Ginsberg on Blake continues – 100

Allen Ginsberg 1989 Naropa class on William Blake’s The Four Zoas continues from here 

AG: So in Blake’s system – “Tharmas laid the Foundations & Los finishd it in howling woe”- (So the foundations –  You got born, you got meat) – “But when fourteen summers & winters had revolved over/Their solemn habitation Los beheld the ruddy boy..”

Here’s Los “beholding the ruddy boy”, on the right hand side of the Book of Urizen.  It’s Enitharmon, Los, and their 14-year-old son, who’s beginning to make-out with his mother.  And there are these chains of red, passionate jealousy that are congealing on Los’s body, running from his neck down through his prick and down between his legs.  So there’ll be a little account of that.

And this is a repetition – what we have here, this page – of the Oedipal triangle between Imagination, Spiritual Beauty and Rebellion.  It really is literally an Oedipal triangle because the Imagination can be destroyed by the rebellion.  And the Spiritual Beauty might fall in love with the rebellion, like it did in the ’60s.  Or aesthetically the rebellion might seem like the right marriage and at the same time the Poetic Imagination itself might be destroyed by it – like, “All power to the People” –  We don’t want any more elite(s)”,  so that the poet-prophet gets knocked down.  It happened to me any number of time – George Demmerle,  The Crazies and the Motherfuckers

George Demmerle, FBI informant

Norman Mailer campaigning in 1969, for Mayor of New York City columnist, Jimmy Breslin was his running mate for City Council President

A typical sample of that would be when Norman Mailer ran for Mayor of New York
Let us say Spiritual Imagination, (or) Los, the Poetic Imagination, trying to form the City of Golgonooza. He ran for Mayor of New York.  in ’68 was it?  Seventy? {Editorial note – 1969]  And a group called The Crazies or the Motherfuckers, actually led by an F.B.I. agent named George Demmerle, kept interrupting his speeches and denouncing him.  So it was rebellion.  But the Crazies were the extremist form of rebellion and were considered by Liberals to be sort of interestingly extreme, like Orc The complete fiery, unreasonable, outrageous burning babe.  I don’t know how many of you remember the Crazies and the Motherfuckers as two quasi-political groups succeeding the Yippies and the Zippies, but anyway there was a situation where the poet ran for Mayor and the Orc-ian Crazies denounced him as a creep (and) middle-class, denounced him as Urizen, actually, as a Urizenic influence, and one’s poetic heart was torn between the two (or mine was because I didn’t realize they were F.B.I. agents, and I thought, “What an extreme.  They must be totally apocalyptically interesting.  They must be dropping acid every day and demanding some totally Edenic vision instantly.”)

So there is some rivalry between Orc, who is Los’s imagination’s son – the revolution and the imagination which produced it, because that revolution can destroy the imagination, as it did in the French Revolution. so..

Student:  Excuse me, it’s also (Amiri Baraka) LeRoi Jones that (instance of him being set-up by) F.B.I. agents…

AG: ..Yes, well, that would be Urizen in disguise, maybe.  Actually Orc was, in this case, Urizen in disguise.  Orc – the Crazies’ Orc was Urizen in disguise – the F.B.I.

Well, where are we?  Yeah.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately sixty-three-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-seven-and-a-half minutes in

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