Stephen Maine last week in Hyperallergic came up with the interesting idea of surveying what art several artists were quarantining with in their homes during the pandemic and consequently re-appreciating.
“I have owned this 1991 Allen Ginsberg photograph of Bob Dylan for about 15 years. There’s an intense vulnerability and weirdness in Dylan that Ginsberg, his close friend, has captured in this picture. I was first attracted to Dylan’s limp, crumpled figure, leaning into the fence, dressed in little-boy overalls and then, in contrast, his gigantic growling head with a piercing but questioning gaze. The scruffy landscape of his face mirrors the ground beneath him as the head and the body come together like a mythic collapsed puppet. Ginsberg pulls the strings in the act of making the picture.Thinking of Allen and Bob, two poets I deeply admire, sharing space, recording this moment and letting me into the puzzle of its existence has been a constant source of joy…”
Allen Ginsberg in Manchester (England). Researcher, Roger Bygott is putting the word out for any anecdotes or memories.
“Ginsberg visited Manchester a handful of times” (he notes), “yet in his biographies the city is only mentioned in passing…He read once at the Library Theatre in 1979, passed through with John Cooper Clarke maybe once or twice in the 80s and had a brief social visit in 1973 on his way from Scotland back down to London..”. Bygott notes also the legendary Mancunian music promoter, Alan Wise, who served briefly as Allen’s road manager.
“Ginsberg stayed with him once in Prestwich and they travelled over to Liverpool for a reading with John Cooper Clarke. Travelling in the car with Cooper Clarke’s mother, Ginsberg told her, “Your son is very polite“.
“Angelheaded Hipster(s)” – You remember the term? – Hal Willner borrowed Allen’s phrase for his last posthumously-released “tribute album” – It was initially intended to appear in conjunction with Marc Bolan (its subject)’s injunction into the Rock n”Roll Hall of Fame. Here‘s Nick Cave singing “Cosmic Dancer” (with footage of Hal in the studio) – “I danced myself into the tomb/Is it strange to dance so soon?”
The Chicago Conspiracy Trial movie by Aaron Sorkin that we anticipated back in February last year will soon, it seems, finally be upon us (premiering October 16). Netflix have just released the first teaser-trailer
No mention of any Allen character in the IMDB data-base, (tho’ Sacha Baron Cohen plays Abbie Hoffman; Mark Rylance, William Kunstler; Frank Langella, Judge Julius Hoffman). It’s about “the demonization of dissent”, Sorkin declares (certainly timely, given current times). Yes, you have us suitably interested.
The Nature of Gary Snyder“, Robert Hass‘s extended essay on Gary Snyder (his introduction for the the 30th anniversary of the 1990 volume, The Practice of The Wild”) appearing on-line at the Paris Review is one not to be missed. Hass maps out the consistency of Snyder’s commitment and ecological vision. “The Practice of the Wild”, he concludes, “is itself an example of the practice of the wild, of thinking hard about our residence on earth. And about – as Snyder says in the first essay” (the collection consists of nine) ” – how to cultivate a social and economic life that puts us in touch with the wild in ourselves and cultivates the wilderness around us as a place where “the wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and nonliving beings flourishing according to their own sorts of order.”