Alice Notley on Allen Ginsberg – 3

Alice Notley on Allen Ginsberg’s internationalism continuing from here

AN: I will now totally speed up with my list. But first I will go to sleep and dream I lose my purse (I learned to record my dreams from Allen and Jack Kerouac) but then I realize I am dreaming so I haven’t really lost it with all my bank cards and such – do I still have my identity, and my credit? (I in fact don’t have a credit rating.) Thus having awkened, in the dream, I am now sitting talking to a woman whose vocation is to … Read More

Jack Kerouac (No Turning Back/Spontaneity)

[Charlie Parker’s saxophone]

Student: What I really love about that book (Mexico City Blues) is the way he (Kerouac) looked upon himself like a Charlie Parker or a Lester Young

AG: Hm-hmm.

Student: … writing, instead of playing a trumpet, a sax..

AG: Yeah.  Well, the notion there is that once you have fixed in your mind your theme, or once you have your theme and observe a basic form fixed in your mind, then you just blow.  And anything you blow is what you blew — anything you play on the trumpet or saxophone is what … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 375

The Beat Scene – Photographs by Burt Glenn – edited by Tony Nourmand and Michael Shulman (with an essay by Jack Kerouac), a dazzling portfolio of images shot between 1957 and 1960,  both in New York and San Francisco – close up, contemporaneous, and at the heart of the Beat phenomenon – has just recently (just this month) been published by Reel Art Press.

From the publishers’ notice:

“This magnificent volume features a remarkable collection of largely unseen photographs of the Beat Generation by renowned Magnum photographer Burt Glinn. This amazing, untouched treasure trove of images was … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 370

[Issa (1763-1828) – Portrait by Muramatsu Shunpo (1772-1858) (Issa Memorial Hall, Shinano, Nagano, Japan]

It’s the anniversary today (born 1763) of the birth of the great Japanese haiku poet, Issa

[Nanao Sakakai –  “Inch By Inch” – translations of Issa – “Katatsumuri Sort-soronobore Fujinoyama” (“Inch by inch -/Little snail/Creep up and up Mt.Fuji”)]

For more of Allen-on-haiku – see here and here  and here

For Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche‘s  informative insights on haiku – see here

For Allen’s Mostly Sitting Haiku – see here

For some of  Jack Kerouac‘s haiku – see here 

Happy Birthday Issa!

Beat AttitudeRead More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 369

 “The Lost Ferlinghetti Tapes” is a mini-documentary by Paul Iorio that presents audio excerpts from an exclusive interview he conducted with Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 2000 — inter-spliced with segments about Ferlinghetti, City Lights, the Beats, Allen Ginsberg, “Howl” and the “Howl” trial.

And the big news (announced in the New York Times this week) –  the upcoming publication of Little Boy, ninety-nine-year-old Ferlinghetti’s surprising new novel (due out from Doubleday next year, to coincide with the occasion of his one-hundreth birthday) – ““It’s not a memoir, it’s an imaginary me,”, Ferlinghetti is quoted as declaring – ““It’s an … Read More

William Blake – The Book of Thel – 2

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s “The Book of Thel” continues

AG: “O life of this our spring! why fades the lotus of the water?/ Why fade these children of the spring? born but to smile & fall./ Ah! Thel is like a watry bow. and like a parting cloud./ Like a reflection in a glass. like shadows in the water – (this like Sic Vita” (by Henry King) – remember? – like “..bubbles which on water stood” – it’s the same thing, (and, for those of you who are Buddhists, it’s the same thing you find in Gampopa .. … Read More

Ecstasy and Grounding

[“Beauteous the moon, full of the lawn” (Christopher Smart)]

Allen continues his discussion (at Naropa, 1980) on Basic Poetics

AG: Okay,  so the question was what really..? (a) bummer? –  what do we mean by bummer?..  Where does he get that idea? – from  me?  that we’re not supposed to go into dithryambic rhapsodies?

Student:  There was… there was a time (from what I hear), when (for you) that seemed to be the case..

AG: Well, no, I was just.. Because, (no), most of the (student) poetry that I was getting and seeing had no (real) basis. So I … Read More

Allen Ginsberg 1982 Leicester Student Interview

Last week, we featured transcription from a tape in the Stanford University Archives that featured an interview with Jack Kerouac’s childhood friend (and Allen’s friend) jazz aficiando, Seymour Wyse. This week, from the same tape, the conversation is followed by an interview with an earnest young English student (presumably an undergraduate at Leicester University, prior to the reading Allen gave there with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky in the Fall of 1982 – at one point in the transcript, Allen breathlessly itemizes his itinerary)

Interviewer (Student):  Do you make recordings of all your work?

AG:  Not all, but I have … Read More

Poetry, Society, & Foolish Resentment

[Hokusai -The Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka pass in the Kai province]

Student: Can I go back and ask you a question? We were talking about entering the imagination and making it manifest..

AG: Yeah, well, the reason I read this (Christopher Smart’s “A Song to David”), incidentally, was, obviously , he had to sit down and work on it. And it must have been fun.

Student: For you, what’s left after this manifest  I mean, that’s not totally off-the-wall..

AG: What’s left?

Student: Yeah.  Inside.

AG: Inside? – Inside?  It’s only.. You plumb … Read More

Barry Farber – 7 (interview concludes)

The Allen Ginsberg-Barry Farber radio transcription that we’ve been serializing continues and concludes today

BF: I want (you) to read from the Table of Contents, like the virtuous… AG: (It’s) [“Wales Visitation‘] a bit long, like eight minutes or so. Something.. And I had been used, generally, on television, to be told to please make it one minute – “Please make it two minutes” – (because they don’t realize the power of poetry, they think, you know, that everybody’s going to get bored!) So I’ll read it again and I’d like to dedicate the reading to the absent … Read More