[William Carlos Williams reading at the 92nd Street Y in New York, January 1954]
Today (September 17) is William Carlos Williams‘ birthday (born 1883, and died eighty years later in his hometown of Rutherford, New Jersey)
Poet William Carlos Williams opened the first season of the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center in 1939 and returned to that venue in 1954.
Here is a transcript of that reading. Williams reads a number of poems and, mid-way through the reading, attempts to describe (unsuccessfully, he feels), his concept (arrived at in his later work) of the ‘variable foot”… Read More
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America … Read More
[Peter Orlovsky – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg, New York City, 1995]
Here’s another sliver from the Archives – Allen (on an airplane maybe?) composing directly onto the tape-recorder, a poignant little ditty, (audio – 78 at Stanford – from, as Allen duly informs us, 1992) – “For Peter Orlovsky in Rain” (but surely that’s a mistranscription? – shouldn’t it be “For Peter Orlovsky in Pain“?)
AG: “It’s recording I guess. I don’t know but I suppose it’s recording. What time is it now? It’s about nine o’clock and it’s the 11th of March, 1992, and I’m preparing this … Read More
“…Here I am – Old Betty Boop whoopsing behind the skull microphone wondering what Idiot soap opera horror show we broadcast by Mistake/hypnotizing millions of regional-eyed detectives to commit mass murder on the Invisible/which is only a bunch of women weeping hidden behind newspapers in the Andes, conspired against … Read More
AG: Smart is amazing – “Smart went crazy” (Jack) Kerouac and I wrote a little poem called “Smart Went Crazy” in 1948, talking about Kit Smart). Kerouac loved this. Kerouac’s long line comes somewhat out of Christopher Smart also. If you notice… Remember that long one that ended – da-da da da-da da da-da – dadada-da-da-da da da da….. “the magnifical and mighty” – that long one, that… Kerouac remembered that – that ..gives some… gave Kerouac some kind of inspiration for his own long line. (and for … Read More
“I went to my room/, sat down,/ opened my pen-knife to open a letter./ Halfway I stopped, /put letter and penknife down, went to the window and opened it up -Six floors up – enough to kill a human shot. So, who goes first? – Faith – (you) can’t trust it. You take it, Faith is not Knowledge. It’s something you believe in because you don’t understand it. Out the window with it! Took Truth, and … Read More