T.V. Baby

“Television Was A Baby Crawling Toward That Death Chamber”, Allen’s scorching jeremiad of a poem that featured as the opening poem of his 1967 Cape Goliard/Grossman collection TV Baby Poems is our focus today, and a live reading of it that took place, March 15, 1968, at California State University, Sacramento.

“…Here I am – Old Betty Boop whoopsing behind the skull microphone wondering what Idiot soap opera horror show we broadcast by Mistake/hypnotizing millions of regional-eyed detectives to commit mass murder on the Invisible/which is only a bunch of women weeping hidden behind newspapers in the Andes, conspired against … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part one

[Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

We’ve already featured the classic 1959 Studs Terkel  WFMT radio interview with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso in seven sections – here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We also featured Allen and Philip Glass on Studs Terkel’s show in 1990 – here and here

We’ll be featuring, in the coming weeks, a third, a 1975 session with Allen and William Burroughs

but, first, this weekend, this, (courtesy George Drury and the remarkable trove which is the Studs Terkel Radio Archive) – Allen Ginsberg’s interview … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore -1969

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Allen Ginsberg at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, November 1969

A few weeks back, we featured Allen, in 1973, reading at the Maryland Institute. Here’s another recording, from 1969, four years previously, where he presents a little mantra, a little William Blake and a substantial selection (some still in early draft) of his epic “poem of these states”, later incorporated in  “The Fall of America

The reading begins with a very brief introduction, welcoming Allen back (sic)  ( “It seems to me most appropriate because this reading comes between All Saints Day and … Read More

Allen in the ‘Sixties – Portland State College Readings

[Allen Ginsberg, April 23, 1969, at Portland State College – Photograph from Viking (PSU Yearbook, 1968-69), courtesy Portland State University Library’s Special Collection]

The big news last week, the discovery, initially, by Portland State University archivist, Christine Paschild, (with additional assistance by PSU library technician Carolee Harrison) of a remarkable collection of reel-to-reel audio tapes (275 hours, now transfered to digital format and made publicly available) – the historic and extraordinary Oregon Public Speakers Collection, featuring the voices of such singular cultural (and counter-cultural) figures as Robert F Kennedy, Carl Sagan, Linus Pauling, Stokely Carmichael, … Read More

Maretta Greer

thefactory-: Ginsberg with Maretta Greer and Gary Snyder at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14, 1967.

[Allen Ginsberg, Maretta Greer and Gary Snyder at The Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco,  1967 – Photograph by Leo Holub]

[Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Maretta Greer at the opening of Timothy Leary’s Meditation Center, Hudson Street, New York City, 1967]

Maretta Greer, another of Allen’s “girlfriends”, his mantra teacher, spiritual goad, and sometime live-in companion, when she wasn’t (as she was, a good deal of the time) wandering barefoot around India.  She’d left home at aged fifteen to become a saddhu.  Gordon Ball recalls glimpsing her in Allen’s company, in 1966 at the Jonas Read More

What The East Means To Me – Allen Ginsberg at Kyota Seika

Yesterday’s transcription of Allen’s Q & A at the Kyoto Seika University, Japan, on November 2 1988, is followed today by footage (and transcription) of the full lecture – “What the East Means To Me” – Katagiri Yuzuru is once again the accomplished interpreter/translator. Our thanks, once again, to videographer, Ken Rodgers.

AG: So.. the subject is “What the East Means To Me”. So I will give a chronological account. One of my first memories was of the Pop figure, Pop art figure, kitsch figure, or comic-strip figure of a sinister Oriental, a Chinaman, Fu Manchu. He had a long … Read More

Allen & Prabhupada (Krishna Weekend 2)

Here’s a surprisingly rare document. Allen’s introduction to the 1968 Collier-MacMillan edition of  A.C.. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada‘s Bhagavad Gita – Bhagavad Gita As It Is – Swami Bhaktivedanta Chanting God’s Song in America (thanks to Steve Silberman for the scan). 

Kali Yuga we really are in it, heavy metal Age, where Spiritual common sense seems like magic because we’re ensnared in brain-wash network – the mechanical conditioning of our unconditioned consciousness. I grow old and see that renunciation is what happens. The “action” leads there – calm realization of sense-desire illusoriness in youth, or on deathbed at worst. … Read More