Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 477

Allen Ginsberg, (holding his photograph of Peter Hale and Peter Orlovsky), 1992 – Photograph by Steve Miles (1948-2022)

Noting the death of photographer, Steve Miles.  Allen Ginsberg writes, “Steve Miles’ work in Photography is like all interesting art, original, idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kind, all-American (lineage of Sherwood Anderson). By some eyes it seems universal and absolutely human by other eyes outrageous. To my own eyes, & those of Robert Frank and fellow poets, his pictures are traditional body portraiture, classic from Egyptian & Greek BC to mid-century..”

We’ll begin with a mantra (as Allen often would).  Here’s a “Mantra of Appreciation of Present Space and the details therein

Allen on his beloved Neal Cassady:   “…(and) I met him in 1945, so he was only twenty then and within that year he and I had a romance that’s lasted on and off, well, till, at least.. I think the last time we were in bed together was 1966, so that’s twenty-one years..”

This little piece of footage emerged this week.
(Allen can also be heard (and seen) here reading the concluding lines of his poem “First Party at Ken Kesey’s With Hells Angels“)

“Allen Ginsberg, a fraud?” – that provocative title appeared this week on the Reddit notice board (Reddit-Literature) –  The conversation (forty-plus responses so far) was, if not particularly sophisticated (the poster announced he was returning to Robert Frost), for all its patronizing tones, surprisingly sympathetic.  As one respondent unequivocally declared,
“He was not a “fraud.” (Shame on you for that ugly overstatement – learn to change your mind without being toxic about it!)” – And another -“You don’t like his poetry, but how is someone who dedicates their life to poetry fraudulent? I think the content of ‘Howl” holds up today (mental health, sexuality, drug addiction, etc).  However, all taste in poetry is subjective, so enjoy what you like.”

We enjoy what we like.  Simon Warner’s Substack continues to inspire – Recent posts include a note on Counter Culture Chronicles’ “collector, trader, publisher, and chronicler”, Rene Van Der Voort and a guest posting by C.J. Thorpe-Tracy on Ted Joans (plus follow-up correspondence on Joans). Thorpe-Tracy notes Joans’ prominence and presence in the 2021’s Metropolitan Museum exhibition (currently at the Tate in London),  “Surrealism Beyond Borders“, noting in particular “Long Distance”, the enormous, sprawling Exquisite Corpse that he worked on (well, as Thorpe-Tracy points out, persuaded his friends to work on) for almost 30 years.

Here’s Allen’s section, Allen’s contribution (well, a glimpse of Allen’s contribution):

“Long Distance” is over thirty feet long and features the drawings and writings of over a  hundred poets, artists and intellectuals.

photo: Ella Black

Gregory Corso‘s The Golden Dot, profiled here, is now readily available

Salman Rushdie – We continue to be alarmed. We wish him all best and a continuing recovery.  Here‘s Rushdie recalling 1989 and a sweet and memorable encounter with Allen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *