Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 229

[Spiderman and Allen Ginsberg cartoon – Tom Gauld]


From the current issue of Poetry magazine  – more Howl parodies – (we’ve featured several such before –  –  Amy Newman – “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by wedding 
planners, dieting, in shapewear,/ dragging themselves in cute outfits through the freezer section for the semifreddo bender/blessed innovative cloister girl pin-ups burning to know the rabbi of electricity in poverty, obedience, in the dream stick of opium and the green Wi-Fi fuse..” From the Paris Review – “Supplication to the Muses on A Trying Day” – quite … Read More

William Burroughs’ Proclamation – (Do Easy)

AG: Another proclamation –  from (William) Burroughs – this is somewhat a mindfulness proclamation – from  Exterminator! , page 57. (It features) his favorite character, Colonel Sutton Smith (he wrote another chapter of Colonel Sutton Smith this summer), sort of a parody of an English ex-military Zen man, so to speak, someone with perfect Western consciousness, or perfect Western mindfulness. But what’s interesting in (that) Burroughs outline is a kind of precision and mindfulness very similar to, say, Zen gardening,or flower-arrangement, or archery. Burroughs’ own system, which, with his usual humor, he even parodies – or he sets forth,

Read More

Jack Kerouac and Hart Crane’s Proclamations

 [Hart Crane  (1899-1932) standing in fromt of The Brooklyn Bridge]

AG: So it’s one assertion, or one, say, magisterial mind –  The (very) last chorus [Chorus 242] of Mexico City Blues. Now, recapping from (Jack) Kerouac‘s magisterial point-of-view – instructions for creating a liberated society – (what was the phrase used by (Chogyam) Trungpa last night (sic)?, the name of Naropa?) – the creation of an enlightened society): “The sound in your mind/is the first sound/that you could sing/ If you were singing/at a cash register/with nothingon yr mind – / But when … Read More

The Kalevala

AG: Does anybody know the Finnish epic, “The Kalevala”. Has anybody ever read any of that? – I’d like to read a few pages of that. It’s an epic poem which was originally in oral form, and (was) written down in the nineteenth-century by a Swedish [sic] scholar, Elias Lönnrot, [Editorial note – Lönnrot was actually a Finn] and translated (fantastically) by Francis Peabody Magoun and published by (the) Harvard University Press. It’s called “(The) Kalevala” – K-A-L-E-V-A-L-A, and in the chapter, or poem, three, that I’m going to read from, this old bard, who has had lots of … Read More

Meditation Advice

[Kobun Chino Roshi, sitting Sesshin at Naropa, July 1989. photo.c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

August 14 1978, Allen Ginsberg’s class on Meditation and Poetics continues. [Editorial note (via Randy Roark) – “The class begins with taking class roll and discussing credit requirements and other business. About mid-way through, the tape-machine begins malfunctioning and an indeterminate amount of the presentation (has been consequently) lost, as a result]

AG: Just to cover a little bit of meditation technicalities, which I may have said at one time or other. The purpose of having the eyes open is that you’re not checking

Read More

The Ginsberg-Ferlinghetti Letters


The phrase is, of course, Emerson‘s, writing to congratulate Walt Whitman

 I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere for such a start. I rubbed my eyes a little to see if this sunbeam were no illusion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty. It has the best merits, namely of fortifying and encouraging..”

This greeting was echoed by Lawrence Ferlinghetti after hearing Allen’s legendary Gallery Six reading of “Howl” in October of 1955 –  “I GREET YOU AT THE BEGINNING OF

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 228

From the interesting collection – Literary Ephemera – 14 Postcards From Popular Authors:

 – “Dear Ed (White) – Sorry we keep missing each other, love to Justin. I have been occupied learning music, recording new original songs, collecting all my old recent poetry, returning from traveling. I just haven’t had time to stop & renew nostalgia everywhere – fancied – see you one xmas or another soon I hope – Saw a little magazine with one of your letters of Jack [Kerouac]. I visited his mother and widow in St Petersburg this year, [1970] finally, & sang them Blake’s Read More

Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 6 (Q & A – 5) (Conclusion)


[Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987)]

Student:: I was wondering.. if…(most of the poets…) (have a readership)?

AG: Someone take the microphone over please..
David Rome: Yes, in Tibet, most of the poetry is accessible to everybody, or if it’s written by upper class people for upper class people, or if it’s all of the above, is it written for the common man?  Can everybody understand the poetry there?
Chogyam Trungpa: Well, anybody who can read, who can read, yes  – Well, we have problems with the peasant people who have never been taught reading or writing at all, so, … Read More

Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 5 (Q & A – 4)


[Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg & Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche at Naropa]

                AG: Gregory (Corso), you got any questions?

GC: No, no questions . Oh yeah, one,  one, right..
Chogyam Trungpa (to Gregory Corso): What – are you over there (tonight)?
GC:  Last night it was…Vajrayana
CT: Oh yeah
GC: Big crowd here [at Naropa] –  and I don’t think much of the crowd thought he was in Vajrayana, with his Crazy Wisdom, right?  – (Did you see) Crazy Wisdom, Allen?  [to Allen Ginsberg] – Don’t look at him, look at (me)
AG: Yeah, I would say so.  … Read More

Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 4 (Q & A – 3)


[Allen Ginsberg


[Richard Roth]



[ChogyamTrungpa Rinpoche]


[David Rome]

Student  [in media res]…..he says why talk about the “”I’ which interests me not at all, and he goes on to describe other things. He wasn’t interested in describing himself as (in) personal history, so, in that sense, there wasn’t (that) sort of obsession locked inside, he was always pushing it out

Allen Ginsberg:  Well..Returning to the outside to the look..Yeah
 You had a hand up, Richard Roth 
Richard Roth: I’d like to ask Rinpoche a question? Allen’s being dividing poetics up into HinayanaMahayana and Vajrayana. The first … Read More