Gregory Corso (K – Libre) – 2

Gregory Corso, 1957 – Photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries

continued from yesterday.  Gregory Corso begins by reading/explaining his poem, “The Whole Mess…Almost”

“I went to my room/, sat down,/ opened my pen-knife to open a letter./ Halfway I stopped, /put letter and penknife down, went to the window and opened it up -Six floors up – enough to kill a human shot. So, who goes first? – Faith – (you) can’t trust it. You take it, Faith is not Knowledge. It’s something you believe in because you don’t understand it. Out the window with it! Took Truth, and I said, “this is a fucker that I stood by a long time, but Truth creates a bulwark, you see. You see, if it’s true, you can’t go beyond it. Out the window with it!- Hope? – I dug Hope so much but Hope is anticipation. Hope is meaning maybe you’ll get it, maybe you won’t – Out the fuckin’ window with it! – Alright, Charity? – Charity embarrasses me and the fuckers always get you with that shit. Out the window, quick! – Death, like I told you earlier, the gimmick – “ouch! you don’t belong here” – nam-bam – Life? – because… (wait a minute, should I get Life right away, Gregory? – yeah – I thought Life was…) look, lets touch Love – Love’s out the window because Love ends up a bummer . Alright . Out the window with God because God is a.. manifold human desperation, man – Out the window with Life ? – You see, that’s the toughie – “No, not out the window with me, there you go I’m in the fuckin room!” – Alright, so who do I keep there? I keep somebody with me..

Oh no wait, I forgot one of the biggies who I threw out – Beauty! – Beauty – “alright, now, one.. ah I know, oh gee, wow – well, we should, you think we should, keep her back for the film, it’ll be nice and live….. Fuck it!” – pushing her fat ass out the window, man, her fat beautiful Venus Willendorf ass – Out!, Out! – But I ran down the six flights, I ran down the six flights to catch her, and said “Baby, walk on”.

Went back up to my room, and who do you think the fuck was still there?

(Audience: You?)

GC: Nope, because I’m there and there’s another that I can throw out. Me? I can’t throw me out .

(Audience: I? )

GC: I can’t throw me out.

(Audience: Shadow?)

GC: Shadow I can’t throw out. My choice .But that fucker that was left back there – my choice to throw out or not – and I’ll make the connect .Who the fuck do you think it was?

{Audience: Ginsberg)

GC: Ginsberg?! Yeah! Deal one – You know why you got it? -Why did he hit it? – It’s “Out the window with the window~”, it’s Humor – You see, it’s the only fucking thing you can hold back there is Humor, (and when you laid Ginsberg to me, that’s Humor)

[A moment of silence. Gregory surveys the audience] Beautiful faces, oh, I caught one yawning, oh dear, I’m so… oh shit!, the rest are really sublime…]

A six-liner checked out – because I did bring a book along here that somebody had here, it was the girlfriend of.. ah alright.. Roberta – I’d better hit that fuckin’ six-liner. where’s that six-liner? – three six.. I got it . I don’t think it’s a top shot tho’ – Well… no, no ( yeah.. I don’t have to make you people laugh, man, fuck it!) – This is a heavy, this is a heavy, alright, and it’s a six-liner. And it’s called (so you can know maybe what it’s about) “The Plight of Iacchus”

Audience: Icarus

GC: Be careful who you’re dealing with, man. I know fuckin Greek very well. Okay.

Audience: You’re from Brooklyn

GC: No way, tho’ I lived there three years.

Audience (Where were you born?)

GC: Greenwich Village.

Alright – “The Plight of Icius” – how does that sound Brooklyn, man ?, o lady? – “The Plight of Icius”  is a correct pronunciation of Greek – “Iaccchus” – This fucker blew it by thinking it was Icarius, you know, the winged one, you know, with the Sun melting his.. Icarus

Alright check me out, if any of you are scholars, on each line and then here you go – It’s ”The Plight of Iacchus” and check who the fuck he was! – and it’s a “plight”, right? – you know what a plight is, don’t you?

