More Haiku Thinking

“Old pond/Frog jumps/kerplunk!”

continuing from AG’s 1980 Naropa class – see here

AG  It’s [Trungpa Rinopoche’s tri-partite philosophy of the haiku] real interesting.  It got me onto noticing what was wrong with a lot of my haiku(s), and so I found that most of my haiku(s) just had, you know, a flash, and then some location or picture. or comment, or flash and recognition, but no zappy comment, that zapped the whole thing out, that made it, So, in other words, haiku, three short parts. Does that make sense?

Student: Yeah, It’s interesting to think of a … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Austin, 1980

An interesting little bit of footage appeared this past summer on You Tube – Allen Ginsberg in 1980, performing at Austin Community College, Texas (at the College’s Rio Grande Campus downtown).  (We’ve already presented raw archival footage of Allen in Austin – here – but this is very different.) The context?  – “When We Were Live” , a feature-length documentary about the pioneers of Public Access Television in the 80’s and 90’s. The film focuses on five D-I-Y producers from Austin, (the largest and longest running public access station in the nation). Allen performs two pieces, “Punk Rock Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 331

[Allen Ginsberg, 1968.  Photo: Larry Keenan Jr.]

More Ginsberg memories (see last week) – Judy Goldhaft, director of The Planet Drum Foundation, recollects an unusual seder:

“For the first time since the crucifixion, there was a total lunar eclipse on the night of the seder in 1968. That apparently happened also on the night of the Last Supper and we were all aware of this. We had a seder near Duboce Park. [San Francisco] The Hells Angels were there and the Diggers were there. My son asked the Four Questions, and…asked  Allen Ginsberg [as tradition … Read More

Seymour Krim

Seymour Krim’s death, August 30, 1989, announced, the following day, in the New York Times.

“Seymour Krim, an author and critic, was found dead, apparently of a drug overdose, in his Manhattan apartment last night…Mr. Krim, who was 67 years old, was found sitting in a chair in his apartment at 120 East 10th Street. A bottle of pills and notes explaining his apparent suicide were found nearby…..”

Gerald Nicosia in The Washington Post gives a little more detail

“A note explained to the police that he had followed the instructions for a painless death provided for terminal patients … Read More

“Just Old Chinese Philosophy”

Chinese fishermen with cormorants – Photograph by Bobby Joshi

Student: I’ve got a couple of Chinese poems translated by (Kenneth) Rexroth that each have three sentences if you want an example (of tri-partite structure)

AG: Rexroth has a fuzzy brain. Do they fit?   I don’t want a example if it doesn’t fit!.

Student: Well…

AG; Let’s try one

Student: It’s got three sentences – “In The Evening I Walk By The River” – “The frozen river is drifted deep with snow”

AG: Okay

Student: “For days, only a few spots near the bank have stayed open/In the evening when … Read More

Lester Young

Lester Young‘s Birthday today.  We at the Allen Ginsberg Project continue to be big fans of Lester Young, “The Prez”,  the real Prez  (see previous notices here, and here).

We await with eagerness and anticipation the definitive Prez movie- President of Beauty – The Life and Times of Lester Young –  coming to us soon from filmmaker Henry Ferrini

Here’s a video-pitch for last-minute necessary funding.

and plenty more about this essential movie – here

and a shout-out to Shelton “Shakespear” Alexander for his extraordinary, evocative poem.

Lester Young (1909-1959) – Photograph by Dennis StockRead More

Guillaume Apollinaire – (Ombre)

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

A guest-posting today from our friend (and erstwhile long-time upstairs-neighbor of Allen’s in New York) poet, John Godfrey.

Today, August 26th, is the great Guillaume Apollinaire‘s birthday

“In 1965, the U.S. troop level in Vietnam exceeded 500,000. Allen Ginsberg became perhaps the most flamboyant of many literary opponents to the war. Bearded, beat and outspokenly homosexual, his appeal was great to the young and already converted. (Pull out your old copy of Planet News (City Lights, 1968) which contains “Wichita Vortex Sutra“). Allen’s attack was on the conscience of the government and the capitalist … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 330

Allen Ginsberg on tv, May 7 1968 on Firing Line With William Buckley

from the Letters column in last weekend’s New York Times Book Review

“Reading Ann Douglas’s review of Allen Ginsberg’s “The Best Minds of My Generation” (Aug. 6) reminded me of a chance meeting with Ginsberg in the early ’60s. After a performance of Genet’s “The Blacks” at a small theater in the East Village, I waited in front for my then-fiancée. Also standing there was Allen Ginsberg. I mentioned a poem by his father, Louis Ginsberg, that appeared in the textbook I used to teach … Read More

On The Composition of Haiku

[Heaven-Earth-Man Calligraphy]

continued from yesterday,   1980 Naropa classroom –  Student is refering to another student’s writing that Allen has just analyzed

Student:  For a while there, it seeemed like, like she was saying, it seemed like,  I don’t know how many syllables there were, but they seemed they were pared down, to the length of haiku,  almost

AG: The way she did it? – Yeah.  Yeah, but it didn’t work. It was sort of like awkward haiku(s) and no single one of them made a big deal except maybe, “the rhythmic twang of the steel cord slapping against the flagpole”,  … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 2

AG: Then another thing formulated with Rachel today [sic] was, in terms of condensation, if you can find three or four different ways of saying, of arranging the same words, generally, the spoken arrangement that is the shortest has the best rhythm and is the most vivid. [To Rachel (sic)] – Do you happen to have that poem with you? that one poem where we really discovered it. You remember the line?

Student (R)…”There’s not enough time to..”

AG: What’s the next line? There’s not enough time

Student (R) …”There’s not enough time to write all the notes down”

AG: … Read More