Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 16:57:36 +0500 From: Bil Brown
Subject: Re: ambivalence >Could Ginsberg's ambivalent attitude toward America be any more >effectively than conveyed than in its articulation in "Howl"? >"where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets, the >United States that coughs all night and won't let us sleep." >Cordially, >Mike Skau >4/2/97 Just in from a VERY reliable source: YOUR Mr. Ambivalence, Allen Ginsberg, has terminal cancer. Lets be nice to him for a little while. ok. Bil
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 12:51:52 -0800 From: Levi Asher
Subject: Poetry's Final Subject (fwd) Sad news confirmed ... > Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 10:59:58 -0800 > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > From: email@example.com (Steve Silberman) > Subject: Poetry's Final Subject > > http://www.wired.com/news/topframe/2950.html > > Allen Ginsberg has inoperable liver cancer, and "four to twelve months" > to live. > > > Beams to our teacher and friend. > > Love, > > Steve
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 17:45:47 EST From: Bill Gargan
Subject: Re: ambivalence Allen was fond of quoting Trungpa's words on Bill Burroughs Jr. when he was ill:"He will live or he will die. Both are good." I imagine Allen is better prepared than most of us for the end. Let's hope, however, that the doctors are wrongin giving him only three months. Meanwhile, let's all give him our friendship and support in the time left for us on earth together.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 12:09:14 -0500 From: Howard Park
Subject: A Comet Dims... Allen Ginsberg was, and is, a shining light that illuminates the world with a relentless spirit of truth and love. This man has spoken truth to evil in all its forms - the evil of totalitarianism be it comminist, capitalist, facist and every other ism or ist of our age. As his body fails, I'm moved to reflect on the only serious discussion I ever had with him, almost exactly a year ago. It was about hope, joy and optimism, qualities of beat writing which I believe are often overlooked. Allen never, ever, has shied away from the dark side of things in his art but I have always felt that there was a bedrock of joy within him. Joy so powerful that I knew that Molach would be overcome, person by person. It's not the joy of escapism, thought that is part of living a full life. Its the joy of always being able to see the good that is all around us, within us, the beauty of commonplace things, the beauty of the sunflower in the railroad yard. Whitman had this quality too, Jack Kerouac and Jerry Garcia too. I could go on, but for me the effect of Allen - his art and simply who he is - has simply made life more worth living. Thank you Allen Ginsberg. I know that death is natural, can be beautiful. I know it on an intellectual and perhaps a sriritual level too. But I can't escape a feeling of deep, deep sadness now also. AG's performance of "Father Death" haunts me...but I also remember his sly, knowing squint of a smile as he sang that poem the last time I saw him do it. I see him now, in my head, with the same expression. I guess he knows something that I don't. Howard Park
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 12:05:53 +0000 From: Mongo BearWolf
Subject: Ginsberg, terminal liver cancer Hi Folks... The rumor we heard earlier does appear to be true. Allen Ginsberg has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Check out: http://CNN.com/SHOWBIZ/9704/04/ginsberg/index.html This is a very sad day... I'm kicking myself for discovering AG too late in life, and know that now I will probably never get a chance to see him in person. But his work is a gift... --Mongo
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 12:30:55 -0500 From: Richard Wallner
Subject: Ginsberg's cancer... The New York Daily News today carried an article with basically the same information. Allen has inoperable liver cancer and less than a year to live. Allen's had an amazing life and I'm sure he is looking at death as just another experience. Maybe a plain of exsistence where he'll be reunited with his mother, whose memories have always haunted him, and with Neal Cassady (who he'll admit was the love of his life), and Jack Kerouac. From what I know of Allen, I dont think he will fear death and will be accepting of it when it comes. Im worried more though about Peter Orlovsky. He is much more dependent emotionally on Allen from what I've been told than even most spouses are on their loved ones. He'd certainly be either dead or institutionalized now without Allen in his life. I hope he can handle Allen's death. I always hoped that before he died, Allen would have a chance to be our national "poet laureate" But I guess he was way to anti-establishment for that to be realistic. I only hope that there is a tribute organized. His death will leave a true void. Richard Wallner
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 10:50:16 -0700 From: dawn m zarubnicky
Subject: Re: A Comet Dims... Howard... Your post was beautiful..brought tears to my eyes. Hopefully this list will help all of us come to terms with the impending loss a true American hero. My thoughts and prayers are with Allen and I take comfort in the fact that his work will live on forever. Dawn
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 10:01:01 -0800 From: John Maynard
Subject: Re: Ginsberg, terminal liver cancer mongo.bearwolf@Dartmouth.EDU,.internet writes: >The rumor we heard earlier does appear to be true. Allen Ginsberg has >been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Check out: > http://CNN.com/SHOWBIZ/9704/04/ginsberg/index.html CNN.COM/*************SHOWBIZ????????????************** Says a lot about something, but I'm not sure what.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 13:10:46 -600 From: Nick Weir-Williams
Subject: news:Uny-ginsbergURnCN_7A4@clari.net This seems to be a new update, and a very sad one> > > Beat poet Ginsberg's health declines > > NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) -- Beat generation poet Allen Ginsberg's > health has seriously worsened. > Ginsberg's doctor says the poet suffered a stroke or other > complication from his liver cancer overnight. > Before last night's setback, Ginsberg was expected to live from 4 to > 12 months, but his doctor now says the prognosis will be changed. > The poet plans to stay in his Lower East Side home until he dies. > Ginsberg, who suffers from a long-running battle against hepatitis C > and cirrhosis of the liver, has terminal liver cancel. > His doctor says Ginsberg has taken the news ``very well'' and > characterized his response to Friday's terminal prognosis as ``studied.'' > The poet's most famous work is ``Howl'', published in 1956, which > claimed to be the authentic voice of the Beat generation. > The poem's drug-induced verse, including the famous opening line ``I > saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,'' harkened a > new style in American poetry. > Critics accused Howl of being obscene for its common language and > homosexual overtones. The poem withstood several legal challenges > against its publication, including in the U.S. Supreme Court. > Ginsberg emerged as a leading figure among the Beats, a literary > movement stemming from the 1950s underground of bebop jazz, heroin, > Eastern mysticism and sexual liberation.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 14:47:21 -0500 From: Tony Trigilio
Subject: Re: Ginsberg's cancer... I've been off this list for a few months now--because I forced myself off all lists to finish my dissertation (working on a poetics of prophecy in the industrial West, with a chapter on AG). I keep telling myself I'll rejoin today or the next day or the day after, but I've been juggling too many visions and re-visions toward my late May deadline. Then I got an email from a friend telling me about AG's liver cancer. I had to get back on the list. I suspect we are going to hear the worst kinds of remembrances from the mainstream media in the next few weeks, as those threatened by AG's politics and sexuality take charge to try to rewrite his history. I had to get back to this list for a community of folks who know better. The news of AG's cancer is terrible. We're losing one of the few honest voices of human rights and free expression in this century. Howard put it well: > This man has spoken truth to evil in all its forms - the evil of > totalitarianism be it comminist, capitalist, facist and every other > ism or ist of our age. At least Allen has time to prepare for death, for his transition. Not all of us get this opportunity. I'm sure he will use it well. Tony Trigilio
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 15:26:45 EST From: LIBRARY CIRCULATION
Subject: Re: Ginsberg's cancer... At first I hoped the news of Ginsberg's cancer was a sick April Fools joke, but as we all know now, it ain't. It's hard news to process, living in a Ginsbergless world, like hearing suddenly that as of tomorrow, all the trees in the world will be gone. It's insane and the mind rejects it. But we all knew this day would come and so did Allen. He has worked hard all his life for so much more than just poetry as if that was not enough, so that long after the physical Allen Ginsberg shell is gone, what he started will remain. Damn. The man who helped me with my mother's death back in 1986 and reconfigured how I looked at death, is now putting us to the test. What he said to me back in '86 when my mother was in his position I will say to all of you, "...maybe this is not a time of hardship as it is a time of great adventure?" Well, I can try, but easier said than done. Dave B.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 15:41:06 -0500 From: Antoine Maloney
Subject: Re: A Comet Dims... Dawn and everyone... Dawn wrote about Allen Ginsberg's work living forever. I'd like to think about it slightly differently. Montreal recently hosted an evening at the Centaur Theatre for the poet Irving Layton. Leonard Cohen was one of the multitude who attended and spoke. He described one of his early conversations with Layton. At that time Cohen was still involved in the family business - clothing manufacture. Layton said to him "Leonard, teach me everything you know about clothing and I'll teach you how to live forever!" Allen Ginsberg will live forever; he has known for a long time what Layton knew and would teach Cohen. Your post Howard was indeed wonderful. I've already opened a Ginsberg folder to hold all the outpouring of posts. Antoine ********************** "The sky turned black and bruised, and we had months of heavy rain." - Tom Waits
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 16:46:40 +0500 From: Bil Brown
Subject: Re: Fwd: news:Uny-ginsbergURnCN_7A4@clari.net >>> NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) -- Beat generation poet Allen Ginsberg's >>> health has seriously worsened. What does that mean? Seriously worsened? What could it mean??? This is something that is VERY important to me & I'm sure ALL of the Beat-Listers. My personal connection is he has been my teacher & friend, and his office-line has been busy since the news hit the press. Tell us what's UP!! Please, Bil Brown
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 15:35:14 -0600 From: Matthew S Sackmann
Subject: AG I love Allen Ginsberg, let that be writ in Heaven's unchangeable heart.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 15:46:04 -0600 From: Nick Weir-Williams
Subject: Re: Fwd: news:Uny-ginsbergURnCN_7A4@clari.net I tried to post a news release to the list a few hours back - maybe it didn't get through as I was mailing from Netscape. There was a news report at 1.00 that AG had a serious setback overnight, perhaps a stroke, and that the 4-12 month date had been radically altered downwards, it didn't say to what, but it sounded awfully ominous Nick
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 13:47:53 -0800 From: Levi Asher
Subject: Re: Fwd: news:Uny-ginsbergURnCN_7A4@clari.net I heard this too from a different source: "he took a turn for the worse." I was really hoping for that 4 months ... tributes, hospital visits, etc. I hope we get it.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 19:44:03 -0500 From: Marie Countryman
Subject: Re: AG there was a young and talented journalist who died very young, leaving only a book of prose pieces, one of which i have always cherished for capturing the soul and essence of my perception and experience of AG and here it goes (replete with typos and lack of caps): *making peace at the peace eye book store* the fading strictly kosher sign, a leftover from the days when the peace eye bookstore was a chicken market, was gone with the front window. gone too was the pot is fun sandwich board that allen ginsberg had worn in the first LeMar demonstrations. and the rickety old mimeograph in the back room, which had turned out fourteen issues of *fuck you/a magazine of the arts*, had finally been junked. it had been rough winter for the little mags. but tuesday night, like a molting phoenix rising from the garbage at 383 east 10th street, the peace eye opened again. perhaps one hundred peole had responded to the mimeographed invitations sent by poet, fug, and peace ye propietor ed sanders, and came to see the opening exhibit of literary artifacts which adorned the bookstore's subway-tile walls. everything, sanders insisted was for sale: a six by ten foot banner used in the shooting of sander's epic film *mongolian clusterfuck*, ken weaver's certificate of undesirable discharge from the air force, a framed collection of pubic hair plucked from sixteen leading poets and two much-hearalded cold cream jars reputed to have been used by AG. the cold cream jars went for $35 to an anonymous collector. friends and fans and fugs wandered through the exhibit, which included all the back issues of *fuck you* a wall of little mags from d.a. levy in cleveland, who is now fighting obscenity charges, and the prosecution evidence from sander's own obscentiry trial, from which he emerged vitorious several weeks ago. anything culd happen at the peace eye. someone brought 5 pounds of raw hamburger in a plastic bag, to sell at a bargain price of $2. steve weber, a folksinger and former fug, opened the bag, sniffed the hamburger, and bbought it on the spot.... all evening firecrtackers had been exploding up and down the block. but it wasnt until nine that the first one came through the door. sanders closed the door, and a rain of firecrackers began. the peace eye was under siege. a patron tried to leave. he opened the door and was driven back inside by a hail of lady-fingers. through a crack in the door, they pleaded with the kids. 'he's got to home. he's got to go to work' .still the explosions continued. so AG went out to make peace. he ran out to the curb and began to sing mantras with great gusto, clashing his fingerbells. the kids were dumbfounded. at first they gaped at him, but soon began to taunt and more firecrackers flew at the poet's feet. ginsberg kneeled in the gutter, in the grease between the parked cars, and kept singing. the kids glared at him. 'what are you afraid of?' ginsberg asked. 'why dont you go back where you came from?' a kid demanded. 'i live on the block.' ginsberg said, and kept singing. the exchange went on for ten minutes, ginsberg singing, kids taunting, firecrackers exploding from every side and puerto rican families watching, astounded, from nearby stoops. and then a kid started to sing with the poet and ginsberg would leap to his feet, and show the kid how to hold in his stomach, and then he was back on his knees, singing again, asking more questions, singing 'om raksa raksa hum hum hum phat svaha!' and now the kid was clashing the finger bells, and you could hear the mantras up and down 10th street. after twenty minutes, the firecrackers had stopped, and ginsberg and the kid were sitting on the stoop next to the peace eye, still singing, with a smiling audiencethirty puerto ricans and poets passing around beer. and the kids who had been throwing the firecrackers were inside the store sweeping up the shrapnel. and the peace eye was peaceful again. from 'moving through here' by don mcneil. mc thinking particularly of you, levi and bill b. and others.