Audience: (A difficult situation)

GC: “His mother was the mother of earth/ when she walked, trees bowed/ rocks relented,/ and shepherds celebrated/. And Core, his sister, had Death, his brother-in-law” -. It’s a six-liner, taken from the Greeks

So who’s this fucker? How many college graduates are here? – Aw shit!

Audience: (We’ve got three here, I counted..)

GC: Am I on here too long?

Audience: No

GC: Well I feel I am. Let me give you one that I’d like. I mean, this one’s a goodie, it’s a tough little sharp Greek fucker I mean, man. I was brought up on Greek history and knowledge. That’s the only way I made it, I think, was through them, their beauty. I remember when I was in prison, seven..

Audience: Beauty out the window!

GC: Oh yeah, “Beauty out the window”, that’s right. But I caught her! – Yeah, I would not fuck up with that one, man… . If I can’t find it then I’ll just up and depart here

Audience: Help him out with this

AG: He knows what he’s doing

Audience: You really suck, you’re really doing bad. I like to…

GC: Yeah I had a long late night. See, I wish I would have come after you. I had to lay it on a kid to say, “Well, it’s an easy act to follow you, you know”   Alright, .well, it’s not an easy act to follow the me of now to me of then – it ain’t. Let me see.. I mean, I’m really.. things I used to dig and all – uh-uh – no… no fucking way, man..I’m finding all this shit.. now, wait a minute – Oh, can I try this one that I think’s alright, after I try to find a better one. Give me one more shot..okay.. alright, alright, okay, alright..?.

(Audience: Come on. Get out of here!)

GC: Jeez, it makes me feel good. because then I’ll be able to sleep nice tonight and see my kid tomorrow, you’ll all make me feel good, because I don’t want to feel like I blew it here and was embarrassing and all deplorable, and what? Okay – But the one who gave me the warmth tonight mostly, mostly is Izzy (Young?) because he aint… Izzy brought it out right – If it wasn’t for Humor – Remember Al, [to Allen Ginsberg] when we first began reading? – Man, you read that heavy “Howl”, man, and I’d read my funny fuckin’ shots to get the balance, early in the ball-game. Alright, that’s it.

This is cute – oh fuck it, oh wow! Alright, I’ll read it, I’ll read it, here we go, right   – “Nature’s Gentleman” – “My first English fog!/ And come at the right time too – had a terrible night in which I cursed/ gentleymanless.., (man, that’s a long word, “gentlemanliness” – and I cursed the fucker – right?) – “So out into it I go and hold detective’s hollow walk/ “Mary Dare, Art thou Mary Dare?”/and  bang, straight into a tree/ and say “Excuse me”

You know who Mary Dare is? – Oh well then, see, well, I educate you with the fucker poetry, man. Mary Dare was the chick that Jack the Ripper was always looking for – And the few that survived let it on to the police and all that that he’d asked for Mary Dare -”Art thou Mary Dare?” –

Alright, I’ve got one to end it. Yeah, that’s the one I like in here. Someone spoke about women tonight in Colorado. I want to mention about Peter (Warshall) – Is he gone? Alright – Peter gave a good hit on Colorado, because in the ‘Sixties, I remember that Colorado was the only stolid state where people were in the mountains and protecting their rights. While everybody was, I don’t know, battling or marching everywhere. When he said that communes are.. you know, building up – yeah, if they are , they’re much sharper, because in those early days they were all confused. They didn’t exactly know (they tried it, they didn’t know) . They figured New Mexico was nine months warm, three months cold, it’s the opposite. I mean, they bought land there. Right?..

Audience: (That’s very funny)

GC: The other thing was the chick was bringing up about Women Lib or somebody mentioned it . And in this, (this is a very early ball-game) and I mentioned something that makes a dichotomy between men and women. So let’s see if I’m right Okay? – Here we go.. [Gregory concludes the evening reading  his poem. “Friend”]  –  Friends – “Friends be kept/Friends be gained…...”…. “…Does one need a friend in Heaven?  Is there a Heaven Friend?

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