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

On “Stanzas Written At Night in Radio City” 

[Radio City Crossing. photo by Henry Silberman]

OnStanzas Written At Night in Radio City” 

[hear Allen in a recording of him reading the poem (from the LP/CD “The Lion For Real”)  here  – (and. here (in 1980), and, from a recording from 1981, in San Francisco  at The Intersection – here]

AG:   “If money made the mind more sane./ Or money mellowed in the bowel/ The hunger beyond the hunger’s pain,/ Or money choked the mortal growl/ And made the groaner grin again,/ Or did the laughing lamb embolden/ To loll where has … Read More

Pull My Daisy (Collaborative Poem)

AG: And another one of the similar.. well, of a similar theme, just a crazy (crazy).. – the mad song?  you know, just the idea of the madman’s song?, was – “Pull My Daisy”,  (which began as a little lyric that I wrote, “Pull my daisy/tip my cup…”) – “Pull my daisy/tip my cup/Cut my thoughts/for coconuts...” – (Well I heard, at some point, about Christopher Smart, actually) –  “When I think of death/ I get a goofy feeling/Then I catch my breath/Zero is appealing/Appearances are hazy/Smart went crazy/Smart went crazy” – (Christopher Smart, I meant with that – … Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

[Neal Cassady (1926-1968)] – Photograph by Herb Greene via The Grateful Dead Archive Online]

Neal Cassady‘s birthday today, born February 8, 1926 in Salt Lake City.

In Denver tomorrow, the David Amram Quartet will headline the 9th Annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash at the Mercury Cafe, featuring music, poetry and reminiscences celebrating the life and the legend of Neal Cassady,

The following day, February 10th, at the Alamo Drafthouse/Sloan’s Lake, there will be a special screening of the film Magic Trip  (2011) detailing Cassady and Ken Kesey’s 1964 adventures (Cassady driving the bus with the Merry Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 351

Next week, Neal Cassadys birthday.,   On Friday and Saturday, next week, they’ll be the big celebration in Denver (with special guests, Jami Cassady and David Amram – for more information on those celebrations – see here).

Monday,, it’s another Beat birthday – William Burroughs. There’s a celebration of that tonight – Three Rooms Press (publishers of the upcoming Don’t Hide The Madness – William S Burroughs In Conversation with Allen Ginsberg) present, at New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe (starting at 6 o’clock), a William Burroughs Birthday Tribute, featuring Anne Waldman, Steven Taylor, and … Read More

USA Poetry – Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, 1965

We’ve been featuring, these last few months, video from the Stanford University Archives (a number of intriguing videos of Allen reside there, though curiously, not this one – Allen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1965, from the ground-breaking WNET television series, USA Poetry, directed, as they all were, by the remarkable poet and filmmaker, Richard O Moore).

We’ll be featuring more from USA Poetry in the weeks ahead. But to start off with, Allen (filmed on two occasions, July 18 and December 14, 1965 – the broadcast went out the week of March 7 1966) .

The video begins with … Read More

Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg November 1957

[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s  Jack Kerouac-Writer ]

Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris.  Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.

Dear Allen.  Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s]  “sweetly in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 335

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time,  “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period”  (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading at The Intersection, San Francisco, 1971

[Allen Ginsberg, 1971]

Another archived reading today (courtesy the irreplaceable PennSounds) – Allen Ginsberg reading at The Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco in 1971

AG: I’ll begin. Most of what I’ll read tonight is poetry from the last twelve months (sic), but I want to begin, prefatory, by a poem written in 1949, part of a book called Gates of Wrath, which will be published by Four Seasons Press, “Stanzas Written at Night in Radio City”      (“If money made the mind more sane…”…”Man runs after his own shadow”) – “Gary Snyder Reading Poesy Read More