Gordon Ball (whose iconic photograph of Virginia military academy students in a classroom reading Howl we featured, here on The Allen Ginsberg Project, a few weeks back), is a photographer, filmmaker, author, and the accomplished editor of several volumes of Allen’s journals, (notably Journals – Early ‘Fifties, Early ‘Sixties, and Journals – Mid Fifties 1954-1958, as well as the earlier (1975) Pulitzer-Prize-nominated Allen Verbatim: Lectures on Poetry, Politics, Consciousness.)
He is also, more recently, (2012), author of East Hill Farm – Seasons with Allen Ginsberg, a unique and wonderful memoir of his time spent as custodian of Allen’s up-state Cherry Valley Farm. (see our notice on that book – here)
From their conversation:
DW: I felt that that impulse (sic) was, without doubt, so much a part of Allen’s personality. He wanted to help people, in so many different ways, (but a lot of these were friends of his who were maybe not suited to the life of the land, as we might say)..
GB: That’s true, and.. After we’d been there a while, he told me that he got the farm for Kerouac.
DW: Right. And, of course, by the time the farm was really developed in any form, Kerouac was dying.
GB: Yeah, after a year and a half he died – yeah.
DW: Also it brought Orlovsky out of the city..
Listen to the full program – here
Beautiful works in it, like this (from John Wieners)
Chop Yr Lips
I’ve got some new kind of instrument in my mind
must be the moon coming up
got a long handle and golden strings
with Count Basie on ivory –
oh Charlie Parker how many forgotten
drew your old man into town
It broadcasts a short-wave radio set
backwards no lessons
just feeling Saturday’s ballroom.