Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 317

[Funeral for Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, May 26. 1997, Karme Choling, Tail of the Tiger Buddhist Meditation Center, Barnet, Vermont. Photo: Ray Ellis]

Today is the anniversary of Trungpa’s Rinpoche’s Buddhist cremation ceremony. Thirty years ago today, ‘”more than two thousand students and friends” gathered, “in a meadow ringed with pine and maple trees”, near Barnet, Vermont. (Karme Choling, Tail of the Tiger). Allen’s evocative and richly-detailed poem, (“I noticed the grass, I noticed the hills, I noticed the highways, I noticed the dirt road…”) ,”On Cremation of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Vidyadhara”, written shortly … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 290


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today – from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography: ” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.

And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what made … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 196

[Allen Ginsberg with (portrait of) Walt Whitman – Photograph by Misao Mizuno]

Mash-Ups – As we noted in an earlier post, “The ubiquitous Tom Waits-Allen Ginsberg mash-up, “Closing Time”/“America” has got to be one of the most-accessed Allen Ginsberg items on the web” (plenty of listeners still thinking, erroneously, that they must’ve recorded together – they didn’t) – We were pleased to receive originator, Ralph Beard’s wry comment (printed then – and now re-printed here), since it puts the piece in its (intriguing, allbeit antediluvian) context:

“Every now and then I do a search on this thing just … Read More

What Keeps Mankind Alive?

What Keeps Mankind Alive? The text – Ralph Manheim and John Willett‘s translation, from Bertolt Brecht‘s original German, of the second finale of Brecht-Weill’s classic “Threepenny Opera” (Die Dreigroschenoper) (1928):

A rare photograph of Brecht and Weill together

[Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) & Kurt Weill (1900-1950)]

“You gentlemen who think you have a mission/To purge us of the seven deadly sins/Should first sort out the basic food position/Then start your preaching, that’s where it begins/ You lot, who preach restraint and watch your waist as well/Should learn, for once, the way the world is run/However much you twist, or whatever lies that you tell/Food is the first … Read More

“Aint No Sin To Take Off Your Skin…” (from The Black Rider)

“When you hear sweet syncopation and the music softly moans/‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones/When it gets too hot for comfort, and you can’t get an ice-cream cone/t’ain’t no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones/Just like those bamboo babies, down in the South Sea tropic zone/ t’aint no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones.” William Burroughs, Robert Wilson and Tom Waits‘ … Read More

Arabic America

We featured this past July 4, Allen’s still-surprisingly-relevant 1956 poem, “America”. Here’s Moroccan poet & scholar, El Habib Louai‘s, Arabic translation. He is currently working to translate Allen’s complete collected poems into Arabic.



. أمريكا لقد منحتك كل شيء وها أنا الآن لا شيء

أمريكا، دولارين وسبعة وعشرين سنتيمات،

سبعة عشر ينايرألف وتسع مائة وست وخمسين

. أنا لا أستطيع أن أحافظ على رأيي الخاص

أمريكا متى سننهي الحرب على الإنسانية؟

انكحي نفسك بقنبلتك الذرية!

أنا لا أشعر أنني بحالة جيدة

. لا تزعجني

. لن أكتب قصيدتي حتى يستقيم رأي

أمريكا متى ستصبحين بريئة؟

متى ستخلعين … Read More

A Mix Tape/Allen Ginsberg Dancing

Tom Waits – Closing Time/America

The ubiquitous Tom Waits-Allen Ginsberg mash-up “Closing Time/America” has got to be one of the most accessed Allen Ginsberg items on the web – 86,000 (and counting [2011]) hits on this particular up-load (since it was first uploaded in April of 2006), and that’s not counting the hits for other, more recent, versions, here and here . Of course, the two never recorded anything together. The reading of “America” is from Chicago, in 1959 (when Tom Waits was all of ten years old!)  and the Waits instrumental is the last track (and the title track) from his first (1973) … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 49

Welcome recent Allen Ginsberg Project readers, and greetings and thank yous to our more long-time followers, as this site continues to build. The biggest “spike” in our history took place this week, on Tuesday, following our Sonic Youth posting (even bigger, yes, than that following our Johnny Depp, or Bob Dylan, or even “Buddha’s Footprints” postings!) Sonic Youth kindly had it on their Facebook (clearly, more perused than our Facebook!)…
Our continuing Occupy Wall Street coverage – Author, Jan Clausen:
“I’m at Zuccotti Park, where I go every day, wearing a sign that says BECAUSE … Read More

Ferlinghetti’s “Fortune” set to music by Tom Waits

Ya only really get to see the top of Waits’ head here, but the sound quality is definitely decent enough to warrant a post. Check it out on

Waits was performing as were Patti Smith, Marcus Shelby, Steve Earle, Michael McClure, and others, in honor of Ferlinghetti at San Francisco’s 11th annual Litquake literary festival last Saturday 

Read More