Dissolution (1980 Naropa class improvisation) – part two
Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa class improvisation continues from here
Student: All the garbage cans hidden behind the (forest) in..
AG: in what town?
AG: Any ol’ town will do, pardoner
AG: In Wichita. I’ve always loved Wichita. Wichita’s a great word to end a line with.
Student: All the medicines in the cabinet for over a month.
Student: All the purple passages plaguing Proust’s poetry.
AG: Plaguing who’s? – oh, Proust. All the purple passages plaguing Proust’s poetry.
Student: The walls that want to be main not second-hand..
Student: Those three or four cinder-blocks I look through at 21-64th Street, Brooklyn, out to the autoparts store at 3.a.m.
Student: All the avocado pips that never rooted but rotted in my pie.
Student: All the Pharoahs wrapped in white tape and airtight – in..
Student: ..in airtight caskets…
Student (2): sarcophagus?
Student: All the mud-flaps on every pick-up truck in Berkeley Township.
AG: All the mud-flaps?.in Berkeley Township?- fantastic! – That’s ordinary mind – perfect! – That’s a Kerouac line that line – mud-flaps! – yeah.
Student: All these Naropa classroom states..
AG: ..accumulating in the dusty library alcoves.
Student: All the holy text books and the (original transmissions).
Student: All the spun-steel E strings on every guitar that Bob Dylan ever played.
Student: All the engines..
AG: All the engines?
Student: Not the engines, just the..
AG: Well, all the engines where?
Student: .. all over
AG: All the engines all over? – Well, yeah, like, but, like, give us a for instance? – All the engines all over? – like? – choo-choo trains in your mama’s backyard? – Just something!
Student: I just don’t love engines.
AG: Well, say something about how they.. you know, expand a little..just expand a little – All the engines that I don’t like, what? – !!
Student (2) – Carburetors?
Student: I don’t..
AG: For this class you’ve got to be specific. The rules of this class is you’ve got to be specific.
Student: I don’t feel particular about it?
AG: You don’t have to feel particular, I’m asking you what’s going through your mind. What engine? Which engine passed through your mind?
Student: Which engine?…
AG Passed through your mind…Any old engine, a railroad engine, a car engine, a toy engine, a what?
…It’s not a question of feeling. We’re not talking about feeling. It has nothing to do with feeling. It has to do with flashes of recognition in your head, like associations
AG: Oh great! just something!… oh, the airplane engine.
Student: All the angels down in Mexico City and the cactuses down in Baja California.
AG: All the angels down in Mexico City, and what?
Student: …and the cactuses down in Baja California.
AG: …and the cactuses down in Baja California.
Student: ..and empty vitamin bottles.
AG: ..and empty?
Student: ..empty vitamin bottles ..and metronome.
AG: ..and empty vitamin bottles, and “mission rooms”, did you say?
Student: metronomes, and piles of papers in brown boxes.
AG: ..piles of papers in old brown boxes in old pawn shops – in Wichita!
Student: All the brick-red dog-shit melting in Springtime in Hyde Park
Student (2): Alright, clear it up!
Student: All the leaf-blowing machines..
AG]: In what park? where? Just name any park you’ve ever been in – in which park?
Student: In London.
AG: In which park?
Student: Any one.
AG: Just… If you don’t know what to do with your machine just put it in Hyde Park. That’s the secret of Surrealism.
Student: All the (third and) second-hands that would prefer to move counter-clockwise in Casey Junior High School classroom..
AG: …And if you can’t think of a word to say, just say the next phrase that’s in your mouth, whether it makes sense or not, just.. You can always make sound if you have nothing else. That’s in jazz, that’s what scatting is, you just make the sound if you forget what you’re supposed to say.
Student: All the punts that a punt-kicker kicks.
AG: All the punts that a punt-kicker kicks?
Student: ..and all the ones that go through
AG: As well as all the tickets punched by the ticket-puncher for the Washington Monument.
Student; All the late night come-and-goes and high hills,free car trips to San Francisco…
AG: All the what? humming?
Student: All the late night come and goes and high hills, free car trips to San Francisco
AG: ..in the shadow of Twin Peaks
Student: All the green ale bottles, paint brushes, pink tits in Connecticut
AG: Pink tits in Connecticut! – that’s great – pink tits in Connecticut! – Paint brushes… what was it the.. what were the first ones? bottles?
Student: Green ale bottles.
AG: All the green ale bottles, paintbrushes, etcetera – That’s good, That sounds good. That has like a real delicate like “with hey, with hey, the thrush and the jay” – “pink tits in Connecticut” – Sound-wise, it’s great. Just the sound.
Student: Al of the I-80s from coast to coast
Student: All the holes in my teeth and underwear!
Student: All the atomic watches that John Cameron Swayze ever licked
Student: All the mountains of artichoke and garlic that I ever ate.
Student: All the (noise) of barking dogs that live next door to you dissolve in (dark eating) ..hamburger
Student: All the dogs being taken out to the toll on the George Washington Bridge…
Student: All the pretty hard-bellied jocks who turn my head and bust my heart.
AG: Bastards! they would.. and have left you there alone
Student: All the chocolate and tobacco that make me hungry for roast beef.
AG: Chocolate tobacco?
Student: All the frisbees at the bottom of Lake Kananaski
AG: Lake which? How do you spell it?
AG: That’s great. You take a thing like “frisbee” and put it next to “Kananaski”, you’ve really got something – for just the sound, just the pure poetical sound.
Student: All the blue denim jackets that I wore at the marine.. at Clove Lakes Park?
AG: Clove Lakes Park?
Student: Springtime sneakers…
AG: Wait a minute. No, do it again. It’s got to be “all the..” something(s)..It’s not just any old phrase. Haven’t you been following all this time? It’s what is dissolving and going into . So, “all the”, or… In other words, you’re..
Student: All the sneakers..
AG: Okay, you had your sneakers last time. Get off your sneakers and go somewhere else. What about the great roller-bearing iron-mills? What about the great factories?
Student: Oh god!
AG: Yes, give us an image from the factories?
Student: All the coffee spilled on the way to the morning bathroom
AG: What’s the last word?
AG: Bathroom of… can you add something?
Student (2): (Space)
AG: Yes, right. You see the line has got to have a little pop in it like that, you know. It’s not enough just to have the ordinary mind. Then you have to have a little extraordinary twist that makes it… All the coffee spilled on the way in the morning to the bathroom – sink – (and then everybody hears the line as doubly funny and not just funny) – Yes?
Student: The shuffle-board players by the river
AG: Every single one?
Student: All the plop plop fizz fizz Alka Seltzer (Junior sucks out of his straw)
AG: Okay, that’s it.
Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-two minutes in and concluding at the end of the tape