David McReynolds (1929-2018)

[David McReynolds, March 18. 1960 (sic) letter to Allen Ginsberg]

[David McReynolds (1929-2018) with his cat, Shaman – Photograph by Ed Hedemann]

The great pacifist activist David McReynolds died on Friday August 17 (this past Friday), aged 88, following a fall he sustained at his New York City home. We deeply mourn his passing.

His obituary in The Washington Post, by Harrison Smith (“David McReynolds, gay socialist pacifist, who twice ran for president, dies at 88”), can be accessed here.  The informative New York Times obituary (by Jacey Fortin) may be found – here  (and Ellen Moynihan’s notice in the … Read More

“Theatrics” During the Vietnam War

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake continues

AG: “That the Poetic Genius is the true Man. and that the body or outward form of Man is dervied from the Poetic Genius” (William Blake) –  “…it’s just a very simple point that he’s saying, (which) is that anything, any life lived, is lived according to the interpretation of the guy who’s living.  In that sense, “Poetic Genius”.  In that sense, poetic.  Poesis is making.  Actually “poet” means “maker”, interestingly enough. The root, etymologically, of “poetry” is “making”.  So, it’s like the universe is what we make up.  So … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 367

[Allen Ginsberg, photographed on the campus at Columbia University, 1968]

A nice little hat-tipping to Allen from Danny Goldberg, in an interview with Rob Couteau. in Rain Taxi, regarding his new book,  In Search of the Lost Chord – 1967 and the Hippie Idea

“My favorite poem by Allen is “Wichita Vortex Sutra.” That, to me, is his quintessential ’60s poem. It’s a fully mature commentary on what was happening in America at that time. I recently wrote a review of the Ken Burns documentary of the Vietnam War, and I said: “If you want to … Read More

Wichita Vortex Sutra (Automobile Poesy to Nebraska, 1967)

“Turn Right, Next Corner/ The Biggest Little Town in Kansas/ Macpherson/Red … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 84 – Out-take – Nixon’s Paranoia

[Richard M Nixon (1913-1994)]

So, a quick  “outtake” today, or “digression” (from our recent transcription (from 1981) of Allen, speaking  of the bureaucratic complicity and the institutionalized paranoia of the (Stalinist) Russian police state – “No hope Communism, No hope Capitalism” – He couldn’t help but point out its the American equivalent (America in the ‘Sixties – CREEP (the Committee for the Re-Election of the President), Nixon and Watergate) 

AG: (It’s) just like trying to investigate the CIA now, or the FBI..I mean, you can’t send people to jail! – I mean, they might have killed people, they

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Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

[Pete Seeger (1919-2014)]

Fellow activists, fellow artists, fellow passionate devotees to peace, Allen and Pete Seeger were standing there together in 1969 [sic] at the founding of WTR (War Tax Resistance), a far-sighted organization founded by The War Resisters League and others, “in the belief that the right to conscientious objection belongs to all people, not just those of draft age”. WTR published a newsletter, two editions of a book, and helped establish 192 war tax resistance “centers” and 4o “alternative funds” across the country, moving to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1972 to become more centrally located. Pete, … Read More