Kerouac-Cassady (Jack Kerouac Scat Singing)

[Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac – Photograph by Carolyn Cassady]

We continue this week mining the treasure which is the extraordinary trove of audio at the Allen Ginsberg archives, now housed at Stanford University.

Today, a remarkable discovery – Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. The tape (there are two copies, actually, 131 and 132) is simply (and with no further information ) titled “Kerouac and Cassady, San Jose, 1952, William Burroughs“. (Burroughs, in fact, doesn’t appear on the tape (in those days ayahuasca-hunting in South America), but there’s some wonderful speculation on him)  … Read More

Seymour Wyse

[Seymour Wyse, Horace Mann School, 1940 (courtesy of Dave Moore)]  

Returning to the extraordinary trove of tapes of Allen now in the archives at Stanford University, here’s a recently-discovered gem – Allen, in 1981, at Leicester University, in Englandin conversation with the figure who turned on the young  Jack Kerouac to a rich and life-long appreciation of jazz,  his old Horace Mann schoolmate – Seymour Wyse. 

Edie Parker Kerouac (remembering Seymour Wyse, in Boulder, the following year) : “Yeah and he used to scat, and he and Jack used to do this together. And the first time, … Read More

Sapphic Concision (“On Neal Cassady’s Ashes”)

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa “Basic Poetics” class continues from here

AG: I took a poem that I had written, that was in an almost-Sapphic style, in 1968, “On Neal Cassady’s Ashes”, (which is a little classic, which is in some anthologies already. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with it) …Yeah…and I re-wrote it last night, also, so it would fit (the) Sapphic form. I had to take out about six words and it all fit, so it goes… And I found it..  I had done it unconsciously already, because the original first line was … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 359

[Carl Solomon at home in the Bronx, 1991 – Photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries]

Today, Friday March 30th. is Howl dedicatee, Carl Solomon‘s birthday. For last year’s Carl Solomon posting (“Remembering Carl Solomon”) – see here)

It’s also the anniversary of Rimbaud‘s lover, the poet, Paul Verlaine‘s birthday.  (For a posting on Verlaine’s “Chanson d’Automne” – see here)

And, while we’re on the subject of anniversaries – Our dear friend Bob Creeley died on this date thirteen years ago. Much missed, thinking of you, Bob.

David S Will’s Beatdom continues to deliver challenging A.G. … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Psalm

[“”Ah, but to have seen the Dove of still/Divinity..” – (Allen Ginsberg) – see above – painting by Jack Kerouac]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Okay, I’ll finish this (poem) [“Psalm”], it’s not that much, I’m going to read it through and we’ll have it “And I write shadow changes into bone/To say that still Word, the prophetic image/Beyond our present strength of flesh to bear./ Incarnate in the rain as in the sea./Watches out for us out of our eyes/What sweet dream to be some incorruptible/Divinity, corporeal without a name,/Suffering metamorphosis of flesh/  Holy are the Visions of the … Read More

Jack Kerouac’s Birthday

Jack Kerouac’s birthday today. Strange to think he would be 96! From our good friend, Kerouac literary executor, Jim Sampas:

Excerpt from Letter Jack Kerouac to Neal CassadyDec. 28,  1950

“All my life I was fascinated by the first thaws of New England March; not until I was told I was actually born in the midst of one did I vaguely remember the day of my birth, or is this too far-fetched? Not in the least (my darkface protests across the continent to thee.) I remember it, I remember the day of my birth. I remember the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 356

Beyond Beat, the five-day Los Angeles Beat  convention continues. Among the highlights tonight, a group reading of “Howl” (also a performance of Gregory Corso’s “Bomb”, and a poetry reading by Neeli Cherkovski and Paul Vangelisti). Tomorrow (Saturday) will include a “Punk and Beat” panel  (with V. Vale, Jerry Casale, and S.A.Griffin), a panel on Bob Kaufman, and a showing of Billy Woodberry‘s documentary on Kaufman, And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead.  Sunday includes Steve Silberman (on the Legacy of “Howl”), a “Howl” panel (with Steve Silberman, Marc Olmsted, and … Read More

Early Ginsberg – 2 – “Do We Understand Each Other?”

[“Over the road in an automobile/Rode I and my gentle love’]

AG: So then there was..an imitation of Herbert’s “Collar” – from George Herbert – Herbert – “Collar”  is.. (page) two ninety-four –and  three hundred –  “Love bade me welcome… ”  Now, in “The Collar”, you get… (two ninety-four, two ninety-five) –  Remember at the end, he says “But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild/ At every word,/ Methought I heard one calling, Child! /And I replied My Lord.” ? You remember that poem? Everybody? Most of you remember that?  Because that was, you remember, a poignant … Read More

Early Ginsberg – 1 – “A Lover’s Garden”

[Neal Cassady, New York City, ca 1946, “in his first suit, bought in Chinatown” photobooth shot, courtesy Allen Ginsberg Collection]

AG: (Where’s (Andrew) Marvell’s “..Garden”?  We”ll take a look at it here [and also at Allen’s “A Lover’s Garden”] …Is this alright what I’m doing?..  I don’t that often teach my own poetry.. (but) this is the first time (that) I’ve got into this. “How vainly men themselves amaze/To win the palm, or oak, or bays” ? What is that? – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight – so I had an eight-line stanza –  “amaze/bays”,  “see/tree”, “shade/upbraid”, … Read More

 Allen Ginsberg’s “A Further Proposal”

[Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, San Francisco, 1963. photo: Allen Ginsberg Estate]

AG:  next – oh yeah, Marlowe – ( (page) twenty-five) –Come Live With Me And Be My Love” – remember that? – Everybody read that?  This was my version of that.

This is to Neal Cassady, but it isn’t very much in the closet, this is 1947, one of the other poems in the book (The Gates of Wrath) and I was then twenty-one– “Come live with me and be my love and we will some old pleasures prove./Men like me have paid … Read More