Ginsberg & Corso – 7

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

Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso continues from here

AG: Now how about…  I’ve never nominated you (or anybody has) (for a place in the American Academy of Arts and Letters), but I keep wanting to.

GC: Don’t.  But why should I..  But why should I be..,

AG: Well, I keep getting scared, that, if we nominate you, we’ll put you in, and then you’ll create some scandal at the dinner.

GC: No, no, no, stay out of it. I should stay out of it, you’re right.

AG: Why should you stay out of it?

GC: Because.

AG: I’d like to hear your reasoning.

GC: Because of what you just said Allen.  You see. That means I’m never going to get old. It’s an old man talking to you, with two elders, like Plato talking with Euripedes, or somebody. It’ll never happen. You and I could never meet as two elders. And here we are. I’m fifty-nine now, how old are you?

AG: Well I’m sixty-three now.

GC: You’re sixty-three years old…

AG:  So. But.. but..

GC: And you’re telling me that you’d never nom(inate me)?

AG: No, I want to..

GC: You want to, but you wouldn’t.

AG: You forbid me to. I want to do it, I would do it at the drop of a hat if you’d say yes. But what’s your view on that?  You’re disdaining the academy.

GC: My view is this, Allen. My view is I don’t.. I do not disdain it, but my view is this – They  think I’m an unpredictable man – and they’re right, but if that’s any cause to keep me out, then, fuck it, I’m out (right? – they could say that to Burroughs, how do they know about a junky? he could go back to drugs, they don’t know! ) – [Editorial note – William Burroughs had been inducted six years previously, in 1983, into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters]

AG:  Yeah.

GC: They could be a deplorable drug..  dope-fiend, man.  No.

AG: Well, of course, everybody at the Academy is in.. has something, some skeleton, otherwise they wouldn’t be poets!

GC: What the hell is… where is my dark so dark?

AG: Is there anyone there who doesn’t have some problem, with drinking, or ex-wives, or ex-boyfriends, or nervous breakdowns?

GC: So then what’s my problem?

AG: I don’t know what is your problem..

[Gregory Corso, 1985 – Photo: Allen Ginsberg]

GC: I should pass on my craft because my craft..  Has my craft died?       

AG: Your craft is fine. A little slow of late, as you said in your own poem…what is that?.. in the poem (in) .. the Autochthonic  SpiritThe Herald of the Autochthonic  Spirit – “tho my product has been..

GC: …seldom and chance”

AG : “chance, of late”.

GC:  Yeah. [“though my output has been of late/seldom and chance’}

AG: I could complain that it’s been too seldom and chance of late, that you’ve published books..  But the poem that you wrote about your ass…

GC: I’m not a movie-star..

AG:  Yeah.

GC:  …and you got to appear in a movie every year to make it ,you know. A poet just has to write one great poem and that’s your ball game. So..

AG: Now, what happened to the poem that you wrote about the behind ? [“Blessed Is The Asshole”]

GC: Oh that’s such a great one!

AG: Where is it? Have you got the text?

GC: I got it in..what do you call it?

AG: Did you put it in the book?

GC: No, I got it in a notebook here.

AG: Why didn’t you put it in your new book?

GC: I ‘ve got to type it out.  Those are the poems that I wrote when I was in Calabria

AG: Yes, so how come you haven’t….

GC: Was it good? Yeah?

AG: It was a great little  poem…A version of it… Robert Frank made a little film of you reading it to me, a video, over in his studio

GC: The poem?

AG: Yeah.

GC: Oh shit!

AG: So it exists in that form if you lose it.

GC: Alright,  let me hear it..

AG:  So how many lost poems do you have like that?

GC: I don’t think I…

AG: ..or hidden poems, or obscure.

GC: Whatever I carry around with me is what I got. Now it used to be, years ago, bless him, I used to keep them in your father’s house. Remember?

AG: Yes.

GC: So now I have,now, these people I’m living with now [Roger & Irvyne Richards] they’re beautiful, I can hold myself with them.

to be continued

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