1989, Ginsberg and Corso – The Conversation Continues – 19

Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, 1989, in conversation, continuing from – here 

AG: Then, what else is going on now?..

AG  Yeah So those are the pictures. You want to talk about that (at all)?

GC: Ah the pictures!

AG: Yeah.

GC: These are the ones in the show, or are going to be in a book, Allen?

AG: These are in the book and are going to be in shows, (this is a poetry book)

Ah, I see, alright, this is the Ginsberg that I knew, that I loved. You were like a brother to me, man, all the way,  This is, what year?

AG: This is for six years… three years before we met, 1947.

GC: Yeah  1947, we met 1950.

AG: Well I was nice-looking.

GC: Sure was.

AG: I didn’t realize it at the time. I thought I was really ugly.

GC: No no no.

AG: And if anyone older than me  admired my looks, I thought they were kidding, mocking.

GC: Now do you think this guy [pointing to a photo of Herbert Huncke] was good-looking?

AG:  Well I never thought Huncke was (particularly attractive)

GC: I never did.  He.. 

AG: But he was older than me and I didn’t quite go to….

GC: I always thought he was a guy like a weasel..type..

AG: But no, when he was fifteen, six-, seventeen, he must have been beautiful, smart, very intelligent.. He was very energetic you know, probably overwhelming any older person, with his wit, or with his sort of street-wise..

GC:  Street-wise.. (yeah that’s.. I understand, Gregory..)

AG: … (his) aesthetic appreciation.

GC: And he lived in the Hotel Elite, right?

AG: Is that where it says?

GC: Yeah, Hotel Elite.

AG: Yeah that was diagonally across from Madison Square Garden (in those days on Eigthth Avenue)

GC: Yeah, that was when it was up there on 51stStreet.

AG: Yeah I took that picture on my way out to San Francisco, I stopped by in 1953 to say goodbye to him. And I happened to have had a camera with me..

GC: Now this here Burroughs is..

AG: Now that’s Burroughs on the floor with..

GC: Who’s this by? (the book)

AG:  Saint-John Perse – Saint John Perse. It was the first edition in America of the translation and I was really into it because, remember, he was..

GC: I remember the book.

AG; Yeah. I’ve still got it I have that very volume, and he had given me and Jack –  Anabasis (T.S. Eliot’s translation of Saint-John Perse’s Anabasis)

GC: What street is this? Second Street?  

AG: That’s 207  Seventh Street.

GC: Seventh Street, that’s when I first met him. That’s how he looked..

AG: But look at the campy look he’s got!  “My dear” – He’s got his hand..   he’s got his finger on his teeth, you know, like almost like a dead hand gesture, saying, “Oh my dear, how charming this prose-poetry is!”

GC: (19)53, Allen, that’s when I met him.

AG : Yeah, yeah. He was young-looking then. You can imagine, So that’s what..?

GC: I made breakfast the morning when he first came to the house for breakfast..

AG: What did you make?

GC: I made something that he thought was deplorable, but I said, “what do you expect?, I’m a poet”, and he put that, I was a poet, in my book.

AG He remembered that

GC: Well the reason I mention it to you, is like in that book on Ginsberg, the biography, is that when Burroughs came to the house bringing yage back from Columbia with his machete and he was chopping it to make soup out of it..  You don’t remember (this) (do you?)

AG: He used to boil it up.

GC: He used to boil it up and he’d say, (this guy what this guy says in this book, this Miles), he says that Burroughs looked at me and that I got scared and felt like I didn’t belong there. and I ran. I didn’t run. I stayed (on) I made breakfast…

AG: Now where did he get that (I wonder)?

GC: Who the hell knows?  I think he (might have) got it from me.

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