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 16:46:41 -0800 From: Leon Tabory
Comments: To: "Ginsberg's cancer..."@cruzio.com Bill Gargan wrote: > I'd sure like to see a push for Allen to get the Nobel prize before he dies. I > can't think of anyone who is more deserving. Is there something we can do? leon
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 20:52:01 -0500 From: Pamela Beach Plymell
Subject: Re: A Comet Dims... At dinner with Allen and Burroughs last November, Allen recited lines from Shakespeare in response to an earlier question at the symposium as to what lines he thought greatest: "that in black ink my love may still shine bright." Charles Plymell
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 20:22:11 -0800 From: Levi Asher
Subject: Words for Ginzy I think I'll collect all these reminiscenses and create a web page ... sound okay everybody?
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 02:01:44 -0500 From: Antoine Maloney
Subject: Re: Words for Ginzy That's definitely worth doing Levi. The Irish part of me keeps on yelling that we should not be sounding so doom filled; that we should expect and demand that it will all come out right for Allen, but it's getting hard to do in the face of the news. Recommend that anyone who has any of Allen's recorded material listen to it - listen to his "Amazin' Grace".... he is so alive in it. Antoine "The sky turned black and bruised, and we had months of heavy rain." - Tom Waits
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 12:03:16 -0500 From: Timm
Subject: "Allen Ginsberg Saved My Life" In this poem, I recorded one evening with Allen in 1993. He really did save my life. It's an acrostic (the correct term?). The title runs down the left margin. A.L.L.E.N. G.I.N.S.B.E.R.G. S.A.V.E.D. M.Y. L.I.F.E. By Bob Timm (originally published in Poetry New York) A modern executive 40th-floor office Lit by neon fruit humming tubes Lion buddha in grey suit and tie Even I could not detect the vision Never a sign of his howling past Going along 42nd Street I think of distant highways and Not of the immediate streets but Suddenly he pulls out of the path of a Bus barreling towards my thoughtful self Ever ready for poetic graces but not Ready for the moment when Allen Ginsberg saved my life Some time later we stand in line at A Tad's Steaks ordering meat for ritual Very raw like he said we needed Even I could feel the snickers and stares Directed at the crazy old man he is My knees crack and ache in lotus form Yet he forgets his age and folds his legs Like an obedient faithful dog I sip my wonton soup and wait For the words of an ancient East Village superstar lonely prophet
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 12:29:04 -0500 From: Jeffrey Weinberg
Subject: T-shirt List/Thoughts on Allen Some thoughts on Allen Ginsberg: Anyone who was born in the 1950s like I was realizes that Allen has been there with us the whole way - If you were lucky enough to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s, maybe you had an older brother or sister who kept a copy of Fred McDarrah's "The Beat Scene" under the bed so Mom and Dad wouldn't find it. or there was a copy of Evergreen Review #2 (The SF Beat Issue) around the house. That may have been your first look at Allen. Then Howl the trial.... Howl the Fantasy recording (on red vinyl, of course) - and wasn't that Allen at the Summer of Love taking us with Michael Bowen and the other organizers into the age of Aquarius? And remember the Democratic Convention and the trial of the Chicago Seven and Allen got up in the witness box and started to meditate and chant??? And when John Sinclair of MC-5 got busted for possession of two joints, wasn't that Allen there helping to free John through great Free Sinclair rally? And all those Antiwar demonstrations throughout the sixties and into the seventies, Allen's writing continues with all the grace that God can grant a poet and Allen circles the globe for a lifetime to teach, bring peace, to write poetry, help found JK School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa, chant, book signings, TV programs, audio, video, etc. etc. and photography and awards and time to write introductions for so many books by others to help their books sell a few more copies and because he believed in their words: Ray Bremser (poems of Madness), Huncke (Evening Sunurned Crimson), Kerouac (visions of Cody) and on and on - Do not be saddened by the news about Allen. Take a good look at Bill Morgan's massive tomes of bibliographical research: look at all that Allen Ginsberg has written and recorded in his life. Read a biography of Allen (Barry Miles' Ginsberg or Dharma Lion) (title is correct,I think) - and take a look at all that one man has done in a short lifetime (oh, yeah - concerts with Peter O and Steven Taylor around the world). Do not be saddened now. Rejoice in that Allen gave us all so much of so many kinds of so many things - different ways to look at politics,religion, poetry, photography, music and on and on - Use the life of Allen Ginsberg as inspiration. No matter whether you work the line in Detroit or teach a college course at Harvard. We can all learn something from the enormous span of achievements of Allen Ginsberg. No computer on this planet has enough memory to hold all the names of every person whose life Allen Ginsberg has touched in a positive way. That's all - Jeffrey Water Row
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 13:11:40 -0500 From: Bill Philibin
Subject: AG Dead... Saturday April 5 11:15 AM EST He died at 2:39 a.m. EST surrounded by family and friends, said Morgan, his bibliographer and unofficial spokesman. The primary cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest with the secondary cause cancer of the liver, he said. Funeral services will be private. Ginsberg suffered for many years from hepatitis C, which led to cirrhosis of the liver that was diagnosed in 1988. The cancer was discovered when Ginsberg, who had been suffering from severe fatigue and jaundice, underwent a recent biopsy. In 1956, Ginsberg published "Howl and Other Poems," a book of free verse considered the preeminent poetic work of the beat movement of the 1950s. [ firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.buffnet.net/~deadbeat ] "With all the demagoguery [today], poetry can stand out as the one beacon of sanity: a beacon of individual clarity, and lucidity in every direction--whether on the Internet or in coffee houses or university forums or classrooms." -- Allen Ginsberg
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 13:18:29 -0500 From: Julie Hulvey
Subject: Re: A Comet Dims... Thanks for the beautiful letter, Howard. A year ago March 19th-ish I had a dream about Ginsberg. He mentioned he had work for me to do, then changed the subject. When I pressed him about the work, he acted as if I shouldn't have to ask. Months later, I connected this dream with a Ginsberg quote I'd seen printed many times in the _Woodstock Journal_: ....And what's the Work? To ease the pain of Living All else Drunken dumbshow. Jul
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 14:26:24 -0500 From: Liz Prato
Subject: Kaddish Strange now to think of you, gone.......
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 14:40:28 -0800 From: j thomas bailey
Subject: Re: T-shirt List/Thoughts on Allen Jeffrey... add me to the list....(i am very sad about loss of great buddha Allen and i will post a pome i wrote when i heard of his illness a bit later.....) j thomas bailey
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 16:22:40 EST From: LIBRARY CIRCULATION
Subject: Re: AG Allen died about 2:30 am friday morning after going into a coma. There will be private funeral services for family only this monday and a public memorial service to be announced, later in the week. He will be cremated and his ashes divided in three parts, one part of which will be in the family plot. More dteails as they arrive. Adios king, Dave B.
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 16:38:53 -0500 From: Tony Trigilio
Subject: Ginsberg Has Passed Away I just received an email note from a friend telling me that Allen passed away early this morning. The world has lost one of its brightest. Tony ======================================== "...Westward, a single breath blows across the plains, Nebraska's fields harvested & stubble bending delicate in evening airs up Rockies, from Denver's Cherry Creekbed another zephyr risen, across Pike's Peak an icy blast at sunset, Wind River peaktops flowing toward the Tetons, a breath returns vast gliding grass flats cow-dotted into Jackson Hole, into a corner of the plains, up the asphalt road and mud parking lot, a breeze of restless September, up wood stairways in the wind into the cafeteria at Teton Village under the red tram lift a calm breath, a silent breath, a slow breath breathes outward from the nostrils." --from AG, "Mind Breaths" ======================================== "...I noticed the path downhill, noticed the crowd moving toward buses I noticed food, lettuce salad, I noticed the Teacher was absent, I noticed my friends, noticed our car the blue Volvo, a young boy held my hand our key in the motel door, noticed a dark room, noticed a dream and forgot, noticed oranges lemons & caviar at breakfast, I noticed the highway, sleepiness, homework thoughts, the boy's nippled chest in the breeze as the car rolled down hillsides past green woods to the water, I noticed the houses, balconies overlooking a misted horizon, shore & old worn rocks in the sand I noticed the sea, I noticed the music, I wanted to dance." --from AG, "On Cremation of Chogyam Trungpa, Vidyadhara"
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 14:52:36 -0800 From: Malcolm Lawrence
Subject: Kaddish >>(in preparation): >> >>Hamakom yenachem etchem betoch shih-ar availay tziyon vi-yirushalayim. > >>"Hashem natan, veHashem lakach, yehi shem Hashem mevorach." >> >>Boruch dayan ha-emet. >> >>- >To follow up...Ginsberg died this morning (2:39) of liver cancer and >heart failure. *sigh* We lost a titan. A very gentle titan. Still, as my high school humanities teacher said, "He had a full life." And even up until the end he was still writing poetry and seeing friends on the last day he'd be conscious. ``He was very energetic,'' Bill Morgan said. ``He wore himself out (Thursday) talking to friends and writing poems.'' He wrote about a dozen short poems on Wednesday. One of the last was titled ``On Fame and Death''; others ran the gamut from nursery rhymes to politics. "The funeral will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Jewel Heart Buddhist Center in Ann Arbor, Mich." I also noticed that he died on April 5, the same day Kurt Cobain died. I was lucky enough to see him read here in town (only once though) at the Elliot Bay Book Company back in 94 and got him to sign my copy of "Howl" afterwards. For all you hard-core Dylan fans, remember the scene in Renaldo & Clara where he and Dylan go to Kerouac's grave? Seems strange that he should leave before Burroughs. Then again, I personally don't believe Burroughs or Keith Richards will ever die. I mean, if they're still alive after all they've been through already, then can't help but live to see 100. Sorry if I'm just babbling. I just think Allen was one of the most necessary poets we've ever had, who had a giant heart and was absolutely fearless. Eliot was right..."April is the cruelest month." *raising my glass* Props to Allen, Love, Malcolm
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 17:42:59 -0600 From: John Mitchell
Subject: Green Automobile Just heard (in Biermaier's B H Books on Positively 4th St.) that Ginsberg has taken off for his ultimate ride in The Green Automobile, dispensing lovely down & up Beat fearful & fearless words in his ecstatic wake, the best heart of his generation stark naked raving beatifically mad finally stopped, as the praying for the migration of his soul begins: HOWL, in spirit & deed. I'm with you in Rockland in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night Amen//John Mitchell
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 18:44:16 -0500 From: "Gibbons, Jeffrey x85139e1"
Subject: Re: AG I hate to make this my first post on the list, but I just read on cnn.com that Allen died this morning at 2:39 a.m. There is an informational article along with the announcement, as I am sure many will follow. Let the mourning and rememberances begin.
