July 19 (Mayakovsky’s Birthday)

[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]

Today, July 19, the great poet, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, was born in Baghdati, Georgia. We’ve featured Mayakovsky numerous times here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. For example, here and here.

The fourteen-part series, Allen’s 1981 focus (with in-class presentation by Ann Charters)  begins here, and continues  here, here and here  (Expansive Poetry) .

Further posts  here (Akhmatova and Mayakovsky), here (Mayakovsky on Esenin), here (Mayakovsky and Mandelstam), here (“The Bedbug”), here (“At The Top of My Voice“), here (Mayakovsky and the Revolution), here (Mayakovsky and … Read More

Peter Orlovsky Parinirvana

Peter Orlovsky’s Parinirvana.  Allen Ginsberg’s long-time companion, died, seven years ago, on this day.  Those who knew him will certainly never forget Peter. His remarkable and inspired book of poems, Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs, idiosyncratic spellings and all, is quite like any other book of poems. His papers (now residing at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin) yielded the posthumous companion-piece Peter Orlovsky – A Life In Words.  There is also the sadly-out-of-print 1980 volume, Straight Hearts’ Delight. We’ve quoted from it before. Here’s another letter from Peter … Read More

Studs Terkel 1959 Radio Interview – Part 2

Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg, 1959

continuing from yesterday – the Studs Terkel interview

Studs Terkel: :Question, question. Anybody can answer it –  Do you believe you represent the young generation of poets today?

Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky: No, no, no, no, we’re pariahs!

ST: Oh, You’re pariahs?
AG:All we represent is ourselves. We couldn’t represent anybody else. The trouble is everybody’s going around trying to represent somebody else..
GC:Yeah, that’s terrible, that’s scarey.
AG: All I represent is me and all Gregory represents is him and all Peter represents is Peter.
PO:  All … Read More

Allen Ginsberg & Bob Dylan at the Grave of Jack Kerouac

This little excerpt, this classic excerpt, from Bob Dylan’s lost epic, “Renaldo and Clara” (courtesy of the essential “The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg“, Jerry Aronson‘s deluxe two-disc DVD set).  Bob and Allen, in 1975, in Lowell cemetery (Edson cemetery), on the occasion of a stop-over on the legendary Rolling Thunder tour, famously standing together, beside Jack Kerouac’s grave, musing, (Allen’s certainly taking the lead), in memento mori.  Allen (gesticulating towards the grave):”So that’s what’s gonna happen to you?”  Dylan: “No, I want to be in an unmarked grave.” The clip begins with … Read More

Peter Orlovsky’s 1975 Naropa class (Poets Who Have Influenced Me)

 

Image2.jpg (66741 bytes)

[Peter Orlovsky with mama goat (“Shiva”) and her baby, Cherry Valley Farmhouse, Cherry Valley, New York State – Photograph by Gordon Ball – Copyright Gordon Ball]  

An “unusual” transcription for this weekend. From the very early days of Naropa (August, 1975), Peter Orlovsky’s Naropa Class – “Poets Who Have Influenced Me”. He concludes, “Well, I’m sorry I wasn’t prepared. Maybe next year I’ll be better prepared”, but it is precisely the spontaneous un-prepared nature of the conversation (and the reading) that’s so interesting. If you’re listening to it on the audio, be prepared for several ponderous silences, rifling … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 135

Mayakovsky’s Birthday today. We’ll alert you to some of our earlier Mayakovsky postings – here, here, and here.

Michael Kurcfeld’s video over at the LA Review of Books on the Jean-Jacques Lebel Ginsberg & Beats celebration is well worth perusing. See here.  

San Francisco’s Beat Memories, the travelling show of Allen’s photographs is still up (so, if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of the CJM (Contemporary Jewish Museum… need we say more?)   

Did we run this review? – one out of of
Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 102 (Mayakovsky)

[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]

 AG: There’s another development, in the 20th Century, of social poetry, in Russia, with Mayakovsky – poetry that was meant to be read in communal circumstances, like in factories. In Russian, the rhythms and the rhymes are more obvious, and sometimes as strong as Vachel Lindsay  particularly in Mayakovsky. There’s one poem (of his) called “At The Top Of My Voice”, which I’d like to read. This is (in) a translation by a fellow named Herbert Marshall. I’ve had it on the reserve shelf (in the library) and it’ll be there for the … Read More