Ginsberg and Corso – 12

Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, 1985 – Photo: Hank O’Neal

Ginsberg and Corso continues and concludes from here

GC:  And there are, there are a lot that we know, I remember..  I was, like, almost making some sounds about Herbert Hunckes, you know, contribution to Beat Literature and all that, and you told me, “the more, the merrier”.

AG: Yeah.

GC: …which was so. But when I looked at it good, and I think you’re very right, Allen, because he does give another perspective, another view, of it, and he has been a man who was in it, involved in it.

AG:  And he’s also got great charm as a story-teller.

GC: Yeah.

AG: ..which is Kerouac’s insight. You know, Huncke is a really good story-teller.

GC: Yes he is.

AG: …and has a funny way of spoken language , you know of like, of street language  and (it) was one of the first white people with street language that permeated into a literary..

GC: Of that group of people,  Burroughs, Kerouac, Orlovsky, me, Huncke, I asked you once, I said, “Allen, who do you feel the most for in this?” – and you told me Kerouac” – and I said :Why?” and you said “Because he’s the one who’s gonna die , Gregory”.

AG: Really?

GC: Yeah.

AG: Was that before he died?

GC: That was before he died, yeah  But, yeah he closed in, right? He was closed into his house, he wasn’t going out. I sensed it too in a way.

AG: I didn’t realize he’d died at home. Actually, the reason I got that farm in Cherry Valley. I thought that he would sooner or later want to take refuge from his mother.

GC: Leave the mother? Ah, no.

AG:..and I had him in mind. Do you know, just like Hart Crane used to go to Bucks County to the farm where Allen Tate..

GC: Yeah, right Tate..

AG:  ..or who was it there ?  Malcolm Cowley?

GC: Malcom Cowley also.

AG: That was my idea, originally.

GC: You’’ve still got it, yeah? Don’t ever give it up.

AG: Used Poets!

GC: Yeah! – “There’s no rest home for poets”, you know. Use that one  –
(But) about Bill – thank God,  for Bill Burroughs, he needs no help, does he?

AG: No, he’s doing..

GC: Bill has taken care of his own ashes, hasn’t he?

AG: Right.

GC: Yeah. Beautiful, I love that man.

AG: But he’s having such a…But I don’t understand, he’s got so much vigor..  Because I’m beginning to fail at vigor at the age of sixty-two but at seventy-five, he’s running around the world!

GC: You too.

AG: He’s picking up a big storm. He’s writing an opera with Tom Waits and..

Robert Wilson, William S Burroughs & Tom Waits – Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

GC: That’s not bad.

AG: …and..what’s his name the..director, Robert Wilson.

GC: Wilson’s good

AG: You know, so Wilson and I did a job last year in Hamburg..but I was too distracted and lazy and uncreative to be able to write.

GC: I’m doing one with Lukas Foss

AG: You are now?

GC: Yeah  – I did a Gilgamesh with Lukas Foss.

AG: When did you talk with him?

GC: This one, he’s been bandying about through the years, right? We got a start to it  a month ago.

AG: Ok.

GC:  Well, all you got to do with the Gilgamesh, see, is it’s On the Road – Gilgamesh is On The Road, right?  – Why is it that all the old stories, always it’s taking a journey? – The Odyssey, right? – the trip back home – ok- Mississippi River with Huckleberry Finn – going down the river, right? – a road, a river a journey..

AG: Moby Dick, a journey to the sea.

GC: Journey, yeah. All the great books..

AG: So the question is why? Are you really asking why or are you just pointing it out that…?

GC: No, not exactly why, but I was wondering if there were any more journeys that could take it as a great epic, another epic of me, where, again the journey is the two seeking..

AG: …(True) (The) science-fiction journey goes into space and time, you  know. and they say that the whole genre of..

GC: And it’s always seeking. What is the seeking? The seeking is for…  for “it”, I guess.

AG: And then they find “it” and find that “it” is..

GC: is.. like Heisenberg says, changes.

AG: Yeah.

GC: He he he!  (laughs) -it’s so good.  So you don’t feel that this life is ultimately ridiculous ever? I mean, in the long run?

AG: No, no, I feel really good that we’ve done something useful.

GC: Alright, But really? Do you really think so.?  I mean, let’s say your time is up soon, Al..

AG:  Yeah.

GC: … and you look at yourself and all that. I remember very clearly, about four months ago, you looking at me, very seriously..

AG: Yeah.

GC:  ..saying to me you’re gonna save the world, and..

AG: I was or you were?

GC: You were.

AG: Oh.

GC: Meaning, meaning for me…. wait a minute, I know what you feel I’m going to say…

AG: Did I say that?

GC: Allen, that’s not a bad fuckin’ feeling, because I had that feeling a lot, when I write about…. (they asked me once, in, what was it, Esquire? what I would like to have been in life – either cured cancer or President of the United States? (It’s a fantasy of mine, right?)   meaning, just to do good, what’s the best good you can do?  – And you had the best, “save the world”. You’ve come pretty well there, Allen. I mean, (this is from my heart), I know, I see how you speak to people, you’re smart-ass, how you talk to them, man, very good, very good. There you go.

[first tape concludes here – to be continued]

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