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 19:08:23 -0500 From: Diane De Rooy
Subject: Celebration of Allen Ginsberg Revised celebration invitation Friends, lovers, children, members of the Beat Generation private chat room on AOL: Allen has died. The celebration of his life goes on. You are invited to come and share your feelings about this, read poetry and wisdom, tell stories and jokes and live the pastpresentandfuture of Allen's life in the bg private chatroom Sunday morning, from 10am to noon EDT (7am to 9am PDT). We'll do the same things we did for jack on his birthday, connecting with each other and sharing joy and sadness mixed together into that special poignant concoction that only has the name "I'm alive..." Shanti and shalom, diane
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 19:35:57 -0800 From: Adrien Begrand
Subject: [Fwd: [Fwd: Beat Poet Laureate Ginsberg Dies]] Date: Sat, 05 Apr 1997 16:51:49 -0500 From: Ron Whitehead To: email@example.com Subject: [Fwd: Beat Poet Laureate Ginsberg Dies] From: bofus? To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Beat Poet Laureate Ginsberg Dies April 5, 1997 Beat Poet Laureate Ginsberg Dies NEW YORK (AP) -- Allen Ginsberg, the poet laureate of the Beat Generation whose writing and lifestyle shaped the music, politics and protests of the next 40 years, died this morning. He was 70. Ginsberg died in his Lower East Side apartment at 2:39 a.m. of a heart attack related to his terminal liver cancer, said Bill Morgan, his friend and archivist. The poet was surrounded by family and friends. Ginsberg suffered from chronic hepatitis for years, which eventually led to cirrhosis of the liver. His diagnosis of terminal liver cancer was made eight days ago and made public on Thursday. He suffered a stroke Thursday night and slipped into a coma. Ginsberg has spent several days in a hospice after the diagnosis, but then decided he wanted to return home. ``He was very energetic,'' Morgan said. ``He wore himself out (Thursday) talking to friends and writing poems.'' He wrote about a dozen short poems on Wednesday. One of the last was titled ``On Fame and Death''; others ran the gamut from nursery rhymes to politics. During the McCarthy era in the 1950s, when TV's married couples slept in separate beds, Ginsberg wrote ``Howl'' -- a profane, graphic poem that dealt with his own homosexuality and communist upbringing. ``I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, '' began the seminal ``Howl.'' It was dedicated to Carl Solomon, a patient he met during a stay in a psychiatric ward. Ginsberg became America's most popular and recognizable poet, his balding, bearded visage one of the enduring images of the 1950s beatnik explosion of Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Neal Cassady. The group, disillusioned with conventional society, created their own subculture. Ginsberg's acolytes comprised a who's who of pop culture: Bob Dylan, Yoko Ono, Vaclav Havel, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Billy Corgan. Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born June 3, 1926, in Newark, N.J., the second son of poet Louis Ginsberg and his wife, Naomi. The family moved to Paterson, N.J., while Ginsberg was a youngster. Ginsberg intended to become a lawyer and enrolled at Columbia University. But while still a teen-ager, he fell in with a crowd that included Kerouac, Burroughs and Cassady -- the leaders of what became known as the Beat Generation. ``I think it was when I ran into Kerouac and Burroughs when I was 17 that I realized I was talking through an empty skull,'' Ginsberg once said. ``I wasn't thinking my own thoughts or saying my own thoughts.'' Ginsberg's first taste of notoriety came after the publication of ``Howl'' in 1956. Copies of the book were seized by San Francisco police and U.S. Customs officials, and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti was charged with publishing an obscene book. Ferlinghetti was acquitted a year later, but the case generated enormous publicity for Ginsberg and his work. Ginsberg was suddenly in demand. One of his other great works, ``Kaddish,'' was a confessional work dealing with his mother's life and death in a mental hospital. It was written, stream of consciousness-style, in his Manhattan apartment, fueled by a combination of amphetamines and morphine. Ginsberg experimented heavily with drugs, taking LSD under the guidance of the late Timothy Leary in the 1960s. As he grew older, Ginsberg became a guru to the counterculture movement. He coined the term ``flower power.'' He was arrested in 1967 for protesting against the Vietnam War in New York, and tear-gassed a year later while protesting at the Democratic convention in Chicago. His National Book Award came in 1973 for ``The Fall of America: Poems of These States, 1965-1971.'' He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1995 for his book, ``Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 1986-1992.'' Ginsberg toured with Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue in 1977, doing spontaneously composed blues poems. He toured Eastern Europe in 1986, receiving an award in the former Yugoslavia, recording with a Hungarian rock band and meeting a congress of young Polish poets. ``In the Eastern bloc, the people realize the governments are up to no good, whereas Americans still maintain that the government is looking after their best interest,'' Ginsberg said at the time. Ginsberg remained vital and active well into his 60s, performing in Manhattan nightclubs and doing poetry readings. Last year, he recorded his poem ``The Ballad of the Skeletons'' with musical backing from Paul McCartney and Philip Glass. He did a video version of the poem, a pre-election political rant. At 69, Ginsberg's video appeared in heavy rotation on MTV's ``Buzz Bin.'' The funeral will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Jewel Heart Buddhist Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 21:15:29 -0500 From: Pamela Beach Plymell
Subject: Re: Ginzy Upon hearing the news Pam and I drove up to Ginsberg's Committee on Poetry farm to feed the birds and meditate. COMMITTEE ON POETRY April 5, 1997 Chirp, chirp, chirp Ginzy gone I broadcast the seeds bread crumbs from the compost for little animals and birds Chirp on the phone, chirp on the radio broadcasting them seeds Janine left a message on the phone I read it in chirp cyberspace Up Lancaster St. we drove past the bank on East Hill Road New house where'd you come from another house along this road that one didn't used to be there yet another on the way to the farm that was the idea of a farm for poets, etc. The great view of the Mohawk Valley its early spring mauves and browns old crops of gold fields stalks Didn't take the shortcut where Ray froze his fingers round a beer can walking to Cherry Valley in a blizzard Turn off the paved road Bad hill bad ruts from spring washes Peter needs to get that tractor and haul some dirt and gravel Like he usta with the manure spreader Julius faithfully standing on the hitch Big tractor at the corner have to walk in here Roads all wet, parts covered with snow Hear the birds already Get the bread pieces throw a few tie my shoe Walk down the slushy ruts through mud and snow old craggily cherry tree must be a hundred You said the old ones were wiser "broadcast" the bread a metaphor when you were born, tho most had radio more bread for the bashful birds Stop here to rest and share my hard bagel with the birds hmm. that doesn't taste bad maybe I'll eat it meself. Hardly a sound up here in hushed forest the snow is silent in the deer tracks Pam says the daffodils are in bloom I'll put some bread crumbs on the porch not on this chair with peeling paint Bread on the old maple tree bread on the rock for innocent creatures A rag is hanging on the old clothesline and the barn door needs repair the whole barn actually, I'll leave some crumbs by the outhouse and the barn and the cherry tree On the road back a woodpecker breaks the silence, hammering perfectly like a Whitman carpenter Burdock sticks like Velcro Bread on the windowsill bread on the rock Old truck rusting away new tires rotted in place never helped anyone get anywhere or nowhere anymore. The air always changes on East Hill like the atmosphere of heavens the stars come down to a respectable level in case you need to chat with 'em It is heavy now and the sun is burning like chrome in the grey sky the woods are mauve and brown dark green the green and grey neglected cottage weathers by the green and grey pound The mountains and the sky are all blue various shades enshrouding the Evergreens white birch arises from moss green rock of old hills and forests You walked me to the boundary twenty-nine years ago probably talking of Whitman and Death Now you know CHARLES PLYMELL CHERRY VALLEY, NY
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 19:01:44 -0800 From: James Stauffer
Subject: Re: In Memorium I can't beleive I have no Beat-L mail today unless the list died for a day in Allan's honor. We will all miss having him in our dimension, but there probably isn't much to be sad about. He lived a very fully realized 70 years. I will sit down tonight and dig out some good buds to fill the pipe and smoke to Allan and read some of the old poems. Maybe tonight he will be back with Jack and Neal and Hunke and all the others who went on before him--or spend some time comparing visions with William Blake. We will miss him. James Stauffer
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 20:53:33 -0600 From: RACE ---
Subject: ginsberg april 97 Ginsberg i remember the time i thought i was you in a hospital in Saint Joseph or Rock Island (they run together) and if I'd been right instead of psychotic i'd be gone and you'd still BE and perhaps everyone would be better off :) david
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 23:05:21 -0800 From: mwbarton
Subject: allen has passed the muses will sing elogies to a poet who will live in song and word for longer than we. allen ginsberg has passed. mwbarton
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 00:04:54 -0800 From: mwbarton
Subject: test test, sorry, i cannot believe silence. mwbarton
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 01:01:13 EST From: Dylan Nomadd
Allen Ginsberg, forever in our hearts and eyes and quiet midnight thoughts. Goodnight in heaven.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 00:22:51 -0600 From: Matthew S Sackmann
Subject: AG Friends, i just heard that Allen Ginsberg died today? Is this true? God, I hope not. Buddha, I hope not. SOMEONE, TELL ME THIS IS NOT TRUE!! I dont know what else to say. It was very weird how i found out because i was wandering N'Awlins with some friends, checking out the art galleries, when i saw a posting for an Opne House at the new Orleans Zen Temple. I thought hey lets see what thats all about. We went in, and got a lovely tour of the whole place. And we went in the library. I asked if they had Dharma Bums (an attempted joke). No, but they had lots of other JK books. "By the way, did you know that Allen Ginsberg died today." AHH. I thought for sure that someone on the list wouldve said something if he died. Well, i must go perform my own little tribute for Allen. Pray for him and meditate for him and read some of his poems. As Ever
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 01:35:29 -0500 From: Carl A Biancucci
I have heard tonight that AG died on 4-5 . Sad for many reasons,though perhaps merciful in light of the pain he was facing.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 01:42:51 -0500 From: Ben Moore
Subject: Ginsberg death I "took" the time to meet Allen Ginsberg last Fall, he was so gracious and kind when talking with me.....I am so humbled by the life and person he was........the last view I have is of him walking with snow falling toward his hotel......I left a note for him at his hotel telling him of how his writings had touched my life......he was so gentle, so genuine, and now he is gone.....but he touched my life in the way only immortals can do......
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 01:21:26 -0600 From: "E.j.C."
Subject: Voices... Someone please say something. Say anything. -j-EnnIfEr
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 23:26:48 -0800 From: "Timothy K. Gallaher"
Subject: Ginsberg Died I am sure most of you all ready know this, I heard it on the news a bit ago. Ginsberg did die. Sometimes these things can go quick. Funny how 4 to 12 months becomes two days. I met him once. In San Francisco in 1982 or 1981 at the On broadway, a place above the mabuhay Gardens (a couple blocks down broadway from City Lights). He and Corso were giving a poetry reading. It was around the time of Birdbrain. He had a band backing him. It was called the Job. My band played at the On Broadway a lot, so it was normal to go there. I was crazy into Kerouac, so liked the whole beat scene as well. Nobody else was really into that back then like they are now. I remember we got there early, me and my buddy, our guitar player, and hung out. I remember someone (maybe the promoter) seeing me and being surprised and saying "what are you doing here?" really loudly like it was the most incongruous thing in the world for me to do. I didn't know why it would seem so strange. I saw Ginsberg hanging around so i went up to talk to him. I ask him about the band he was being backed by or something. I certainly wasn't rude to him, but might have acted kind of arrogant and snobbish a bit, not cause of him but the band ( you can really say "THE JOB" facetiously). It had the Dead kennedys drummer and I am sure I didn't think much of it (not cause of the drummer per se, rather that they were like serious or something). It seemed like Ginsberg would have liked to have talked more or siad more, but (I don't remember well) said the thanks-a-lot-see-ya. He seemed maybe disapointed and kind of shrugged with a what was that all about kind of shrug. In reality I would have liked to have talked to him about kerouac and how much he was influencing me and blah blah blah but that seemed a pretty corny thing to do. Seeing Corso and Ginsberg was a lot of fun. Corso had like a big accordian file and would go "a-ha" and dig through it and get a poem to read. Ginsberg performed Birdbrain with the Job. I also remember looking up at one time to see Tim Leary standing next to me watching the reading. I didn't talk to him. Both now are dead of cancer in the same year period.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 08:21:23 -0400 From: Marie Countryman
Subject: to allen ginsberg, still among us. i was radically changed and charged by you, allen ginsberg, from a distance, never having met you, and yet not from a distance, as i am surrounded by you today, in your words which, will forever, with voice tender, angry, challenging, loving, reminding me that the only limitations in this world are those which i place on myself. for that, allen ginsberg,thankyou. allen ginsberg, i saw you in my dreams last night, i saw you forever electrified and leaping and bowing and praying and most of all, i felt your great generosity of spirit lay a blessing on me and all others in this world. again, allen ginsberg, in my dreams, i saw you walking in the supermarket with walt whitman. allen ginsberg, i saw you chanting ommmm in the park in the midst of the riots in chicago, and, upon rising, i look out my window i and see you in the leaves of grass, which now are rising from their long winter sleep beneath the melting snow, i take a walk, thinking of you, allen ginsberg: looking down, i see you in all the cracks in the sidewalk. looking up you are in the sky. you ARE the sky. allen ginsberg, this spring i will plant sunflowers for your spirit. allen ginsberg, today as i mourn your death, allen ginsberg, i also celebrate your birth. fare the well. mc
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 08:25:46 -0400 From: Andrew Lampert
Subject: Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) ...I receive all, I'll die of cancer, I enter the coffin forever, I close my eye, I disappear... --from THE END by Ginsberg, 1960. Published in Kaddish and Other Poems, 1958-1960 City Lights, Pocket Poet Series #14. San Francisco:1961. A visionary, a beacon, a wizard of our oz, gone because cause and death fall between clauses and effects. I saw this poet read one evening while I matriculated at Bard College (early 1970s). The sound was gentle, more beatific then beat, if the list will permit the distinction. Of course it was the wildness and visionary force of the Beat vortex that seduced me. Ginsberg and his comrades, Kerouac and the still breathing Burroughs formulated that map, you know, the one that has the five compass points: North, South, East, West, and Center. Allen was the very good witch of the Center. Safe passage Mr. Ginsberg and to all on this list... Andrew email@example.com
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 09:11:13 -0700 From: j thomas bailey
Subject: pome for Allen Ginsberg pt. 1 (for some reason(damned machines) i can't send it all at once so i have to send it in section...sorry.) friends.... i wrote this shortly after hearing of Allen's illness... as sun sets on chilly april day i am filled w/ deep down drag down low down bring down sorrow (even though i know that's not what you would want) when i read the news teras welled up in my eyes and i hurt like mad inescapable hurt "Allen Ginsberg has inoperable liver cancer, doctors give him 4 to 12 months." (right now these words ffly over AP news wires and by tomorrow it will fill the heads of millions) i went into the bathroom to look for nail clippers and ended up an the floor crying (where will the words come from when you die, Allen? tell me who to look to...)
