Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
["The Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche drove down from his favorite spot on Bear Mountain for rendezvous with me at his secretary Beverly Webster's house in Boulder. He'd been ill, rumor'd to've been ""Visiting the Dakinis."" I asked him where the Dakinis were, once we'd got in the living room, he said ""Right there"" pointing to the window-sill above the sofa. ""What do they say?"" I asked, he replied, ""Sometimes they criticize me for teaching too much Vajrayana, too many secrets. Sometimes they tell me to teach more."" We looked at my photographs, he gave me wise advice on domestic crisis. Uniform'd as head of ideal Shambhala kingdom. April 12, 1985" (Ginsberg caption, slightly expanded from written one above) photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate ]
February 28, 1939, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's birthday.
Here's Trungpa reading some of his poems, "with a little help from his friends", (vintage footage here and here - and the full audio of the event (at Naropa Institute in August in 1975, only the third time that he'd ever given a public poetry recital) here.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Gang Of Souls: A Generation of Beat Poets
Friday, February 24, 2012
[Anton Corbijn - Allen Ginsberg, New York, 1996 - via Philips de Pury]
Barney Rosset's passing, on Tuesday, continues to seem like a watershed moment in the history, certainly in America, of literary censorship (see our posting here and Rosset's New York Times obituary here). Louisa Thomas' 2008 Newsweek profile of him can be found here and Loren Glass's two-part piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books here.
Emeritus professor at the University of Massachusetts, Jules Chametzky, in Jewish Currents, honors Allen as a "pioneering poet and activist", and concludes with a personal testament, saluting (his) "candor yes, courage, yes, and most assuredly, heart".
The Boo-Hooray Gallery in New York City, we've spoken of before, in the context of their rich miscellaneous Angus MacLise show. Time to do so again - this time focusing on another plethora of artifacts, having to do with Ed Sanders, author of the recently-published memoir, Fug You. Video of Ed reading at the opening may be viewed here. The show closes March 8.
"While living in the East Village during the early 90s, I had the honor of meeting and visiting with Allen. To be counted among the actors charged with breathing life into this story gives me a gratifying sense of serendipity. His life and work are a continuing inspiration to me."
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
[Barney Rosset, New York City, June 21, 1991. Photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Ray Bremser (1934-1998) was one of the great neglected figures of the Beat Generation.
"Beat? I don't know. I've always considered myself a jazz poet. I only knew Jack Kerouac for, like, sixty hours? We talked a lot, you know, and... we didn't speak about poetry, it was about girls, and wine (Jack likes his wine. I liked my vodka and my beer and everything else but.. I used to go to poetry readings and drink a bottle of Thunderbird before I really felt like I was ready to read. I was always kind of nervous, but the alcohol, you know settles you a little bit." [footage, then, of Bremser reading]
"Yeah, I learned to roll with the.. like Sinatra, I took the blows. I did play it my way, pretty much, you know. I wouldn't let myself get gloomy. Melancholy? no, that's not for me, you know.
I can be happy. I was the Chairman of the (Honor Committee in the Honor dormitory) in the Bordentown Reformatory, for almost six years before they shipped me to prison to finish my time. And if anyone was having a good time in jail. it was me. I just made it mine, that's all. Whatever pain came, it's. (it was).. to convert it into something that's not painful, or much less painful than it ordinarily is, or would be." [Bremser reading footage again]
[Ray Bremser master poet returned to New York after 8 years’ absence wrinkle-faced as before, to attend my “Rainbow Body Reading Series” at Brooklyn College & same night read at St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project. Next evening we did two poetry readings shows together for jazz-club Village Vanguard anniversary week celebrations. He left early next morning by bus, for safety from drink, to his upstate New York Utica apartment. Saw him this way the night before all these poetry scenes, at my house, February 21, 1995. (Ginsberg Caption) photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
More footage of Allen and Steven Taylor in Europe in 1984. This from the fourth “Nacht van de Poezie” (Night of Poetry) at the Vorst Nationaal performance space in Brussels, organized by Guido Lauwaert and Francois Beukelaers and featuring the Belgian poets, Herman De Coninck and Hugo Claus, the Dutch poets Remco Campert and Jules Deelder, the Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Allen, and several others. Allen and Steven appear approximately five-and-a-half minutes into the film, seen performing the always-moving “Father Death Blues”.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
