[Allen Ginsberg in his kitchen, 1988 – Photograph by Brian Graham]
The Toronto photo show, “Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds..,“ that we mentioned last week continues. What we omitted to mention was the accompanying catalog (printed and designed by the legendary Coach House Press). As curator, John Shoesmith writes in the forward – “The accompanying catalog attempts to further the story behind the Ginsberg photographs. It contains the voices of several key individuals who were crucial to the poet’s “second coming” as a photographer, beginning in the mid-1980s; from the person who planted the seed within Ginsberg to … Read More
AG: And another one of the similar.. well, of a similar theme, just a crazy (crazy).. – the mad song? you know, just the idea of the madman’s song?, was – “Pull My Daisy”, (which began as a little lyric that I wrote, “Pull my daisy/tip my cup…”) – “Pull my daisy/tip my cup/Cut my thoughts/for coconuts...” – (Well I heard, at some point, about Christopher Smart, actually) – “When I think of death/ I get a goofy feeling/Then I catch my breath/Zero is appealing/Appearances are hazy/Smart went crazy/Smart went crazy” – (Christopher Smart, I meant with that – … Read More
[Lamont Cranston – The Shadow – “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”]
AG: This isn’t in the the same meter (as Tom O’ Bedlam) but it’s a similar theme – [Allen next proceeds to read, in its entirety, his poem “The Shrouded Stranger“] – So that was somewhat the same theme. And then (Jack) Kerouac, at the same time, was saying, or conceiving.. We were discussing the notion of the shrouded stranger, a ghostly figure, or, you know, a shroud of New York, a shroud of the East River. So he wrote up… … Read More
JA: I met Kenneth (Koch) when I was first a student in Harvard in 1947 and I met Frank (O’Hara) a couple of years later. We all wound up in New York more or less by accident , and got to know other poets here like Barbara Guest, James Schuyler.. But I think our poetry is pretty independent of each other.
One critic has described John Ashbery as today’s (1966) most radically original American … Read More
KK: There’s an awful lot in my poems that I don’t understand at the time of writing them and if I understand them as I write them it’s usually a bad sign but I don’t think that’s ever happened.
“There are certain constants in my work and one is this interest in juxtaposing one thing against another in such a way that it’ll be dramatic and beautiful and funny and interesting. Incidentally, my work … Read More
Here’s a guest-posting from our good friend and Burroughs aficianado, Oliver Harris
“How does Burroughs manage to stay so young? After all, he’s 104 and has been dead for over 20 years, and yet he still seems to have more life in him than most so-called living writers. Is it because he was always more than a writer? I’m thinking of a remark he made to Paul Carroll in June 1959, the same week that Maurice Girodias asked him for a manuscript of Naked Lunch and so launched his “career”; that he was carrying out “research … Read More