Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 374

Allen Ginsberg in the War Resisters League office, May 1978 – photo: David McReynolds (c) David McReynolds

Allen Ginsberg celebrations last night in Salerno, Italy – a collaboration between Casa della Poesia and La Locanda del Mare, presented by Sergio Iagulli, Raffaella Marzano and Giancarlo Cavallo, and drawing from the extensive audio and video archive of Casa della Poesia. (The event also featured a screening of the classic Beat film, Pull My Daisy, with Marzano’s appreciative and sensitive Kerouac translation)

Allen in Cuba in 1965 – Manuel Diaz Martinez’s  suppressed newspaper interview – “Y…no les dije a mis escandalizados superiores en el periódico que el poeta me había recibido impecablemente desnudo, sentado en el centro de la cama en posición yoga” (“And .. I did not tell my scandalized superiors at the newspaper that the poet had received me impeccably naked, sitting in the middle of the bed in a yoga position.”)

Allen:  “A revolution must open up consciousness and feelings, it must be a call to love. And love is real, it’s from the body, it’s not in heaven, as the church squares and the eggheads say, for whom love is nothing more than a way of thinking”.  (“Una revolución debe abrir conciencias y sentimientos, debe ser una llamada al amor. Y el amor es real, es del cuerpo, no está en el cielo, como dicen los squares eclesiásticos y la gente cerebral, para quienes el amor no es más que un esquema mental“) 

“Currently what interests me the most is to explore my conscience and my feelings and communicate them to others and myself in a rhythm that can move the body.Poetry is a physiological thing, like the music of Santería.”(“Actualmente lo que más me interesa es explorar mi conciencia y mis sentimientos y comunicarlos a los demás y a mí mismo en un ritmo que pueda mover el cuerpo. La poesía es una cosa fisiológica, como la música de los santeros.“)

Asked what he’d do with the money if he were awarded the Nobel Prize:

“Si la Academia Sueca me otorgara el Nobel, con el dinero compraría algunos kilogramos de marihuana; daría unos miles de dólares al grupo de muchachos que hace cinematografía del desnudo en Nueva York (la Film Makers Cooperative, de la revista Film Culture); daría otros miles de dólares a algunos poetas esqueléticos de los Estados Unidos y la India; me compraría una buena grabadora; finalmente, viajaría por Rusia y China durante dos años.” (“If the Swedish Academy awarded me the Nobel Prize, with the money I would buy some kilos of marijuana, I would give a few thousand dollars to the group of guys who make naked cinema in New York (the Film Makers Cooperative (and), Film Culture magazine), I would give other thousands of dollars to some skinny poets from the United States and India,I would buy a good (tape) recorder, (and) finally, I would travel around Russia and China for a couple of years.”)

Andrew Epstein, our good friend at Locus Solus, reminds us of a classic reading he arranged for Allen (alongside poet David Shapiro) – “Another Night at Columbia -Allen Ginsberg in 1995, Standing Room Only”:

“By the time Ginsberg and Shapiro arrived, it was standing room only, with a throng of people also outside the room, filling the echoing lobby.  I remember pushing through the mob to get to the front door to help (Kenneth) Koch and the two readers jostle their way through the crowd in the lobby and into the packed room.  Despite being in poor health, Ginsberg took it all in stride, bemused at the chaos and grateful for the adoration of the crowd that had assembled at his alma mater in his honor…

Both poets gave wonderful, passionate readings of their work, while students crammed into the open windows behind them and others strained to hear from outside the building (as you can see in the newspaper photo above).  Although Ginsberg would pass away less than two years after this night, he was in fine form that night, inspiring the young crowd with his inimitable poems and sense of humor and his words about politics and justice.”

For more details and the full article – see here

And see also here for Epstein’s notes on another memorable public occasion – Allen and Kenneth Koch together at the St Mark’s Poetry Project -“Making It Up”, (the subsequently published transcription of their evening, back in 1979, of spontaneous collaborative poems)

The remarkable Rene Ricard’s first (eponymous) book just recently republished, and now available in French translation – see Rachel Valinsky’s smart and informative introduction to the volume (in English) here 

Rene Ricard – (photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries/Allen Ginsberg Estate)

“The Poet Who Wanted To Be Eaten by Vultures” – a brief note on the great  much-missed “lost” West Coast poet-legend, Lew Welch – here

Lew Welch and Allen Ginsberg outside City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, October 30, 1963, (the day of the Madame Nhu protest) – photo c. John Doss

And from, the industry journal:
“Background casting continues for Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Men who look like Allen Ginsberg, aged 18 and older, are wanted for the shoot. Actors must be comfortable working around smoke and be okay smoking an herbal cigarette on camera. The scene will shoot after July 18 in New York City. Pay is $170 for eight hours of work. Apply here”

“smoking an herbal cigarette on camera”?

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