Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 527

Jack Hirschman recites his poem “One Day”

The passing earlier this week of our friend, poet Jack Hirschman colored the week for us.

We refer you once again to Sam Whiting’s obituary notice in the San Francisco Chronicle, (Jack’s local paper)

and to this, posted by City Lights, this wonderful Diane di Prima poem (“with a lovely story behind it“)


City Lights Bookstore, 2013   

Jack Hirschman in Venice, California in 1962
behind canals one or two
and crumbling facades

Jack’s cottage tucked in
behind oil pumps on the beach
Jack in a cottage, tucked in, looking out the window

Jack Hirschman at UCLA reading papers from students,
Jack Hirschman holding forth against the Vietnam War
Jack Hirschman pontificating, radicalizing said students
Jack Hirschman and the students walking out of UCLA to go to a demonstration
Jack Hirschman walking out of UCLA without a job

Jack Hirschman in San Francisco scribbling everywhere,
handing out pastels at poetry readings, everyone’s poetry readings
Jack Hirschman putting pastel drawings on all the tables at the Keystone Corner

Jack every day at Vesuvio’s holding forth
Jack getting shaggy and skinny, very skinny
Jack Hirschman getting too skinny

Jack Hirschman in La Trieste seeking Bob Kaufman
Jack Hirschman at La Trieste seeking Lenin
Jack Hirschman a the Trieste seeking God

Jack Hirschman reading his poems out loud to everyone,
Jack reading everyone’s poems out loud to anyone

Jack Hirschman teaching everyone how to write his poems
Jack Hirschman teaching everyone how to write their poems
Jack Hirschman teaching everyone everything they should know

Jack Hirschman in the Trieste reading The Zohar
Jack Hirschman & David Meltzer translating Kabbalah for David Meltzer’s Tree magazine

Jack & David translating Kabbalah together for Tree Books
Jack Hirschman’s Book of Enoch, Jack Hirschman & Eleazar of Worms
Jack & David translating bunches and BUNCHES  of Kabbalah all over town
Jack Hirschman the polymath denouncing erudition

Jack becoming a Marxist, turning his back on Kabbalah
Jack becoming a Stalinist, turning his back on Marxism
Jack turning his back on Stalin, and madder than ever
Jack turning his back, turning into a human pretzel!

Jack Hirschman delighting in everything he ever turned his back on
Jack Hirschman up for days, delighting in everything

Jack Hirschman tired, insisting he’s never tired
Jack Hirschman playful and charming
Jack Hirschman a Pied Piper leading the Revolution

Jack & Aggie fierce & delighted, in Vesuvio’s
Jack & Aggie hanging tough together at Spec’s
Jack & Aggie playful & stormy together at home

Jack leaving many messages to call him
Jack insisting I call him right away, then turning his phone off
Jack Hirschman never answering his cell phone
Jack telling me to text him, my phone doesn’t text
Jack demanding I text him—I don’t know how

Jack sure I’ll feel better, if I just drink some vodka
Jack telling me give up dentists, and “grow a moustache, it’s cheaper”

Jack Hirschman at 80, looking 12
Jack looking wise, either 12, or a very wise infant

Jack passionate & careful
Jack tender & cruel

Jack Hirschman making the world a better place
whether it likes it or not

See also Ammiel Acalay’s obituary for Jack, (which features not only this but “a fierce and beautiful poem” by devorah major,  (another San Francisco Poet Laureate and an old friend of Jack’s)

“he would write into the sunset/ slit open the dawn/ write through the heat of the afternoon…”

Jack Hirschman as exemplar and inspiration, never to be forgotten.


Lester Young‘s birthday today (born August 27, 1909) – here‘s a previous post (2017) from The Allen Ginsberg Project

(Allen, in 1968, in an interview with Michael Aldrich, crediting Lester Young – “Lester Young was what I was thinking about…”Howl” is all “Lester Leaps In”)


Allen Ginsberg Fotografier 1947-87,  a selection curated by Hanne Shapiro in consultation with the photographer, (and published, in 1987, on the occasion of Allen’s show at AROS (the Aarhus Art Museum) by the small Danish publishers, Klim – & long out of print – (it was arguably among the first, if not the very first, of Allen’s photography books) – has been, recently, happily revived and reprinted.

A facsimile edition of the book, a collaboration between the three publishing houses Roulette Russe, Forlaget Olga and Forlaget Bangsbohave/Galleri Tom Christoffersen, appeared alongside an exhibition of Allen’s photos at the Tom Christoffersen Gallery in Copenhagen this past June.

Aside from 46 annotated images, the book contains three illuminating essays on Allen by Danish poet and Beat aficionadoPeter Laugesen


Michael McClure (1932-2020)

A musical and poetic celebration of the life and artistic legacy of Michael McClure at the California Shakespeare Theatre in Orinda tomorrow. Among the artists honoring him, Peter Coyote, Clark Coolidge, Garrett Caples, Elaine Katzenberger, Michael Rothenberg, Andrew Schelling, Rebecca Solnit, and a host of others.

More details here

And our weekly cut from the Fall of America tribute CD – this week Bill Frisell

Over Laramie

“Western Air boat bouncing/ under rainclouds stippled/ down gray Rockies/ Springtime dusk,/ Look out on Denver, Allen, /mourn Neal no more,/ Old ghost loves departed/ New lives whelm the plains, rains/ wash Rocky mountainsides/ World turns under sun eye/ Man flies a moment Cheyenne’s/ dry upland highways/ A tiny fossil brachiapod in pocket/ Precambrian limestone clam/ fingernail small/ four hundred fifty million years old/ Brain gone, flesh passed thru myriad/ phantom reincarnations,/ the tiny-ridged shell’s delicate/ as hardened thought/ — over Laramie,Front Range/ pine gully snow pockets,/ Monolith Cement plume smoke/ casting dust gas over/ the red plateau/ into the New World.”

Bill Frisell writes – “Over Laramie” resonates VERY strong with me …I grew up in Denver …spent much time in all the places he’s talking about there … The mountains ….etc. I still can smell the air.”

For more Bill Frisell-Allen Ginsberg – see here


and Charlie Watts – We join the world, of course, in mourning Charlie Watts’ passing.

One comment

  1. You are a part of our Bengali literature.. Welcome to Kolkata and Midnapore again. Regards and love ❤

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