Ginsberg & Corso – 5.

Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg in conversation continues from here

GC: How is he (Peter Orlovsky) depicted in the book? (Barry Miles’ Ginsberg – A Biography) How is he depicted?

AG:  Peter is treated relatively gently.

GC: Good.

AG: His later period of indulgence and dissipation is dealt with in a very straightforward way without over-exaggeration.

GC: Yeah..ok.. now Kerouac

AG: However, I don’t know.. I don’t know if he’s given credit for the genius of his poetry and the lyricism that (William Carlos) Williams admired, and that I always liked, and that you even wrote a little piece about..

GC: Yes, yeah.

AG: …and that Kerouac thought was marvelous.

GC:  Where’s he going to go? Where’s he going to go, Peter? Does he have to go anywhere with it?

AG: With what? With his present state?

GC: Yeah, with his poetry, see what I mean?  That could hurt this man a lot..

AG: You know the amazing thing is…

GC:  …guys like you who are, you know, you’re up there..

AG:  The amazing thing about Peter, is that he’s always a poet when he’s talking. Like last night, I was listening through his door, he was muttering to himself, “Everybody says I’m nothing but a mouse, a  rotten mouse, everybody throws me away like a rotten mouse” – That’s a fantastic phrase – “a rotten mouse”.

GC: I don’t think so. I think he should be very happy and proud where he is at this stage of life.

AG:  No, I’m just talking about the quality of the phrasing – “the rotten mouse”.

GC:  That everybody treats him like a rotten mouse.

AG: No, no, no, the quality of the phrasing of “rotten mouse” is very very…

GC:  …is poetic.

AG: ..very original.

GC: Okay, Allen okay,

AG: Not a rat.

GC:  I know, not a rat.

AG: A mouse, and a rotten mouse. You know, Peter’s suffering terribly, you know

GC: Yeah. Why do you think that’s so?. I mean – because he’s with a big deal like you, he’s in a rareified air..

AG: No, he’s…

GC:  …and he’s like your lackey, you know, he’s always there, with you and him at readings (they don’t come to hear him, they come to hear you)

AG:  (You’re saying)  that in present tense.

GC:  Well, he hasn’t been doing it for a while has he?

AG:  Five, six.. maybe nine years.

GC: Ah, it’s a long time now, see!  He probably woke up to the fact that..

AG: Secondly…

GC: Can he handle it alone, by himself, if he was going to give a poetry reading alone?

AG:  Yes, Peter could, has had poetry readings alone, sure a great poet alone.

GC: Okay, I’d like to see that.

AG: He’s probably better without me around.

GC: Well you got the show you know that. You and Gary (Snyder)?

AG: However I think Peter’s sorrows are much deeper than his relation with me.

to be continued

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