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 09:11:58 -0700 From: j thomas bailey
Subject: pome for Allen Ginsberg pts.2 and 3 II i remember the first time i heard a recording of you reading "America" it drove me to mad me melancholia and amazement that a man could open his heart so wide knowing he would be hurt by seeing so much so hard but your voice held strong and broke barriers and hearts (the hearts of we who care) III when Jack went to Buddha's heaven (and before him, Neal) you recorded sorrow and vision and observation (later it became a poem later put in a book much later in my hands) and i saw your pain and confusion men you loved and spent countless hours w/ (all of you becoming saints) were suddenly gone forever now you are much older and sick they say you will be dead within the year and Allen i am scared (for myself and amerika) you and William are the last of the three and i don't know what the world will be like when you go (but i know it is better because you are here)
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 09:12:46 -0700 From: j thomas bailey
Subject: pome for Allen Ginsberg part 4 IV but 4 to 12 months is long enough to do more and feel more and tell more and write more and love more and you are here and alive evn though your body is betraying you so i will take what i can get and you will ready yourself to go to Buddha's golden eternity and know peace (so in the end there will be joy) -post script- who wil write your Kaddish, Allen? it cannot be me i never held you in my arms ......may Allen rest in Buddha's arms forever feeling eternal love and gratitude from this earth... j thomas bailey
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 10:06:03 -0700 From: j thomas bailey
Subject: Allen any word on how Burroughs, Ferlinghetti, etc are doing/feeling about Allen's death?....i saw that Corso was by his side when he passed... j thomas bailey I love Allen Ginsberg, let that be recorded in Heaven's unchangable heart... -Jack Kerouac
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 10:29:58 -0400 From: Antoine Maloney
Subject: Rest in Peace...give us peace Everyone and Marie, I've just read the last of the rush of forty-five posts that arrived during the night. Marie - your beautiful writing was the last I read, but they were all so beautiful... Jeffrey's, Tim's and Timm's - mwbarton's plaintive "I can't believe the silence..." - Julie Hulvey, Charles Plymell, Matt Sackman, Ben Moore, Andrew Lampert, that wonderful description of Allen chanting with the Puerto rican kids in the midst of the firecrackers, all of them. CBC's Ian Brown just finished the first hour of his Sunday morning show with a snippet of a performance that Allen did in 1995 with the young and wonderful Nova Scotian fiddler Ashley McIsaac at a Buddhist conference. Allen was reciting his "Amazing Grace". Ian Brown finished by saying how surprised he was to find that Allen was seventy. "Now that I know he was that age, seventy sure looks a lot closer!" I last saw Allen Ginsberg here in Montreal when a long time friend of Allen's at Concordia University asked Allen to come and read; part of the Liberal Arts College series focused on arts for the public. Allen came and the hall was absolutely packed out...and the huge vestibule area outside. My son snuck me in and we sat with his friends, entranced, through Allen's performance/reading/prayer meeting. One of the great pleasures of my life - to share that with my son Liam. I will be seeing if an arrangement can be made to show the video of the evening. It flashed through my mind how wonderful it would be to intersperse it with reading of the posts that everyone has been writing. In 1986 or '86, my wife Elizabeth went to the Pound conference in Orono, Maine. I remember her excitement telling me on the phone who was there - Pound's daughter and lover, McLaughlin...."I had breakfast with Ginsberg this morning." It seems more wonderful now than it did then with all my new-found knowledge. Scant memories, but wonderful. Antoine
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 10:57:11 -0400 From: Perry Lindstrom
Subject: For AG Vortex Pedigree (for AG) Singularity in one being behold the most amazing gift evaporates before the face of the moon held in gravity=92s oratory the libidinal instrument we loved in him salvaged our each episodic awareness brought into focus generational energy with every naked chanting the inherent good and splendid voice emerging unshadowed out of catastrophic idiom and mundane drudgery kicks the unwanted school of life=92s real voice spoken in yeses and great kisses and great vernacular orgasm absorbed in holistic wisdom allegory riffs and Buddhist symbol things of themselves energy uniting every street corner kid with poesy in heart sexy pilgrim to Earth=92s ends with Blake/Whitman on lips. Evaporates and is one now with all things creatures/journeys/us/our own alone night pondering on images eternal of his words beyond words Perry Lindstrom Arlington VA 6 April, 1997
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 11:05:57 -0400 From: "Robert H. Sapp"
Subject: Re: pome for Allen Ginsberg part 4 I finished reading all the new posts on this machine, ending with j thomas's tribute pome, and i pushed the button for the next email and onto the screen popped the words: No more messages and i just stared at that until i nearly cried and thought of an obvious interpretation. Then i thought of j thomas' question "who will write Allen's Kaddish" and thought of everybody's posts and all the works of others and Allen's works and thought, We all will. Eric Footnote to Howl by Allen Ginsberg Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy! Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel! The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy! The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ectasy is holy! Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady holy the unknown buggered abd suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels! Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas! Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace peyote pipes & drums! Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middleclass! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles! Holy New York Holy San Fransisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul! Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch! Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss! Holy the forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul! Berkeley, 1955
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 10:01:09 -0500 From: RACE ---
Subject: ginsberg inspired poetry ALLEN ... by David Rhaesa (race) Allen, i wonder if you can hear these words where you are or aren't for i don't know because you are there but we're all still here and the meaning is lost for only a moment in the shock of your passing. Allen, never met you never saw you read can't even bring myself to turn on the television and see how you are commemorated on the CBS nightly news. perhaps you'll be amused as i was that your death made the front page of the Salina Journal in Salina Kansas and as i stared at the picture and the words in a Conoco station across from my abode i laughed inside thinking "i'll bet a dime that this is the first time ginsberg ever made the front page in this farm town" :) and then i stopped laughing inside or out as the shock hit me again. Allen, i'd heard of you ya know but i was just a nerd planning to be a lawyer myself until i fell into my own burroughseque crowd in hanover new hampshire and lincoln nebraska and iowa city and all parts within and without and i first saw your words in Anne's house and somehow that made me feel that she was safe ... so i can blame you and the rest for the marriage and the divorce huh !?! :) guess that would be silly sometimes though at a time like this silliness is all we have to make sense of the nonsense that comes over the wires and through the wiring of our collective brains... went digging through boxes of old poetry never published never burned this morning to see if i could find something you inspired ... found the lost poem "Mississippi" i wrote once on Jack's birthday you were in it just so you know Allen, others are in silence and meditation at your passing and i tried that but my best meditation is at a keyboard with my fingers stroking Shambhala-style whatever comes from them and my brain is left out of the entire enterprise. Allen, i'm not your generation or you mine. i missed it you know circa 1961 what kinda generation was that somewhere between Casablanca and Tangier i guess grew up on Captain Kangaroo in Kansas and didn't know kaddish from cabbage til nearly twenty-seven. what kinda generation is that you are an inspiration you know that but you should hear it over and over again and again because you ARE an inspiration and you always will BE an inspiration to every lawyer-to-be whose eyes are opened to things beyond the sphere of such limited rationalizations... Allen, words words words don't come easy to describe the senses sometimes wish i had your power right now to write you the words you deserve but ... i don't. Allen, i cannot accept the idea of you and silence together for eternity or a moment ... i see you at Saint Peter's Gate pissing on the admission procedures and i think that they would let you in just for that ... :) Allen, i will always miss you. love, david
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 10:39:20 -0500 From: "E.j.C."
Subject: Ginsberg memories... The first and only time I've ever had the pleasure of meeting Allen Ginsberg was less than a year ago. It was certainly a surprise and a treat to hear that he would do a reading at a bookstore in town since he was already here for his good friend Burrough's art exhibit opening. The cozy corner where we all sat in wait for Ginsberg grew bigger and bigger as people began standing on chairs behind bookshelves and sitting on bookshelves... the faces of the old and the young all looked eagerly for his figure. I wondered if that's how it must've felt in those gone days of cafe, studio, anyplace to sit stand, readings... Ginsberg appeared and sat at the podium. Making adjustments adjusting the kind lady who worked for The Establishment and didn't know how to fix the distortion on the Establishment bought system. He read and he sang, he made us laugh. Afterwards, he promised he'd sign every one of us, everything. As the tension became apparent on the faces of those in line who couldn't wait, wouldn't wait, my turn came. "Are you buddhist?" he asked. "No," I said. Now I think perhaps I should've explained... He smiled and signed and I looked at him in awe because, I thought, he looks so peaceful and calm for having to sign books for over a hundred aggravated faces. I had to return to my work from which my boss had granted me two and a half hours leave so that I may meet the man who introduced me to the beats when I was a lonely high school freshman reading from great books of CIA Dope and Dont Smoke. We'll all miss him. His close friends and those his works are close to. -j-EnnIfEr c.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 10:40:59 -0500 From: RACE ---
Subject: HE HE by l.f. He is one of the prophets come back He is one of the wiggy prophets come back He had a beard in the Old Testament but shaved it off in Paterson He has a microphone around his neck at a poetry reading and he is more than one poet and he is an old man perpetually writing a poem about an old man whose every third thought is Death and who is writing a poem about an old man whose every third thought is Death and who is writing a poem Like the picture on a Quaker Oats box that shows a figure holding up a box upon which is a picture of a figure holding up a box and the figure smaller and smaller and further away each time a picture of shrinking reality itself He is one of the prophets come back to see to hear to file a revised report on the present state of the shrinking world He has buttonhooks in his eyes with which he fastens on to every foot of existence and onto every shoestring rumor of the nature of reality And his eye fixes itself on every stray person or thing and waits for it to move like a cat with a dead white mouse suspecting it of hiding some small clew to existence and he waits gently for it to reveal itself or herself or himself and he is gentle as the lamb of God made into mad cutlets And he picks up every suspicious object and he picks up every person or thing examining it and shaking it like a white mouse with a piece of string who thinks the thing is alive and shakes it to speak and shakes it alive and shakes it to speak He is a cat who creeps at night and sleeps his buddhahood in the violet hour and listens for the sound of three hands about to clap and reads the script of his brainpan his heiroglyph of existence He is a talking asshole on a stick he is a walkie-talkie on two legs and he holds his phone to his ear and he holds his phone to his mouth and hears DEATH DEATH He has one head with one tongue hung in the back of his mouth and he speaks with an animal tongue and man has devised a language that no other animal understands and his tongue sees and his tongue speaks and his own ear hears what is said and clings to his head and hears DEATH DEATH and he has a tongue to say it that no other animal understands He is a forked root walking with a knot-hole eye in the middle of his head and his eye turns outward and inward and sees and is mad and is mad and sees And he is the mad eye of the fourth person singular of which nobody speaks and he is the voice of the fourth person singular in which noboby speaks and which yet exists with a long head and a foolscap face and the long mad hair of death of which nobody speaks And he speaks of himself and he speaks of the dead of his dead mother and his Aunt Rose with their long hair and their long nails that grow and grow and they come back in his speech without a manicure And he has come back with his black hair and his black eye and his black shoes and the big black book of his report And he is a big black bird with one foot raised to hear the sound of life reveal itself on the shell of his sensorium and he speaks to sing to get out of his skin and he pecks with his tongue on the shell of it and he knocks with his eye on the shell and sees LIGHT LIGHT and hears DEATH DEATH of which nobody speaks For he is a head with a head's vision and his is the lizard's look and his unbuttoned vision is the door in which he stands and waits and hears the hand that knocks and claps and claps and knocks his DEATH DEATH For he is his own ecstatic illumination and he is his own hallucination and he is his own shrinker and his eye turns in the shrinking head of the world and hears his organ speak DEATH DEATH a deaf music For he has come at the end of the world and he is the flippy flesh made word and he speaks the word he hears in his flesh and the word is DEATH
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 08:56:42 -0700 From: Leon Tabory
Levi Asher wrote: > I think I'll collect all these reminiscenses and create > a web page ... sound okay everybody? Being an everybody myself too, I thought it would not be polite to ignore your request, so I thought I should find out more about you now. Been meaning to for some time. Yesterday morning about 7 am I went to visit you at the unfashionable Flushing. Ended up hanging around all morning. So glad to make your aquaintance. And now that I know you I am so glad you are moving in another budhist neighbor into your neighborhood. Maybe your in-laws will approve already also. I hope so. But then Allan is going to keep on talking to all of us. Them too. Veimroo Omein leon
