It’s a red-letter day! (or, to be accurate, a red-and-black letters day, on a plain cream-white background!). Coffee House Press have just published, in one 800-plus single volume, The Collected Poems of Ron Padgett. “Ron Padgett‘s poems”, writes Anne Waldman, “are essential and Ron Padgett is a genius”. She goes on,”His poetry is masterful for its panoramic humanity and mind-stopping verbal wit, its breathtaking power and beauty. We want to stay with the person in these poems all day long, to be changed by the possibilities palpitating from the smallest increments of our existence to the most … Read More
Ted Berrigan‘s birthday. Ted adored Allen. Alongside the late-lamented Frank O’Hara, he was the one. Ted had this embarrassingly patriotic poetic tribal conceit, and in that context Allen was “the President” of Poetry (analogous to Allen’s own gleeful imaginative “shadow cabinet” – “Vachel Lindsay Secretary of the Interior/Poe Secretary of Imagination/Pound Secty. of Economics..” (Death to Van Gogh’s Ear)
Student: I feel I have to defend myself against (you and) the rest of the class
Allen Ginsberg: Do you have a “self” to defend? – okay, if you insist on having a “self”
Student: Well you said (my comparison with set theory wasn’t so helpful) but why I said that was, that if the members don’t interact, then that means that, just like in a sentence, that means there’s no articulation, (group consciousness) is not being put … Read More
Student: A lot of Anne (Waldman)’s poems are that way (oracular, rhapsodic) like “Musical Garden”, a breath of fresh air. They can pick you up and just…
Student : ..stanza after stanza, ( with a hook line) – “Can’t give you up”
Student: The “Pressure” poem
Student: That’s not all one line, is it?
AG: No, these are separate lines. Same principle, though – a repeated refrain.. The thing is “Pressure” is.. as distinct from other poems of Anne’s.. “Pressure”.. was the first of her magnificent … Read More
Ted Berrigan: I’m in favor of the addition of as many words as possible in a poem…
AG: Oh, God, I’m in favor of taking out as many words as possible!
TB: It’s just to see if you can get away with it. It has to be good.
AG: Oh well, if you’re conscious of seeing what you can get away with, that’s another matter, but here, I think, it was the first attempt at writing a “list poem”, (in which the “you” and “like” … Read More
[The conclusion of Gary Snyder’s “Myths & Texts Part III – Burning” opposite the opening of Edward Marshall’s “Leave The Word Alone” in The New American Poetry (1945-1960), Evergreen/Grove Press, 1960 – edited by Donald M Allen – Marshall and his poem were omitted from the revised edition of this book subsequent published as The Postmoderns, 1994]
Poet, Ted Berrigan is sitting in on Allen’s class and he chimes in
Ted Berrigan: Well, Allen, there he (Edward Marshall)’s using the word “they” (“they are/ dangerous”)…
TB: …to refer to “word”, “Bible” and “barbed wire”…
Ted Berrigan reading his poem “Whitman in Black” from Ron Mann’s film Poetry In Motion (1982). Huge apologies this cuts of the very last three words (!) “…Whitman’s walk unchanged after its fashion” but we gander its still worth a posting.
It’s been more than a decade since the death of Allen Ginsberg, but in the interim I’ve found that he’s stayed with me as an informing, tempering, guardian-like presence of a stature equaled only by my late father. Allen and I were never really friends, but having said that I feel an urgency to qualify and emend it. He meant as much as or more than any friend I can think of, and in … Read More