Allen Ginsberg, Salman Rushdie, & Meditation

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

1974 – Scottish International Interview

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph(s) by Ian Dryden]

We’ve previously featured here footage from Allen’s 1973 visit to Scotland     ( a reading for the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow). We also featured some grainy footage (and some transcription from his press conference). Here (with some duplication) is the interview that appeared in Scottish International, September 1973. Allen, as a note in the magazine reveals, had been visiting with Chogyam Trungpa (in exile then in Scotland)  and the Buddhist community at Samye Ling monastery at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries, as well as giving readings and traveling around.  He had also taken time … Read More

Studs Terkel interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part two

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

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 on David Letterman Show, 1982

Allen’s late-night American tv appearances – We’ve already featured a previous one (from May 10, 1994 on the Conan O’Brien tv show) –  here’s another appearance, the previous decade, (from “Late Night With David Letterman” – this program was broadcast on June 10, 1982, on NBC)

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

Allen Ginsberg in Austin – Interview – 1978

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

Meditation and Writing Experiment

 
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

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

Q & A – 3 (“Love the breath of the moment”)

 

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

Meditation Advice

 
[Kobun Chino Roshi, sitting Sesshin at Naropa, July 1989. photo.c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

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

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Trungpa Visits Allen’s Class – 3 (Q & A – 2)

 

[Kirpal Gordon]

   

[David Rome]

     

 [William Blake]

AG:  I think Kirpal had his hand up first

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