[“Capitol Air” – “I don’t like the government where I live..” – Allen Ginsberg, pictured here with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash]
[Allen Ginsberg, 1985 Self Portrait – Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
More strange tapes from the archives. Solitary splendors. Throw-away musings. We’ll be featuring plenty more substantial things in the months to come but thought to follow up last week’s mournful ditty with this – another fugitive thing, another fleeting but poignant “audio-selfie” – Allen, alone with the tape-recorder, practicing, sounding out and composing a … Read More
“In a climate of fear and hysteria..” – It’s always revealing and instructive to “get to see the files”. We featured a lengthy post on Allen’s FBI files some years back (courtesy the pioneering work of Shawn Musgrave and Muck Rock). Another tenacious investigator. S.P. Sullivan is to be commended for just recently uncovering William Carlos Williams’ files – “He was one of Jersey’s most famous poets. The FBI worried he was a Communist”. Sullivan’s full report (just published, by Inside Jersey magazine, and on-line at NJ.Com) may be accessed – here
“…Here I am – Old Betty Boop whoopsing behind the skull microphone wondering what Idiot soap opera horror show we broadcast by Mistake/hypnotizing millions of regional-eyed detectives to commit mass murder on the Invisible/which is only a bunch of women weeping hidden behind newspapers in the Andes, conspired against … Read More
Last week, we featured transcription from a tape in the Stanford University Archives that featured an interview with Jack Kerouac’s childhood friend (and Allen’s friend) jazz aficiando, Seymour Wyse. This week, from the same tape, the conversation is followed by an interview with an earnest young English student (presumably an undergraduate at Leicester University, prior to the reading Allen gave there with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky in the Fall of 1982 – at one point in the transcript, Allen breathlessly itemizes his itinerary)
Interviewer (Student): Do you make recordings of all your work?
BF: I want (you) to read from the Table of Contents, like the virtuous…
AG: (It’s) [“Wales Visitation‘] a bit long, like eight minutes or so. Something.. And I had been used, generally, on television, to be told to please make it one minute – “Please make it two minutes” – (because they don’t realize the power of poetry, they think, you know, that everybody’s going to get bored!)
So I’ll read it again and I’d like to dedicate the reading to the absent … Read More
[On May 4, 1970, four unarmed students at Vietnam War protests at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, were killed by National Guardsmen – the iconic image here shows, on the ground, one of the deceased, Jeffrey Miller, shortly after the shooting – Student Protest – “After Kent State, after Kent State, people got really scared” (Allen Ginsberg, 1976, to Robert Goodman and Barry Farber on the Barry Farber show)]
In this episode, a punk Jonathan Robbins appears to the consternation of Barry Farber, and Allen discusses, among other things, ecology (eco-consciousness) and the apparent difficulty (alleged impossibility) of translation.
BF: (The Beat Generation) ….was every feature-writer’s security blanket tranquillizer and pacifier. (I want to know, technically, how you attracted that much attention?)
AG: I think, mainly, it was we said what we really thought, rather than what we were supposed to think or what we thought would be, you know, palatable for the … Read More
BF: I’m Barry Farber, Peter Orlovsky is with us – I think that means “the son of the eagle”
AG: Right… Russian too.
BF: Allen Ginsberg, Jonathan Robbins, that’s the poetic part of the panel. The journalistic side, who can’t care if it rhymes or has soul just as long as it asks the desired questions, Robert Goodman, a new broadcast journalist and a good one, Bullets Durgin, just said goodbye, … Read More