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 09:47:07 -0700 From: Leon Tabory
Subject: Addendom to[Fwd: Re: Words for Ginzy] Maybe I should clarify to yo all: Vayeemroo OMein Is the hebrew ending of the prayer for the dead called "Kaddish". It means; And say (second person plural) Ohmein. Whereupon everyone in attendance is expected to respond with OHMEIN (The old ashkenazic pronounciation of Amen) Thought you would like to know. Leon
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 18:49:36 +0200 From: Rinaldo Rasa
Subject: Allen Ginsberg ricordato dai poeti Mario Luzi e Andrea Zanzotto. Allen Ginsberg & Italian Poets Mario Luzi & Andrea Zanzotto. snipped from newspaper "la Repubblica" - domenica 6 aprile 1997, article written by Francesco Erbani. Mario Luzi e Andrea Zanzotto sono due poeti molto distanti da Ginsberg, nel modo di versificare e nei mondi poetici che esprimono. Eppure nel protagonista della Beat Generation entrambi sentono il suono di una delle voci piu' acute di questo secolo. MARIO LUZI: "Il suo e' un verso molto americano, nel senso che costruisce insieme alla passione che esprime" - spiega Luzi. I suoi versi non celebrano, non evocano. La loro forza d'urto, a parte certi ripiegamenti retorici, si condensa in forme nevrotiche, lacerate. Queste forme spesso sono convogliate efficacemente, ma rappresentano un modo di vita che per lui come per Ferlinghetti o Corso, era il modo della vita". Luzi che ha conosciuto Corso a Firenze e Ferlinghetti a San Francisco, nella sua libreria, non ha mai incontrato Ginsberg. "Ho iniziato a leggerlo a meta' degli anni Sessanta quando venne tradotto "Jukebox all'Idrogeno". Mi colpi' la profondit=E0 originaria che avevano le sue parole, una caratteristica che non aveva nulla di sacro. Era violenta, anche urtante. Ebbi la impressione di un poeta che prediligeva la corda del profetico. Le cose che diceva voleva fossero recepite, sperava che fruttificassero. Era un poeta che rifiutava la glossolalia, il parlarsi addosso, una delle tare della poesia moderna". ANDREA ZANZOTTO: "Lo ho visto due anni fa, e' venuto a Conegliano Veneto dove avevamo organizzato una festa per Fernanda Pivano", racconta Zanzotto. "Lo trovai cambiato nell'aspetto. Lo ricordavo un omaccione, allora invece mi sembro' esile, aveva una aria da intellettuale. Ma dentro era rimasto lo stesso. A un certo punto della serata comincio' a cantare. Nessuno se non lui avrebbe manifestato tanta liberta'. Eravamo in un teatrino di provincia e lui aveva una voce meravigliosa". La memoria del poeta veneto risale all'indietro, si volge alla fine degli anni Settanta. "Lo conobbi a Cambridge, ero insieme alla Pivano. Mi sembr=F2 un uomo in continua eruzione. La sua vitalit=E0 era straordinaria, a volte scivolava nella ingenuit=E0. Non metteva in mostra nulla, era lontana da lui qualunque forma di sotterfugio letterario. Possedeva un fortissimo senso della protesta, ma ogni cosa riusciva a piegarla dentro il contenitore poetico". Anche Zanzotto come Luzi e' poeta diverso da Ginsberg. "Eppure riconosco nella mia poesia una certa complemantarieta' alla sua. Io ero qui in Italia dove non si poteva scrivere che in modo compresso e depresso. Lui viveva nella liberta'. Ma in un certo senso rappresentava un'altra porzione di un mondo poetico comune. Una volta, non ricordo bene quando, per difenderlo dalle accuse di oscenita' fu costretto ad alzare la voce anche Giuseppe Ungaretti". In realta' un filo lega Ginsberg e Zanzotto. "Anche lui come me, viveva sovrastato dall'incubo della catastrofe nucleare: mi sentivo vicino a Ginsberg quando prorompeva nell'urlo contro le mostruosita' che la storia preparava". --- [my translation] Mario Luzi and Andrea Zanzotto are two very aloof poets from Ginsberg, in the way of versify and in the poetic worlds that they express. Yet in the protagonist of the Beat Generation both feels the sound of an of the more acute voices than this century. "The his is a toward much American, in the sense that builds together to the passion that expresses"- he explains Luzi. His verses don't celebrate, they don't evoke. Their force of bump, to part some declamatory refoldings, is condensed in forms, you lacerate. These forms are thick effectively, but they represent a way of life that for him like for Ferlinghetti or Corso, it was the way of the life." Luzi that has known Corso in Florence and Ferlinghetti in San Francisco, in his bookstore, he has not met Ginsberg ever. "I have begun to read it to half of the Sixties when translated The Hydrogen Jukebox. He struck me the original depth that they had his words, a characteristic that nothing didn't have of sacred. I had the impression of a poet that affected the chord of the foreseeing. A poet was that speaks clearly" "I have seen two years he come to Conegliano Veneto where we had organized a party for Fernanda Pivano," he tell Zanzotto. "he found changed in the appearance. I remembered a big man, then instead seemed me reedy, he had an air from intellectual. But inside he had stayed the same. He to a certain point of the evening began to sing. No if not he would have manifested so much liberty. We were in a theatre of province and he had a marvelous voice. " The memory of the venetian poet goes up again to the back, he turns at the end of the 70s. "I knew it in Cambridge, I was together to the Pivano. A man in continual eruption seemed me. His vitality extraordinary, he at times slipped in the ingenuity. He didn't put in invalid show, distant era from him any form of literary subterfuge. He possessed a strong sense of the protest, but each thing was able to fold up it inside the poetic container. " Also Zanzotto like Luzi is poet diverged from Ginsberg. "Yet I recognize a certain complmentary to the his in my poetry. I was here in Italy where it could not be written that in pressed and depressed way. He lived in the liberty. But he in a certain sense represented an other portion of a poetic common world. Once, I don't remember well when, for defend it from the accusations of obscenity were constrained to lift the voice also Giuseppe Ungaretti. In reality a thread ties Ginsberg and Zanzotto. "Also he like I, lived impended from the nightmare of the nuclear catastrophe: I felt near to Ginsberg when break out in the howl against the monstrosities that the history coached." yrs Rinaldo.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 11:49:05 -0600 From: "Derek A. Beaulieu"
Subject: Re: Addendom to[Fwd: Re: Words for Ginzy] ohmein. om. ah. aha. amen. thank you leon. derek
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 14:03:03 -0400 From: "Paul McDonald, TeleReference LA, Main Info Services"
Subject: Thoughts on Ginsberg I have been so sad over the last two days. Bil Brown told me early Friday Evening that he spoke with Anne Waldman who related Allen's stroke. Then I read the Reuters Announcement. Dug up a copy of "Father Death Blues" and cried last night. Working on a poem and and recollections of three personal encounters with Ginsberg that I will post it later. Ginsberg wrote something in an essay, NEGATIVE CAPABILITY: KEROUAC'S BUDDHIST ETHIC, where he related the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, eventually leading to a place where one "...exists with no creditials and no apologies, anymore than the sun has to apologize." What a wonderful way to live! I'd like to share something very personal. Today, April 6, marks my seven year anniversary of sobriety, that is, being drug and alcohol free. Ginsberg's poetry has carried an inner metric pulse that resonates with my soul. A pulse I was completely unaware of during the thick of my active alcoholism/addiction and has carried me this far, and probably farther if I choose, through the spirtual journey that the craving for addiction gives way to when those of us with the disease choose to live differently. Thank you Father Ginsberg, now reunited with Jack, Neal, Louis, Naomi, Trungpa Rimproche, Whitman, Blake, Rumi and Milarepa, for inspiring us to sing this blues. Om Namah Shivaya Paul McDonald
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 13:54:18 -0400 From: don't forget the alcohol
Subject: Allen I'm only 21 years old, and the first time I ever heard of Jack Kerouac was because his name was in a Hi & Lois comic strip; the first time I ever heard of Allen Gisnberg (that I consciously remember) I was in a car while a high schooler, and Allen was giving a reading somewhere in Cleveland and was a guest on the radio station's morning show. I'm not sure how I first became aware of the Beats, never read them in my high school classes, I don't think they were even covered in any of my college classes. But I had this fuzzy idea of what they were (the goatess and the black and the social rebellion thing), & I remebered the title of the book mentioned in that comic strip, _On the Road_, and so i started reading it this past summer, and was so proud of myself becuase I finished it & I even liked it, while my freind who was also reading it kept proclaiming how appauled she was by the characters and she refused to finish the book even though she only had 2 chapters to go. How sad. And then I had to pick a topic for my senior seminar paper for my English major, so i decided to write about these Beats. And after 12 weeks of research and writing I was still fascinated by this group of writers, and am sorry that Allen had to leave just as I had gotten my foot in teh door. One more reason to keep his vision alive. All the poems and memories that have been posted, they've brought tears to my eyes, and I want to thank you all for sharing. Diane.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 15:05:07 -0400 From: "Robert H. Sapp"
Subject: Poem dedicated to Allen Ginsberg Daylight Savings Time Begins i'm shivering Allen for you your life your passing and the passing of the World in time so sudden like stepping into the freezer section of a grocery store from the produce section the buds are starting to appear in full expression outside on the tree across from my yard the neighbor's tree with the wide base of expanding branches it survived the freak blizzard whose heavy snow brought in April and whose placid white glow did belie the elsewhere wreckage when one stared at it the right way that tree that i've gazed at many times from the front window survived unlike the Japanese cherry tree that lived just outside my bedroom its branches always reaching out further each year toward my window as i ignored its presence now it hangs over bare broken exposing orangey wood the weight of the snow that melted easily in few days left behind this weak grey remnant now tilting toward the car that rots in the sinking driveway instead of my window the sun is smiling somewhere and looking up at the sky through the screen makes you neglect the screen and you see the blue blend softly with the tall oak branches and the difference is the sea and sea water sleeping together easing yes Allen there is warmth within me still a golden warmth and so perhaps i'd better go outside to sing forever instead of sitting here lying there crying in the house on the shiny brown desktop rests vividly your Collected Poems it was laying face down before i turned face up over across an array of other books i see a biography on the cover of which i see your picture bearded bespectacled your eyes do the grinning i borrowed that book from a kind teacher months ago i read with awe a great deal of it yet was distracted by the ton of other things happening so i never got to read the whole story but i guess no one ever does we will finish it together Eric Sapp April 6, 1997
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 13:52:30 -0600 From: dawn m zarubnicky
Subject: ALLEN I'm certain Mark wouldn't mind me posting this beautiful poem off the Vin Scelsa List to the Beat-L. For those of you fortunate enough to be in the New York listening area, I'm certain Vin will do a fitting tribute to Allen on his radio show this evening. I would be eternally grateful if someone could record it for me. Peace Allen.... ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sun, 6 Apr 97 09:07:52 EDT From: Digestifier To: IDD-Distribution@netcom.com Subject: Idiots Delight Digest #53 Idiots Delight Digest #53, Volume #3 Sun, 6 Apr 97 09:07:52 EDT From: Kiddrane@aol.com Subject: The Silent Wind Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 23:22:52 -0500 (EST) The Wind seems silent When A poet dies The Wind stands still As the sky cries Accepting the call To take words And make them speak Across boundries The silent wind Breathes fire into the jazz filled spectrum That clucthes onto the saxophone's wisdom Blow man blow The silent wind Touches down on the sweeping willow Catch that cool dude man go Higher man higher The silent wind Baptizing the original sinned Bepop bosanova whistle man whistle Follow that train down the tracks The silent wind Be howl(ing) every thing Like a Plato echo Reaching far off in to universal language The silent wind Madi Gras time We be two stepping ourselves Straight up in to a rondevous with Jesus Hey Jack step aside I gots me a midnight ride Been hitchhiking to this place All the live long day Takes a train to cry Takes a silent wind to whisper good bye Yeah cool man dude go Step aside I'm doing this show The silent wind Hell, howl(ing)my ass off Passing by on that midight special You outta see ole cool man dude go Just about in time for the NY Times Front Page Obituary News Yeah that cool man dude go Cool Man Dude Da Ron Ron Ron Go Go Go -- Yeah. for Allen Ginsberg 4/4/97
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 13:49:24 -0700 From: Adrien Begrand
