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
[“Capitol Air” – “I don’t like the government where I live..” – Allen Ginsberg, pictured here with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash]
[Allen Ginsberg, 1985 Self Portrait – Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
More strange tapes from the archives. Solitary splendors. Throw-away musings. We’ll be featuring plenty more substantial things in the months to come but thought to follow up last week’s mournful ditty with this – another fugitive thing, another fleeting but poignant “audio-selfie” – Allen, alone with the tape-recorder, practicing, sounding out and composing a … Read More
“In a climate of fear and hysteria..” – It’s always revealing and instructive to “get to see the files”. We featured a lengthy post on Allen’s FBI files some years back (courtesy the pioneering work of Shawn Musgrave and Muck Rock). Another tenacious investigator. S.P. Sullivan is to be commended for just recently uncovering William Carlos Williams’ files – “He was one of Jersey’s most famous poets. The FBI worried he was a Communist”. Sullivan’s full report (just published, by Inside Jersey magazine, and on-line at NJ.Com) may be accessed – here
[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
We come today to transcription of the last moments of Allen’s 1980 Naropa summer “Basic Poetics” course. He concludes with (who else?) William Blake
AG: Well what we’ve got in here – a couple of them here – [Allen, accompanied by harmonium, begins singing] – “Hear the voice of the Bard!/Who Present, Past and Future sees/Whose ears have heard,/ The Holy Word,/ That walk’d among the ancient trees./Calling the lapsed Soul/ And weeping in the evening dew:/That might controll,/The starry pole;/And fallen fallen light renew! /O Earth O Earth return!/Arise from out the dewy grass;/ Night is worn, /And the … Read More