“Theatrics” During the Vietnam War

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake continues

AG: “That the Poetic Genius is the true Man. and that the body or outward form of Man is dervied from the Poetic Genius” (William Blake) –  “…it’s just a very simple point that he’s saying, (which) is that anything, any life lived, is lived according to the interpretation of the guy who’s living.  In that sense, “Poetic Genius”.  In that sense, poetic.  Poesis is making.  Actually “poet” means “maker”, interestingly enough. The root, etymologically, of “poetry” is “making”.  So, it’s like the universe is what we make up.  So … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 328

[Allen Ginsberg among the boxes and archives at Stanford]

The treasure-trove that is the recently-digitalized Stanford archive is starting to unpack itself. Last week, Jay Barmann at the SFist, spotlighted a particularly choice gem (two gems, in fact) – Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, talking backstage, on December 11, 1965, in San Francisco, and then Dylan performing an entire concert with a band. “It comes”, he notes, “via Dylan fan and YouTuberist Keith Gubitz, who, simultaneously, has uploaded a second, similar recording, from December 12, 1965 in San Jose — the latter includes some chatter at the beginning between … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 234

                                                       [Allen Ginsberg]

                                                                     [Antonin Artaud  (1896-1948)]

                      [John Cage 1912-1992] It would have been Antonin Artaud‘s 119th birthday today. It would have been John Cage‘s 103rd. It will be Nicanor Parra‘s 101st tomorrow! – ¡Feliz cumpleaños! – Happy Birthday! – 101 years old ! – amazing!

                                                                     [Nicanor Parra] Allen Ginsberg’s archives the repository at Stanford –  Geoffrey C Willard, the Media Production Coordinator, notes –  “The Allen Ginsberg Papers in the Department of Special Collections is truly the collection that keeps on giving. We here at the media lab have digitalized a huge portion of the media … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 23

[“I Saw The Fgure 5 in Gold” Charles Demuth, 1928 (after the poem by William Carlos Williams) – oil, graphite, ink and gold leaf on paperboard, 35 1/2 x 30 ins – included in the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]

Imagism. So. In pursuit of similar focus and concentration and presence and prescience and perception and awareness that we’ve been discussing the last three months here, there was a similar breakthrough of awareness around the turn of the century, connected with the minds of the Dadaists and the Futurists, … Read More

The Birthday of Antonin Artaud

[Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) in 1926, at age 30]

Today is Antonin Artaud‘s birthday. We draw your attention to our 2011 Artaud birthday posting – here (See also our postings here and here)

[Antonin Artaud – Self-Portrait, December 17, 1946]

Here is a link to an intriguing 1993 documentary  – en français – “La Véritable histoire d’Artaud Le MômoGerard Mordillat and Jerome Prieur spent two years tracking down, one by one, the friends of Artaud, who had previously refused to talk about him. Paule Thévenin, Marthe Robert, Henri Thomas, Henri Pichette and

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Philip Lamantia – part 2

[Philip Lamantia (1927-2005)]

Allen Ginsberg on Philip Lamantia continues

AG: Well, let’s get on to the actual texts, finally. One line I liked (page 39 0f Selected Poems).. did any of you get to read any of this? in advance? – Raise your hand if you did. Anybody not familiar with it at all?  Are these books unavailable or something? They were in the library, or two of them..

Student: No, they are walking off the reserve shelf. AG: There is a back. You have to go in the back and look. It’s the same thing, except you go in

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Philip Lamantia – part 1


[Philip Lamantia (1927-2005) – Photographed in 1981 by Chris Felver]

Happy, immensely happy, to be able to announce the publication (long-awaited publication) of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia. For other Lamantia-on-the-Ginsberg blog postings, see here, here and here and here and here, On this occasion, we feature…    

from “The Literary History of the Beat Generation”, Allen’s 1982 Naropa lecture series – his seminar on Philip Lamantia – a full transcription  (the audio is available here (starting approximately thirty-one-and-three-quarter minutes in) and continuing  

AG: So..we’ll start with Lamantia. How many know Lamantia? – I brought up a

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Spontaneous Poetics – 96 (Artaud-2)

[Antonin Artaud – Self Portrait, 24 June, 1947]

AG: I think (that Artaud had) some influence on Samuel Beckett actually, and an enormous influence, in the (19)40’s, on American poetry, in Black Mountain, and on myself, immediately, about 1948, in a mental hospital with Carl Solomon. Carl had a copy in French of this poem [“Here Lies” (Ci-gît)] and introduced (to me), that “Dakantal/dakis tekel/ ta redaba/ ta redabel/ de stra muntils/ o ept anis/ o ept atra..” and it was, like, a very exquisite menacing mantra, penetrating through the babble of the language of the bughouse. Yeah?… Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 95 – (Artaud -1)

[Antonin Artaud (1896-1948)]

AG: Well, there is a precedent for the kind of manic excitement and nervous neurological Ong-ed [sic] prophecy (of Philip Lamantia), and his big inspiration, aside from (Arthur) Rimbaud (who’s everybody’s big inspiration) was Antonin Artaud – a sort of 20th Century Rimbaud, whose biography you can check out – madhouses and shock and heroin and France.. He was a movie-actor, a theatre man, but most (of all) an extraordinary poet, and an extraordinary…

Student: Allen

AG: Yes?

Student: There’s a very fine movie that’s showing at the University…where he does some very good acting

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 132

[Allen Ginsberg’s very last photograph (1997), taken from his loft at 404 East 14th Street, New York City (and featured in the show 404 East 14, currently on exhibit at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York)]

[Composite view of the bookshelves in Allen’s loft – Photograph c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg (for a large composite panoramic view of the loft see here)]

[Allen Ginsberg – pencil drawing, by his upstairs neighbor Larry Rivers (another inhabitant of 404 East 14th – and likewise featured in the current Tibor de Nagy show)]

404 East 14th Street,

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