Allen Ginsberg & Steven Taylor at Texas State 1996 – Q & A – 2


Q: So You read “Sphincter” last night..  AG: Yeah Q: And that recalled.. I read a (W.B.) Yeats poem about “love pitches his mansion in a place next to excrement”.. A: Yes, “Crazy Jane and the Bishop”  Does anybody know that poem? A couple? – Shall we recite it? Do you know it? Q:  Just that line.. “the first line, best line!”  AG: Well, Crazy Jane, his character, meets a Bishop on the road, so “I met the Bishop on the road” – (she’s talking) –  “And much said he and I” –  [Allen recites the penultimate … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 108 (Blues – 3 – Allen Ginsberg)

Student: Are all those (records you played) available on Harry Smith’s anthology?

AG: No – The “James Alley Blues” is, Richard “Rabbit” Brown singing.  The “C.C.Rider” and “Jelly Bean Blues, both by Ma Rainey, are on a collection of Ma Rainey that may be (on) Columbia (Records), but they’re available (there are about four or five albums of Ma Rainey now re-issued [1976] and they’re available). The Jacksonville Blues“, I don’t know where that’s from. A friend of mine was looking through this book (The Blues Line) and had a cassette, … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 106 – (Blues – 1 – Ma Rainey & Bo Carter)

AG: I don’t know when these were recorded. I think late (19)20’s, or early (19)30’s. And there are a lot of famous musicians on (here). I think (Louis) Armstrong has got that trumpet. (From the) same recording session, (the) famous “C.C.Rider” (or “Easy Rider”) – “C.C.Rider” – (and) the last (one, the other one) was “Jelly Bean Blues“.

[Allen recites the lyrics]”Did you ever wake up with your good man at your side/Did you ever wake up with your good man at your side/My daddy left me this morning, that’s why I moan and cry./ He’ll make you … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 105 – The Blues Intro – 3 ( & Come All Ye’s)

[“Crazy Blues” – Mamie Smith, (1920) – “the first recording of an African-America singing the blues”]

AG: Well it was the dream, it was the possibility of actually saying what I thought. Well, in any kind of poetry, like in “Howl”, or “Kaddish”, or later poems, but also in the Blues form. since, especially since, there’s a tradition with songs like that, of expressing your most private feelings with humor and melancholy – so that kind of song has always been a vehicle for some kind of outlaw feeling – and there’s also a genre of ballads, which are Outlaw … Read More

Allen’s Jukebox – The Country Blues

[The “photo-booth self-portrait” of Robert Johnson from the early 1930s, one of only two known photos of Johnson made public. from the Granger Collection, New York.]

Since we spotlighted Allen’s Jukebox” last week, we thought we’d re-post Allen’s Country Blues mixtape that we first posted in 2009, but this time with a few more links to the tracks and some minor corrections.

Back in the late ’80s, Allen made a handful of blues collections for a Brooklyn College course he was teaching. They were pretty much collections of his favorite blues songs from over the years, … Read More