Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 331

Allen Ginsberg, 1968.  Photo: Larry Keenan Jr.

More Ginsberg memories (see last week) – Judy Goldhaft, director of The Planet Drum Foundation, recollects an unusual seder:

“For the first time since the crucifixion, there was a total lunar eclipse on the night of the seder in 1968. That apparently happened also on the night of the Last Supper and we were all aware of this. We had a seder near Duboce Park. [San Francisco] The Hells Angels were there and the Diggers were there. My son asked the Four Questions, and…asked  Allen Ginsberg [as tradition decrees] why this night was different from all other nights? Allen’s answer was: “Look around you.”  We had tables all over the floor where people could lie down, and we ate the traditional foods but had no ceremony. I think I made around 15 sponge cakes…

Lucian K Truscott –  when AG meets  Jimi Hendrix –  (from an article published this week in Salon, lamenting the end of the print edition of New York’s Village Voice):

“A night or two before I slipped that envelope [sic] under the door [of the Village Voice offices] was Christmas eve, and I went to St. Marks in the Bowery [Poetry Project] to listen to Ed Sanders and Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso and others read poetry. Jimi Hendrix came in and sat down next to me, and we spent the next two hours listening to poetry and talking. I introduced him to Ed and Allen, and they introduced him to Gregory, and it turned out that Jimi was a great admirer of all three of them, and they had a lot of stuff in common…”

from Jerry Rubin (from Pat Thomas’  Did It! – From Yippie to Yuppieto be published by Fantagaphics this coming Tuesday):

“He (Allen) wrote a poem that he read to a VDC [Vietnam Day Committee]  meeting that absolutely blew everybody’s minds. It was brilliant because it exploded all the categories of what a demonstration was and what Allen was saying is a demonstration is a celebration…that poetic proposal… opened my head up to a whole new possibility of politics, and I think it’s very possible that it was the first time I ever thought of politics as being theatrical”

Garrison Keillor in an op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune this week:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,” wrote Allen Ginsberg in a long angry poem that inspired a great deal of bad poetry but when you met Allen, he was kind and thoughtful. An angry young man on the page but in person he was as nice as could be.”

Anger?  – “Howl” as an expression of anger? –  not compassion?  – Allen always rejected that too-easy reading of his poem.

Film-maker, Don Pennebaker:  –  (note – On The Road was, finally, made, in 2010 by Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles, to mixed reviews)

“I knew  (Jack) Kerouac slightly, we all went to the New School together, and I knew him and Allen, they were all friends of mine when I was growing up. Kerouac always wanted me to do On the Road, and I kept saying, I don’t know how to make that kind of film, you know? I wish I did but I didn’t. I loved the idea of it. I told him, “If I go with you, can you all get out there on a cold winter’s day and we’ll get a car, I’ll go along with you.”

Clark Coolidge – One of the late Larry Fagin‘s last projects was to shepherd through the presses – a Clark Coolidge Selected Poems  (it came out from Station Hill Press just this past April).  Coolidge’s reading from the book at City Lights (remarkably, his first reading at that legendary bookstore) has just been put out as a podcast  –  Listen here

For more audio-recordings of the unique one-of-a-kind Coolidge – listen here

Coolidge on Kerouac – here

The much-missed Joanne Kyger has a posthumous  book coming out next week (edited by Cedar Sigo) . – There You Are –  More on that this weekend

& it’s the 60th anniversary of the publication of On The Road  next Tuesday

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