More Vintage Ginsberg Footage/Ferlinghetti – Assassination Raga

More vintage footage of Allen here (and also, more prominently, of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and of the San Francisco Mime Troup Gorilla Band, courtesy the Archivio Audiovisivo del Movimento Operario e Democratico (AAMOD)

1968 Vietnam War protest – The San Francisco Mime Troup Gorilla Band begin with “When The Saints Go Marching In and follow it with a protest-laden rendition of the U.S. National Anthem – Ferlinghetti then reads from the podium his recently-composed “Assassination Raga (in memory of Robert Kennedy)

(“…..United States of America/takes off/& wings away with that Body/Tune out the tv sound/& listen soundlessly/ to the blind mouths of its motors.& to a sitar speaking on the stereo/a raga in a rage/at all that shit/against all that death/La Allah el lill Allah/There is no god but God/The force that through the red fuze/drives the bullet/drives the needle in its  groove/ and drives that plane of the “United States of America”/through its sky full of shit and death/and the sky never ends/as it wings soundlessly/with black sun on wings/ Inside the plane/Inside the plane a wife/lies soundlessly/against the coffin/ Engine whines as sitar sings outrageously/La Allah el lill Allah/La Allah el lill Allah/ There is no god but God?/There is no god but Death/The plums, the plums are falling through the tree/The force that drives the bullet/through the gun/drives everyone/And time, time flies on/ through these swift fierce years/United States of America/with the dead weight of its Body/which they are flying from Dallas/which they are flying from Los Angeles/And the plane lands/without folding its wings/its shadow in mourning for itself/withdraws into itself/La Allah el lill Allah/La Allah el lill Allah/ There is no god but Death/The force that through the green fuze/drove his life/drives everyone/La Allah el lill Allah/ La Allah el lill Allah/And they are driving the Body up Fifth Avenue/past a million people in line/”We are going to be here a long time”/Says Death TV’s salesman/The cortege passes soundlessly/”Goodbye, goodbye”, people cry/The traffic flows on/The force that drives the cars combusts our death/La Allah el lill Allah/ La Allah el lill Allah/There is no god but Death/The force that drives our life to death/drives sitar too so boundlessly/ La Allah el lill Allah/ La Allah el lill Allah/ They lifted the body/ of the United States of America/ and they carried it into a cathedral/singing “Allelujah over it/ “and he shall live and, and he shall live forever and.”/And then the body moves again/down Fifth Avenue/There are people with roses behind the barricades/In bargain basement dresses/ La Allah el lill Allah/ La Allah el lill Allah….”)

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