July 4th – (Ted Joans)

Ted Joans (1928-2003) – photo by Allen Ginsberg –  courtesy Stanford University Libraries/Allen Ginsberg Estate

July 4th! – It’s been somewhat of a tradition on The Allen Ginsberg Project to mark the occasion with an ever-timely posting of Allen’s much-anthologized poem, “America” (“America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing./America two dollars and twentyseven cents…”) even Arabic America (sic) (featuring the poem in Arabic translation), or an earlier poem with that title, (“I’ll sing of America and Time..”), or the classic Fred W McDarrah photo ( a poster that adorned so many ‘Sixties student bedrooms) – Allen, in New York’s Central Park, at the 1966 “Stop The War” demonstration, sporting his “Uncle Sam” hat

But July 4 also marks the date of the birth of Beat poet, Ted Joans. We’ve featured him before (see our extensive posting here) but wanted to feature him again.

“Ted is still the world’s most Bohemian Beat ‘Outside’ Brother.”  (Amiri Baraka)

“What to say about this terrific, unbeatable and indefatigable person, wedder of bop
and rhyme-scope, endless inventor of securing vision and wonder, primary link
indeed to so much in this still phenomenal world…”  (Robert Creeley)

“Jazz is my Religion and Surrealism is my point of view” –

Teducation,  Ted’s 1999 “Selected Poems” is still available from Coffee House Press – see here

Check out Wow! Ted Joans Lives!, the documentary from Harper College’s Kurt Hemmer
(The film features Ted’s reading at Harper College, Palatine, Illinois in 2002).

John Barbato’s interview with Ted Joans (“The Teducated Mouth”)  may be found – here

Justin Desmangles on Ted Joans

Yuko Otomo’s 2017 loving detailed memoir/tributes  (“Lets Get Teducated”) may be read here and here

“Bird Lives!” – Here’s Ted’s 1958 painting (he was, of course, the source of that legendary graffiti)

Here‘s Ted on Albert Ayler

Here‘s Ted reporting on the Funeral of Thelonious Monk

& here’s three obituaries of Ted – from the New York Times, and the Village Voice and from John Calder in The Guardian

We’d also like to draw your attention to two wonderful posthumous collections of Joans miscellanea from the ever-resourceful Lost and Found endeavor – Ted JoansPoet Painter/ Former Villager Now/ World Traveller (edited by Wendy Tronrud and Ammiel Alcalay)

In the first volume, Allen writes:  “You’re the only one I know’s been pilgrimaging all over Africa, will you ever write a book of geographical/tribal/ritual/travel/fact/politics/local religion/gossip/guide/reflections/roads?”
He goes on: “The religions and rituals are just as old or older than any, anywhere, and so’s important to record living traces of them now for possible hip adaptation in the West, just as I adapted some Indian ritual/tricks to U.S. use, like mantra and meditation, and grass customs – i.e. as West mind returns to Nature as it must to survive, all the old tribal knowledge will be more and more helpful to the lost tribes of the U.S…”

Ted (from an uncollected piece in Volume 2, “And I Went As Usual To The Desert”):
“…So, and I went as usual to the desert, hoping they would follow me to the Sahara, Tanezrouft Trail, that ever changing track which traverses the great Erg Chech and the Larger Western Desert – Ah Allen, Peter, and you too Corso  come dwell in the marvel of Lady Sahara. She will cure your cigarette addiction, I guarantee you that. There is nothing but a vast ocean of land, interspersed by seas of sand whose incredible delicious dunes sing to poets..”

Here and here – Ted Joans with Archie Shepp

and here Ted (photographer unknown) with “the Pope of Surrealism”

Andre Breton and Ted Joans in Breton’s Paris apartment

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