Subject: Death News What a week it's been. A strange strange month for myself, reaquainting myself with Allen's poesy reading Dharma Lion Collected Poems listening to Holy Soul Jelly Roll, hearing his beautiful Kaddish watching his Life And Times delighting most in what he called his "little spontaneous word firecrackers": "A naked lunch is natural to us, we eat reality sandwiches. But allegories are so much lettuce. Don't hide the madness." "who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox..." "Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!" "I have the moan of doves and the feather of ecstasy..." "I am the King of May, which is industry in eloquence and action in amour..." Oh, far too many to mention. A few days ago I read about his amazing 1965: visited Cuba pissed people off, was deported visited Moscow pissed people off, barely escaped unscathed visited Prague, welcomed as a returning hero elected King of May by 100,000 people held his title for a mere few hours followed by plainclothes cops assaulted on the street had notebook stolen and finally booted to London, wrote Kral Majales on the plane landed in London in time to meet Dylan filmed Don't Look Back leaped in John Lennon's lap organized Albert Hall poetry reading wrote Who Be Kind To and upon returning to New York was strip searched cos Hoover was scared shitless of him and the year was barely half over. Read the story grinning, amazed how such a gentle man who never hit anybody could be so feared by authorities. Feared cos he told the truth, his whole life was about telling the truth, being true to himself true to his friends and refusing to be duped by the Gov't Machine of Moloch Then read Allen was sick, had been for days. Couldn't believe it at first, but more and more rumours and finally reports came in. I thought his few months would be incredible, with endless tributes a celebration of his life's work. So I returned to his poetry now with renewed fervor. Next day, received a bundle of posters, among them Allen's poem "Visiting Father and Friends" his dream of seeing Neal again and crashing at his father's new place, and Jack's "Daydreams for Ginsberg" spontaneous thoughts from the man who taught Allen how to create a mainline straight from the heart to the paper. The timing of everything becoming scary. Then rumours of his condition worsening. Thought nothing of it, actually. Kept reading. Spent a quiet Saturday at home, upon checking e-mails noticed none from beat-l. Silence. Thought nothing of it, kept reading. Took a break from reading to fulfill civic duty as Canadian watching Sat. night hockey. Went to check e-mail after first period, only to find a lone post from Ron Whitehead: "Beat Poet Laureate Ginsberg Dies" Jaw dropped. Sighed, read the letter, instantly forwarded it to the mailing list thinking "Why hasn't anyone mentioned this?" Searched the internet for more news, heard words from his friends, including a short tribute from Ferlinghetti Still didn't know what to think of all this, saddened knowing I'd never hear him read in public, the closest I had gotten to him was on an irc chat, knowing there'd be no more new works from him, but realized in the end that's all selfishness. Listened to and read his poetry all night, Pacific High Studio Mantras sounding more powerful than ever, ending with Ashes & Blues cd playing at four in the morning reality finally starting to sink in, Gospel Noble Truths ("Die when you die") On Neal's Ashes Father Death Blues After Lalon ("Don't follow my path to extinction") Then silence Eyes glazed over, but no tears Today the e-mail caught up with me, sixty letters, many beautiful tributes among them. Still couldn't quite articulate my thoughts, but decided to write anyway Thought of Allen's mercurial final days and was reminded of Jack's famous line: the ones who never yawn or never say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow oman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes AH! Allen, I like to think of you being welcomed into the afterlife by yr waiting mother Naomi, Louis smiling, anxious to carry on yr existential discussions now that you both know what's on the other side, Mrs. Kerouac politely saying hi but still with that disapproving look in her eyes, and in the distance two figures, both looking youthful again, in front of a green auto, no tea, no tokay this time ("who needs it here, natural eyeball kicks, dig?") waiting for you to join them on the ultimate Road. Thank you Allen, for everything. "He isn't dead as the many pages of words arranged thrill with his intonations the mouths of meek kids becoming subtle even in Bengal. Thus there's a life moving out of his pages... Mourn O Ye Angels of the Left Wing! that the poet of the streets is a skeleton under the pavement now and there's no other old soul so kind and meek and feminine jawed and him-eyed can see you What you wanted to be among the bastards out there." AG Benares, March 20, 1963 Adios, Kral Majales. Adrien Begrand Hudson Bay, Sask., April 5-6, 1997
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 16:00:15 -0400 From: Richard Wallner
Subject: Ginsberg memorial According to the New York Post, there is a memorial tomorrow morning for Allen Ginsberg at a buddhist center near where he lived. If anyone has any info on other memorials please post... Allen was a visionary and will be missed... Neal Cassady (1928-1968) Jack Kerouac (1928-1969) Allen Ginsberg (1927-1997) *sigh*
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 15:57:07 -0400 From: Laura Michelle Stipancich
Subject: mIRC Anyone? Greetings- This is my first post to the list. I only wish I had discovered this earlier; however it is making Allen's death a bit easier to swallow. I use mIRC Version 4.0 as my internet chat server-thing. You can download a copy from the Internet (URL Attached!). It's fairly user-friendly. Perhaps we can set up a channel in there and hang out. Peace, Love, and Dharma Laura
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 16:04:02 -0400 From: Marie Countryman
Subject: Re: Addendom to[Fwd: Re: Words for Ginzy] >ohmein. >om. >ah. >aha. >amen. > >thank you leon. >derek @@@@@@@@@@ could someone please repost leon's? somehow it did not get to me. thanks mc
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 16:18:02 -0400 From: Richard Wallner
Subject: Ginsberg remembered.. In reading the obituaries, I dont think enough has been said about how large a role Allen played in the rise of beat literature. Allen was in addition to everything else, for many years the literary agent for both Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Allen carried "On the Road" and "Naked Lunch" and "Junky" door to door and was ceaselessly energetic in promoting his friends careers. In fact, it was Allen whose connections first got Kerouac published...he showed "Night and the City" the right people and got Jack in the door at Random House. It is likely that these great works may never have seen the light of day without Allen Ginsberg's energy and belief in his friends. Allen Ginsberg was the driving force behind the beat generation.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 16:33:04 EST5EDT From: SGA_President
Subject: allen It's no secret that Allen was considered the greatest American poet since Walt Whitman and also the greatest icon in twentieth century literature altogether. In honor of such a great and peaceful man, I have decided to dedicate the literary quarterly at my college in his memory. If anyone has any suggestions of what I should say, please let me know. Thanks, Stephen D. Brindle firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 17:41:57 -0400 From: Ginny Browne
Subject: AG Gone Meditation On The Death of Allen Ginsberg Planets and spirits- Bodhisattva has risen, petals left for us i wade, hesitant, through the calm after the storm.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 18:07:22 -0400 From: "M. Cakebread"
Subject: Dylan dedicates "Desolation Row" to Ginsberg in Moncton, N.B. Last night (4/05/97) in Moncton, New Brunswick, Bob Dylan dedicated "Desolation Row" to Ginsberg. Mike
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 18:09:02 -0400 From: "Christopher L. Jones"
Subject: Ginsberg Reminiscence I had the honor of seeing Allen speak last March, here in Amherst. Myself and two friends huddled in the freezing cold in order to get front row seats. It was truly amazing. He opened by singing Blake's Tiger, Tiger, and read a lot of poems from Cosmopolitan Greetings. It came as a complete shock when, towards the end of the performance, he pulled out a copy of Howl, and began to read it. He had to stop frequently, to take a sip of water or clear his throat, but he read it with such passion, it was almost a spiritual experience. It was as if everyone else in the auditorium had dissolved, leaving only the words themselves, resounding through the air. He closed by singing Father Death Blues, and as this small figure shuffled out of the spotlight and into the shadows at the wing of the stage, my friend and I were overcome by the feeling that his time was drawing to a close. Unfortunately, it appears that the premonition has come true. I only wish that I could have said something meaningful to him as I stood in line to have my copy of Kaddish autographed...Something to convey the respect and admiration I had for him. Now, it's too late. Adios, King. 211th Chorus The wheel of the quivering meat conception Turns in the void expelling human beings, Pigs, turtles, frogs, insects, nits, Mice, lice, lizards, rats, roan Racinghorses, poxy bucolic pigtics, Horrible unnameable lice of vultures, Murderous attacking dog-armies of Africa, Rhinos roaming in the jungle, Vast boars and huge gigantic bull Elephants, rams, eagles, condors, Pones and Porcupines and Pills -- All the endless conception of living beings Gnashing everywhere in Consciousness Throughout the ten directions of space Occupying all the quarters in & out, >From supermicroscopic no-bug To huge Galaxy Lightyear Bowell Illluminating the sky of one Mind -- Poor! I wish I was free of that slaving meat wheel and safe in heaven dead --Jack Kerouac, Mexico City Blues
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 18:14:43 EST From: LIBRARY CIRCULATION
Subject: Re: Ginsberg memorial A Ginsberg memorial is planned for later next week, still no word, will post when I find out. I might have mentioned that he is being cremated, today I think, and his ashes wil be diveded into thirds, with one third going to the family plot. So like Allen to spread himself around! Stay tuned... dave B.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 20:10:09 -0400 From: John J Dorfner
Subject: Re: Dylan dedicates "Desolation Row" to Ginsberg in Moncton, N.B. Bob...i knew you were cool.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 20:14:02 +0000 From: Fiona Webster
Subject: anti-Ginsberg thread underway I don't know why this is making me so angry -- there's a part of me that wants to be calmer and more sanguine -- but there's an anti-Ginsberg thread underway on the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.books that is really making me steam. It's under the subject heading of "Gisnberg, Alan" [sic] and starts off with a poem whose first line is The flatulance of modern poetry is dead, I wish that some of you fine poets and celebrants of the Beat aesthetic would subscribe to rec.arts.books for a few days, in order to provide a counterpoint to this dancing on his grave. If your newsreader doesn't have the postings for some reason, go to Deja News at http://www.dejanews.com/forms/dnq.html do a power search on "rec.arts.books" with "Gisnberg" (note spelling) in the subject heading. --frustrated and sad, Fiona Webster
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 20:28:00 +0000 From: Fiona Webster
Subject: addendum to anti-Ginsberg thread message Quick addendum: The other subject heading for the anti-Ginsberg ranting on rec.arts.books is "The Anxiety of Influence". --thanks for bein' there, Fiona W.
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 21:01:23 -0400 From: Diane De Rooy
Subject: Re: anti-Ginsberg thread underway Fiona--- The last few days have been bad enough. I don't think I could stand to deal with 100 letters a day fighting over some moronic opinions by people who obviously need to behave this way. In other words, don't fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person. Let it be. He doesn't give a shit. He's been called worse than that. Please, no flame wars over this. Please. ddr
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 18:24:51 -0700 From: Malcolm Lawrence
Subject: Re: Dylan dedicates "Desolation Row" to Ginsberg in Moncton, N.B. That's one of the best parts about "Don't Look Back," when he's in the hotel room in London and says "Do you have any poets like Allen Ginsberg?"
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 22:00:25 -0400 From: Pamela Beach Plymell
Subject: Re: anti-Ginsberg thread underway I'll try to find the newsgroup. If they can't spell his first and last names, and if "The flatulance of modern poetry is dead" is their manifesto, there's not a credible ring to it. "Modern poetry" is not very definitive in classifying Allen's work and would belong to an earlier period that influenced him. From just that much, their thread doesn't have much scholarly validity. Charles Plymell
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 19:53:15 -0700 From: James Stauffer
Subject: Allan FOR ALLAN GINSBERG "Poetry is about breath." I forget the first time I read your poems But can't forget the first time I heard your voice read them. Or the first time I saw and heard you read them. Riverside, must have been 65,66? You, Peter and Julius in the VW bus. Wonderful long pony tails. My undergrad friends, boys and girls. Aflutter. In Heat. Personal messages from Lawrence Lipton in LA. The poet as thinking kids Rock Star. And then that voice. Out of size with the body. Bardic. Oracular. Perfect fit with those lines. Can't hear them anymore in Any other voice. Then seeing you last November in San Francisco Shrunken. Professorial Jacket and Book bag. Sitting by Anne Murphy. (Were you comparing girlish notes on Neal?) Explaining yourself to more strident Political homosexuals. "But I'm not just a Gay poet. I'm Jewish. A Columbia Professor. A Hippy. A Buddhist." "The line in howl is the length of breath." And you're not breathing anymore here. But the voice remains with us at least as long as we are here on this dirt, breathing. James Stauffer April 6, 1996
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 19:51:25 -0700 From: runner911
Subject: ginsberg, allen, howl allen ginsberg's work a blood clot on my toilet seat some mystery of the universe explained by color and the passing of fluids externally the man could love dirt from all that's been said could charm the nans off a monkey defender of the faith and chief of the golem tribe "Howl" is all I know a few lines at best read aloud over a beer, some hugs, and kisses inscribed to me two friends' red blooded ambition that petered off once distance and our hormones relinquished their control I admire his courage and determination the inspiration passed along to others the fire from the bowls that will not be forgot my graphical tribute: http://www.electriciti.com/babu/fahrkle/collages/Various/Howl.html Douglas
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 23:26:00 -0400 From: "Lawrence M. Ladutke"
Subject: Re: T-shirt List/Thoughts on Allen Jeff, I'm not sure exactly what these T-shirts are all about, but count me in... Great beautiful gone writing about AG... Rachel :o)
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 23:48:43 -0400 From: Timm
Subject: EEK! Typo in that Poem!! There was a word missing in "Allen Ginsberg Saved My Life" It should have read "pulls *me* out of the path" etc. Perhaps the title makes more sense now. Bob Timm email@example.com "Willy willy willy wah hoo!" - Vachel Lindsay
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 21:17:54 -0700 From: Levi Asher
Subject: Sunday night ... Sunday night ... the weekend still feels strange. I stayed inside all weekend, trying to contain the flood of emails (like trying to keep a river from overflowing) and also trying to relax, clear my mind, get perspective. Listened to "Holy Soul Jelly Roll" a lot. Ginsberg sure sang a lot of songs about death. Some of the songs, like "Birdbrain" are really entertaining to listen to. I listened to that one about six times, and "Gospel Noble Truths" too. Talked to my friend Raymond Foye who'd been around Allen's home Friday night. He told me Allen was in a coma during the last hours, but his eyes opened and he had a moment of awareness just as he died. Sounded to me like a pretty elegant death, surrounded by about 40 friends. I hope to have that many friends left when I die. Working on the BEAT-L tributes page -- if anybody posted anything and is impatient to get it up somewhere, you can send it other places too. I need a few days to make this the way I want to make it ... Mongo BearWolf and Critter already have some tributes up as well, but I'm a slowpoke (can't help it!).
