[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
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
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
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
Next week, Neal Cassady‘s 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).
[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
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