selections from her own work, (Gossamurmur, Manatee/HumanityRead More

Meditation and Poetics – 68 – (Whitman – 11)


 [Bathers – (c.1894) – Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) – oil on canvas, 50 cm x 60 cm  –  Musée d’Orsay, Paris]


[Ginsberg on Whitman continues] AG: Go on to Section 16 (of Leaves of Grass). Well, yeah, inquisitiveness. In this case a demonstration of it, operating on the erotic level, a projection of Whitman onto a young lady.  [Allen begins reading] – “Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore…”  – Section 11 – does everybody know that particular Whitman? – “Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore..” – does anybody not know it? – “Twenty-eight young..” Well, that’s … Read More