Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 6 (Q & A – 5) (Conclusion)


[Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987)]

Student:: I was wondering.. if…(most of the poets…) (have a readership)?

AG: Someone take the microphone over please..
David Rome: Yes, in Tibet, most of the poetry is accessible to everybody, or if it’s written by upper class people for upper class people, or if it’s all of the above, is it written for the common man?  Can everybody understand the poetry there?
Chogyam Trungpa: Well, anybody who can read, who can read, yes  – Well, we have problems with the peasant people who have never been taught reading or writing at all, so, … Read More

Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 5 (Q & A – 4)


[Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg & Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche at Naropa]

                AG: Gregory (Corso), you got any questions?

GC: No, no questions . Oh yeah, one,  one, right..
Chogyam Trungpa (to Gregory Corso): What – are you over there (tonight)?
GC:  Last night it was…Vajrayana
CT: Oh yeah
GC: Big crowd here [at Naropa] –  and I don’t think much of the crowd thought he was in Vajrayana, with his Crazy Wisdom, right?  – (Did you see) Crazy Wisdom, Allen?  [to Allen Ginsberg] – Don’t look at him, look at (me)
AG: Yeah, I would say so.  … Read More

William Blake – Auguries of Innocence – 7


 [“We are led to Believe a Lie/ When we see with not Thro the Eye” (William Blake)

AG: We’re up to in Blake.. [ in William Blake’s Auguries of  Innocence] – ”To be in a Passion you Good may Do/ But no Good if a Passion is in you”
“The Whore &  Gambler by the State/ Licencd builds that Nations Fate”  – That’s kind of interesting, considering the modern licensing  of gambling in New Jersey . And you can see the Mafia taking over
“The harlots cry from street to street/ Shall weave Old Englands winding sheet”
“The Winners … Read More

Poetics and Meditation – (William Blake – Auguries of Innocence 5)


Continuing with Allen’s reading from, and annotation of, William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence”

“He who torments the Chafers Sprite/Weaves a Bower in endless Night” (William Blake)  
AG: Do you know  what “the Chafer” was? – “He who torments the Chafers Sprite”. What is a “Chafer“? – what kind of bird?
Student: No, (it’s) an insect..
AG: An insect ? What kind?
Student 2: (… It’s a cicada..?)

AG: Ah! – Thus – “Weaves a Bower”


[“The poison of the Snake & Newt/ Is the sweat of Envys foot” 

“The poison of the Honey

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Ben Schafer’s Allen Ginsberg Memories

[Ben Schafer]
[Otis Gibbs]


Episode 46 – Otis Gibbs interviews Ben Schafer about Allen and friends – halcyon days in New York’s East Village in the late ‘Eighties. We highly recommend this self-effacing loving and intimate recollection Some related content – We’ve already featured Bob Rosenthal (Allen’s secretary)’s memories in a four-part series here – and Steve Finbow has posted a working-for-Allen account (“What It Was Like Working For Allen Ginsberg; A Chat With His Assistant-Turned-Biographer”) here  –  More memories to come on the Allen Ginsberg Project.   … Read More

William Blake – Auguries of Innocence – 4


[William Blake’s script – from “Augurires of Innocence” in the Pickering manuscript]

Continuing with Allen’s reading from, and annotation of, William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” AG: “The Catterpiller on the Leaf/ Repeats to thee thy Mother’s grief “ – That’s a mysterious one. How do we make that one? – “The Catterpiller on the Leaf/ Repeats to thee thy Mother’s grief “

Student:  (Maybe the caterpillar being born…)

AG: Being born. Yes. Being born of earth, really. In the Book of Thel, actually, if you read the Book of Thel, that actually completely explains that couplet, because it’s

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Haiku and Desolation Angels



..tape begins in media res with Allen writing on the blackboard – “building on the ground, the film in.. (the) film crackling in plastic bags..under plastic bags in a breathing class” –  

(He continues reading his own short haiku-like poems)
Nagasaki Day– “Blue sky cumulus clouded  over the white plutonium plant /Rocky Flats mountains ridge west, Denver below in morning sun/ walking off with police and photographers”
Golden Court – “Waiting for the Judge, breathing silent/Prisoners, witnesses, Police/the stenographer yawns into her palms” – That’s the … Read More

Mexico City Blues Readings

In 1996, Shambhala Publications (for their Shambhala Lion Editions) produced a two-cassette audiobook (that ran for just under three hours) – Allen reading the entire Mexico City Blues. We’ve featured Allen reading from Mexico City Blues before (see this 1975 Naropa class –  and, as we mentioned there, by way of contrast, a later, 1988 Mexico City Blues class) Here‘s the first ten sections from the Shambhala recording             Here’s Gregory Corso reading from Mexico City Blues

Johnny Depp reading from Mexico City Blues

Kerouac himself reading 

and not forgetting this unforgettable Chorus – (211th Chorus – “The wheel Read More

Mexico City Blues – 5

“They got nothing on me/at the university/Them clever poets/of immensity..” – That’s very funny, actually – “Them clever poets /of immensity” – “With charcoal suits/and charcoal hair/And green armpits…” – “Green armpits” – that’s because when we introduced Gregory Corso to John Clellon Holmes and he read some of Gregory’s early poetry, Holmes, who was a mid-town sophisticate, said, “Oh he writes green armpit poetry”. I guess you all know “green armpit poetry”. (There’s) much of it written around here [at Naropa]. It’s a whole genre of poetry, of beginning … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 219

[Allen Ginsberg on Times Square via the Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests – Times Square, May 1, 2015. Photograph by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts]

Andy Warhol  Screen Tests: Allen Ginsberg [ST115], 1966, 16mm film, black-and-white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16 frames per second, ©2015 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Film still courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum.]

There hasn’t been a Friday Round-Up for a couple of weeks now, so a brief catching-up:

All this month on New York’s Times Square – Allen Ginsberg’s mug (from Allen Ginsberg’s Andy Warhol Screen Read More