The David Olio “Please Master” case (our focus last week) remains in the news (as well it should). Here’s Jerry Aronson, director of The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg reading recently-unearthed transcriptions of Allen explaining his intentions and inspiration for writing the poem:
“Some situations are exuberant, like “Howl” or “Plutonian Ode”. Some situations are “Gee, I feel so good, I think I’ll write down what I see at this moment”. Some situations, I’m trying to locate what is my erotic imagination and write it down as a sample, like “Please Master”, you know, to locate my fantasy and put it down exactly, to see how far out I can go into my own mind, into the real fantasy inside, deep inside my mind, and then make an external object of it. Because, you know, other people have the same fantasy, but are ashamed of it, or think it isn’t real, or think they’re the only ones who ever have “Please Master” fantasies, when it turns out that everybody’s had it, one way or another, or some variances that would be equally hidden, you know, if not that one, another one but, something that’s their own, some secret erotic delight.”
Following Mark Joseph Stern’s article in Slate, any number of outlets picked up on the story – Talking Points Memo, Alternet/Raw Story, Pink News (sic) – even CNN!. (not forgetting.. here‘s the story in Spanish, in French, and here in Polish). Regarding CNN’s contention that Olio did not “respond to requests for comment”, as our friend Steve Silberman has pointed out, it was doubtless because he is legally prohibited from doing so (as part of his settlement). He’s discretely refrained from comment, altho’ there has, certainly, been plenty of comment! – We can only hope that Olio’s one-time student Courtney King (quoted in the conclusion of David Freedlander’s article for The Daily Beast) has a global, not merely local, truth to her observation that – all publicity is… well, publicity! – “In defence of this whole imbroglio, at least it got people in this town (South Windsor, Connecticut) reading Ginsberg”!
More follow-up – our recent post on Allen’s FBI files/government surveillance. Here’s some additional materials from the National Archives obtained by MuckRock and Shawn Musgrave via their Freedom of Information Request on materials about Allen – the FBI’s investigation of civil rights violations, arising from the arrest of Allen (and others) in Miami in 1972, on the occasion of the Republican National Convention –
“disorderly conduct”. Read more about Allen’s allegedly “disorderly” conduct – here
Ambrose Bye & Aliah Rosenthal last weekend perform Gospel Noble Truths & a little Vomit Express
Here’s a snap of Eliot Katz (reading from “Howl“) at Wednesday’s gig at Poets House, birthday-gig/book celebration at Poets House
Also tomorrow and Sunday, not so very far away, (the first night, May 30, sold out), David Schweizer‘s production of the Glass-Ginsberg Hydrogen Jukebox for the Long Beach Opera. Schweizer gives a little background to that production here