Allen Ginsberg – World Bank Blues

The always-contemporary Allen Ginsberg – from 1997  (included in the posthumous collection, Death and Fame)

World Bank Blues
I work for the world bank yes I do
My salary was hundred thousand smackeroo
I know my Harvard economics better than you 
Nobody knows that I make big plans
I show Madagascar leaders how to dance
How to read statistics & wear striped pants
Emotional statistics that’s not my job
Facts & figures, I’m no slob
But foresting & farming’s all a big blob
Here’s our scheme to stabilize your paper
for International trade right now or later
Follow our … Read More

Philip Whalen – Crowded By Beauty

First off, some of the stellar “book blurbs”:His dear friend Joanne Kyger writes: “Fellowship and remarkable clarity bring enlightened and generous understanding to this rendering of the life and times of singular poet and teacher Philip Whalen. And furthermore: “His longtime friend in the dharma, teacher and writer David Schneider transmits the delight and wisdom of this poet’s bountiful spirit”. Michael McClure describes the book as: “More than a biography or a memoir…a CELEBRATION of Zen Being.”  (John Suiter, noting that it’s “highly original, personable, and authoritative”, declares it destined to “take its place among the very best books on both the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 227

[Pat Sebold with Linda Forgosh, executive director of the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey] 

Family heirlooms –  Pat Sebold, Allen’s first cousin (Allen’s father, Louis, was the brother of her mother, Clara), earlier this month, donated “a voluminous collection of Ginsberg memorabilia to the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey – “The trove”, The New Jersey Jewish News reports, “includes signed copies of hardbound and paperback versions of her cousin’s poetry, as well as personal letters, postcards, family photographs, and yellowed newspaper-clippings…”From one of the postcards (Allen, writing from Amsterdam): “Cheese, canals, windows, bridges, dog shit, Indonesian restaurants, red … Read More

Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 2 (Q & A)

                                         [Allen Ginsberg and Chogyam Trungpa at Naropa]AG: Shall we open it up?

CT: Sure
AG: Anybody got any questions on the nature of perception and conception.
CT: Big subject eh?!
AG: Actually we got into a big…  (well), go on…
Student (1) – My question is if the mind… [Ancillary action (proceedings are obviously being filmed)  – AG: “You’re blocking his view  from the camera!” – Student resumes ] –  If the mind desires to work on a poem or the mind desires to think about … Read More

Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 1

                                                  [Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche 1939-1987)]

AG: the poetry class.. [to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche] – does it make sense (you sitting), here?  [Allen points to location] – and there’s room for David (Rome) [Trungpa’s personal assistant], there. Welcome to my poetry class. This is Bobby Myers, my teaching assistant – and this [Allen continues with formal introductions] is Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan poet and meditation teacher – and David Rome here.
So.. We had been reading haikuRead More

William Blake – (The Mental Traveler)

We might look at The Mental Traveler (also out of (William)  Blake). Does anybody know that?  The Mental Traveler? – That’s a terrific poem. [Editorial note – Allen’s earlier (1976) observations, duplicating, to some degree, what follows, can be found here] –   William Butler Yeats  thought  it was one of Blake’’s greatest poems, and he said that it was impenetrable, nobody could ever understand it  – and, apparently, no commentator has ever fully unraveled the scheme of it, (which is an obvious scheme of an eternal return, a recycle that goes back, snake eating its own tail, and … Read More

William Blake – Auguries of Innocence – 7

                         [“We are led to Believe a Lie/ When we see with not Thro the Eye” (William Blake) ]

AG: We’re up to in Blake.. [ in William Blake’s Auguries of  Innocence] –”To be in a Passion you Good may Do/ But no Good if a Passion is in you”
“The Whore &  Gambler by the State/ Licencd builds that Nations Fate” – That’s kind of interesting, considering the modern licensing  of gambling in New Jersey . And you can see the Mafia taking over
“The harlots cry from street to street/ … Read More

Clark Coolidge on Jack Kerouac



 [Clark Coolidge]



NAROPA’s Summer Session concluded this week and one highlight was the series of lectures delivered by the poet Clark Coolidge on Allen – “Allen Ginsberg – Poet”. We hope to include transcripts of some of that material here, in the months ahead, on The Allen Ginsberg Project.  Meanwhile, looking back to 1982, here’s a transcript of Coolidge’s talk at the legendary Twenty-Five Year Anniversary of On The Road – Jack Kerouac Conference (We’ve already included selections from those festivities here, here amd here – not forgetting here and here)  One session (see … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 226

                         [Thaddeus Marshall – Photograph by Teresa Marshall Hale – courtesy Mark Giordano] A wonderful thing – “On July 18, in a moment of belated poetic justice, a stone will be laid on the otherwise unmarked grave of Thaddeus Marshall, an African-American street vendor from Rutherford, N(ew) J(ersey), noting his unsung contribution to American Literature” (from Jennifer Schusessler’s illuminating article in last Monday’s New York Times – “The Forgotten Man Behind William Carlos Williams’ s Red Wheelbarrow”)  Schusessler spotlights William Logan‘s exhaustive research into the poem … Read More