Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 426

Peter Orlovsky, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Rosenthal & son, Aliah Rosenthal, and Gregory Corso, “on the road” New Mexico, Summer, 1980

Bob Rosenthal,  Allen’s long-time secretary, and author of the simply-essential first-hand account,  Straight Around Allen, was recently looking at the inscription that the poet had written in his 1984 presentation copy of the Collected Poems 1947-1980, and noted this typically-Ginsbergian poem-kvetch-state-of-affairs-for-Allen-Ginsberg.
It was written on the last day of the year (December 31st, 1984) and things were, clearly, chaotic, unsettled as ever. (Bob was the rock, that kept “the house” in order, despite it all).
Explosions!   40 cops at our
Peter Crazy! I’m in China!
            I’m back!
How you gonna make a living?
          Is there enuf money?
Can I ever change & Control
           my Destiny, cash expenditures?
Can I get my will? Corrected?
Who’ll I go to for counseling? On-
        ward and upward
Maybe I should become a profess-
            -ional anticommunist?
Maybe I should commit myself
              to the Bug House the White
              house? my own house?

Thanks for care of my house this book!

Allen Ginsberg at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in England in 1993. We’ve already featured his spirited reading on that occasion – here.

That festival, this week, in celebration of its 70th anniversary (sic), has reposted the reading as the first of a series of (seven) planned archival podcasts. It’s divided, this time, into two distinct halves – the reading itself, and (an addition), a public conversation (Allen discoursing on the Beat Generation)  that took place earlier in the day with maverick publisher and much-missed literary gadfly, John Calder

Another previous posting of ours – Allen Ginsberg and The ClashCheck out Jack Whatleys piece in Far Out magazine, revisiting one crucial moment in that conjunction –here

Ginsberg celebrations this coming week at Ponferrada, Spain (as part of the “Km. 251 Ponferrada es jazz” (Ponferrada’s (4th) annual jazz festival). Festivities will begin with an orchestrated reading of “Howl” (Aullido) (Oliver Alvarez and Miguel Angel Varela will read, to the accompaniment of music provided by a group of local musicians led by composer-guitarist,  Gio Yáñez)

&, in the upcoming October 2019 release The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia, our good friend Billy Mackay informs usthere’s a brief citation for Allen that includes this gnomic gem: “Only a truly great Jewish bard could capture the human condition so succinctly by writing about a man lounging around town ‘seeking jazz or sex or soup.’” –  jazz, sex and soup?

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