David Amram Remembers Jack Kerouac

[David Amram and Allen Ginsberg with Jack Kerouac and Larry Rivers at a diner –  during the making of Pull My Daisy, 1959 – Photograph by John Cohen]

Continuing our celebration of his 87th birthday

David Amram Remembers Jack Kerouac

This initial piece was originally written in 1969 for Evergreen Review, and published early in 1970 at the request of publisher Barney Rosset as an obituary for Kerouac

I used  to see Jack often at the old Five Spot in the beginning of 1957, when I was working there. I knew he was a writer, and all musicians knew … Read More

October 7 – Anniversary of the Six Gallery Reading

So today is the day – the 60th Anniversary of the famous “Six Gallery reading”, the ground-breaking first public performance of “Howl” (tho’ we shouldn’t forget the importance of the other readers who read that night –  Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia (reading John Hoffman), Philip Whalen – and Kenneth Rexroth was master of ceremonies)

Hear Michael McClure give a first-hand account of the event and its significance, on Witness, for the BBC World Service Here’s McClure’s account of that extraordinary occasion (excerpted from his Scratching The Beat Surface)  ” (In 1955) I … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on Jack Kerouac – 1982 Naropa continues

[Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) at a “Beat”party, 1959 – Photograph by Burt Glinn./Magnum Photos]

 Continuing here from yesterday’s posting – Allen annotates Jack Kerouac’s “Belief & Technique for Modern Prose”     “2. Submissive to everything, open, listening” – so that’s an attitude of mind of..  submissive to any thought that comes along – about fucking your mother, or about…I don’t know, anything it is that is most.. common, and most forbidden, anything that comes along  in your mind that is.. fucking God, if you want to, anything that you wouldn’t want, necessarily, anybody to hear, but you hear yourself, and so, … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 80 (Penfield’s Homunculus)

AG: Has anyone seen Penfield’s Homunculus? – the homunculoid picture drawn on the surface of the brain according to the areas of the brain that relate to the different senses? I think (the) mouth is enormous, actually. The mouth area is enormous. (The) forehead (is) very low, because there’s not much sensation up there. The visual? – I’ve forgotten how much area the visual takes up..

Student: It’s only for touch that he did that.
AG: For touch? – Ah..
Student: There’s also motor homunculus.
AG: That’s right. The thumbs were enormous.
Student: Yeah. Thumbs and the face. As … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 34 (Reznikoff 6 – Reznikoff & Lamantia – Acknowledge The Ground)

[Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976)]

 

“Once a toothless woman opened her door,/chewing a slice of bacon that hung from her mouth like a tongue”  – The most hideous image in American…  and the most memorable (it’s one of the most memorable things I’ve ever read) – “Once a toothless woman opened her door,/chewing a slice of bacon that hung from her mouth like a tongue” –  You can really see it – And then his comment –  “This is where I walked night after night;/this is where I walked away many years.”  That was his [Charles Reznikoff’s] life – but … Read More

Philip Lamantia’s Birthday

Philip Lamantia‘s birthday today. He would have been 87. We take the occasion to remind you once again of Garrett Caples and Andrew Joron’s exemplary edition of the Collected Poems  Here’s the two of them giving a presentation on it (from September of last year) Here’s our own extensive Lamantia posting(s) – Allen on Lamantia – here  and here, here,  here,  here, and here

Happy Birthday in Eternity, Philip… Read More

Gerd Stern 3 (Gerd Stern Remembers Harry Smith)

[Harry Smith with his mural, “Jimbo’s Bop City”, San Francisco, 1950 – Photograph by Hy Hirsch]

Gerd Stern: “It was a great success. The auditorium was always full; everybody paid except Harry Smith. Harry Smith was someone who was a spectacular creative being who died recently [1991]. I first met Harry–I think the first time I came to San Francisco he was working as a photographer for the Examiner, and he was living in a black hotel–he was pale white–in the Fillmore. He had done these way-ahead-of-their-time murals at Jimbo’s Bop Citywhich was just like it

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Gerd Stern – 1

Gerd Stern – Here’s an interview with the truly extraordinary Gerd Stern – Gerd Stern, who, allegedly lost that legendary Neal Cassady manuscript, Gerd Stern, artist, poet and multi-media visionary, at eighty-six years old – what remarkable stories he has to tell!  – his oral history, From Beat Scene Poet to Psychedelic Multimedia Artist 1948-1978  was  published, and is available on line from University of California, Berkeley. We’ll be quoting, tomorrow, salient paragraphs from it – But first, this. (Those with an interest in modern music should, also, on no account, miss this – Stern’s vivid first-hand memories of

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New Years Eve (Looking Back on 2013 & Forward to 2014)

[“Buddhist (and one non-Buddhist) Action Figures” Photograph by Reverend Danny Fisher 2013]

Last posting of 2013, we thought we’d list a few of our “greatest hits” from the past year – January – Nanao Sakaki and Allen Ginsberg singing “Birdbrain” in Osaka, Japan, February – William Burroughs’ 99th (next year will be Burroughs centennial), March – (speaking of nonagenarians) Ferlinghetti was 94, April – the Beats and the rock muse – “Text and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll, May – our Bob Dylan birthday posting, (this year – “The Night Bob Came Around” (and the night… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 151

Continuing from last week, (we can’t seem to leave it alone!) Kill Your Darlings (see earlier digests here and here) continues to garner reviews (mostly positive ones) – Michael O’Sullivan in The Washington Post takes up the debate over the blurring of fiction and fact (in particular, the presentation of Lucien Carr – wait a minute, “the Lucian Carr character”) – “You’d better like it complicated”, he writes, “The film is awash in delicious and difficult ambiguities”.  These “delicious and … Read More