Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg, 1959
continuing from yesterday – the Studs Terkel interview
Studs Terkel: Question, question. Anybody can answer it – Do you believe you represent the young generation of poets today?
Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky: No, no, no, no, we’re pariahs!
ST: Oh, You’re pariahs?
AG: All we represent is ourselves. We couldn’t represent anybody else. The trouble
is everybody’s going around trying to represent somebody else..
GC: Yeah, that’s terrible, that’s scarey.
AG: All I represent is me and all Gregory represents is him and all Peter
represents is Peter.
PO: All my whole life
AG: He represents his mother. Peter represents his mother and his three brothers and a sister.
GC: Yeah, and they’re all in the madhouse.
ST: I see… Allen..or Peter..
GC: Well you don’t think people go around trying to represent someone, do you? You don’t represent anybody do you?
ST: I hope not. Myself.
AG: Oh, the only other thing we represent is a lot of dead poets.
[Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)]
ST: You love dead poets.
AG:We represent a lot of dead poets too
ST: You represent a lot of dead poets
AG: And Mayakovsky
[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]
PO: Mayakovsky with rainbows around his (clothes)
AG: or..Somebody’s got to represent Shakespeare
ST: I think our WFMT listeners should of course see our three young poets, and, of
course, seeing them here is part of the story, of course. As they talk they make
very vivid with hands and gestures
AG:We wave our hands in the air, yeah.
ST:Yes. Allen, you say you represent yourself…
ST:What do you represent as an individual? What’s your feeling about the world?
(It’s a general question, a leading question).
AG: Oh, they change every day
ST:They change every day. Do you have any feelings of permanent…not permanent,
but..any solid feelings about the world today?
seems to indicate that
AG:Yes. The world exists. In a way.. or…can I.. Yes yes. I’ll read a poem…
ST: Read a whole poem and then I want to ask you something
AG: Ok, I’ll read a poem and then I’ll.. …well not only about the world, but about the whole universe!
ST: About the universe!
AG:The whole universe, yeah
GC: Not only Chicago and New York, all the universe.
AG: Okay. It’s a poem called “Poem (Rocket
)”. It’s all about rockets – sputniks, luniks (sic), lunatics. Everything’s in the poem
GC: Put your heart in this.
ST: I’ve got to put my heart in. as you ‘re going to watch me, as I listen to Allen, and I better be on good behavior
to be continued
[Audio for the above (courtesy of PennSound) can be heard here, beginning at approximately ten minutes in and concluding approximately twelve-and-a-quarter minutes in – 2018 update – audio no longer available]