Herbert Huncke’s Birthday

Celebrating Herbert Huncke‘s birthday today. “Godfather of the Beats”, he would have been one-hundred-and-two! – See here for our posting on the occasion of his Centennial. Today, courtesy of our friend Laki Vazakas , footage of the great story-teller, raconteur, recorded in New York, at the Chelsea Hotel,  February 7, 1994. Evoking the notion of “the invisible body”, Huncke recounts and recalls his time in India, witnessing the burning ghats.

HH: Well, it’s sort of strange, you know, one is always I think intrigued by the idea of the invisible body at a funeral (I’ve always felt that … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 297

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[Daniel Radcliffe as the young Allen Ginsberg in “Kill Your Darlings (2013)”]

Film Friday -Remember Daniel Radcliffe‘s portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in John Krokidas‘ 2013 film, Kill Your Darlings – Krokidas’ revelations about Radcliffe’s Allen and playing a “sex scene” have been getting a bit of traction.

Krokidas:

“Growing up with queer films, there was always some sort of stigma attached to gay characters or gay sexuality, and I didn’t want the sex scene to feel like that in any way. I wanted the arc of the scene to go from nervousness to a place of pure enjoyment … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in London 1965

 

“Allen Ginsberg Reading At Better Books”, LP cover, 1965 – Illustration by Alan Aldridge

A rare and important Allen Ginsberg reading in London – his famous reading in the basement of Miles’  Better Books bookshop – in the Spring of 1965

“Recorded on a Ferrograph (reel-to-reel tape-recorder) by Ian Sommerville

“The reading originated after Ed Sanders provided Ginsberg with Miles’ name as manager of Better Books, a connection he followed up on his arrival in London from Prague in May 1965. The impromptu reading, though unannounced, was packed (the audience included Donovan, (who provided the pre-reading entertainment) … Read More

Ginsberg in 1977 at Cincinnati

“Mugging”, we featured yesterday. Here’s the rest of Allen’s reading from 1977 at the University of Cincinnati

The opening chant, (a long mantric repetition of (shri ram jai ram jai jai rama),  is followed by a rendition of William Blake’s “Spring”, (“Words by William Blake, tune by myself, dances by yourself, and voices by yourself”” – “Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year”) – This is followed by a second chant – ( AHHH – “Best done if you sit up straight on your spine. Eyes open. Not tripping. Not tripping but appreciating the

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Ginsberg in India

 

Jeet Thayil‘s radio documentary, Ginsberg in India, currently available here,

provides the occasion for a brief review of that always-intriguing subject. 
 
American poet, Bob Holman (along with producer-editor-director, Ram Devineni), a few years back, made a film-documentary, Ginsberg’s Karma
(This may be seen in its entirety here
 
Deborah Baker‘s authoritative book, A Blue Hand, we’ve already featured (along with notice of the remarkable symposium that took place at the Asia Society in New York, in 2011, following the publication of that book). 
 
And, of course, there’s the primary source, Allen’s own published … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 240

This weekend in Big Sur, California at the Henry Miller Memorial Library, a weekend Allen Ginsberg celebration, beginning tonight with a choral reading of “Howl”, a reading/performance by Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye and a screening of the 2010 film, Howl, starring James Franco, with filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman there to answer questions

Not to be confused with – not at all to be confused with! – a low-budgeted horror-flick of that name that seems to be circulating. More of Randy Roark‘s remarkable ephemera (see his copy of Allen’s notes on Bob Dylan here)  … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 233

 

Jack Kerouac on Allen Ginsberg. We’ve been featuring Ginsberg on Kerouac, but here‘s a pretty candid Kerouac-on-Ginsberg notebook entry.   Jack writes: “Ginsberg – intelligent enuf – interested in the outward appearance and pose of great things, intelligent enuf to know where to find them, but once there he acts like Jerry Newman [sic] the photographer anxious to be photographed photographing. Ginsberg wants to run his hands up the backs of people, for this he gives and seldom takes – He is also a mental screwball – *(Tape recorder anxious to be tape recorded tape recording) (like Seymour Read More

Ginsberg 1982 Kerouac Workshop Conclusion (Q & A)

                                                          

Jack Kerouac with the scroll

AG: I have three twenty-nine [looking at the clock]. I brought, as I said, those papers and so we will distribute them. There’s two sets two different things. Maybe if we… they can pass them out themselves, if we just hand them.. Or we can put them in two piles here and people can pick them up as they leave, maybe?  That might be the easiest way. The one who did all the xeroxing for you is a poet, Gregg R. (sic) from Indianapolis, So I have these sets.. one of these pages is the

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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 232

A great spirited reading of the Moloch section of “Howl(from circa 1989) on the CBS News Nightwatch program  – “Well, it’s the climax and actually the definition of the poem” declares Allen.  “What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?/Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars..” – Reaction shot(s) from fellow-guest Christopher Buckley (William Buckley‘s son) and a seemingly unfazed host

Here’s an intriguing little memoir (from back in 2012 – don’t know how we missed it) of Allen-at-Columbia and the early days –

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Sunday April 5 – Allen Ginsberg Parinirvana

It’s Allen Ginsberg’s parinirvana today, the (eighteenth) anniversary of his passing. Here’s Herbert Huncke, “godfather of  The Beats”, on “the invisible body” – on witnessing funerals (“I’m inclined to think it was Hindu, but I’m not sure”) – burning ghats, Indian ritual (Huncke footage, courtesy documentarian, Laki Vazakas)  

[Herbert Huncke at the Chelsea Hotel]

Here’s Allen on the burning ghats (from an interview, 1994, with Suranjan Ganguly)

“SG: What was your experience of the burning ghats [of Benaras/Varanasi] ? AG: I went there several time a week … Read More