“Allen Ginsberg and I were very close friends for twenty years from 1977 until his death in 1997. I felt and still feel deep love for his poetic insight, or as one may call it – it was literary … Read More
A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)
Then, in America, the most interesting person around (at) the same time (as Pushkin, in the nineteenth-century), born 1809 and died early, 1849, is Edgar Allan Poe. Are most of you familiar with Poe? How many here are familiar with Poe? How many here are not? [Students raise a show of hands] – Yeah. How many have read “The Bells” by Poe? And how many have not? Poe’s “..Bells” Well, that’d be kind of interesting to do.
“The Bells” was the earliest poem that I knew, and that determined my rhythmic system, probably, because my father would go … Read More
We’ve already featured them reading together before – from 1974 here, and from 1976, here, but here, from 1977 is vintage audio of Allen and Anne Waldman reading. Allen begins, thanking his sponsors and setting out his plans.
AG: We owe thanks to Naropa and Peter Lieberson and Meg for arranging this luxurious space for us to orate in, because, actually, it turned out to be a nice situation. I’m going to begin where I left off last summer (1976) in poetry reading with a series of poems on my father’s death – called “Don’t Grow Old” … Read More
From a new year’s, 1977 visit to Baltimore, Maryland. Allen’s ruminations on Poe, fittingly published today, on Halloween.
POE IN DUST
Bones groan maliciously under Baltimore sidewalk
Poe hides his hideous skeleton under churchyard.
Equinoctial worms peep thru his mummy ear
The slug rides his skull, black hair twisted in roots of threadbare grass
Blind mole at heart, caterpillars shudder in his ribcage,
Intestines wound with garter-snakes
midst dry dust, snake eye & gut sifting thru his pelvis
Slimed moss green on his phosphor’d toenails, sole toeing black tombstone –
O prophet Poe well writ! your catacomb cranium chambered
… Read More
Lou Reed, Allen’s iconic backstage image, juxtaposing the brooding rock star with an equally brooding Samuel Beckett leads off an Allen and rock n roll week here on the Allen Ginsberg blog.
It may be worth remembering the time when Allen
AG: I began reading a book called Deep Down In The Jungle. Does anybody know that? It’s a compilation of street poetics in the United States, used by black people. Particularly, there’s one song.. one chant called “The Signifying Monkey”, Anybody know that ?
AG: Do you remember the original? – “Said the Monkey to the Lion one bright sunny day” (- (that)’s the beginning..) – [Allen begins to improvise] – “Said the Lion to the Lamb one bright Cambodian day/ Jesus Christ, tell Uncle Sam to take those robot bombs away/ Said the Lion to … Read More