Salman Rushdie, describing a moment, in 1989 in New York, in protective custody, following the issuing of the notorious fatwa that followed on the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses
“I spent that day in a fourteenth-floor suite with at least twenty armed men. The windows were blocked by bullet-proof mattresses. Outside the door were more armed men with Schwarzenegger-sized muscles and weaponry. In this suite I had a series of meetings which must remain secret, except perhaps for one. I was able to meet with the poet Allen Ginsberg for twenty minutes.The moment he arrived, he pulled cushions … Read More
Allen Ginsberg and Studs Terkel continuing from here
[At approximately half-way through their conversation, approximately thirty-two minutes in, Allen sings“Gospel Noble Truths” (“Born in this world, you’ve got to suffer..”) making several improvised additions – (“no permanent soul!”, “the dharma chakra”, “Look what you’ve done – 1968” – “Let go, Studs!”)
AG: You looked like you didn’t want to “let go” of “earth heaven and hell” there!.
ST: And as Ned Kelly, the bandit, said, before they hanged him, and they sprang the trap – “That’s life! “. You said, “Die when you die”. I was about to … Read More
Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road ! Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More
Interviewer: So we want to figure out what’s best, you know, what will be most comfortable for you. What I want to do is an oral history of the ‘Sixties and Austin’s an interesting area because there’s a major university with a lot of anti-war… There was a segregtion case, a very famous law case here in 1959. There’s been an awful lot of work with the valley farm workers and Chicanos, plus we”ve got the Rothschilds here [sic], we’ve got all of LBJ‘s legacy. Basically, Austin’s sort of conservative but with the university and the State Capitol here, … Read More
Allen Ginsberg’s Jack Kerouac workshop continues. Allen proposes an in-class writing assignment
AG: Okay, now, next thing, how do you appply these [30 precepts from Jack Kerouac‘s “Belief & Technique for Modern Prose” ] actually? What is the condition of mind that (you) might apply them? You do it not by thinking about it, but by making your mind blank.
So, now, let us conduct an exercise (because we’ve got a couple of minutes – end this class), writing. What I would like us to do is… for an experiment of writing in the tendency of … Read More
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
August 14 1978, Allen Ginsberg’s class on Meditation and Poetics continues. [Editorial note (via Randy Roark) – “The class begins with taking class roll and discussing credit requirements and other business. About mid-way through, the tape-machine begins malfunctioning and an indeterminate amount of the presentation (has been consequently) lost, as a result]
AG: Just to cover a little bit of meditation technicalities, which I may have said at one time or other. The purpose of having the eyes open is that you’re not checking
Kirpal Gordon: Allen you described (William) Blake as a Vajrayana poet. I can imagine, here at Christmas-time, Santa Claus over here, and he’s a wino, an alcoholic, and a father and a son are walking towards him and the son sees a nice old man who gives presents and the father recognizes immediately that it’s an old wino (he’s picking up a little seasonal work). And.. now you have two perceptions here, and in (William) Blake’s system, one is the perception of … Read More