Three years on from the death (one of the early Covid deaths) of our much-missed friend, record-producer and music maestro extraordinaire, Hal Willner. The footage above is from a celebration that took place in 2018, in New York, at Le Poisson Rogue, held in celebration of the publication by Three Rooms Press of Don’t Hide The Madness, transcription of conversation between Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Steven Taylor, who did the transcription, voices the part of Burroughs, Hal plays the part of Allen. Peter Hale of The Allen Ginsberg Estate introduces the reading.
William Wordsworth born April 7, 1770 (in the extremely-memorable town of Cockermouth in England!).
Allen speaks on Wordsworth and reads from “Tintern Abbey” – here
(& see also here) – and elsewhere on The Allen Ginsberg Project
Kurt Hemmer continues his work on his biography of Gregory Corso. We posted an episode from it – here. Here’s another, “The Secret History of Gregory Corso in Vermont”, which recently appeared from Beat Scene as a limited-edition chapbook. A brand new issue of Beat Scene, Beat Scene #106, incidentally, has also just appeared.
Simon also notes Between Spirit and Stone, Ken Paul Rosenthal‘s upcoming documentary about Berkeley street poet and peace activist, Julia Vinograd and publishes Vinograd’s poem about Allen (entitled, simply, “Ginsberg”). We reprint it below:
“No blame. Anyone who wrote “Howl” and “Kaddish”
earned the right to make any possible mistake
for the rest of his life. I just wish
I hadn’t made this mistake with him.
It was during the Vietnam war
and he was giving a great protest reading
in Washington (Square) Park
and nobody wanted to leave.
So Ginsberg got the idea, “I’m going to shout
“the war is over”, as loud as I can, he said,
“and all of you run over the city
in different directions
yelling the war is over, shout it in offices,
shops, everywhere and when enough people
believe the war is over
why, not even the politicians
will be able to keep it going.”
I thought it was a great idea at the time,
a truly poetic idea
So when Ginsberg yelled I ran down the street
and leaned in the doorway
of the sort of respectable down on its luck cafeteria
where librarians and minor clerks have lunch
and I yelled “the war is over”
And a little old lady looked up
from her cottage cheese and fruit salad
She was so ordinary she would have been invisible
except for the terrible light
filling her face as she whispered
“My son, my son is coming home.”
I got myself out of there and was sick in some bushes.
That was the first time I believed there was a war.
& it’s Billie Holiday‘s birthday