West Coast Beat & Beyond
Of all the films coming out of the 1982 Naropa "On The Road" 25th Anniversary Celebrations (notably Costanzo Allione's Fried Shoes and Cooked Diamonds, and Robert Frank's freewheeling documentary footage, This Song For Jack (1983)), Chris Felver's West Coast Beat and Beyond (1984), (filmed also in the Bay Area too, as its title might suggest), may be the most passed-over, most unfairly neglected. Rare footage, not just of Ginsberg-Corso-Ferlinghetti et al, but also, Philip Lamantia, Howard Hart, Harold Norse, Bob Kaufman, Jack Michelene, Jan Kerouac, Joanne Kyger, Bobbie-Louise Hawkins, Ken Kesey.. (the sight of (a) country 'n western Kesey on guitar, with Allen, shaking the tambourine, backing him up, is indeed a sight to behold!) The narration is by Kerouac biographer, Gerald Nicosia (who, incidentally, and not unrelatedly, has a new book [on Lu Anne Henderson] just out)
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
["Long Skulled Keith Haring Lawrence Kansas September 9, 1987 Passing thru Burroughs Fiesta" (Ginsberg caption) Photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
[2o15 up-date - that version's no longer available so here's Rage Against the Machine, October 15th the same year at the Hollywood Palladium:]
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
from Collected Poems 1947-1997, Harper Collins, 2006. Used with permission.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Dave L Stevens of Stevens Internet Productions has generously uploaded to You Tube this stunning performance of "Spell" a.k.a."Footnote to Howl" by Patti Smith and her band, with Philip Glass on piano, and back-up "vocals" by saffron-robed Buddhist monks (the recitation was in honor of a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama). As Stevens himself notes, "Not seen for more than a decade. I directed and produced this interactive webcast. When Patti Smith begins "howling" on her clarinet, it's sublime."
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
"Allen studies his portrait by Mary Beach, Varsity Apartments, NAROPA Institute, August 1984" - photo c. Gordon Ball]
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Here's that film's trailer:
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
[Neal Cassady ... young & vigorous age 29.... surveying North Beach used car lot, he needed new wheels. Bay area Johnny Appleseed of pot from early 1950’s, he worked as conductor on Southern-Pacific Railroad, averted train crash as brakeman years earlier, breaking his ankle, collected insurance, bought his family a ranch-house in Los Gatos down the peninsula, gambled madly & disastrously at horse racetrack, wrote painfully in pencil on his “The First Third” autobiographical manuscript, visited me overnight in rooms on Polk and Montgomery Streets, San Francisco. Sometime March 1955. (Ginsberg Caption for similar image) photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
[Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, used car lot, San Francisco, 1955. photo probably snapped by Natalie Jackson. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
[Peter Du Peru, Neal Cassady & Natalie Jackson horsing around maybe Sunday walk above Broadway Tunnel, Neal playing hookey from his wife Caroline & kids in Los Gatos to stay with Natalie at my place. Du Peru eccentric North Beach remittance man was writ by Kerouac as “Richard de Chili, the Mysterious...with his low-spoken incomprehensible remarks,” (Desolation Angels.) Natalie bewildered by amphetamine police jitters jumped off her roof to death a year later. San Francisco, March 1955. photo c.
Allen Ginsberg Estate]
[Korean War Vet Ken Babbs, captain of Ken Kesey’s “Trips Festival” bus, co piloting Neal Cassady on amphetamine at wheel rolling up highway to Millbrook estate near Poughkeepsie [sic] N.Y. where Dr. Tim Leary’s Castalia Foundation was then experimenting with D.M.T. on half-hour psychedelic trip useful for psychiatric sessions. Burglar Gordon Liddy, then assistant D.A. in Poughkeepsie raided the Foundation a number of times illegally lacking search warrants during that season, so Castalia folk were jittery on arrival of honking Day-glo graffiti’d “Merry Prankster” Further bus which’d been driven crosscountry S.F. to N.Y. via Texas before Fall 1964 Presidentiad, “A Vote For Goldwater is a vote for fun” logo painted above bus side windows, L.S.D. Kool-aid in pitcher in icebox. Kesey & Pranksters’d met with Jack Kerouac a day before, & set out to visit hero Leary first time, I went along, late summer 1964. (Ginsberg Caption) photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
Watch Neal Cassady: The Denver Years on PBS. See more from Colorado Public Television.