Ginsberg-Corso continuing – 14 (Photography – 7) (The Modest Portrait)

Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, 1961 –  Photo: Peter Orlovsky (for Allen Ginsberg) – courtesy Stanford University / Allen Ginsberg Estate – Ginsberg caption: “A Modest Portrait, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, Camera, in Peter Orlovsky’s hand, our room, down-street from Bill Burroughs’ Villa Muneria, Tangier, 1961”

GC: Now this picture of you and me bare-assed here, holding, we’re both holding our..

AG: Who took the picture?

GC: Peter (Orlovsky)

AG: Peter?

GC: Yeah. Now this was your room (in the ward)  but it looks like Auschwitz!..

AG: …shower.

GC: ..shower-room, man, very spooky backdrop!

A: It’s a white-washed wall in a little tiny concrete room in Tangier.

GC: Yeah in Tangier, On the roof, right?

AG:  Now what.. No, not on the roof, but, remember the little porch we had and the cubicle room?

GC: It was on the roof that cubicle room?

AG: Yeah, well a little elevated..  yes, yes, elevated.

GC: Ok.

AG: On the house.

GC:  And see that thing I’m wearing around my neck?  That is an ancient ..King Minos, a Cretan, from Knossos, Ancient Crete. It was made out of some kind of green alabaster with little green kuklos (circles) in it . It was used.. yeah, it was used  for knitting, weaving.. or darning or something, in those days. Somebody found it in the field and I bought it for 500 drachmas –beautiful!  – I gave it away to Bill Barker.. So nice eh?  I had that.

GC: So what I’d like to do is to put (up) the naked one if we can.

AG: Yeah, well, we’ll have that.

GC: For kicks,  I think that..

AG: That’s the modest, and the other one’s the immodest, portrait

GC: The modest and the immodest, but (its difficulty is) we’re never going to look like that again, Allen.

AG: Now how come we did that?

GC: We got no hips, Allen!  Well, I set it up. I said “Al, (about Peter), why doesn’t he take us naked?

AG: Really?

GC: Yeah, why not?  So we went bare-assed.

AG: Uh-huh. Well, how did we do that? I always wonder what situation..

GC:   We went out..  See, people would think that you and I were doing something, man.  Why can’t two poet friends take a picture of themselves naked? – Because, it was so hot. I was walking around many times in my underwear there. So.. I said “lets take it bare-assed?”.  Because, remember, the first one was our…our family jewels hangin’ out, ok?  (That’s one you should put in there, in a show…)

AG: Apparently it’s a postcard now!

GC:  Yeah, it’s a postcard. And I’m the man who said..  what is it?  –  “Human Fig Leaves!”

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