“The Last Word on First Blues is as essential to an understanding of Ginsberg as his Collected Poems, and just as much fun. The set also shows that those who only know Ginsberg as a poet of the printed word ans not also as a performer of the spoken … Read More
Al Filreis informative over-view of this lost “Beat” figure (she committed suicide in 1962, aged 29), along with a couple of sample poems, may be read here. Leo Skir’s personal memoir may be read here. A volume of work from her only surviving notebook, entitled Elise Cowen – Poems and Fragments, edited by Tony Trigilio and published by Ashahta Press has just recently appeared.
As Trigilio writes:
“Elise Cowen’s position in literary history has been a conflicted one. Very little is known about … Read More
A Night With Allen Ginsberg – Allen Ginsberg’s reading at Loyola University, New Orleans, 1990. An eye-witness recalls: “The overflow crowd filled up the aisles and the outside lobby, so he (Allen) invited audience members to sit on the stage with him. (we see them on the stage there)/ He also (that same visit) did a meditation workshop, and his Collected Poems had just appeared so he spent a whole afternoon signing copies and illustrating each with a drawing”.
AG: So, I’ll begin with music in honor of the President and the great phony war on dope. This is … Read More
AG: I got turned onto that partly by Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, which were divisions of thought into the spaces of a notebook page, but for larger draughts of thought, or larger breaths of thought, I got turned on to this form of open-page broken phrasing arranged in series out on the page by a long poem called “Leave the Word Alone” by Edward Marshall, which is [was – sic] in the Don Allen anthology, and was, I think, the first, about 1958, breakthrough of this kind of block form, where thoughts were spread around on the page … Read More
AG: Typographical typography – topography – Typographical Topography – I invented that category! – Topography – the way it looks on the page, the map, the map of the words on the page (or, that’s probably the wrong word, but, anyway, the typographical arrangement of words on the page) is another 20th Century trick, or technique, or piece of shrewdness for arranging the lines on the page. This is for the eye more than for the tongue or the mouth. And for … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg and Naomi Ginsberg, both at the age of 30 – drawings by R.B.Kitaj, included in Kaddish, White Shroud, and Black Shroud by Allen Ginsberg, with an Introduction by Helen Vendler, and lithograph portraits of the poet and his mother by R.B.Kitaj, Arion Press, San Francisco, 1992]
Student: Does the thought come to the mind scored?
AG: Pardon me?
Student: Does the thought come to the mind [as per late Williams] broken (say) into three lines..?
AG: Hmm – okay, let’s take that up in a minute. That’s an interesting question.
Onto (first, though), the next consideration – which would be distinct from units of vocal phrasing, mouth phrasing – units of mind-thought (which is another element that comes in, when you write – because your notation of what you’re saying is a notation of what you speak, but it’s also, really, if you’re writing silently … Read More