Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 230


Yesterday was Diane Di Prima‘s 81st birthday. Here’s the extraodinary class she gave last May (with Professor Steven Goodman) at the California Institute of Integral Studies – in two parts, here and here 

Earlier Diane Di Prima birthday shout-outs on the Allen Ginsberg Project here, here, and here

Here‘s a two-part story on another prominent Italian-American – Lawrence Ferlinghettihere and here and  an excerpt from his forthcoming book Writing Across The Landscape (a further excerpt may be found – here)

& keeping the Italian theme, Gregory Corso’s Gasoline appears in

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Q & A – 3 (“Love the breath of the moment”)


AG:  …. But to capture the spirit, the breath of the moment, you have to love it. You’re going to have to love the breath of the moment…(Understand it) that way. So I’m saying, “Love the breath of the moment”. Don’t be afraid to love the breath of the moment, even if it’s got garlic on it. It’s not a rule, it’s just sort of an opening, I’m saying. There’s an opening there (that you can) go into and…   (So many).. classical traditions (are) precisely this. … Read More

Gregory Corso Interviews

Another of the summer’s essential books (we’re only just now getting round to profiling it

Rick Schober‘s stellar collection of the Collected Interviews with Gregory Corso

over a dozen pieces, plus an illuminating memoir-introduction by Dick Brukenfeld, (Corso’s first publisher, of the 1955 Harvard volume, The Vestal Lady on Brattle), plus footnotes, index, dramatis personae… a faithful capturing of that irascible, wayward, prison-smart, poetics-smart, uniquely vocal, unapologetic, Beat poet   Corso, in 1980, to a patient and respectful poet-interviewer, Gavin Selerie: “But if you take this tape here and transcribe it, people will read it on the page – … Read More

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