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 22:19:57 -0700 From: Malcolm Lawrence
Subject: Re: Addendom to[Fwd: Re: Words for Ginzy] OHMEIN >Maybe I should clarify to yo all: >Vayeemroo OMein >Is the hebrew ending of the prayer for the dead called "Kaddish". >It means; >And say (second person plural) Ohmein. >Whereupon everyone in attendance is expected to respond with >OHMEIN (The old ashkenazic pronounciation of Amen) >Thought you would like to know. >Leon
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 01:31:45 -0400 From: Jerry Cimino
Subject: Ferlinghetti Poem on AG's Death The San Jose Mercury News Sunday edition headline read, "Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg Dies". This was the main headline "above the fold" as they say. Included along with the main article and a sidebar article by staff writer Lee Quarnstrom (he was one of Kesey's pranksters) was a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti which I thought the folks on the list would appreciate. Here it is: Allen Ginsberg is dying It's in all the papers It's on the evening news A great poet is dying But his voice won't die His voice is on the land In Lower Manhattan in his own bed he is dying There is nothing to do about it He is dying the death everyone dies He is dying the death of the poet He has a telephone in his hand and he calls everyone from his bed in Lower Manhattan All around the world late at night the telephone is ringing "This is Allen," the voice says "Allen Ginsberg calling" How many times have they heard it over the long great years He doesn't have to say Ginsberg All around the world in the world of poets there is only one Allen "I wanted to tell you," he says He tells them what's happening what's coming down on him His voice goes by satellite over the land over the Sea of Japan where he once stood naked trident in hand like a young Neptune a young man with black beard standing on the stone beach It is high tide and the seabirds cry The waves break over him now and the seabirds cry on the San Francisco water front There is a high wind There are great whitecaps lashing the Embarcadero I am reading Greek poetry Horses weep in it The horses of Achilles weep in it here by the sea in San Francisco where the waves weep They make a sibilant sound a sibylline sound Allen they whisper Allen
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 22:36:46 -0700 From: Malcolm Lawrence
Subject: Re: Ginsberg remembered.. >In reading the obituaries, I dont think enough has been said about how >large a role Allen played in the rise of beat literature. Allen was in >addition to everything else, for many years the literary agent for both >Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Allen carried "On the Road" and >"Naked Lunch" and "Junky" door to door and was ceaselessly energetic in >promoting his friends careers. In fact, it was Allen whose connections >first got Kerouac published...he showed "Night and the City" the right >people and got Jack in the door at Random House. >It is likely that these great works may never have seen the light of day >without Allen Ginsberg's energy and belief in his friends. Allen >Ginsberg was the driving force behind the beat generation. Thanks for posting this Richard. When I first found this out years ago my estimation of Allen (which was already high enough) grew even more. And it's something that I as a writer have always tried to do as well after realizing Allen did all that as WELL as what he himself did. How noble. How tireless. How indefatigable. How angelic. As all of us writers know, both published and unpublished, it can be a lonely thing even at the best of times and no matter how many horror stories I have had over the years with agents and editors and publishers I will always gladly and willingly try to help my other writer friends get into print with the same drive I save for myself. Love Malcolm
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 02:08:36 -0400 From: Jerry Cimino
Subject: Brushes with Ginsberg A number of folks asked about our "Brushes with Ginsberg" and what we learned from him. Here's mine: First read Howl in 1976 right out of college as AG was in Kerouac's orbit and I'd recently been blown away by Desolation Angels and Scattered Poems. Six months or a year later saw on a poster around town that Allen would be reading at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, the school I had just graduated from a few months before. Went with a great friend Ronn Nuger who took along his newly purchased copy of Howl for Allen to sign. Ronn had recently had a "vision" in his bed one night after reading "Visions of Gerard" that Gerard had told him his own father, who had been killed in a plane crash a year or two before, was "safe in heaven". As Ronn and I stood in line after the reading, not really understanding the significance of the chanting and the finger cymbals but still loving the poetry, it was our turn to stand in the great man's presence as he signed the book. As he was signing I asked excited and gushing, "Allen do you think Jack was a prophet?" and Allen's immediate response was, "No more than any man who speaks the truth". Five years later I'm successful in Corporate America selling computers for IBM but still writing like a maniac nights and weekends. It's 1982 and I buy one of the earliest IBM PC's that's come out and find myself pounding on a keyboad all hours of the day and night and it's a delight for me, a purging, a true spontaneous flow "first thought best thought" laying my life out on 5 1/4 inch floppies. I feel a frustration. I'm writing a ton, all enjoyable introspective revealing self searching stuff but I feel I ought to be putting something out to the world. I ought to be trying to get published in some fashion. On a lark I mail a stack of old poems to Allen's office asking for advice along with a letter describing my dilemma and thanking him for being the one "who carried the torch" for so long. To my amazement I get back a postcard a few weeks later thanking me for recognizing his role in the movement. Fast forward to 1992 and my wife and I have moved to California and built a bookstore. We start holding Beat events that gather big crowds. A letter to Allen's office at Naropa asking for help in tracking down a 16MM copy of Pull My Daisy for an event to correspond with Kerouac's birthday. A week later Allen calls the bookstore and neither my wife nor I are there... the employees are flabbergasted... "Allen Ginsberg called here?" A few nights later my wife picks up the phone and walks into my study... "Allen Ginsberg's on the phone..." "Get outa here... somebody's pulling a goof..." "No I really think it's him. He's got the information you were asking about". Allen was cordial, businesslike, no nonsense. Says he can't commit to a booksigning but to try to schedule it thru his office in NY. Wishes us well with the Kerouac event and then "he thanks me" for spreading the message. We're plugged in now. Carolyn Cassady comes for book signings. Ferlinghetti sends notes our way and we plop them in the store window. We're selling books nationwide with our catalog sales. I wear my 1-800-KER-OUAC button to various Beat events around the country and get my picture taken with the luminaries. In NY at the 1994 Beat Conference at NYU I see a side to Ginsberg that was telling and funny. I'm in the Men's Room during a break between sessions. I'm washing my hands when in walks Allen followed by about a half dozen young men. Everybody's firing questions... "Allen, what would Neal have thought of this..." "Allen, why was it that..." Allen very patiently and gently answered each question as it was asked, not missing a beat as he closed the door to the stall, took care of business in a manly sort of way and then finished up by washing and drying his hands. I walked out with the group amazed at what I had just witnessed... here's a guy who still teaching as he's going to the bathroom, not fazed at all by a crowd following him and interacting with him during one of those most personal of moments! I gained a renewed respect for Allen Ginsberg that day! Saw Allen for the last time in October with my wife at the San Francisco deYoung Museum when he did a performance with Steven Taylor for the traveling Whitney show 'Beat and the New America'. He looked frail of course, but there was a fire in his eyes and the ever present passion was in evidence. There was trouble with the sound system and Allen was in command, irked that things weren't working perfectly but making the most of it and giving ideas from the stage as to what ought to be done to fix it. As a closer Allen led the entire audience in a group sing of "Nurse's Song" from William Blake's "Songs of Innocence", the words of which can be found at Literary Kicks... the chorus is "And all the hills echoed" which we all pronounced from Allens lead as "echo-ed": And all the hills echoed And all the hills echoed And all the hills echoed And all the hills echoed This went on for minutes and minutes at the very end of the performance. It was joyful! It was gleeful! It was childlike and sorrowful and mournful all at the same time. It was Allen Ginsberg at his impactfull best. We sang that chorus in the car the entire way home. Jerry Cimino Fog City Facts & Fiction
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 07:41:31 -0400 From: Marie Countryman
Subject: Re: Ferlinghetti Poem on AG's Death thank you jerry, for posting this. i can only think of one other american writer whose death so closely echos that of allen, and that is henry david thoreau, as he lay on his bed dying, in his last days all the citizens of walden and the poets of boston stood in line at his doorway, patiently waiting to say goodbye. tenderly, mc
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 09:39:23 -0400 From: Antoine Maloney
Subject: Listening to Allen Levi, Listening to Allen definitely is helping; I've had "Ballad of the Skeletons" on heavy rotation, plus the material from "Howls, Raps, and Roars". A recommendation to everyone - listen to him. James had it just right.... "... And then that voice. Out of size with the body. Bardic. Oracular. Perfect fit with those lines. Can't hear them anymore in Any other voice." David Gutnick of CBC Montreal had a lovely, sympathetic short piece this morning descibing first meeting and hearing Allen at Dalhousie - a poetry class of nine! - with a clip from an interview he did with him at the Kerouac conference in Quebec City. Talking about Memere, Leo, and Jack and good Canuck home cooking. Nice. Antoine "The sky turned black and bruised, and we had months of heavy rain." - Tom Waits
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 09:31:52 +0000 From: Mongo BearWolf
Subject: Remembering Allen Hi Beat friends. Well, it's been a wild and emotional weekend. My site was picked up by CNN and AOL as the resource point for information on Allen Ginsberg. My hits went from a handful to overwhelming. I have had over 3,500 in the last 48 hours. So many of these people have wanted to share their stories of Allen, and I have received hundreds of e-mail messages. I've begun to collect the best of these into a "Remembering Allen" page. I've also added an obituary section to my page, including links to all the tribute sites I can find, late breaking news, articles, announcements of events, and other information. I basically haven't left this computer, except to sleep, for the past two days. Levi and I have talked, and eventually we'd like to merge all of the tributes that he's collecting from here and his own e-mail, with what I and other have received. It's been very comforting for me to hear the words of others who are mourning Allen's death, and I hope others find it as powerful as I have. If you'd like to visit my site, here is the URL: http://members.aol.com/mongobear/private/Ginsberg.html Here is my own remembrance, posted to my page: ---------- I guess I just found you too late, Allen Ginsberg. It's hard to believe that a year ago I hardly knew who Allen Ginsberg was. And today I'm sitting here at my computer on a Sunday, fielding dozens of messages from those who loved him and, like me, can't believe he's gone. Almost every one reflects the same feelings that I'm struggling with. It all boils down to an inner ache, knowing that the world has lost one of it's truly most gifted, most guiding lights. And that without him, the world will be a little emptier. It's easy to slap myself for feeling this way, and remind myself that Allen's life was truly about joy, about courage, and about grasping every moment. I keep coming back to one of my favorite lines. "Being is the one thing all the universe shouts." Or another, "While I'm here I'll continue the work. And what is the work? To ease the pain of living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow." I never met Allen Ginsberg. I always thought (naively) that he'd be around a long time, and that eventually I'd be able to shake his hand and tell him how much his life and work has meant to me. But that's not to be. What's left is my own "work" to ease the pain of living. And a big part of that is sharing the joy that Allen brought to me. So we go on. We shout our being. We ease the pain of living. And we remember the one who taught us how. His life has ended. His work will endure. Best wishes to you all during this sad time... --Mongo
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 09:33:49 +0000 From: Mongo BearWolf
Subject: Clippings I haven't seen this posted. I received it from someone in Allen's office, and I think it would be good to repeat it here... FROM ALLEN'S OFFICE: Dear Friends of Allen, In the spirit of Allen's manic clipping and collecting EVERYTHING, Allen's office would love to have clippings regarding his death for Allen's archives. If you're able to send us any, could you please note the name of the publication and the date and page number? If anyone happens to record any tv or radio programs or news coverage, we'd love to have copies of those too. Materials can be mailed to: Allen Ginsberg & Associates P.O. Box 582 Stuyvesant Station, NY 10009 --Mongo
From: Richard Wallner
Subject: Allen's Last Phone Call Touching story in this morning's paper. Shortly before Allen Ginsberg fell asleep and slipped into a coma a few days ago, the last person he talked to was his friend of over 50 years William S. Burroughs. They apparently had a lengthy phone conversation and re-affirmed that even though they hadnt been close as when they were younger, they still loved each other and shared strong bonds. Ginsberg knew he was about to die and had called many of his closest frinds, like Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Carolyn Cassady. This was typical of Allen, who was always thinking of his friends feelings more than his own. Burroughs was the last link to Jack and Neal, and I think more than anyone else, talking to him gaveAllen a sense of closure to his life. He talked to Burroughs for over an hour, relived a lot of memories, and a lot of feelings, finally said goodbye to his oldest friend and then drifted off to sleep. And fittingly, with him at the end holding his hand were Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso. Allen Ginsberg's life was complete.
