Wait Till I’m Dead, Allen Ginsberg’s recently-published collection of uncollected posthumous poems, (which has not had anything like the notices that it should have), recently received an attentive and intelligent review in Empty Mirror from poet-scholar Marc Olmsted (“What we come away with is wanting more..”) – see here
Steve Silberman just recently posted a rare audio on Soundcloud – Allen reading his poem, “On The Conduct of the World Seeking Beauty Against Government” (with spontaneous accompaniment on doussn’gouni and vocals by jazz genius Don Cherry).
“On returning from a trip to Nicaragua in 1986 with a dream with that line. So I figured to write a poem that would end with that line” – “On The Conduct of the World Seeking Beauty Against Government”” (“Is that the only way we can become like Indians…?”)
(The piece was recorded (by Steve) on March 4 1990, at Lone Mountain College, San Francisco, at a benefit for the Maitri Hospice)
Van Morrison in an interview with Rolling Stone this week declares his loyalties:
Interviewer (David Fricke): What about Irish literature, writers like W.B.Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde – you’ve cited and drawn from it over the years. Were you reading them in school?
VM: No I was reading Allen Ginsberg. But I was definitely influenced by William Blake – more Blake than Yeats. Blake was, in a lot of respects, a British nationalist. But he was beyond that as well in imagination and spirituality. You can’t get much more blues than “Let The Slave” [Morrison’s 1985 adaptation of a Blake poem]. I once saw Ginsberg do a gig at the Troubadour in L.A He was doing Blake stuff. I thought, “This all connects”.
Plans for a re-release of Allen’s legendary Blake album. More news on that soon.
From the recently-published CUNY Lost and Found Ted Joans item – Poet Painter/Former Villager Now/World Traveller (edited by Wendy Tronrud and Ammiel Alcalay (with a Preface by Diane di Prima)) in two volumes – an (undated) letter from Allen:
“..You’re the only one I know (Ted, who)’s been pilgrimaging all over Africa, will you ever write a book of geographical/tribal/ritual/travel/fact/politics/local religion/gossip/guide/reflections/roads? The religions or rituals are just as old or older than any , anywhere, and so (it)’s important for you to record living traces of them now for possible hip adaptation in the West, just as I’ve adapted some Indian ritual/tricks to the U.S. use, like mantra and meditation & grass customs – i.e, as West mind returns to Nature as it must to survive, all the old tribal knowledge will be more & more helpful to the lost tribes of U.S…”
To conclude with a further snippet of Beat ephemera
A rare 1957 postcard (from Ginsberg to Burroughs) is up for sale at Blackwell’s (Rare Books) (England):
“…Cadiz Bar for girls – Calle Montserrat. Eat at Casa Manolo – Calle S Pedro + S Jeronimo. Cant find boy bars except seen couples sat at Casa Monolo like Catalana. Dig the Romanesque paintings at Cat[edral?]. Love Allen