Allen Ginsberg in Scotland in 1973 – Up on You Tube this week a delightful interview with Scottish poet Scott Eden (if you can make it over the ambient sound in the restaurant and Scott’s unapologetic born-and-bred Scottish accent) – warm, thoughtful, spontaneous recollections of meeting with and traveling with Allen, back in the day, there, and following him down to England.
Many many many good memories of Paul.
Such as Honey Sunday, in Chicago, August 1968:
The Day of the Honey
Sunday August 25, 1968
mountains and vistas of Spinach
and immediately passed out
& Ed Sanders yesterday in the New York Times – on a much much darker moment from the “Sixties and its abiding presence – Helter Skelter -“Why Pop Culture Still Can’t Get Enough of Charles Manson”
Gregory Corso – The Gold Standard, a rare recording, is being celebrated at The Beat Museum tomorrow night (Saturday) (from tapes provided by long-time friend and editor, George Scrivani) Scrivani recorded Corso at various readings, interviews and events, including an impromptu lecture that he gave in the late ‘Seventies at the JFK Institute in Berlin (on the genealogy of the Beat Generation), and, (subsequently), several readings/performances that took place at various San Francisco locations (including a phenomenal reading with Allen at the legendary Keystone Korner jazz club in 1980, their first reading together in the city since 1956!). Another Keystone Korner tape features the multi-instrumentalist/composer/arranger Jaki Byard on piano, joining Corso for two extended pieces.
Don’t miss Benito Vila‘s interview with “99 year old prince of letters”, Jack Kerouac’s long-time literary agent, Sterling Lord – “My Boys -Sterling Lord on Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Ken Kesey”
Our good friend, Steve Silberman (over at “Our Allen” (Facebook page) relates “a cute story” (regarding Allen) via Ken Kesey” – Kesey: “I was at a party one time, when I first knew Ginsberg, and he was standing by himself over by the fireplace, with a wine glass in his hand, and people millling around, and finally some young girl sort of broke off from the rest of the crowd and approached him and said, ‘I can’t talk to you—you’re a legend.’ And he said, ‘Yes, but I’m a friendly legend!’”
and from the same source – from Roberto Vargas – (re Allen in Nicaragua) – “On The Conduct of the World Seeking Beauty Against Government” (Steve generously provides the details of (t)his recording – it’s from March 1990, with Don Cherry playing doussn’gouni -from a benefit at Lone Montain College for the San Francisco Zen Center for the Maitri Hospice) –
RV: “Allen Ginsberg, written in Nicaragua in April of ’86, [Allen actually dates the poem, January 27 1986] what an experience shared, in my Nicaragua (as I promised him when we became friends in North Beach, San Francisco…I was twenty-something years old. Twenty-something years later Allen visited Nicaragua with me, invited by Padre Ernesto Cardenal, then Minister of Culture. We helped console Allen, through lively, constructive debate, [he] having just painfully [temporarily] severed his relation with Peter Orlovsky who’d left to join a young woman..He announced to anyone that can hear and understand English in Managua that the Berlin Wall was coming down sometime soon! the end of Communismo as we knew it? – he showed critical love and compassion for Sandinismo sombreron y SOBERANO!!! nuestro hermano, Allen.”
On The Conduct of the World Seeking Beauty Against Government
Is that the only way we can become like Indians, like Rhinoceri,
like Quartz Crustals, like organic farmers, live what we imagine
Adam & Eve to’ve been, caressing each other with trembling limbs
before the Snake of Revolutionary Sex wrapped itself round
The Tree of Knowledge? What would Roque Dalton joke about lately
teeth chattering like a machine gun as he debated mass tactics
with his Companeros? Necessary to kill the Yanquis with big bomb
Yes but don’t do it by yourself, better consult your mother
to get the Correct Line of Thought, if not consult Rimbaud once he got
his leg cut off
or Lenin after his second stroke sending a message thru Mrs. Krupskaya
to the rude Georgian, & just before his deadly fit when the
Cheka aides outside
his door looked in coldy assuring him his affairs were in good hands
no need to move – What sickness at the pit of his stomach moved up to
What thought Khlebnikov on the hungry train exposing his stomach to
Or Mayakovsky before the bullet hit his brain, what sharp propaganda
on the Bureaucratic Battlefield in the Ministry of Collective Agriculture
What Slogan for Futurist architects or epic hymn for asses of Com-
munist Party Card holders in Futurity
on the conduct of the world seeking beauty against Government?
Summertime – hot August, “dog days” and “silly season” approaching. Some time since we featured here Ginsberg parodies (or indeed, their close relation, Ginsberg “mash-ups”). Here, from the forthcoming The Peanuts Papers... Jonathan Lethem‘s Charles Schultz hommage – “Grief” (For Linus Van Pelt)” – Part 1 –
“I saw the children of my neighborhood destroyed by mangle comics, disease comics, and gory comics, aggravating hysterical fussbudgets,/ dragging themselves through the sarcastic streets at dawn looking for an angry plaid ice cream, angelheaded blockheads obligated to play outside whenever the starry dynamo in the machinery of night is shining/, who spanking and roughnecked and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of second childhoods floating across the tops of suburbs contemplating the chromatic fantasia/, who bared their brains to The Great Pumpkin under the El and saw goldfishes or horses or lambs or chimpmunks staggering on suburban roofs illuminated…”
Well, it, needless to say, goes on.. And here’s another one, a recent winner in the UK magazine,The Spectator‘s competition –D.A.Prince presents “”Howl” meets Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice“
“I saw the best daughters of my generation/ destroyed by lack of fortune, maternal/hysteria, running naked,/being dragged through the balls of Netherfield/ mother-fixed on future matrimony,/who bared their shoulders to flaming candles with/ radiant cool eyes hallucinating Mr Bingley,/who was universally acknowledged as singular/and mile-high with money to burn in waste/paper baskets and in want of a wife,/angel-headed Bennets levered up for the ancient/heavenly connection to property…” etc etc. – It too goes on.
Summer food? – You all know the borscht recipe? – Allen’s “Cold Summer Borscht”?
Not to be confused with the legendary soup
ASMR Ginsberg? – Yes, we know we’re scraping the barrel a bit here – but it is summer!. Here’s a whispered “A Supermarket in California” (with station ambience) and “Old Love Story” (with the sound of crackling fire)