Meditation and Poetics – 102 – (Mexico City Blues)

AG: Years ago, I read a lot of (Jack) Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues to (Chogyam) Trungpa , and his comment was, “perfect manifestation of mind”, or “ (perfect) exposition of mind”, and, since I had put that on the reading-list [here at Naropa] … this is (I think) a good time to get into it . The reason is, that, for American poetics, Kerouac is about the closest you have to subtle recording of consciousness, subtle recording of ordinary mind consciousness – the kind of quirks, day-dreams, interruptions, abruptnesses, gaps, associations, and after-thoughts that come into American … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on the Conan O’Brien tv show

After the heady interview last week, here’s a somewhat lighter one, a  May 1994 appearance on the late night American talk-show “Late Night with Conan O’Brien. We’ve already run his performance of “Put Down Yr Cigarette Rag”, but here’s the whole segment    CO: We’re back, folks. Okay, my next guest tonight is considered among the most important American poets of this century. He’s been part of the Beat Generation, the Yippies [sic], and currently [1994] he’s released a collection of poems called Cosmopolitan Greetings. It is a real pleasure to welcome Allen Ginsberg…   [Allen … Read More

Allen and Louis Ginsberg – Alan Ziegler’s 1976 Visit



 We were intending to run (re-run) this – Alan Ziegler‘s extraordinary account of visiting with Allen, and  Louis, shortly before his father’s death, (first published in The Village Voice in July of 1976), but were “pipped at the post” (not that there’s any competition involved) by our good friends at the estimable Best American Poetry blog. We trust there’s no harm in the duplication/dissemination.  

Ziegler begins his account with a brief (2015) introduction, followed by (unchanged, save for the correcting of “a few typos”) the full “4,500 word article”.  My Visit with Allen Ginsberg and

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 221


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 … Read More

And All The Hills Echo-ed – Ginsberg in 1986 in Belgrade

“And all the hills echo-ed” – Allen delighted in performing this one – “The Nurse’s Song” (from “Songs of Innocence and Experience” by William Blake). 

Here’s two alternative versions of the song  here and here 

The one featured today, (showing him performing it in 1986, in Belgrade, accompanied, as ever, by the redoubtable and accomplished Steven Taylor), is excerpted from Milhailo Ristic‘s 2011 film of Allen, Hydrogen Jukebox  (Hidrogenski dzuboks)“And all the hills echo-ed” (the last line) – “The last line is like a mantra repeated over and over again – and so we can all sing along..because, … Read More

Wednesday June 3 – Allen Ginsberg’s Birthday

Every year it blossoms. The tree planted in memory of Allen in the back yard at St Mark’s Church – the flowering dogwood, the good old Kousa dogwood. It did it again this year (See previous flowering dogwood herehere and here) HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLEN!  Birthday celebrations tonight and a stellar reading in New York City at Poets House to launch the eagerly-anticipated publication of The Essential Allen Ginsberg. Readings and performances of the poet’s work included in the collection by Bob Rosenthal, Eliot Katz, Steven Taylor, Eileen Myles, Sharon Mesmer, Lee Ann Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 101 – Haiku and Trikaya – 2

It struck me that the one perfect haiku  that I wrote in Court the other day (sic), in Golden Courthouse, [Golden, Colorado] did actually examine, ((in) hindsight, written before (Chogyam) Trungpa (Rinpoche)’s discourse), did actually fit into that (three-part [trikaya] conception). The first line was – “In Golden Court, waiting for the judge, breathing silent”. So there’s an open space where there are bodies and breath. Then an identification of the personages there, recognition – “Prisoners, witnesses, police”. And then the comment (not in the form of a moral, but in the form of another issue, another image, … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 100 – Haiku and Trikaya


AG:  (I asked you to look at) forms and haiku structure. Does anybody remember that? – or did anybody notate (or make) notes on that?
Student:  (I did and noticed…)
AG: Louder!
Student: (I did and noticed that there was writing specifically about something, and then..)
AG: Then you noticed what?
Student: The writing is direct, and then you notice, you know, that you register, say, the sunshine, and then you reverse backwards (to the source of the sunshine..) and…
AG: Yeah (but) how did that relate to the process of (the) thought-form itself?
Student: I think of an idea … Read More