Ginsberg & Corso – 8

Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg, 1989 – Photo: Pamela Hansen

Allen Ginsberg-Gregory Corso conversation continues from here

GC: Alright, so lets get down to something really (interesting).

AG  Alright, we’ve finished with the (Miles’) biography.

GC Imagine if you..   Were you ever interviewed before (for) Interview magazine?

AG: No, I always thought they were too snobbish, or I was too low-grade vulgar to interview. They wouldn’t have me.

GC: Really?  But I thought they were a certain group of people, like the people I knew at the Chelsea Hotel, right?, or, lets say your agent, what’s his name? (Andrew) Wylie and (Victor) Bockris, right?, those people, they’re all together.

AG: Bockris..

GC: Bockris, they’re all together. So that’s what I thought. I didn’t think there was any kind of dichotomy, I think that was split from it. I thought they just did movie stars

AG: No, they have.. they have people

GC: Alright. Fashion people..

AG: .. and painters..

GC: They didn’t have any painters, or they’d get the painters to be…

AG: I thought they’d they were trying to avoid too much serious politics

GC: Nah, see the painters are too easy!. They can talk about the arts.  What about the fuckin’ poets? – you’re right  Did they even have a poet there on their page?

AG: Yes, but they’re more likely to be Patti Smith

GC: Ah!.. so, but you got to hit the man on the head! that’s it !

AG: Yes, or star-ish, their star quality..

GC:  Yeah, stars writing poetry..

AG: ..or pop poetry..pop poets..

GC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, right.  Alright, so let’s give them..

AG: But actually I haven’t read Interview in a long time.

GC: .Let them, let them, not feel bad that they have poets at this moment . So lets do some good shots, the first of them (but not like we’d do for, say, the Saturday..(Evening Post) or the Paris Review, you know, like, talking about meter, or alexandrines, or whatever.., huh?

AG: Alexandrines,

GC: Ok, you were asking me something about my work, right?  not of late. I’ll tell you why Allen, and, I don’t think.. you can not sneak the miracle, you can’t steal poetry, Allen you can’t. I could sit at that table and write as I want and make it great? – you can’t do it.

AG: Yeah, but I’ve seen any number of your poems over the years which are really good which haven’t been in print.

GC: Yeah, I got..

AG: Like, what about that long poem about “The Day the Earth…” ? [ Editorial note – Allen misremembers the title of  Gregory’s long poem, “ The Day After Humankind”]

GC: Yeah, I got that but I haven’t published it, Allen.

AG: How come you haven’t published it?

GC: Because I haven’t had a book out in ten years!

AG:  But you’ve got this new book!

GC: Yes, I threw some poems in, I’ve got to save the big ones from New Directions

AG: Oh – ok

GC: See?

AG: So why don’t you…

GC: It’s just Selected Poems and I put a few new ones in.

AG: So why didn’t you put some really.. some of the great masterpieces in?

GC: I will.. yeah, yeah, I got them, I got them. I got them. I’d like to.. probably, see..

AG: Where are they?

GC: They’re all here in this notebook.

AG: I’m not questioning that they’re there because I have a copy of “The Day After Earth..”

GC:  Yeah, yeah “Day After Humankind”

AG: I have a copy of.. “Day After Humankind”, yeah. Where do you keep them physically so that they’re safe?

GC: Here!  in notebooks!

AG: Are there copies elsewhere?

GC: Yes!

AG: Where?

GC:  Yes, Raymond (Foye) has one. That’s not the be… Look, what are we going to do? – I’m going to interview you

AG: Hey, so go on.

GC: Ok so..wait…something’s important on that book. So every ten year(s), Allen, I put my poems there and I get a book out, alright?  Now I’ve got a Selected out, [Mindfield (first edition, 1989, Thunders Mouth Press] my fattest book ever, and I threw some poems in there that were new, that I thought at the time were good. But I think the book, on consideration, my new poems, they hold, they stand there. If I take a good look at me from a distance, right, I think what I’m doing, so far, still holds.

AG: Very much so. Yeah, I liked all the new poems.

GC (There’s) a fair way to go yet, Allen. I feel I’m going to go a long way till I do something good. Then, “Don’t fly airplanes at night”. That’s how I feel. And I really mean it. Until then, “Hey, I’ve got a good way to go, I’ve got something to do”  – (and) nobody’s going to help you, right?….(and)  I’m a growing a beard a bit..(and)…

to be continued

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