Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 219
There hasn’t been a Friday Round-Up for a couple of weeks now, so a brief catching-up:
All this month on New York’s Times Square – Allen Ginsberg’s mug (from Allen Ginsberg’s Andy Warhol Screen Test), courtesy the Andy Warhol Museum (part of the on-going Times Square series, Midnight Moments)
Meanwhile, opening last week on the West Coast (at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles) – “The Singing Posters: Poetry Sound Collage Sculpture Book – Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” (by conceptual artist, Allen Ruppersberg) – “In order to reinterpret the piece for contemporary audiences, Ruppersberg (has) transcribed the poem into phonetic spellings and printed the “new” text on approximately 200 vibrantly colored commercial advertising posters installed floor to ceiling on gallery walls.”Using graphic design styles of the period when Howl was published, the posters communicate the “high culture” of poetry via the common language of advertising. The layout of the type is visually chaotic, analogous to the barrage of images conjured up by the poem and to the social climate in which the text was produced.”
“The installation also includes Ruppersberg’s personal scrapbooks, which contain an accumulation of images, newspaper and magazine clippings, and other miscellany that the artist has collected throughout his life, particularly in the ’60s and ’70s.”
French poet, international poet, Serge Pey, at the Festival de Poesía en Voz Alta in Mexico last month – remarking on his inspiring collaboration with Allen (his remarks are in Spanish):
Interviewer: Como interveno Allen Ginsberg en su quehacer poetico?
(For the complete interview see here)
Here‘s Allen’s sometime Brooklyn College-student, poet Sharon Mesmer on Allen – “Poets on Poets” (She is interviewed by current Brooklyn College professor, Robert Viscusi)
RV: Has this [Allen Ginsberg’s poetry] been an abiding influence on you, in your writing?
SM: Allen? Yeah. Def(initely). I would say, yeah – and, getting to study with him here [Brooklyn College] was pretty amazing. It was just, “how could that ever happen?”, you know, but..yeah, I imitated his work for a while. When I was in college, my female friends and I wanted to be a female Beat Generation, you know, and do all the things that they did, you know – except as women. Yeah, I would say he was my main influence – still, still.
I think also because (of)… he really took the idea of freeing oneself of shame as a practice, in his life, in his writing life, in his life as a Buddhist, and I was always very interested in the way that he lived his life..
“Kerouac Conference/was Fine as Rhine/Whine on the line/thee & thine OK/Keep yr spines/Straight & kind!/Love/Allen”
Here’s a photograph by Allen DeLoach (taken some ten years or so before) on Allen’s Cherry Valley farm. He is flanked by, on the right, Peter Orlovsky‘s brother, Julius (Orlovsky), and, on the left, Peter’s then-girlfriend, Denise Mercedes.
Jon Aes-Nihil‘s documentary, William S. Burroughs In The Dreamachine has just been released on DVD. From Kurt Dahlke‘s enthused-but-less-than-enthusiastic review in DVD talk “Burroughs and (Allen) Ginsberg hold court at LACMA [Los Angeles County Museum of Art], throngs beseech them for autographs. Leo DiCaprio asks for a photo-op. Aes-Nihil gently intersperses still shots of the luminaries. As they speak, and we can’t hear, we wonder what wisdom they impart. We wonder why we haven’t done anything that impacted the word and the world in the way that these gentlemen did. But mostly we just wonder at the quality and import of the footage. Were it not for the two men who sit front and center, either waving their wrinkled hands or smiling benignly, the footage would be strictly B-reel for your own home movies.”
And again, (regarding later, interview, sequences) – “Lack of camera focus and poor audio make the living room sequences difficult to absorb, not to mention the fact that said sequences don’t seem to have much more of a theme than, “we’re quite fortunate to have an audience with Burroughs, let’s tape it!”. Those who love Burroughs will find it fascinating, but, I dare say, lacking.”
and here, to conclude, is another gratuitous Ginsberg-Burroughs photo (for no particular reason, but, heck, why not?):