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 09:16:49 -0600 From: "Derek A. Beaulieu"
Subject: Re: Ferlinghetti Poem on AG's Death ya'll what with the complete lack of coverage so far concerning AG's death up here in calgary (well not complete - the paper did regurgitate the press release alone), i was wondering if anyone has an extra copy of the San JOse Mercury News Sunday ed. that i might be able to get from them (the one quoted below) i think that i would feel a lot better having something in my hand about greybeard esp. as written by ferlinghetti and quandstrom. mean so much more than a press release. can anyone help a lone canuck? derek
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 12:00:16 -0400 From: Marie Countryman
Subject: Re: Allen >Has anyone heard from Ron regarding Allen's death? I don't know about >the rest of you, but I would certainly love to see one of Ron's posts >right about now..... > >I miss his posts to the list... > >Dawn hi dawn, i miss him too. here is a pome from another list: ASHEVILLE for Allen Ginsberg Right now I'm in Asheville Ashville Ashville Ash yes the right place the right time Ashes Burned Burned Failed Destroyed Ashes So what do I do? Quit? Give up? Become cinder for that longdistanceneverending railroadtracktonowhere? Give up? Allen Ginsberg preaches "take a hand" "share the word" The poetry gospel coming from the gonads the solar plexus the heart and the head yes thank you Allen for the energy for the love and my head rises a little to watch my son, Dylan, and my daughter, Rani Bri, dancing to the B52s' LOVE SHACK playing on the jukebox in Asheville and I'm lookin at the moon over the mountain thinkin bout the kid from Denver and the others from Cheyenne and I think of Denver and of Dean Moriarty of Neal Cassady's flame gone gone gone his naked body lying beside those longdistanceneverending railroadtrackstonowhere and I hope those kids from the west hell I hope all of us keep the funk keep that Fuck You flame that gnostical turpitude flame alive don't let the system break you don't let life break you so that when the time comes when your time is up you either go screamin or go with peace in your heart into that dark night and now somebody's playing the blues on the piano and yeah two days ago Rani and I were sittin at Ginsberg's table in New York City talkin bout Asheville talkin bout the 20 grand Kent and I lost puttin on that 48 hour non-stop music and poetry INSOMNIACATHON to kickoff NYU's 50 Year Celebration of the Beat Generation and I'm talkin with Allen Ginsberg and Herbert Huncke and Gregory Corso but like when Marc Smith proclaims his name the audience responds "so what" and I'm thinkin bout Marc Smith and Allan Wolf and Ray McNiece and Richard Cambridge and Ginger and Lee and The Green Door and Poetry Alive and I know few know how much work the workers do the poets do for poetry but I know now that the reward the pay is in the experience and suddenly I remember that the Ash in Celtic and Scandinavian Mythology is the tree most generally associated with magic and yes here I am in Asheville with all these poets who somehow know the alchemical magical power of poetry of the word yes manger du livre eat the book and the word will set you free and I'm in Asheville thinkin bout Allen Ginsberg and what he said bout takin somebody's hand cause we're all in this together we're pullin we ain't pushin we're lettin it be we ain't forcin it and I realize that a poem like a painting or a song is only the representation of an actual experience the real poem is the event itself and right now I'm thinkin bout the caesarian births of our three children and Nancye's stomach cut open layer by layer til each time an angelic face with Buddah smile appears and I'm thinkin bout Allen Ginsberg in Asheville and out of the ash that I am I feel an energy risin through me growin strong comin from poets of all ages and I'm in Asheville but it don't feel like failure no more it feels friendly it feels good it feels strong like some kind of rebirth into poetry into life it feels like Resurrection Right Now Right Here in Asheville Ron Whitehead 4/05/97
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 12:26:25 -0400 From: Marie Countryman
Subject: upon reading james stauffer's post voice upon voice, may you be safe in heaven with blake and all the saints, allen PSALM IV Now I'll record my secret vision, impossible sight of the face of God: It was no dream, I lay broad waking on a fabulous couch in harlem having masterbated for no love, and read half naked an open book of Blake on my lap Lo & behold! I was thoughtless and turned a page and gazed on the living Sun-flower and heard a voice, it was Blake's, reciting in earthern measure: the voice rose out of the page to my secret ear never heard before-- I lifted my eyes to the window, red walls of buildings flashed outside, endless sky sad in Eternity sunlight gazing on the world, apartments of Harlem standing in the universe-- each brick and cornice stained with intelligence lake a vast living face-- the great brain unfolding and brooding in wilderness!--now speaking aloud with Blakes' voice-- LOve! thou patient presence & bone of the body! Father! thy careful watching and waiting over my soul! My son! My son! the endless ages have remembered me! My son! My son! Time howled in anguish in my ear! My son! My son! my father wept and held me in his dead arms. AG, 1960
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 11:33:58 -0600 From: jo grant
Subject: Where was dog taken by crocodile? Was in the middle of a lengthy pleading to Allen when I learned of his death. Difficult. Like adjusting the blinds. Digging the light, but not wanting to be blinded by it. Someone help me: Is it not true that a crocodile takes a dog to symbolically herald the death of a Buddah? Where and when did the dog get taken? j grant
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 13:57:36 -0400 From: Liz Prato
Subject: Re: Allen's Last Phone Call Thank you for posting this, Richard. It reinforces this feeling I keep coming back to, that while it is sad to have lost the physical presence of a great poet, I am peaceful in knowing that Ginsberg led a very full life. I think of other "celebrity" deaths that have touched me over the last two decades - John Lennon, a man of peace brought down by an act of violence, Steve Ray Vaughan killed in a random accident after successfully struglling against his addictions, Kurt Cobain dying as tragically as he felt he lived - and I feel none of the angst which were a part of these deaths. Ginsberg had the opportunity to travel extensively, meet many fascinating people, create art, evolve spiritually, and lead a long, full life. It is his spritual work which I believe helps me be most at peace with his death, because I believe HE was probably at peace with his death too. I even wonder if he willed a quick death, instead of suffering through the painful 4-12 months which the doctors had originally handed him. Allen Ginsberg is more than a physical being, he is a great spirit, and death is only a *part* of the journey that this spirit is on. Perhaps, if we are lucky, we will encounter his spirit again. -Liz
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 14:01:35 -0400 From: Neil Hennessy
Subject: Re: Allen's Last Phone Call I was lucky enough to attend a reading before Allen passed away. I'll always remember him grooving to Blake with his feet dancing around, his atonal voice chanting away while the harmonium droned on; but most especially I'll remember the joy and fulfillment it brought him. He lived poetry. There are two reactions that I have to great art, whose power grips me so much that it manifests itself physically in my body: a chill up my spine, or tears down my cheeks. I'm beginning to regard this physical reaction as my visceral art-meter, only the greatest work registers on the corporeal gage. On the subway today I was reading my copy of _Howl and other Poems_ when I remembered, and re-experienced Allen Ginsberg singing Blake, it was so vivid that the hairs on my back stood up as the tears welled in my eyes. Never have both reactions hit me at the same time: my tribute is my body. Does this mean The Last Words of Allen Ginsberg were spoken to William S. Burroughs? With Burroughs' obsession with last words, and the relationship between the two over their lifetime, it would be fitting. Last words of Billy the Kid -- Quien Es? Last words of Grant -- It is raining Anita Huffington. Last words of Allen Ginsberg --
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 15:48:23 -0400 From: "Paul McDonald, TeleReference LA, Main Info Services"
Subject: FOR FATHER GINSBERG FOR FATHER GINSBERG "Father Death Don't cry anymore, Mother's there Underneath the floor, Brother Death Please mind the store..." Does death really exist, Allen? Comet Lunar/Solar Eclipse Within one month fortell The birth/passing of Prophets/Visionaries And you slipped away Amidst the chant "Certain is death for the born Certain is birth for the dead" Gray windy April Ginsberg's Mahasamahdi Now we can pray to you And know you'll hear us Working class Bodhisattva Invoke yr aural shakti And every sentient being Pulls back the veil Crouching in front of Muktananda's Portrait Oakland Ashram Chanting for a full week In Dallas Hotel Guru Om On each breath Breathe syllables Prague '68 Kral Marales Twenty year reign Breathe syllables Chicago '68 Violence does not touch you Breathe syllables NYC '74 mugging Robbed of $70 Sell poem to Times For $500 Does death really exist, Allen? Now in the bardo Trungpa Rimproche guiding you Past wrathful dieties Hungry ghosts To be with Jack Neal Louis Naomi Whitman Blake Rumi Kabir Milarepa Where not even dead communists/FBI Can fuck with you now The comet seems brighter tonight The tail longer with colors As you and Jack Contemplate cosmic debris laden Sunflowers On moons of Jupiter Saturn "Guru Death Your words are true Teacher Death I do thank you For inspiring me To sing this blues..."
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 15:51:33 -0400 From: Attila Gyenis
Subject: Ginsberg's Howl I'm sure everybody has their own Ginsberg story, this is mine. I have seen him at almost 10 events over the past five years. I have always reacted the same way at his readings - he always has a few poems that I really don't like, but just when I'm ready to despair, he comes up with the whamo killer poem that puts everthing back into perspective as to why he is the poet that he is. Last year it was the Skeleton poem that was recently released on CD (it would have been nice if it had a version on it without the music), when he read it it was a steam roller that just picked up speed all on the downhill. The year before that it was the poem about food that people like to eat, ending with something about 'go ahead and eat feed your cholesteral coated arteries with rich chocolate german cake'. And then when he would talk about man's relationship with nature and the role of balance, again it illuminated the fact that he had a compassionate understanding of mankind. But my favorite Ginsberg story is about the time he was on this panel talking about the beats, and as some of the other presenters were giving their speech some members in the audience were complaining that they couldn't hear the speaker. Ginsberg proceeds to publicly admonish the speaker for not speaking clearly enough and loud enough, and explaining how it is the speaker's responsibility to ensure that they are projecting enough to have the audience understand them. Later, when it was Ginsberg's turn to talk, again some audience members complained that they couldn't hear. Ginsberg quickly turned to the moderator and exclaimed "Can't somebody fix these microphones!" So much for projecting. Last year in DC at a conference at the National Portrait Gallery (in conjunction with the Rebel Writers and Painters exhibition), Ginsberg did readings and talked about the afterlife saying that he didn't believe in an afterlife. He said he could only believe in things that he can experience but he hasn't experienced death or afterlife. I wonder what he's writing about now? peace, Attila DREAMING IN AMERICA With all the time in the world there's not enough time With all the money in the world there's not enough money Sometimes all life leaves after a walk in the dark in which you cross paths with a fox and a shooting star Is one long goddamned howl that leaves you breathless at the end Attila Gyenis (April 5, 1997) This was written after hearing about Allen's passing and my always constant reminder that life is way too short and that I hope each of us are making the best of this life for ourself and others.
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 15:40:14 -0500 From: Todd Cain
Subject: Re: Where was dog taken by crocodile? For Allen Ginsberg Ladies and Gentlemen, the poet has left the building. Ladies and Gentlemen who will stain this paper with ink in the absence -- in this distinct and pure disembodiment who will ruffle the feathers of the great bird of complacency who will entertain confusion -the mistress of time in stanza and verse meter and rhyme who will write the new words and chant the hymn of Earthspin all the while looking into your eyes and reminiscing about heaven ?
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 17:11:58 -0400 From: Ginny Browne
Subject: Magic and Loss... im not sure if youre all familiar with Lou Reed's '92 (or '93?) album Magic and Loss, but last night i lay awake with ths line of the first song haunting me over and over: "What good is cancer in April? Why no good, No good at all." This line always had a heavy feeling for me, step-father died of cancer in April, but with the magic and loss of this past weekend its gotten way heavier, and, yes, "April is the cruelest month", it seems.
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 17:09:51 -0500 From: Matthew S Sackmann
Subject: Allen Y'know, Ive been trying to come up with a good elegy for Allen Ginsberg the last few days to no avail. I never really apprecitated Allen. He seemed "jaded" to me. Just last night i pulled out my copy of his collected poems and just read a few random poems and listened to some of Holy Soul, Jelly Roll. And it really struck me how great this man was. How great this man IS. I always thought, "Yeah Allen ginsberg, 'Howl,' 'America,'' Kaddish.' A few good poems, but nothing else really great." I hit myself for thinking that last night. Hearing Allen and reading Allen, i really appreciated every single word of his poems. there was so much to be found in every line. Only thing that it could be related to is reading poetry high on marijuana. So i wanted to write an elegy, but i didnt feel worthy. I always thought he was the negative one, but it was I who was always negative. I dont feel worthy of an elegy, but i will take a few minutes to describe my experiences since his death. Thursday, Friday, Saturday in New Orleans: All these days were quite depressing because of the news of Allen's sickness. Even the sky reflected the feeling in the air. Cloudy, rainy, no blue sky anywhere. Saturday night i had my first introduction to the Zen temple of New Orleans, and it was there that i first heard that Allen was dead. I couldn't believe it, the guys on the list had said he had 4-12 months to live. All the people at the temple were so great, and i decided to return the next day for the introduction to Zazen (zen meditation). Early early in the morning, before the sun had risen, i jumped on the street car and took a ride to the temple. I'd always heard lots about Zen Buddhism, but ive never really been smack dab involved with it. But after an hour of meditating, after talking with lots of great people, after being whacked with the Kyo Saki (the zen stick), I felt a lot better. In fact i felt really great. better than ive felt in a long time. I wanted to ask the master, "Does one with Buddha nature get sad when someone dies?" but i didnt because i feared the answer. I knew it would be "No." I wondered if that would be a lack of compassion on the master's part. Now i know it wouldn't be. And what an amazing feeling as i emerged from the temple and i was struck smack dab with the most beautiful sunlight ive ever seen. I looked around for any clouds but there were none. All Blue. I thought of what Jack said, "the sky is blue because you want to know why the sky is blue." But i thought "The sky is blue because you want the sky to be blue." As Allen ginsberg said, "Existence is suffering, it ends when your dead." So Go Allen Ginsberg, go go go, with fellow Boddhisatvas Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, go go go, together beyond, fully beyond, to the shores of satori. as ever, matt
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 13:42:52 -0700 From: mwbarton
Subject: coffee? sitting in the east village feeling a touch beat. anyone interested in having a cup of coffee and a smoke? mwbarton