Following the death of Larry Fagin, news reaches us this morning of the death of another of the great Naropa poet-teachers, Jack Collom. When Allen and Anne Waldman set up the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in 1974 in Boulder, Colorado, Colorado already had one distinctive inventive joyful maverick poet at hand, Jack Collom. He was swiftly engaged in the experiment and soon (not soon enough, as we recall) became an integral part of the faculty. This page (from the Naropa University Archive) provides links to countless instances of Jack’s participation. We might, arbitrarily, single out … Read More
JC: Well, I’m going to play a song that was a great.. one of
..Actually, I’m going to play this early Velvet Underground song and then I’m going to play a Phil Ochs song. For some reason,
Phil Ochs and The Velvet Underground have this weird connection for me. I mean.
they got me into poetry as much as Bob.. well more than Bob Dylan, and as much
as Frank O’Hara
from “The Literary History of the Beat Generation”, Allen’s 1982 Naropa lecture series – his seminar on Philip Lamantia – a full transcription (the audio is available here (starting approximately thirty-one-and-three-quarter minutes in) and continuing here)
AG: So..we’ll start with Lamantia. How many know Lamantia? – I brought
[The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia – edited by Garrett Caples, Andrew Joron & Nancy Joyce Peters (with a foreward by Lawrence Ferlinghetti) forthcoming from the University of California Press, this summer]
AG: I want to read you one or two other short poems of his [Philip Lamantia‘s]
Student: What was that (last) one?
AG: That’s called “There is this distance between me and what I see” (on page 6o of Selected Poems by Philip Lamantia, City Lights, published in (19)67 – they’re his main poems up to 1966, and I put it in the Naropa library, … Read More
[Philip Lamantia – from the cover of his book Narcotica, published by Auerhahn Press, San Francisco, 1959]
Allen Ginsberg’s Spontaneous and Improvised Poetics class (sic) held at Naropa Insitute, July 7, 1976 continues – [note from original transcriber, Randy Roark, “the recording is recorded a great distance from the speaker, which accounts for some of the difficulty obtaining a complete and accurate description” – however…]
AG: So I’ve been using as texts..various modern poets. So, where I left off, in terms of formation of lines on the page and the litany form of the poem.. (So), picking up
AG: Would you like to hear some more (Philip) Lamantia?
AG; Lamantia and (Gregory) Corso, oddly, are  very much alive. Both Italian, both word-alchemists, mantic word-manipulators. This is called “Astro-mancy” – short lines.
The stars have gone crazy
and the moon is very angry
The old civilization
that rolled the dice of Hitler
is surely bumbling
into a heap of catatonic hysteria.
secret for sic thousand tears
is creeping on the crest of
future. I can almost see the
tin of its triangular star.