Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso (on early Naropa) continuing from here
GC: Great – Is that the Kerouac School of..?
AG: Yes, the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, which comes from.. one day I read to Trungpa all through Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues as we drove down from the meditation center in Vermont, Karme Choling, and he laughed all the way and said . “it’s a perfect manifestation of mind. So then the next day he said “I kept hearing your voice and Kerouac’s all night and it changed my view of poetry”. So he switched over from some sort of classical seven-syllable Tibetan form to the modern international free style and spontaneous mind and came up with the slogan “First Thought, Best Thought”
GC: That’s Kerouac all the way
AG: Yeah, and it’s also William Blake. Do you know what he said? Blake said “First thoughts are best in art, second thoughts in other matters” [Editorial note – this quote is attributed to Blake by Alexander Gilchrist in his 1863 biography of the poet]
GC: Ha ha! Very good!
AG: Isn’t that good? – “First thoughts are best in art, second thoughts in other matters, in other business
GC: You came across something close to that many years ago, you told me, I never really let go of, Allen, which was pretty good, that if the soul is shapely…
AG: If the mind is shapely..
GC: If the mind is shapely..
AG: If the mind is shapely, the art is shapely. Well – “Mind is shapely, comma, Art is shapely”
AG:So now we’ve got this big school and so this summer was really amazing ‘cause we began getting some artists and art critics in and Henry Geldzahler came and gave a long long lecture on his views on art
GC: Oh great!
AG: …how he knows what is genius and how he dowses painterly breakthroughs.
GC: (You’re starting) to get some good people up there. You got Marianne Faithfull. She’s teaching there too, yeah?
A: Marianne Faithfull was teaching lyric song and putting together like a little high-school opera
AG: You know, like all the students got together and put on a show.
AG: Their own opera with their own lyrics.
But that one day. Geldzahler lectured too.. and Burroughs came on and gave this great reading at five (and Geldzahler and David Hockney in the audience). And Hockney at eight o’clock lectured on Chinese art…
GC:: Oh that’s so nice!
AG : …and the relation between, like, the single-point view of Venetian perspective versus multiple points of view like the Chinese scrolls…
GC: Eh!, (and) they didn’t need the money, or anything like that. (They just spoke for) the joy, the love of it.
AG …I served a big clam spaghetti.
AG: Who else was there then? – And who arranged it all, the invisible hand behind it all, was Raymond Foye (he didn’t come this year, but he’ll be coming next year, I hope)
AG The kundalini of America
GC: There you go, very nice.
AG: They have a thangka painting.They have a lot of jazz programs. They have Buddhist psychology, Sanskrit, Tibetan.. So it’s like meeting of East and West and primordial mind.
to be continued